Pull the trigger on Downsizing!
Your present home may be too big for your needs of today. The kids and grand kids, which came regularly in the first few years to the mountains, have their own lives to live and one or two or even more bedrooms are empty most of the time.
Why heating and air conditioning rooms for the well being of spiders?
Downsize and upscale! A contradiction? A patio home is the answer. You deserve it!
The first step in this direction is to find a suitable property. There are plenty of (almost) level lots around. Why? Unlike sloped lots, most of the level lots do not have a long range view and, therefore, are very inexpensive. You may also be lucky to find a smaller home; but beware: Is it age friendly?
To build a house for the next decade and more, which is just right for you, can hardly be found in the familiar home plan books. That may, however, be a good start. A professional building designer can take your ideas and go from here. Folks in advanced years need about 1500 sqft to live in, they need a decent size master bedroom, and an additional bedroom, which can also be used as a hobby room, a study or a multimedia room. Condominiums come to mind, but these layouts are mostly designed for vacationers, not for permanent living.
The custom patio home for people in their later years should have, among many other useful features, no stairs in the home and if possible, no stairs to the main entrance. The one car garage should be level with the main floor and all doors in the home must be 3 ft wide for easier access, should the need for a wheel chair, even temporary, ever be necessary. The bathrooms have to have ample room according to ADA standards. We do not even want to think about disability, but these are standards that make your future home a special value if you ever have to sell it.
Upscale to your favorite amenities in your cozy nest for two! How about an oversized whirlpool with an ozone pump? A dry sauna? A walk-in shower? Have user friendly windows and doors with handles rather than door knobs for these sometimes arthritic prone hands. Large closets for storage are a huge plus for every house. Have your professional building designer create a floor plan that works best just for you with the most efficient traffic flow. Short walking distances for all repetitive activities are a must. Separate bathrooms can be a consideration, with bidet of course.
If you do have a sloped lot, then the not so big house may have a small partial basement, which comes handy for all utilities like the air conditioning unit and the water heater, which otherwise would take up valuable space on the main floor. Last not least think of energy efficiency. The outside walls should have 2 x 6 studs for better insulation. As energy costs are sure to rise in the coming years, houses with 2 x 4 outside walls will soon be obsolete.
Venture into a new home which fits you like a glove for the next decade and more. Kids and grandkids? Welcome them at any time and have them stay over night in a condo. Somebody else can clean up after them while you enjoy your day.