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Taken from the weekly newsletter at Realtor®.org
The amenities, upgrades and home styles that seniors seek are different from younger buyers – as they often desire a simpler way of life as they age. Sixty-three percent of builders responding to the NAHB/MetLife survey say their clients are seeking a maintenance-free lifestyle, while 32 percent are looking for lower living expenses.
Important features for senior housing include access to health care services, a sense of community, maintenance-free living and ranch-style living. Kunicki says other typical amenities include housekeeping, transportation, building security, emergency call services and planned events, while seniors tend to shy away from remote locations, central dining rooms with mandatory meals and places where they have no voice in planned events.
“This age group has been there, done that, so they don’t want to elaborate on everything as they age,” says Linda Metallo of RE/MAX Impact, who often works with the active adult communities developed by Hartz Homes. “[Many upgrades] become not quite as important as they age.”
Like any client, the needs and desires of boomers will vary, and as their agent you must be in tune with what they want. From the VibrantNation.com survey, of those that plan to move in the next decade, 30 percent want to try out a new city , another 30 percent want a house and yard that are easier to maintain and 17 percent want to be closer to their family.
Taken from the weekly newsletter at Realtor®.org
For seniors seeking such amenities as planned events and maintenance-free living, active adult communities, and other alternatives to the typical retirement community, are great options to consider. Some may resist the notion of senior living, though these active adult communities strive to make boomers feel young and at home.
VibrantNation.com found that Boomer women really want the same things that younger adults seek: parks and green space (24 percent), onsite parking and pet-friendliness (19 percent) and walking distance to shopping and cultural activities (18 percent).
“I think many would be surprised at the way of life in the 55 and over community.” says Phil Hartz, president of Hartz Homes. Hartz says the clubhouse at Lago Vista in Lockport , which features an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a ballroom, fitness room, plenty of recreation space and more, is a major draw for potential residents.
Here is a segment of a very interesting collection of statistics that Mark Brian, Silver Star Real Estate compiled from HUD’s 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS). HUD started this revealing survey in 1973, and it’s interesting to see how homes have changed. Take a look at HUD’s 2009 figures revealing everything from square footage to front porches as home owners have come to expect amenities not standard 37 years ago.
•There are 130,112,000 residential housing units in the US ; 86% are occupied and median age of the American home is 36 years.
•Newer constructed homes generally are larger, more expensive, have more bedrooms and baths with amenities such as central air conditioning.
•68% of US homes are owner-occupied, 51% outside metropolitan areas and 37% in central cities.
•The median size occupied home is 1,800sqft compared to 1,610 in 1985.
•The median lot size for single-family homes including mobile homes is 0.27acres compared to .36 acres in 1973.
•53% of homes have 6 or more rooms with owner-occupied units generally having more than renter-occupied. In 1973, only 39% of homes had six or more rooms.
•Most homes (64%) have 3 or more bedrooms compared to 48% in 1973. And 51% of homes now have 2 or more bathrooms compared to 19% in 1973.
•Most commonly used cooking fuel is electricity (60%) followed by piped gas (35%). The most commonly used heating fuel is piped gas (51%) followed by electricity at 34%. Newer units are more likely to use electricity. Most commonly used fuel of heating water is piped gas followed by electricity. About 35% homes have a fireplace.
•88% receive water from a public system or private company with the remaining unitsreceiving their water from wells. More than 9 in 10 households rated their water as safe.
•Eight in ten units use the public sewage disposal system and 20% use a septic tank, cesspool or chemical toilet.
•66% of homes have a dishwasher, 51% have disposals in the kitchen sink and 3% have trash compactors.
•More than 8 in 10 homes (84%) have a washing machine and clothes dryer at 81%.
•Most homes have a phone (98%), porch, deck, balcony or patio 85% and 66% garage or carport.
Consider visiting San Juan Island , Washington. What a beautiful place San Juan Island is to celebrate the 4th of July. You have your choice of watching the fireworks at Roche Harbor Marina or in the heart of town in Friday Harbor . Both are great places to kick back with your favorite beverage & people watch.
