When looking at homes for sale, the listings often tout features that make the home well suited for kids and pets, such as “top-rated school system” and “fenced yard”. But if you are planning on making that home the last home you buy, paying attention to other features will save you trouble and money as you enter your senior years or find your mobility limited.
Walking Distance to Shops, Restaurants and Entertainment
Keeping active and saving money are two good reasons to live within walking proximity of places you visit frequently. But having a short, well-known commute, whether it’s walking, biking or driving, also helps you stay safe. And should you find yourself in a wheelchair or scooter, you will be able to have more independence if you can manage your errands and entertainment yourself.
One Story / Open Floor Plan
Keeping everything on one level can help you avoid falls at any age, but especially in your senior years when falls can cause more complicated health issues. Having an open floor plan with wide doors can make your home more walker and wheelchair accessible, even if it’s short term use after a surgery.
Buying a home with an in-law suite would allow for a live-in caretaker or family member, or you could move into the suite and have your children live in the main part of the house. This would give you the added security of not being alone in the house in case of emergency, having someone to help you as needed, or simply having the enjoyment of your family.
Finished Basement Suite
A finished basement suite can give you the same benefits as an in-law suite, but perhaps much more privacy. This arrangement can almost seem like a duplex, allowing you freedom and privacy while still having someone close by. In such an arrangement, the level of the house with easiest access is most appropriate for the senior.
Whether you are nearing retirement age, or just getting the babies into kindergarten, if you are planning on a long-term commitment with a new home (or looking for resale features) consider the list above. These features can be of benefit at every stage of life and make your home more attractive to buyers should you ever decide to sell.