Boomers-beginning the transition to retirement and their needs seems to be a hot topic in all of the news media lately.
So what do today’s Baby Boomers want in a retirement home?
Bernice Ross in a post* for Inman said that a huge number of Boomers are getting rid of their large family homes and beginning the transition into more manageable homes in communities filled with amenities and people of like minds.
While there are plenty of neighborhoods to choose from and something for everyone in Coastal Delaware, we find that every buyer wants something different in their retirement home. Today’s new construction buyer certainly wants an energy-efficient home with all of the bells and whistles.
We hear it all the time, “I really want a new build, or at least a newer home.” Then they continue – “I’ve worked long and hard and never lived in a brand new home. I don’t want to do any maintenance or make any renovations; I’ve done enough of that. This time, I want my home to be exactly what I want … no compromise.” We all know that there will be some compromise. However, few home buyers are willing to accept less than what they want when it comes to these key features:
One Level Living – A first-floor Owners Suite and at least one other bedroom or flex room on the main level is a must. Guest bedrooms and a loft on the second floor are desirable and many retirees still want a basement.
Open Floor Plan – 9 out of 10 Boomers are looking for an Open Floorplan with a great Kitchen, and mostly hardwood flooring in all main living areas. Tile still trumps when it comes to your Bathrooms. To satisfy the demand, many builders have their updated floorplans to offer buyers these most popular structural and upgrade options.
Large Shower – Perhaps only 1 in 10 buyers today still want a tub in the master bath. Most want a larger tiled shower. Some builders call them a Roman Shower, some a Spa Shower, but the trend is definitely away from that huge jetted tub for soaking. What Baby Boomers wish the builders would offer is a Walk-in Shower with no curb. Installing a walk-in shower will add value to your home as well as a sleek look like the master bath of our new custom home in Lewes.
Gourmet Kitchen – To meet the Boomers desire for an upgraded “Chef’s” or professional Kitchen with comfort close drawers, updated countertops and top of the line appliance packages, we see even production builders offering a wide range of upgrades and options in this area of the house. Investing in Kitchen options is smart planning, in the event you have to sell your home down the road.
Energy Efficiency – As Boomers prepare for retirement and life on a fixed income, the rising cost of energy is a real concern. Today they are looking for efficient heat and A/C systems, extra insulation and even solar power. In order to meet these buyers’ needs, many builders offer upgrades including Geothermal HVAC equipment, solar power systems and state-of-the-art construction materials and methods.
Storage – In our experience, space is still a big issue for Boomers. Many Boomers want to “downsize” their taxes and cost of living but not necessarily the size of their home. In some cases, they need space for storage. For others, it’s space for the artist’s paints, a place for the wood-worker’s tools or a meditation room.
Basement or Multi-purpose Room – A large collection of trains (and a surprising number of retirees are collectors) might need a basement or the quilting club needs room to quilt. Do you need space for hobbies or your “boomer business?” You’re not alone.
Attached 2+ Car Garage – If you collect vintage vehicles, or know someone that does, enough said. A garage with room for “the baby” is non-negotiable.
The best advice we give to any buyer at any age is to always think about selling when you buy. If you are buying a home in a community where most homes have a sunroom or a screened porch, you should seriously consider adding that option and “keep up with the Joneses.”
*How To Tap Into The Next Big Boomer Wave – Inman 10/06/15