Seniors Alternatives in Home Ownership

Is 'Aging in Place' the Right Decision for You?

It is a part of human nature to become attached to the things you are most familiar with. In many cases there can be no better example  than choosing to age in place or downsize to other alternatives. The familiarity of your current home is an important consideration of aging in place, however we must be aware the potential financial drawbacks to remodeling or renovating might be more costly than the long-term benefits.

According to the Senior Resource Guide, the term means,

“…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.”

There is no doubt about it – there’s a comfort in staying in a home you’ve lived in for many years instead of moving to a totally new or unfamiliar environment. There is, however, new information that suggests this might not be the best option for everyone.

A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) titled Housing America’s Older Adults explained,

“Given their high homeownership rates, most older adults live in single-family homes. Of the 24 million homeowners age 65 and over, fully 80 percent lived in detached single-family units…Many of these homes are now at least 40 years old and therefore may present maintenance challenges for their owners.”

If you’re in this spot, 40 years ago you may have had a growing family. For that reason, you probably purchased a 4-bedroom Colonial on a large piece of property in a child-friendly neighborhood. It was a great choice for your family, and you still love that home.

Today, your kids are likely grown and moved out, so you don’t need all those bedrooms. Yard upkeep is probably very time consuming, too. You might be thinking about taking some equity out of your house and converting one of your bedrooms into a massive master bathroom, and maybe another room into an open-space reading nook. You might also be thinking about cutting back on lawn maintenance by installing a pool surrounded by beautiful paving stones.

It all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? For the short term, you may really enjoy the new upgrades, but you’ll still have to climb those stairs, pay to heat and cool a home that’s larger than what you need, and continue fixing all the things that start to go wrong with a 40-year-old home.

Last month, in their Retirement Report, Kiplinger addressed the point,

“Renovations are just a part of what you need to make aging in place work for you. While it’s typically less expensive to remain in your home than to pay for assisted living, that doesn’t mean it’s a slam dunk to stay put. You’ll still have a long to-do list. Just one example: You need to plan  for how you will manage maintenance and care—for your home, and for yourself.”

So, at some point, the time may come when you decide to sell this house anyway. That can pose a big challenge if you’ve already taken cash value out of your home and used it to do the type of remodeling we mentioned above. Realistically, you may have inadvertently lowered the value of your home by doing things like reducing the number of bedrooms. The family moving into your neighborhood is probably similar to what your family was 40 years ago. They probably have young children, need the extra bedrooms, and may be nervous about the pool.

Why not give your Oly Pen Real Estate Team a call today at 360.249.8187 or stop by our office 141 S. Main Street in friendly Montesano, WA and discuss your expectations today! Let’s connect to determine if buying a home is your best move. Making a move to a smaller home in the neighborhood might make the most sense!

Oly Pen's Meghan McCallum

Meghan McCallum
Associate Broker
Mobile: 360.9791962
Office: 360.249.8187

"I am devoted to helping people navigate the home buying and selling processes! Whether you're a first-time home buyer, a seasoned investor, or wanting to sell, I am excited to help you achieve your real estate dreams!"

...CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW MEGHAN CAN SERVE YOU!

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The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Oly Pen Real Estate. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. It is wise to always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Oly Pen Real Estate will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.