Buying a home is an exciting and stressful endeavor, with what seems like a million things to consider and a million things to do. But remembering to keep the future in mind will save homeowners significant money, work and frustration down the road.
When young couples or young professionals find a perfect home for entertaining, they may be shocked by it’s lack of “childproof-ability” when baby shows up. Open stairways, wide doors and archways, open cabinetry, stone fireplace, heavy drapes – all of these are hard to deal with when little one is just learning to walk.
When family members start to have health problems related to disease, accidents or aging, there are difficulties with mobility. Narrow doorways, stairs, and thick carpeted floors may make wheelchair or walkers impossible to use. High cabinets and bathtubs may be inaccessible for someone with limited joint movement.
What features can allow a family to grow from toddlers to senior years with ease? Here are just a few for you to consider:
Built-in ovens at least 3 feet above the floor
Closed lower cabinetry that can be easily secured
Main living areas, including bedrooms, on most-easily accessible floor of the house
Wide doorways which will accommodate wheelchairs, but may require custom (or creative) gating for toddlers
Doors or gates for stairways, both top and bottom
Low carpeting or bare wood floors for easy wheelchair or walker mobility
Separate tub and shower – tub for the little one, low-step shower for limited mobility
Handrails near toilets which can be appreciated by everyone
Uncluttered rooms with plenty of space for movement and limited obstacles
While this list by no means contains all the features that will make these challenging stages of life easier, hopefully this will help home buyers start thinking about this issue and find a home that will grow with them.