Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Q: We are shocked at how prices have changed on Vashon.

We've had a home here for 18 years and now that we are retired, we want to buy down to a one story home. My husband has a little back trouble and I don't really like stairs much anymore. Looking at what's available for what we want to pay is very discouraging. I don't think we can afford as nice a home as we have now, even if it's smaller. I hate to think we have to move off the island, but we've started to look in some of the less expensive areas. I'd like to get a referral from you for an agent we can trust on the Key Peninsula.

A: I am sending you a referral to an agent I think will do a good job for you. But, before you pack up and move away, have you considered an elevator? I know this sounds crazy at first, but even the best elevators are a great deal less than the cost of selling a house and then buying a new home.

I recently visited the home of some folks who have a beautiful pneumatic elevator that is being sold by a Canadian firm. Pneumatic means it has no need for a room full of motors and pulleys. Instead, it uses air pressure to operate. I took a ride in it and found that it moved smoothly, with no bumps or jerks, and felt comfortable and safe. It was also attractive!

There are a full range of elevator types for homes now. As the baby boomers have begun to reach retirement age, many industries are catering to them by providing better products for their older years. Elevators are one good example.
I would venture to say that a really nice elevator will cost you less than the closing costs of selling your home. Some of the elevators attached to stairways are even less money than the moving costs it would take to move you to another area of the state. Think about it.