Most baby boomers are currently in a “hold” mode. For them, waiting out the economic storm means postponing their retirement or second home purchase. To help you while away the time, we’ve come up with an armchair/dinner table exercise – what are the “must-have” features you (and your S.O.) must have in your new retirement home?
By this time most of us have at owned at least a couple of homes. We know what we liked, weren’t that crazy about, and absolutely couldn’t get along without. But meanwhile our lifestyles have changed. The kids have grown up, a warmer climate might be in the offing, and visits from grandchildren are either here or on the horizon. Lastly, the market is forever changing, adding new features that no one ever dreamed of tempting us with before.
Builder Magazine recently came out with a list of its top 10 new home features, and it is a very interesting list. Obviously their list is slanted to help builders sell homes with the features they think you and I will like. Topretirements took the liberty of adding and substituting some of our own favorites, making it a top 15 list.
1. Radiant-heated bathroom floors. No longer are water-filled pipes required under your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom floors – pre-made mats make installation much simpler and less expensive than the last time you might have considered them.
2. On-demand water heater. The Rheem Pronto is a good example of an on-demand heater that mounts in the wall and helps you avoid wasting energy for hot water stored in pipes and tanks.
3. Glass tiles. Now available in colors, they let the light in and brighten up your home.
4. Dual flush toilets. Can save 6000 gallons a water per year for a family of 4.
5. Low-flow showerheads. Use just 1 gallon per minute vs.3.5 for standard showerheads. Yet performance feels the same.
6. Water re-circulator. If you don’t upgrade to an on-demand heater, a re-circulator gives you instant hot water – no more jumping jacks while you wait for the hot water to arrive through your cold pipes.
7. Folding patio-door. Lets you easily open up an entire wall(s) to your deck or patio – instantly.
8. Central vacuum. One of our favorites. Stop lugging a heavy vacuum around, just plug the head and hose into convenient wall outlets. Doesn’t cost much more than a deluxe vacuum cleaner if installed in a new home.
9. Excellent insulation. One of the invisible upgrades worth checking out. Check the spec from your builder to make sure your ceilings are well-insulated.
10. First floor master bedroom. This is a no-brainer, yet we are astonished at how many homes built for the 55+ set have 2nd floor bedrooms.
11. Built-in Trash/Recycling stations. A built-in big kitchen drawer with multiple compartments for trash and recycling makes your kitchen more attractive and simplifies collection.
12. Solar hot water heating. Much more efficient and cheaper in most climates than photovoltaic systems. Payback in 6-8 years if new Obama proposals are approved.
13. Small wind turbine. New, quieter systems like those from Swift can save money if installed properly in a location with good wind potential. Use this wind potential calculator to evaluate your address.
14. Large, open shower. A shower that isn’t claustrophobic and opens or is windowed to a private garden makes bathtime a lot more of a pleasure.
15. Second sink in kitchen. Makes entertaining a lot easier.
What’s on your list? Please use the “Leave a Comment” box below to share your ideas on what “must” be in your new home.