Why seniors are building custom forever homes

23 Apr 2021 - Design-Build

Age in place with a custom home built for the 65+ crowd.

You’re 67 years old and imagining your future home. Do you see years of home maintenance followed by a necessary transition to an assisted living facility? Or do you see a brand-new modern home designed to meet your evolving needs so that you can age peacefully at home?

Here at Bellamy Homes, we’re noticing a trend: The 65+ crowd wants to ‘spend their children’s inheritance,’ as the saying goes, and do something this age group has traditionally never done—build a new custom home.

Why are 65+ couples building new homes?

The steep stairs. The narrow hallways. The five bathrooms and the cupboards with hard-to-clean panels. In a lot of ways, traditional family homes make it challenging for people to embrace aging in their own homes. As we begin the journey to our golden years, we begin to need well-designed spaces for walkers, wheelchairs, and everyday conveniences such as easy to clean surfaces and less clutter.

For many ‘empty nesters’, the next step is to move into a condo so there’s less yard work or housework while maintaining your independence. When the time comes and our journey requires a helping hand, another move, typically to an assisted living facility or the home of a family member, would be in order.

For many among today’s seniors, what they really want is a home that allows them to age comfortably in their own home.

While previous generations in this age bracket have been very frugal right to the end, many are realizing they’ve worked hard for this wealth and their children are encouraging them to enjoy it.

Building a custom home when you have young children and you’re working full-time can feel overwhelming, but at this stage of life you have more time to do research and study modern architecture, it’s an incredibly exciting adventure that brings great purpose.

Instead of asking why would you build a new home at this age, the question is really, why not? And when you go for it, how can you make it count so that this home has everything you need and want today—and in 20 years?

What are some of the new home trends that help people age in place?

Bringing the outdoors in
There could come a time when mobility challenges arise, and yet being able to enjoy the serenity of nature will be a great comfort. Here are some ways we’re helping homeowners create that connection to nature:

  • Large windows extended to the floor
  • Multi-slide doors to open up the living room to the outdoor living space


Courtyards for time outdoors and security
Many seniors feel secure going for walks or to parks on their own for years to come, and some like to enjoy the outdoors closer to home. Consider:

  • Setting back the front door approximately six feet and gating a courtyard area perfect for reading with a coffee in the morning sun
  • Enclosed terraces and patios with easy to open windows & doors


Smaller footprints for easier cleaning & no wasted space

  • Just one spare room for guests or a future live-in caregiver
  • Perhaps 2,000-2,500 square feet rather than a family home of 3,500
  • Walk-out basement suites in multi-generational homes so you have a home and yard, and family nearby to assist when it’s needed
  • Simple lines and open spaces which make them easier to clean and less prone to clutter


More room in other areas
As part of this planning for the future, areas are built to accommodate accessibility needs. Consider:

  • Wider hallways, a larger front closet, and entrance area
  • Wider entrance doors
  • Wider stairways or additional spaces for future elevators or chairlifts
  • Blocking behind walls near toilets and bathtubs for future grab bars to ensure structural integrity.


Elevators and lifts

  • Outdoor elevators that lift from the walk-out basement patio to the upstairs deck
  • Stylish outdoor and indoor elevators, such as black powder-coated metal with glass rails so it enhances the look of your modern home.
  • Building the floor system for a future elevator complete with conduits for power so you can enjoy your home for many years, even with mobility challenges.


What about the resale value of a custom-built home for seniors?

If you’re wondering how bringing unique designs into your home will affect future resale value, Canada’s senior population—65 and older—is expected to grow by 68% over the next 20 years. (source).

The 65+ crowd is feeling empowered by the idea of creating a home that allows them to live out their years the way they want to. Rather than thinking about what happens to their homes when they are gone, seniors are focusing on what’s important now.

Learn more about what it means to create a custom home designed with current and future needs in mind in our article Beyond the Floor Plan: Building a Custom Home for Your Lifestyle.

Are you curious about the design-build process and how seniors building custom homes can enjoy versatility and comfort for years to come? Reach out to Bellamy Homes so we can learn more about your ideas. 778-940-7803