The number of Baby Boomers ages > 55 is expected to grow over the next decade, and this is why you should know how to cater to this age group.
President of Housing Design Matters in Jacksonville, Fla., offered ideas of how to design, remodel, and market spaces so that they would be more appealing to older home buyers. Baby boomers are as “mature” in the sense that they are experienced buyers who know what they want.
Here are some home features you can be on the lookout for when working with buyers in the 55-and-over age group, or items you can emphasize if you are trying to ensure your listing appeals to them.
Rethink the laundry room. After the kids move out, many home owners spend less time in the laundry room, but that doesn’t mean they want to ditch it entirely. As the house becomes less chore-centrist, home owners are more prone to focus on fun. Try carving out a space for crafts or pet care if a huge laundry room feels like a waste of space to buyers.
Boost the light. As people age, the lens of the eye thickens and lets in less light. This means a 60-year-old needs six times as much light as a 20-year-old. Look for inexpensive ways to add light in unexpected places, such as inside drawers and cabinets.
Be subtle about accessible features. Everyone wants to be able to age in place, but few want to think of a time when they’ll be physically limited. Thankfully, many features that make a home more navigable and safer for those with mobility issues aren’t very obvious, such as even, level surfaces that make it easier for those using wheelchairs, canes, or walkers, just like bathroom product manufacturers are now making grab bars that look more like shelves and towel racks than institutional-style safety features.
Point out low-maintenance features. When this age of people are looking for a low-maintenance home the size of the lawn, resistant quartz counter tops and roofs that do not have nooks where leaves can collect can be important qualities of a listing.
Examine where the stairs lead. Steps can be problematic for those with mobility issues, but they aren’t an automatic no-no for communities targeted at older buyers. It just depends on what is at the top of the staircase. A bunk room for the grand children or an exercise room is a much better use for second – and third – floor space than a master bedroom or another place the primary resident might have to visit frequently. Also, landings and railings are both safety musts.