What Baby Boomer Guys and Gals Want in Their Next Home

Category: Home and Garden

November 18, 2011 — Earlier this month we generated a lot of member feedback with our article, “If You Could Break the Mold, What Would Your Ideal Community Look Like“. Members have made 34 comments so far that reflect a wide range of opinions, from those who love the idea of an active adult community to those for whom that is the worst idea ever. Your input has been terrific!

This week we thought we would take this a little further – into the features and kind of home you as a baby boomer want to live in during the next phase of your life (notice we can’t quite choke out “golden years”). The focus here is on the actual home and its features, not the community, which we covered already (and you are free to add more Comments to that article).

Are you looking for a single family home, a townhome, a duplex, a condo, a garden apartment, a high rise – what kind of abode floats your boat? How about the kind of exterial materials – wood, stucco, concrete, plastic or metal siding? Interior materials – are you a “green” bamboo flooring or a must-have granite countertops kind of person? Is universal design (spaces that fit the person, no matter what condition they are in) a top priority?

If you won the design competition to be the architect, what would be the interior features of your next home? What would the ideal square footage and number/type of rooms? Is a separate dining room important, or should it be incorporated in a great room. How about a media room, home office or den, or playroom for the grandkids? Do you want a yard, porch, deck, or patio?


Please let us your preferences using the Comments section below. It would be great if you include your gender so we can compare and contrast perspectives – and see if our stereotypes are correct. Developers – we hope you are listening!

For further reference:
What Boomers are Looking for in Their Next Home – One Story Living and Easy Walking Dominate
Are We Seeing the End of the McMansion Era?
What Are the Must-Have Features in Your Retirement House
How to Design a Home for More Than One Generation

Note: If you have trouble reading the comments in Internet Explorer here is a great tip from a member on how to fix that problem: From an Internet Explorer user who found a way to cope with right side of text being cut off. If you can find a drop down menu for “page”, giving you an array of settings/adjustments, go to “style”, which has two choices – “default”, or “no style”. Choosing the “no style” option should resolve the problem.

Posted by John Brady on November 18th, 2011

43 Comments »

  1. I want a bright and sunny one floor with a great master suite and a guest area with bath. We will need an office for the next few years to continue our self employed businesses. A sun room is great as well as a screen porch. An open covered porch with a hanging swing and room for outdoor furniture out of the sun as well as an open deck for when we do want to sit in the sun. A great room concept for the entertaining spaces with a wow factor kitchen as all the realtors now describe them. We aren’t going to be entertaining crowds as far as I can tell so our current 4200 sq feet can easily go down to 2500 without compromising the feeling of space. What I will miss is closet space. Many we look at do not have basements, so it will be a challenge to find where to put all the seasonal extra clothes and Christmas decorations, but weeding out and only taking what we love will be an important step. We will still have 2 cars and many bicycles, so a 2 car garage with extra space is a must. Low maintenance exterior is a must, but we realize there is always work to do on a house. Some level of generation integration is good, but our current neighborhood does not actually have that much, so we don’t necessarily need more. We find young people in our church groups so as not to be too isolated with only those our age and older. We are just turning 55 this year. Our investment advisor asked us to name our investment plan when we developed it years ago. We named it 55 and out. We will continue working, but at a level we enjoy, not forsaking the years ahead of good health. Thanks for asking the question.

    by Holly — November 19, 2011

  2. like to be in area where there are other people close by to walk, talk, visit with, without having to drive somewhere. The house,no more than 1500 sq ft, single story, want to own it, not the other way around, a nice screend porch, no pool, a hot tub would be nice to sooth older bones, eat in or dining area in kitchen, no need for formal dining, a tv room that doubles as a guest room no need for one of each with guests only come for holidays, a sewing room that is mine not shared storage room, bath with walk in shower (its hard to step up and over on a slippery surface when you get older), built in grab bars, lever type door knobs for arthritic hands, flat ceilings that can be dusted without standing on a 8′ ladder, goes same for vaulted 10′ ceilings with popcorn finish, no more loovered closet doors that collect dust, no more park size yard that has to be mowed,trimmed,edged,weeded,fed,watered,sprayed for insects,weekly (small yard, lots of mulch, plants that care for themselves and don’t care if it rains weekly. Fiberfloor floor coverings, easy clean, nice to look at, not slippery, easy on older feet, love tile but its slippery when wet, cold in winter (but cold feels so nice in August)& spills require cleaning a 10 sq foot area because the spill runs down the grout instead of staying where it fell, carpet requires frequent shampooing especially with pets and grandkids. Guess that about does it, still need lots of cabinet and counter space and big closets.

    by Barb — November 19, 2011

  3. My wife and I are in our late fifties and still very active. I want a little land and alot of natural beauty. It needs to be a grandchildren magnet to get them to visit (when I get grand-kids) My wife also needs to be close to other people and interesting activities.

