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sds333

1st Floor Master Suite

sds333
17 years ago

Hello,

We are getting ready to sell our house and move to Georgia near Athens. It seems that all of the homes I have seen online, especially new construction, has the master suite on the first floor. We have small children and the first floor master seems like a big negative to me. (We are in the Chicago area where 1st floor masters are uncommon, everybody here wants them on the 2nd floor unless maybe they are older and can't get around very well).

My question is, am I missing something? Is there something great about 1st floor masters that I don't understand? We are very concerned about being on a different floor than our children, not only for safety, but also for bad dreams, sickness, etc.

Are there some really good reasons to have them on the first floor that might change our minds? As it is, it is really going to limit our house search b/c it seems like everything has this first floor master.

Thank you for your help!

Comments (37)

  • oddity
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've always thought that the point was to be away from the kids.

  • sue36
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    sds1234,
    I'm right there with you. First floor masters are uncommon where I am (New England), but people seem to love them in other parts of the country. On this forum and on "Building a Home" you will hear many people say they will only consider a house with a first floor master.

    My biggest concern would be a fire. Are you going to be able to get upstairs to get them out? At what age can they be expected to wake up (many kids do not wake up from smoke alarms) and get themselves out?

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  • Mimou-GW
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We had the same problem. We didn't want our room right next to the kids but our youngest has had sleep issues and I didn't want to be running up and down the stairs in the middle of the night. The house we bought has all the bedrooms on the main floor but the master is on the opposite side of the house. So I can usually hear DS calling me but I don't have to deal with stairs while half asleep. Keep hunting you will find something that meets your needs.

  • quirkyquercus
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hey! welcome to the area.

    I agree with you 100% I think 1st floor master BR's is so stupid. I don't have any brats of my own but aside from that I like to have an area for guests to spend time and not have them snooping into the bedroom. Well unless of course that is on the agenda.

    It seems to be a more common thing to find 1st floor master s advertised in new construction but I assure you there are many many many resale homes with 2nd floor masters. Of greater importance to me is 2nd floor laundry room. That is priceless.

  • mrsjuric
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think it's a preference thing. When I was looking to build a two story I really like the ones with the Master down stairs. I think it allows for more privacy and a place away from kids. To check on your kids you can have a home intercom system or child monitors.

    Also, for having your a laundry room upstairs verses down stairs I was on the fence...while it's good to have it close to the bedrooms where the clothes would go...it would also be disturbing to ones sleep and pain having to run up there every time the buzzer goes off...(if your able here it for that matter)

    Again..it's just a preference thing...

  • c9pilot
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think it's a "universal design" thing.
    The first time I heard someone fawning over a downstairs master, I realized immediately that it was because they were older folks. Stairs become more difficult as we age.
    I love my downstairs guest room for my in-laws to visit, or I should say, they love my downstairs guest room, even though they have to share the only downstairs bathroom.

    In my new home, I hope to enjoy my "split floor plan" (it doesn't have "any floors", as my youngest used to say about one-story houses). Expect much more privacy with the master on the other side of the house from the other bedrooms.

    Did not like being across the house from babies or toddlers, even when on the same floor, as I had to endure in one home (it was similar to a split floor plan, only on the 2nd floor).

    Can anyone comment on this from a teenager perspective? My understanding is that you don't want to be so far that you can't hear them sneaking out (not that *my* kids would ever do that).

  • quiltglo
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Maybe I'm the the minority here, but we've passed up on homes where the master is away from the kid's rooms. It's a popular floor plan here, but I haven't know any mothers with small children who find it the plan of choice. We've been through all stages already from birth to adulthood. I prefer to hear my kids, not use something like an intercom. We'll have a bedroom on the main floor when we downsize after the kids are gone.

    Gloria

  • pkguy
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Most of the newer houes I see have all the bedrooms upstairs together, around here anyways. Now thinking about it though, nearly all of the small older, one bathroom, 50's built cape cod or 1 1/2 story houses seemed to have the bigger bedroom on the main floor and two bedrooms up for the kids.

