Retirement Homes take on New Meaning
By Gary J Venice
This is not your father’s retirement home…
A lot has been said over the last few months about the number of baby boomers that are reaching retirement age. That trend is going to be continuing and with the numbers joining the retirement rolls, the whole retirement services sector will be changing. In East Tennessee, the real estate market is significantly impacted by these baby boomers because this area is such a great place to retire. The proximity to the Tennessee River, several major southeastern cities, the mountains and even the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico are within a days drive! When you add the favorable tax environment and cost of living, East Tennessee is high on the list for boomers.
In regards to Real Estate, the “retirement home” has taken on a whole new meaning. Boomers entering retirement are tending to be more active and expect the homes they purchase to be able to support that active life style. They expect the home to have more features from gourmet kitchens to spa type baths and outdoor spaces that are suitable for extending the living space and entertaining. Boomers also look for space that can be multi purpose. Having a spare room that can serve as the home office as well as a spare bedroom when guest’s comes to visit is high on the list.
Technology also plays a role in the boomers home of choice. Home automation items like the self learning thermostat Nest (www.nest.com, copy and paste this link in your browser) and home security and connectivity items that can tell you who has entered and when, turn on and off lights and have the garage door ready when you enter the neighborhood are now considered practical when once these systems were luxury items.
The Nest thermostat learns your habits and will tailor the comfort settings in your home to meat your lifestyle and schedule. The Nexia home automation system can provide a complete suite of controls from door access to lights to home comfort settings.
(Check out http://www.nexiahome.com/NexiaHome.aspx , copy and paste this link in your browser)
Another big draw for this group are home’s that are energy efficient and low maintenance both inside and out. Landscaping that does not require a great deal of attention, mowing, pruning and fertilizing are especially attractive because along the lakes, some lots tend to be sloping and while pushing a mower around on a hill may contribute to an active life style it is not something that invites comfort. If the property includes a dock, then having the new generation of non wood decking or polymer coatings on wood decking reduce the need for maintenance and extends the life of the deck. Inside, using energy efficient lighting, high efficiency furnace filters, on demand hot water systems and low E glass in the windows are all things that enhance a property being considered. Boomers are looking for open floor plans, lots of natural light and fuel efficient appliances.
In the next few years there will also be an emphasis on having a home that can be used multi generationally. Our area has the advantage of providing for an active lifestyle and as healthcare continues to advance, boomers can expect a longer life span. The potential exists that the boomers of today could live to see their children entering retirement and living in the same home. Having space that can be dedicated to each lifestyle will play more of a role as we move forward.
If you have been thinking of putting your home on the market or have been considering home improvements that will enhance the value of your home, give these items some serious considerations. Most of them are relatively cost effective and can add a big impact in the future. Leave us a comment and let us know: if you are a boomer looking for a home what are the items you would like to see in the home and if you are a seller, what modifications/additions would you consider adding to meet the needs of these buyers!