Some cities are "up and coming," with many young professionals moving there to begin families or start careers. However, other towns have a higher population of senior citizens and more people who move there close to retirement. You might have purchased your home with the plan of renovating it and selling it at higher price to make a profit. If the demographic of your town leans toward the elderly, one of the ways you can renovate your home to sell it more quickly is by appealing to an older buying market. Here are some improvements you can make to help your home be more friendly to an older buyer.
1. Install hard flooring throughout the home with few transitions.
Since elderly persons can suffer from health concerns that require assistance with mobility such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair, having a smooth floor that aids accessibility can be a big selling point. So, instead of replacing flooring with new carpet right before putting your home on the market, install hardwood, tile, or laminate throughout the whole main floor. Try not to mix and match flooring; transitions are tripping hazards for shuffling feet.
2. Widen your doorways.
Putting new doors in the home helps to make a house look more updated, but widening the doors while you are at it helps to make a house more accessibility-friendly. If an older buyer is looking for this home to be a place that will age well with them as they live in the house, they will look for features they might need in the future. Wheelchairs and walkers are more common in elderly populations, and wider doors accommodate them better than standard ones.
3. Replace your front steps with a slope.
You don't need to install a bulky ramp up the your front door. Instead, just replace the stairs with a slope that make it easy for a walker or wheelchair (or even a stroller) to reach the front door easily. Having a sloped front entrance helps to sell the home as one with universal design. As a bonus, a sloped entrance can serve more buyers than just those who are looking for a home that will last through retirement -- your buyers with strollers or with children who have special needs will also appreciate this feature.
4. Add simple features to the bathroom.
If you're renovating the bathroom, add some features like:
- grab bars in the shower. These help with stability and accessibility.
- lower vanity height. This helps the counter and sink to be more easily used by those using a walker.
- a walk-in shower with a bench. Instead of the typical tub/shower combo, try removing it and creating a walk-in shower that has a zero entry and sloped drain.
5. Stage a main floor flex space as a bedroom.
Stairs in a home are common, but stairs are not as friendly to elderly buyers. However, you can still make your home seem like a good space for them by emphasizing the ease of main floor living in your house. If you have a flex space in your home that is currently used as an office, playroom, den, or formal dining room (when you have an eat-in kitchen or breakfast nook), install a closet and a door and stage the space as a bedroom on the main floor. Preferably, it should have close access to the bathroom, but it doesn't need to have an en-suite. Upstairs bedrooms can feature an office, guest spaces, or spaces for live-in caretakers.
For more information on making your home more appealing to older buyers, contact a real estate agency to help you sell your home.