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Multi-Generational Housing Knowledge Critical for Agents in the Coming Decade

Multi-Generational Housing Knowledge Critical for Agents in the Coming Decade

Today we are pleased to have Nikki Buckelew back as our guest blogger. Nikki is considered a leading authority on seniors real estate and housing. 

This past week I was reminded again about the visualization of the baby boomer generation looking much like a basketball making it’s way through a garden hose. With the first baby boomer having turned 65 years old in 2011 and 8,000 of this cohort “celebrating” a 65th birthday daily, we are being bombarded regularly with messages about how this generation will impact virtually every aspect of life.

Even the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) didn’t have a break-out session at this year’s NAR Conference in San Francisco devoted to dealing with the senior client, 55+ living options, or multi-generational housing needs. This despite their own reports indicating 1 in 4 home sellers as being over the age of 65 last year.

Regardless of your city, county, or state, this trend and need for suitable housing to serve the needs of not only our aging boomer generation as homeowners, but more importantly, their needs as primary caregivers for their rapidly aging parents and relatives, is only going to accelerate in the coming decade.

According to the AARP, in 2008, 5.3 percent of all households, or 6.2 million, were occupied by multiple generations of families. That number rose to 7.1 million households by 2010, or 6.1 percent of all households – a growth rate faster than the previous eight years combined for a total of 51 million Americans (U.S. Census Bureau).

We have listed a few housing options below that, as a real estate professional, you may want to pay attention to and become more familiar with as you will likely find yourself faced with clients looking to you to help navigate this new frontier…

Multi-Generational Housing Options:
Lennar NEXTGEN homes – http://lennarnextgen.com/

Residential Care Homes for the aging:
Type YOUR STATE “association of residential care homes” into your search engine for relevant information in your area about residential group housing for the elderly.

55+ Active Adult Communities:
Lennar Active Adult 55+ Communities – http://lennaractiveadult.com/
Del Webb Communities – http://www.delwebb.com/

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1 reply
  1. Greg Wright
    Greg Wright says:

    We are so far behind the ball on multi-generational housing it is not funny.

    Many REALTORS. like myself, recognize the demand and are eager to meet our clients needs for these types of properties. Sadly, there are few choices consumers have other than trying to fit their situation into existing single family and multi-family options.

    I for one, would like to see some of the barriers removed to the awesome multi-generational housing concepts that are used in other countries.

    Here are some specific barriers:

    First of all; most local zoning codes have no provision to address these situation treating either like a big house or multi-family, and many codes have language which actually prohibits such things like second kitchens or having living areas in more than one structure.

    Second off: Nearly all builders are not in the game, because they only want to build what has a track record of selling, which means more of the same. Even for builders who are willing to venture into this area most require construction financing which leads to the third problem.

    Third: Banks do not want to make loans for builders to build something that does not have a track record.

    Greg Wright
    Past Chair Economic Issues
    National Association of REALTORS


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