Fab Real Estate Blog: Downsizing After Retirement: Stairs or No Stairs

Downsizing After Retirement: Stairs or No Stairs

Lately I have been working with several couples who have retired and are considering downsizing into a smaller home or condo here in the Greater Danbury / New Fairfield, Connecticut area. Sometimes when searching for a new home for their retirement years, physical limitations dictate that the home cannot have stairs, thus limiting the search to ranches or first-floor ranch-style condo units.  Others considering buying a retirement home need to consider whether stairs may become an issue in the future.stairs

We do have several 55+/Active Adult communities in our western Connecticut area and the surrounding towns.  Some of these communities have single-level, no-stair floorplans suitable for adults of all physical abilities.  However, some of these communities offer multi-level homes, and even garages in the basement, requiring a long walk through the basement and up a flight of basement stairs each time you park your car.  This is not an ideal situation for those who may have difficulty walking up stairs on a regular basis.

One retired couple I know have decided that now it's their turn to buy their dream home.  Good for them!  But, while stairs have already become an issue for them in their current ranch home with a finished basement, they are now looking for a colonial-style home.  Since main-level master bedrooms are not yet common in the Connecticut real estate market, this has caused much dismay for them:  They now want their dream home, but the stairs in their dream home will be a problem for them for day one.  It's taken them some time, but they have now realized they need to change their dream and consider a single-story floor plan.

Buying a home is a big commitment for anyone.  There is a lot of money and a lot of emotion involved.  You want to choose a home that you will be happy and secure in for many years.  All factors must be considered, and if stairs may become an issue for you, then a home without stairs must be a prime concern.

Take your time when choosing your new home.  Consider your priorities and your needs, and then choose a home where you will not only be happy, but one that you will be able to enjoy for the long term.


Don Fabrizio-Garcia, REALTOR
Connecticut Real Estate & Appraisals
Connecticut Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Comment balloon 4 commentsDon Fabrizio-Garcia • May 23 2007 06:59AM


Who wants to carry groceries up a flight of steps?  I only have 6 steps in my front entry and it's too much!  :-)
Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) over 11 years ago

Hi Chris - My last house was built on a hill, over the garage, with no interior access from the garage to the house.  So, we had a full flight of steps to our front door.  Bringing the groceries in were never fun.  We learned the joy of grocery delivery services from our local supermarkets!

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Many of the people who are now empty-nesters that I work with are actually upsizing!  They're getting ready to have family gatherings and grandkids over in the future, and they're getting the bigger 2-story homes with the gamerooms and media rooms upstairs.  As long as the master is downstairs, they don't really have to go upstairs, ever.  I guess this is their time to have the nice things they've always wanted without the hassel of kids ruining everything, except when the kids come back to visit.
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 11 years ago
Hi Donna - I think that's great!  The problem here is that main-level master suites are so uncommon in my area.  There is a new development building some beautiful colonials with main-level master suites, but they are all going for over $1,000,000, which is out of reach for many retirees.
Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago