By: David Holton-Kirk Holton Team
Recently I had the experience in showing a client houses that would accommodate a disabled child and could not find one for the longest time. Finely after a lot of frustration and patience, we found one that would need a few adjustments. After analyzing the house and discussing what needed to be done, a plan was agreed upon. I learned something during our search. With more and more baby boomers getting elderly and will need assistance of some sort, there is not a lot of housing stock that will accommodate the elderly or disabled. With rising health care cost ,I feel that more and more elderly will want to be at home more than be in an assisted care facility. So I feel retailers need to think old. The contractor I had to come and look at converting parts of the house, mentioned to me that he was discussing with another professional contractor that there is a niche in the market to converting houses into disabled access. ” It isn’t buildings that need to be re-engineered to serve the world’s burgeoning senior population, it’s the retail uses inside them” says Professor Jim Johnson Jr. Ph.D. William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Houses can be converted to include:
1) Grab bars
3) Wider door ways
4) Sinks to accommodate wheel chairs
5) Showers and baths with easy access
6) Walk out basements where parents can have their own spaces
We as real estate agents need to be aware of this growing problem, because it is not going away. If we are in the service business we have to provide solutions to this growing segment of our population. My experience with this recent client made me aware of my need to find out more about what is involved with the conversion of the existing housing stock and to get to know those contractors who are capable of making these changes.