The baby boomer generation is the second largest behind the millennial generation. With so many boomers nearing retirement, which has a new age range and definition thanks to those boomers, we can expect to see certain trends take precedence, especially in the Atlanta housing market. Most of the baby boomer generation is more active than generations before, so they want to have options when it comes to the space they live in. With these five things that baby boomers expect after retirement, they are making a huge impact on the Atlanta housing market.
In most retirement scenarios, less is more and retirees find themselves downsizing. However, this boomer generation doesn’t necessarily think downsizing is their best option. That doesn’t mean they aren’t moving though. Baby boomers are searching for what’s convenient. Open floor plans, one-story houses, high-end appliances, and energy-efficient windows are just a few key features they are looking for. If they can find a home that meets their must-have list, even if the square footage is high, they will move.
Flex spaces are similar to bonus rooms in that they serve to fill a purpose of the homeowner's needs, but can easily be transformed. What might start out as a craft or hobby room can change into a guest bedroom for family and grandchildren. Baby boomers expect to have at least one of these rooms in their home after they retire and they are not afraid to renovate if needed.
As a whole, baby boomers don’t consider themselves “old” until around the age of 72. The very thought of playing shuffleboard, boating, or spending the remainder of their days in a retirement community makes baby boomers cringe. In fact, only 10% of baby boomers actually admit to wanting to move into a retirement community. The rest want to maintain their individualism and be in a community/neighborhood they are familiar with. Boomers want to remain active and enjoy the outdoors and are therefore searching for walk-able areas. While some will stay in the suburbs, there is an increasing demand for seniors going back to their roots and living the city life.
This is actually something everyone wants, but baby boomers want (and need) it more than anyone. On average, the amount of debt a person 65(+) carries is increasing rapidly. Roughly 44% of people ages 65 and older have debt and of that, the average debt amount is $25,000 (not including mortgages). Before a baby boomer can consider retirement, they want to be in a better financial situation. Many are working towards paying off mortgages and reducing housing costs so they have more freedom once they retire.
Baby boomers strive to have easy-to-maintain homes that accommodate their living needs. Whether interior or exterior, the home they live in must have low maintenance features. Whether realized or not, this has a large impact on the housing market. Boomers consider the house they retire in the last place they will live and are not as concerned with resale value. However, when they replace part of the lawn with a live-in patio or knock down walls to create open rooms or wider hallways, there’s a chance it can impact how long the house stays on market or the sales price. Other features that boomers tend to want are first-floor master bedroom and bathroom, raised dishwashers, and plenty of storage. We’re also noticing a trend that retired people are moving closer to family and friends.
If you’re a member of the baby boomer generation, we’d love to hear how you feel about retiring. Do you agree with these expectations? How do you feel about the housing market? What are you planning on doing when you retire? Leave a comment and you might be featured on our social pages.
If you are fully ready to retire and looking to move into a new construction home or even downsize, contact one of our agents.