Top Housing Preferences of Baby Boomers

Age is just a number, but it’s also a telltale sign of housing preferences. As home buyers age, their tastes and preferences tend to change to suit new lifestyles.

Compared to all home buyers, baby boomers and seniors have their own ideas about what they want out of a home and are less likely to buy based on features like two stories or nearby day care centers, according to a recent report highlighting housing preferences. For all buyers, however, money was the most influential factor when considering a move.

The National Association of Home Builders has published its Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers, which revealed that all buyers are agreed on some elements of housing and disagree on other preferences. Across the board, baby boomers and general home buyers cited changes in health or increased physical limitations as the most likely event to influence them to move, followed by retirement and loss of interest in a current home.

Key Findings

-63% of baby boomers would like to buy a single-family detached home, compared to 65% of all buyers.

-About half of baby boomers would prefer a new home, whether purchased from a builder or built on their land.

-32% of baby boomers would pay all cash for a home, compared to 28% of all buyers.

One of the biggest differences between the generations in the study was on type of housing. The vast majority of seniors (88%) prefer a single-story home, compared to 75% of baby boomers, 49% of Gen X’ers and just 35% of millennials.

The biggest consensus between the generations was wanting a home that is energy efficient and organized. Baby boomers listed Energy Star appliances as their top most wanted feature in a home. For all buyers, the most wanted feature was a laundry room.

Another important housing feature baby boomers consider essential is a full bath on the main level of the home. Forty-seven percent of baby boomers consider this absolute necessity and the single-most critical accessibility feature, according to the report.

Accessible features were commonly cited by baby boomers and seniors as must-haves in the report. Boomers were also more likely to want to live in on a quieter street, on a cup de sac for example, than other generations of homebuyers.

Written by Amy Baxter