Every home purchase today usually involves a “Home Inspection”. Before going to settlement, it’s a good idea to make sure that the home is in good operating condition and that it will stay that way for a reasonable period of time.
As more and more Boomers enter their 60s, another type of home inspection is highly recommended. This inspection will evaluate every aspect of the home, inside and outside, to determine how well the home will accommodate your needs as long as you live there. By now, most people understand the value of a first floor master bedroom and bath and some even consider the option of total first floor living. Beyond that, most of us have no idea what belongs on our checklist.
AARP and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) came to this realization several years ago. The Remodelers™ Council in collaboration with the NAHB Research Center, and AARP developed the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) program to address the growing number of consumers that have a strong desire to remain independent and to live in their own homes regardless of age.
What does this have to do with the purchase of a new home? Making sure a home will be able to accommodate you in the future is up to you. A CAPS professional is trained to help you evaluate a home and make specific recommendations for improving the home’s livability. For about the same cost as that of a traditional home inspection, the CAPS evaluation will focus on areas of the home that may require modification to remain livable as you age.
New construction is popular with the relocating Boomer who doesn’t want to bother with updating an older home. Many new homes being built today, however, would not rate high on the “livability” scale. Some popular floor plans do have more open space in the main living areas, but they often fail when it comes to bathroom design, width of doorways and number of steps.
When you consider that even a new home will require some modification to age along with you, it makes sense to look at existing homes that may need some work but that are in desirable areas. For example, you might be able to buy a home that needs updating close to town. In addition to location, this option will allow you to remodel a home to your exact taste. An older home may be better built and there is little difference between ripping out and replacing an old bathroom or a new one that just doesn’t meet your needs.
Imagine that you have just purchased a new home – your dream house with expensive upgrades. Then imagine that you or your spouse has an accident that puts you in a wheelchair for the next 6 months. When you arrive home from the hospital, it hits you – you cannot get into the house. Even worse, you realize you cannot access the bathroom!
If you bought a home 40 years ago there was no such thing as a home inspection. Today, no one would think of purchasing a home without one. CAPS professionals believe that the same will be true of a CAPS Evaluation in the future. In Delaware, Bill Bell of Gotcha Covered! has been CAPS certified since 2003.
Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can plan for today. Add a CAPS Evaluation to your new home purchase checklist. To learn more about what a CAPS Professional can do for you and to locate one in your area, visit this page of the National Association of Home Builders web site.