One of the occupational hazards of being a real estate agent is that you may suddenly walk into the house of a client looking to sell a property.
“We weren’t looking to move,” said Suzanne White, a 58-year-old realtor from Nashville, Tenn. “My husband and I have never argued about it.”
However, like so many couples, the conversations … did not go well. He always wanted a large part of the lake and the entertainment time. He wanted the room to be musical and a forest. “But these were random wishes,” Suzanne said. It was not enough to drive them two thousand feet from their home of 18 years, where they had raised a blended family of four now grown children and loved the neighborhood and their neighbors.
That changed in the fall of 2020, when Suzanne walked into her 4,225-square-foot home in Cordoba, a 15-minute drive east of Nashville. “I quickly saw that all the boxes were checked,” he said.
I wish uh
The brick house had a pool, a perfect log cabin, all bedrooms with sloping ceilings, a covered porch, turnkey finishes, lots of room inside and out for parties, and plenty of room for two large Sheepadoodles to romp.
She went home and told her husband, now aged 60, “You have to look at this house. But don’t worry, we’re not moving.”
Uh huh. In the afternoon they wrote the situation.
Suzanne and Mark White are among the growing number of adults over the age of 55 who are taking up the tradition. Typically, when the kids leave home, parents downsize. Yet more couples in this life stage are choosing to upsize, or the same size, home that offers more of what they want, according to a new report out this week from the National Association of Realtors.
“One of the persistent myths we have about retirees is that they want to downsize, but that’s not true today,” said Jessica Lautz, economist and lead researcher behind the 2023 Home Buyers and Sellers General Trends Report. Those between the ages of 58 and 76 who bought homes last year were the highest measure, and nearly one in five purchased homes over 3,000 square feet.
He also sees a white streak in business. “In addition to the desire to live more, I see that even in my remote clients, they do not want to settle down, where in the past, they wanted to sacrifice the house, so that they could be in the right school. area, now what they want and have.
Common things they want on the list: distant neighbors, an upgraded kitchen, a comfortable bathroom, a sewing or craft room, enough space in the laundry room for an ironing board, a covered porch and a large pantry.
This group can often get what they want because, like younger buyers, they can afford to buy their new home without first selling their current one. With that pressure away, they have the luxury of taking the time to find what they want.
Today, the Whites enjoy each of the houses, the yard and especially the lake. “We love our second home, but this one only gives us the space to live the way we want.” It’s a career, in a coaching environment.
“Two and a half years later we still drive and can’t believe this is our home,” she said. “It was received by us. I don’t know what the 80’s are like, but this is where we plan to stay.
Here are a few more findings from the NAR report on older home buyers, which break into three groups: baby boomers, ages 58 to 67; older baby boomers, 68 to 76; and silent generations, 77 to 97
• THE SAME VISION. Among home buyers between the ages of 58 and 76, they purchased most homes that were the same size, or within 100 square feet, as the home they were selling.
• Important demographics. 43% of all US home buyers are 58 or older.
• Sweet spot. More than half of home buyers over age 58 bought a home between 1,501 and 2,500 square feet. However, 17% of younger boomers, 19% of older boomers and 13% of the silent generation bought homes larger than 3,000 square feet.
• I don’t rent houses. Among them, buyers 58 and older bought single-family homes.
• CHILDREN LIVING. Only 7% of all buyers older than 60 bought housing in older communities. “That number really speaks to the decline seen in older buyers looking for senior-related housing,” Lautz said. “It seems today that older people want to live more and more independently.”
• The power of the contract. Many at this age have run out of home equity, so there is more pressure when buying a home, Lautz said. That is why they are holding papers. They often come to dinner with none, if chance dictates, the victors.
Among younger boomers, 43% paid all cash for their home, and among older boomers 51% did, compared to only 7% of those ages 33 to 42.
Marni Jameson is the author of six home and living books, including “What You Should Do to Leave a Legacy” and “Downsizing a Blended Home – When Two Families Become One.” Stretch it out marnijameson.com.