Steps Toward Forever: Building Your Retirement Dream Home

If you’re getting ready to retire, and you know you need a home that will accommodate your changing needs as you age, building is a great option. Not only do you get a home that looks exactly how you want it, you also won’t have to worry about many common home maintenance tasks for the first several years, meaning you can enjoy your new home in peace.

If you feel a bit intimidated by the process, this post is for you. Here, you will find a few quick tips on how to commission the build of an accessible home for yourself or your loved one.

Choose the right builder and plan.

One of the first and most important decisions that you make throughout the process is to choose a builder with experience building ADA-style homes. Appleton Homes specializes in one-story ramblers built to your specific needs. You may also consider a plan with multi-generational living. This is a single level home with an apartment attached equipped with a full kitchen, living area, bedroom, and a separate entrance.

Know your budget.

Next up is understanding your budget. Hopefully, you already own a home and have equity to use as a down payment. If you’re not quite sure what you can afford, use a mortgage affordability calculator or apply the 29/41 rule, which Rocket Mortgage explains, essentially means that your housing expenses should be no more than 29% of your monthly income. Further, your total debt should not exceed 41% of what you bring in each month. Getting pre-approved with a lender is also a must. Consider 1st Security or Washington Federal. Both have helped many of our clients.

The remodeling and retrofitting of your existing home to meet your needs may be an option but remodeling can sometimes be more costly than you think depending on how extensive the revision. Getting three bids before any decisions are made is always encouraged. Finding out the costs may change your views on building vs remodeling.

Decide on features.

When you’re building an accessible home, there are many features that should be standard. Advantage Mobility notes things like a stairway ramp or zero entrance barriers, wider entry doors, lower countertops, and grab bars in the bathroom are all important inclusions. But it’s not all about function, and you have to enjoy the space that you are in. Functionality and beauty can go hand in hand when you are in control of what your new home will look like.

If it’s been a while since you bought or built a home, spend some time looking through local real estate listings. Not only will this give you an idea of what the current buyer’s market is, but, more importantly here, you’ll have free access to photos of interiors and exteriors. Casual browsing is a great way to decide on what you think looks great and what features to leave off your wish list.

Remember, location is key.

It is easy to get discouraged when looking for an existing home to purchase. Product availability is low therefore prices are ridiculously high. You might feel that you have to “settle,” not getting all of your needs met. It is also true that prices have increased for materials and labor but the difference in purchasing a new home or building, most times you will find building is still more affordable.

The AARP reports that more older adults are living with their children. However, this is not an ideal situation for everyone, and you likely want your own space. That said, before you break ground, remember that your location matters. Ideally, you will want to live within a comfortable driving distance from your children or grandchildren. Just as important is that your new home is near businesses and services that you might need. For example, a geriatric specialist or senior-friendly fitness facility. Again, consider building a multi-generational home or an ADU (additional dwelling unit) on the same property as your children. You would be just steps away from the ones you love and still maintain your privacy.

In building an accessible home you will want to look ahead to ensure that it will meet your needs today and in the future. Making sure you have everything you need from maneuvering safely to checking your income, it takes research and dedication to go from a blueprint to a turnkey property. Let Appleton Homes guide you through this exciting endeavor with superior knowledge of accessible living.

Article content and Co-writer by Patrick Young, independent writer for AbleUSA.