What’s An Empty Nester To Do With All That Extra Space?

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Sometimes The Best Plans Can’t Overcome The Circumstances

Flickr photo credit: Mark McGuire
Flickr photo credit: Mark McGuire

I’m finding there are a lot of empty nesters feeling stuck in their big empty homes. Many times the home was purchased at an unfortunate time and is now “underwater.” The kids have all grown up and moved out. The home can’t be sold to downsize and there are too many unused rooms to feel comfortable in the home.

If you aren’t sure where you stand and want to find out if there is anything you can do to get out of this situation or if you want to discuss buying or selling a home, please give me, John Conca, a call. Reach me at (530) 306-3494 to discuss your options. You can also search new Placerville listings here.

So, What Now?

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation and are in search of direction, I might have a few ideas for you. These might get you through until you reach a point where it makes sense again to sell your home, or it might be a forever-solution. Here are a few suggestions on how to reclaim or utilize your extra space:

Flickr photo credit: Jeremy Levine
Flickr photo credit: Jeremy Levine

Add An Office

Or two. Many people find they don’t trust the stability of the stock market or social security to get them through their silver and golden years. Turning a hobby into a business to fall back on, to help pay the bills, or have a little “mad money” is often easy enough and pleasant. Often people will remodel the extra bedrooms into one or two home offices in order to avoid extra driving and to continue their livelihood from the comfort of their home.

Consider A Hobby Room

Another remodel could be a room just for your hobbies. A sewing room makes sense if that is a favorite as fabric, projects, and supplies can take up a lot of room. You could remodel a room with proper lighting, curtains, and venting for a black room if photography is your passion. Think about what gets your creative wheels turning and how that can fit into your home. The remodel might even be simple enough for you to do on your own with some inspiration from some magazines or online home websites like Better Homes & Garden. If you’re not sure if you should take on a home project on your own or hire a pro, see my post, “DIY Or Go Pro?

Flickr photo credit: moodboard
Flickr photo credit: moodboard

Bring Your Folks Home

Are you in a position where it would make sense to bring your parents into your home to live with you? That might be an option to discuss with them. It would fill those empty rooms, probably help with payments, and best of all; it may bring all involved a new appreciation for each other in their final stage of life.

Another Way To Become A Multi-Generation Household

Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems in this country these days and some families are finding it very hard to make ends meet. If your children or a niece or nephew are going through this hardship, perhaps you can offer your extra rooms for a while. If this appeals to both parties, be sure everyone agrees on the clearly written out terms of your agreement; what percentage of the utilities will they pay each month, what will they pay in rent, how will food buying, cooking, chores, and privacy work out? Be sure to offer plenty of privacy for their family just as you would have needed in that stage of life.

Passive Income?

I’m not sure if you can call having someone rent an extra room in your home “passive”, but it is a way to help pay the bills. Be sure to do a background check and check all of their references first.

A Space For The Grandchildren

Flickr photo credit: eren {sea+prairie}
Flickr photo credit: eren {sea+prairie}

If you have grandchildren nearby you might consider turning an empty room into a playroom. Depending on their age this could mean a room with comfortable seating and space for you to be in there with them, or a place where they can have a little privacy while staying with the grandparents with a space for their belongings and whatever leisure activity they enjoy; reading, gaming, Lego building, acrobatics…

Enjoy Your Space!

Whatever it is that brings you pleasure, consider how you can change your home to make it work for you. Personally, I’d turn one room into an office, another into a sewing room and a third into a beautiful library with comfortable chairs so I can sink into all the books I’ve been wanting to read. Of course, that’s assuming I have leisure time at that stage of life. One can hope…


Thank you for stopping by! I hope this gave you some ideas. If you find yourself still feeling stuck after these suggestions, please give me a call and we’ll work together to find a solution to get you on your way to the home you want. Just give me, John Conca, a call at (530)-306-3494. Follow my blog for updates on local events, real estate news, timely home maintenance suggestions and tips for buyers and sellers. Have a great day.



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