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Aging in Place: What Seniors Should Look for When Buying a Home

Aging in Place: What Seniors Should Look for  When Buying a Home

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Aging in Place: What Seniors Should Look for When Buying a Home

Aging in place is becoming more common these days as seniors continue to enjoy independence and overall wellness well past retirement. For those who want to find an accessible home that meets all their needs, it can be a frustrating and lengthy process that ends in stress or anxiety. Fortunately, there are several key things you can look for in a home that will ensure your continued safety and comfort. Having a plan ahead of time will allow you to make the best decision for both your present and your future. Here’s a brief guide to help you get started.

Are you ready to find the perfect home in retirement? The George Woods Home Selling Team is here to help! Call us today to get started! (717) 324-2500

Make Sure the Home Will Work for You

Many older adults make the decision to downsize to a smaller home after retirement. Not only does this save quite a bit of money, but it also helps with safety issues. The home you choose should work for you financially both now and in the future. Also, if there’s a chance that you’ll require special equipment later or have mobility issues as you get older, you’ll want to look for a house that is easy to navigate, has plenty of space, and is one level so you won’t have stairs to navigate. Modifications can be made to some areas of the home without breaking your budget; these might include adding a ramp, installing grab bars in the bathroom, or adding lighting. Other modifications, such as widening doorways to allow for equipment, will be more costly.

Take a Look at the Neighborhood

The community around your new home should be safe and provide access to everything you need. When you’re ready to begin looking at properties for sale, start in neighborhoods that are near your doctor, your family members, and/or the places you visit most, such as a favorite grocery store. This will give you a jumping-off point so you can narrow down the possibilities much more easily. It’s also a good idea to look for things like bus routes in the area and to learn about typical traffic issues nearby (such as a school that lets out at a certain time every day, or a particularly congested street during rush hour). Some neighborhoods have specific, senior-friendly amenities, so be on the lookout for those during your hunt.


Your home and community should both be safe and comfortable spaces for you, so it’s important to have an inspection done before you move in. The smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be new or in great shape, the HVAC system and furnace should be up to code, and fireplaces should be in good working order. Have the plumbing and wiring checked out if the home is older than 10 years, and look online to find out about any issues with crime in the area. 

There are several cost-effective ways you can make the house safer, such as adding motion-sensor lighting outside and planting prickly bushes beneath ground-floor windows. It’s also important to have all the entryway doors rekeyed to ensure nobody else has access to your home. A quick search for a “bonded locksmith near me” can connect you with reputable pros who can tackle the job. Some providers may even have special discounts available for seniors. 

Aging in place is different for everyone, so your experience with buying a home will be unique. Talk to a Realtor who can help you find the house of your dreams, and remember to keep your budget and your needs in mind throughout the process. 

Article provided by Kent Elliot


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