In Switzerland, the number of over-65s is on the rise. This age group currently accounts for as much as 20% of the Swiss population. Demand for age-friendly living, whether in a house or an apartment, is on the increase. A guide to selling up and buying a new property suitable for accessible living.

Moving home: what to consider when buying or selling

Are you on the lookout for property suitable for age-friendly living? While buying can sometimes be speedy, the selling process is often protracted. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee your old home can be sold before the moving date. In that case, the buying and selling processes need to be taken care of at the same time.

Selling up when you haven’t even found a new home?

If a unique opportunity for a lucrative sale comes up, we recommend you go ahead and take it. You can temporarily rent an age-friendly apartment until you’ve found your dream property for old age.

Finding a temporary solution with buyers

Another option is reaching a temporary agreement with the person buying your old home. That might allow you to continue living in the property for a fixed period in exchange for rental payments until you have found a house or apartment suitable for accessible living.

Delay the buying process if you haven’t sold up yet

If you’ve already found a property where you’d like to spend your old age, but you haven’t yet sold your existing one, ask the seller for a delay or to sign the contract later. Our tip: sellers are usually happy to accommodate you if you pay your deposit earlier.

Renting as a temporary solution

If selling your house or apartment turns out to be a long-term project, you can also consider renting. You can ultimately use the earnings to pay the mortgage for your new home for accessible living.

What should you consider when buying an accessible apartment or home in old age?

We’ve put together a quick checklist of the key requirements for accessible living:

Age-friendly access

  • Can the apartment be accessed without steps, or is there a lift?
  • Are there handrails on both sides of the stairwell?
  • Is there step-free access to the balcony or terrace?
  • Are the door and hallway all on one level and wide enough?
  • Is there step-free access to the entrance and lift? Is the lift big enough for a wheelchair?
  • Is there parking close to the entrance?

Accessible bathroom design

  • Does the bathroom have an easily accessible shower?
  • Is there a folding seat or a stool in the shower?
  • Does the bathroom have handrails?
  • Are there stickers or a bath mat in the shower or tub to reduce the risk of slipping?
  • Can you sit comfortably in front of the washbasin and see yourself in the mirror?
  • Does the bathroom door open outwards and can it be unlocked from outside in case of emergency?

Age-friendly kitchen design

  • Does the kitchen have seating?
  • Are the worktops and hob accessible in a wheelchair?
  • Do you have a stove monitor with a turn-off device?
  • Are the kitchen appliances and cupboards easy to reach?

Age-friendly living area design

  • Is the bed the right height so you can get up easily?
  • Is the bed accessible from three sides, so people are free to assist if you’re receiving care?
  • Does the living area have a non-slip floor covering?
  • Are the window handles easy to reach?

Engel & Völkers is a one-stop shop, helping you sell your property and find a new home suitable for age-friendly living and tailored to your needs. Call us now or send us an e-mail , so we can help smooth the process of moving home.