Real Estate Trends 2020 — Baby Boomer Buyers

Emily Farber
Emily Farber
Published on January 19, 2020
Watch my video on the impact Baby Boomers have in the real estate market.

If you’re in the market to sell your home this year, it PAYS to do some research on your target audience, the buyers. Who are the likely buyers for your home? What do they tend to look for in a new home, and what can you do to make your home as appealing as possible to have it rise above the competition? This blog post is part of a series about generational trends in real estate. If you’re doing your homework to prepare to put your home on the market, be sure to download my free Seller’s Guide, which is packed full of helpful tips!

Baby Boomer Buyers

We hear a lot about Baby Boomers in the media today. This generation of people were born between 1946 and 1964. According to the National Association of Realtors 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, Baby Boomer buyers make up 32% of the buyers in the United State’s real estate market.

Why Baby Boomer Buyers Purchase Homes

Younger Boomers buy new homes for a variety of typical reasons found across all age groups including: the desire to own their own home, job relocation, and to be closer to friends and family.

Older boomers report a common reason for moving is to better accommodate a household member’s health, to be closer to friends or family, the desire to own a smaller home, or retirement.

Homes to House Multiple Generations

Much like Gen X buyers, there is a noticeable number of Baby Boomer buyers who purchase a multi-generational household—statistics show up to 15% of Boomers purchase a multi-generational home. The most common reasons for this include taking care of their aging parents and living with adult children who have never left the home or have returned home. As a seller, if you have a home that is ideally set up for multi-generational living situations, such as an in-law suite, make sure to market that to your advantage.

New Construction

New construction sales make up about 14% of home sales nationally, and Baby Boomers are the generation most likely to purchase new construction at a rate of about 19% of their home purchases. What does this mean to you, as a seller? If what you’re selling is not new, that means you should strive for excellent condition in your home so that you home can compete with new builds. When buying new construction, people are often trying to avoid the headache of home maintenance as long as possible. Beyond cosmetically freshening up your home, make sure that your mechanicals are in top notch working order, or replaced if they’re nearing the end of their likely life span. Don’t forget about your roof either. Pretty much every buyer I encounter asks about the age and condition of the roof!

Types of Homes Commonly Bought

Across the board for all generations, single family homes are by far the most popular home purchase, however, in the Boomer generation, buyers are slightly more likely to buy condos, townhomes and zero lots (also known as duplexes). These types of homes make sense for people looking for less maintenance (the HOA maintains the exterior components and yard) or a smaller space overall.

How Boomers Buy

When shopping for their new home, Baby Boomer buyers rely heavily upon online websites and their real estate agent. Boomers tend to search for their next home a few weeks longer than other generations, with the length of their search running up to about 12 weeks and viewing about 10 homes during that time, according to NAR’s 2019 Generational Trends Report. Interestingly, the older a buyer is, the more likely he or she is to rely on a real estate agent to suggest the eventual home he or she purchases, rather than seeing it online. As a seller, what can you do to try to make sure YOUR home is the one that stops these buyers in their tracks? Make sure you hire a skilled real estate agent who is well-connected locally and one who makes your home shine on a variety of internet platforms. As an interesting side note, buyers who rely the most heavily on their real estate agent to guide them through the process also show the greatest satisfaction with the home buying process. For even more information about different generations in the real estate market, check out NAR’s 2019 report here.

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