The size of the home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the layout are all major considerations when it comes to choosing a home for Residential Assisted Living. In general, bigger is better. More bedrooms and bathrooms mean more revenue. Private rooms bring higher income than shared rooms. Private bathrooms can generate an additional $500 to $1,000 a month in additional revenue.
Interior space can be reconfigured to create additional bedrooms. Adding bathrooms is significantly harder and more costly though. BUT adding bathrooms will create additional revenue that will typically pay for themselves in less than 1 year. Converting a large bathroom into 2 smaller ones is an alternative. Converting under-utilized rooms into bedrooms is typical as well.
Consider converting garage space and porches into revenue-generating bedrooms and bathrooms as well. Always use licensed contractors and get the proper permits when doing this type of work.
If required you may need to install a fire suppression system in the home. This can cost $10,000 to $25,000 depending on many factors. Installing a smoke detection system that is monitored by an outside service may be required as well. That is $1,500 to $3,000 to install and $30-$50 a month to monitor.
If these types of improvements and costs “scare you” at this point, I understand but you have to look at the cost to benefit ratio. If you invest $30,000 in these renovations and it allows you to make $10,000 per month in net revenue, how long is the “payback” period? Just 3 months. That is simple math and answers the question, “is it worth the effort?”
If you add an additional $30,000 in improvements that allow you to generate an additional $5,000 a month, would that be a good investment? Many real estate investors will remodel a kitchen or add a pool or addition or a deck, which could cost more than that and would only generate a fraction of the revenue that a Residential Assisted Living Home would generate.
The most common improvements to a home address the safety of the residents.
- Grab bars installed in the shower and around the toilet are common. If you are 85 years old, it’s harder to get up and to keep your balance. They are not expensive and they are pretty easy to install.
- Consider widening the doors as well. It doesn’t need to be every door, focus on the doors they will be using the most. 36 inches wide is great. If a senior has a walker or a wheelchair, that’s a real plus.
- If you can’t widen the doorway consider an offset hinge. For $15 gets the door out of the doorway about an inch. An inch doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re a senior and using a walker or wheelchair, that inch is going to save your knuckles.
- Smooth floors mean less of a trip hazard. Carpet is softer but it also increases the potential for a fall because seniors may not lift their feet when they walk and they can actually increase the risk of a fall. Good smooth surfaces to consider include hardwood, tile, linoleum, and vinyl.