    The house will be single story and built to optimize energy. We live in Texas and I have always been interested in the kinds of homes the early settlers built to handle the heat. They built low sloping roofs with large overhangs to shade the interior. They had a “dog run” breeze-way through the middle of the structure where they spent the heat of the day. I could see a garage / guesthouse with a breeze-way between it and the main home.

    My daughter has a Master’s degree in sustainable engineering. I would tap her talents to make it a zero energy home.

    And I would have pet chickens in the barn. My other daughter has pet chickens and the eggs are fantastic.

    by brock butler — November 19, 2011

  4. I would want a home in a walkable community–wide sidewalks, bikeways, etc. Priority is obviously human interaction. I would also want a community near a railway station and an airport not too far away.

    I home when I am older (I’m 63 now) to not need a car.

    by Dennis — November 19, 2011

  5. A ranch style patio home with sf about 1600 – 1700 sq feet with 10 foot ceilings and lots of big windows. No din rm, but a large eat-in kit with a built-in desk. A screened in back porch would be a high priority. 2 bedrms and 2.5 baths, 2 car attached gar. Would love an area with golf cart paths and small shops close by – I no longer play golf, so a golfing community is not for me. I would love trees in the neighborhood and a green space.

    by ingrid — November 19, 2011

  6. We recently went through the downsizing to a smaller home. Ended up buying in Scottsdale, AZ. This was the list we gave to the realtor:
    Not interested in a two story. Things we would like to have:
    3 car garage.
    Walk in pantry
    His and her closets in master. A real tub in the master that two can get into.
    Shower in master.
    His and her sinks in master.
    Marble/granite counters throughout
    Wet bar. Wine cooler.
    Wine storage would be nice.
    Formal living and dining room.
    Study.
    Room for a second office.
    Guest room/casita
    Pool with hot tub
    Fire pit
    Outside kitchen
    View out of the back. Not looking into another’s backyard
    Good grocery store nearby
    Fitness center nearby
    Adequate storage in the house in closets. Linen closets.
    Cabinets in garage.
    Access to attic for storage.
    We got everything but the walk in pantry. My wife always wanted to be close to a stream. In Az this is next to impossible. We found a home with a man-made stream running thru the backyard.

    by Ed — November 19, 2011

  7. A nice big luxurious RV for “full-timing” and NO house!!!

    by Susan — November 19, 2011

  8. One story home with at least 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a yard to garden but not overwhelm us. Must be dog friendly as we have 2 Golden Retrivers. This is our second set of Goldens, can’t see us without them, as the force us to get up and walk every morning and evening rain or shine. Granite and cherry cabinetry with open areas like a great room and breakfast area. Like a formally dining room for special occasions. 3 car garage is a must. Close to an international airport. Loacation can’t be in cold winter or humid summer area. Got away from that 30 years ago.

    by KDog — November 19, 2011

  9. Stucco or brick exterior (no maintenance), small lawn with nice self-sustaining plantings & mulch, 2000 s.f. (downsizing from 4000+), pool and spa to attract family visitors (and ourselves), large kitchen with builtins and breakfast bar, jacuzzi tub in master bath, lots of large closets, separate offices for him and me, convertible to guest bedrooms. Still want my formal dining room even if we don’t ue it much. 3 car garage so we have room for our toy. All one level, no stairs. Would love to be on water someplace much warmer than MN.

    by mary — November 19, 2011

  10. to live in a community with 55+ others like us ( kids ok to visit only).
    motorcycles allowed.
    huge garage/storage
    vintage car/truck club
    close to shopping but quiet
    pool
    enclosed porch
    one story with 2 masters
    no yard maintenance ( we’ll take rock )
    just enough grass for our little dog.
    quiet and peaceful surroundings.
    We know that Heaven will be perfect and we believe there’s something close to that until then.

