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Real Estate Blog & Resources

Housing designs for retirees

After putting in decades of working late hours and weekends all while living in a starter home, many people are beginning to retire. This means these hard-working individuals are ready to put this previous life behind and buy land to build the house of their dreams. If you're a retiree planning to construct the home you've always wanted, there are many floor plans that ideal for just this kind of lifestyle.

Even though you'll want to hire an experienced architect to truly bring your aspirations to life, that shouldn't preclude you from telling him or her what you'd like to have included in the floor plan. This will be your house after all, and you'll want to live in the perfect place for your golden years. With this in mind, there are some key points you need to keep in mind if you're a retiree who plans on building your own home. While there are plenty of fun and exciting things to include in the floor plan, you'll also want to ensure incorporate the features necessary for aging in place, if you choose to do so.

Here are several ideas for homes that work great for retirees:

Incorporate your passions
Now that you're retired, you're going to have a lot more time to dedicate to your passions. Unfortunately, since people have such diverse interests, most run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter houses don't come outfitted particularly to suit a specific hobby. However, now that you're building the home you've always wanted, take the opportunity to add a space for all your passions. If you're an artist, include a room with a high ceiling and lots of windows. If you play a lot of golf or live close to a course, Builder Online recommended that you might want to make sure the garage has room for your golf cart. Do you love to cook? Put an emphasis on the kitchen and add extra space there. Do you like gardening? Make sure the house and yard are designed in such a way as to give you a view of your garden from the kitchen or a bedroom. This is the chance to dive into your passions and really make them a part of your everyday life.

Don't neglect geography
Once you buy land to build your dream home, you need to be sure to take into take into account how to use the landscape to your advantage. There are many ways to incorporate not only the actual ground, but also sunlight and many other natural features. Be sure to position your windows so they get the most natural sunlight possible. This includes both the living area and the master bedroom. Building on a plot that has a significant number of trees can potentially cause problems with construction. Further, if not properly maintained, tree roots can seriously damage sewer pipes and a house's foundation. However, at the same time, having a curtain of trees surrounding the house can add more privacy and a lush sense of nature to the property.

Increase safety features
Many houses on the open market were built quickly, with little emphasis placed on the overall safety of the home. However, as a retiree, you're no longer a young pup who can easily maneuver up and down staircases as easily as before. At the same time, falling in the tub or shower can be dangerous at this age. For these reasons and more, you should ensure your dream house has sufficient safety features in place, according to This Old House. These include no-slip floors (especially on staircases and bathroom), as well as safety features in the bathroom such as grab bars or handrails. In addition, having a telephone extension in the bathroom can go a long way in case of an emergency.

Age in place
Now that you're around retirement age, you probably aren't going to want to move again. It's never too early to start planning for the years to come. In this vein, House Plans noted that it would be wise to include features that allow you to gracefully age in place without the need to uproot in your later years to relocate to an assisted living or nursing facility. If you choose to go this route, there are few options to consider. Single-level designs eliminate staircases, which can become exceedingly difficult as you age. Open-floor plans that have a combined kitchen/dining/living area are typically easier to navigate, especially if a wheelchair or walker is needed down the road. Since so many retirees have to deal with arthritis, install twist-free faucets, lever door handles and flat-panel light switches, all of which are simple to operate.

Retirees interested in buying land in Texas to build their dream home should contact SouthStar Communities for more information.

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Now more than ever, retires are moving out of their old homes and buying land to build their dream houses