It wasn’t the first time I have been asked this question, so it must have been the way she asked it: “I can’t find any homes for sale that aren’t huge, or on too much land, or are out of my price range. What the hell are these builders thinking?”
Good question. As a mortgage banker who does a fair number of Reverse for Purchase loans, I have to ask the same thing.
Consider this: if you took all the 62-year-olds who have ever lived on planet earth, and added them together, that number would be less than the number of 62-year-olds alive at this very moment.
And as these boomers move into, or closer to, retirement, many want to downsize, rightsize, or relocate closer to family.
But where are the homes designed to meet the needs of this cohort?
Not five miles from my house, hundreds of new homes are going in. Their median price: $431,000. And the median square footage? 2,200, on half-acre lots. This is not what many consider a moderate retirement home.
The issue of appropriate housing is not simply one of square footage: plenty of existing smaller homes are not optimal for aging in place. Homes can be remodeled – and this is often a good option – but it can be costly for those looking to buy a move-in-ready home.
There are indeed new single-level homes being built, but much of these are in 55+ communities. Boomers self-report being less inclined to live in what often prove to be essentially ethnic monocultures. Condos can be a good option, but the monthly condo fees are a turn-off for some potential buyers.
For this article I called three, family-owned builders and asked them what they could build in the $250,000 range. First question I was asked: “Do they have land?”
No, they don’t have land. They have a home with stairs and a large yard, where they have lived for 40 years. And now they want an appropriate, safe, smaller home with a small yard, proximate to shopping, medical facilities, and amenities.
As a group, boomers are the best educated, most traveled, wealthiest group ever to hit retirement age. And, boomers have always been a force. They have always found a way to change the very framework of a question.
And now their question rightfully is, “Where are the homes that meet the specific, long-range needs of aging boomers?”
Builders? We’d like to hear from you.
Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS# 506562] · Reverse Mortgage Consultant, President’s Club · Middleburg Mortgage, a Division of Middleburg Bank · 20937 Ashburn Road, Suite 115 ·Ashburn, Virginia 20147 · 703-477-1183 Direct
Licensed in: Maryland (MD), Washington, DC, Virginia (VA), Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Georgia (GA), Tennessee (TN).
Visit my Informational Blog at https://middleburgreverselady.wordpress.com/