Baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964 (or who were between the ages of 51 and 70 this year), have always been a big part of the real estate market. Has the time come for them to downsize?
The children have left the nest
Baby boomers have reached the time in their lives when their children have left the nest. For the older end of the boomer generation, their children are in their late 30’s or 40’s and have families of their own. For the younger end, they probably have children in college or in their 20’s or early 30’s and are heading out on their own.
Now that the economy has started to improve those younger kids are finally moving out of their parent’s basements and into their own spaces. That means they are left with larger homes than they probably need.
Too much space!
Through the real estate boom the exhortation was “BUY BIG!” Many families bought homes with 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000 or more in square feet of livable area, 5+ bedrooms, 3+ baths and lots of family space. For the average family of 4 that is a lot of space. For the boomers left behind now, it’s a plethora of space. More than they probably need, or want, to have to keep up.
Baby boomers are starting to retire, but because of economic pressures many still work. The younger end still has at least a decade before hitting “retirement age.” Who has time to care for that kind of home space? The time and energy it takes to keep all those rooms clean and care for the yard and landscaping is something that most people don’t have time to do without kids at home to help. Not to mention the expense of heating or air conditioning rooms that aren’t being occupied. Who needs that expense when your income as a retiree will be lower than it was as a working couple?
So is it time for baby boomers to downsize?
The answer depends on the boomer, but generally, the answer is yes.