Aging out of your home is a natural phase in life that everyone has to deal with. When you get to be a certain age, you’ll find that your home no longer suits your needs.
You may find your yard requires too much maintenance, or you’re simply not using the majority of the space in your home. Feeling out of place in your own home is the worst feeling, but starting the hunt for a senior-friendly home can feel challenging. There are many things to consider when looking for a home for yourself or a loved one of a certain age.
Here are a few things to think about when looking for a senior-friendly home!
1. Find a home style that suits your needs.
Bungalows, back-splits & condos are the best home styles for older homeowners.
If you’re looking to stay within the freehold market, a bungalow is likely your best choice.
Stairs can be a huge safety hazard as you age as they are the leading cause of slip & fall accidents for the elderly. Aside from the risk of injury, stairs are just simply more problematic as you age. Going up and down an entire flight of stairs multiple times a day can be hard on your body.
A bungalow provides you easy access to all parts of your home and is usually smaller & easier to maintain. Bungalow layouts are the best option for older homeowners, but we also recommend back split homes with smaller staircases or homes where the primary bedroom is on the main floor, as well as condos.
2. Downsize your property, not just your house.
As we age, the effort of taking care of our property can become overwhelming. Having a large property with expansive outdoor space means a lot of maintenance.
If you don’t have a plan for hiring or receiving help, you could find your property falling apart. You don’t want your well-maintained yard to turn into a wild forest as you age.
Moving to a condo could be a great option if property maintenance is too much for you. Many condos designed for senior living have communal gardens & outdoor spaces for you to enjoy.
If condos don’t interest you, downsizing to a smaller lot size can help turn property maintenance from a chore to a hobby. Look for properties with small gardens & less lawn care when looking for a senior-friendly home.
3. Pay attention to your entrance!
A big mistake we often see is people forgetting that your home’s entrance needs to be easily accessible as you age.
Ensure that the walk-up is well maintained and won’t lead to slip & fall accidents. Avoid homes with brownstone-style stairs on the porch or anything that would be difficult for anyone with mobility issues.
If you or someone in your household has mobility issues that require aids like walkers, canes, or wheelchairs, you need to ensure your home is suited for their needs. You may also want to consider looking for wheelchair-accessible ramps or the opportunity to build such ramps if necessary in the future.
4. Bathroom space is a must.
As we age, things like getting in and out of the shower or tub can be difficult.
When looking for a senior-friendly home having or being able to install handrails in bathrooms is crucial. Look for bathtubs or showers with support railings and toilets that have support bars nearby.
If these support systems are not in place, ensure that you would be able to install them before moving in.
There are many options for senior-friendly bathrooms that can be installed for a relatively affordable price; all you need is the space.
5. Don’t forget about the importance of a good neighbourhood.
Your social life is essential. Living in a neighbourhood with people in similar life stages can make all the difference.
In Ottawa, some senior-friendly neighbourhoods include:
Aging doesn’t have to be hard! If you choose to live in an environment that best suits your needs, you’ll be able to live on your own longer.
By keeping these things in mind while you search for your next home, you can avoid choosing a home that doesn’t suit your needs.
When you work with a realtor, you specify what you’re looking for, which allows them to show you listings that fit your criteria. An experienced realtor should keep these things in mind when searching for a senior-friendly home and be able to advise you accordingly.
Need more help figuring out what your next home should look like? Give us a call. We’d be happy to help you figure out your real estate needs.