In today’s day and age, there are few people who buy a home and then stay put for the rest of their lives. Indeed, it’s commonplace to live in multiple homes throughout one’s life, expanding or contracting as lifestyles and individual needs change and evolve over time. However, in the world of custom home construction, specifically, we commonly get the question, “How can we design a home that we can live in today, tomorrow, and well into the future—no matter how old we get or how our family dynamics change?”
It’s truly a great question, especially when taking into account the investment most people make when designing a custom home. In this post, we will aim to discuss how a forever house doesn’t only have to be physically accessible to address aging and the passage of time—but also how to recognize and accommodate changes that occur in habits, lifestyles, and traditions as we morph from individuals who have busy and hectic schedules into the role of retirees.
Forever Is a Long Time
When designing a forever house, there is a lot to take into consideration—from individual features in the home and the layout to the location of where you plan to build. Therefore, consider the following tips as you strategize on your luxury custom forever home.
- Accessibility is key. As we age, it’s common to lose mobility. While it’s true that no one wants to think about aging or the challenges that we might face in our Sunset Years, if you truly want to ensure your forever home suits you throughout all stages of your life, then this is an important point. Trust us when we say your future self will be appreciative of the foresight. Make sure your master bedroom is located on the bottom floor. This way, the majority of your day-to-day life can be managed on the first floor of your house and you can avoid climbing stairs. If you really do want a master bedroom on the second or third floor, ensure stairways are wide enough to enable modifications like a mechanical chair or stair lift.
Other points to consider here as well include the ability to add shower bars, pool lifts, or even wheelchair ramps. This means ensuring doorways are at least 3 feet wide, hallways are 4 feet wide, and a 5-foot turn radius is present. Larger spaces will present fewer complications in the future.
Additionally, it’s possible to add or install an elevator that could go from the basement to the top floor of the home. To do this, the elevator shaft needs a depressed area in the basement floor and the shaft must align from top to bottom. The elevator can be installed at a later date and the shaft, in the meantime, can act as a closet until the need for this arises.
- Think about space with a long-term perspective. You might have several kids at home right now and it’s true that you recognize that someday they are all likely to leave the nest, meaning you will need less space; however, what about down the road, when your kids have kids? Don’t forget that while the idea of downsizing is entertained by many, the fact remains that you still might have the opportunity to have a full house when you host your offspring’s brood. Therefore, think about how your family might change over the next decade, as well as the decade after that. Furthermore, if aging in place is important to you, contemplate the realities of in-home care. Your family might want to help you in the future either in the form of spending time with you at your home or hiring an aide. In this regard, all of those extra bedrooms are going to come in handy.
- Location, location, location. Of course, with any luxury home, location is always key. If you currently have young children at home, no doubt you are probably thinking about the school system that you want to send your children to. However, as you get older, it’s also important to think about the amenities that a neighborhood has to offer. Are there grocery stores, doctors’ offices, hospitals, and other important resources around? You want to think about how long it will take to get somewhere, and if the location can be easily accessed by emergency vehicles, like an ambulance, if you are ever faced with such a situation. Therefore, when considering where to build your luxury custom home, do your due diligence in scouting the area. Does it look poised for growth? Is there any reason to worry about neighborhood decline? Are a lot of people moving to the area? Could traffic become an issue? We realize some hypothetical speculation might be encountered here, but the more you research and brainstorm on, the better the chance that the house you build will truly be the place that you call home for the rest of your life.
Interested in speaking with someone about other components that go into building a luxury forever home? Contact SeBern Custom Homes today and learn about how we can help you achieve the goal of putting down roots that will last forever.
To set up a free consultation, call SeBern Custom Homes today at 630-377-7767.