If Downsizing Isn’t In the Cards, Some Advice for Aging in Place
In a perfect world where mortgage rates, market inventory and demand from homebuyers align, downsizing to a smaller home would be a piece of cake for aging seniors. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes downsizing isn’t a feasible option.
Seniors Staying Put
Factors like the lack of affordable inventory in a preferred location can make downsizing to a smaller property nearby a challenge for seniors without significant savings. The current trend of rising interest rates and rising prices add to the downsizing difficulty.
A 2018 study by AARP confirms that “3 out of 4 adults age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.” The same study also found that about “one-third of adults 18 and older expect their homes to need major modifications to accommodate aging needs.” Mobility, safety, and independence are key to successfully aging in place and may require practical home renovations.
Home Improvements Can Help
Some necessary projects might include building a ramp to the front porch or threshold for wheelchair and walker accessibility or replacing door knobs with lever-style handles that require less grip strength to operate. Many seniors find that grab bars in the shower and/or near the toilet and automatic LED night lights are helpful features as well. Though modifying your home to accommodate aging in place can be expensive, it can sometimes be less expensive than moving to a senior living community or assisted living facility.
Loan Options for Aging In Place
There are several loan options that can help seniors who own their homes outright or have significant equity in their homes to age in place comfortably. An appropriate loan product can pay for improvements that will make your home the perfect place to spend your retirement. Senior homeowners can borrow against their homes using either a home equity loan or a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). Talk with your Open Mortgage loan officer to determine which loan type might be right for you.