Renovating Your Home for Retirement: 9 Popular Upgrades

Renovating Your Home for Retirement: 9 Popular Upgrades

Breathing new life into your family home is a good idea no matter what your age. After all, your home just might be your most significant investment. If you want to do some of these renovations after you’ve already retired, you might find yourself a little cash-strapped. But if you plan on staying in your home for many more years, you might want to look into applying for a reverse mortgage

Renovating Your Home for Retirement: 9 Popular Upgrades

In short, a reverse mortgage allows you to tap into all that equity you’ve been building up for years by paying your monthly mortgage. The proceeds can run into the thousands of dollars that you can put toward renovating your home for retirement. Even with interest rates having risen, some companies still offer low rates for HECM-backed lenders. 

With interest rates being a primary factor in determining how much the bank will lend you, homeowners who find the lowest rates will receive more proceeds and therefore benefit more from a reverse mortgage they need not pay back until they leave the house or die.  

But what about the home improvements that are worth pursuing in retirement? Will they add value to your family home while giving it a new, enjoyable facelift? According to a recent report by Forbes, once you retire, the opportunity to remain in the family home where you’ve created so many memories and grown accustomed to might sound like heaven. However, to make sure the property ages well, you must keep up with repairs and renovations. The million-dollar question is, which renovations will be worth the cost? 

The first thing you must take into consideration is what already exists in your home that you’d like to keep. The second thing to keep in mind is that you need to maintain your home’s salability and value, regardless of what you choose to renovate.  

Top Home Renovations to Make In Retirement

The best idea is to take a good look around the home and decide what can be left alone and what needs to be completely redesigned and reconstructed. Here are just a few renovations to consider if you’re thinking about renovating your home for retirement. 

Moving the Bedrooms to the First Floor
Maybe transitioning to one-floor living might seem a little difficult while you’re still a relatively young person at 62, but 20 years down the road you might find it was the best move you could have ever made. 

If you already live on the main level, turning one of the bedrooms in the master bedroom can not only add value to your home, but it can earn you up to an average of $85,000 if you decide to sell so long as you’ve added in a dressing room, walk-in closet, and ensuite bathroom to the renovation. 

Adding a Full Bathroom | Tips and AdviceAdding a Full Bathroom to the First Floor
Just like the bedrooms, whether or not you’re planning on remaining in your home or selling it, by having a full bath on the first, main floor, you will be adding significant value. It can come in very handy as you age if you plan on staying in the home and will boost resale value big time if you decide to leave. 

If you have a full bathroom on the first floor already, it will be worth considering making your shower or tub more handicapped accessible. This project can be as simple as adding a seat for the shower or a new safety railing.  

Replace Some Lawn with Hardscape
Naturally, the less grass you have, the less maintenance that’s required. But you can save time, effort, and money by eliminating portions of the lawn that can be filled with concrete, stone, pavement, or even wood decking. 

This move will often add value to your curb appeal besides reducing the time it takes to cut the lawn once a week. 

Remodel or Repair Your Kitchen
In a word, it’s the kitchen that sells a home. If you’re intent on moving when you retire, the kitchen is said to be the first room you need to pay attention to, even if you plan only on engaging in minor fixes like the installation of a new refrigerator, stove, or oven. 

But if you really want to increase the resale value of your home significantly, you need to undertake a top-to-bottom renovation, or even a mid-range remodeling. By creating a new kitchen experience, you can add anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 to your existing home’s value.  

Increase Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is all about your home making a good and lasting first impression to a potential buyer. Even minor exterior work can go a long way, such as a new exterior paint job, or a driveway sealing. 

You should also invest in landscaping features like flowerbeds, shrubs, and a sprinkler system to keep your lawn looking as well maintained as a golf course green. Enhanced curb appeal can add up to $15,000 in resale value if not more. 

Are you thinking about renovating your home for retirement? If so here are 9 popular upgrades to consider doing. #realestate #homerenovations Click to Tweet

Home Renovations to Make In Retirement (Cont’d)

Necessary Garage Repairs
Said to be relatively easy and inexpensive, necessary garage repairs can enhance your home’s safety and boost your curb appeal. This means replacing the garage doors if they have gotten old and outdated. You can invest in wall and even ceiling-mounted storage shelving so that you don’t trip over tools and paint cans that you would otherwise store on the garage floor.

