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What Homebuyers Want in 2019

Category: Green Retirement Communities

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 20 – Laundry rooms and energy-saving features such as Energy Star appliances, windows and whole house certification are among the most wanted home features, according to survey results from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). NAHB surveyed nearly 4,000 home buyers–those who have either recently purchased a home or plan to purchase a home within the next three years–ranking 175 features based on how essential they are to a home purchasing decision. The survey was done among home buyers of all ages, so the results might differ somewhat from retiring baby boomers. You might want to keep these in mind whether you are looking for a new home or planning on improving your existing one.

The top 10 features also included home-storage needs, such as garage storage and walk-in pantries, as well as hardwood flooring, a patio and exterior lighting. 

Housing trends across the board include a continued decline in the average home size and decreased demand for upscale features such as three-plus-car garages. In 2018, according to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average home started declined to 2,576 square feet–down from its peak at 2,689 square feet in 2015–driven in part by increased production in townhouses, which comprised 14 percent of new home starts. Over in the UK, we’ve been following housing prices fluctuate by using this free tool from TheAdvisory called PropCast.

“Builders are trying to meet demand where it’s hottest, and that is at the lower price points,” Rose Quint, AVP of survey research at NAHB, noted regarding the increase in townhouse production. “To that end, they are building more townhomes and smaller detached homes. Townhomes take up less land, and that automatically brings the price down.”

Recent trends show new homes have been downsizing since 2016; fewer have four or more bedrooms, or three or more bathrooms. These data “show that builders are trying to respond to the crisis around housing affordability,” Quint added.

NAHB’s survey also includes key information on types and location of homes desired by buyers, including generational differences. Millennials are the most likely to want to buy a home in a central city (23 percent), compared to Gen X buyers (11 percent), baby boomers (8 percent) or seniors (3 percent).

Kitchen and Bath Trends to Watch

According to NAHB’s survey, 86 percent of home buyers prefer their kitchen and dining room to be completely or partially open. Top finishes include stainless steel appliances (67 percent), granite or natural stone kitchen countertops (57 percent), and white kitchen cabinetry (32 percent).

Other rising trends include: farmhouse styles incorporating ample amounts of wood; engineered quartz countertops for color flexibility; vinyl and resilient flooring, especially for aging in place; wireless controls, and open interior and exterior spaces in the kitchen; and higher-end fixture installations in the bathroom, such as wall-mounted sinks, faucets and toilets

Energy Efficiency and Indoor Air Quality Top Buyers’ Green Preferences

When buyers think of a green home, they think of features that will first save energy and second improve the quality of the air in the home, according to another NAHB survey.

To achieve their energy efficiency goals, buyers would most like to have windows and appliances rated ENERGY STAR, efficient lighting (using less energy than traditional bulbs), and insulation higher than required by code.  More than half of home buyers also find these indoor air quality features essential or desirable:  a home dehumidification system, an electronic air cleaner, and low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials.

“It’s confirmation that the most attractive green features for home buyers are those that help them save money on energy costs as well as those that improve the air quality inside their homes,” stated Rose Quint, AVP of survey research at NAHB.

Many home buyers are simply indifferent toward other green features, such as roof-mounted wind turbines, rainwater collection systems and recycled material or prefabricated building components. 

Consumers are attracted to the cost savings green features provide. Nearly half of home buyers are willing to invest between $1,000 and $9,999 for $1,000 annual savings on their utility bills, with 37 percent willing to spend upward of $10,000.  

Survey findings also show that most home buyers would prefer a number of green options versus the non-green alternative: 74 percent would rather have features and finishes made of more expensive materials that last longer versus 26 percent who would prefer them to be made of cheaper materials that need to be replaced more often. Similarly, 65 percent would opt for low-maintenance landscaping versus 35 percent who prefer a conventional lawn. 

