As a real estate agent, you have probably seen your fair share of questionable design schemes come and go. Like many fashion trends, residential styles are popular for a short time, and then fade into obscurity. However, one real estate trend that has displayed its staying power in recent years is universal design.
This practice involves creating chic, attractive spaces that all persons – regardless of age, ability and size – can enjoy spending time in, according to AARP. Design elements to keep in mind include single-level layouts, wide doorways and hallways as well as handles and knobs that are easily to manipulate. Additionally raised appliances, ample lighting, and switches that can be in reached without effort are ideal. Moreover, support bars and non-slip surfaces are popular updates to include in homes targeting the growing population of active adults.
These design changes have been gaining a substantial amount of attention – and will likely continue to do so as more baby boomers enter into retirement. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors explained that 25 percent of homebuyers over the age of 67 purchased a house last year that was customized for older individuals. In addition, the report noted that active adults were less likely to make compromises regarding a home’s size, location and condition – compared to younger buyers.
Accordingly, real estate agents who familiarize themselves with the defining characteristics of universal design may be better suited to accommodate those buyers who are planning to enter retirement, or have already left the workforce.
How are you taking advantage of and accommodating this growing market?