    by Lucy — November 19, 2011

  11. We are dreaming of a one-story log home, simple and sustainable. Semi-rural but not isolated, and within 1/2 hour of a city with arts, adult education, a friendly and inclusive church community and medical care (Chattanooga TN is the frontrunner at present). The house itself – around 1800 sf; necessities include a large screen porch, central air, a woodstove or fireplace, 3 bedrooms (2 of which will be used as offices, with one serving as guest quarters as needed). The goal is to have no living space that is not regularly used; if that means dual functions for most rooms that suits us fine. Dog-friendly flooring and finishes. Lots of storage – full basement and a storeroom adjoining the open carport (all that is needed in the South). A fenced yard and garden that we can enjoy keeping up ourselves.

    by Mimijo — November 19, 2011

  12. Is this maybe why retirement is becoming the impossible dream? Because a simple,secure retirement isn’t emough? Because of Madison Avenue sound bite indoctrination that even in retirement we still need three car car garages and thousands of square feet of storage to facilate our Black Friday feeding frenzy for crass throw away consumerism. That we each have to have our own wasted green space protecting us so that even in the very end we do not have to learn socialization skills?

    by Roy Freese — November 19, 2011

  13. Roy how is it impossible? You might not want a nice place to live in retirement, but I do and it has nothing to do with Madison Ave. I’m downsizing from a 3500 sq ft home, but I’m not giving up things I want for Madison Ave. I have worked hard to save money and done the things I need to do to take care of my 2 kids and plan for retirement. Hope to see you shopping on Black Friday to help stimulate the economy.

    by kdog — November 19, 2011

  14. We are looking for a one story, open floor plan, lots of light in a mild climate, (Tennessee) not too many bugs, under 10,000 people, not a lot of traffic or crime, hiking paths, waterfalls, beutiful scenery with mountains. We would like a conservative town, low taxes, and a community who cares about one another. Preferably 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with sunroom, fireplace and walk in pantry. Yard good for a small garden and perhaps one or two greenhouses and some chickens or to be close to an Amish market. We don’t want to be near any shopping malls or schools and do not want to look into our neighbors windows when we look out ours. No whoville! We are not interested in culture or art museums, we like the outdoors. Does this place even exist?

    by scrapgenie — November 19, 2011

  15. A retirement home takes lots of consideration, and thank-you to those whose comments precede mine. Here are some of my thoughts… A single floor home, heavily insullated to stay cool in summer and warm in winter. A simple gas, wood or coal backup heating system in case the main heating system goes down in a storm. A good pantry area, minimal yard maintenance, walk inshower and a sit down style with a closing door style tub for soaking. If possible, tankless water heaters, they save big on electricity. We need to keep our money, not throw it away. Ramps for the main entry ways, doors acceptable for wheelchairs, and lever style handles in case arthritic or weak hands prevent grasping knobs. I woukld also like bookshelves for my thousands of good books, and others can keep their TV’s. Keep the kitchen and bathroom water systems as close as possible together in case of leaks neding repair, don’t run pipes through the attic unless you have superior insullation to guard against pipe freeze. Screened porches front and back for sitting out in the shade. Two safes, one very well hidden for the real valuables and papers, and the other portable safe for junk stuff in case your place gets broken into, and they take things that they see. If building new, plan on proper overhangs and home siting to take advantage of the sun. Avoid the inner cities, they will be dangerous from a crime and sociability perspective.

    by andyandersonusa — November 19, 2011

  16. Universal design is a must – zero entry, wide hallways, lever handles, walk in shower. Maintenance free exterior (just powerwash), single story unless has elevator and some property for my dog(s) to run and play (1/2+ acre). Ideally open kitchen to small keeping room and perhaps great room in lieu of formal living room, formal dining room a must, large master with 2 Guest rooms (jack/jill bath OK), and large office – can be upstairs with bath (later can be used as guest suite but light and bright. Screened lanai and solar heated pool, large enough for laps so not the oversized bathtubs, scratch the hot tub. When older, too difficult to get in and out of, duraceram floors (more pliable than ceramic) in Entrance foyer, Kit, Great Room and DR and baths. Carpet in BR’s. 2 1/2 or 3 car garage a must to store garden and pool equip with entrance into kitchen. Large closets, lots of cabinets in kitchen, with pull out shelves, large pantry, laundry room with sink and cabinets, lots of windows, and good moldings (chair rail, crown in all rooms with flat ceilings. Fireplace, wired for generator, filtration system with heat pump. Easy to maintain landscaping, separation between houses a must as invisible fence has a six -10 ft zone. Privacy in rear. Walkable neighborhood with trails, fitness center would be nice and not too far from stores, hospitals, etc.

