The demand for handicapped-accessible homes is on the rise

If you are selling your home in the near future, there are several different home improvement options to consider to make your residence more viable to potential sellers. But before you begin any renovations, you’ll want to do some research on your area: what homes are lacking, what potential buyers are looking for, and what features offer the greatest return. A lot of these answers are based on where you live and the demographics of the area.

For example, the median age of those living in Florida is 41.5 years old. Naples, in particular, skews even older with a median resident age of 65 years old. If you’re living in the Southwest Florida area, having a handicapped-accessible home can broaden the range of sellers you attract.

Now, this does not imply you should rebuild your home so that it is somewhat inconvenient for you as the owner, and more comfortable for a senior. Rather, as you think of ways to renovate your home while considering how it will affect its future value, consider making renovations that will broaden its appeal for more types of sellers.

Demand grows for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant homes

According to the 2016 Census Bureau survey, nearly 20% of the population – almost 57 million people – has some kind of disability. This number is increasing, as the baby boomers are reaching retirement, causing the demand for homes that are handicapped-accessible to grow.

Universally appealing changes

Make changes that are appealing to all types of buyers, including seniors or the disabled. This can include knocking down walls to create an open floor plan in the living and dining rooms. Widening door openings and aisles can help a wheelchair more easily navigate the home, and can also make your rooms and hallways seem more spacious. Maintaining the appeal to as broad a market as possible is key, so these changes can be handicapped-accessible without being obvious.

Specific ADA accessible features

  • Master bathroom: A handicapped-accessible master bathroom with a walk-in and zero-entry shower, is a growing trend. A zero-entry shower allows those with mobility limitations to care for themselves, and it can also make a bathroom seem more modern.
  • Accessible entrance: There’s no point in having an ADA-compliant house if a handicapped-person is unable to enter your home. You will need to have at least one entrance with no steps or a way to get around existing steps. You can build a ramp or “bridge” that connects the house and yard on a sloping site and place it in the back of the house so it’s not as noticeable.
  • Outdoor pathways: In order to make your backyard more accessible, it’s easy to use crushed limestone to make dirt pathways smoother for wheelchairs. You can also pave walks and driveways with asphalt or concrete.

Depending on your home’s current layout, making your home handicapped-accessible can potentially require extreme and expensive changes. However, if you’re looking to make a change and live in Southwest Florida, executing simpler home improvements that make your home more attractive to the increasingly-aging population can have substantial ROI and broad appeal.

Before making a big change, it might be helpful to consult a realtor with experience in the community. Dante Disabato has been immersed in the Naples housing market for over years and has his hands in all aspects of the real estate arena. Contact us today to see how he can help you.

This material is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, prior sales, changes, including but not restricted to, price or withdrawal without notice. A buyer should be represented by legal counsel and have a professional inspection and a survey of the property certified to the buyer to verify information contained herein and all other information upon which a buyer may intend to rely. William Raveis Real Estate.