by Neil P. Ryder, CRS, GRI, SFR, e-PRO
Editor’s Note: Most relocating Boomers today are as physically active as they were in their 40s. But when planning for a retirement home, Boomers can add resale value – and also plan thoughtfully for their own future – by considering how to make their home serve them well throughout their lives. In many cases, taking a few simple steps during construction can keep your home “livable” into your 80s or 90s. Our Guest Blogger, Tallahassee Real Estate Broker Neil Ryder, walks us through those steps.
In early 2012, Larry Baxter, Bureau Chief of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, asked for help in developing a universal code for Aging in Place (AIP) for the state of Florida (see Florida P.36). It would be a code that all Florida Builders could use throughout the state. He proposed building a “spec” home that incorporated these AIP codes/features to see what worked, and what didn’t. After months of planning, the build for 3336 Harbor Club Drive in Tallahassee began in mid-summer 2012 and was completed with great fanfare and a press conference in fall 2012. Since that time, we have represented three builders building eight different AIP houses; six are sold and occupied and two are currently under construction. This includes our second, lower price-point home (at $189,900 currently on the market) which we are just breaking ground on.
AIP features – not to be confused with handicapped accessibility, although they have some common elements – are:
- Zero grade transition from the exterior and garage into the house
- Wider hallways and doorways
- Drawers in all kitchen base cabinets
- Front controls on stove-tops, wall-mount ovens and dual drawer dishwashers
- Curb-less, roll-in showers
- Benches and/or folding seats in the showers with adjacent shower controls and shower wands
- Comfort-height toilets
- Grab bars, or blocking for future grab bars, in showers, WC rooms and other appropriate locations
- Electrical outlets raised to 24” above finished floors (AFF)
- Thermostats and peep-holes lowered to wheelchair height (optional)
It only makes sense to include some of these features in a new home. Life can change in an instant and it will surely change over time. These features combined with all the amenities for seniors in Tallahassee make Choosing Tallahassee and Neil Ryder Realty, Inc. the logical choice.