You can’t help but notice that, if you live in a major American city like Philadelphia, elevator installation in private homes has grown by leaps and bounds. To some it’s a status symbol; to others a convenience they have the good fortune to afford.

But to an increasing number of savvy homeowners, a residential elevator is a shrewd financial move. That’s because when they stack up the cost of the elevator’s purchase, installation, and maintenance, they then look at the other side of the financial equation, and soon realize that this isn’t about a joyride.

A residential elevator can increase the value of your home. It can also increase its salability—making it particularly appealing to people who have mobility problems and to those in their later years who can see the day when those problems might crop up.

Here’s a tough calculation that could make an important difference: How long can a residential elevator extend your ability to remain independent? That’s hard to answer because many factors besides the ability to walk up and down stairs can play a role. Yet for every year an elevator keeps a person or a couple out of an assisted living facility, they reap savings in the tens of thousands of dollars.

And the absolute shrewdest of buyers realizes the savings don’t end there. The cost of the elevator could well be recouped at the time the home is sold. Meaning that, between the amount saved by postponing the start of assisted living and the value received at the time of a home’s sale, the owners could well come out far ahead financially.

In essence, then, you could be getting paid to ride that so-called “insane luxury.”