According to new research from home equity platform Point, most senior homeowners want to age in place, as nearly 90% of homeowners aged 50-80 years old say they want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. However, many are unprepared to pay for the necessary home improvements, according to Point’s Aging in Place Survey.
Against a backdrop of record home equity in the U.S., paying for improvements like no-barrier entryways and handle bars in bathrooms should be easily accessible.
However, only 17.8% of homeowners said their home was completely ready for them to age in place. In addition, many seniors expressed worry about high-interest rates and are concerned about taking on debt.
Given their financial situation, they may have turned down from traditional loans like HELOCs and cash-out refinances. Seniors living on a fixed income may not even qualify for products without cash on hand, pointing to an overall unpreparedness in getting their homes ready to age in place.
Almost one-third of homeowners who want to age in place said they don’t know how to pay for necessary improvements, despite anticipating thousands of dollars in costs.
How will you pay for updates to your home that are necessary to age in place? (asked of respondents who said their home is somewhat or not at all ready for aging in place)
- I have enough cash to pay for all necessary updates: 34.50%
- I will take out a reverse mortgage: 1.38%
- I will take out a home equity investment: 4.13%
- I will take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC): 7.63%
- I will do a cash-out refinance: 1.13%
- I intend to save enough to cash to make the updates: 16.88%
- I don’t know: 31.50%
“Not surprisingly, an overwhelming number of senior homeowners want to age in place. But it’s more telling how many appear to be financially unprepared to make necessary renovations,” said Amanda Woolley, Point’s head of communications. “Homeowners may be underestimating the financial impact of transitioning their home from its current state to something that’s more appropriate for their long-term needs. In addition, homeowners might not be aware that they have the means to tackle this challenge with the equity in their home without taking on any more debt. Point’s Home Equity Investment is a great solution for homeowners in this circumstance.”
Yvonne Galletta, a long-time Bay Area resident, found herself in this exact situation in 2022. She wanted to stay in her home but knew the home wasn’t prepared to age along with her. She was able to leverage her home’s equity to stay in her home with a Point HEI safely.
“We earned the equity in our home through decades of caring for it — and now we're taking our earnings and using it for where it's needed for the years ahead. Having options like Point relieves a lot of burden for families and their future — giving them the freedom and choice of how they choose to live their life now,” said Galletta.
To read the full report, including more information on Point’s Aging in Place Survey, click here.