    by DobieMom — November 19, 2011

  17. A home or large town house with a big usable basement for a family room and indoor exercise equipment. I would have at least 9 foot cielings and for once in my life a big nice bathroom and open kitchen. The home has to be less work than my present one and around 2200+ square feet. it needs a guest room with its own bath and a master bedroom ……..I want to live in a walk friendly community with cafes, and shopping and a college or university near by. Also we need to have a pellet stove for newengland winters. I would like central air and a dual fuel heating system.

    by liz Coleman — November 19, 2011

  18. My husband and I will be looking for about 18,000-2,000 sq feet with a master bedroom on the ground floor, with en suite bath. Great room rather than seperate living and dining rooms — we want to use all our space daily. Each of us will need place for a desk & computer equipment; I’m okay with mine being in the greatroom but hubby wants his in a separate room. Makes sense to put it in a bedroom that’s big enough to do both jobs. I want decent sized bedrooms: enough room for a queen size, night stands, a dresser and spacious closet without feeling cramped. (A large walk-in closet for the master would ice the cake). Please put the bedrooms somewhere other than the east side; save that for a family sized kitchen. We both love to cook and want a gas stove and lots of counter space as well as a max size fridge. Include a breakfast bar; the kitchen should be open to the great room, where we’d like room for a table that will seat six comfortably, and a fireplace (gas, please). Bathrooms: the master should have two washbasins – don’t care if they’re separate or share a single vanity. Generous linen storage is a must, as is a large shower and separate jetted tub. Guest bath should feel “luxe” — could serve two bedroomes. A powder room off the great room would be super. We’d prefer a house with a full basement for extra living space, storage, homegym and workshop. A two car garage with a “bonus room” over the top is what we’re looking for. Our house will have a wrap-around porch and a deck out back for BBQ’ing year-round. Small fenced yard for our dog’s early morning and late night “walkies” — not too much yard work required, but space for a few flowers and a tomato or two. We also want a neighborhood where we can easily head out the door and walk the dog and ourselves for exercise.

    Odds ‘n’ ends: Built-ins (like desks and dressers) make efficient space of a smaller bedroom without it feeling cramped. Book cases & display space should be featured in the great room and wherever else they’ll fit! I prefer not to come in the front door and immediately be in the great room; a foyer with enough space for built-ins for hanging up coats, umbrellas, dog leashes, etc., dropping the mail and shopping bags, as well as a capacious coat closet are necessities. Laundry room should have tidy cabinetry for detergent, etc. and some space for storing laundry baskets and for folding laundry. (I’d rather do my ironing where I can watch TV, so no need for that in the laundry room.)

    by LynneSPa1 — November 19, 2011

  19. I opted to “right size” into a new home consisting of 1600 square feet on the main floor affording me ample space and convenience should I be able to age in place for the next 30+ years: master bedroom & bath, a great room with an “off set” kitchen so the sink & appliances are not viewed from the living room, a second bedroom with adjoining bath, first floor laundry room, easy access from the attached garage, and a roofed patio accessible from the kitchen and great room. For company, I have a 1600 square foot finished basement with 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, and for me for now a family/game room with my exercise equipment in front of a large screen TV. Sure, I have space, but space allows for ease of movement (think walker/wheelchair), and for me, space contributes to sleek, uncluttered surroundings. My bookshelves are cabinets with glass doors to reduce dusting. I have no carpeting on the main level so floors are easy to clean and keep clean. I can always replace door knobs with lever handles, as I have done in a prior home, and at a cost much less than the builder offered. Insulation between floors & thermal windows are signfiucant. Yes, I would have liked to have hot water on demand in the laundry and bath rooms, and radiant heat in the floors; however, I had to make compromises on my ideal home due to the reality of affordability. My home is in a planned community; no two homes on a given street are alike; yards are small, mine is fenced for my two little dogs; garages are accessed from lanes behind the homes. My living with “The greatest snow on earth” (Salt Lake City), means a quality snow thrower with an electric start is important to me though I now have less surface to clear. I considered moving to other parts of the US and researched real estate, towns, states, taxes, etc. Ultimately, I decided to remain in this area due to a solid core of long-time friends; excellent, available medical facilities; and proximity to a major airport. A variety of shopping, dining, entertainment, and access to light rail contributed to my choosing suburban Salt Lake for my retirement life. My new community offers condominiums designed for active seniors, family homes, apartments, town homes, some retail, professional, and medical business, 20+ miles of trails, and an artificial lake. Traffic on major interstate highways and local roads can be challenging during rush hours, but, I am retired and have travel flexibility. Streets within the community are peaceful, walkable, safe. The downside to my community is the same throughout the metropolitan county and the state to which many of us have accustomed ourselves over the years. The up side of beauty, culture, accessibility keeps us here.

