“Even Without AIP, People Generally Are Staying In Their Homes Longer”

There is no shortage of new homes for people to inspect and acquire. New home sales and construction is quite robust currently. This trend looks viable for the foreseeable future. However, as plentiful as new homes are – depending on where one lives, what they are looking to find, and their price point –  this does mean that everyone is searching for one.
As we know from working with people who want to remain living in their present homes for as long as they can, aging in place is a formidable desire for many people – increasing to nearly everyone (90% or so) as people attain “senior citizen” status.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and their most recent “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,” the expected tenure (length of time living in the home) of homeowners continues to increase. A year ago, the number was 12 years, and now it has jumped up to 15 years.This number is not respective of ages, family sizes, or geography, but it illustrates that people are now staying where they are for much longer periods of time than what we have been seeing. Just a few decades ago, the Census Bureau reported that the average family moved every 5 years, meaning that 20% of the population, on average, was moving each year. That is considerably different than what the current NAR numbers reveal.

This impacts us as aging in place professionals and home renovation experts in two important ways. We know about the types of improvements that might be needed by people wanting to remain in their homes as they grow older. Some people are going to need less help than others for mobility concerns, but sensory drop-off and impairments happen to a certain extent to everyone. Maintaining one’s balance, preventing falls, navigating spaces safely, using accessways that are sufficiently wide, and living comfortably in their dwelling space are important to everyone as well.

Safe and accessible entrances are important to the residents of a particular home as well as anyone whom they invite to visit them or attend an event they are hosting. This would be true of people just dropping by also. 

Thus, lighting, flooring, doorways, windows, passageways, electrical service, cabinets, bath fixtures, entrances, porches, and more are in play are areas of concern for people desiring to remain in place as they age and to us as professionals interested in addressing those deficiencies.

The second part of this means that we don’t need to wait until people declare that they want to remain in their current home as the permanent or forever home before being able to help them with remodeling or accessibility considerations. By remaining in their home for an average of more than a decade, they are signaling that they like their home and also that a few changes along the way might be in order to enhance their livability and general comfort level in their home. Some people will be wanting to make improvements to improve their chances of getting more money when they sell their home, and others will want to make their home more suited to their needs as they and their family age in place for the duration of their tenure in that home. Either way, there are plenty of opportunities for remodeling, decorating, and evaluation services.

Whether people are going to be aging in place, or they are living in their present home for a decade or more – and possibly even deciding that this is their forever home – we can be effective and instrumental in helping them address shortcomings in those homes so they can enjoy them more over time.

People have a lot at stake in researching, finding, acquiring, and moving into their home – whether it is new construction or an existing home. They choose as wisely as they can, but their needs are likely to change in time. They don’t always anticipate well how their needs or abilities are going to change as they remain living there – or what their home will accommodate in terms of layout and features. Thus, they are going to need some renovations, and we are the ones to provide them.

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