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The Shifting Landscape of Home Renovations: Aged-in-Place Remodeling Insights

A recent National Association of Home Builders survey indicates that remodeling projects that allow homeowners to age in place has dropped 14 percent since 2018.

Yet other indicators point to homeowners choosing renovations and upgrades as opposed to moving to new homes.

The NAHB Remodeling Market Index from the first quarter of this year indicated that 63 percent of professional remodelers undertake projects designed to allow homeowners to Age-in-Place, down from 77 percent in Q4 2018. This is the lowest percentage since the Q2 2006 survey (60 percent).

However, escalating housing costs and rising interest rates should have more homeowners looking to stay in their current homes, including those who want to age in place. A recent Zillow report noted that homeowners with mortgage rates below 5% are nearly twice as likely to want to stay put in their current home.

Houzz staff economist Marine Sargsyan told Forbes in August that those dynamics are, “instilling a sense of optimism among builders, remodelers, architects and interior designers as they look ahead to the second half of the year.”

Included in those two demographics those most likely to invest in aging in place remodeling: 65 and older and 55 to 64. The concept is simple: install improvements that can help people in the encore portion of their life stay in their homes instead of moving or choosing retirement facilities. Topping the list of improvements is grab bars that help prevent falls, followed by curbless showers, higher toilets, wider doorways and track lighting.

These additions may come after a fall or some other debilitating health development, but remodelers would do well to tell prospective customers about the advice offered by the American Society on Aging. It often encourages homeowners to see these modifications as pro-active, forward-thinking policy instead of health solutions.

Additionally, a 2022 report from The Boston Consulting Group concluded that when compared to the cost of assisted living, “aging-in-place represents a better experience, at a relatively affordable total cost, than the one offered by the traditional route.”

Given these factors, it seems remodelers should be reporting a higher number of aging in place projects. However, it’s quite possible that the decline is an indication some homeowners in these key demographics are choosing the do-it-yourself option.

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