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Dec 16

Ideal Home Types for Senior Buyers

Once they retire and their children leave home, many seniors are looking for a new property. It’s a different process than usual because they no longer have to worry about location (good schools, parks and so on) and the future market isn’t that much of an issue as well. The most important features of the new home should be accessibility and comfort. A good community is also important. This means a peaceful area and neighbors with whom they could get along and share interests.

Here are a few things to consider before buying a retirement home:

Age restricted communities

These areas, also known as “active adults” communities, basically have an age limit for their residents. It’s usually 65 years or older. There is a certain comfort in living surrounded by people your own age and therefore with attitudes and needs similar to yours.  Communities focus on active and outgoing lifestyle, so they are particularly suited for healthy and independent seniors. Social activities in these areas can vary from golf clubs to clubhouses. It’s important to note, that some of them are very restrictive about younger people moving in, which is something to have in mind in case your life circumstances change at some point.

Single level living

This is the first thing most seniors ask about when they choosing their new home. Stairs can be a serious obstacle when you’re older. It’s important to check out the house in person because single level doesn’t have to mean no stairs at all. A single step in the kitchen or a couple of them in a garage may not be that difficult to climb, but that’s where the accidents happen. Also, you should plan for the possibility that you might need a wheelchair, at some point.

Assisted living

With the right accommodation, seniors who need assisted living can still remain independent and active members of society. With apartment style living those who require professional home care can get both the privacy and the attention they need. Professional caretakers will be in their own place, just one door or a phone call away. It’s also possible to find “personal care group homes”, where a neighborhood is using the services of a single caretaker. This creates a sense of intimacy and community among both professionals and the residents.

 

Maintenance

When you’re buying a retirement home, make sure it comes with a professional maintenance crew. It’s up to you to decide what kind of home maintenance can you do yourself and what should be left for the professionals. Have in mind that it’s about more than just cleaning – lawn maintenance and snow removal can be difficult jobs especially for an elderly person. Plumbers and electricians should also be available, so check are there any in your new neighborhood and have quickly can they respond. Obviously, if you’re feeling healthy you can make arrangements to do most of these jobs yourself – it’s a good exercise.

Storage space

It’s the last thing people check, but it can be quite important (or even dangerous). Make sure you can easily access the storage space. This means that you don’t have to climb, stretch or bend too much if you want to get something off the shelf. Even if you just need to pull up a chair to do it – it can get tricky if your health worsens with time.

 

Retirement can be an exciting and rewarding chapter in life. The important thing is to plan ahead and prepare the accommodation you may not yet need, but which can make your life easier later on. Safety and comfort are the most important things to look for in a new home.