Trust me on this one: Invest in your homeBy Lou Manfredini
With the real estate market slowly springing back, there is an underlying issue: your homes worth. Chances are there is a home — or several homes — in your area that has been foreclosed on. It’s not only sad for the person or family that lived in that home but sad for you, as well, as it pertains to the overall value of your home.
The best option for many of us is to stay put, invest in what we have, and in doing so, increase your home’s value. Maybe more slowly than in the past 10 years, but it will go up. Consider also a recent AARP survey that found more than 85 percent of people age 65 and older would prefer to stay in their current homes as long as possible. Many choose to remodel their homes to suit their new life style like a first floor master bedroom or a new gourmet kitchen.
Some older homeowners may develop a disability that limits their activities, which is another reason to renovate and adapt their homes to their needs. In fact, a recent Department of Housing and Urban Development study showed that more than 1 million households with a disabled older resident need some type of renovation to make their home a more livable environment — like an access ramp or lever handles on the doors.
Before considering these modifications, a cost analysis needs to be done to weigh the remodeling cost to that of building a new home that will accommodate these features. In the long run it may be easier and less expensive to build a new home in your same neighborhood.
For many, their homes are right where they want them. Close to family and friends. The idea of moving as earlier stated is just too much to handle. Some homeowners are tearing down their three-bedroom bungalows and building their dream home right in the same spot. Nowadays, staying near family is of growing importance to today’s retirees, and it just makes sense to live in an environment in which you are comfortable.
One of the other trends in remodeling and building for retirees is the concept of universal design. Once thought of as a design that was for the benefit of persons needing assistance with their homes, universal design is slowly becoming a mainstay in construction practices. Wider doorways, light switches at lower heights, levered door handles all are for the benefit of whom ever lives in the home both young and old.
Experts in housing trends predict that as the baby boomers age more and more are going to stay put and invest their money right at home. And why not? For years, people say that location is key. That is true, but now, we must add comfort.