Comments? What are you looking for in your retirement home? The same features as those mentioned here, or something different? Please share your input in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on February 22nd, 2019


  1. Yes, I’m into great energy efficiency and filtered air as well as low use water fixtures. What I don’t want in a retirement home is formal living and dining rooms and excessive bathrooms. Also, no more teeny-tiny laundry rooms that are used an entry ways from the garage. Make those rooms bigger and multipurpose. Make the garage bigger in order to accommodate the large SUVs of today and provide me a workspace and storage for outdoor equipment. I want fewer rooms but bigger rooms. I want access to the laundry room from the master closet. I want a home office and a den that is separate from the great room. Finally, I would like all this in Arizona where they have natural landscape that requires little upkeep and conserves water.

    by LS — February 23, 2019

  2. Love this timely article! We are starting the research last year for the coming year when we hope to buy. Lots of things mentioned are important to us. The green features such as energy saving appliances, lighting, and dehumidifier is something we want and we will be willing to pay more for features that last longer for sure. I noticed last year some builders were were putting in black appliances instead of stainless, I don’t think that was popular and I haven’t seen it recently I do like seeing stainless steel in the kitchen.

    However I must be the last one on earth that wants a kitchen separated from the rest of the house, no openness. A very nice eat-in kitchen one where people could still gather if you want, but not where it’s seen from everywhere. I need a place where I can cook and clatter around without someone watching television, reading or whatever, asking me to be quiet!

    by Christine — February 23, 2019

  3. My list has a lot of what LS wants (but not in Az). Also, I want a stand-alone house, not a townhouse or what they euphemistically call carriage houses. And I want lots of windows, a bit of a yard with an HOA that doesn’t dictate too much other than maybe prohibiting cars up on blocks in the front yard. Also must have a 2 car garage that’s big enough for a bad driver to get in and not hit the other car ;0

    by Jean — February 23, 2019

  4. Wow! Based on this article and the comments so far, we need to sell our home NOW! (Not gonna happen.) However, if these trends hold, continued increase in value is near guaranteed. (Big smile.)

    by RichPB — February 23, 2019

  5. I did a lot of research into elder design as part of my retirement planning. I ended up purchasing a fixer upper that I remodeled with these design recommendations in mind. As I was hunting for a new home, I was surprised at how many developers didn’t follow senior design recommendations or only offer them as costly options. Some of the recommended features were built-in wall ovens (vs. bending over to reach ovens), comfort-height toilets, any staircases to have landings (so if an elderly person falls, it would be for a few steps instead of a full staircase), higher countertops, and 1st floor master bedrooms. Large showers that can accomodate a shower chair or roll-in wheelchair are recommended over tubs, that present a potential fall hazard.

    An entry without steps is a desirable feature for Seniors. I missed that when purchasing my own retirement home, and have 1-2 steps to get into my house from both the garage and the front door. I’ll have to deal with the steps in the future if I end up wth a mobility problem.

    New technology like Google Home and Alexa should be added to the list of desired features. It’s great to be able to adjust the thermostat, check who is at the door, or get a weather forecast from a chair when you’re not mobile.

    Editor’s comment: Thanks Kate. Your comments are the perfect add-on to this article. All of the things you are doing in universal design to make your home more desirable for anyone, but especially for people of retirement age.

    by Kate — February 24, 2019

  6. Wider hall and door ways to accomodate wheelchair if ever needed. This aslo adds a degree of spaciousness to a home. No “toilet room” unless the door is a slider barn door type. Precious time wasted prying a door open could be better used to save lives. Why not a ramp rather than stairs into a house from the garage? This would simplify moving heavy or bulky objects into the home.
    Agree, no bathtubs and fewer large rooms. Do any builders pay attention to these comments?

    by Sandie — February 24, 2019

  7. I’m curious about why the garage entry mud/laundry room is no longer a desirable location for that type of multipurpose utilization. Some of our friends have put the washer/dryer in their owner’s suite closet. I was curious if doing laundry in a closet would create too much humidity amongst your wardrobe?


