Empty nesters have different needs and desires than those still rearing children. They want convenience and flexibility. If you are an empty nester and have more house than you wish to care for, here some things to consider.

* How often do the children visit? Do you need all those bedrooms and a large family room?

* Are you making trips down the basement steps just to change furnace filters and check on the water heater?

* Speaking of steps, what about those at the entry points to your home?

* If there are significant changes in mobility, would you be able to stay in your current home?

* Do you still enjoy yard work or is it becoming a time consuming chore?

Perspectives on living and physical will change. I have friends and family who are middle aged and faced with mobility limitations. Fully accessible is the term one of those likes to use and after listening and observing I have learned how important a well designed home is to meeting the needs of an individual who wishes to do the laundry and be a chef.

* A moderate sized dwelling may serve you better. Lower utility bills and less to clean. Whether a stand alone home, townhouse or condo, you may find more time to do the things you simply didn’t have time for previously.

* The amenities available in every aspect of home design has changed dramatically. Quality and style!

* With everything on one level and planned to accommodate you for tomorrow you can relax knowing that you’ll be together just as you have been.

* Storage is a key element. Many have a lifetime of treasures they are not ready to let go. A large closet or a triple stall garage can solve the problem.

* Yes you could hire someone to do your outside chores, however many prefer the convenience of a home owners association (HOA). Let someone else handle the care of the yard and exterior of your home and those around you. This ensures that things are cared for while you are away enjoying life.

Some careful thought can add life to your years!

My personal interest stems from my grandfathers who had limitations due to farm accidents as had several neighbors and extended family members. A middle aged friend has been in a wheel chair his entire life, he and his wife sought a place that would allow him to operate his business from home and play an active part in doing household tasks for their family. Observing the changes my parents and others have experienced has helped me to understand the importance of asking the hard questions so that people make decisions that will benefit them today and years to come.