Hey, real estate agents, marketers, advertisers. Look up from your phones and stop searching for Millennials for a minute. Check out the Boomers…that’s right, the Baby Boomers who are increasing their numbers to nearly 82M and counting.
Boomers, as they have since they burst onto the scene, continue to be the outsize juggernaut of consumer spending. Despite being only 28% of the population, Boomers represent 42.0% of consumer spending, according to Visa and Moody Analytics.
Some of that Boomer spending goes into buying houses. The National Association of Realtors Homebuying Report in 2017 tells us that 30% of all home sales in 2016 were made by those 52-70 years old. Nearly 25% of first time buyers were 52 years old and up. 8% of all home sales were made by 71-91 years olds.
Agents…help your Boomer clients buy the home/townhome/condominium of their dreams , not their nightmares, by focusing on these issues:
1. Make sure that the potential purchase is the right financial move at the right time. In 2016, according to the above-cited NAR report, 68% of 62-70 year olds financed their new home. Suggest that your clients pay attention to the financial impact of their potential new home now and in the future when taxes, homeowners’ association fees and insurance costs go up. Boomers need to be confident of their ability to make payments throughout the life of their mortgage even when their income drops due to full retirement, health issues become a major concern, and/or their spouse dies.
2. Help your clients match their potential new home with their lifestyle. Do they intend to travel? Do they intend to be “on call” to the grandkids and their parents? Do they intend to play lots of golf and lots of bridge? These various Boomer scenarios have different home and amenity choices attached to them.
3. Help you clients think about home maintenance costs. If your Boomers are considering a home with a home- owners’ association, can they afford escalating fees? If your Boomers are traveling a good percentage of the time and won’t have a homeowners’ association, can they afford home maintenance, gardening and “fix-it” costs?
4. Help your clients think about the suitability of the house as they age and/or their health declines. Single story homes with master bedrooms and laundry rooms on the first floor make the most sense. Windows that tilt in rather than out are easier for Boomers to clean. And even though Uber, etc. are ubiquitous, help your clients consider the location of their home when they become unable to drive.
5. Multigenerational living is a back-to-the-future thing as it becomes more and more popular with families of all ages. Some homes come with and some homeowners can build in-law suites.