Rural areas are expected to see more growth in the 65-and-older population than urban areas over the next few decades, according to a report by the Urban Institute. But for those expecting to grow old in their home, it could prove problematic. Many of the aging homes in rural areas are not suitable for elderly homeowners, the report says.
Sixty-one percent of homeowners age 55 and older say they plan to remain in their home as they age, according to the 2016 Aging-in-Place Report. The report says more education is needed on not just explaining what it means to age in place but also what it means to “thrive in place,” the report notes.
Further, the ULI report is urging the real estate industry for greater rehabilitation of aging homes in rural areas and for increased training and capital for rehabilitation projects. Also, seniors may desire more options of smaller, newer homes to move into. Expanding home equity programs to allow older homeowners who are still mobile to tap into home equity and update properties may help alleviate current inventory shortages too, the report notes.
“The number of aging homes that are good candidates for rehabilitation is expanding much faster than new households throughout rural America, making this rehabilitation need urgent,” the report notes. “Many households can make the investments themselves, and installing energy-efficient systems can offer savings. And as demand grows for home retrofits, so will the experience of local contractors and the building industry more broadly, increasing innovation and decreasing cost.”
Source: “Aging Population Faces Challenges in Aging Homes,” MarketWatch (Dec. 28, 2016)