Today’s most popular floor plans for downsizing are very different than twenty years ago. Downsizers today are active and the home plans that appeal to them may or may not be smaller. What they do have in common is a need for open floor plans with space for entertaining and most importantly, a master on the main level. 

When looking for their forever home, most empty-nesters start with the floor plan – specifically a one-level ranch or a master-down. They are looking for a home they can enjoy and comfortably “age-in-place.” That means no stairs to get to the master bedroom and an open design with wider doorways that are easy to navigate. 

The trick to downsizing intelligently is to take full advantage of every bit of space without sacrificing style. Belmonte’s most popular plans for downsizing do just that, by eliminating unnecessary walls and rooms to increase the size and natural flow of the rooms used most.  This is often referred to as “rightsizing” – putting more emphasis on the rooms that people use most and allowing options to customize with sunrooms, screened porches, and finished basements.

Weston Gourmet Kitchen - Popular Floor Plans for DownsizingEven though many empty nesters are looking for less space, that does not mean they want to downgrade when it comes to luxury touches. In fact, many are looking to upgrade. Kitchens and bathrooms are a focus for this demographic. They enjoy cooking and entertaining and will often upgrade their cabinets and appliances to create the perfect cooking environment.  In their bathrooms, they often choose upgrades like oversized tile showers with a bench, specialty shower heads, frameless shower doors, transom windows, and soaking tubs.


A great example of “rightsizing” is Belmonte’s Concord ranch floor plan. This 1,700 sq. ft. home is charming, efficient, and surprisingly spacious.

Concord Ranch - Popular Floor Plans for Downsizing “It’s not your typical ranch floor plan,” says Michael Lust, Belmonte Builders’ VP of Sales. “It’s a small home but feels larger because the design is more open.” 

The Concord ranch home really stands out. It feels more like a traditional two-story home because of its entry. It was designed with a larger foyer and an open staircase to the lower level as opposed to the small foyer and narrow hallway typically seen in most ranch homes.

“One of the trends we’re seeing is the formal dining room going away, as well as fewer walls and hallways,” says Lust. For Concord, they used that extra square footage to increase the size of the common areas.  It’s easy to see why it’s one of Belmonte’s most popular floor plan choices for people looking to downsize. 

Available in: Alexandria, Griffin’s Ridge & Windsor Woods


Belmonte’s most popular floor plan for downsizing or “rightsizing” is their Castleton ranch. 

Castleton Ranch - Most Popular Floor Plan for DownsizingReimagined In 2018, the Castleton appeals to empty-nesters, as well as young families who are looking for a flexible and spacious plan with a large, open living space. 

Castleton Ranch - Most Popular Floor Plan among those looking to downsizeThe open design and triangular layout of the kitchen, great room, and dining area make it perfect for entertaining.  “This is an example of a plan that we were able to improve without touching the footprint,” says Lust. “By substituting a study for the formal dining room and eliminating hallways in favor of traffic patterns, we were able to create room for a larger kitchen and dining areas…and it instantly became our top-selling plan.” 

Castleton Ranch Screened Porch and Patio- Most Popular Floor Plan among those looking to downsizeAnother popular choice among empty-nesters is the addition of a screened porch or sunroom on the back of the home along with a paver patio, to add more space for entertaining and relaxing outside. 

Having the flexibility to finish the basement with a game room, bedroom, and full bath to create more living space is also important for downsizers who have friends and family that visit.

Available in: Alexandria, Griffin’s Ridge, Sonoma GroveWindsor Woods


Belmonte’s Weston ranch floor plan is one of their newest & most versatile floor plans.

Weston Master Up - Popular Floor Plan for DownsizinglThe Weston is unique in that it can be built as a ranch or as a master down with 2 additional bedrooms, a full bath, and a loft upstairs, perfect for when kids/grandkids visit. “Rather than have more floor plans, we want to offer plans that are more flexible,” says Lust.

Available in: Alexandria, Griffin’s Ridge, Sonoma Grove & Crescent Street


Regatta View Carriage Homes - Ranch and Master Down Floor PlansRegatta View, Belmonte’s newest neighborhood, is an exclusive section of 24 charming carriage homes with 2 premium units per building. Empty-nesters like the street appeal of these homes, the maintenance-free lots, and its direct access to Saratoga Lake. With a variety of master down and ranch floor plans, there’s something for both downsizers and those looking to purchase a 2nd home.  

Unlike typical townhome communities, the carriage homes in Regatta View are all premium end units, which means each home features windows on three sides. The elevations are designed to mirror beautiful, large, single-family homes. It’s no surprise that home sites were selling before the roads were even paved.

Ranch floor plans: Cypress 3 BR, 2 BA, 1,890 sq.ft. | Birch 2 BR, 2 BA, 1,733 sq.ft.

Master Down floor plans: Juniper 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2,220 sq.ft. | Maple 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2,315 sq.ft. | Pine 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2,376 sq.ft.

If you’re looking to downsize or rightsize, take the time to do your research and really think about what’s important to you. If you are looking to build, talk to your builder about what rooms and features are important to you. The best new homes are a collaboration between you and your builder.

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