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360 HOME LIVING: 3 key ideas for retiring at home

According to the AARP 87% of adults age 65 and above want to STAY IN THEIR CURRENT HOME AND COMMUNITY as they age. Among people age 50 to 64, 71% of people want to age in place. In other words, most of us want to stay in our homes – and out of an assisted living facility – as long as possible. Well, you can do it and here is how.

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AV Architects + Builders home built with an open plan and a Mediterranean vacation style and feel. Most people spend their time in the main floor and this will become a priority when you retire.

One of the key factors to enjoy aging in place is how ready your home is for this new exciting time in your life. With a little planning and a good architect/builder you can do it in style, comfort and safety in a home that you will love. A place that you’re certain that your friends and family will want to come and visit now and in the future.

Here are 3 key ideas to help you prepare your home for "aging in place":

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1. ALIGN YOUR FUTURE LIFESTYLE WITH YOUR HOME TODAY As you age, your life, your needs, your goals, your hobbies and your day-to-day activities will change; and your home should change too. Ask yourself: As I prepare to enter this new phase, does my home - as it is today- REALLY serve my needs for the future? Your priorities should be reflected in the distribution of your home. Think about each one of the rooms how they match the daily activities and the use you'll get out of them when you retire. For example, you'd probably be entertaining adults as much as grandchildren. If that's the case, then you may want to consider designated areas. Consider using the upstairs or the basement for kids, you know you won't be going there that much, and keep the first floor for your entertainment. You won't have to run around re-decorating rooms to be kid or adult-friendly each time you have guests.

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Most people in retirement, spend their time between traveling and entertaining- themselves and others. Why not be on vacation all year round? Your home should offer that feeling, which is just the approach that we at AV Architects + Builders have taken with our unique 360 Homes Living Philosophy.

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2. CONSIDER SMART DESIGN Whether it is building a new home or stay and renovate, you want to create a place that serves your new life now and in the future. The industry is producing more creative, beautiful, energy saving solutions for comfortable aging in place every day. With smart design you can remove some of the hidden hazards in your current home and transform them into beautiful solutions. If you're building new, you also want to include all the features your home is missing now and get it right from the start. Smart design should guide you to create a luxurious home with a retreat like feeling. Key features in "smart design" include: open concept plan, wider hallways and doorways, eliminating sunken rooms and split-levels, low-profile thresholds, curb-less showers, less number of interior doors and smart lighting design. Today, we have many new material options that will make your home feel right for retirement but not look like a "retirement home". nobody wants their home to have grab bars and unsightly ramps everywhere and with today's solutions we don't have to.

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3. WORK WITH YOUR LOCAL EXPERTS. There is no reason why you should know all this from the get go.You should consider working with the experts. Picturing yourself in this new stage and imagining your home in a new way is not an easy task. There are important things to consider that may not come to mind just yet. Working together with someone who has the expertise in home design and construction, may help you consider additional factors to make this a fun process and not a stressful one. You'll find experts in financial management for retirement, traveling for baby boomers and many others who can help you plan for and during retirement. For your home, a local architect/builder can help you “visualize” hidden opportunities for better space and functionality simply by walking through your home. Architect/builders like AV Architects + Builders are your local experts on finding those solutions and making your home safe AND beautiful for retirement. We often work in partnership with landscapers and interior designers that could help you with all the modifications you need in your home. Just remember, this is and should be a fun time in your life. There are experts who can help you every step of the way.

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Remember, your next season is your best season. We like to say: "You don’t need a retirement home, you need a great home for retirement!"

Make sure your home is ready to take you there: a luxury sanctuary that is safe for the “seasoned’ YOU down the road.

If you're looking for your local experts in the Northern Virginia area and more information on how to get ready to age in place try this:

360 Homes Talk Series: Aging in Place
Nesting for Empty Nesters Video
Other local resources to help you plan: The Kirney Team at MVB Mortgage .