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  • Writer's pictureRosetta Metz

Best Features of the Forever Home of Your Golden Years

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While each of us might have a different view in mind for our retirement, a quality home must meet your basic needs as they change through the years. Then again, if you don’t know what features might make a difference, you could experience problems down the road.

If you’re in the market for a house to spend your retirement in, here are some key things you need to know — brought to you by Lettuce Organize.

Think Accessibility

While the most common accessibility additions are grab bars and ramps to facilitate movement, there is more to consider. For example, you could widen your doorways, but you don’t necessarily need major construction. Instead, swap the hinges for swing-away versions, or replace the studs and brackets.

Similarly important will be a stairlift if you have a multi-story house, and a barrier-free shower or tub to make bathing easy. Likewise, anti-slip flooring can be useful, especially so in places like the kitchen and bathroom to help prevent falls. Although you might not need these features now, they may become vital later on.

When it comes to making modifications, it’s important to also consider your budget. Many homes will not be modified for accessibility, so when purchasing a new home you’ll need to include the cost of these modifications when calculating what you can afford.

Go Smart

Not only do smart modifications make everyday life easier, but they can also make aging in place simpler. In fact, General Security notes adding smart features can transform your home environment and save you money in the long run. Take, for instance, the utility costs if your thermostat is not adjusted before you head out, or if the weather suddenly changes.

Fortunately, by having a smart home, you can change settings remotely from a phone app, thus saving energy in the process. Moreover, a motion-sensor lighting system offers safety at night by decreasing your likelihood of tripping, and voice-activation control for appliances, such as your stove, can save you in a pinch. Indeed, many security systemsand cameras are now smart-integrated, allowing you to check on your property anywhere in the world, giving you peace of mind even on vacation.

Keep in mind that running smart devices, your favorite apps, and streaming shows can mean a lot of data usage. Happily, you can now get 5G in the Chicagoland area; check into the availability of internet services wherever you’re looking.

Think Low-Maintenance

In a perfect world, every house would be low-maintenance. However, you may have to search for certain features to find such a property. For example, you could look for bathrooms that have easily accessible pipes and boilers, or come tiled with waterproof materials.

Of course, you should consider the outside as well, as things like your roof will be constantly exposed to the elements. To keep things sound, think about a metal roof, which is likely to last anywhere from 40 to 60 years, and a composite deck to prevent warping, splintering, and rot. After all, the goal is to ensure your new property requires the least amount of work possible.

Neighborhood Safety

Nothing could be worse than falling in love with the home of your dreams, only to learn that it isn’t in a very safe area. To prevent that from happening, you’ll need to do a little legwork on whatever city and neighborhood you’re interested in. Thankfully, you can use a range of websites and apps to research livability scores and safety checks. Otherwise, consider asking potential neighbors some questions, not only to see if your property is protected but if the neighborhood is somewhere you'll absolutely love.

Local Medical Services

You want to ensure that the place you choose will give you access to quality medical care. No matter how healthy we are, we all need doctors and dentists eventually, so look at reviews for local hospitals and doctors. Of course, as U.S.News points out, some states fare better than others, but even specific cities can vary. Given this, be thorough with your research, as you should know exactly what level of care you can expect.

We all want to live in a perfect house. This looks different for everyone, as some may want a yard to garden while others prefer a balcony. However, no matter what, you’ll want that property to be accessible, safe, and easy to maintain to ensure your golden years are carefree.

Look to Lettuce Organize for more tips and information to help you with your daily life.

Kent Elliott

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