Retiring? If you are going to be spending more time at home, now you have the opportunity to get to some of those house projects that have been on the back burner. Before you renovate or repair, have a home inspection to find out the condition the systems and components of your entire house. You likely already know about somethings that need to be addressed, but a home inspection can possibly find out more, so that when you call a licensed trade in for estimates and repairs, you can point to a list of items that can be taken care of all at once. It would be a shame to call in a plumber to have a tap fixed, only to have another plumbing fixture that you thought was OK blow out a month later and require a second and equally expensive service call.
If you plan to “stay here until I leave in a box” you can improve your chances of doing so if you make your house as safe as possible. Find out what repairs or improvements can be done to reduce the chances of falls, reduce hazards which can lead to fires, add safety features, increase accessibility, etc. The home inspection can be targeted with your wishes in mind.
Or, to prepare for future downsizing, move to a retirement home or nursing home, the house inspection will help you find out what could be repaired or upgraded on your house to increase comfort and safety now and maintain value to help finance your future needs when it comes time to sell the house.
Ideally, get a home inspection done sooner while your mobility and health are stable and you have time to evaluate your options.
Your Elderly Parents
Have your elderly parent’s home inspected for safety and maintenance issues. Aging residents are at more risk from inadequate railings, ice buildup, excessively hot water, trip hazards, etc. Some folks live in their places for decades and don’t upgrade much because they are used to it. Plumbing and electrical may have been fine in 1985 when it was last upgraded, but the condition of a lot of things may be hanging by a thread by the time you get involved in looking at maintenance on their house. Have the home inspected, then you can do repairs to make sure your parents are safe and comfortable.
A house which is not upgraded and in which major systems are allowed to age too long loses market value. Maintain the value of the home and protect the family assets. Get the house inspected before you are in the position of trying to manage a parent’s illness and/or move them to a retirement or nursing home, so that you can keep things up before the family is in an urgent situation.
For example, one elderly woman who was living in a big old house for 30 years needed to move due to health issues. While following the walls around the perimeter of the basement during the inspection, I realized that there was some unaccounted for floor space. A gap inside a non-descript utility closet opened up into a tiny room where the old heating oil tank had been closed in. A previous owner had even installed a baseboard heater right alongside the tank on the other side of wood paneling. No one in the family had remembered or realized that the tank was there. Ideally, it was recommended to have it removed to make the house more saleable, to avoid a red-flag insurance issue for a buyer. Measuring the doorways and access points revealed that removing the tank would not have been difficult, but due to the desired time window for selling, there really wasn’t time to deal with it at that point. I’ll never forget the client’s exclamation “ you mean all the time I’ve been living here I could have had that removed?!”