Should I Sell My Home or Renovate for Aging in Place?

According to a recent study, 90% of Americans over the age of 65 want to remain in their home as they age. We call this “Aging in place”. Planning ahead for aging in place can make this process much easier. One of the biggest factors is deciding to remain in your current home and remodel to meet your future needs, or to sell your home and buy the home that meets your future needs. This can be such a hard decision. In this blog post, we will walk you through several things to consider while deciding.

#1. Emotional Attachments – Many times homes are the source of so many warm and fond memories. Bringing children home from the hospital, Christmas mornings and other events that bring you joy when you remember them. If you have an emotional attachment to your home, it might be best to remodel and renovate to meet your needs. Moving from your home can cause undue stress when there are so many fond memories attached to it.

#2. Layout of the House – The ideal design for a home for aging in place is a flat home where all living areas are on one, single level. If your home does have 2 floors, are the master bathroom and master bedroom on the first level? If the master bedroom and bathroom are upstairs, that does not mean that you should definitely move. Stairlifts and elevators can make aging in place totally doable in a two-story home, but that cost needs to be factored into the decision.

#3. Location – Access to grocery stores, medical and emergency care, and other community services will be more important as you get older. Proximity to support resources, such as children or loved ones, or your religious community can make all the difference. When seniors, or those with mobility limitations, find it difficult to get out or are a great distance away, they can begin to feel isolated and depressed. The more social outings that are available, the healthier they will be.

#4. Cost Comparisons – This is very important in today’s economy and housing market. Be sure to research all costs involved with selling your home and what it is going to cost to buy a home after your home sells. Yes, you may sell your home and make a good bit of money but the cost of buying a home that fits your needs in today’s housing market is very expensive. Also, be sure to research all costs involved in the renovations to make your home safe and secure for aging in place. Many times, homeowners may not realize what all that entails. Meet with a professional and get sound estimates one all the work that is needed. Break the costs down in to two categories: immediate need renovations and future need renovations. This will help you to prioritize and budget. Remember, even if you do decide to move, your future home will likely still need renovations to prepare it for aging in place.

#5. Long term planning – While you are planning for your renovations or looking at homes to possibly move to, remember that there are things you may need in the future that you do not need at this very moment. For example, you may get around fine without needing help, but one day you could possibly need a walker or even a wheelchair. Planning for this is crucial now. A shower that allows for a wheelchair to roll-in easily or that removes tripping hazards is important. Widening doorways to allow for a walker or wheelchair to move through is often an after-thought but is so important. There are many things that our Accessibility Consultants can point out that you might never even consider.

#6. Meet with a Professional – Talk with a Realtor to get an idea of what housing might cost in the area that you are interested in. Tell them your wants and needs to get a good idea of the price range that type of home may fall into. Also, rather than guessing on what renovations need to be done in your home or going about this process alone, we recommend meeting with a professional. LiveWell’s Accessibility Consultants can walk through your home with you and guide your through the process of planning and budgeting for your renovations to age in place. Our trained consultants have helped many homeowners remain in the home that they love by renovating the space to meet their future needs.

We would love to help you with your planning and decision-making process. Please give us a call today to schedule a free, in-home consultation with one of our Accessibility Consultants. We can walk you through what is needed and help you to get an idea of the cost behind the renovations. This way you can make a completely sound decision when deciding to renovate or sell your home.

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