Downsizing & Upgrading: Boomers Choosing Urban Life, Amenities

Moving Boxes in House.jpg

As people mature, it is common place to “trade up” in various areas of life — from the car you drive to the home you own. It’s a natural progression as salaries increase and investments grow, but it’s a choice many boomers are twisting a bit. Instead of buying that bigger house in the suburbs or country, they are choosing the convenience and efficiency of city living.

In some cases, older owners are selling their suburban homes and buying smaller homes or condos; others choose to keep the equity and decide to rent. In both instances, luxury finishes and ample amenities are often sought — from 24-hour concierge services to on-site pet spas for their four-legged companions. And the potential impact of this trend is undeniable, with the number of people aged 70 and over expected to increase by 90% to 28 million over the next two decades (according to a 2016 report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies).

Chart: Growth of Over 65 Population

In many cases, boomers are moving closer to family, allowing them to help with grandchildren, but there are other benefits to an urban lifestyle, including:

  • More public transportation options — decreasing or completely replacing reliance on driving;

  • Walkability to stores, doctors and more — increasing daily activity;

  • Opportunities for socializing and cultural activities — improving quality of life;

  • Access to more age-specific resources (such a those offered by the DC Office of Aging);

  • and many more.

Moreover, numerous studies point to the fact that people in urban settings, on average, live longer. So, is urban living right for you (or your parents)? Like everything in real estate (and many other areas of life), the answer for everyone is different. And with a boom in new urban suburban developments (like the Mosaic District in Fairfax, VA and Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland) it doesn’t have to be downtown or dirt roads.

If you or someone you love is thinking ahead to retirement and where to make the most of their golden years, feel free to contact me (just click/tap the button below)!

Amber Harris is the owner of At Home DC and a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties working with clients in DC, Maryland and Virginia.