Thursday, July 17, 2014


Remodeling for Departing Kids and Returning Parents

 Port Aransas, TX. - The American family is ever-changing, and its primary space, the home, has always changed with it. The present day is no exception: The largest segment of the American public, the baby boom generation, is entering retirement age in high numbers, and confronting “empty nests” when the kids go off to college or marry and move out permanently, presenting the challenge of what to do with the sudden extra space (since most “boomers” prefer to “age in place” rather than leave their long-time homes).

There is also the perennial family responsibility of caring for older relatives as their health needs require them to move back in with their grown children and in-laws. Extended families (including grandparents raising their grandchildren) have also become more commonplace. Situations like these can pose the challenge not of how to deal with extra space, but how best to add more.

Changes which only affect the inside of a house can be the simpler type, but are not necessarily any easier a decision. However, there are a number of inviting options to consider. Mature baby boomers who are ready to enjoy the fruits of a lifetime of work and have the funds to invest in doing so, are converting the extra space vacated by the kids into everything from “wine cellars” to libraries.

Home offices are popular, and tap into a growing trend. They come in handy for organization and privacy, whether you’ve got a business or merely need a space to keep your bills and personal files straight.

Hobbies are big with boomers, so a hobby room for sewing and other crafts makes sense. A small home gym, with treadmill, weights and a TV to pass the time, is also a good investment for both fun and health.

On the other hand, many of today’s homeowners are opting to add that extra room – or rooms – if they don’t already have one, for entertaining guests, housing returning relatives, or setting up a separate but accessible space for an elderly parent or in-law. Before you do this, there are a number of questions to address, including what local zoning ordinances will allow for additions, and how the aesthetics and size of the addition will affect resale value. 

There are also family matters to make sure everyone understands. While some younger families move grandma in with them, some older ones sell the house to a son or daughter and move into the addition themselves.; In all such situations, it’s important to agree beforehand who owns what part of the house, whether rent will be charged, who will pay for any extra utility or property-tax costs, and other sensitive issues that don’t have to become divisive ones.

Jannine is one of more than 40,000 members of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, who have attained the Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation. The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is designed for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients.  Having an ABR® can guide you through structuring your offer and negotiation strategy.

To receive a free copy of the REBAC-published “Homebuyer’s Toolkit,” call (361)688-0067.