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Remodeling for All Ages

There’s a lot in the news about what various age groups want in a home. Millennials want to be close to transit and amenities. Young families want space and good schools. Baby boomers want community and accessibility in case of diminished physical condition.

What does all this mean if you plan to remodel? Several things:

  1. Keep in Mind Who You Were Several Years Ago and Who You’ll Be Several Years Hence.
  • If you are a Millennial (born between 1980 and 2000), you’ll likely move to the ‘burbs once the kids come (that’s where all your friends will be.) Don’t over-improve. Your home’s buyer will be 5–10 years younger than you and unable to afford a purchase price that recoups those expensive upgrades.
  • If you are an empty-nester, resist the temptation to replace all your bathroom tubs with showers, as your likely buyer will be a family with kids who need that tub, but do put a walk-in shower in the master bath for easy navigation if you plan to age in place.
  1. Today’s Trends Could Be Tomorrow’s Trash. While the younger generation will always want the latest and greatest, you can take things too far. Wiring for a great sound system will play well (pun intended) to 20- and 30-somethings so it is worth adding to your townhouse or condo. However, don’t have today’s best speakers built into your walls (something detachable is better) or a dock that fits the latest version of the iPod installed in every room. Those things will just need to be ripped out when the next “best” thing comes along. Anyone who grew up in one of those 1970s homes with an intercom system knows what I’m talking about.
  1. Lean Toward Classic and Clean. You can display your college colors or favorite pro football team’s logo in accessories, but don’t have them built into the pattern of your kitchen floor tile. The cleaner and more classic the lines, the better, especially for today’s younger buyers who tend to like things streamlined. Even if you’re not planning to move anytime soon, remember that you may not love that bold choice as much 10 years from now as you thought you did when you had it installed. (What about that wedding china you chose in the 1980s, hmmm? Still think a southwestern pattern in hunter green and mauve is your style?)

Wise choices about how to spend remodeling dollars now will make  your home right for people who want to live there in the future (even if that person is you).

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