America is getting inherently older. As more Americans, especially Baby Boomers, move later into their careers and into retirement, they are also looking to move into smaller homes. Downsizing is simply a part of life especially for seniors who are retiring from their jobs or are looking for a home for the remainder of their lives.
This surge of Baby Boomer retirees has caused a bit of turmoil in the housing market as the competition between younger buyers looking to purchase their first homes and Baby Boomers looking at downsizing into the same homes heats up. As an agent, you may want to focus on the growing niche of senior housing.
Understand Your Buyers
As we’ve alluded to, both younger Generation Y (born in the 80s and 90s) and Baby Boomers are vying for the same homes. This means that in an already inventory short housing market, fierce competition will ensue for homes that just a few years ago were plentiful and available to virtually anyone looking to get into the housing market.
As an agent, it’s probably wise to side with the senior side of the equation. Seniors, naturally, have lived full lives, established credit and incomes, and likely have all of the necessary financial tools to make buying a home a fairly streamlined process. Not that financially secure Gen Y buyers aren’t prepared, but you stand to close more sales with seniors with established financial positions.
Not All Seniors are the Same
Just because we reference retired or soon-to-be-retired Baby Boomers doesn’t mean that there isn’t an entire senior demographic out there that needs help buying a home. Baby Boomers are often broken down into Young Baby Boomers (52-61) and Older Baby Boomers (62-70). Both of these groups make up a collective 30% of buyers.
There is, however, another group of seniors, “The Silent Generation”, who are 70+. And while these seniors aren’t the “median” senior buyer, they certainly have needs that many agents aren’t meeting in the marketplace. Bear in mind that each of these groups of seniors has different physical and space needs that must be addressed during the homebuying process.
Speaking of different demographics, let’s briefly discuss the needs of senior buyers. One thing that will make you a successful niche agent is to understand the struggles and needs of senior buyers. Younger seniors, oftentimes, are just looking to downsize into a home while still remaining free and mobile with their leisure.
Older seniors will certainly have physical needs and desires for their home space which will change and develop as time goes by. Helping any senior into a home that can be adaptable for them later in life will be a big win if you’re looking to become a niche agent in the senior housing market. Just bear in mind that none of your buyers are the same and seniors especially will have unique wants, needs, and desires of their homes.
Getting Buyers Financially Prepared
Another unique aspect of marketing to senior buyers is that they have some interesting financing options when it comes to buying a home later in life. While your senior buyer may be very financially secure, there are certain mortgage products that may avail them the best way to downsize into a home or leverage equity they already have.
Get in touch with Tidewater Mortgage Services, Inc. group of expert lenders and find out how you can help your senior homebuyers get the right financing for their move!