    by Cap — February 25, 2019

  8. If I’m not mistaken, some zoning laws require that each dwelling have a bathtub. The architect friend who told me this, said the laws go back to the days when indoor facilities were new & desirable. In places with such laws, we seniors should advocate to bring them into the 21st century.

    by Laney Humphrey — February 25, 2019

  9. I agree with Kate and her suggestion of Google Home or Alexa, and those are not features retirees need to look for in a new home, that technology can be easily plugged into any home outlet and makes life easier for seniors. My 30-something techie son has one and he told Google to turn out the lights at bedtime, lock the door, turn down the heat, and brew the coffee in the morning. It does require a smart lightbulb or plug to work the lights, but I was impressed. Although it can’t call 911 it can call others if you need help, plays music, and you can tell it to remind you of something on a given date.
    I think it’s about $100.

    by Darlene — February 25, 2019

  10. Darlene, I think Google Home, Alexa, and Echo are all good for seniors ( more so than able-bodied 30-year olds who this technology is very popular with!) but they do not operate with all the functions you mentioned such as making coffee and locking the door by just plugging them in. The technology is there so they can do all of that but you need special “smart” plugs and door locks and I think the lock is about $300. But you don’t need to buy all that if you don’t want it. Just the speakers themselves at $100 is still worth having for phone calls, you can link your contact list to them and just tell it to call someone on your list, or get all sorts information for you without a computer even the weather report. The music is a my favorite feature. I can ask Alexa to play single songs or complete albums and its great company all day long. If you have trouble setting it up just ask your grandchildren to do it.

    by Dennis — February 25, 2019

  11. I think Google Home, Alexa and related devices are great, but they do require careful management. Just plug and use could well get you unwanted privacy intrusions. Studies show that most people do not properly use passwords and properly manage their “home” devices thereby leaving themselves open to audio and video “spying” and opening their homes to other intrusions — even physical. You must use due diligence if you want to safely employ these devices.

    by RichPB — February 26, 2019

  12. Rich PB,
    I have had an Amazon Echo, 2nd generation, since last July. It has a mute button which I use to prevent possible unwanted intrusions. I also delete the history of my commands once every month or so. I mainly use it to check on traffic, weather, and I love the music features. I can ask for any genre, any year, any artist and with the Dolby sound system, the sound is great! In the future I will add other commands but I am not yet ready to do so.

    by Jennifer — February 27, 2019

  13. Also, no closets accessed through the master bath. Too much humidity and annoyng location. Same thing with laundry in closet.

    by Sandie — February 27, 2019

  14. Re Cap’s question on why people do not want the garage entry mud/laundry room combo – we’ve had that combo in 2 houses and it was not a room but a hallway, essentially. Our current laundry room opens to the garage but it is an actual room with the entry just on the border. That means we can do laundry, work at the sink, or fold clothes in a standalone space without others having to walk around to go in or out from the garage. Much more functional!

    by Jeanne — February 27, 2019

  15. Today I found this link to a house in Houston that was refurbished in Houston and includes many of the elements some of you espouse. It was a great redo, but I would have preferred it to be a bit warmer with color and decor. Many will love it as it is.

    by Jennifer — February 28, 2019

  16. I’ve several gripes – among them, the builders do not make passages wide enough for walkers/wheelchairs. They put in huge bathrooms with sunken tubs and walk in closets as large as a room. Cam lights that no one who is in their later years is going to climb up on a ladder to change. Huge kitchen islands that take up way too much space, multiple ovens, space for humongous refrigerators, and a tiny tiny pantry and limited cabinet space/staggered cabinets.No storage space… Air filters in a 10-foot high ceiling. Who decided these are things elderly people want? Do you want to be constantly climbing on ladders/high step stools to reach something? Just how many clothes does a retired person need? You can’t get into or out of those sunken/spa tubs without some assistance. And if you say something to the builders rep or sales person, they look at you like you are crazy, even though they are marketing these homes as “55+” developments.

