Are you entering retirement and looking for a home to live the rest of your life in? Or are you looking for a new home for your elderly parents? Either way, you have some extra factors to consider that the typical homebuyer doesn’t. Many elderly people are choosing to continue living on their own but closer to family, in or near retirement communities, or near health care facilities. Here are some factors that will help you make wise choices in your home buying experience for the next stage of your life.
Outside the house: some things to consider may seem obvious but can be overlooked. Amenities that are attractive now may become difficult to maintain in five or ten years when you or your loved ones become less mobile.
- The yard: a beautiful yard may seem very appealing but will its upkeep overwhelm you in the future? Other outdoor factors to consider include how easily a person can navigate around the property. Is it hilly? Are the sidewalks wide and absent of drop-offs where they meet the yard?
- Access to the house: is the mailbox located on a grade that may be icy or slippery in the winter? Will you have to climb steps to enter and exit the house? Is there a porch where the outdoors can be enjoyed without exposure to the sun?
- Safety & security: protection and security are also bigger concerns as people age. Take note of how well lit the streets are. Are outdoor walkways adequately lit?
Inside the house:
4. The bathroom: this room is the number one area in the house where accidents occur. Many newer constructed homes have large bathrooms with walk in showers that are a great draw for new homebuyers. These are great amenities to have but are not always available. Therefore make sure the bathroom has enough space to safely navigate in. The main objective when considering a bathroom is the ability to add appliances or safety features should they ever be necessary. These would include installing grab bars on the walls and inside the bathtub or shower or placing grab bars near the toilet.
5. Doors and hallways: take note of the handles on doors, cabinets, and faucets. Lever handles are easier to use than knobs. Be sure to factor in the replacement costs of such hardware when considering the home. Don’t overlook the width of doorways and halls. Also take note of the lighting in the house. Will it be adequate at night or need upgrading? Finally, be aware of any transitions in the flooring that might be a trip hazard.
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