    by Donna — November 19, 2011

  20. How interesting that all of the comments here have the same elements. Baby boomers want to be close to things, to have a social life where they can make friends and most want easy-care. They all worked so hard during life, that it’s now time to wind down and enjoy. I sell homes in the Sarasota FL area and I have many baby boomer buyers who are looking for their future retirement homes. That have all described the same things as the comments here. Maintenance free single family is more desired than a condo. Close to town or in a community with amenities are also requested often. The house has to be one story with high ceilings and simple, open design. All with a place for an office. Interesting!

    by Nicki Conway — November 19, 2011

  21. Low maintenance, one floor (no stairs!), a nice master suite and a second bedroom/office and bath, but low square footage. A good garage/man cave for car and projects. Fairly close to medical and other amenities. Little or no yard to upkeep is fine. Our home now with 2000SF, two floors and an acre+ is too much for us. Avoiding winter would be great too(right now we’ve had a foot of snow already and it’s 5 below zero this afternoon. Brrr!

    by Virginia Fritz — November 19, 2011

  22. KDog,
    Where did you move 30 years ago that is not cold in winter or humid in summer?

    by Barbara — November 19, 2011

  23. One story. Adobe optional. Two Bedrooms. Two baths would be nice but one is fine. Kitchen (we both cook widely different styles food) and dining area big enough for friends to drop over or share dinner. 1200 square feet (+/-) in size. NO YARD CARE (i.e., grass)!

    Lots of sun, little humidity (Goodbye Saint Louis summer sweatshop!) not a lot of snow, and reasonable outdoor activities (not too strenous) nearby.

    Can you tell we plan to retire in the Southwest?

    Gracias,

    Glenn

    by Glenn — November 19, 2011

  24. We built our dream house 12 years ago. One of the best suggestions we had from our builder was to put in an elevator shaft to plan for the future. The elevator isn’t in yet, so we use the space as closets. Because of the way the site is situated, you can’t get to the first floor without going up a lot of steps. A few year’s later my father-in-law got hit by a car while walking in his active adult community. The first time he visited us in a wheelchair we wish we had put the elevator in – it was just about impossible to get him into the house! Thanks goodness we had a first floor guest bedroom. Universal design is a great thing – and anybody can wake up one day and need it.

    by Somewhathip — November 20, 2011

  25. OK, lots of good, generic ideas here. I would offer a book called “A Pattern Language” which is about just such things. If builders and designers would use this book to design their homes, if neighbors would use it to improve their towns and neighborhood, the world would be a better place.
    http://tinyurl.com/7nk6zsq
    Everything mentioned in the posts so far can be found in this book, and inside are the REASONS why we want things certain ways. When I was designing a home for all reasons/seasons, this book was as close to a religious tome as any I have ever used.
    It will make you a better finder of the house of your dreams, too. You’ll come to understand the importance of even the tiniest details. For example:
    “North Face: Look at the north sides of the buildings which you know. Almost everywhere you will find that these are the spots which are dead and dank, gloomy and useless. Yet there are hundreds of acres in a town on the north sides of buildings; and it is inevitable that there must always be land in this position, wherever there are buildings.”
    (They explain more fully these spaces and the shadows cast by them.)
    Then they go on to say: “Make the north face of the building a cascade which slopes down to the ground, so that the sun which normally casts a long shadow to the north strikes the ground immediately beside the building.” And they demonstrate that by putting a carport or garage on that side of the building, saying, “Use the triangle inside this north cascade for car, garbage, storage, shed or studio which requires north light (my preference!), closets–those parts of the building which can do very well without interior sunlight. If it is at all practical, use a white or yellow wall to the north of the building to reflect sunlight into the north-facing rooms.”

