Three of the Most Important Areas in Your Retirement Home

The obvious would be the Master Bedroom, Kitchen and Great Room. We are not talking about those directly, but rather areas that are often overlooked when purchasing/designing your home.

Master Bathroom Shower

As we age, not many of us will want to be stepping over a tub to get into the shower, so a walk in shower is imperative for retirees. In actuality, a good portion of us won’t be able to step over a tub to get ourselves into the showering area!

The majority of new homes in the Carolina’s now come standard with a large shower stall and perhaps a separate tub/whirlpool tub. But, there is a very important test to consider when selecting your home. Step inside the shower stall with a towel and or a make believe towel and see if your elbows are knocking on the shower walls. If so, UPGRADE ASAP!!

The cost of a prefab fiberglass shower stall ranges from $500 – $1,500. Most have a bench and a place for soap and from the inexperienced buyer’s eye, the stall looks amply big. But if you get in one and test drive it, more times than not you will find it to be inadequate considering you will shower in this stall till it’s time you need help in the shower.

If the home comes with a stall, remove it and find someone who can install a large, walk in tiled shower that is roomy enough for two. Not that I am giving you any ideas mind you but, most bath towels are 5’ long while shower stalls are barely 4’ wide. If you are designing/building your Dream Home, make sure you insist on a generous shower and possible consider the fact that one day you might need to have the shower wheelchair accessible.

Every day for the rest of your life, God willing, you will be in your shower once or twice a day. Don’t get fooled by a fiberglass stall with a seat for most are woefully smaller than we can really enjoy.

Your Pantry

If you never have had a pantry, you don’t know what you are missing. Do not purchase/build a home with just cabinets, as you will be regretting that for the rest of your life.

Pantry’s are magical spaces in your kitchen. They are the catchall for everything from mops to paper goods to dust busters to boxes of pasta. They are a shrine to canned vegetables, cases of beer & soda, soup, plastic ware, light bulbs, spare air filters, flashlights, hanging aprons, you name it.

What is so wonderful about a Pantry is that all the goods are at easy to reach heights for everyone in the family. Instead of reaching up over your beautiful granite countertops to pull down your Wheaties, they are stored conveniently at eye level in your pantry.  And when you entertain – whoooosh, everything fits nice and snug behind that magical door!

Screened Porch

Regardless of where you retire, more than likely your spring, summers and falls should provide plenty of opportunity to be outside. A screened porch allows you to be outside yet not swatting away flies, mosquitoes, bees and anything else that flies. Equally important is that when it is time to dine, you won’t have to worry that insects are invading your deliciously prepared home cooked meal.

One of the nicest times to use your screened in porch is for reading the morning paper. Bring your hot coffee with you, your Sunday paper, reading glasses and your loved one for some well deserved downtime in the almost great outdoors.  Listen to the morning waking up. See the rabbits and squirrels frolic in your award winning Audubon backyard .  And turn on your favorite Pavarotti CD and relax on your very expensive furniture you purchased at the local wicker store!

And when your best friends show up for dinner, it’ll be all hands on porch as everyone savors your world famous grilled cheeseburgers and fine selection of California Chardonnay and Bud Light!

One trend I will make note of here are the 3 Season porches. Basically, what you do is add pull down clear plastic windows to the whole porch. The concept is to be able to use the porch for more than just the summer, as you are helping keep out the heat or cold. Reality check though says that if it’s cold outside, not many people will want to be inside their chilly screened in porch, so save the $5,000 and book a trip to the Virgin Islands for a couple of weeks.

Most Realtors, Architects, Home Designers and Builders will not focus on these three areas of your home like I do because well, they just simply aren’t me!  I have listened to my clients and observed what areas of the home are utilized and not utilized, and the Master Bedroom Shower, Pantry and Screened Porch need to be on the top of your list when you find your Dream Home! Happy Hunting!


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