Finding the Replacement Home of Your Dreams

    May 01,2015

    By: Andrew Robinson

    Maybe you have decided that your home really is too big, too inefficient, too cumbersome or in an undesirable location. For whatever reason, you have decided to move instead of repair and renovate. You want to live in a community with mixed age groups so the idea of an "active senior community" does not appeal to you either. How do you find your right house?

    • You probably have some preferred neighborhoods. Consider the infrastructure and your activities. Which of your transportation needs are covered by public systems? There is socializing, shopping, theater going, restaurant dining and office visits. You should consider the location of health and emergency care facilities, too.

    • The parking and outdoor spaces should be easily accessed from the house. Grade level doorways and sloping paths are preferable to steps and ramps. Speaking of outdoor spaces, consider that smaller lots require less maintenance.

    • Look for options that provide for living on a single level

    • The floor plan should provide enough space for your furniture and still leave wide, uncluttered passageways. If the existing bathrooms are too small or have inconvenient fixtures and clearances, is there space to make the necessary renovations?

    • Doors should have a minimum of 32 inches clear opening and be fitted with or be capable of being fitted with lever handles.

    • Check the energy bills and inquire as to the type of insulation and sealing. Generally a smaller home will use less energy to heat and cool.

    • Look for low maintenance materials that will not require frequent painting or refinishing. Fiber cement siding and PVC materials are good replacements for wood exteriors.

    • Do you like the views, the quality of the surrounding landscape, the sounds? Pay attention to your aesthetic senses.

    Consulting with an NAHB Aging-in-Place Specialist who may be an architect, designer or contractor, and may help you determine if the house you are considering has the features you want or if it is suitable for the renovations you would like.
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