Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: July 4, 2018 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Have you seen an uptick of requests for elevators in homes lately?

According to Realtor® Magazine, more homebuyers today are looking for elevators in homes, which was more popular in the 1800s, but slowly died during the Great Recession. However, the trend is coming back. Some people are looking for elevators to make a home more accessible to themselves or aging family and friends. Some are even trying to help their pets be more comfortable.

“Just last month I sold a home with an elevator for the first time. The home is a 12-year old divided townhouse with the subject property located on the second and third floors of the structure. My client did not set out looking for a home with an elevator, but since he is due for replacement of both knees, the elevator enabled him to buy a home he otherwise liked, but would not have been able to purchase if he had to navigate the steps,” said PAR President Todd Umbenhauer.

The magazine reported that elevator cost can range from $17,500 to $35,000, not including labor. It’s up in the air if the addition of an elevator helps or hinders a sale. A 2013 National Association of Home Builders report found that 70 percent of homebuyers do not want an elevator. However, an article from that same year in the Portland Press Herald found that elevator installation for a company in Newtown was up 25 percent, especially in homes perfect for baby boomers.

Umbehauer added some more about his experiences with elevators. “My first experience with a home elevator was through a very successful developer friend of mine who shared that his architect settled a disagreement between him and wife as to whether they would build a ranch home or two-story dwelling. Tired of hearing them debate, the architect directed he would design a two-story with an elevator. They immediately agreed, problem solved. In more recent years, I have observed newer, upscale homes in locations like Avalon and Stone Harbor being built with elevators included,” he said.