Navigating the 55+ Housing Boom

According to the latest numbers, the Baby Boomer generation makes up 76 million of the U.S population, and with that comes an increased demand for housing, and services geared toward this discerning demographic. We’re no longer living in an era where you have your retirement cake send off, and organize a major yard sale to downsize your life. Sure, aging in place with Jeopardy on the DVR may be a textbook move, but this isn’t how active adults are tackling their next phase. Boomers are the driving force behind the hundreds of age-targeted, and age-restricted communities designed to give them what they really want, and that’s not just a home, but an all inclusive lifestyle. Looking ahead, most 55+ buyers aren’t looking to scale down at all, and are demanding more square footage, an abundance of amenities, and a desirable location.

With big name reputable builders like Toll Brothers, Del Webb, and Trilogy, the market for active lifestyle communities is a competitive one, offering varied home styles, and an endless list of amenities designed to promise boomers a carefree lifestyle. Deciding on which community will be the perfect fit, is a matter of personal preference in terms of affordability, desired maintenance options, and whether to go strictly 55+ or mingle with the younger generation.

Another aspect to consider is being close to what you love, and the services you’ll need on a regular basis including shopping centers, state-of-the-art medical facilities, and airports. For outdoor enthusiasts, a community located in a more rural setting might be more ideal than living in the city for easy access to walking, and bike trails, water recreation, and expansive golf courses. Urbanites may find an apartment community perfect for downsizing, and being near the action whether it’s for an upscale shopping experience, or a night on the town. Condos, and apartments also offer the freedom to lock, and leave which is ideal for snowbirds, and 55+ jet setters.

The price tag associated with moving to an active lifestyle community includes more than just the home itself. Deciding on whether to rent vs. buy, if it’s a manufactured home, is there a land lease fee, and comparing HOA costs are key determining factors. Resort style golf course communities will have a higher monthly fee, versus a more intimate community with fewer on site services, and amenities. Limits on the type, or number of pets, and exterior customization restrictions may apply, so being aware of the small print will help make a better-informed decision.

From the most opulent estates, and lavish amenities, to high rise apartments in the hottest cities, the 55+ community trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. As the boomer generation continues to dream bigger, developers are having to step up to the challenge of meeting, and exceeding their expectations.

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