Everything Short People Should Consider When Buying a New Home
Being “low” is a kind of subjectivity. Medically speaking, a person is considered undersized if they are more than two standard deviations below the average for their population for age and sex, whatever the hell that means. If you’re short, you know it. You don’t need to do math. People will tell you first and foremost and you’ll experience little stupid indignities and inconveniences throughout the day, like not being able to get to a bar to grab on to on a crowded bus and getting pushed around because some taller asshole won Do not move away from the vertical rack, which you can reach.
If you are short, you also know that these little humiliations and inconveniences can happen in your own home. It’s disgusting, to be honest. However, when you are looking for a new place, there are a few things you can look out for that can make your life more convenient.
View any potential homes in person
First things first: if you are a shorty and want to get a new place, you need to visit them all in person. In large urban markets where renting is difficult and competitive, this can be quite difficult, but it is important.
“You can’t tell from the photos. It’s impossible to tell height from photos,” said Jessica Bordelon , a Louisiana realtor. She said it’s very important that you raise your hand above your head in all areas of the future home and make sure that things you will need to access, like closets, are easy to touch without having to stretch or strain. . Any short person is familiar with the process of climbing up a tabletop like a monkey, but do you really want to do it every day for as long as you are in this place? No, and that’s why you personally check the houses.
When renting, stay away from vaulted ceilings
While big, airy rooms are nice and all, vaulted ceilings usually signal that an apartment has a lot of vertical space, and whoever built it probably used that when it came time to install closet shelving and living room cabinets. . kitchen. A squat, more compact apartment won’t feel spacious, but you’ll be less likely to run into shelves that can’t be reached.
A bunch of extra storage space is a luxury, but it’s completely useless if it’s not in use or leaves your stuff out of reach. You won’t be able to build much in the rented space, so avoid these places altogether. There is no solution to the problem.
In a house that you could own, imagine where you could put a decorative staircase.
Do you know the scene from Beauty and the Beast where Belle runs around the library on the revolving stairs? These things are convenient; That’s why Barnes & Noble has been using them for years. In a house that you will own and that will be allowed to make structural changes, imagine where you could place it. A mobile rail ladder adds classiness that a conventional ladder or stepladder can’t match, and gives you the ability to build multiple vertical shelves that you’ll actually use.
“If it’s a rail staircase, it’s always there,” warned Bordelon, adding that while a permanent decorative staircase can be “great” when done right, it must “fit in with the design of the surrounding space.” She suggested making the staircase multifunctional. Build a small door on the side and use it as a spice rack or attach a towel holder. You will already be spending money on construction, so you can make it as efficient as possible.
The kitchen will be one of the biggest problems
Bordelon recommended looking for a home with longer cabinets rather than smaller ones that are vertical so you don’t have to constantly pull out a ladder or go into gymnastic mode.
But the kitchen will give you more trouble than your cabinets. Match countertops and any island or bar. Imagine that you are standing and preparing dinner. Is it comfortable, or are flat surfaces too high for you? A kitchen renovation can cost thousands of dollars, so while you can certainly gut a room and have a contractor install counters and flat surfaces that are better suited to your height, consider whether the investment is worth it. If you like the house and the stalls are the only problem, that may be the case, but if this is not your dream home or a place you plan to live for a long time, it might be worth checking out other places with squatter counters.
One often overlooked issue for the undersized in the kitchen is the breakfast bar. If the bar is too high, you will need to place large tall stools under it, so think, “Are these the chairs you want to hop on and off of? If you stay in this house until you are 60, do you really want to go up there?”
Bordelon advised to “really think about longevity” when looking for a home. If you really want to be there for a while, you need to make changes so that the kitchen stays comfortable and usable even as you get older. You will always be small, but remember that one day you will be old and small.
Don’t Forget to Consider Your Bathrooms
Bordelon is not just a realtor; she is a landlady and a short person. She explained that she is 5ft 1in and when she bought her house she adopted it from a tall couple whose various household structures were “optimized for tall people”. She knew right away that she would never use the high shelves throughout the house, but the bathroom was the one that irritated her the most.
“Probably the biggest obstacle was the bathroom mirror,” she said. It was simply too tall for her to comfortably see herself, so be sure to check all mirrors while you’re looking for a home. She had to lower the mirror, but this created a new problem: there was a hole under the original mirror, and now it is covered by her new, lower mirror.
Don’t forget to also pay attention to the shower head, although it’s a bit easier to fix. Some shower heads are not accessible to short people, but standing on the edge of the tub to adjust them can be dangerous. You may need to invest in a new shower head, which is a negligible cost but can add up when other costs are factored in. Add it to the list next to all the ladders you need, but if this list of possible expenses gets too long, consider looking elsewhere.
Pay attention to the little things in the house
Does your potential new location have a ceiling fan? Most people won’t look too closely at this, but if you’re short, see if you can reach the cord. A longer cord is another expense you need to add to your list. While you’re there, go around and check all the outlets. Are they achievable?
Imagine where all your things will go. Is there enough space for low-level storage? Is it too high above the mantle for you to reach the TV if you decide to put it on? Are there a bunch of places where you will need to hire tall handymen to attach your stuff? Can you reach all the ceiling lights with a ladder, or will they still be too far away and you’ll have to call in someone bigger to do something as simple as changing a light bulb? Small expenses can become a big annoyance over time.