Aging in place simply means being able to live in the home of your choice for as long as you are able. Sounds pretty simple right? There are many things to consider when trying to decide if you should stay or sell. With aging comes challenges. It might be harder to get upstairs to the bedroom. Doing our own laundry might no longer be an option since the washer and dryer are in the basement. Not only are there physical challenges but there are sometimes financial challenges as well. Property taxes, house insurance, maintenance and relying on others to do what once were easy tasks. I see more and more Baby Boomers and seniors facing these decisions.
Recently I was asked to provide a list of ranch style homes in the Ashtabula/Kingsville area, preferably without a basement on .25-1 acre lot with a garage and in pristine condition. The person who made this request is trying to determine if they should build an addition to their existing house or should they sell it and move to something that meets their changing lifestyle needs. For some this might be a tough decision. You might be wondering why someone who is thinking about aging in place is considering an addition. It's most likely that they don't need more space they just need a space that makes more sense. I know some active adults who are in the process of doing this now. Yes, it makes their home bigger but it will also put everything, including the laundry room on the main level, allowing them to remain in their home longer.
According to the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com), a master suite addition in the Cleveland area could cost as much as $104, 828 and add $61,818 in resale value. So, if you have the money, it might be worth staying in the home you are accustomed to. Or it might be as simple as adding grab bars in the bathroom, on stairways add a second handrail on the opposite wall for improved stability, install motion activated lights in hallways, convert standard shower heads to hand held systems with a flex hose, add removable seats to toilets for extra height, replace round door/faucet knobs with lever style and of course, it's always helpful to get rid of excess stuff.
As I mentioned earlier, there are other factors to consider. Ask yourself if you need help with cooking, cleaning, shopping, transportation or maintenance. Do have a good support system with easily accessible resources? Do you have enough financial support to provide these things as you need them? Another big question when looking at your financial picture is will your money outlast you? When considering an aging in place plan that works for you or your loved one remember that the plan should be maintained and reviewed over time as the situation or needs change. A good plan focuses on quality of life and covers home, finances, personal and health care.
Debbie Powell, Sales Associate