A home inspection of a condo in a +55 adult or age restricted development has to consider design features or their lack of, that should be incorporated into the build, to make the owner both safe and comfortable.
As we age, our housing needs change and downsizing becomes a viable option. For those of us fitting the +55 category there are specific features we should be looking for to make our next property both safe and comfortable.
Buyers who are focused on age restricted co-op or strata apartments have some very specific expectations regarding what they want to see in their ideal property. Profiling my North Shore (North and West Vancouver) and Sunshine Coast (Gibsons, Sechelt) +55 buyers I hear the following common needs and wants:
- No surprises
- Safe & secure
- Quite & peaceful
- No maintenance
- Lock & go
- Close proximity to transit
- Walkable to amenities
- Big enough for grandkids to visit
- Assigned parking
- Visitors parking
- Balcony or patio
By comparison, as a property inspector for an apartment or building specifically targeting the +55 demographic, I consider the following issues and features important to making an informed purchasing decision.
- Issues with owner-occupied apartment
- Issues & major future expenditures for common areas
- Slips, trips and fall hazards
- Fire escape routes
- Extra hand rails
- Exterior ramps
- Non-slip flooring
- Wheelchair access
- Emergency preparedness
- Age-appropriate bathroom modifications
- Door & window fitted with safety locks and stops
Certainly the above inspection list is applicable to all age groups. However with +55 age restricted developments, we consider it essential to point out those elements that have been specifically included, or lack of, for their benefit and safety.