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Old 03-10-2016, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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In 2007 we bought a house about 3/4 finished. It is close to 5,000 sqft and was custom designed to steal a bit of space from a 3 car garage and a large storage closet on the 2nd floor for a future home elevator. The house is on a crawl space. We use that "future elevator" space as a mud room but if we put an elevator in there is plenty of room in the garage for a bench, pegs, storage lockers for the kids etc.

The original builders decided not to buy and that is where we came in. Now we are in the position of needing either an elevator or buying one of those stair climbers to get to the second floor. The elevator is very expensive but the stair climber is butt ugly and I'm thinking it would be a big negative for future buyers.

We are hoping to downsize in about 2-4 years to a single story home. Can we recoup the cost of that elevator? We haven't had any elevator people out yet but I just wanted to run this by the professionals here.

Thank you for your comments. Also do you recommend a particular brand or have warnings we should heed?
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:47 PM
 
6,111 posts, read 3,448,900 times
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I don't think you will recoup all the cost of an elevator. It's not something pretty or shiny. But if it's something you need now, then you should consider it a necessity and not worry about the resale value.
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:50 PM
 
16,719 posts, read 16,419,166 times
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I don't know anyone that would buy a house with an elevator. If they are so bad off they need an elevator, they'll buy a one-story home.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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Not necessarily true- Maryland has a strong market for stacked town homes (two over twos) with elevators for the upper unit.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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5000SF? You may do OK with the elevator, but surely not enough to recoup all the costs.
I think it would help if it is very nicely integrated into the floor plan, and not just tacked on. I have seen them tacked onto a house in awkward appearance and utility, and that turns into a negative.

It WILL limit your buyer pool, so you will probably be looking for someone who needs one, not someone who will take it if they can get it for "free."
If you have pretty firm downsizing plans, I would probably go with a stair lift, especially if you have a rear staircase. They aren't particularly attractive, agreed, but they are cheaper; they work; and they can be removed for resale. IF you buy and move and sell a vacant home, no one even needs to know you ever had it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:25 PM
 
44,993 posts, read 18,651,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
I don't know anyone that would buy a house with an elevator. If they are so bad off they need an elevator, they'll buy a one-story home.
Might be difficult in a 5,000 sq. ft. home not to have an upstairs. So you may have some appeal to some well-to-do families where wheelchairs are part of their lives.

But I imagine that overall, those who have mobility issues shop for one story homes.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:29 PM
 
Location: NC
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I can imagine an older couple with kids and grandkids who still want space to have family gatherings. An elevator would be perfect to allow them to keep the big house rather than downsize. What does a nice elevator cost 40-50K? If you only need it to carry 500 lbs you can get one much cheaper Cost to install an elevator - Estimates and Prices at Fixr This guy says the average cost for a small one is about 15K.

Since I am also a senior, I think that if I design and build my next home, even if it is less than 3000 sq ft, I might add the elevator and eat the cost of it on resale when I go into a CCRC.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:39 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 76,254,813 times
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I have seen a handful of both VERY large high end homes as well as some high end townhomes designed for folks in their twilight years being built with elevators. It is not very common and obviously it does require either a situation where their is still an extended family and/or live-in caregivers to assist the person(s) with mobiity issues and THAT is really the far more costly aspect of dealing with aging / mobility issues BUT the trends are shifting. More folks from cultures where multi-generational living is common are now affluent enough to give serious consideration to high end homes and even folks of more modest means may decide that the exhorbitant cost of care facilities means it might make sense to combine households and directly care for those with mobility issues.

I know that there are some residential elevators available under $20K -- AmeriGlide Residential Elevators , assuming that your 5000 sq ft home is even just $200/sq ft the cost is such a small percentage of total sale price that it really ought not be a burden to those shopping of such a costly home. As others have said the issue is really one of "necessity" and you really should be grateful that you did purchase a home that was pre-designed for a built-in elevator rather than having to deal with the hassles of the "stair lift" type solution...
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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It's not hard for you (or, potentially, your heirs) to remove the stair lift for sale. That's how I would go.
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:08 PM
 
12,018 posts, read 9,683,316 times
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I've never been in a home with an elevator. Best to get a chairlift. I've seen some of those elevators on TV in homes and some are small and as slow as a chairlift. I would think it's scary to think you could get stuck in one. I also think those chair lifts look scary too. As far as 2 story homes, that's the norm where I grew up. There were no one story homes on my block growing up except for a small duplex. In Florida it's the opposite, the norm is a one level home. If you can market to people in a wheelchair then an elevator cost can be recovered, but not guaranteed. I would rather turn a den into a bedroom downstairs if possible until I can sell and find a one level home.
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