I love this "smart" home for minimalist retirement

As my wife and I get older, we continue to debate an important decision. Should we stay in our current house or should we look for a more suitable retirement home? As a minimalist, I’m leaning towards a smaller place. And I recently saw a “smart” pre-fab home that appears ideal.

When I say this is a “smart” home, I don’t mean from a connected or IoT standpoint. Rather, the design and re-use of space is what I think makes it smart.

Check out this walkthrough

The home in question is designed and built by ZenniHome. They’re based out in Arizona. Conincidentally, that’s one of my favorite states to be in. But that’s not why I’m loving Zenni’s Citizen home. Check out the walkthrough and then I’ll explain.

I’m amazed at how much use and repurposing you get with just 640 square feet. And the base price is $125,000, which isn’t outrageous. Note that the nifty bed in the ceiling is a $15,000 option. I’d get that for sure.

I believe that the slide-out closet feature is included in the base price. At least I can’t find it listed in the options, so I’m assuming it’s included.

The size and style fits us (or at least me)

For reference, we downsized from a 3,000 square foot home with an acre of property back in 2016. I think it was the best decision we’ve ever made. It was an excessive amount of space for us and we were heating / cooling many rooms that were unused.

We saved roughly $1,200 a month by downsizing to our current 1,900 square foot townhouse. And we still have too much space. At least I think so; my wife would disagree.

Yes, 640 square feet is a vast reduction from 1,900. I get that. But again, the fact that you can repurpose a bedroom to a living room, such as with the Citizen home, helps make up for that.

Of course, you can’t have much “stuff” in a home with such a small footprint. We’d have to donate additional items we currently own, but we’re well on the path of minimalism. I’ve pointed this out prior with an image of my wardrobe and our towels. There are still more low- or no-value items to eliminate. Even so, our first floor is relatively spartan by traditional American standards.

The first floor of our home.

One more key aspect

You can tell from the above image that our current townhouse has multiple floors. Our bedrooms and home office are on the second floor, so those get used daily. We also have another bedroom in the finished third floor loft. There’s also a basement. That’s a lot of stairs.

All of the rooms in Zenni’s Citizen model are on the same floor. And that’s a huge benefit as my wife and I get older. We’re perfectly fine on stairs now. It’s a non-issue today. But a decade from now?

I’d like to think I’ll be as spry as when I ran marathons at sub-7:30 per mile pace. I know that’s an unrealistic pipe dream.