Aging in Place: Buying a Home for the Largest Demographic
Buying a home can be a daunting task at any age. Unfortunately, we tend to focus on the home buyers with families or those starting one. According to Louis Tanenbaum, more focus should be focused on the senior class, the folks who express an interest in aging in place. Tanenbaum has been a senior advocate for older home buyers and those who want to live in the house they have grown old in. He has found that too many seniors live in dangerous homes, or worse, homes that do not accommodate their age.
Aging in place is, at least according to Bernie Saunders (I-NH), a civil rights issue. But we’re not here to address the politics or even the proposed tax cuts that would make remodeling the homes of seniors tax deductible. Instead, I thought I’d give you an idea what seniors should be looking for in home and what people who are contemplating remodeling their home (or the home of an aged relative) should consider for suture resale.
Unnoticed Accessibility Additions
In 2014, Harvard conducted a study focused on this trend, one that seems to be mostly ignored by builders and remodelers. The report titled U.S. Unprepared to Meet the Housing Needs of an Aging Population, done in coordination with AARP revealed that we have not addressed this growing need. The fact that only 57% of the current homes on the market have made simple accommodations to their plans that would benefit seniors can be seen as troublesome. Ironically, some of the common sense alterations would hardly be noticed by a younger homeowner.
Obvious upgrades to a home, such as a master bedroom and bath on the main floor would be a courteous nod to someone who may be restricted to one floor living at some point. Lever style door handles and faucets are also welcome additions that are not often considered a senior convenience. While wider halls, no step entries, and electrical switches at reasonable heights may not be something to consider during a remodel, and while those touches would hardly be noticed by younger homeowners if they were installed at the time of construction, they can be important improvements.
You may have overheard reports bemoaning the lack of retirement savings, all with the encouragement to save more while you are young. But the simple fact remains that many seniors have not amassed the kind of money needed to make many of the improvements that would save them money. Energy efficient upgrades can save seniors large amounts of money and positively impact the lives of the current residents.
Where to Buy
I can help you locate a home that can meet many, if not all of the requirements you may be looking to have. I also want you to consider moving into communities that are diverse. Studies have shown that senior health is positively impacted by areas that feature a cross section of homeowners. This usually leads to better access to services and entertainment.
Central Oregon may be a challenge for those without a car. But Bend now has access to car-sharing services such as Uber, which may be the single best thing for seniors who are car-less and want to live in this beautiful area.
How can we assist you today?
On behalf of The Jones Group @ Sunriver Realty
Nola Horton-Jones, Principal Broker/Realtor | ABR, C-RIS, e-PRO, GREEN, RSPS, CCIM Candidate
Bryce Jones, Broker/Realtor | ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GREEN, GRI, RSPS, SFR
The Jones Group @ Sunriver Realty | 57057 Beaver Drive | Sunriver, OR 97707
Mobile: 541-420- 3725 | Mobile: 541-420- 4018 | Fax: 541-593- 5123
Licensed in Oregon