I started the festivities by watching our local parade with my dog, Brook. If you haven’t watched a local parade, you’re missing something; the energy is infectious. My day continued with our Pig War picnic’s great food, music and more people watching.
In the evening I had dinner at San Juan Island Yacht Club. Then I gathered with friends to Rock the Dock with a fabulous band known as the “Time Benders” taking us musically from the 50’s through each decade only stopping when the fireworks started. A great place to dance and, you guessed it, people watch.
By now I was ready to head to the dock, sit down with friends and watch one of the best darn fireworks around. Check out sjichamberofcommerce.com for upcoming events and places to stay.
When visiting other cities and countries, I’m reminded how truly awesome our island is and how thankful I am when returning home. The San Juan Islands are a destination place that many people come to visit and fall in love with. I can see our island through their eyes and it encourages me to take the extra time to stop and ask if I can help with directions or information.
Visitors are starting to arrive; I can feel their energy. They visit our islands, fall in love with its beauty and find a new place to call home.
That’s why I say……. Come for a visit; stay for a lifetime.
Markets and services have changed to adapt to and accommodate Baby Boomers through every stage of their lives: from the growth and expansion of school districts and colleges as Boomers moved through their childhood and youth to housing starts in the 70s when Boomers began forming households. Boomers have also comprised the largest and most educated group of employees in U.S. history. They’ve been the largest and wealthiest consumer group in the U.S. and their choices are influential. Given this background, it is only to be expected that the Boomers will shape retirement in the U.S. to fit their needs and desires.
And speaking on the subject of Boomers becoming seniors, there is a myth going around I’d like to discuss: older people are afraid of technology. The reality is older adults are active users of the Internet. AARP research shows an increasing usage of the Internet by seniors and, as technology-savvy Boomers age, that trend can be expected to continue.
To that fact, I’d like to give you a web link to help seniors. www.SNAPforseniors.com
SNAPforSeniors offers a searchable database of listings for over 110,000+ senior service providers in the U.S.
Not too long ago I received my SRES® designation. The Seniors Real Estate Specialistdesignation is awarded to REALTORS® who have successfully completed the required education course. SRES® designees learn how to lead senior clients through real estate transactions and draw on the expertise of a network of senior specialists, such as CPAs,estate planners, lawyers, clutter and staging experts as well as community resources and services. The SRES® designation is the only one of its kind recognized by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. More than 15,000 REALTORS® have earned the SRES® designation.
In my next few blogs I’ll share information that I hope will be of help to you. By the way, I’ve also learned that Baby Boomers hate to be included in the senior category. Perhaps that’s why, as a Boomer, I cringe when called senior.
…and that means time to clean up the yard.
Whether you are selling your home or not, with the nicer days ahead take the time to clean up what winter has left behind. Look at your front yard from the eye of a new buyer walking up to your door; does your yard say there’s a lot of work to do here?
Placing potted seasonal plants at your front entrance gives a great first impression. Maybe have a seasonal wreath or dried grasses in the off season. Make sure entry windows are sparkling clean and your porch swept and have a clean doormat. First impressions are so important.
Cut back, spruce up and watch the fruits of your labor bring a smile to your face. Now where did I put that shovel?
Question, why is your home not selling?
Too many properties sit on the market for months without buyers walking through their homes or making offers. Why? It could be the home is over priced for this market, or it could be that your home needs to be spruced-up a bit; we call this staging.
Walk through your home and visualize how a potential buyer sees the use of space. Do you need to remove clutter, paint a room or clean the yard up? Is the carpet in need of professional cleaning? Look in your cupboards and closets; are they bulging at the seams? If they are crammed, buyers may think there is not adequate storage. Clean it up and clear it out. Rent a storage area for the time your home is on the market for personal items you just can’t live without.
Sometimes it is nothing more than moving your furniture around for better space planning of traffic patterns. Take out that over-stuffed chair and free up some space.
Remember you buy a home, but you sell a house. The extra work spent ahead of time can really help buyers visualize your house as their home.