Submit Content

Ask Eli: Aging In Place In Arlington

Ask Eli banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: As a senior citizen looking ahead, I don’t want to move into a senior community and would like to stay in Arlington. What options do I have to age-in-place in my own home or another detached home? Is there a way to search specifically for suitable properties?

Answer: This may sound crazy, but Arlington isn’t made up of just Millennials! With 8% of our population between the age of 65 and 84, we have thousands of residents who have called Arlington home for decades and want to continue calling it home. If a senior community doesn’t suit you, there are some great ways to stay home and accommodate a live-in caregiver.

Accessory Dwellings (AD)

In Arlington, an AD is a living space attached to the main home with a separate entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. It can house up to two people, unrelated to the homeowner(s) in a space not to exceed 750sqft (size of most 1BR apartments) or half the size of the main dwelling.

  • ADs range from basements, additions to the main level, or attic conversions as long as they meet the various requirements for entrances, ceiling heights, size, egress, fire protection, etc.
  • Arlington County sets a limit of 28 new ADs per year, but speaking to the Zoning Office, they only receive a couple applications per year and quickly approve them as long as all requirements and permits are in place, so don’t worry about your application being denied
  • Homeowners can collect rent from somebody living in an AD (doesn’t have to be a caregiver), so often times aging homeowners will use a combination of rent and caregiving services as consideration for a place to live
  • While it’s common for the homeowner to live in the main dwelling, the requirements seem to allow the homeowner to also live in the AD with the tenant in the main home. This could make a lot of sense for a homeowner who prefers to exchange tenancy in the main dwelling for higher levels of care.

If you’re considering converting a portion of your home to an AD or building an addition, it’s strongly recommended to reach out to the county’s Zoning Office early in the process to avoid wasted investment or missed requirements. You’ll need to ensure certain design, parking, and safety requirements to get approved. Once a Zoning Inspector has signed off on the property, the application process generally takes about one month and costs a couple hundred dollars.

Caregiver Suites

In Arlington, a Caregiver Suite is a space inside the home, up to 500 square feet, for up to two people outside of the immediate family, related or unrelated. Unlike an AD, the occupant(s) of a Caregiver Suite must provide care to at least one member of the household (child, elderly, or disabled). The homeowner may still collect rent. The space can be an existing area of the home or a new addition.

Arlington County does not allow both an AD and a Caregiver Suite on the same property.

For some aging homeowners in Arlington County, their existing homes can be converted to accommodate an AD or Caregiver Suite with a total investment substantially lower than the costs of moving. However, if you who have steps leading to or inside the main dwelling, no basement access, or other issues that make a conversion difficult, you may need to look to the marketplace for an AD-ready home. While I’m not aware of a good way to search for homes that have already been AD-approved, there are certain search criteria that will help identify homes that can be converted at a relatively low cost such as rambler/ranchers with a walk-out basement.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at http://www.RealtyDCMetro.com.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

Recent Stories

Tour Country Club Hills to discover its lush herbage, mature trees, and the Victorian and frame houses of the area in Neighborhood Spotlight.

A soggy weekend is on tap after an otherwise pretty nice final week of September. Obviously this week’s big story was the devastation in Florida, the huge scale of which…

Share your input on the Arlington Forestry and Natural Resources Plan by October 3.

A proposed bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians between Crystal City and the Southwest Waterfront area of D.C. has received $20 million in federal funding to move forward. When complete, the…

(This Community Post was written by 9th Street Chamber Music and underwritten by Embracing Arlington Arts .)

9th Street Chamber Music is back in business for its second season! 9SCM is disrupting the stereotypes of classical music as stuffy, dry, and elite through dynamic yet accessible performances and its one-of-a-kind String Quartet Intensive for young musicians in the DC Metro area.

[9th Street Quartet](https://www.9thstreetchambermusic.com/9th-street- quartet)’s first concert is on Sunday, October 16 at 4:00 PM. The group will offer, for the first time, a ‘Playlist Shuffle’ themed concert featuring single movements of string quartet favorites. Tickets for this concert can be found here, and are $20 for adults and FREE for all students under 18.

Rehearsals began Monday, September 27 for the String Quartet Intensive, welcoming 32 new and returning members to the program. These talented musicians in grades 7 through 12 represent over fifteen area schools throughout Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland, and are an integral part of the growing 9SCM community. Their first performance will take place on Monday, November 28 at 7:30 PM.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!

Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!

Features:
– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!

https://www.thelunchtrain.com/

Submit your own Community Post here.

Vini Franchetti Wine Dinner

Join us as we explore Vini Franchetti & their two sister vineyards Passopisciaro (Sicily) and Vini Franchetti (Tuscany) for our Sicily/Tuscany Wine Dinner!

Sunday, Oct 9 @ 6pm

Special Guest: This wine dinner we will be hosting the wine maker

Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved

Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved. Join ACFCU for our Homebuying

×

Subscribe to our mailing list