    This book is AMAZING.

    by Elin artist — November 20, 2011

  26. Wonderful posts. We put hose bibs on our upper floor balconies (called lanais in Florida) when the house was being built – makes cleaning them so much easier…

    Jan Cullinane
    The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)

    by Jan Cullinane — November 21, 2011

  27. Wow, I really like what Holly and Ed have sought. They did a very good detailed list of the criteria important to my wife and me. We are in our late 60’s and I am an avid golfer while she likes to read, work with people (professional in the medical field), and water views etc.

    A little that I would add to the list of amenities would be door handles, door sizes and wider walkways to allow for any future problems which could require walkers or wheelchairs etc. No need at this time or what I see in the future but it is worth considering.

    No personal maintenance of the laws, shrubbery etc. as we have landscapers now who do all of this. Of course, this probably means a gated community with HOA rules and maintenance. That is fine with us as long a good sized clubhouse with workout equipment, pool, and dining facilities exit too.

    In a perfect world, the house would be a single floor or virtually all the daily used space would be on the first floor with possibly an extra bedroom or two upstairs along with their own bathrooms.

    One of the big attractions for us will be accessibility to nearby colleges for lectures, shows, and athletic events but we don’t want to live amongst student housing. Such additional features as nearby churches, quality shopping and parks would be attractive to us.

    by Semi-retired — November 21, 2011

  28. My husband and I do not have children, neither do either of his sisters and their husbands. We are definitely looking to build to accommodate 3 couples knowing we will be depending on each other for help as we age. Single story with 3 Master suites are a must. As our parents age, they are turning up their TVs louder and louder, which prompted us to make sound insulation around bedrooms (where we will be watching TVs) PRIORITY!!! We intend to share common areas – kitchen, laundry, dining room and common TV room. Energy efficient windows, and zoned HVAC system. Walk-in showers.

    by Joan Martin — November 21, 2011

  29. Active adult communities sound good and some can prove suitable, but beware of the cost to maintain the amenities. I recently moved out of an active adult community after nearly 20 years living there and it was due to the skyrocketing costs over the years since the homeowners took control of it.
    Having private streets, a golf course, club house, fitness centsr, etc. are big selling features that tend to lure uninformed buyers/new retirees into these communities before having done their homework.
    If you only ask one question let it be this one: “What is the total annual cost to operative this community?” Get a copy of the most recent finsncial statement, and make sure it breaks down the expenses into categories rather than lumping all of the costs into one figure. You can ask some follow-on financial questions as well: 1) Have you had any assessments? If so, what was the amount and were homeowners allowed to vote on it? 2) Is the assessment permanent or a one time cost? 3) How much can the annual HOA dues be increased per year (what is the maximum percentage)?
    Get a copy of and read the laborious CC&Rs and HOA Rules. This alone will give you a much better understanding about your rights and the amount of oversight the HOA board has assumed over your property, and essentially, your retirement life.

    by Denny — November 21, 2011

  30. My dream retirement home would be a 2200-2500sq.ft. two story,because two story houses are cheaper to build than ranches. The master suite,however,would be on the first floor(no stair climbing).I’d like the house to be situated on about 20 acres somewhere in the Southeastern United States with great views. The exterior of the home will be maintenance free fiber cement siding(50 year warranty) and maybe some accent natural stone along the bottom and corners of the home. The home would have many windows to let in as much natural light and views as possible. A couple must haves for this home would be a covered screened porch off the back of the home and a three car garage. The covered porch would have a wood burning fireplace.The interior of the home would be an open layout with possibly some knee walls and pillars to divide the spaces. You can only build the perfect house if you can do it twice. I aim to try.

    by Pete Yourell — November 21, 2011

  31. 1600 – 2000 sq’, two Master Suites, one guest suite, office, large utility room, open floor plan in a modern, contemporary plan next to an ocean or large sailing lake in any state but California. Must be well insulated and well constructed with a nice modern kitchen. If you have that for sale, shoot me an email and link. Thanks, Scott. scott.helsel@yahoo.com 😆

    by Scott — November 22, 2011

  32. Due to health and finances, we were forced to downsize this past spring, we chose to move to Century Village in Florida. A little small at 880 sq feet, but it does have all the components needed for us at least. Two bedrooms with plenty of closet space. 1 and half baths with a separate linen closet. A enclosed patio room with a great view of a lake that I can use year round. While the galley kitchen is small, the dining area will allow us to build cabinets for storage. It is all a matter of what fits your needs. We are on the second floor across from the elevator and the heated outdoor pool is just steps away. The condo walls are cement on the outside so that sound does not travel between neighbors. The laundry room has storage for all the stuff that we would have put in the garage.