  • jperiod
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    When I was a teenager, my parents had a 5 bed spec home built, 2 storey with a finished basement. Three bedrooms upstairs for my parents and two little sisters, main living areas on first floor, and 2 bedrooms and game room in the basement. The game room was my sisters' playroom (and our computer was in here too). The two bedrooms were for me and my older brother. We all loved it. I could play my music as loud as I wanted, because not only did I not disturb my parents, I didn't disturb the neighbors either (being underground!)! They also loved that they didn't have to see my pigsty of a room during those teenage years! ;+)

    Once my & my brother moved out and my sisters were older, they moved into a split floor plan. They didn't want to deal with stairs anymore and they wanted their privacy away from the kids.

    Now that I have a son of my own, I could also see wanting to be close now, and then moving to another house when he's big.

  • qdognj
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    we have 5 brs upstairs..master suite to left of foyer(br/bath/den) then 4 brs right of foyer...1 princess suite(used as guestroom) then a Jack and Jill suite and then the last br which utilizes the jack/jill bath...the furthest br is pretty far away.

  • cordovamom
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    When my children were young I would not have wanted a main floor master with the children's bedrooms on another level. When they were teenagers however, that thinking changed. We have enjoyed our main floor master away from the children. They could listen to their music in their rooms, entertain friends in their rooms etc without disturbing us. In my area of the south, a first floor master is highly desirable in the size home I own (5 bedroom 3 bath). Still it is not for everyone's lifestyle and if it doesn't suit your lifestyle, there are plenty of homes with the bedrooms all on one level.

  • Adella Bedella
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We have all the bedrooms including the master in the same area on the same floor. It's a safety issue. My kids are small and I'm concerned about fire, tornados, stairs, etc. I think that's probably a good plan for when they are teenagers too. Several of my friends used to sneak out of the house when they were growing up.

  • ma28
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I only look at homes where all the bedrooms are on the second floors. i can't imagine having my master' on the first floor and the rest of the bedrooms on a different level.
    I like the bedrooms to be away from the entertaining part of the house.

  • PRO
    acdesignsky
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It's definitely a lifestyle thing, but I want the MBR on the 2nd floor. While the kids are little, I want to be closer. As they get to be teenagers, I don't really want their friends hanging out in their rooms anyway, I'd much rather they were in the kitchen or family room, even if I'm not around. It's just harder to "go astray" when you don't have a door to close or lock. That was always a rule in my house growing up, and I plan on continuing the tradition. They also don't have a tv, computer, or phone in their room. I can stand the music, giggles, and blow drying chaos that accompanies a house of teen age girls just fine. Better safe than quiet!
    I like to keep private and public spaces separate, so I hate the idea of having my bedroom off the foyer or family room. Those are the busiest and loudest parts of our house. I do like houses with 2 MBR, one on each floor. Perfect for guests now and after the kids have gone to college, DH and I could move downstairs.

  • carriem25
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    When we built our house, our original design had a main floor master and a second story for the kid's rooms. The updated, more budget friendly plan had the master on the main floor and the kids' rooms in the basement, with no second story at all, :) Our basment is a walkout, so the kids' bedrooms are only steps from the egress - probably safer than on the second floor, anyway.

    Our kids were not that young when we started the process (9 and 6, now nearly 12 and 9), but they've always been excellent sleepers - I can count on one hand how many times they've been up in the night since toddlerhood. We wanted the main floor master for mobility reasons; we hope for this house to be our "forever" home, but at 45, dh has already had two knee surgeries. I don't mind having the master bedroom "in sight" of the rest of the house, as it is generally tidier than the public areas, anyway....We also insulated the master bedroom wall - with the door closed, it is reasonably quiet, even with people still in the living room.

    Carrie

  • cordovamom
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mobility issues are a huge reason why more and more baby boomers are desiring a main floor master. As a 50 y/o woman that has had 2 open heart surgeries and a stroke, I wouldn't consider anything else but a main floor master. When I was younger though and the children were home, I wanted all the bedrooms upstairs.

