Staging for Aging
Posted January 25, 2021 in Real Estate Trends
Over 56 percent of our state’s (voting-age) population is over the age of 65, according to Washington State’s Aging and Disability statistics. This population is buying homes faster than any other sector of the home buying population. Today, home builders are specializing in building homes specifically for those seeking to age in place. So, if you are staging to sell your home, there are a few different things you might consider when making your home more attractive to this group of home buyers. There are ways to accomplish this while making the home appear attractive to all buyers.
Since eyesight can diminish with age, letting natural light into a home is a best option. Spaces with windows should allow the light to come inside. If you are shopping for a home to age in place, look for a home primarily with north-facing windows, because northern light offers the softest and most-consistent light. Short of natural light, consider task lighting. Can light be added for seeing the kitchen counter better? Dedicated lighting for work areas can help cut glare and shadows within any room. These amenities will be appreciated by any home buyer.
Next, take a look at the color within the home. Typically, I like to select three main colors for the most impact within any room when staging. When considering designing for the ages, keep in mind that as our eyes age, we often lose the ability to differentiate changes in levels. Thus, if the countertop is the same color as the floor, it can be harder to see the space between. While we might not want to change out a counter or a floor to sell a home, we can add complimentary décor to focus on the differentiation such as adding non-skid rugs. Color doesn’t have to be as extreme as black and white. But, too much of one particular color on the same color is out. Thus, white on white or black on black is a no-go.
Simplicity and accessibility are important. Clearing hallways and bathroom areas can make the home look more spacious. When you are addressing bedrooms, try rearranging each room so that the space gives flexibility for grandkids or boomerang kids. Take a hard look to see if there are rooms in your home that look like dedicated work space or home work space. If so, try to clear the space so it doesn’t speak just to work or to having young kids. Clearing the areas for varying projects will allow you to gain the interest of both younger buyers and those looking to age in place. Another simple idea is to change out door knobs for door handles.
When you stage, try to include some modern accessories. Add a coat of paint to something old or add art, or a chandelier. The look will create newness and appear fresh. As you add a few accessories, consider what items might help to add some luxury. If a home is being purchased as a final home, the buyer has most likely spent a life working for better things and will appreciate the effort.
Dianne Morris is a real estate professional and specializes in the home staging industry for her listings.
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