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Posted Jun 14th, 2016

Accessible Home Plans: Major Buyer Concern, Big Epcon Strength

Epcon’s ranch-style homes use open floorplans to anticipate buyers’ long-term needs.

Brock Fankhauser, Principal of NewStyle Communities, an Epcon Franchise Builder, will tell you: Epcon homes have dozens of desirable features but one of the most sought-after for many is the accessibility that the open floor plans provide. In fact, Fankhauser’s first sale when he got started with Epcon in 2000 was to a couple who was looking for a home with easy access for the wheelchair-bound wife.

Epcon homes are for the long-term

According to U.S. census data, the 65+ demographic is the fastest growing in the country. Interestingly enough, as per a Metrostudy report, they also comprise the largest (52%) percentage of new home buyers. What do these new home buyers want? According to Epcon’s internal market research, they are looking for a lifestyle that’s not consumed by mowing lawns and pulling weeds. Instead, they want low-maintenance homes with plenty of entertaining space to foster an active lifestyle.

Equally, since a home purchase is a long-term investment, it’s a good idea for builders to look into residences with accessible features that these 55+ buyers may need down the road.

Epcon’s copyrighted open floor plans provide features for wheelchair accessibility.
Epcon’s copyrighted open floor plans provide features for wheelchair accessibility.

Epcon homes meet these needs and check off many boxes for accessible, low-maintenance lifestyles including:

  • Single-floor, ranch-style plans—Eliminate the need for climbing stairs.
  • Zero-step entrance—Allow wheelchair users to come and go without navigating front steps.
  • Wider doorways and hallways—the width provides a wheelchair-friendly feature.
  • Low-maintenance exteriors—Reduce the need for tending to the shrubs, lawn, and the home’s exterior. Many Epcon communities are managed by condominium associations, which manage much of the mowing, raking and shoveling needs.
  • Open floor plan—Provides a space for turning around in each room.
  • Easy-to-operate hardware—Make it easy to open and close doors, windows, and faucets.

These features are especially relevant when one considers data from the AARP stating that 71 percent of Americans aged 50-64 want to age in place. They don’t want to move to an assisted living facility — they want to stay in their own home, near their friends and neighbors.

Epcon floor plans enjoy wide demographic appeal

It’s not just the 55+ demographic who is looking for ranch-style, low-maintenance homes. According to the National Association of Home Builders, a recent study on housing preferences indicated that about two-thirds of homebuyers – 64 percent – would prefer a single-story home, with millennials at 35 percent, Gen Xers at 49 percent, baby boomers at 75 percent and seniors at 88 percent. In fact, a majority (83%) of the top-selling floor plans in 2014 featured first floor bedroom suites.

Epcon homes feature first-floor owner suites with no steps needed to access them.
Epcon homes feature first-floor owner suites with no steps needed to access them.

This means Epcon homes with their copyrighted ranch-style open floor plans are increasingly in demand across all buyer demographics. Especially relevant for Franchise Builders is Epcon’s commitment to staying abreast of industry demands. Epcon invests heavily in market research and continually tweaks its copyrighted floor plans so Franchise Builders have the most up-to-date floorplans. Building an Epcon home is working with a tried-and-tested recipe — Franchise Builders have to simply follow the processes that have worked for 30 years.

Epcon homes are perfectly poised to meet market demand now and for the foreseeable future and their accessible features will be an important consideration as the key 55+ demographic, the majority of new home buyers, according to a Metrostudy research report, looks for homes that can meet their needs both today and tomorrow.

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