Saturday, March 11, 2017

"People Desire To Find & Occupy A Long-Term Home"

People still look for and purchase new construction - when they feel that it offers something they want and need. They have various reasons for desiring something new. Among these are the fact that it is new and never before occupied, that it comes with many warranties - builder as well as manufacturers, that they get to select their features and colors, that it may have a better chance of appreciation, that it comes with no built-in or acquired maintenance issues (hopefully), and that it is located in a desirable neighborhood with recreational amenities and other natural features.

There is another group of people who prefer to rent rather than make an ownership decision - single family homes or apartments. They may want to save for an eventual down payment on a future home purchase, enjoy not caring for a home in terms of normal maintenance, or prefer the freedom of being able to move frequently without marketing their home first.

Now, a third group of people - arguably the largest and the one we are most concerned with - is the one that wants to continue living where they are now, regardless of their current age, family situation, age of their home, or how long they have lived in it.

For some people in this market, they have found what they believe to be their "forever" home and see no need to move from it. Others have no real issue with their present home and don't think about the possibility of replacing it down the line. It is working so why make a change?

Aging in place comes about in many different ways, but the bottom line is that people want to remain in their current home. It may serve their needs perfectly as is. It may be real close. It might serve them better with a little TLC or renovation. It might need a lot of work, but the neighborhood, the size of their investment, and other factors make moving rather impractical for them so they do the best they can with what they have.

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 money and resources 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 and leave things as they are.

So whether the initial objective was to find a long-term home, or it just happened, aging in place is real - and it's not just limited to seniors. There are many people across the age spectrum who have found the home they want to remain living in long-term. For 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 who needs our help.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, 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. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.