There are several good reasons for people to remain in their current home and to age in place. This is good news – and it gets even better as a concept. People want to age in place. This doesn’t mean that their home is ideal for their current situation – or that it necessarily is not. Each case is different. It’s the overall participation in the process that is noteworthy, and we have a major role to play in helping to facilitate this.
One reason that aging in place works and that people choose – either consciously or by just allowing it to happen – is that they like their homes. They like them more than they like the idea of trying to replace them and find something else. It could be the layout of the home – the floorplan and design. They like the room sizes, the number of rooms, the orientation of the rooms to each other (spatial relationships), and what they can do in their home. They like their yard, They like all of the additional features about their home – the garage, basements, bonus room, basement, pool, garden, fire pit, greenhouse, and other areas.
In addition to liking their home, they like the neighborhood and the setting. They like their neighbors and the home of their neighbors. They feel comfortable walking around the block (or a couple of blocks) without being concerned about loose dogs bothering them. They feel reasonably safe in their neighborhood.
They like the shopping in their neighborhood which may be available by walking a couple of blocks to it or by catching a bus or driving to it. It is convenient. There likely is additional shopping nearby as well, along with parks, playgrounds, dog parks, and other active and passive activities. It might be convenient to the airport and other transportation routes.
In short, they like their home, all that it represents for them, and what it offers them – even if it could have some improvements to make it even better. They like looking at remodeling shows on TV and looking at products and design in magazines and online, but they have no interest in moving from their current home or replacing it.
Another reason that people choose to remain living where they are and to age in place is financial or economic. They just cannot afford to replace what they have. Their property has appreciated from when they purchased it, and it would take an investment of double or more to purchase the same home in today’s real estate market. Some will find an even larger multiplier in effect. They just don’t have that type or ready cash, and they likely won’t find the same type of neighborhood (location and appearance) that they have now. Their taxes will be considerably higher, and many people live in neighborhoods or locations where homeowners association do not exist. This likely would not be the case if they relocated. While having an association is beneficial, there are monthly or quarterly fees associated with having it.
The real estate taxes where they live now are going to be less than on a newer property because they would have to pay more for an updated property. To pay roughly the same amount to purchase another home as what they can sell their present one for would mean that they would be getting a much smaller home as a replacement. Economically or financially, it doesn’t make sense for many people to consider moving. Add in the cost of fixing up their present home to make it more saleable or to satisfy a potential purchaser and the costs to market the property, and this would increase their costs of moving also.
A still other reason for staying put and not moving is that people have just amassed so much stuff over the years that they are not willing to deal with or prepare it for moving to a new location. This is just a huge deterrent to moving that most people are dissuaded from even considering a move simply due to the stuff they have.
With all that being said – the fact that people like their homes and where they are located, they can’t afford to replace their current home, and they have so much stuff they have retained that moving is not feasible – the main reason that aging in place is happening and that it will continue to become even more popular is that people do not like change. They will stay in their present homes because it is easy – even if they have not formally decided to stay and even if their homes aren’t adequately addressing their needs. They won’t break their own inertia. It simply is more effort to look for or find another place to live, even if they wanted to do so, than they are willing to undertake.