“Active Adults”, “Empty-nesters”, the “55+ Buyer”.. All names for a very special buyer profile. They are at a time in their lives when their focus shifts from caring for their children to focusing on themselves, their accomplishments, their interests and hobbies. A strange and wonderful transformation begins to occur within their house and their attitude towards it.
The kitchen used to be that very hectic, stress filled room where daily meals were prepared within narrow time frames as families prepared for work or school. Or in the evening when everyone was tired and hungry and sometimes grouchy.
With the kids out of the house, cooking can becomes less about a time crunch. Perhaps the buyers are retired or semi-retired. Suddenly, they find time to enjoy cooking! Now they can try to experiment with different entrees or cooking techniques. Cooking becomes an artistic process and the kitchen is the center of entertainment whether you are cooking for one, two, or ten!
One of my big rules for selling to the 55+ buyer: Make it fun! Wine is the preferred beverage for the 55+ demographic. It is also the universal symbol for celebration! Put it on display and incorporate a dedicated beverage center to minimize traffic around the kitchen.
This room used to be dominated by never ending piles of laundry. But now with just two people living in the home, it's actually possible to control the clutter! If you have a front loaded washer and dryer, installing a counter top over the appliances to creates a functional work space.
How many bedrooms does the 55+ buyer really need? Most find they want one bedroom for guests and another bedroom for anything but guests. These flex rooms are not so much a bedroom as they are a “Whatever-I-want-it-to-be room.”
Downsizing can be a daunting adjustment for many 55+ buyers. Understanding how frequently they use certain rooms will aide in eliminating redundancies or find dual purposes for them. The most exciting part is watching a homebuyer design their homes around their interests, hobbies, and learn to have fun during this time in their lives.