Retirees Look to Build Smaller, Custom Homes

Many people seek to downsize their home in retirement—but not their home buying wish list. Retirees reportedly are flocking to smaller newly built homes customized to their personal needs and tastes.

One advantage older home buyers find with these custom homes is that they can be built to accommodate medical conditions or physical restrictions, such as wider hallways to accommodate mobility devices. The home also can be outfitted with age-in-place features such as outdoor ramps and lower kitchen cabinets.

Retirees are looking to cut back on home maintenance and repairs, which is why their preferences are straying away from larger, older homes. However, building a custom home can be stressful because of the wide availability of options. Real estate experts recommend researching building plans and contractors carefully to make sure buyers get the type of craftsmanship they seek.

Source: “Retirees Turning to Custom Homes to Get the Right Space,” RISMedia (June 22, 2017)

Older Home Buyers Less Willing to Compromise?

Older home shoppers are more picky in their home purchases than younger buyers, according to a survey of nearly 94,000 recent home buyers and sellers.

About half of the those surveyed who were age 58 and older say they made no compromises during their recent home purchase. On the other hand, only 28 percent of the youngest home buyers surveyed said they didn’t compromise, according to the survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®.

For the most part, younger home buyers reported having to compromise on price, lot size, distance from job, and style of home.

“First-time buyers are starry-eyed and have no idea what they really need. They might want a five-bedroom and never use two of them,” says Stephen Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders. Those in their 50s “are better than most housing consumers at knowing what they want — and won’t be shy.”

After all, many older home buyers have already purchased a home in the past, so they may know more about what they want and don’t want in their next home.

Source: “The Older the Home Buyer, the Pickier,” The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 30, 2013)