Making Your Childhood Home Your Adult Abode

You grew up in that home and now your parents are asking you if you want to buy it from them. If you are seriously considering purchasing your old childhood home, you are not alone. According to the New York Times, this type of arrangement will probably become more common in the future. Elderly parents that may be downsizing or moving into senior living facilities may feel more comfortable passing their house down to a willing child. Unfortunately, that old house may need a lot of work, especially if your parents tended to let things go as they got older or as their funds became more limited.

So if you do decide to purchase your parent's home, here are three improvements you may want to make to the house to make it more comfortable and livable. 

New Windows

There are a number of reasons why you will want to change the windows in your childhood home if they are older, including:

  • Temperature control. If your old home still has drafty single-pane windows, you could lower your energy bills and keep your heating and cooling inside by replacing them with insulated double- or triple-pane ones. Newer windows also feature tighter seals. 
  • Ease of cleaning. Choose windows that fold down for ease of cleaning. You can also choose windows with internal grids. These window replacements look like traditional windows with external grids, but are much easier to clean. 
  • Good return on investment.  This is important if you ever plan on selling the home in the future. According to Remodeling, you can expect to recoup approximately between 78 and 79 percent of your investment in mid-range window replacements for your home. For upscale window replacements, you can expect to recoup approximately 74 to 76 percent of your investment. 
  • Storm protection. A blown-out window during a tornado or hurricane can allow debris and destructive winds to enter your home. Today, you can find windows with impact-resistant glass that can withstand very high winds. 
  • Reduce noise. Better insulated windows will also reduce the level of outside noise that can enter your home. 

Add Insulation to Your Attic

If your parents haven't added insulation to your house recently or ever, it's time to hire a contractor to come in and check your home to see it needs more. If so, spend some time talking with the contractor to determine what would be the best type of insulation -- for example, should you add blown-in fiberglass or use fiberglass batts. Adding insulation can reduce your energy bills. 

Freshen Up the Bathrooms

Over the years, bathrooms can take a real beating. For example, the fiberglass in the shower stall may become dingy and unattractive. So updating the bathrooms can really help freshen the look of a home. Bathroom renovations such as changing fixtures to ones that use less water can also save you money. Some changes you might want to consider:

  • Replacing your old toilets with low-flow versions.  
  • Adding a modern touch by replacing a standard shower stall with a frameless glass one. 
  • Changing your faucets to ones that use an aerator to help you save even more on your water bill. 


While it's important to make your home more livable, This Old House cautions that you should be careful not to go overboard on your remodeling -- especially if you hope to sell the home one day and to recoup some of your expenses. If your parents' home is in an older neighborhood where values have fallen or have remained stagnant, you could end up investing a lot of money in renovations that you can't get your money back on if you do ever decide to sell it in the future.