Preferences in home styles and features have evolved significantly over the years.
But even though the wants and needs of homebuyers vary widely among different demographics, a majority of buyers — regardless of their age — are looking for similar community amenities.
A recent study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders shows which community characteristics are the most sought after.
The study, “Housing Preferences of the Baby Boomer Generation,” captured the opinions of more than 4,300 recent and prospective homebuyers and compared the wants of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) to those of seniors (born before 1946), Generation Xers (born 1965 to 1979) and millennials (born after 1979).
Though the priority rankings vary slightly between generations, the study reveals these different age groups actually have very similar tastes. Among the top four most-wanted amenities, three were the same for every age group.
Homebuyers are searching for a community that is typically suburban, close to parks and has access to walking trails.
All of the groups except millennials ranked “close proximity to retail space” in their top four. Millennials instead chose playgrounds as their fourth most-wanted community amenity. (Generation Xers ranked playgrounds at No. 8.)
The other most desirable community amenities listed by all of the age groups included: a swimming pool, lake access and an exercise room.
When comparing the groups’ lists of their top eight amenities, only two items varied:
• Playgrounds — Not surprisingly, the majority of seniors and boomers have very little interest in these kid-focused recreation areas.
• Outdoor maintenance service — Apparently, the younger two generations prefer to do their own yard work.
In addition to community amenities, the survey identified many other items, including preferences in home size and layout.
Sixty-four percent of all prospective buyers said they want a single-story home, but that figure is largely driven by seniors and baby boomers. Fewer than half of Generation Xers and barely a third of millennials are interested single-story living.
Across all generations, however, the majority of consumers can agree on at least one thing: Lugging laundry up and down stairs is a hassle. Most say they want the laundry room on the first floor.
To learn more about the latest design trends and timeless features that add value to a home and a community, contact the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association at 715-835-2526 or cvhomebuilders.com.
Christina Thrun is the executive officer of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association. House Calls is submitted by members of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.