Caring Transitions

The Five Things We Can Learn From a 70-Year-Old Home Buyer

 Posted by Caring Transitions on November 12, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Mature home buyers between the ages of 69-89 (the Silent Generation) make up only 10 percent of the recent home purchases in the United States according to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report. What are the motivations of this age group to purchase real estate at this time in their life and what do they desire as home owners?

SRES® conducted an interview with a 70-year-old home buyer to find out her personal home buying story and here are the top five things they learned:

  • Cohabitation Isn’t Just a Trend for Millennials

The home buyer SRES® interviewed will be purchasing a condo with her current partner. They are not married and have never had children or owned a home together before. The partner’s desire for home ownership was a large factor in the purchase of their condo together. They do not have plans in the near future for marriage and like their younger counterparts who are choosing to live together before marriage (or never tying the knot in general), they want to share a home and don’t consider marriage a necessary component in that decision.  

  • Disinterest in Assisted Living is Not Just About Keeping Independence

This home buyer is disinterested in an assisted living residence because she wishes to maintain diversity in her life. She feels living in an assisted living facility would cause her to be surrounded by a homogenous group of people, too similar in age and income. This was in mind as she purchased a condo in Chicago, Illinois, which allows her the ability to age in a more diverse environment and live around people of different ages and backgrounds. Assisted living was not an option and would only be considered on an “as needed basis”.

  • Walkability and Ability to Stay Active is Essential

Still active, healthy and working full-time, this home buyer desires to be within walking distance of restaurants and stores. It is essential for her and her partner to be able to explore the neighborhood on foot and have accessibility to Lake Michigan. Establishing community in a safe and walkable neighborhood was of upmost importance to their long term happiness and it influenced the decision where to purchase their home.

  • Renting vs. Buying: A Tough Question at Any Age

The fact millennials are renting more than buying has been a hot topic in the real estate world. However, the age of this home buyer did not stop her from sharing some of the same fears millennials have in being tied down to a home. Renting is attractive because it provides a certain amount of freedom from home owner stress and responsibilities.  But in the end, for this consumer, the financial investment, security and stability of home ownership won. The added excitement of being able to make structural and cosmetic changes as she pleased was also a deciding factor. 

  • “We Feel Like We Have a Lot of Life Left to Live”

The home buyer also honestly shared that the moving process was more tiring at her age and much more exhausting than they had expected.  Of course, moving is always stressful no matter your age, but in the long run, the move in later life was worth it to them because they feel they have a lot of life left to live. 

The Five Things We Can Learn From a 70-Year-Old Home Buyer

By Laura Davis for the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Council