Jul 08 2009
The nation’s baby boomers are reaching a point in their lives when it is time to downsize from their larger homes to something that is a bit smaller, comfortable, accommodating and requires less maintenance and upkeep. This group of potential home buyers is growing and these people are faced with changes in lifestyle that were not found in the generations before them. To accommodate these changes, “baby boomer trends” are popping up in new home construction now more than ever. This collective group covers a broad spectrum of people ranging in age from their late 40s to their mid to late 60s. They include singles, working couples, retired couples, and those who have lost a spouse. Most of these people have raised their children and are now finding themselves in a home far too big or extravagant for their needs. Furthermore, many are discovering that even though their children are gone, they still have someone in their care, aging parents or other relatives. Others have an eye on the future when they may have an aging relative living with them or they are considering their own futures, in regards to health and abilities in the years to come. Keeping these thoughts in mind, review the following list describing many of the most requested features baby boomers are looking for in their next house plan.
Less total living area – Face it, now is the time to be enjoying life. Who wants to spend time cleaning and maintaining rooms that are rarely or never used like the three extra bedrooms and finished basement you needed 20 years ago when you were raising your kids?
Low maintenance exteriors – While opting for less space to take care of inside, many baby boomers are opting for less to take care of outside as well. Low maintenance exteriors with a siding or brick façade and few decorative frills mean less time spent on the upkeep of the home’s exterior appearance.
Open floor plans – Barrier free living spaces with few dividing walls make it easy to move about the home. This makes it easier for those who use canes, walkers or wheelchairs to move about independently with having to maneuver around obstacles.
Single-level homes – Arranging living and sleeping areas all on one level allows accessibility for everyone, especially those who are challenged by stairs.
Fewer bedrooms and baths – Most baby boomers are asking for a nicely sized master bedroom with a deluxe, private bath and one extra bedroom or bath that can be used as a guest suite for visitors, sleepovers with the grandkids or accommodations for an older relative who is not able to live alone but does not wish to live in a retirement home, assisted care facility or the like.
Walk-in showers – Baby boomers caring for an aging relative are realizing now more than ever the need for walk-in showers. Stepping into the shower can be a great challenge. A walk-in shower offers a convenient and safe solution that is perfect for many people that face physical challenges and limitations. Not only is this nice feature a solution for those that baby boomers are caring for, but it may come in handy years from now when this generation is faced with the same challenges their parents and other family members are faced with now.
Home offices – Many baby boomers are still working full time but have opted for telecommuting requiring a home office that can accommodate a computer, phone lines and more. Others have retired from one job just to start up a business they have dreamed about for a long time.
Exercise areas – More than ever, the baby boomer generation is becoming aware of the need to practice good health habits. With that comes a desire to have a home gym, workout area, etc. Many are looking for homes that incorporate a dedicated space for working out such as an exercise area where they can practice yoga, pop in an aerobics video, walk on a treadmill or do some strength training with a home gym machine.
Spaces for relaxation and enjoyment – Baby boomers owe it to themselves to kick back and relax from time to time or spend time enjoying their favorite hobby. There is an uptick with this generation requesting features in their homes that promote relaxation and enjoyment. Weather is it is a hobby room, garage workshop, soaking tub in the master bath, state-of-the-art entertainment center, quite den or expansive deck, baby boomers are asking home builders for the things they enjoy most.
If you plan to build a new home and you are indeed part of the baby boomer generation, think about all of these features. Review and consider house plans that incorporate the elements that will be most beneficial to you. Chances are you will appreciate for these thoughtful features for many years to come.