Before 1960, when urban development began, senior homebuyers had a difficult time locating builders that could meet their unique requirements or build to suit. Today, there are still plenty of retirees looking to find their forever home. Seeing how more and more people choose to grow older in their own homes, it’s imperative that these homes meet their particular needs. Luckily, the market offers many options to help senior homeowners to live a quality life. Brain Hickman of Realty Executives, Southern Utah Real Estate discusses here 7 features senior homebuyers should look for in a house.
1. Let There Be Light
Having a home with dim fixtures and small windows where you don’t get enough light might be okay for some people. However, various light sources are some of the most critical features older homebuyers should look for. A dark home can be pretty dangerous as homeowners continue to age. Seeing obstacles as small as a pair of shoes or as big as pieces of furniture is imperative. This means that the right real estate investment is one that offers a well-lit interior as well as big windows that allow natural light to come in.
2. Purchase Bar Grips or Handrails
Six out of ten falls occur right inside a person’s home. This statistic should caution seniors and steer them in the direction of purchasing something that’ll help them avoid such accidents. Having bar grips in frequently used and slippery areas of your home is essential. This means that you should secure bathrooms or any place where there are stairs. Bar grips and handrails are undoubtedly features senior homebuyers should look for.
3. Open Floor Space
Smaller homes can be harder to navigate, especially if the home includes narrow hallways or tight corners. If your mobility isn’t excellent, or if anyone in the home frequently needs a walker or rollator, an open floor space could be the most important out of all features senior homebuyers should search for. Remember that maximizing your space is important, especially if you live in a cramped home.
4. Find Slip-Resistant Flooring
As you become older, slips and falls become more common. As you stroll through each room of a potential property, look for slip-resistant flooring. This could be a specific sort of slip-resistant tile, vinyl, or just surfaces that increase friction between the floor and the foot.
5. Pay Attention to Toilet Height
Lower toilets can be hazardous, as they can induce slips and falls. They’re also inaccessible to wheelchair users. Bathrooms with elevated toilets are one of the features senior homebuyers should look for in a house. If needed, toilet replacement tends to be an inexpensive project, so there is likely room in the budget to hire someone to install new ones.
6. Get Easy-to-Grip Door Knobs
Lever-operated doors are easier to grip and open than knob-operated doors. Replacing every handle on every door may be time-consuming and costly, so seek homes that already have handles fitted.
7. Skip Homes with Narrow Doors
Narrow doors carry the same risks as small living spaces. While furniture can be moved to allow a wide turning radius, doors are far less flexible. It’s best to look for homes that already have wide doorways and halls.
Hiring Moving Companies
Once you choose the house you’ll be moving to, make sure to relocate safely as well. There are a lot of ways moving companies can help seniors prepare for a move. Of course, assistance is always welcome, no matter who it’s from. This means that you should always assist the elderly in your life with tasks as demanding as moving.
Here are a few additional features that senior buyers should consider when searching for a new home.
- Good insulation
Extreme temperature fluctuations can be harmful to anyone, especially the elderly. Homebuyers should look for properties with the best air conditioning, heating, and insulation money can buy.
- The first floor should be convertible
Look for houses where you can live comfortably on the first floor, even if you plan to make use of the second story for a bedroom or office in the beginning.
- Ramps or elevators may be important
Consider whether a wheelchair can enter the front door when looking at houses. If that’s not possible, one of the features senior homebuyers may choose to look for is a ramp or elevator.