What to Expect From Baby Boomers
Recent housing news has focused much attention on Millennials, but there is another segment of the market that is also having a great impact on real estate. Baby boomers, many of whom are retiring, represent 31% of homebuyers, making them the second largest segment, second only to millennials. Homebuyers in this age group represent a wealthier and more stable segment of the housing market.
Here are the top unique characteristics of Baby Boomer homebuyers that home sellers can cater to and benefit from.
They Want To Move
The nursing home and senior living industry has an annual worth of $250 million to $270 million, but only 10% of baby boomers are interested in moving into a senior living or retirement center. Many retirees want to move to a new “normal” house; 21% are interested in downsizing, while 26% would like to upsize. The top reason behind this generation wanting to move is to be closer to family. According to a Merrill Lynch study, most of the household growth between 2015 to 2025 is projected to be in the 65+ age range.
Safety is a Priority
Many homebuyers over 65 that pass over retirement communities in favor of “normal” houses, still want their homes to accommodate to their decreased mobility and be safe. They favor single story homes, or at least homes where the main bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area are on the ground floor. Upper levels can be used for guests and visiting family members. To make homes more senior friendly, home sellers can install bathroom grab bars and a security system.
Low Maintenance is Favored
Many retirees have already experienced living in high-maintenance homes and would like to no longer experience that burden. Baby boomers will avoid homes with acres of lawn and old homes that need constant repairs and upkeep. Often, but not always, these buyers want newer homes with modern appliances, as they value technology that will simplify their lives rather than complicate it – much like the younger generations. To further attract seniors, home sellers can partner up with local companies that provide moving services, cleaning services, and tech help services. Connecting older buyers with these services is a must, so that their new home will be as comfortable as possible for them.
Urban Beats Suburban
Older baby boomers who are no longer able to drive do not want that to prevent them from having a full quality of life. They value their independence, so a conveniently located home is their ideal choice. Unlike the 20th century norm of isolated, gated retirement communities, more and more 21st century retirees are favoring urban neighborhoods. They want to live in houses that are within walking distance to groceries, pharmacies, entertainment areas, and other amenities and community hubs.
Today’s senior home buyers are much more active, so they are obviously different from older buyers in the past. Understanding this growing segment’s unique qualities are and will continue to be beneficial to home sellers.