Depending upon how many trips around the sun you’ve had, finding a home that is conducive for aging gracefully in may be at the top of your list of priorities. We have been fortunate enough to work with many Buyers that have Hawaii on their vision board as their post-career home. Even though many believe Hawaii is a ‘fountain of youth” of sorts with its tropical weather, warm water, and healthy lifestyle, it’s always good to prepare your home or purchase a home that ages nicely with you.
Below are a few key elements that we have found to help smooth the transition into the potentially less mobile years.
Single Level Floor Plan
Luckily there is a fair bit of single level construction inventory here influenced by the plantation days. Single story homes are great for mature adults. It’s also advisable to keep furnishings sparse and pathways uncluttered. We call that functional minimalism.
If you already live in a multi-story house or have your heart set on one, consider moving the master bedroom and bath to the main level.
As we get older, bathrooms can pose some slippery and unforgiving dangers. Instead of abandoning bathing altogether, consider installing a taller profile toilet and replacing bathtubs with a spacious no-curb shower stall. Interior lighting, slip-resistant flooring, a fold-down seat, easy to reach controls and adjustable, handheld showerhead with an extendable hose is also an added safety bonus.
When possible, especially in the sometimes wet tropics, at least one entry to the home should be covered and easily accessible with a smooth transition. Also consider installing motion sensor lighting to illuminate walkways at night. Repair and replace uneven walkways, broken concrete, and loosened or crumbling bricks or pavers.
The kitchen is where people generally allocate the most renovation dollars. Look for an open design and varied counter heights (between 32 inches and 42 inches) to make it usable for various ages and abilities. Have a healthy blend of both natural and artificial light for both aesthetics and for safety and convenience.
Give some thought to your lifestyle and priorities and make adjustments accordingly. What space isn’t being utilized to its fullest potential, and can it be turned into something that makes your house even more of a home for whichever stage of life you are in?
Luckily, aging doesn’t happen overnight (although it can feel like it does with a newborn baby that does not sleep). Preparing your home ahead of time is key to make the process easier on both you and your bank account. While there may not be the perfect house to fit the needs of everyone in your family, there is the rare exception that checks almost all of the aforementioned boxes no matter what age group you find yourself in. 6040 C Kahiliholo Road is a beautifully designed single level home with an easy entry under the porte-cochere, open style kitchen, and innovatively designed expansive floor plan to fit extended family or help if needed. If aging in place in paradise is your path, this one may be worth a closer look.