Multifamily Apartments & Boomers – A Hy.ly Brief

A Hy.ly Brief is a collection of the best ideas and reading links about a topic in one article. The briefing allows you to learn about the topic in a few pages, while the reading links allow you to explore the topic in depth.

Who Are Boomers and Millennials?

Baby Boomers, aka “Boomers”, are the post-World War II generation, born between 1946 and 1964.  Boomers have lived through some of the country’s most seminal and turbulent periods of recent historythe era of JFK, the Civil Rights movement, the Moon landing, Vietnam War and Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. Boomers also enjoyed the economic spoils of the 1980s and were responsible for creating much of the technology that paved the way for the new millennium. This group is currently between 51 and 69 years old.  Wikipedia

Millennials, aka Gen Y, are the generation born between 1980 and 1995, many of whom are children of Boomers. Millennials are a hope-yet-disillusioned generation as they have experienced a different lifestyle from their Boomer parents, with many unable to sustain the same quality of life once enjoyed by the Boomer generation. This group is currently between 20 and 35 years old.  Wikipedia

Why are Boomers Moving to Multifamily Housing?

There are many reasons that Boomers are moving from traditional single-family homes into multifamily housing.

  1. Some have lost their homes to foreclosure in the recent economic debacle.  Investopedia / Andrew Beattie
  2. Some need to cut costs to fund their retirement.
  3. And some simply experience empty nest syndrome.

Whatever their reasons may be, Boomers are moving out of their single-family homes into multifamily housing in droves in recent years.

What Are the Unique Needs of Boomers?

David Allison, the founder of BA Marketing Buildings, explains that “reluctant” Boomers are the set of previous homeowners that are unhappy about moving into multifamily housing. They see such a move as dejecting since it is an unwelcome change in lifestyle.

But, there is a way to win them over with features that match the boomer’s needs:

  1. Adaptable space: Space that can convert from work to play. For example, converting an office space to a guest room for the weekend for children and grandchildren.  Multifamily Executive / Lindsay Machak
  2. Storage Space: Boomers need plenty of space to house their collection of nostalgic possessions. They are concerned with more shelving and closet space to maintain all their big and important items they can’t let go. Multifamily Executive / Lauren ShanesyMultifamily Executive / Ryan Severino
  3. “Bistro Living”: Living spaces that may be smaller but don’t skimp on the high-end finishes and luxury options, such as granite countertops.  Multifamily Executive / Lindsay Machak
  4. Walkable Locations: Living in an area within walking distance to restaurants, gyms and shopping centers.  Multifamily Executive / Lindsay Machak
  5. Low-maintenance property: Properties without a yard to maintain. (Empty-nesters are fans of these.) Houston Business Journal / Paul Takahashi
  6. Peace and Quiet: Properties with double-thick walls, air cells, and triple-pane windows to muffle exterior noise.  Marketing Buildings
  7. Affordable Rent: Most Boomers can’t afford fine furnishings, so they need a balance between affordable rent prices and bistro-living housing.  Real Estate EXchange / Steve McLean

What Needs Do Boomers and Millennials Share?

Despite their generational differences and preferences, Boomers and Millennials do share a few commonalities when it comes to multifamily housing.

  1. Mixed-use communities: Boomers and Millennials alike desire somewhere they can live, work and play. They both desire walkable locations that include retail centers, shops, restaurants, and entertainment.  Midwest Real Estate News / Dan Rafter
  2. Low-maintenance property: The days of wanting the big yard and white-picket fence are gone. No one wants the hassle of having to maintain or repair things. Boomers and Millennials both prefer low-maintenance property so they can enjoy more of their leisure time.  Houston Business Journal / Paul TakahashiMidwest Real Estate News / Dan Rafter
  3. Amenities and Luxuries: Boomers and Millennials both enjoy state-of-the-art amenities and modern luxuries. Both want move-in ready properties replete with shiny, new amenities, and are likely to spend a bit more to get that. Zillow / Vera Gibbons

Are you a Boomer moving from a single-family home into a multifamily home? If so, let us know about your experience and what you think.