Senior homebuyers want simplification, good design, and smaller homes

Real Estate Sales Representative with SCHNEIDER Real Estate

Americans age 55+ are looking for homes close to family, work, and with a sense of style.

What does the 55+ crowd want in a home? Smaller, more energy-efficient homes in active, vital communities near work and family are the top requirements. Those are the findings from a study by MetLife and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called “Housing for the 55+ Market: Trends and Insights on Boomers and Beyond.”

The study reveals that Boomers are looking for smaller, less expensive homes. This group isn’t ready to retire anytime soon, and with the Great Recession complicating things, they are staying in their jobs as long as possible to recoup financial losses.

The lure of “age-restricted” communities is there too, but only those that fit into the active lifestyle. These people aren’t ready for the rocking chair. The study notes that “those who moved from their existing homes did so primarily for reasons relating to their families, but the design and quality of the home, as well as the design and layout were the factors most often considered.”

Dave Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist agrees. “ A strong and growing number of retirees and empty-nesters are interested in either downsizing or moving to a more user-friendly home, especially if it’s near their existing community.”

Homebuilders are beginning to recognize what boomers want and incorporate that lifestyle in home design. In addition to a smaller home, a one level floor plan is preferable with open space and tall ceilings. Wider hallways are a plus, as is minimizing unnecessary staircases. Over 55ers want small luxuries, like double sinks and a soaking Jacuzzi-style tub, plus some space for hobbies.

Boomers, 38.9 million over the age of 65, are well-traveled, sophisticated consumers who have a good sense of what they want. And for housing, they want simplification that will enhance their lifestyles.

Senior Living in St. Charles

Written by Myra Vandersall

Comments (7)

Kevin Conery
Keller Williams Realty Success, LLC - Littleton, CO
Colorado Realtor

Great blog!  Thank you for taking the time to help educate us on a very important buyer group in our market.

It's always important to understand all types of buyers don't you think?


Jun 11, 2010 03:34 PM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

I don't see the word "SAFE" (maybe it's there, and I just overlooked it), and I think that's another important consideration for my age group.  Excellent information!

Jun 11, 2010 03:37 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

I gues it is not a surprise to you that there is another identical blog posted by Grant Hickman

Does not bother you?

Jun 11, 2010 03:39 PM
Robin Dampier REALTORĀ®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

I checked on what Jon had to say in his comment #3  and sure enough -- word for word????  Great minds thinking alike and in sync no less!

Sue of Robin and Sue

Jun 11, 2010 04:03 PM
Jane Nicoletti

John and Sue,

I'm the sales manager at my Real Estate office in St Charles and when I see good blog material to post and  If anyone in my office (Grant) wants to  include it in their blogs. it's ok with me.   I encourage agents to social network and include blogs that will be helpful to our market locally too.  I'm in the process of including a senior page on our company web site with lots of resouces and links to articles that I think seniors would be interested in. 

Jun 12, 2010 07:19 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


I heard that this is a blog service that you are using, and if that's true, it is, of course, not plagiarism. Again, if you buy it from ghostwriters, and your agreement is not limiting you to using it yourself only, it is your right, your property.

What I am not sure is the issue with AR. AR is a point system, and as far as I understand, it does not envision awarding points for the same content. What if your office has 100 agents and you allow all of them to use your content (or the content bought by you)? Imagine 100 identical posts on AR all showing as original work.

ALso, when you post on AR, you have to specify whether it is your content or not your content. If you buy content, you might have the right to say that this is your content, maybe legally this would be the case. But when you take this content and give it to other people to post as their original content, this is sure not a good idea, not fair, and, frankly, I think not ethical.

If Grant wanted to post it, he should have reblogged it, and that would  be a fair usage of another Member's work and it is awarded differently within AR point system.

Jun 12, 2010 07:39 AM
Jane Nicoletti

You make good points- We have enough material for us to post each our own- so that is what we'll do from now on- or re-blog as you suggested.  I never thought about it in the same way but certainly want to abide by the rules and do the ethical thing always.  I appreciate your comments.

Jun 12, 2010 09:18 AM