The Housing Market has been the hot topic for the past two years. Sometimes it seems like the only thing the national news media ever talks about. Where will the next Housing Boom come from? That depends — all real estate is local and the local market I’m talking about today is Coastal Delaware. We are very fortunate. This is a desirable location, prices have come down and our recovery is in full swing. The situation may be different for you depending on where you live. Even here however, one town may be selling well while another has yet to see improvement. One community may be celebrating record sales while another sits vacant with tall grass blocking the stone entrance. This market recovery is “hyper-local” and the days of “build it and they will buy” are gone forever.
Today’s buyers are different and their numbers are overwhelming the traditional vacation home buyers. The next Housing Boom in Coastal Delaware will be a Baby Boomer Housing Boom. Coming from New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, as well as the DC Metropolitan area, they’re checking out Coastal Delaware and it’s not just about the beach any more. They’re buying homes in Millsboro and Georgetown, Bridgeville and Seaford too! In fact lots of leading edge Boomer Buyers are here already and the best news — this is just the beginning. Even the oldest Baby Boomers are only 62 or 63 so we can realistically expect this trend to continue for 10 years or more.
Why Coastal Delaware?
You know the answer — TAXES. “Your taxes are lower than New Jersey (or New York, or Maryland)”, they tell us. When asked if they have spent any time here — “We’ve driven through on our way south, but not really,” is often their response. Taxes alone are not enough of a reason to relocate, but it’s a good place to start. Once here, what’s not to like? It’s closer to home than Florida or the Carolinas. There’s a variety of housing options from new active adult communities with every amenity imaginable to historic towns like Lewes and Milton to homes with acreage on county roads. But cost of living does matter and just this summer, Kiplinger’s rated Delaware #1 saying “the First State (is) first on our list of tax-friendly locations for retirees”. Once they relocate, Baby Boomers don’t plan to move again, so they plan ahead and choose carefully.
When will Boomers buy? Didn’t their 401Ks and IRAs get slaughtered in the stock market crash? Yes, but the stock market has improved. Some Boomers are postponing retirement but still taking advantage of the Buyer’s market to purchase their eventual retirement home. If they have owned their current home for 25 or more years, they either own it outright or the mortgage is extremely small – they don’t need to sell in order to buy. For now, the retirement home will serve as a weekend getaway and vacation home for the whole family. Still, others will decide to wait until they can sell their family home and retire, but they will continue to plan for their future at the beach in Delaware. Remember the Dot.com bust? Baby Boomers do. But life went on and we survived. Did everyone do as well as expected? No, but most recovered and some prospered.
How about you? Have you changed your retirement plans? Delayed them? We’d love to hear your story.