Seniors have many reasons for moving to a new home. However, when it comes to comfort and convenience, knowing what home features to look for can ensure they will be able to age in place in the new home. That’s why you need this guide to help you find the perfect home for your golden years.
Search for Senior-Friendly Homes
When you are looking for a safe home, you need to start with determining how much house you can afford. To give yourself a ballpark estimate, use an online tool that examines your location, annual income, monthly spending, and other factors. After you’ve entered the necessary information, you’ll have an idea of how much you can work with.
Once you’ve finished there, you can move on to the next crucial elements: reliable information and professional expertise. You can use the former to help you make better financial decisions around this major purchase. Using online tools, you can easily access critical information about local housing markets to get a better idea of what price you can expect to pay for a new home. Knowing average home prices and other market information will clue you in as to how much wiggle room you can expect in terms of making an offer. In a very competitive market, that wiggle room is minimal. So, you need to act fast, and you need to have a real estate pro to help you with your search to not only assist you in finding the perfect home at the perfect price, but juggling paperwork, putting in offers, negotiating, and so much more.
Think About Exterior Home Features
As you look at potential homes, you need to keep safety and convenience in mind. Seniors can age in place more comfortably in a home that requires less maintenance and upkeep, so keep this in mind when you are looking at listings. Try looking for smaller homes, which will have less yard and less square footage for you to worry about. The smaller the home, the smaller the property taxes will be as well, which can help you stretch your retirement dollars farther. When looking at the listings, you should also pay attention to landscaping features. Low maintenance yards are easier for older adults to tend to, and ample exterior lighting is safer as you age in place. Try to avoid unsafe stairs or steps without railings, too, to help avoid falls as you enter and exit the home. If you need a threshold ramp, you can buy one at Home Depot for $81.86.
Look for Interior Home Features
You can apply some of the same concepts when looking for interior design elements in potential homes. Safety and convenience are key here, too, so you want to select homes that are ideal for aging in place and feature senior-friendly details. For instance, houses with wood, linoleum or rubber flooring throughout (rather than tile) make it easier for seniors to move around without risking serious falls. Lower countertops, open floor plans and mobility perks, such as elevators and ramps, are also home features that can be highly desirable for senior home buyers. Look for ways you can add safety features as well such as adding grab bars and refinishing tubs/showers to prevent slips and falls. As you view homes with your realtor, you may also notice smart home features are becoming more common. Certain smart tech can actually help seniors stay in their homes longer, so houses that feature smart lighting or home security systems may be worth moving to the top of your potential home list
Consider Neighborhood Safety
Aging in place in a comfortable home can help preserve a senior’s quality of life, but it’s also important for older adults to be able to age in community. Age-friendly areas are ones in which seniors can feel just as safe and supported outside of their homes as they do inside them. In these cities and communities, older adults have more access to transportation, accessibility accommodations and senior services that can make daily life more manageable. Since falls can be deadly for seniors, small details around a neighborhood can matter as well, like having even sidewalks and safe paths through local parks. So focus your search on homes with-aging in-place features, but don’t forget to pay attention to neighborhoods, too.
Seniors deserve a safe, comfortable home. Make sure you know what features to look for and what information to research when house hunting. The above steps can make finding the perfect aging-in-place home much easier.
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