Buying

Planning for your property’s future: an adaptable home

Purchasing a house that is perfect for you right now is a challenge enough. But when investing the time (and not to mention money!) in a house, it’s important to consider whether or not it will service your needs as they change in the future.

Depending on what stage of life you are in, your needs may change dramatically, or the shift may be marginal. It comes down to knowing what you want from your future, and assessing what that future will look like in terms of your home. You may be purchasing a first home with the view to save up and sell to upgrade, or maybe you’re at the opposite end of the scale and have just downsized. Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle looking to settle down just where you are and seeing where the ride takes you.

No matter what stage, prior to making a purchase you should still consider how your needs may change in the future, and account for whether or not the home will be able to service them.

Here are some things to look at for in an adaptable home:

1. Floorplan

One big thing that happens for many homeowners is that they outgrow their homes. Particularly in the case of young couples looking to start a family, a cosy house can immediately feel claustrophobic once babies and toddlers are added into the mix. If your house is on the smaller side, consider how the floorplan could be extended or reformatted to add extra space and functionality. An extra bedroom or bathroom space can go a long way and add a few years to the life cycle of your family home.

Floorplan of an adaptable home with computer nearby.

2. Accessibility – inside

If you are getting on in years and looking to purchase a home for the twilight years of your life, it’s important to think about how your mobility may be affected. You may be able-bodied and healthy now, but account for that natural ageing process, and consider the fact that you may not be too keen on a daily flight of stairs from your bedroom to the kitchen.

An industrial-style living area with spiral staircase.

3. Accessibility – outside

As much as you need to be able to get around your home in both youth and old age, think about how you will be able to get around the neighbourhood to and from the house. Is the area well connected to public transport? For commuters is there an easy way into work, or school, or university? Is there space to park a car (if you have one), and room for guests to park theirs?

4. Style

How can you know if your home will age faster than it should? This all comes down to styling. Avoid purchasing a property that relies heavily on a current trend, as this will date the home very quickly and is unlikely to be as popular five or ten years down the track – making resale more of a challenge. Stick to classic style that will never go out of fashion. You can check out more styling options on Pinterest.

Purchase with the future in mind so you can sleep easy knowing your home has the capacity to stand the test of time, and you can enjoy it for the next five, ten or even fifty years of your life!