Remodeling for accessibility may be necessary to stay in your home as you age or if you become disabled, but how do these modifications affect home resale value? Despite having an aging Baby Boomer population, home buyers may not want certain features made for accessibility in homes they buy. To what extent should you keep resale in mind when remodeling for accessibility? |
Remodeling for Accessibility is your Right
If you own a property, you have the right to modify it to suit your needs and make it safe and accessible to yourself and those who live there. What you must consider when remodeling for accessibility is the amount and type of renovations you need and then consider whether the amount of money you must spend to do so is worth it. Many people underestimate the true costs of making a home workable for someone who wants to age in place or who has mobility issues, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions.
Basic safety upgrades such as adding grab bars and replacing door knobs with levers are not a major expense. Adding wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, vertical lifts, a walk-in bathtub, and other major improvements like making wheelchair-accessible doorways and lower wheelchair-height counters can really add up. If you love your home, have the resources to undertake extensive remodeling for accessibility, and plan to stay there for the foreseeable future, spending the money can be a worthwhile investment.
Selling a Handicap-Accessible Home can be Challenging
Chat with a Realtor®, and you will find that many buyers do not like these features unless they need them for themselves or a family member. They may view ramps as unsightly, walk-in baths as impractical for bathing children, and lower counters as inconvenient for most standing adults. The improvements do not add to the value of the home - except to the buyer with a need.
Tips for Selling your Modified Property
While you should do remodeling for accessibility to make your home livable, here are a few tips for selling your home if it is modified:
-Although what you added to your home was costly, be prepared to accept that these improvements may not have universal appeal, especially if the home is in a neighborhood of starter homes. What you consider "improvements" is unlikely to add value to your home, as measured by a higher selling price.
-Either remove grab bars and patch the wall or upgrade them to more stylish models that scream "helpful" not "old" or "disabled." As for other upgrades, get the opinions of real estate professionals before removing them. The common prevailing wisdom is that you should leave the ramp or stair lift in place, but be willing to remove if the new owners do not want it.
-Your ideal buyer is someone who needs the modifications. Work with a real estate agent certified as a Senior Specialist or who has a track record of working with seniors, veterans, or disabled clients. Such a person should have a good handle on how to market the property and may even have clients who might be interested.
When marketing a handicapped-accessible home, it is essential that all the renovations be professional in quality and in line with ADA requirements. When remodeling for accessibility, only work with a professional firm that specializes in home modifications and installations of stair lifts, vertical lifts, and other accessibility equipment.
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