The Meeting Place

Would you spend $30,000 to future-proof your home forever?

Builders are reporting a boom in spending by older Australians to future-proof their homes so they can age in place.

The prospect of having to downsize, or go into aged care, is not welcomed by most of the older population.

However, if you live in a two-storey house, it could be difficult to get around if you have mobility issues.

But with the price of installing in-home lifts being within reach of many home owners – especially if they are willing to take out a loan – new hope has been given to those who want to continue living in the family abode.

Online marketplace for tradespeople hipages has seen job listings for lift installations increase 20 per cent in the past 12 months.

Compact Home Lifts NSW sales manager David Mayer said many older Australians saw it as better value to install a lift for around $29,000 than to downsize and have to pay stamp duty and real estate agent commissions.

Would you borrow against your home to spend on future-proofing it?


When we moved last we chose a home that was conducive to elderly people’s lives and safety. It is a modest home by many people’s standards and not in a big city but driveable to Melbourne if needed. We paid $340,000 and it has doubled in value in just 12years. It is all on one level with no stairs and small outdoors to manage. It is not a townhouse so no body corporate which incurs extra fees. Obviously, we were lucky to move then as we could not afford a home now at present prices. We have room for family who often come between accommodation and we needed that as family is still interstate as well. 

the couple next door but one from me,  live in an upstairs unit,     and have stairs going fron the lounge up to the bedrooms,    the wife is asthmatic and has emphysemia,    is in and out of hospital,     the got a moving staircase put in about 3 months ago,   to get her from the bedroom to the lounge,  and vise versa,   [she never goes out,  except to hospital]     im sure they would not have paid anything like that price,,  they just wouldnt have had that money,     im staying where i am until they carry me out,    

You won't get a loan after a certain age

We even had wide doors put in just incase of wheel chairs needed to be used.  But look at the European homes, they have chair lifts that go up the staircase.

When in Italy in the 90s we asked why we never saw aged people walking the streets like we do here in Australia, the answer was that families look after their own so there is no need for aged care homes. Whether that is true or not I don't know.  But it was clear there are not many disabled aged people on the streets in Italy.

People that live two doors away, well they are live wires.....they are staying put till they go to meet their makers we get told.  A large house and these are people in their 80s with health issues, so the Government has helpers come in.  But although they have had major surgery they still remain home and hate the idea of living in a shoe box as they say.

It is getting more and more expensive to move these days.  It could easily cost $30,000 to move so I can see an advantage to spending that money on something tangible like a lift rather than have it more or less disappear into thin air.  It kind of makes sense if the only reason for moving is to move into a house that is more elder friendly rather than needing to downsize.

Of course the down side is that, like anything mechanical, a lift probably needs servicing regularly, leading to another expense.

Swings and roundabouts.

I am lucky as I have no steps in my home but I am on a hill so I do have ramps to from the parking area to my front yard and also front door

It costs twice as much to move.Another option would be to have family move in  upstairs