When Baby Boomers Need A New Home: The Changing Scene Of Real Estate
Now that the kids are out of the home, what are the parents planning for the future? Increasingly studies are finding they want to play.
According to a recent study by the Research Institute for Housing America, baby boomers are downsizing their possessions and living quarters, and are looking for a more convenient style of living. Baby boomers have an adventurous spirit, and are looking at living life to its fullest potential. They love to travel, and are increasingly preferring homes with low maintenance levels, that can easily be locked up and left for weeks, or even months on end.
What does all this mean for the real estate industry? There will be a big boom in the coming years for high quality, low maintenance homes.
Active adults are looking to trade-down their current homes. Trade down is not synonymous with smaller, lower quality homes. Instead, they are looking for homes that have more desirable features Ė homes with a first floor master bedroom, one-story homes, and condominiums. They demand the highest of luxury items, and will invest in many of the extras they couldn't afford while raising children. Things like media rooms, home offices, and home gyms will now be the norm.
According to the 50+ Housing Council with the National Association of Home Builders, over 10,000 people turn 50 every single day, and 50+ consumers account for more than one quarter of all new home sales. These figures can provide a lot of insight into the future of the real estate market.
Active adult communities will continue to grow
The active adult housing market recently totaled an estimated $51 billion, and those figures are expected to grow substantially.
As baby boomers become empty nesters, their needs and desires will change as well. Instead of having a large home with plenty of bedrooms and outside play space, they will demand more efficient use of their resources.
But while their housing needs may change, one thing won't change: the desire to stay involved in the community.
Active adult communities won't resemble the traditional retirement communities of the past.
In the past, retirement homes brought to mind the notion of assisted living, or living at a slower pace. No more. The new "retirement lifestyle" provides a wide variety of characteristics, and more than ever industry experts are finding they must redefine retirement living, and allow baby boomers to create their own distinct active communities.
Active adults are discovering they can live happier and healthier lives by choosing to live on their own terms. They are opting for urban areas
that give them easy access to a variety of culturally diverse activities and options.
This generation prefers to move into a home that will allow them to age in place, or to continue living in their homes independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability.
Yet they won't sacrifice comfortable living for today. Housing should provide for a comfortable living now, and provide easy changes to make homes accessible in the future as needs change.
Active adult communities will offer a wide range of activities and amenities.
Unlike past generations, baby boomers donít want to get away from it all. Instead, they prefer to be in the heart of the community. There are looking for appropriate housing that allow them to be near cultural and spiritual hubs that keep them connected with their community, and to stay active and involved in lifelong learning and charitable opportunities.
This generation values independence and individualism, and prefers to find housing that matches their own lifestyle. Homes that cater to a baby boomer should be rich in customization, allowing a buyer to choose the most meaningful items to put into their home, and to choose activities in the community appropriate for their routines.
Adult communities are also offering more training and technology options than ever before. As more people are running businesses and staying in touch with family and friends around the world, technology centers are becoming increasingly important. Not just for adults to stay connected, but also to enrich their experiences, learn new skills, and offer media-rich capabilities.
Health and fitness are still at the top of the list for adult communities. Buyers want the normal amenities associated with retirement communities like golf, tennis and recreation centers; but also want natural, walking areas to walk and bike.
The most important characteristic with growing retirement communities is to maintain flexibility. Realize that not everyone will fit into one community. Focus on the best amenities for your lifestyle, and find a community that offers you the most value. And enjoy.