Building for BoomersPosted 03/07/2016
Throughout history, the baby boom generation has redefined popular culture – and true to form, it’s doing the same for the housing market. Boomers are reaching retirement age (65) at a record pace, but are not necessarily ready for retirement. They’re more active than their predecessors, with less time to spend on high-maintenance homes. And they want options and choices relating to where they spend their remaining years, whether it’s in the home where they raised their families or in a smaller place more suitable to their new, empty-nester lifestyle.
According to Pew Research Center, by the time all of the baby boomers will have turned 65 in 2030, nearly 20 percent of the nation’s population will be at least this age. Compare that to the population of the country just six years ago, when just a little more than 10 percent of Americans were ages 65 and older.
Already home builders and developers are preparing to manage the desires and expectations of this influential consumer segment. Here are a few of the “boomer-friendly” features being incorporated into new homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders – all of which are present in the home designs offered at Maracay Homes’ Victory at Verrado active adult neighborhood:
First-Floor Bedrooms and Bathrooms: Single-level homes and those with downstairs master suites are on the rise, thanks to older adults who want to give their aching backs and knees a break from the stress of stairs. In fact, more than 40 percent of new homes have downstairs master suites (a 15 percent increase over the last decade). Larger bedrooms, more spacious walk-in closets and bathrooms with separate tubs, showers and dual sinks also are more prevalent in today’s new homes, due to boomers’ preferences.
Home Offices: Turning 65 doesn't automatically equal retirement for many boomers. Those who choose to continue working often want home offices for flexibility as they transition to a second career or a telecommuting arrangement.
Flex Spaces: More than just a guest bedroom, flex spaces are rooms that can change with the needs of the present owner. Hobby rooms, libraries, exercise rooms and giftwrapping stations are just a few of the possibilities for these spaces, which can change to serve the needs of the homeowner throughout life’s stages.
The baby boom generation has been influencing the housing market ever since its members were old enough to purchase their first home. Now, as they march into retirement, it’s not surprising that the “boomer effect” remains as strong as ever.
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