Four Features To Look For When Purchasing A Home For Your Senior Years

Posted on: 30 December 2016

As an older home buyer, you likely want to make sure your new home can age with you. This means looking for certain features that will help you remain comfortable in your own house if mobility or health ever becomes an issue. The following are things to require in any new homes for sale you are looking at.

#1: Wide openings

Wider doorways and hallways are a must, especially if there is any chance that you could end up with a walker or in a wheelchair or power scooter. You will also want to look for homes with wider bathrooms and kitchens aisles so you can turn these devices around more easily. While it's fairly simple to add ramps to enter a home, it is much more difficult to change the actual structure to widen an entry or a hall.

#2: Single floor living

Skip the split level or the multi-story home, if possible. As you age those upper floors can become impossible to reach. At the very least, make sure that the kitchen, main living, laundry, a bathroom, and at least one bedroom is on the lower floor so you can transition to single floor living if necessary at some point in the future. If there is a missing room on the first floor, such as a bedroom or laundry area, check to see if it would be easy enough to alter another room to this purpose, such as an extra sitting room.

#3: Accessible storage

One issue with aging is that it can be difficult to lift things down from overhead, and climbing a step stool may become impossible – especially if you need a wheelchair or similar. Accessible storage, particularly in the bedroom and kitchen, is a must. Make sure there are lower cabinets in the kitchen that can be reached from a sitting position. The bedroom should have roomy closets that you can alter, such as by lowering the clothing rod, if ever necessary.

#4: Proper flooring

While carpet is nice, it can be a tripping hazard or difficult to roll across if you ever have mobility issues. Hard flooring is a better option, whether it's tile or wood. You can use area rugs to add warmth when you move in, although these may need to be removed if you start using a walker or a wheelchair.

For more help, talk with a real estate agent in your area.