Baby boomers, who were the largest American generation until the Millennials took over, are either retired or quickly nearing retirement age. Born between 1946 and 1964 and numbering more than 76 million, they’re getting older, but are definitely not ready to head to the retirement home!
The waves of baby boomers are already having a big impact on residential real estate.
They are more active than generations past, have a more sophisticated style, and want options and choices in their homes. Many of them prefer to stay in their homes and communities as they age, rather than relocate. They are choosing to alter their current homes to make them easier to navigate, rather than sell them and downsize.
Some features that homebuilders and remodelers are seeing as they begin to cater to the boomers include:
Home Offices. Baby boomers are working longer or opting for “phased” retirements, in which they work at least part time after leaving their primary careers.
As they transition from traditional 9-to-5 jobs, they want home offices for flexibility.
Tech-savvy boomers want top-of-the-line amenities for their homes such as a media room with surround sound and central control systems. The house may include a wireless home network, remote control lighting and security features.
Wider Doors and Hallways.
Designing a home that is livable now but can transition and be functional as the occupant ages is important in ensuring that the home will be a good long-term investment. Wider doors and hallways are useful for moving larger furniture today, and will also be wheelchair accessible tomorrow.
Better Lighting/Bigger Windows.
The need for more lighting usually increases as we grow older. Builders are adding more & bigger windows to let in more natural light. They are also adding more light fixtures in areas including under cabinets and in stairwells. Multiple switches to reduce the number of trips and dimmer controls to eliminate glare are other options.
First-Floor Bedrooms and Bathrooms.
More than 40% of new homes have master suites downstairs – a trend fueled by boomers not wishing to go up and down stairs with bad knees and aching backs. The master bedrooms also have larger walk-in closets and bathrooms with a separate tub and shower and dual sinks.
Easy to Maintain Exteriors/Landscaping.
Yard work, painting, and other landscaping chores may not be enjoyable to aging homeowners. People who move to a new home when they retire may opt for a maintenance-free community. Those that choose to stay in their homes might make improvements to exterior surfaces such as installing stucco, brick or low-maintenance siding. Lawns are being replaced with outdoor rooms, featuring decorative landscaping or flower beds.
Flex space has become more prevalent in both new homes and remodeling. Flex spaces are rooms that take on the purpose of the present homeowner’s needs but can adjust with changes as they occur. What may have once been a guest bedroom can be revamped to serve as a hobby room or library. This allows homeowners to stay in their homes longer as it continues to serve their needs throughout life’s stages.
Elite Homes builds beautiful garden home communities perfect for baby boomers 55+ – featuring, single-family, low-maintenance homes, in a relaxing and convenient locations around Louisville.