    by nancy — February 28, 2019

  17. Our builder and home and almost all the models we looked at, had large walkin showers no tub in the master bath. The guest bath has a tub, was an upgrade we asked for, as my wife likes to soak in the tub, but could be a shower if needed. We added some extra hand rails for the tub. We have so many cabinets about half are empty so plenty of storage space. The air filters are all located floor level for easy exchange. We love no steps, unlike the last home that had laundry in the basement. I enjoy cooking and love all our appliances and large cooking space. All good suggestions and things to review as you look at plans and models and what fits best for your lifestyle.
    Believe it or not but several builders in our 55 community have two story homes, and selling well. I don’t understand it as you get older and stairs more difficult to navigate. Some have told me it is for their grandchildren when they visit. Will be interesting to see when they have to sell how those homes will sell. Time will tell, people are buying them.

    by Bruce — February 28, 2019

  18. I mostly just want to reinforce the previous two comments from Nancy and Bruce. Very astute. For the elderly, kitchens need room for wheelchair navigation — not huge islands. Counters need to be lower, not higher. “Tubs”/showers need to be low-lip or no-lip. All doors need to be wide enough for a wheelchair, not just the front door. An extra floor for grandkids is preposterous. — how do you negotiate stairs to set up or clean in a wheelchair. Don’t think you will need a wheelchair? — even a cane can make stairs dangerous. Need neither? Prefer short life?

    by RichPB — March 1, 2019

  19. This may be a trivial gripe for new homes where they remove all the mature trees. It reminds me of the post-war 1950’s housing development I grew up in. Postage stamp lots with all the large trees removed. Granted when a developer takes over farm lands the trees are already gone – but they can never be replaced with the small nursery ornamental landscaping imo. For me, the outdoor environment are as critical as the indoor conveniences and design.

    by JoannL — March 1, 2019

  20. JoannL, I lived in Oklahoma City for many years. Its on the plains so the only “native” trees were junipers that topped out at under 20 feet. There had been lots of home building & at first we thought it looked funny to have the houses taller than the landscape planting (including ornamental trees) the builders had done. Over the years though, those trees grew & came to top the houses. They created shade & the look of a more “normal” neighborhood to our more northern/eastern eyes.

    by Laney Humphrey — March 1, 2019

  21. Re: Large kitchen island.
    We had our cabinet maker build us a beautiful and functional table height island with heavy duty casters. It incorporates a drawer for placements as well as some wine storage. It has flip up ends increasing our “table”area. It is working out very well for us. When I need to clean the refrigerator, I just pull it up next to the task at hand. When we want more room in the kitchen, it stores against the wall. I figure I can pull a wheel chair up to it to work, when the counters are too high for us. Because it’s on wheels, it is also easy to clean under and around it. Totally Love it!

    by Cap — March 1, 2019

  22. Cap, thanks for another excellent idea.

    by RichPB — March 2, 2019

  23. You’re most welcome Rich PB. I enjoy your posts as well.
    I thought of another thing we have used our rolling island for…….whenever we have several guests at our dining table, we use the island as a buffet server. We load it up in the kitchen, then park it next to us at the table. No one has to leave the table,to retrieve items from the kitchen anymore.
    I Just thought of another idea.
    If we needed an extra table for eating on the deck. Boom!

    by Cap — March 3, 2019

  24. I also like microwaves built into a bottom cabinet. Seems a lot safer than reaching overhead to remove hot items.

    by Staci — March 3, 2019

  25. Yes, I see many model homes for retirees with microwaves built into lower cabinets and also raised dishwashers. To me, both look strange but I can certainly appreciate the practicality for retirees. I am tall so the traditional spot for microwaves doesn’t impact me but I have trouble bending over to empty the dishwasher so my next house may have that elevated.

