No longer simply a game of downsizing or taking to the open road, an increasing number of Americans are building new and custom homes that are suited for post-retirement and aging as the plan for their retirement. When you consider factors that impact lifestyle as we age such as mobility, utilities and maintenance, and proximity to groceries, entertainment, and health care, building a custom home makes a lot of sense for people who want to age in place - a term used to describe people being able to live in their homes as long as possible.
With Baby Boomers retiring at a rate of around 10,000 per day, there has been a surge in demand for homes that accommodate changing income and health needs post-retirement. With low housing inventory a home that is ready for aging in place or is primed for renovations can be difficult to find. However, building a custom home means you complete control over several important aspects of your home that make it an ideal home for aging in place.
UNIVERSAL BY DESIGN
While it sounds like they are two opposites, a custom home is primed to include universal design elements. Universal design means people with varying degrees of ability can safely and comfortably live in a home. Some of the most important features in universal home design include:
- No step entry and zero-threshold doorways
- Wide doorways and hallways
- Open floor plan with first floor living
- Easy to access storage and worktops, etc.
While this is not an exhaustive list, incorporating these accessible design elements into a custom home design increases most people's ability to remain in their home even as their mobility changes.
For many, retirement brings with it a change to their income frequency. The added peace of mind that comes with managing their home's utility and maintenance costs is a major draw for people planning to build a custom home where they can retire comfortably. Energy efficient homes including selections such as:
- Energy STAR rated windows with improved insulation and UV coating
- Upgraded insulation packages to prevent air leaks and improve the quality of indoor air
- Right-sized HVAC systems for your home.
Energy efficient building practices not only make your home more comfortable year round while still controlling your energy costs, they also tend to rely on more durable materials. Better quality, more durable building materials can help reduce the times and costs of home maintenance.
Buying a home to retire in likely means you're buying your forever home, which means you shouldn't sacrifice on the style and luxury features that are important to you. Finding the right home for aging in place in the right location - close to all of the amenities you need, as well as friends and family - is less of a challenge when you start from the ground up. If you're interested in learning more about aging in place, you listen to Episode 10, "Designing for All Seasons of life," from our podcast, The Art of Custom. In it, you can hear architects and aging in place experts discuss more of what you need to build the perfect home to retire in. You can also download our Free Guide to Aging in Place in the show notes.
Are you ready to build your forever home? Call one of our custom home building experts to discuss how to get started on building your next home.