Change is part of life. Families grow, kids leave the nest and we all get older every day. As our lives evolve, so do our housing needs. When we reach certain thresholds, we may wonder whether we should shop for a new house or upgrade our current home. Should we move or improve? Many factors come into play, and they’re almost always associated with life stages. As we approach retirement, our needs are very different than when our kids were young. If we decide to stay and “improve,” there are a few key upgrades that can really add to our quality of life.
What Should I Consider When Deciding to Move or Improve?
There are so many things to think about when deciding whether to move or upgrade your home. Here are a few of the big ones:
- Do you need more room or less room? Do you have young kids and a growing family, or are you looking at an empty nest? The size of the house and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms play a significant role in decision-making as we look for a right-sized home.
- Are public schools a factor? For families with school-aged children, this is a big one. A couple may change locations as their kids reach school age to be closer to school or to a school they prefer. They might move again as the kids leave the nest to take advantage of lower taxes and real estate deals in another location.
- Is it a seller’s market? If your house is in a hot location and if you’re flexible, you may be able to make a bundle with a move to another zip code.
- Is maintenance a factor? As we age, yard and home maintenance become a big deal. A larger property may no longer be a great fit. And a charming older home may not have as much appeal if it requires tons of work.
- Is the stress of moving worth it? Moving is one of the most stressful transitions a family or individual can go through. Consider whether the practical and emotional toll is worth it. Or does it make more sense to upgrade and modify your current home?
What Are the Benefits of Aging in Place?
Aging in place is a big catchphrase these days, as many seniors looking to stay long-term in their homes. Aging in place means finding ways to stay in the houses and communities we love as we get older. It usually means updating and modifying our existing homes to make them safe and easy to navigate. Here are some of the benefits of staying in our homes as we grow older:
- It allows us to keep important friendships and social connections.
- It helps us maintain a sense of purpose and engagement with our communities.
- It’s less expensive than assisted living or long-term care.
- It’s less risky than moving to a long-term care setting, as concerns about infection create new priorities.
How Can I Improve My Home for Successful Aging in Place?
Research shows that the single biggest factor for aging in place is single-story living. This can mean moving into a one-floor home or modifying your existing home to include a full bath and bedroom on the main level, plus a kitchen. Creating a maintenance-free home is another essential component of successful aging in place. This means upgrading exterior elements for ease of care. Here are some tips for going maintenance-free:
- Redo your roof: Moving to low-maintenance roofing brings decades of peace of mind. Today’s polymer-based shingles or a high-quality metal roofing offer unprecedented durability and ease of maintenance.
- Switch out your siding: Gorgeous, low-maintenance vinyl siding or Hardie Board bring an end to painting every few years. These options are no longer a less expensive alternative to wood. Instead, it’s a material of choice thanks to fabulous colors, natural looks, and high-quality materials.
- Replace your gutters: Replace aging gutters with high-quality products built to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Properly installed gutters will protect your home’s walls, foundation, and landscaping from water damage. Make sure they come with a solid warranty for added peace of mind.
- Invest in new windows: Replace wooden heat leakers with maintenance-free vinyl that won’t rust, peel, or chip. Today’s vinyl windows don’t stick or warp. They’re also more energy-efficient and keep your home more comfortable.
Increase Natural Lighting For a Safer Home
Experts agree that better lighting is one of the easiest ways to make our homes safer as we age. Getting rid of dark spaces reduces fall risk and creates a general feeling of brightness that can lift our mood. This can include adding interior lights, but there’s nothing like natural light to make a house feel open and airy.
- Consider new window options, including spacious bay, bow, and picture windows that allow natural light to flood in.
- Add energy-efficient skylights. Fixed skylights are perfect for bringing natural light to hallways, stairwells, and other closed-in spaces. Adding skylights is an economical approach to adding natural light and creating a safer, more beautiful home.
Maintenance-Free Living with DryHome
There are so many ways to reduce the headaches of homeownership as we age. With high-tech, high-quality new materials, many of the age-old problems disappear. DryHome can help you achieve a maintenance-free lifestyle by upgrading your roof, siding, and gutters. We can also brighten your home with energy-efficient windows and skylights. If you are trying to decide whether to move or improve, aging in place is your goal, a maintenance-free makeover makes it easy.