    by LS — March 4, 2019

  26. Oh Cap, I love people who think like you and wish more 55+ homes were designed with multiple use elements.

    by Daryl — March 5, 2019

  27. Christine you are not the last person on Earth who wants a separate kitchen with an eat in kitchen table with chairs. When we remodeled in 2005 that was what we both wanted. We have a half island with two pull stools. Nobody wants to sit there they like the breakfast table. I am way too messy of a cook to have my kitchen open to my dining room. Not only would it drive me crazy on formal holiday dinners I could never have my kitchen open to the whole house, cooking odors and just my counters are cluttered. I also added extra cabinets because I have seasonal serving pieces. I also like a having a designated living area separate from the family room. I am fine with the family room being off the kitchen and even open to the kitchen. My regret is that we did not break through the kitchen to the family room so that our breakfast room looked outside. I have two other preferences, sink over looking the window and the kitchen in the back of the house not in the center or front. Do not care for a bathroom to be at the front as with a bedroom. Right now we do have a bedroom in the very front, could make it a den now though. with added expense. But my daughter likes to use that bedroom and not the center bedroom when she comes home. So, since we do not really need a den and why spend the money, it remains a bedroom. But to make a long story short one reason we remain in this house is that is one of the very few houses with a separate kitchen and designated breakfast area. Do not like the look of the open room concept for year round living. Summer cottage or fall/ winter spring retreat fine but not year round for me. Not at this stage of my life. Maybe if I become disabled or forced to financially but will hold out as long as I am able.

    by LMB — March 6, 2019

  28. My want list:

    Energy efficient home design & appliances
    Smart technology design throughout (heating, communication, etc.)
    Low/no maintenance design
    Screened lanai/porch
    Dedicated home theater
    Whole house water filtration system (reverse osmosis preferred)
    Whole house air filtration system
    Large 2 car or regular sized 3 car garage

    by Robert — March 6, 2019

  29. While I find most of these comments to be informational, I firmly believe that a single level home is the best situation for retired folks like me. 1800 sq feet is ideal for the two of us. one extra bedroom is plenty since my kids do not visit very often. The have their own life to live. The laundry area is on the main floor and that is fine with us.
    I live in a rural part of Eastern North Carolina where prices are not high and taxes are low. I am NOT looking for an urban area nor am I looking for the hub bub of a city life. We are close enough to a major University and Medical center that we are happy were we are.

    by Benjamin Reed — March 6, 2019

  30. LMB, I really like your comments about the kitchen and adjoining areas and mostly agree. When we designed our house, a key was to have “openness” yet closed off spaces so that sound (voice, tv, etc.) would not intrude on the rest of the house. So the kitchen (sort of in keeping with your wants) is about a 12×13 space adjoining a small “family” room about 12×11 with a wood stove. They are separated by a counter/cabinet extension with 3 comfortable bar stools with backs which see only occasional use, but the counter is great for food prep. This entire area is my wife’s domain — setup for her. A doorway goes to the dining room/livingroom which (with it’s music center/HT) is my hangout. She has the tv on all the time mostly for background (which I don’t enjoy), I tend to prefer music and sporrts on tv and we both enjoy movies (really fantastic HT personally customized by me over more than 20 years at rational cost). The walls between kit/fr and dining/lr are sound insulated (simple 3″ fiberglass) as are the walls between living room (HT) and all the bedrooms. Perhaps we went a bit too far with that, as talking between rooms is near impossible — sound is just blocked. But I’d rather have that than a totally open concept where every sound is shared.

    Yes, we finally decided that giving up this very personally customized house to settle for a newer very nice (and smaller) place is just not reasonable — here we stay. In recent years we upgraded kitchen, master bath and resolved some longtime issues outside rather than sell and re-buy with little profit to show and not be able to have what we created over 28 years. Sure the house is now more than we need, our investment is still “sunk”, we’re a little more remote than we might like today (but still within 30 minutes of some of the best hospitals in the country) and I would prefer an even warmer clime, but NC is a good place to stay (despite the politics) and we still have the ability to travel south some in winter. (BTW, the house is also passive solar and very well insulated — our utility bills are minimal and over 26 years have more than paid for the extra investment.)

