Are you getting ready to downsize and purchase a small single family home for your retirement? If so, you need to make some considerations when doing so, since it will help avoid purchasing a home that will not work out for you in the long run.
Dealing With Storage
One of the biggest problems you are going to run into with a smaller single family home is a lack of storage space. This will present you with a few options for what to do with all your stuff before the move. You can start making some serious decisions about what you want to keep, and end up selling everything else that you don't need. Another option is to rent a storage unit to hold onto those things, which will help make the smaller home less cluttered.
Things like clothing, books, kitchen gadgets, and shoes can all take up much more room than you think they do, so start evaluating your storage needs early on in the buying process.
Dealing With Stairs
A common feature of smaller single family homes is to build upward rather than outward. This means that it is likely that all of the bedrooms are going to be upstairs rather than on the first floor. You must make a judgement call on if you are going to be able to handle stairs on a daily basis as you get older in age, since it may become increasingly difficult.
If you do not want to deal with stairs, you'll need to expand your search to ranches instead of lofts or colonials.
Dealing With Bathrooms
A small home will have a small bathroom, which may or may not work for you as you get older. You may have no problem navigating the bathroom now, but can it accommodate a wheelchair or a walker. Know that you can always replace a vanity sink with a pedestal model, which can give you extra room to move around.
Dealing With Guests
You should also decide how you want to deal with guests in your old age. Are you going to be traveling to visit family most of the time, or will they be coming to visit you? If it's the latter, consider the bedroom situation at your smaller single family home. If you won't have the extra bedroom, at least ensure that there is a place where guests can stay, such as a living room big enough to accommodate a sleeper couch or an air mattress.