You should recoup almost all the money you put into your existing garage especially if you choose to install a brand-new overhead door. Replacing the door will cost around $4,000 and its resale value is about the same. Shelving can run anywhere from $200 to $2,000 depending on the system you choose. Again, you will likely recoup this investment if you decide to sell. 

Roof Replacement | Should Your Proactively Replace Your Roof?Roof Replacement
Considered one of the most essential components of your home next to the foundation, a total roof replacement is said to be somewhat costly. It can easily run you thousands of dollars if not tens of thousands of dollars depending on the type of brand-new.

However, considering one of the first things a potential buyer (or their real estate agent) inquires about if they are interested in purchasing your home is how old the existing roof is. Anything older than 15-20 years could be at the end of its life and costly especially when it comes to homeowners insurance.

But if you replace your roof, you will receive a new warranty, the best homeowners insurance rates and your home will be considered in tip-top shape. If you decide not to move, you will enjoy the peace of mind knowing your roof will be maintenance-free for years to come.  

Check on Essential Appliances and Systems 
When you retire it’s important to make a thorough check if not a full inspection on heating and cooling systems (HVAC), oil/gas burner, and any other essential energy systems. You need to do this for safety and health reasons. If you are selling your home, repairing or replacing old, inefficient systems is a must since the new buyer will insist on replacement. 

Also, you should check the washer and dryer. Is the washer leaking? Is the dryer working as efficiently as expected or do you need to run it for a second cycle before your clean clothing is dry? Inspect the dishwasher, and even the stove and oven. Again, this is important not only for your health and safety but if you plan on staying in your home, you don’t want to be wasting money on inefficient appliances.  

Repair Hazardous Floor Issues
As you get older, minimizing safety risks in your home is of vital importance. That means repairing loose boards in your floor, and also making certain your stair treads are secure. You need to also make certain stair rails are properly secured to the wall. You should also consider removing any loose carpeting. You need to make these repairs regardless if you are staying put or selling.  

Final Thoughts

To sum up, retirement is the time you’ve been waiting for. It represents freedom. But it’s also the perfect time to take stock of your home and its current condition. Renovating your home for retirement should be a very calculated decision. You certainly don’t want to spend money that won’t add value or functionality to your lifestyle.

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Are you thinking about renovating your home for retirement? If so here are 9 popular upgrades to consider doing. #realestate #homerenovations Click to Tweet

Popular Home Renovation Questions

Is it worth buying an old house and renovating it? Whether or not buying an old house is worth renovating ultimately depends on the condition of the home itself and the necessary recommendations that need to be made. Does the entire house need new plumbing or electrical or is it purely cosmetic?

What renovations are best for investment? Typically, renovating kitchens and bathrooms will bring in the best return on investment. However, it depends on the overall condition of the property. If the entire property is original 1970s renovating the kitchen and/or bathrooms may not add a ton of value.

How can I increase the value of my home with renovations? Increasing the value of your home can be a little tricky. There are some improvements that will pay off and others that won’t make a difference. It’s always best to consult with a local Realtor and get their opinion. They should be able to educate you on what renovations, if any, will add value. So before you start renovating your home for retirement or well before retirement do extensive research.

About the Author

Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “Renovating Your Home for Retirement: 9 Popular Upgrades”

Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.

Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres, and more.

Renovating Your Home for Retirement: 9 Popular Upgrades


Michelle Gibson Wellington Florida REALTORMichelle Gibson of the Hansen Real Estate Group Inc is a full-time REALTOR who has been specializing in Wellington Florida real estate since 2001. This veteran of the real estate industry has expertise in technology, marketing, and social media.


Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. is a full-service real estate brokerage specializing in residential real estate. As a customer-focused, quality organization, we achieve success one client at a time. Call 561-333-0446 or e-mail me today at [email protected].

Michelle Gibson and Hansen Real Estate Group Inc fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Accessibility Statement


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