Real Estate and Aging: Mobility within the Single Family Home


As I mentioned yesterday, I am going to spend some time in the coming weeks looking at some of the questions that arise when people in our community begin to think about their changing real estate needs as they age.

Today I wanted to touch on the subject of “mobility within the home.” Many of my real estate clients begin our conversations with this point. More often than not, they are currently mobile but concerned about the structure of their house and its practicality as they age. One client recently pointed out to me that while he and his wife were both fit and loved their town home, he is increasingly aware that their home has 4 sets of stairs (internal and external) and would be really challenging if they had a hip/knee issue in the years to come.

For many individuals who fall into this category, they are not ready to consider senior living facilities but are open to downsizing in a smart way. So what should they be considering?

If they are still keen to live in a single family home some of the key considerations probably should be around the location of the bedrooms/ bathrooms and accessibility into and within the home. A main level bedroom (preferably a master) and a main level bathroom should be considered. Another consideration is access to the front door of the house – can this be done without going up and down stairs? Is there an attached garage and does it come in on the same level as a bedroom? Does the house allow the fitting of certain mobility tools (chair elevator/ internal house elevator/ internal doors that allow wheel chair access)?

If the single family house is desirable, is there a way to live on one level as you get older and perhaps leave the other level or levels for when guests come? I have seen some nice ramblers in Bethesda recently that fit this model very well.

Does the house have dual systems so that you can just heat or cool the part of the house you are using in years to come?

Now there is much more to discuss when it comes to mobility/ single family homes (and I am happy to do so anytime) but for now I am going to sign off.

We will continue to look at mobility tomorrow but turn our attention to town homes and condos.

Until then!



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