While the 55-plus buyer prefers their master bedroom on the same level as their kitchen, there are times when stairs are acceptable within the home.

With the popularity of Fitbit, Apple Watch, and other fitness tracking devices, NEXTadventure buyers are increasingly health-conscious. Locating an exercise room on the second floor makes sense as climbing the stairs can be a great warm up to a workout. The room could range from a simple yoga/stretching space to a full-on gym experience with strength training equipment and cardio machines.

The second story is also a logical space for grandchildren to stay when they visit; giving them a dedicated room is a great way to entice them to come by more often. It doesn’t have to be elaborate—it can simply be a bunk room built into the attic trusses.

When it comes to storage, having permanent, dedicated stairs to access items is a big plus for the 55-plus buyer—don’t make them use a rickety, pull-down stair in the garage. Give them a permanent staircase, either in the house or the garage. This is especially important when dealing with a buyer who’s used to basement storage.

Man Cave, Firethorn Model Home, 225 Bumble Way.  Summers Corner, Summerville, SC.
Chris Johnson of Johnson Pictures - Sabal Homes, Summerville, SC Access a man cave or other getaway space via a set of stairs.

Lastly, stairs are also acceptable for a getaway space: a game room, man cave, lady lair, you name it. After years of working at separate jobs, many 55-plus buyers discover that too much togetherness can be stressful. Having a space where you can occasionally get away without actually leaving may save a marriage or two.

When designing stairs into the 55-plus buyer’s home, avoid designing a straight-run stair and always include a landing or switchback stair. This makes the stairway look less arduous from the first floor and less scary from the second floor.

With these tips in mind, builders are able to consider multilevel homes as a viable option for 55-plus buyers. See great stair solutions at the NEXTadventure home in Orlando, Fla., at the International Builders' Show in January 2017. Sign up now for a tour.