Active adults, empty nesters, or the 55-plus buyer—these are all names for a special buyer profile. This is a time in their lives when their focus shifts from caring for their children to focusing on themselves, their accomplishments, and their interests and hobbies. A strange, wonderful transformation begins to occur within their house and their attitude toward it. Here are some ways the NEXTAdventure design team is rethinking various rooms in the home to better cater to the 55-plus buyer.
The kitchen used to be that hectic, stress-filled room where meals were prepared within narrow time frames in the morning as families prepared for work or school, or in the evening when everyone was tired and hungry.
With no kids at home, there are fewer time constraints and less stress. One or both of the buyers might be retired or semi‐retired. Suddenly, they find time to enjoy cooking and have time to experiment with different entrees or techniques. Sharing their new-found hobby is important, and as such, the kitchen becomes the new center of entertainment in their home.
This room used to be dominated by never-ending piles of laundry. But now, with just two people living in the home, it can double as a craft room or a place to bathe the dog. By installing a countertop over a front-loaded washer and dryer, a great work space also can be created.
How many bedrooms does the 55-plus buyer really need? Most find they want one bedroom for guests and another bedroom for anything but guests. This spare bedroom can serve numerous purposes, such as a home office, craft room, or exercise room.
Downsizing can be a large adjustment for many 55-plus buyers. Understanding how these buyers use certain areas of the home will aide builders in either eliminating those spaces or finding dual purposes for them. The exciting part is watching a home buyer design their homes around themselves and their interests as they truly celebrate this time in their lives.