What to Know About Buying an Age-in-Place Home

Buying a Home for Aging in PlaceWhen buying a Carver home for aging in place, there are many things to consider to ensure the residence will work well through the years. As mobility declines, or health problems progress requiring physical therapy, the home should have all the right elements in place to allow easy living. Otherwise, it could need minor to major renovations to get into shape. So, when buying an age-in-place home, look for the following characteristics to minimize the need for changes in the future.

Look for a Single-Level House

Stairs quickly become a problem as people need mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, to get around the house. To take this challenge out of the equation, it is important to look for a home without stairs in its layout.

Single-story homes come in many architectural designs, including:

  • Craftsman
  • Bungalow
  • Cape cods

Single-level homes can be somewhat hard to come by, however, and extend the purchase process out considerably in some cases. Allow for extra time to find a residence with this ideal layout to get a home that will allow easy mobility for years to come.

Make Sure There is At Least One Full Bath

When buying a home for aging in place, it is important to pick one with at least one full bathroom. The full bathroom allows for the installation of a walk-in bathtub, which is a necessity as aging makes it difficult to climb in and out of the tub. With enough room to install a walk-in bath, the risk of injury declines and aging in place becomes much easier to navigate.

Corridors Must Be Wide Enough for Mobility

In order to allow for the use of mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and walkers, people need to have enough room to maneuver in all corridors of their home. From the entryway to the hallways, there should be enough room to push a wheelchair through the area and even turn it around.

Corridors that are at least 36 inches wide allow for these maneuvers, though they are somewhat rare in older residences. Doorways may also need to be 36 inches wide in areas where space is too tight for the needed mobility aids. This can be changed by a contractor, but it is a rather big undertaking.

Always Go for a Low-Maintenance Exterior

A suitable age-in-place home comes with low-maintenance exterior elements that look good year round. Instead of having a lawn that needs regular mowing, for example, the surrounding land might be covered in hardy plants that need minimal care.

The exterior of the dwelling should require minimal maintenance as well, such as brick or vinyl siding instead of wood. Do not forget to check the roof and verify it needs little to no attention in the coming years, as that could prove costly down the road.

Check for Optimal Lighting Inside and Out

To avoid incident, homes for aging in place need to have adequate lighting, inside and out. With enough light, people can reduce their risk of tripping and falling due to low light conditions.

Lighting should consistently extend from the entryway of the house all the way through every hallway and room. The lights should have bright bulbs in cool tones to eliminate shadowy areas that can make it difficult to move around safely. In addition, the lights should turn on automatically upon detecting motion, so there is no need to search for the switch in the dark.

Contractors Can Complete Key Improvements

Homes suitable for aging in place will need key upgrades to personalize the space to the needs of the homeowner. These individuals can work with a contractor to rectify any areas that do not work for them. For example, contractors may:

  • Make doorways wider
  • Add grab bars and rails
  • Install non-slip flooring
  • Build a ramp to the porch
  • Decrease the height of thresholds

As contractors work on each task, they remove hazards and create the perfect home for aging in place.

When buying an age-in-place home, prospective homebuyers just have to take all their future needs into consideration. Contractors can perform additional adjustments later on if unforeseen issues crop up.

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