    by Joan Mueller — November 22, 2011

  33. Buyer beware of those “communities.” Ours is a dictatorship, the dues have doubled each year for the last three years. The board hires their own contractors, and do not get multiple bids or compare estimates. The homeowners do not get to vote on anything, except for board positions and even this system is flawed, as the managment company “collects” absentee ballots and there is no “witness” or verification of votes by anyone not associated with the board. Ballots are counted in the Hall, and the board verbally communicates who the next board member or members are… It is not a friendly place for anyone on a fixed income and the board has NEVER conducted an audit on their books and the development is 12 years old. The board gave themselves in the CC&r’s the ability to write and control the CC&R’s, so basically they control Everything..and now we cannot sell the home due to the high fees!

    by scrapgenie — November 23, 2011

  34. Hi Joan, I would like to hear more about your impressions to living at Century Village. I am also planning to retire there in a year or so.

    Thanks

    winsome

    by winsome — November 24, 2011

  35. Wow…scrapgenie, that’s a cautionary tale! can you call the Council on Aging or the Attorney General’s office for your state?! I live in a 100-unit townhouse association. The state regulates our business. We have no amenities, elect our board from owners, and hire the management company. I will move when I retire. Thanks to you sharing your experience I’ll be very careful in my next choice. As a single woman I’d like a co-housing situation with private spaces designated but not really locked-off.In this area housing has become so expensive(near Boston) that many 2-story single family houses are being converted to two condos. Elevators are not as impractical/$$ as they used to be. I’d like to live in a visually beautiful place with places to walk in nature but not too far from a university with a med school.

    by 2smartlady — December 17, 2011

  36. […] further reference: Jane and Jack: Retired in Place What Baby Boomers Want in Their Next Home What Are the Must-Have Features in Your Next Home Cooperatives Help Aging in Place […]

    by » Best Places to Retire – The Case for Staying Right Where You Are Topretirements — December 20, 2011

  37. […] Early Retirement: How to Get Medical Insurance” had 21.  Several related what “Baby Boomers Want in Their Retirement Home” had 36 comments. “Is It Time to Rent or Buy” brought in 31 […]

    by » Top 10 Retirement Articles for 2011 Topretirements — December 26, 2011

  38. […] further reading: What Baby Boomer Guys and Gals Want in Their Next Home Must-Have Features in Your Retirement […]

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  39. What they said…and a fenced yard for my dogs to run.
    I have consulted many retirement communities and while many allow dogs, they must be walked. What a drag! Fences apparently destroy the ambience of their million dollar houses that are meant to attract boomers. Who wants to grow old without their pets? But it happens all the time.

    by Beth Wheeling — June 11, 2014

  40. Beth,

    I think the reason for walking dogs is because some pet owners would prefer to leave their dog(s) outside barking away instead of exercising them by walking. If a dog is quiet, I don’t have a problem, but if it’s barking at anything and everything then something is wrong with the dog or the owner. I am sure you are a responsible pet owner and hope that you can find a home where you and your dog are comfortable.

    by Fionna — June 11, 2014

  41. I want a fenced yard because
    -I do not always want to walk my dog at night…so it is good for the last potty walk of the day or for that rare sick in the night syndrome
    -I like to exercise my dog with a couple of jumps and a tunnel (A walk is not enough exercise)
    -good for training…I compete with my dogs and a fenced yard is great for the starting off lead training.
    -my dog(s) is(are) rarely outside if I am not with the dog(s)

    by Elaine — June 14, 2014

  42. Beth…around here (Fredericksburg VA), the two Del Webb communities both allow fences and Lennar allows fences (owners do all lawn work). I think the Toll Brothers allows fences. Fences are usually restricted to 4 feet high and sometimes have other restriction…how far from property line or from house.

    If anyone knows of places in the Carolina like this, please post under an appropriate blog…thanks in advance.

    by Elaine — June 14, 2014

  43. Would like to see things like furnace filters at a level I can reach easily. Fire alarm placement is tricky, but often hard to reach. If you have stairs, lighting in general and changing light bulbs is tricky.

    In NC, my neighbors moved into the house next door and when they arrived the night before the fire alarm was going…they had to borrow my extension ladder to remedy the situation…a six footer wouldn’t do.

    by Elaine — June 14, 2014

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