Yesterday, I wrote a post, Aging In Place? A New Option. In it, I discussed a new product, the 'Granny Pod,' which is a mobile unit that can be set up in the yard of a single family home. This product addresses the idea that additional space is needed to care for ones self or a loved one. In many cases, however, the issue is that many homes are just not suitable for aging in place.
In today's MarketWatch, AMY HOAK'S HOME ECONOMICS column featured the article, Why 1950s-style ranch homes are all the rage again, More home buyers are considering one-story living. In many cases, the fact that a lot of homes are not set up for people with limited mobility, drives the need for assisted living or adapted spaces, such as the Granny Pod. Builders are noticing this issue and designing more homes with first floor bedrooms.
I know that my clients are very interested in buying a home where they can stay as they age. They also look at homes with the idea of helping older relatives in the future. I would love to see builders accommodate this need by building homes that allow for one level living. Unfortunately, we live in a suburb that is mostly built-out, so I am constantly on the look out for homes that can be converted (by adapting a room to a bedroom space and putting in a full bath, or adding an elevator), or that are single story, most often with a basement.
I know my parents sold their home several years ago when it became difficult to carry the laundry from the upper level of the house, through the main level, and to the basement. Guess what type of home they ended up in? Yep, a rambler. It is a much easier lifestyle for them.
Have you seen this trend among your clients? Do you live in a community that has enough of this type of housing?
As the population ages, we will see trends that accommodate this portion of the population. Whether by adaptation or new construction, I believe the demand for first floor living is here to stay.