According to the US Census, life expectancies are rising from 68 in 1950 and 79 in 2016, with the 65-and older population expected to almost double by 2050. Aging well is a hot topic across all industries, medicine and beauty included. Homebuilding is also a hot topic. Specifically, aging in Place, which is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, refers to the ability to live comfortably in one’s home and community independently and safely. A 2014 AARP survey found that 87 percent of senior citizens want to age in their own custom homes. Planning ahead is key to maintaining independence during your golden years.
You might argue that this is a long way off. It may be possible. You can start the foundation now to build a home that is durable enough to last into your retirement years. It will also be low-maintenance enough so that you can manage it as you age.
Heather Laminack, Ferrier Custom Homes, says that these types of projects are often approached in phases. “This helps us keep the bigger picture in our minds and doesn’t allow us to perform scopes of work now that will need to be redone later, which adds another layer of cost.
Are you ready to get started? These are some tips for your new construction home to will last a lifetime.
How to Build Custom Homes
We found that most builders polled believed that clients who wanted to build their forever home were approaching retirement. David Leite, David Leite Custom Homes says that clients who have built their forever home are often empty-nesters and ready to move into a smaller home that is easier to maintain and meets more of their golden years living needs. If you find the right lot in a great neighborhood, you can build a home that is adaptable in your later years. It will take serious thought.
Bob Hoebeke, Hoebeke Builders says that to plan for the future requires a lot of planning. He says that no matter your age, “If this is done correctly, it will take some effort.” Don’t forget that a lot of square footage can disguise inefficiency. Custom-made living spaces are not easy to create.
Location, Location and Location
It is important to consider where you will build your home, especially if you intend to stay there for the long-term. Your age will influence the places and people you choose to include. What are the most common words homebuilders hear? Les Owens, LRO Residential, says that homebuilders should be as close to grocery stores, churches, shopping centers, and grandkids possible. He laughs, “I have never heard any client say they want to live near their children, but they all want close to the grandkids!” George Davis, George Davis & Associates, adds: “We should also consider climate, medical facilities and transportation centers.”
Senior living has long considered the elimination of driving a benefit. Susan Newell, Susan Newell Custom Homes says that many of their clients are renovating entire floors of condos and high-rises. These places offer so many amenities that it feels like a “cared for” community. Newell also acknowledges the importance of being close to the source. “Now that so many things are available to you, it opens up the doors to more possibilities.”
When it comes to buying forever custom built homes Myrtle Beach SC, money matters can be a tricky but important topic. As you age and your financial needs change, it’s important to consider housing costs differently as you get closer to retirement. Michael Munir, of Sharif & Munir Custom Homes, says that financing can be costly, especially if your income is fixed. To ensure you have a budget that suits your lifestyle, consult a financial advisor. Most people need less than they think. Don’t forget about leisure. Tommy Garrett, Garrett Brothers Luxury Homes says “Be realistic about your future plans.” The more expensive the house is, the less time you can enjoy.
Building for the Future
It can be difficult to plan how you will live the next decade. Bob Hoebeke offers some helpful advice: “Start by the basics–kitchen and laundry, living spaces and required bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as some storage. Then, inventory your lifestyle. An architect can design a layout that suits your needs. A contractor should also be able to explain the costs and materials available. They should be able together to guide you through the process and identify spaces that serve multiple purposes. Today it is a downstairs office but in 30 years it will be converted into a master bedroom with a bath.
Flexibility and accessibility are crucial. Greg Alford, Alford Homes: “I built one-story homes 15 years ago after I had empty nesters who couldn’t or wouldn’t go up the stairs. Living in a one-story home is very simple to downsize.
You can plan later how to use a second story if it is required. You can arrange the floor plan so that all the main areas are on the first floor and the second floor is more for guests or children. Stacy Brotemarkle, Bella Custom Homes, says that this will allow you to live down the stairs as you age.
Elevators can also be an option. However, Brotemarkle recommends that you don’t put one in until you actually need it. “If you put the elevator in at the beginning it could be 10 or 15 years older by the time it is really needed.” Plan for seamless integration later on. Hoffmann Homes’ Alan Hoffmann says, “Allow for an elevator location with placement closets that stack up on the first and third floors.”
Before you start thinking about scrapping square footage, think about your lifestyle. This could include entertaining and traveling. You’ll need a home that can be moved for several weeks or months if you plan on spending time abroad.
Chooses that Will Last For The Long Haul
Consider durability, accessibility, maintenance. These high-quality materials can be more expensive, but they will yield great returns down the road.