The Baby Boomer generation was unlike anything this country had ever seen. Although it has been surpassed, numerically, by Millennials, and soon enough by Generation Z, there has never been a generation who have dominated, percentage-wise, like the Baby Boomers. Even more than that, they came of age during a time of mass media and improved communications that made them aware of themselves as a generation, something that hadn’t really been the case before.
While the Boomers were far more diverse than it seems in media recollections (it wasn’t just campus protests), the sheer weight of their numbers altered every aspect of American life. Now, it is altering the housing market, as more Boomers retire and look to scale back or buy their dream house. As a residential rehab professional in California, you might want to look at how to tailor your products to this market- what older owners look for, where they want to live, and what you can do to accommodate that. It’s a huge market, and with your hard money loan from Socotra, you have a great chance at getting ahead of the game.
Where To Buy
To say Boomers are retiring in great numbers is no exaggeration- AARP says that over 8000 Boomers turn 65 every day. It’s true that retirement is different. Many people are still digging themselves out from the crash of 2008, and are unable to buy a new home. Still, there is a large number of Boomers who are looking to downsize, and find a house to spend their golden years.
There are a few things that Boomers are looking for when finding a retirement home, which means that when buying property to fix and flip, you should look for houses that have these attributes.
- Warmth. An easy one, and most of California is great because it avoids the scorching heat of Arizona, or the damp blanket of humidity that is Florida.
- Access to entertainment. This is not a generation that is content to while away retirement looking out the window. Golf, nightlife, great restaurants, great shopping, and anything else that makes the golden years golden is vital to selling to this market.
- Access to transportation. If people are moving to California, they may be moving away from their social network, including friends, children, and grandchildren. This disruption of social life can be disorienting for retirees buying a house. While the internet has helped close these gaps, that’s no substitute for being able to jump on a plane and fly home, so being close to airports helps.
Looking at that, then, we can see a few good spots. One is Riverside, which boasts great temperatures, great access to airports, proximity to LA, and is actually growing. It has land on which it can still build- unusual for such a crowded region- and the city is looking at making hub-oriented centers that are very walkable. This sort of walkability is important to people who aren’t going to be able to drive forever.
Another great option is Malibu or Topanga. Both are gorgeous beach-side communities, and appeal to slightly different crowds. Malibu is more upscale, of course, an expensive. Topanga is more affordable. Depending on where your business is at, both are extremely good properties for retirement.
Staying in the south, the Santa Barbara area is known for its great climate, exciting lifestyle, affordability, and access to the major cities of California. Huddled on breathtaking rugged cliffs but with wonderful beaches, the region is perfect for retirees who want to feel the salty ocean breeze, hear the barking seals, and travel whenever they want. Other cities in the area to buy in include San Luis Obispo and Carpinteria.
Needless to say, there is a tremendous amount of diversity in the region, and you can’t say “all retirees will want to live in X, Y, or Z”. There are even some people who want to retire to Buffalo, probably. It takes all kinds. However, you can look at broad trends, and understand where people will want to go, and cater to that.
It’s an enormous group of people getting ready to retire. When they do, they’ll need not just houses, but certain accommodations. As Boomers age, they’ll need more elderly-friendly retrofits, which you can do with your hard money loan from Socotra, California’s leading equity-based lender. In our next article, we’ll talk about these important retrofits.