    Our home has it's own wing with the master suite, it's not a "public" area, it's secluded and no one wanders in when we have guests.

    There are so many floor plans available out there that if a main floor master doesn't suit your lifestyle find the floorplan that does. I'm at the point in my life that I wouldn't buy a home unless it did have a main floor master suite, but my sons and daughter are at the stage in their lives when they want all the bedrooms on the same floor. Different styles of homes for different lifestyles.

  • drcindy
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Don't give in! My good friend has this set up, and a 4 and 5 year old (they moved into the home before the youngest was born). It has not worked out at all. For awhile, she slept in the master with the baby, while DH slept upstairs with the older son. Most recently, they have ALL migrated to the master. Totally inconvenient as well as a total waste of space and money, IMHO. Don't quite know why they selected that floor plan in the first place, since there are many others available.

  • scullybean
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We almost didn't buy our current house because of the 1st floor master (I had an infant and a 4 yr old) but it had everything else we were looking for. And yes, when my child woke up 10 times a night it was a loooooong walk. But now, 3 years later, I really love the 1st floor master. It's a nice little retreat that's still convenient to the kitchen/computer/etc. It's become our 2nd living area whereas an upstairs bedroom would probably only get used at night. I do use a baby monitor in my dd's room. And yes, I do worry about fires, etc but we have practiced our escape plans.

  • finesse
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We're building a split plan with a second floor in Florida. We designed the house ourselves and it has two master suites, one up and one down. We don't have any kids at home. We'll use the upstairs suite and the downstairs will be a guest suite. When we get too old to manage the stairs, we'll move downstairs and the suites will reverse roles.

    If our son was still at home, I don't know how I'd feel about the bedrooms on different floors. I would have liked having a split plan so there would be some separation, though.

    Kevin

  • chisue
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Do we have to have an upstairs? How about all the rooms on one level? Nobody falls down the stairs. Nobody leaves "things" on the stairs to be taken up "next time". When somebody has a broken leg or is very ill, they are already "downstairs". When Grandma and Grandpa come to visit, they don't have to climb stairs. IF there is a fire, you are all already "downstairs".

    I grew up in a Georgian (two story). Since Baby #1 we have always lived in a single story house. Just built another one for DH and me six years ago.

  • dgmarie
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If you don't like it, certainly don't buy one. I wouldn't live in a townhome or apartment but they haven't stoppped making them for those that do.

    We have a first floor master. We didn't look for one but that's what we have. Our two children are in elementary school and it isn't a problem. If you're kids are up all night, it would be. As for fires, well, I worry about them as much as I do robot attacks. In fact, a fire is probalby 1000 times more likely to start on the ground floor than in their bedroom, and my smoke/CO2 alarm will pick it up first.

  • sds333
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you all for your input, I really appreciate it. You all have given me a lot to think about. (and the robot comment made me laugh out loud!)
    It's a funny market we're moving to, all the new construction (about 75+ in our price range)is 1st floor masters, except for three houses that have 2nd floor masters. Out of those, two are on very small lots and one is a ranch. Not that those things are the end of the world, it's just frustrating to be so limited.
    One friend of mine said that it's probably just a matter of lifestyle, and that things will probably be much more laid back in Georgia than Chicago. She said that while she wouldn't want one here in Chicago, she probably wouldn't mind one down in Goergia due to different lifestyle. Even though that doesn't necessarily make crystal clear sense, I understood what she meant. (or maybe the stress of putting a home on the market and moving out of state has finally gotten to me!)
    Anyway, thank you again!

  • jy_md
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm with dgmarie - buy what YOU want/need/prefer. We bought a one-story ranch so all the bedrooms are on the "first" floor. But when we were looking, we specifically looked for a house with a 1st floor master suite - for my 77 year old mother who can't walk up and down stairs.

    When we moved from our townhouse to our ranch, I was amazed how much happier my 45 year old knees were not going up and down the stairs. So for us, one story living or 1st floor master suite works but it's not for everyone. Keep looking until you find what you want!

