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Real Estate

What Second-Wave Baby Boomers Look For in a Home

The U.S. Census Bureau reports there are approximately 76.4 million baby boomers living in the U.S. But while many boomers have settled into their forever homes, a string of second-wave (or second generation) baby boomers are house hunting—and they have specific needs.

John McManus, editorial director of Hanley Wood's Residential Group says his company "is focusing on the preferences of the younger half, or second-wave baby boomers, as they exhibit different needs than the older boomers."

As second-wave boomers prepare for retirement and become empty nesters, they seek homes to accommodate their change in circumstance. Real estate needs vary from person-to-person, but according to a homebuyer survey conducted by the Farnsworth Group, here are the top three things second-wave boomers look for in a home.

1. Location

According to the survey, 50.2% of second generation baby boomers consider location an important factor when buying a new home. They have active lifestyles and prefer neighborhoods that allow a certain way of living

“The first impressions are important when entering a new community, as is feeling welcome in the community. Amenities such as clubhouses, pools, and walking trails featured prominently in the decision to purchase in a community. Location was key, as residents want their new homes to be near shopping, dining, medical services and entertainment.Communities with ample amenities are also. This includes nearby golf courses, swimming pools, community centers and walking trails,” says Grey Matter Research and Consulting.

2. Price

It probably comes as no surprise that price is also a primary concern. About 37.4% of second-generation boomers consider affordability a reason for buying a new home. Buying a cheaper home results in a lower house payment and stretches their retirement savings.

3. Floor Plan

The survey also revealed that 19% of second-wave baby boomers give considerable attention to a home’s layout and floor plan. Mobility slows down with age; and for boomer’s living with knee problems or other conditions such as arthritis, climbing stairs can be a painful ordeal. For this reason, many look for homes with one level, or at least a first floor master bedroom. They also prefer homes with easily accessible cabinets, bigger doorways and walk-in showers. 

Interestingly, technology also influences a second-wave boomer’s home decision. Although older generations aren't always as technologically savvy as younger generations, about 7.1% of second-wave boomers favor wireless security system; 6.3% favor lights that adapt and recognize them, and about 6.2% prefer smart home technology, including lights controllable with a smart phone, reports the survey.

Bottom Line

Your home is a haven. It should offer the highest level of comfort and the right amenities. Don’t settle. If you’re not getting what you need or want, sell and buy another property before mortgage rates increase.