Universal Design Concepts Allow Boomers to Age in Place

Housing needs for people aged 55 and older are changing across the country, and Montana is no different. A recent Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies report estimates that “by 2035, one in three U.S. households will be headed by someone 65 or older.”

That’s more than 30 million people over the next 20 years. The problem is that only 1 percent of the housing stock is ready to meet the needs of people as they age.

So how can baby boomers in Big Sky Country begin planning for a future of independent living now, so
they can comfortably stay in their own homes with accommodations they can depend on, in a safe community? One option is Mostad Construction, which has been providing a solution for this type of housing for its clients for years.

As the owner, I learned about the growing demand for low-maintenance living in the early 1980s and have been applying the knowledge gathered over my 40-year tenure in residential home construction to serve the evolving needs of this segment of the market.

The baby boomer population is reaching a phase in life where a sense of community is valued, and quality of place is of the upmost importance. Homeowners are looking to communities to help them remain in their homes for longer periods of time and as their accessibility needs change. Mostad has discovered, generally, that people don’t mind being a bit closer to neighbors and most enjoy having more time to build a strong sense of a shared community.

Within this segment, Mostad has found that main-level living is a priority and the most desirable
home size is comprised of 1,600-1,800-square-feet of living space for the Missoula area. Homebuyers are less interested in basements and second levels (unless there is a need for space to accommodate guests) and more interested in quality features and finishes to complete a well thought out and functional floor plan. Rising building costs and fixed, or soon to be fixed, budgets are more focused on these well-appointed finishes to increase both comfort and style.

In the newest community underway by Mostad Construction, Valley View Terrace at Pleasantview, every
aspect of the design reflects the culmination of desires for this growing segment of Missoula homeowners. These homes feature barrier-free living, free of steps into and out of the homes, wider doorways and hallways for ease of passage, and curbless showers as an available option. As homeowners needs evolve in their years to come, the universal design concepts integrated into these townhomes allow residents to remain in their comfortable space, at home.

In addition to the design and layout of homes for the baby boomer segment of the market, maintenance and upkeep can be a hassle many simply don’t want to deal with. Valley View Terrace includes a comprehensive, professionally managed, HOA that takes care of all exterior maintenance including painting, window washing, landscaping, watering, mowing, snow removal and more.

Montana baby boomers, now is the time to begin making your plans. For those of you who are looking to
settle into your “last best home,” Mostad Construction is committed to meeting your evolving needs. Mostad homes are designed for independent living, allowing you to stay in your own home as you age, with accommodations you can depend on in a safe Montana community.

Gene Mostad is the president of Mostad Construction. Mostad is involved in sales and land development and also handles the overall management of the company. He started Mostad Construction 40 years ago as a one-man show. During high school, Gene worked in home construction. He found he loved it and attended the University of Montana and then completed his construction management degree in Utah.

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