    I hope there may be some ideas for folks in all this. It didn’t come easy and work completed last week, we continued to invest and improve over the 26 years. At this point in life, we are happy to be finally done and I expect most would prefer a “turn key” option. So the more you know to consider, the better your “turn key” will turn out.

    by RichPB — March 7, 2019

  31. Twice lately ,I’ve tried to post. And the “Submit Comment ” button has disappeared. What’s up with that?

    by Cap — March 7, 2019

  32. Oh thanks Daryl. Another idea I petitioned for, was a”pass through” window from the garage entry/mud laundry room, straight into the pantry. Saves “lots of steps” unloading groceries etc. DH was against the idea all along, but I got the builder’s to go with my idea. Now, everyone we show our home to, says that it is the best idea ever! Pantry is located under the bonus room stairs. Another situation arose during construction……pantry a little smaller than we wanted. DH said if we incorporated a landing 3/4 of the way up the steps…..viola…..more room!
    Between DH and I, we have built 5 new homes. I love designing custom floor plans, best for a particular lot. I’ve done at least a dozen or so since college.

    by Cap — March 7, 2019

  33. Is anyone considering a whole house generator, or has anyone installed one? I know they cost several thousand dollars but not much else about them.

    by Tess — March 7, 2019

  34. Tess, we installed a whole house generator after our area experienced 2 hurricanes in 2 years – Irene and Sandy. Both times we were out of power for a week. Since then it probably hasnt run for more than an hour or two, as the power outages have been short lived. It senses an outage and comes on automatically in about 1 minute. It is powerful enough to run the entire house including the AC (but if too much stuff comes on at once it prioritizes). Comes on once a week for 20 minutes to charge the battery. Cost about $10,000, but different power levels and features could make that more or less. I have seen ads for homes that brag about the whole house generator, so perhaps it is a selling point.

    by Ken — March 8, 2019

  35. We have a well, so no power, no water. When we built the house 25 years ago, had it wired for a generator. We used a portable generator for very occaisional outages. About ten years ago,we installed a whole house automatic generator. We are served by a natural gas line, so do not have to worry about refilling a propane tank for extended outages. We believe this was worth every penny.

    by Sandie — March 8, 2019

  36. One of the most frequent desires for a retirement house is a single level — no stairs. While I generally agree — assuming you have the choice — I’m sure there are others like us who will continue living (age-in-place is a cute term) in a house that has stairs and just need to deal with them. One option that we have (and specifically designed for from the start) is to move to the main level and simply avoid the stairs. But for us, we also designed and updated our master bedroom “suite” and really don’t want to leave it. So another option is to install a “stairlift” — a seat that will carry you up/down the stairwell from one level to another if you can’t manage stairs. I’ve investigated these and, though my two knee replacements allow putting off any installation for now, the price is manageable and, at least for some, it could well be reasonable. It also could make a very attractive new home purchase practicable for any who don’t want to be limited to one floor. (For example, our upper level is perched in the tree canopy and offers some very special views — something else we prefer not to give up.)

    But a stairlift is a “maybe” and a “what if”– we have no experience with one. Does anyone have one (or had one) and would care to comment or advise?

    by RichPB — March 8, 2019

  37. Thanks Ken and Sandie. Seems like it would be a “nice to have” if it fits in the budget. It’s something I’ll consider. If I was in your situation with the well, Sandie, I would definitely want one.

    by Tess — March 8, 2019

  38. I too am considering stairlift as a solution for my husbands health issues. I would appreciate any experience information. We have a townhome and I really do not want to move. thanks

    by Claudia — March 9, 2019

  39. Small footprint residential elevators are also out there. Some look like giant versions of fhe pneumatic tubes you see at bank drive through windows. Most seem large enough to accomodate a wheelchair.

    by Sandie — March 9, 2019

  40. My neighbors across the street, 80s, installed one last year after a ice-storm knocked out power for a week. My neighbors on this side of the street have had one for more than 10 years. The only problem they had was a circuit board failed 2 years ago. We don’t lose power often but if you need it …

