Our time to shine

When you have been around long enough to remember 8 track tapes, it’s both sad and humorous to recall the days when master bathrooms were tiny small. Garages were big enough for one or two cars but did not include the extra storage space of recently built homes. Some homes even had radiant heat in the ceiling, and uninsulated slabs covered by bricks, so you could stand at the bath vanity and shave with a hot head and cold feet. I lived in that place once.

Things have changed for the better, in most ways. Homes are much more efficient to heat (and cool), with less wasted space and kitchens any Wannabe Chef could make a mess in. And the bathrooms are so luxe you think you might stay all day.

Accept the evidence that our population is aging and the various named generations starting with boomers are now retiring and finding new aches and pains everyday. Admit it, you are not what you used to be.

Why then, with increases in disabilities coming from aging and other physical setbacks one might encounter, are newer homes not built ADA compliant from the ground up? You know the acronym as Americans with Disabilities Act.

A couple basic features of homes need to be different to accommodate someone who must use a wheelchair, for example. Doorways should be wider than is typically found. 36″ will do fine and without a big threshold to bump over. Bathroom fixtures should have secure hand grips and grab bars for entering and exiting and standing and sitting. Shower areas should be a little larger and should be on grade with the bathroom floor, without a curb. Lots more to mention, but these basic modifications could make a world of difference to a buyer today.

Don’t quote me on the exact count, but I did a quick MLS search for ADA compliant homes between 300K and 600K and came up with a grand total of 6. Now I understand a Realtor is going to hesitate to say a home is ADA compliant if they don’t know that for certain. Misrepresentation is a big no-no. But why are there not 50 homes or 100 homes compliant with that law out of the 1200 to 1400 homes for sale right now?

I think it is going to be a mistake if we don’t collectively produce a higher percentage of new homes be constructed as ADA compliant. The cost of remodel is high enough to be a deal breaker for most buyers who have needs.

Oh, I know the construction costs would be a little higher at first. But wouldn’t resale be a little better too? Have you noticed that homes with extra wide doorway openings and hallways create a more open and inviting feeling? Tell me your thoughts.

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