  • Pipersville_Carol
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Even if you buy a house with a first-floor master, there's nothing to keep you from using one of the upstairs bedrooms as a master until the kids are a little bit older.

    That's what my parents did when I was a child. They used the "master" bedroom for several years, then moved to a different bedroom (and shuffled all of the kids' rooms around, too) as family needs changed.

  • ParisS
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    HI. I am in the Chicago area as well. I saw your post and I couldnt agree more. We have 3 young children 4, 8(9 tomorrow) and 12. There is no way, I would want 1 or any of them on a different floor than us. Safety, dreams, etc. It just doesnt work!

    Have you found anything yet in Georgia? Hopefully, you have some time and havent sold your house just yet. :-)

    Thanks,
    Paris

  • jojoco
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Have to chime in here. I am from New England and 2nd floor master brs are the norm. However, having lived recently in FL for 3 years, it was the norm there for the master br to be on the ground floor. In a part of the country where there is either new construction or a "resale", a 2nd floor master was a negative. It meant that your home might linger awhile on the market. It seems very regional to me. Now that I am in upstate NY, we put our master br on the ground floor. It fits with our home, but might not be for everyone.
    To each his/her own.
    Jo

  • kathleen_li
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't know what I would have done if we didn't have a bedroom on the first floor. DH was in a const accident when we were young and couldn't climb stairs for a year. I would have had to have made the living rm the bedroom..how lovely!!! One never knows when a fam member will become disabled, and a bedrm on the first floor is a lifesaver. If you have the choice, have a bedrm downstairs!

  • mmelko
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We have a first floor master and it was fabulous for a family with older children. Great for aging baby boomers. Would be a negative for a young family as I wanted to be close to my babies when they were babies. Having the master away from the children is a preferred new house design style down south. Either on the first floor or the other side of the house. Not the norm at all in the houses we have looked at in N.E. though.

  • saphire
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I always preferred an upstairs master however I never wanted to share a common wall with the children so you may want to look for that.

    I am moving into a more expensive area and twice now I have considered houses with downstairs masters. I am really starting to warm up to the idea. The fire thing does make me nervous with small children (and no I do not worry about robot attacks). I love the idea of using it for MIL now when she visits and maybe for us later. The house we are considering is a little too small for us so we might expand out over the existing master to create another bedroom. Or not. We have Two year old Twins who sleep through the night so I think it is doable

  • mnzinnia
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have owned 4 homes. I had 2 homes with the master on a different level than the kids rooms and never found it to be a problem. The first time our mbr was on the ist floor and 3 br's up. When I had a new baby I kept a bassinet and moved it between the lr and mbr for a couple of months, then moved the baby up. I had no problem hearing him when he cried at night and that was pre baby monitors. Sometimes had teen foster kids and it was nice to have some privacy.

    Later we built a new story and a half home when our boys were infant,7&10. This time we went for br's up (master suite), main (baby and with the thought of later use by anyone with mobility issues), and 2 in the lower level for the older boys. A great and flexible plan! When older son was off to college the younger moved downstairs and the main floor br became an office. They loved that I was the only parent that didn't complain about loud music! And you don't have to see the messy rooms. If you ever have your college kids home for the summer (or living with you after ..aarg), or older parents, you will especially appreciate the privacy We designed the main floor bath so that a closet could be converted to a large shower if more than a half bath was needed in the future. And when you are an empty nester, you can ignore the lower level because you have everything you need on the main and master suite. But it's there when the grandkids visit.

    Re safety...our story and a half home was built because a previous home burned down. It caught on fire during a power outage after a power surge around 8 PM. The entire stair area was engulfed in flames and smoke rolled upstairs. We were very thankful that our infant was not upstairs in his crib. We decided that we wanted no upstairs bedrooms for the kids and easy egress. Thus big crank out windows and two escape routes for every bedroom. Our kids had practiced home fire drills and this came in handy. We also went for two types of alarms as the Honeywell turned out to be defective and did not go off as it should have.

    I sure wish I currently had a house with a master br on the main level now so I could plan to stay in it as I aged. unfortunantly, I couldn't find one when I made my most recent move.

