The 20-year checklist
What kind of house is most likely to meet your needs now and down the road? These physical features will boost your odds of aging in place.

A large main-floor plan, rather than a two-storey or split-level home. (Moving to a vertical townhouse is charming only until you need that knee replacement.)

Three-piece bathroom on the main level or a two-piece with room for a reno to add a shower .

Wide hallways and doorways to accommodate a walker or wheelchair.

Level walkway and front entrance. "It completely defeats the purpose of a bungalow if it's a raised bungalow, and you have to go up stairs to get inside," says real estate broker Caroline Baile.

Garage. You won't ever have to chip ice off your windshield again, plus you'll have room for all your sports equipment.

Short driveway. The longer the driveway, the more effort it will take to clear snow.

An old-fashioned front porch. Stay connected with your community even after mobility is reduced.

A version of this article appeared in the October 2016 issue with the headline, "How to Move Out of the City."

 

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