    BTW my side of the street has the cable buried, we haven’t lost power.

    by Shumidog — March 9, 2019

  41. Claudia and others, my MIL has a stairlift and it has been a lifesaver. She is 92 and uses it very regularly. She leaves a cane at both ends and it has helped her to maintain her independence. She has the Stannah Stair lift installed and has had very few problems over the years with it. Though we are looking for a one level home, we realize that the stairlift is a very viable option because of her experiences with one. I originally thought it was slow, but compared to her walking up the steps, it’s like running! I also will definitely install a backup generator as I have COPD and will probably need an oxygen generator in the future.

    by Dave — March 10, 2019

  42. My elderly uncle had a stairlift installed in his condo last year. He really wishes he had installed it sooner before a fall down the stairs. It has allowed him the freedom to stay in his current residence. He leaves a cane at the top and bottom of stairs for use. I believe it was the Acorn model advised in the AARP newspaper. It was installed very quick and easy as this is a narrow stairway.

    by JoannL — March 10, 2019

  43. We are considering an outdoor elevator to use off our 5 ft. Deck. Does anyone have any experience seeing or using one of those, since it will be exposed to rain etc. ?

    by Cap — March 10, 2019

  44. @RichPB I purchased a stair lift for my spouse several years ago and it is a godsend. It is in use all the time. I do all the food shopping as she has lost most of her mobility. Our home was built into a hillside so that our lower level, garage and recreation room, require the use of the stair lift to reach the main living level. We even place our shopping bags on the chair eliminating carrying the bags up to the main level. Recently we had a 12 hour power outage and our unit has a battery back up so there is no worry of it not being operable during the outage. Do yourself a favor and definitely look into acquiring one. They can be leased or purchased. We decided to purchase ours because in the long run the lease payment would eventually exceed the cost of a purchase.

    by rrkidder — March 10, 2019

  45. My thanks to all who have responded about chair lifts and elevators. My main concern was whether they are truly useful and apparently the answer is a resounding “yes”! I know a chair lift can be installed for less than $5000. I expect an elevator would be much more, but I will at least investigate. Much appreciate the thoughts.

    by RichPB — March 11, 2019

  46. We were looking at some new construction this week for 55+ that offer green or energy star homes and long-term energy saving which is great. But the other features we saw that are popular with this age group and much needed was zero-step entry through out the home, including into the shower. Something I never considered a necessity was a “mud room” but now I think they are a terrific idea, it wasn’t big but there was a built in bench for setting down groceries etc. and a shoe rack so a few less thing to trip over throughout the house. Other features were higher toilet seats, small lights from the outlets that lit up the hallways at night, and windows with screens that are much lower and easy to open if you want.
    The bathroom was large so that a wheel chair could easily be in there and move about if ever needed, but what surprised me were the standard tile floors which are pretty but not practical for slipping and falling . Other than putting down bath mats all over are there other ideas for bathroom floors?

    by Jemmie — February 17, 2020

  47. Jemmie,

    There are tiles that look like wood but have a dull finish. We have them in our bathroom and they are not slippery. I’m unsure what else you can use on a bathroom floor, other than small rugs by the sink(s) or even a larger area type rug.


    by Fionna — February 18, 2020

  48. Non-slippery floors are a great idea. Surprising how dangerous most floors are – need something with texture to get a grip. My top “wants” in my retirement home are: low maintenance, lighting where I need it, laundry near the bedroom, a small area where I can grow some flowers or veggies. Open plan with kitchen, dining and living areas all flowing together as one space. And what I hate the most: an entrance defined by the garage – as in, how do I get in this house unless I am driving a car!

    by Ken — February 18, 2020

  49. Coming from a former nurse, as we age, the last thing we need are little throw rugs on the floors. They are the #1 cause of slips and falls within a home–a sure fire way to invite a broken bone or hip replacement. I am for non slip floors or carpeting that is wall to wall.

    by Jennifer — February 19, 2020

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