Will Home Modifications Decrease the Resale Value of my House?Jamie Hamilton
An Interview with Jeffrey Kerr, Realtor
When faced with reduced mobility, people are often stuck trying to choose between two very difficult options. Do they leave the place they’ve called home until that point, one filled with treasured memories built up over the years to move somewhere new? Somewhere where they’ll be able to get around, have their independence back and finally feel at home once more. But that may be away from their neighbourhood, family, friends and support network. Or, do they stay where they are, and modify their home to meet their new needs so that they can get around safely once again?
It’s a tough call, and it’s made all the more difficult by a common worry faced by those looking to make home modifications: that the changes required would decrease the value of their home. It’s a dilemma. Do they then make the modifications thinking of the present and their own independence? Do they face the stress of moving somewhere new? Or do they make do without, with the worry of reducing the value of what is, most likely, their most significant asset?
To dive deeper into the subject and answer the all-important question of whether home modifications decrease real estate value, Age Safe Canada had a chat with realtor Jeffrey Kerr, who works with RE/MAX Unique Inc. in Toronto.
Jeffrey Kerr: helping clients buy and sell accessible houses and condominiums
So Jeffrey, what’s one of the first questions your clients ask you?
“One of the first questions I often get asked is ‘Should I modify or move?’ If my client loves where they live, I always encourage them to consider modifying. Not all houses are suitable for aging in place, so it’s important to get an opinion from a professional contractor that is knowledgeable on accessible modifications”.
What kinds of home adaptations do people consider making?
“Certainly, home adaptations need to address the current needs of the individuals, but there are many common, universal changes that can be enjoyed by the new homeowners as well. Things like a well thought out bathroom design and the inclusion of a home elevator are two of the biggest ticket items that can actually lead to a better resale value of the home”.
So, home modifications could actually add value, rather than reducing it?
“Yes, everyone can appreciate and benefit from a new universally designed bathroom. Whether you walk or roll into the bathroom, a stylish, well-designed universal layout will add value to your home. Navigating stairs can be a challenge for many. Adding a home elevator can make your home accessible for everyone for years to come. When it comes to selling, many buyers will appreciate having an elevator, especially older adults looking to age place”.
So there you have it
As Canada’s population ages, the need for housing stock that is move-in ready for people hoping to age in place will be enhanced, making an investment like a Homelift a no-lose proposition. Rather than decreasing real estate value, changes made to homes that add to their accessibility will, in fact, increase the value, from homelifts to any other modifications that may be necessary for anyone hoping to stay in their home, no matter the reason behind their reduced mobility.