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The housing wishlist of boomers

The housing wishlist of boomers

An estimated 77 million American boomers — between the ages of 47 to 65 — are shaping into a potent consumer group. In the real estate market, developers, builders, and designers will be paying increased attention to the boomers’ housing wish list.

Edsel Charles, a national and local housing researcher, says that the majority of boomers prefer one-level homes with about 1,500 to 2,500 square feet of living space, priced between $140,000 to $230,000. Some are looking for age-restricted communities, low-maintenance townhomes, and downtown condos, but most want to reside in more eclectic neighborhoods with features like open spaces for entertaining, storage options, and backyard decks with fireplaces, hot tubs, and wet bars.

Indiana is no exception to these housing preferences. In this state, 1.7 million Hoosier boomers comprise a quarter of the total population. Economist Willard Witte of Indiana University says that when the market picks up, boomers may be the first to move out of their current homes and into retirement options. Will there be sufficient supply? Charles notes that only about 60 percent of boomers will find what they want.