Resilience: Friendly and welcoming community most important factor to baby boomers buying homes, also efficiency factors

By | August 8, 2016 | cross-posted from Construction Dive

  • Hanley Wood and homebuilder Taylor Morrison have revealed the results of two separate studies exploring what baby boomers want most when buying a new home.
  • Focus group sessions found that a friendly and welcoming community was most important to participants, while both the focus group research and a more detailed survey discovered that location was a key factor in the decision to purchase a home. Community amenities, open floor plans, indoor-outdoor spaces and price also figured prominently into homebuying decisions.
  • The study was conducted in preparation for the unveiling of the Hanley Wood and Taylor Morrison collaborative NEXTAdventure 55+ model home. They plan to unveil the completed NEXTAdventure Home in January at the International Builders Show in Orlando, FL.

Additional important features for the 55-plus buyer, the companies found, include smart home and green technologies. Their research tapped into boomers’ preferences for sustainability and energy efficiency, as well as wireless security, adaptive lighting and smartphone-controlled elements like thermostats and light switches. Company officials said millions of U.S. baby boomers are planning a “fresh start” and want an active and relaxed environment in which to do so.

Many of these features are the same wanted by any other cohort, and builders are starting to design to that desire. Last month, D.R. Horton announced its plans to launch a new line of boomer offerings after the homebuilder realized that older buyers had purchased nearly 45% of the properties intended to appeal to millennials. The company said its new Freedom Homes would cater to boomers looking for an “affordable, low-maintenance” lifestyle.

Still, many of those homeowners 55 and older would prefer to stay put in their homes as they age, so companies that specialize in the necessary renovations are keeping busy. According to the National Association of Home Builders’second-quarter Remodeling Index, Generation Xers and baby boomers are the force behind an increase in aging-in-place remodels and other home projects that will make it easier for them to stay in their homes as they get older.

Also see: Builder Magazine: What Boomers Want Most