One aspect of owning a home that flies under the radar until there’s a problem is maintenance. It happens to everyone, but it’s more likely to occur for homeowners settled into their houses and their routines.

Post-retirement, it’s not uncommon for weekend house projects and small fixes to fall by the wayside over time. Beyond structural damage, one of the most critical things older homeowners should focus on is the ease of moving in and around the home.

Home Entrances and Exits
The first issue to address when it comes to entrances and exits is pretty obvious: how easy is it for the homeowner to get in? Are stairs creating a problem? Is there a proper railing or something to hold onto? In addition to addressing steps, you may find that it’s time to add an overhang or porch covering to protect entrances and exits from the elements. One added bonus to a remodeled porch or back deck is the opportunity for a homeowner to appreciate the outdoors from the comfort of the house. For example, screened-in porches create shade, keep bugs at bay, and make a great place to brighten up with a few plants.

Driveways and Walkways
Even if a homeowner doesn’t plan to do much driving, the areas around the home that increase (or preclude) mobility are important to maintain. Adequate lighting, along the perimeter of the home or even in trees, is perhaps the cheapest option to protect against nighttime accidents—and can also deter would-be criminals. Paths leading from the driveway to the home should be fixed or filled if there are large cracks; they may also need to be resurfaced if the current material is too slick.

The Garage
This sometimes-neglected part of the home might go unnoticed until a slip or fall creates a serious problem. Concrete floors without proper traction can be a recipe for disaster, particularly in cold and rainy weather. Fresh paint could improve the look, but be sure it’s specifically designed for concrete floors and won’t be too slick. Non-slip coating and additional lighting can go a long way toward reducing the risk of injury. It’s also a good idea to evaluate the ease of moving between the garage and the home. For example, is there a lip between the floor and a side door? A sealing or caulking solution can close the gap, creating a safe and more aesthetically pleasing environment.

Home maintenance isn’t always simple, but improvements that let you stay in your home as long as possible are usually worth the effort. If you or a loved one is concerned about the cost of keeping up house maintenance, a reverse mortgage, or HECM, could help pay for necessary repairs. Contact us today to talk to one of our reverse mortgage specialists.

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