Things to Consider When Moving to be Closer to Family: Downsizing Considerations and Housing Options

March 25, 2024 | Buying a Home | By: The Goodhart Group

As we enter different stages of life, the prospect of moving to be closer to family becomes increasingly appealing. Whether it’s to have the grandkids drop by more often, enjoy the company of loved ones, or simply for a change of scenery, there are numerous factors to consider when making this transition. For downsizers, leaving their current home and relocating to be closer to family can be both exciting and daunting. Here are some key considerations and housing options to ponder when making this significant move.

Buying vs. Renting:

When considering a move to be closer to family, downsizers may wonder whether it’s better to buy a new home or to rent. Purchasing a new home can provide a sense of stability and the freedom to customize the property to suit your needs. Additionally, owning a home can potentially serve as a long-term investment, offering equity and the possibility of passing it down to future generations. If you plan to be in the area for any length of time buying makes much more sense; renting is unpredictable – will you be able to find a place in the area you want? How long of a lease is required? Etc. On the other hand, renting may offer more flexibility, especially if there is uncertainty about the move or if you want to test an area out before moving permanently. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option based on individual circumstances and long-term plans.

Learn more about downsizing with these posts next:

Proximity to Family:

The decision of how close to be to family members is a crucial one. Some downsizers may prefer to live in the same neighborhood or even on the same property as their children, allowing for frequent visits and a strong support system. Others may desire a bit of distance, opting for a “safe” proximity that allows for independence while still being conveniently nearby. This decision often depends on the dynamics of the family and the individual preferences of both the downsizers and their children. 

Click here to read about Demystifying the DMV: What You Need to Know Before Moving Here

Housing Arrangements:

Another consideration is the housing arrangement when moving closer to family. Some families may explore the idea of moving in with their children if they have a larger home with an in-law suite or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to accommodate the downsizers. This arrangement can foster a multi-generational living experience, promoting closeness while still maintaining privacy and independence. Alternatively, downsizers may prefer a separate residence nearby, such as a townhome or condo, offering low maintenance and the freedom to come and go as they please. 

Managing Multiple Properties:

For those considering a move to be closer to family, the question of whether to keep their current home and purchase a secondary residence arises. This decision may depend on financial considerations, emotional attachment to the current home, and the potential for rental or sale income. Careful financial planning and consultation with a real estate professional can help navigate the complexities of managing multiple properties. If you do want to keep your current home you’ll need to consider if you’d like your second residence to be more low maintenance like a condo or townhome so you can just pick up and leave or if you’d still like to have more space to entertain when your family members drop by?

Click here to read about Why Condos in DC Make the Perfect Secondary Residence

Relocating to a New City:

If the move involves relocating to a new city, finding new service providers, healthcare facilities, and other essential amenities becomes paramount. Researching and establishing these essential connections beforehand can ease the transition and ensure a smooth adjustment to the new environment.

The Bottom Line:

Moving closer to family as a downsizer involves a myriad of considerations, from housing options to the dynamics of family relationships. Whether it’s purchasing a new home, deciding on proximity, exploring housing arrangements, or managing multiple properties, thoughtful planning and open communication with family members is key. Ultimately, the decision to be closer to family is a deeply personal one, and finding the right balance between independence and togetherness is essential in making the transition a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

Have questions about real estate in the DMV? Give us a call at 703-362-3221, email us at or or fill out the form below.


We’re realtors serving the DMV who love sharing everything about where we live and the neighborhoods we explore. Follow along by signing up for our weekly newsletter with local favorites and the latest and greatest in real estate.  

Newsletter Signup

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


If you’re looking to buy or sell in Northern Virginia, we’d love to help. Contact us today!

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.