Tag Archives: accessibility

Changing Homes into Accessible Housing

By 2030 one out of every five people in the U.S. will be 65-plus. With baby boomers retiring and becoming older, will older homeowners have to purchase specifically designed accessible homes? Thankfully not!

Increasing numbers of professional remodelers are changing up existing homes of older residents to accommodate accessibility needs. Universal features like walk-in showers and exterior ramps can be incorporated into many houses.

It often makes sense to remodel older residents’ current homes so that they are able to age comfortably without needing to move. Main floor master bedroom additions are wise changes; they can be used as a master suite from the get-go, or as guest quarters until needed by the homeowners. Ramps can be blended into the architecture and landscaping, and then they can accommodate a wheelchair or walker in the future. Wide doorways, no steps into the home, easy-to-open windows, lower counters, and so many other remodeling changes will make your home appealing and livable for a wide age- and accessibility-range of buyers and homeowners.

AARP has a free booklet entitled “The Do-Able Renewable Home” at www.universaldesign.com.

8 new-home trends for 2012

A recent article by MSN Real Estate focused on a survey by the National Association of Business Economics, covering new-home building trends in 2012.  Read further to get the gist of the article, and head on over to MSN’s website for more details.

The housing industry has taken a beating these past few years, but a glimmer of hope is on the horizon. Housing starts are expected to increase 10% in 2012, according to a survey by the National Association of Business Economics.

Not surprisingly, though, the Great Recession curtailed many of the extravagances that buyers desired before things went south. Homebuyers want different things from their homes today. The watchword is flexibility — things such as rooms that serve multiple purposes and homes that can accommodate either “boomerang” children or aging parents.

We talked to homebuilders and industry watchers to find out what will be behind the front doors of homes built in 2012. How do these features compare to your wish list?

Easy access

  • Single-story homes
  • Grab bars in the bathroom
  • Fewer stairs and more ramps

A bigger garage — for more than just cars

  • To accommodate storage and avoid clutter
  • “Man caves” — additional family area

The ‘resource center’

  • Fewer rooms dedicated to one purpose
  • Nooks for household work or homework areas

Homes within homes

  • About one-third of American adults are living in the same household with another generation
  • Increase in dual master suites / apartments

Really ‘green’ homes

  • Greater energy efficiency
  • Solar panels to power the house

Home plans that fit today

  • Direct access to laundry areas/rooms
  • Large pantries off the garage for bulk items from warehouses
  • Drop zones for keys, mail, cell phones

The house that flows

  • Open floor plan — increases the perceived size
  • Great rooms opening to the outdoor areas

Infill is in

  • “Infill” homes within existing towns
  • Emphasizes affordability, public transportation access, job centers

 

All of this information is from MSN Real Esate’s article. Read more of this article by Christopher Solomon, of MSN Real Estate here: “8 New-Home Trends for 2012.”