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Empty Nesters Boost Home Value by Thinking Ahead

  June 02, 2017

Submitted by DJ’s Painting and Remodeling

Whether they're heading off to college or they've finally finished their education and are starting their careers in a distant city, the departure of kids from your nest often makes for a bittersweet time. If you've committed much of your energy and most of your home to raising kids for a couple of decades, you may be looking forward to finally making some home improvements.

Updating your home after the kids move out can enhance your home's resale value if you're planning to down-size down the road. Or, you can focus on home improvements that will facilitate aging in place, like improving the lighting and usability of key rooms, such as bathrooms and the kitchen.

It’s always smart to keep aging-in-place living principles in mind when doing any sort of renovation, even if you aren’t nearing retirement.

From a strictly financial aspect, moving to an assisted living facility can easily cost more than 60,000 per year, while the additional cost to widen a bathroom door and put in a walk-in shower would typically cost less than 10,000. That is just a one-time expense. So, if you are going to renovate anyway, make updates with an eye towards the future. Doing so now will save you money down the road, and focusing on elegant, aesthetically enriching, barrier-free environments is appealing to people of all ages.
Here are a handful of renovation ideas for baby boomers looking to reclaim their home spaces after the kids have left the nest:

Emphasize natural lighting
Vision changes as you age, so the artificial lighting that worked for you when you were in your 30s or 40s may not be adequate when you enter your 50s and 60s. Lighting is an important upgrade if you plan to remain in your home into your golden years. Look for improvements that will help aging eyes see better, like increased natural lighting and task lighting in work areas. You may want to consider energy-efficient skylights that are a beautiful way to improve a home’s natural lighting.

Create a "me space"
If you already have a guest bedroom, there's no need to leave Junior's old room set up as a bedroom. Turn it into a space that works for you, like a home office, exercise room, music studio, craft room, workshop, or home theater. As you're planning the improvement, keep in mind your long-term plans. If you'll be selling the home at some point, consider a room that will have broader appeal, like a home office. If you plan to age in place, remember to incorporate features that will facilitate your use of the room even if you experience mobility issues down the road. For example, you may want to take the opportunity to widen doorways, replace doorknobs with door handles, or replace loose carpet or slippery tiles with slip-resistant flooring.

Renovate (or create) a master bathroom
Bathrooms sell homes, and if you've had to share your bathroom with the kids or live with an outdated master bathroom, or none at all, now's the time to renovate your bathroom. In addition to all the luxurious features you've been dreaming of, like a rainfall shower head and heated floor, keep in mind the practical improvements that will make the room safe and usable as you grow older.

Opt for slip-resistant flooring, improve natural and task lighting, replace faucet knobs with easy-to-maneuver levers, install higher toilets that make rising easier and higher sinks that require less bending. Install grab bars around tubs and toilets, as well as in the shower. The idea of aging in place is more realistic than ever before. Now, it's also possible to do it gracefully, with plenty of decorator-friendly bathroom options that are as secure and practical as they are attractive, so you don’t need to fear that the space will have an institutional feel.

The departure of your children creates an opportunity to accomplish some home improvements you've been dreaming of for a while. As you're reclaiming spaces once devoted to kids, look for improvements that can increase your home's value and help you stay in your house as long as you wish.

For more information about any home remodeling project, contact DJ’s Painting and Remodeling at 309-452-9643 or online at They are located at 1502 E. Jackson and have the expertise to advise you on the home solutions that will fit your needs. Back to Top

June 02, 2017


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