stephen thompson 12.6

Easy maintenance important when remodeling

Suppose financially you could do whatever you wanted as you grow older. Would you stay in your existing home or move to a new one? If you are 35 or older and you would prefer to stay where you are rather than move, your answer is in line with 77 percent of those queried in an American Society of Interior Designers study who said they were likely to age where they now live. Where exactly in the survey would you fit in?

Of those respondents who stated they are extremely likely to remain, the majority were older: 73 percent of those over 65, and 68 percent of those 55 to 64, plan not to move. Comparatively, about half of those 45 to 54 plan to stay, while the percentage drops to 41 for those who are 35 to 44 years old.

The difference may be because more of those in the older brackets already occupy a home that meets their expectations regarding long-term aging or perhaps they have already moved into their “dream home.” Younger people, on the other hand, may have a vision of moving into a more desirable home when they have the financial resources to do so.

Of those who likely will continue to live in place, 27 percent love the location in which they live, 25 percent love the design and layout of their homes, 12 percent said their current homes were comfortable and 11 percent just like the house.

And, for those who are unlikely to continue living where they do now, 39 percent said the size of the house was wrong and no longer meets their needs. Nineteen percent felt their house was too large, while 11 percent said it was too small.

Nineteen percent would move because the current domain was the wrong location and nine percent wanted to move to a single-story home.

Forty-seven percent have no concerns about their present homes. Among those who do have concerns, 22 percent worry about stairs but won’t move because of it. Maintenance of the home is the second major concern (12 percent).

People want their homes to be more luxurious (39 percent). Desired changes include new appliances and fixtures (14 percent).

Among those already caring for an aging relative (6 percent), priorities are making the home comfortable for that person by making changes to a bathroom, possibly adding more space or making the home handicapped-accessible.

By far, more than half, 57 percent, said they want a house that’s easier to maintain.

The above figures came from a research initiative by ASID and four of its Industry Partners: California Closets, DupontTM Zodiaq¨, Sub-Zero and York Wallcoverings.

According to a Rutgers University survey, 90 percent of working adults intend to work at least part time in retirement. Almost 70 percent say they will work even if they have enough money to live comfortably. Americans are looking at retirement as an opportunity to improve the balance between work and family.

With more people working into retirement, time devoted to work, hobbies, travel and, in many cases, care for an aging or ailing family member, it’s easy to predict that time will become an ever-precious commodity and homes will be bought or remodeled with easy maintenance in mind.

Stephen Thompson is an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Questions and comments may be addressed to P.O. Box 361, Tupelo, MS 38802 or e-mailed to: thompson@cathymns.com