Monday, October 19, 2009

Seniors are still buying homes and want an active lifestyle

Healthcare, cost of living, recreation and education are high on the list

Where are the most affordable places for the 55+ crowd to retire and own homes? U.S. News & World Report highlighted the top 10 places attractive for seniors to begin a second life. The cities chosen are based on a criteria of median home prices, affordable cost of living, good healthcare resources, and recreational activities.

Another very important factor is the availability of jobs and a low unemployment rate. Seniors aren’t “re-tired”; they still want an active professional life as well.

Let’s look the best affordable places for 55 plus homeowners to retire: Ann Arbor, MI, Ashville, N.C., Aurora, CO, Columbia, S.C., Columbus, OH, Eugene, OR, Fort Worth, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Kansas City, MO, and Tucson, AR.

One common theme for these locations is the presence of a college or university. The cultural, academic and sports opportunities offered by an educational institution do attract seniors who don’t settle for an inactive retirement.

St. Charles County and the St. Louis metro region have many characteristics to attract senior homebuyers too–colleges and universities, healthcare, easy access to cultural events and plenty of sports, both professional and amateur. If you are considering selling your home, what would attract a senior buyer, in addition to the regional amenities?

The good news is 90 percent of the 55+ homebuyers are moving in the same general area or from a different part of the state, according to a survey by conducted by The National Association of Home Builders and the MetLife Mature Market Institute. Smaller, single family homes are preferred by 79 percent of the respondents, and open kitchen/family rooms, a washer and dryer plus lots of storage.

The 55+ age group is tuned into technology. They was special places for computers, advanced security systems, built-in wiring for flat screens and programmable, but easy to use thermostats. Energy efficient appliances are musts for 79 percent of the respondent group while other green concepts include solar heating, a water filtering system and chemical-free building materials.

Keep these tips in mind as you consider selling your home. Remember, every size home has a potential buyer out there.

Written by Myra Vandersall

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