When it comes to buying a new home in retirement, conventional wisdom says most people will downsize from what they currently have and spend less. However, surveys find that 48 percent of respondents plan to spend the same amount or more on a new home. Additionally, 30 percent are looking to purchase a house with more square footage. The reasons why vary and can affect how you work with these clients.

Family Matters

Some of the most popular reasons for upsizing involve family. Many people want to move closer to kids—and grandkids. Additionally, 16 percent of those surveyed have adult children who have returned home. This often means they want more room in anticipation of time spent with extended family.

Aging Parents…and Selves

Others who choose to upsize cite the need to accommodate elderly parents and, possibly, their caregivers. These potential clients generally require larger homes with a certain layout: fewer levels and wider areas for mobility. Homeowners are also considering this type of space as they think about what their own futures might look like.


Retirement often means more free time to get together with friends and family. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed say that having enough room for family and friends to stay during visits and host holidays is a top consideration.

Living the Dream

Still other retirees have waited—and worked—their whole lives to buy their dream home. They see retirement as the perfect opportunity to acquire the lifestyle they have worked so hard to achieve. This may mean being closer to activities, like golf or skiing, and possibly taking advantage of the amenities a planned community offers.

Cost Effective

Clients who decide to upsize generally do so after careful consideration of how it will affect their savings and cash flow. Since many will be living on a fixed income—with minimal earned income—they may need extra help anticipating all the potential maintenance costs associated with the properties and neighborhoods you show them. This may also mean their search could take a little longer, and some added patience, as they get their numbers to work out.  

For those clients who are thinking about upsizing, understanding what they want in their next home—and assuring them of your ability and willingness to work with them until they get it—can make for a rewarding experience for you both.