  • marys1000
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think its nice that there are different floor plans out there to suit different needs, something for everybody. Sometimes its seems like after your kids are grown no one cares about your needs anymore. I guess the bulge of older baby boomers, either with teenagers or empty nestors is changing that. Here its been impossible to find a ranch although new construction is starting to have a few.

  • devorah
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ahh, but Mary, the problem is that there often aren't a lot of different floor plans to choose from. Home builders must be the biggest copycats in the world. There is nothing being built in the area where I live except 2-story pseudo-craftsmans. Here the master suites are still on the 2nd story. I think that is because the cost of land is so high (250k+ per lot), that square footage is made up by having 2 - 3 levels. I was extremely lucky to find one of the only ramblers in my town. I love it because I have that aging knee thing. What puzzles me is that these 3-4 bedroom houses with office space, family room, formal living and dining rooms - have no yards. They clearly seem to be intended for families - but no yards!.

    My neighbor and I stopped in at an opening of a new development Saturday. The garages were either under the front of the house or the back. If in front, the only grassy area that could be used was in the back and vice-versa. My neighbor pointed out that there was absolutely no way to get a lawn mower from the garage to the lawn in either case. Some people are going to be in for a real surprise once they move in and have to cut the lawn. The other sort of sneaky think the builder did was to begin building on every other lot, so that it appeared that the first houses sold had lots of light and a view - when in fact they will have neither once the lots are filled in.

  • talley_sue_nyc
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    all the new construction (about 75+ in our price range)is 1st floor masters, except for three houses that have 2nd floor masters.

    Don't buy new construction! Buy something 7 years old, before the 1st-floor masters became big. You'll probably get a better price, too! Bcs whenever there's lots of new construction, the houses that are only new-ish have trouble selling and sometimes sell for less than new construction.

    One good thing--you'll know if the flashing is installed correctly; the house will have been "road-tested."

  • johnmari
    17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Chiming in about mobility issues! You never know when they might strike, and they're no respecter of age. We have absolutely loved having the first floor master, since I sometimes have a very tough time with stairs. (I'm only 36 but I have had chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia for 13 years.) The garage is a tuck-under which in some ways has been a drag (the stairs; putting a dumbwaiter in for groceries etc. was on the "someday" list) but in others has been wonderful, mostly because you can't even see the two-car garage from the front of the house! Thus we have the practical aspects of having the garage space with the aesthetics of not having an automotive eyesore glommed onto the house. :-) Almost none of the houses I have looked at to buy this time round have had a first floor master bedroom, forget a suite; when we were looking last time (with a bigger budget and lower prices) there were few houses with first floor masters and this was the only one with a first floor master suite. It seemed very luxurious! Most of what we have to select from this time are tiny 1-1/2 story 3/1 Capes with the bathroom and all the bedrooms upstairs which is not that practical for us. If I were in a bad flare-up I would be confined upstairs like the crazy aunt in an old novel! Surprisingly few of the houses in our price range (an admittedly scant supply, what we can afford doesn't buy you much here) are single-story, which would be most practical - I would be expecting to see some 50s ranches but haven't seen one in a couple of months.

    I think the way our saltbox Cape is designed WRT bedrooms IS very sensible, even though little else about the design is. :-) There is a small master suite on the first floor (which is basically divided into four parts: kitchen, living and dining rooms, and the master suite, with a small one-story annex off the kitchen containing the laundry room and a powder room) and three bedrooms and a bathroom surrounding a small landing on the second floor. Basically the kids have their own private "zone", as there is no reason for nonfamily to go upstairs, so maybe there wouldn't be so many arguments about not-so-neat rooms. :-) The house is small enough that there isn't any problem hearing someone upstairs from downstairs and one would certainly not have ANY difficulty hearing a baby cry (at least any baby I've ever tended!), maybe this is a problem with the huge new houses but you wouldn't need a baby monitor here unless you jump at every sniffle. Most of the folks I know with kids want to get away from them from time to time and have some privacy - I know I would be super uncomfortable getting romantic with my spouse knowing one of the kids was on the other side of the wall! - politically incorrect as it is these days.

