Question: My friends are telling me to buy a house with a downstairs bedroom or master bedroom. I am only 52 and in great health and am not worried that I will need to avoid stairs any time soon. So what is the advantage of the downstairs bedroom for me?
Answer: We have a population full of "baby boomers" that are streaming into the retirement years. Not all of them can brag about great health like you. Also, there are families that are taking care of elderly parents who can't climb the stairs. The result of these demographic changes in our population, many people are buying single level homes or homes with a downstairs bedroom. Those homes have increased value associated with them that people are willing to pay. This is likely not going to change in the next twenty years and homes that meet the downstairs criteria will continue to hold their value. Even those people, like yourself, are looking ahead at an uncertain future and deciding that they don't want to have to move again just because they can no longer climb stairs and are opting for a home that gives them the option of living downstairs. What this has meant to the real estate market over the last several years is that single level living has been very popular. The puts ranch style homes at the top of the list of desirable properties in the minds of the buyers. After single level homes come two story homes with a downstairs master bedroom and secondary bedrooms upstairs. This option applies more to empty nesters or people with older children. And, finally, two story homes with a downstairs bedroom and bath. This option is best for those people who are taking in a parent or parents and will still have the option for themselves later in life if they need it. If you own one of those options, then you will have an advantage when you sell as there will be more potential buyers looking for those arrangements. If you are a twenty or thirty-something, you are not that concerned. You will likely move at least twice before that is a concern to you. At that point the only consideration is resale. If you don't have those possibilities (single-level living), then it may take a bit longer to sell your home. I would not pass up a home you love just because it does not have the downstairs bedroom; it is just one more consideration as you look for the next home and as you consider what the future may hold.