If you have an elderly parent who isn't likely to be able to live alone for much longer, you may be thinking about having him or her come to live with you. While the idea of shopping for a new home at the same time that you're contemplating this major change can seem a little overwhelming, the good news is that you can ensure that your new home will suit your elderly parent, too. Although you might not want to buy real estate strictly around what your parent needs, you should keep him or her in mind as you shop. Here are some factors to think about in advance of contacting a real estate agent to discuss what you're looking for.

Presence Of A Second Suite

Because having an elderly family move into a family's home is relatively common, you'll often be able to find houses for sale that have a second suite. This term describes essentially an apartment-style unit that is contained within the house but can be closed off with a door. Sometimes, houses are built with this feature. In other cases, a homeowner will add this amenity as an addition or even remodel the house to add it. For example, one bay of a two-car garage may be enclosed and feature a small bedroom, bathroom, and living area — a space that is perfect for a family member who will be living with you.

Amenities On One Floor

If a second suite isn't easy for you to find, look for houses for sale that have a wide range of amenities on the ground floor. As people age, climbing up and down a house's stairs isn't just difficult — it can also pose a safety risk. You'll ideally be able to find a residence that has a full bathroom on the ground floor, as well as a spare room that you could convert to living quarters for your family member. This way, you can confidently have your parent move in without having to worry about him or her needing to use the stairs.

Nearby Attractions

While you'll want to shop for a house based on the quality of the neighborhood and the distance to your work and your children's schools, you should also think about what attractions are nearby for your parent. For example, if his or her family doctor is in a certain part of the city, looking for a home that is just a short distance away can be handy. Sometimes, if you can find a neighborhood that has a senior's center nearby, you'll have an easy location to drop your parent off for social activities when he or she so wishes.