Housing Trends that Baby Boomers Need to Watch-out For

Many baby boomers say they want to retire to the sun. Most of the rest of us—those who have recently retired or who are planning to retire—want to stay closer to home. Even homebodies expect that they’ll likely sell there suburban home and move to new quarters, which may be less expensive, more comfortable and more appropriate for this stage of your life as retired empty nesters. So whether you’re in Florida, California, somewhere in Canada, or overseas, here are some ways baby boomers are looking at their retirement home:

Boomers want to pay off their mortgage: most baby boomers, especially older boomers born before 1955, own their own home. They’ve been paying a mortgage, faithfully and relentlessly, for most of their adult lives. For these people, a primary goal is to finally pay off the mortgage and own their home free and clear. For many, paying off the mortgage is an important threshold—a crucial step they feel they need to take before they can even consider retirement.

They want to lower their housing expenses: for many boomers, the equity they’ve built up in their home is the largest asset they have. A recent survey of 6,000 adults, on average, home equity among homeowners age 65 and older is more than $200,000. Many boomers look forward to moving to a smaller house or a less-expensive neighbourhood to free up some of their equity to pay for travel, medical expenses, home renovations or other ‘extra’ expenses they know they’ll face at some point in the years ahead.

Boomers want more convenience: a smaller home sometimes means less maintenance, less work and less worry. But not always. Most boomers have ‘been there, done that’ with older homes that have history and ‘character’. They want modern appliances, energy-efficient doors and windows, spacious kitchens, an open floor plan with lots of light and fresh, new décor. Boomers are done with the ‘shabby chic’ look of the 1990s. And a lot of them, suffering from health issues, are opting for one-story housing.

They want a walkable neighbourhood: boomers have spent half their lives in a car, commuting to work and driving their kids to hockey games and dance lessons. Now many are going back to their early years when they lived on a block with a grocery store down the street and restaurant on the corner—except now it’s a health food store or gym down the street from Starbucks with Wi-Fi on the corner.

They want to renovate: boomers are not shy about investing in their homes. In addition to adding comfort and style, they are also starting to make their homes more age-friendly. They do not want to slip and fall, so they get rid of the scatter rugs and install carpeting or hardwood floors; they bring in extra lighting to help them see better, and they also install grab bars in areas such as bathrooms for extra assistance.

Boomers want to remain on their own: only about 10% of baby boomers say they want to move to any kind of retirement or age-restricted community. They instead want to stay in their own homes, in their own neighbourhood, with their own friends, and if they think they might need help with personal care—or if they need extended care—they’d prefer to get all those services at home.

They want to be close to family and friends: for those retirees who opt to stay in their old, comfortable hometown, most say the primary reason is to remain connected to family and friends. But those who plan to move away also tend to cite family reasons as well—moving to be near children and grandchildren.

 

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Hans Taal  Hans Taal

  The name people recommend in Real Estate...

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  CENTURY 21 MILLER REAL ESTATE LTD.*
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  Ontario, L6K 3S4
  Direct Line: 905.339.5270  E-Mail: hans.taal@century21.

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Hans Taal

Hans Taal

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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