So you're finding yourself thinking of another big move? What's in store for you...the mature buyer?
The kids have moved out and have had families of their own for awhile now...do you stay or do you go? According to AARP.org, most Seniors, or let's just call this buyer/seller group the "Mature Market", would like to stay in the home they've loved and cared for. If you stay, what needs to be done to your current home to bring it into that so called "Mature Market" and if you go, what next and what should you look for in that new home to ensure it meets your needs?
The number one concern is SAFETY! Let's look at that. Most Seniors (yup, I said it, Seniors), look for non-skid flooring features or if hardwood flooring is a must have, there are some to stay away from. Eighty percent put this safety request high on their requirements list. Some laminates, for one, can be much more slippery than real/engineered wood products. Remember that when requesting a flooring credit in your next purchase. Seventy-nine percent of the Mature Market find themselves more confident in their alone time (i.e. showers, baths, toilet areas) if grab bars are installed. And we all know how independence has an important role as we age. A personal alert system has moved up on the wants and needs list with 79% of Seniors finding security in knowing that someone is within moments away. "Help I've fallen and I can't get up" has, in a way, become the new mantra when it comes to quick response. This also ties into properties that sit just within a twelve minute perimeter of local medical facilities. We are finding many condo associations for the "Over 55" to be in close proximity to fire stations and hospitals. One way to avoid those unplanned visits to the medical facility is to either remodel your current residence to include as few steps as possible (none is best) or purchase a home without steps. Seventy-seven percent of Seniors share this desire and with a comfortable entrance you may as well enjoy your extra wide hallways. Thirty-six inches wide has been code for many years but how many halls of this width can accommodate travel of walkers, wheelchairs or electric chairs - not to mention having enough room for an assistant to tag along beside you. Go wide or go home...but wait, you're already there! If you wish to stay in your home, widening the hall a good six inches to a foot will create a lot drywall dust. Consider this when making the decision to "stay or go". Lever style door handless beats out the door knob any day and while electrical outlets get higher on the wall, electrical switches go lower. Some of the mature Market buyers we find ourselves consulting with are also on the lookout for easier accessibility to windows and the ease and functionality of opening and closing them. As well, this demographic is young at heart, spunky and spicy! They seek easy in and out to local recreational areas, favorite dining spots, spaces in their home to entertain and quite possibly a second master for those longer layover guests!
Don't rule out of even underestimate the "Mature Market". The rings around these trees may be many but they know what they want, their hearts are young and they are ready for the next move up!
This article was written by Jennifer Martin, d3 Realtor/Builder and can also be viewed in the Traverse City Business News October 2016 issue.