Thursday, November 17, 2016

"The Idea Of Finding A 'Forever Home'"

The idea of a forever home sounds so permanent - as well it should. Regardless of how people arrive at that conclusion or that decision, a forever home is the one that they have decided will meet their needs indefinitely. They see no need to move from this particular home - whether it's the first home they have lived in or they came to it rather recently.

The forever home may provide the location that they want - being located near shopping and recreation or transportation areas such as the airport, interchanges, or public transit stations.

It might take care of their needs in terms of space, layout, or just allowing them to do all of the things in life that they want in a home.

Of course, it could be the investment, the neighborhood, or the architectural exterior design of the home - or all of these.

Some people have yet to find and locate their permanent or forever home - regardless of their current age or how many addresses they have had over the years.

In their search, people still look for and purchase new construction. They have various reasons for wanting something new. Among these are the fact that it is new and never before occupied, that it comes with many warranties - from the builder as well as various product and systems manufacturers - that they get to select their features and colors, that it may have a better chance of appreciation, and that it is located in a desirable neighborhood with recreational amenities and other natural features.

Some are in transition, renting now - a single family home or an apartment. They may want to save for an eventual down payment on a future home purchase, enjoy not caring for a home right now in terms of normal maintenance, or prefer the freedom of being able to move frequently without marketing their home first. Some people rent indefinitely without ever identifying that one forever home that is theirs, or in some cases, deciding that the rental opportunity they have is what they want as a forever home. 

For those who have already found their forever home - a new home, a rental, or one they happen to have been living in already - they see no need to move from it. They have no real issue with their present home and don't think about the possibility of replacing it down the line.

Many people simply cannot afford to replace what they have now - to get the same size home or layout for the money they spent on their current home. It would take considerably more to replace it, so they remain where they are.

Others - in fact most people - have such an accumulation of stuff that it makes the prospects of moving seem quite tall. Some cannot part with what they have and don't see moving as the answer to their space issues. Others know that it would take an inordinate amount of time to sort through and cull what they have. Better just to remain put.


So, whether the initial objective was to find a long-term home, or it just happened, aging-in-place is real. Those of us who provide services to people who want to remain in their homes - such as safety makeovers, accessibility renovations, room additions, new products and finishes, technology, or modernization - there is a huge market needing our help.


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Steve HoffackerCAPS, C.E.A.C., MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.