870421487_13928c1c6d_b Photo: Alan Furguson/Flickr

Developer Hanley Wood and builder Taylor Morrison are hoping to use the results of two recent studies to build a home tailor made for 55-years-and-older homebuyers. The studies, conducted independently by Grey Matter Research and Consulting and The Farnsworth Group, examined what Baby Boomers looked for most in new homes through focus groups of buyers and a survey of recent home buyers in this age bracket. The studies found that location and larger living space were at the top of their home buying wish list.

With an estimated 77 million Baby Boomers in the US, according to recent Census data, they are a formidable buying force in any local market.

Surprisingly location, and not price, was the top concern for Baby Boomers. A little over 50 percent cited a home’s location as the number one priority, specifically a home’s proximity to shopping, dining and medical facilities. Only 37 percent of Boomers felt price was the most important factor.

Boomers overwhelmingly want more space, 81 percent keen on bigger floor space in less populated communities. Nearly 50 percent looked for homes averaging between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet.

First impressions and feeling welcome in a community are equally important, according to the study conducted by Grey Matter Research and Consulting. Just over 64 percent of baby boomers surveyed felt a planned community was “important,” and 18 percent felt it was “very important.” However, the decision to purchase in a community greatly depended on what amenities were offered. Baby Boomers tended to look for communities with clubhouses, pools and walking trails.

When looking at new homes, Boomers looked at construction quality first, according to the data gathered by The Farnsworth Group. Quality of construction outpaced neighborhood safety and overall design.

Technology was also important to the demographic. Wireless security systems was the top of their tech wish list, but they also expressed strong interests in adaptive lighting and “smart” technology controlled by their smart phones.

“Information gleaned from the focus group helps set the stage on what the 55+ homebuyer desires in a new home and how the industry should be building its homes,” said John McManus, Editorial Director of Hanley Wood’s Residential Group.

The insight McManus gathered from the studies led to the development of the NEXTadventure Home, which will debut at the International Builders Show January 2017 in Orlando.

NEXT homes offer 2,268 square feet of space, are customizable and have a secondary bedroom nicknamed a “snore room.” Hanley Wood and Taylor Morrison will have to wait until next year to find out if the NEXT Home is a hit with Baby Boomers, or if more active buyers will be inclined to pass on a dedicated room for napping.

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