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empty nester

What is an Empty Nester in Real Estate?

What is an empty nester in real estate? An empty nester in real estate is someone whose children have grown up and moved out of the family home, often resulting in a shift in their housing needs. Read on as we explore what it means to be an empty nester in real estate, delving into the common challenges and opportunities individuals and families face navigating this transitional life stage. Whether considering downsizing, relocating, or investing, understanding the implications as an empty nester can be crucial for making informed and rewarding decisions.

Real estate investors Steve Daria and Joleigh have extensive experience assisting empty nesters in navigating this transitional phase. They emphasize the importance of identifying whether downsizing or relocating aligns with one’s lifestyle and future goals. With their expertise, they offer tailored advice to ensure that every decision is informed and rewarding.

Understanding the Empty Nester in Real Estate

An empty nester in real estate is a parent or guardian whose children have grown up and moved out, leaving them with an empty house. 

This can be a significant life transition, often filled with mixed emotions. 

The newfound freedom can be exhilarating, but the change can be daunting.

empty nester in real estate

Why Consider Downsizing?

Downsizing offers numerous benefits for empty nesters. 

It often leads to lower living expenses, reduced maintenance, and a more manageable living space. 

It also provides an opportunity to declutter and simplify life, which can be liberating.

The Financial Aspect

From a financial perspective, downsizing can free up equity in your current home. 

This can be used to invest in other properties, boost retirement savings, or fund new hobbies and travel plans.

Current Housing Trends for Empty Nesters

The housing market has evolved significantly over the past few years, and specific trends are particularly appealing to empty nesters. 

Smaller, More Efficient Homes

There’s a growing demand for smaller, more energy-efficient homes. 

These homes are not only cheaper to maintain but are also environmentally friendly. 

Many empty nesters find that a smaller home suits their lifestyle better as they no longer need the extra space.

Urban Living and Walkability

Another trend among empty nesters is the preference for urban living, drawn by the convenience and vibrancy of city life. 

Moving to urban areas allows them to enjoy various amenities, such as restaurants, shops, cultural attractions, and entertainment venues, all within walking distance or easily accessible via public transportation. 

This lifestyle shift often emphasizes the desire for a more dynamic and socially connected environment after their children have left home.

Community Living

Community living in 55+ communities provides empty nesters with a supportive and active environment specifically designed for their needs. 

Amenities such as social clubs foster camaraderie, while on-site facilities like fitness centers and healthcare services promote health and well-being, making it an eye-catching option for those looking to downsize without sacrificing lifestyle quality.

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Tips for Downsizing Successfully

Downsizing can be a complex process, but it can also be a smooth and rewarding experience with the right approach.

Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Start Early and Plan Ahead

Starting the downsizing process early is crucial to avoid feeling overwhelmed by sorting through years of accumulated belongings. 

Giving yourself ample time allows thoughtful decision-making about what items to keep, donate, sell, or discard. 

Planning also enables you to coordinate logistics such as packing, moving arrangements, and setting up your new living space, ensuring a smoother transition into a smaller home or community.

Declutter Methodically

Decluttering is a crucial part of downsizing.

Start by tackling one room at a time. 

Make piles for items to keep, donate, sell, or discard. 

Consider Your Future Needs

When choosing your next home, think about your future needs.

Look for a home that will be easy to maintain and accessible as you age. 

Consider factors like single-story layouts, walk-in showers, and proximity to healthcare facilities.

Real Estate Investment Opportunities

Real estate investment opportunities for empty nesters include rental properties, house flipping, or investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs). 

Rental Properties

Financing in rental properties can provide a steady income stream. 

Consider purchasing a duplex, condo, or a small apartment building. 

Renting out these properties can help supplement your retirement income.

Vacation Rentals

Florida is famous as a vacation destination, which makes it ideal for turning your home into a vacation rental, mainly if it’s in a sought-after area. 

Renting your property as a vacation home can produce substantial income, especially during peak tourist seasons when demand is high. 

However, you must familiarize yourself with local regulations, property management considerations, and marketing strategies to maximize profitability and ensure a positive guest experience.

House Flipping

If you’re handy and enjoy renovation projects, house flipping could be a rewarding venture. 

You buy homes that need work, renovate them, and sell them for a profit. 

This requires a good knowledge of the real estate market and renovation costs.

Engaging with the Community

Engaging with the community as an empty nester opens opportunities to stay active and connected. 


Volunteering allows you to add to your skills and time towards causes that matter to you, positively impacting others’ lives and the community. 

It also provides opportunities to forge new connections, build friendships with fellow volunteers, and expand your social network while working towards a common goal.

empty nester real estate

Joining Clubs and Groups

Taking part in clubs or groups that align with your interests provides social interaction and fosters a sense of belonging and community. 

Whether passionate about literature, gardening, or sports, these activities allow you to meet like-minded individuals, share experiences, and engage in meaningful conversations and activities together.

Attending Local Events

Stay updated on local events and participate in them. 

From farmers’ markets to cultural festivals, these events can be fun to spend time with and meet new friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Discover the most common queries about empty nester in real estate.

Is downsizing worth it?

Yes, downsizing can be worth it for many empty nesters. 

It reduces living expenses, simplifies life, and frees up equity.

What should I look for in my next home?

Look for a home that meets your current and future needs. 

Consider factors like size, maintenance, accessibility, and location.

Is downsizing suitable for everyone?

While downsizing offers benefits like reduced expenses and less maintenance, it may only suit some people’s lifestyles or emotional attachments to their current homes.


Transitioning to the empty nester phase marks an important life change filled with excitement and challenges. It’s a time to reassess your living situation, possibly downsizing to a more manageable home that suits your current needs and lifestyle. 

Downsizing simplifies your life by reducing maintenance and expenses and frees up equity that can be reinvested or used to fund new experiences and adventures. Staying informed about housing trends is crucial as you explore your options. 

**NOTICE:  Please note that the content presented in this post is intended solely for informational and educational purposes. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice or relied upon as a replacement for consultation with a qualified attorney or CPA. For specific guidance on legal or financial matters, readers are encouraged to seek professional assistance from an attorney, CPA, or other appropriate professional regarding the subject matter.

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