    It's also very practical to have a first floor master suite if an aging parent moves in with the family; the parents can take one of the upstairs bedrooms, even if maybe they have to live without an ensuite bath (man, we're spoiled these days, aren't we? ;-)), so that the elder can remain on one level and be close to the family "action" of kitchen and living room instead of isolated by stairs they have a hard time negotiating.

    devorah, why have a yard with a "family" house anymore? *cynic mode on* Most kids don't seem to play outside anymore, except at their organized activities like soccer. They stay in with their computers and their Playstations and their iPods, where they're "safer". Before we bought this house in 2004 we rented a house in a "family" subdivision of 50 or so houses, where there was an absolute mob of gradeschool-aged children at the bus stop every morning but there was only one yard where you EVER saw kids playing outside. We would walk our dog around the loop and not see a soul under 30 outside.

    c9pilot, I managed to sneak out of the house when I lived with my folks in an 800sf single-floor bungalow - they weren't very smart to give me the bedroom with the windows that opened onto the porch! LOL But their bedroom was right next to mine, they were literally sleeping 10 feet away. I think if a teen is truly determined s/he'll find a way to get out and misbehave no matter how the house is designed, unless it's practically a fortress!

  • sewhappy_2007
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    While first floor masters might not appeal to families with young children, for those of us who are approaching retirement, it doesn't make sense to buy a home that doesn't have a first floor master. I'm still able to handle stairs easily, but when you are in your 60's, you never know when that could change. I also want to be able to have my 89-year-old father come for extended stays and possibly even move in with me (if I can convince him to leave his home town) and that absolutely requires a BR on the first floor.

  • notrafficinga
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am in my early 40's and I am already sick of stairs, lol !!! Crap that needs to go upstairs always sits at the base of the staircase. A nice ranch or first floor master is fine even though we have a young son. He is very independent and would probably bound down the stairs in the morning just as he does down the hallway now.

    Fires are concerning, but they are pretty rare. It makes sense to have a plan and rehearse it no matter how the layout of the house is. It is always possible that you will not be able to reach a child's bedroom. At four and a half years old, my son is old enough "get low and go" if he knows where to go. The safest bedroom (firewise) for a small child would be in a walk-out basement but there are other safety concerns with that situation.

    johnmari - you are so right. It bothers me that safety has trumped a childhood full of outdoor exploration and independence. By today's standards, my brother and I wouldn't have made it past 1st grade, but somehow, here we are almost 40 years later. We lived almost free of supervision from toddlerhood to adulthood both intown and on a large farm. Some of today's concerns just baffle me like living on a "main road". While I wouldn't live on a 4-lane street if I didn't have to because of the noise, my grandmother did while I grew up. St. Louisans may be familiar with Kingshighway. We used to cross it to go the corner store. We had enough sense to "look both ways" and we did fine.

  • metaphysician
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm in Johnmari's situation. I came down with CFS and fibromyalgia 22 years ago, with an occasional short remission. (I always said I wanted to retire by age 30, but I should have more specific. I won the wrong "lottery"!)

    When we looked for our house 9 years ago, it HAD to be a ranch, which are in short supply in our part of NJ. Even the 6 stairs to get into the house were often an obstacle. We were going to put in a stair elevator to make the cellar more accessible, or move the washer and dryer to the main floor, but fortunately it became unnecessary. We did make sure to get ones that can stack, and one bathroom is extra-large, so we still have the option.

    A friend of mine, who used to be a long-distance runner, lives in a 3-story townhouse. This is a major problem for her.

    You never know at what age your mobility may became an issue, whether it's an illness or an accident. Look at our governor, Jon Corzine. He was a hale and hearty ex-marine. All it takes is a car accident. Luckily, he's a multi-multi-millionaire, so he's personally paying to install an elevator in the Governor's mansion. Most of us aren't, so planning ahead makes sense. If you plan on living in your house a long time, think about your eventual needs, in addition to your current needs.