In a National Association of Home Builders report titled “What Home Buyers Really Want,” older homebuyers made their preferences quite clear.
In the report, 80 percent of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) said they preferred single-level living over climbing stairs, while seniors (those born before 1946) chimed in at 74 percent. And when it comes to living without a basement, boomers and seniors led that trend as well, with 52 percent and 61 percent, respectively.
So it’s little wonder that demand for houses in communities built especially for ages 55 and older continues to grow, powered by downsizing empty nesters as well as buyers who have simply had their fill of yard work and major household maintenance.
That describes the home shoppers who’ve visited Woods Point in Ferndale, where Landed Gentry Homes and Communities is building 75 homes designed for convenient, uncomplicated living along with aesthetic appeal.
They come because the community has been designed with them in mind, says Kendra Gentry-Decker, Landed Gentry’s executive vice president. Buyers have the option of a single-level home, or they can choose a plan with a master suite on the main level and a bonus loft for guests, an office, or space for hobbies or a quiet getaway.
“Woods Point is big enough to have a great community atmosphere, but small enough to know your neighbors, too,” Gentry-Decker says. “Some may call it ‘downsizing,’ but I think this is an excellent opportunity for buyers to ‘upgrade’ their lifestyle.”
A higher quality of life
According to Jeff Hoyt, editor-in-chief at seniorliving.org, active retirement communities are designed to give residents plenty to do if they want community engagement.
“Because they are active communities, they offer a location for people to come together,” Hoyt says. “Many offer clubhouses or spaces for people to meet and talk to each other. This type of environment is ideal for anyone who may be retired but still wants to enjoy a higher quality of life.”
At Woods Point, a big part of that enjoyment is likely to take place at a new community lodge, on track for completion in June.
The 2,158-square-foot facility will have a large open room for gatherings and community events, with panel doors that open to a covered patio. The covered outdoor area will include a gas firepit and will open to a community pickleball court. It will be adjacent to a large community park.
“Community buildings, pickleball courts and walking trails are conducive to social interaction,” Gentry-Decker says. “This [age] group is definitely not elderly. They are active, fun and full of energy.”
Consumer research has shown that many buyers choose 55-and-older communities because they crave social interaction and want to live among people of a similar age.
Neighbors of a similar age
Gentry-Decker says it can feel isolating for some when few of their neighbors are of retirement age.
“The wonderful thing about active adult communities is that they offer a sense of community almost immediately,” she says. “The entire neighborhood is comprised of others in a similar stage of life. It’s like a second college experience for many.”
The sales team at Woods Point has discovered that the preferences and needs of a 55-plus client can often be misunderstood.
“Many assume a cute little one-bedroom, one-bath condo or cottage is what they want, when in fact, we see that our larger 2,000-plus-square-foot, single-level homes with upscale finishes are our most popular,” Gentry-Decker says. “This age group has likely lived in several nice homes throughout their lifetime and they most certainly know what they like.”
Landed Gentry Homes and Communities is the builder of the new Woods Point active adult community, open by appointment Wednesdays–Sundays at 1416 Woods Point Loop, Ferndale. Prices range from $549,900–$655,900. For more information, call 360-488-3727 or visit LandedGentry.com.