Baby Boomers Downsizing? Tips on your next home-or-Real Estate Investors Give Those Baby Boomers What they Want
Posted Oct 28 2008 9:48pm
Earlier this week I wrote about the widening gap between what my baby boomer clients want in senior housing, and what the developers are offering. A number of times over the last year I've looked at Ranch style homes (we call them ramblers in Minnesota) with baby boomer clients who had the hopes of purchasing a home with all the facilities on one-level. They were much too young for senior housing, but wanted to prepare for their own aging by finding a home where they could successfully grow old. This is REALLY tough to find. Here's a wish list of what my baby boomer clients said they wanted when it was time for them to downsize.
Note: it's more helpful to consider this list for the stage of life vs. assume this is what all baby boomers want.
Note for Real Estate Investors: Go study Universal Design. Then copy and paste this list into your business plan. It will be worth it's weight in gold.
Large Master Bedroom, lots of closet space, and windows that don't impede where the furniture should be placed.
Formal Dining Room.
An efficient kitchen. In order of importance: (i) a tight triangle between refrigerator, sink and wall oven (I don't want to have to bend), (ii) storage space, (iii) counter space.
There should be enough room for me to get through all the hallways and work in the kitchen with a walker or wheelchair. One corner that's too tight for a walker is a deal-breaker. Bathrooms and Kitchens are typically the culprits.
A separate tub and shower are ideal. The bathroom door should not be in the way of use of the bathroom.
Large living room. If smaller, another bedroom on this floor could be made into a TV room.
Washer and dryer on the main floor. A stackable unit could be tucked into a closet, just get them on the main floor.
If the foundation is large enough to allow for two bathrooms, a master bath with separate shower and bath, and two sinks is preferable.
Windows. New ones, and lots of them.
If you have an older space heater in the basement, a wood burning stove or older furnace, or any other older appliance--replace it. A safe home with newer working appliances is preferred.
Universal Design Elements
Lower touch light switches
Wider doorways and hallways
Adjustable shelving and clothing rods in closets
Door handles instead of knobs
Smooth transitions between floor surfaces
If a ramp is needed to eliminate stairs to the entry of the house, put the ramp in the back of the house.
Make it look good
Don't skimp on finishes or workmanship. This clientele will notice
The home should be in a first ring suburb close to shopping, pharmacist, doctor and hospital
The topography of the lot should be flat
A quiet road with little traffic noise
A low crime area with higher than average appreciation of property