Maybe you have an older relative who wants to downsize or maybe you’re even talking about having that relative move into your home, or to a smaller house nearby.
More and more Americans seem to be facing issues like this as the nation’s population grows older.
The most recent U.S. statistics indicate that more than 46 million people – about one in seven of us – are 65 and older. About 98 million, or twice as many, will be that age by 2060.
Options and ideas seem to be growing for aging baby boomers. Here are some possibilities for providing new living space:
Build an addition
A bedroom-plus-bathroom addition to your home could cost $100,000 or more. At approximately $350 per sqaure foot, a 700- to 1,000-square-foot casita could cost as much as $350,000 to build. T
hose are estimates from local contractors and from remodeling publications.
If you have a spare bedroom and bathroom that you want to use, you still may have to do remodeling, including grab bars in showers and baths and providing a walk-in bathtub or shower. You may have to remove carpeting and replace it with hardwood or tile, so your family member can easily use a walker to wheelchair.
You will probably want the new area for Mom and/or Dad to be on the first floor if you have a two-story house.
Buy a manufactured unit
If your zoning will allow it where you live, you can have a 600-700 square foot modular home built by a mobile home company and installed on your lot as a residence for parents or other aging relatives. The cost will probably be about $70,000 (or approximately $100 per square foot).
Be sure to investigate local building regulations carefully. You should also plan to have this unit equipped with aging-in-place amenities, such as wider doorways, hard-surfaced floors and a specially-equipped bathroom.
Some major home builders, such as Lennar, are marketing home plans that include a separate independent living unit under the roof of the main house. Lennar’s Next Gen extra units can be as large as 600 to 700 square feet.
These units can be used for adult children or visiting friends or even Mom and Dad. A special space like this can even house a live-in caretaker or attendant for aging residents occupying the main part of the home.
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