A 55+ buyer is an experienced buyer. They know that they do not need a living room. Perhaps they were talked into buying a house with a living room because their realtor told them they needed one for resale. What they learned over the years is that the room was rarely used and now that it is time to sell, this phantom living room enthusiast remains to be seen.
The same holds true for their dining room. We’ve all been told that this buyer wants a vast dining room so they can host holiday dinners for extended family and friends. In reality, a formal dining room is too large 11 months out of the year and too small when the entire family actually does visit. Other times, they travel to their children’s houses for Thanksgiving and don’t use this room at all.
These rooms can be nice to have, but does every 55+ buyer (or any age demographic) want to pay for, furnish, clean, heat and cool rooms they don’t use? Instead, let’s expand upon the rooms that are enjoyed on a daily basis. We jettison the living and dining room and create the Casual Lifestyle Plan. This plan has a casual eating space off the kitchen that is both suitable for daily meals and large enough for entertaining. These buyers also want a large kitchen for entertaining. This is where people tend to gather so why not facilitate the traffic? They want a kitchen that welcomes and encourages conversation and participation while preparing and cleaning up after an event.
Since so much of our entertaining revolves around TV, ensure that the family room is large enough to accommodate a crowd and that you can see the TV from the kitchen and the casual dining area. Why go to a bar to watch the game when your house is the life of the party? Did I mention movie night? With Netflix and HBO, movie night can be every night (for better or worse)! The point is, when I grew up, you never wanted your guests to see the big bad TV in that “other room”. Now the TV is the center of our entertainment world. There are even decorative ways to hide the "big black rectangle" when it's not in use!
The way in which we live today is different than it was 100, 50, or even 25 years ago. The Casual Lifestyle Plan acknowledges that and embraces today’s habits and routines by eliminating the rooms we don’t use and adding square footage to the rooms we do use. Sounds good to me!