Accessible Real Estate: What the Aging Population Demands of Builders

a blue house with a porch next to a tree

As a title insurance company serving builders throughout Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland, Lakeside Title Company understands the state of the housing market.

Accessible Real Estate is the Next Big Thing

A recent story in the Baltimore Sun highlighted the need for a new approach to accessible real estate and construction that takes into account a rapidly rising number of homeowners over 65 who don’t plan on moving anytime soon.

3 Million Households Renovated for ‘Ease of Access’ in 2015

Despite the rise in new construction over the past two years, less than 4% of new homes are accessible by wheelchair. Due to the lack of accessible real estate, many elderly people and those who suffer injuries that permanently limit their mobility find that building a custom home is just about their only option. Older couples looking to downsize into something smaller to live in for the rest of their lives also find that there’s little on the market that caters to older people.  With more and more people trying to live at home, the housing market has not kept pace to adapt to these homeowners realities.

1 in 3 Households will be headed by someone 65 or Older 

It’s projected that by 2035, 1 in 3 households will be headed by someone 65 or older. And 17 million households will include someone with limited mobility. These numbers come from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, which described the current moment as a “critical point” for planning how to meet the needs of the next generation of elders, who by and large want to stay in their homes as long as possible.

Builders Planning for the Future

Though the short supply of accessible real estate is somewhat concerning, many builders are now focused on helping homeowners “age in place”. Nearly 6,000 people have completed a National Association of Homebuilders course designed for just this purpose. The goal is to design a home so that it is attractive and functional for young families, but also accessible for aging people with limited mobility. That way, no redesigns are needed later on. For instance, building showers that are flush with the floor and installing grab bars in strategic locations throughout the house can make life much easier on older people without turning young couples off. Even if a young couple isn’t planning on staying in the home into old age, realtors can point out that these elements are useful for elderly visitors, grandparents, etc.

Title Insurance and Support for Builders at Lakeside Title Company

As builders and realtors begin rethinking their approach to accessible real estate, Lakeside Title Company is here to help. Lakeside Title Company serves builders, realtors, and lenders throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia and southern PA. We provide title insurance and numerous title services designed to streamline residential and commercial transactions. We look forward to working with you soon!

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