There’s nothing like the thrill of building your new home. It’s an opportunity filled with so many possibilities, bringing you to living in your dream home.
And the older you get, the more you want your home to reflect your evolving needs. Baby Boomers buy a new home for many reasons — because they need less space now that their children are moved out, want to live in a warmer climate or want a home that they can customize as they age.
According to RISMedia, 70 percent of Boomers feel that their current home is not exactly their idea of their ideal home. And, because they now have more disposable income, they can build the home they have always dreamed about. “They are diligently looking for newly constructed homes where they can continue to pursue an active lifestyle surrounded by the latest amenities,” according to RISMedia.
As Boomers embark on their homebuilding journey, they will choose upgrades that will fit their lifestyles better. These are the six home upgrades that are popular with Baby Boomers right now.
1. Grab Bars and Ramps
Making a home easy to move around in and accessible to wheelchairs is a big priority for Baby Boomers. A HomeAdvisor study found that adding grab bars and ramps are the most common home upgrades for people who are 55 years and older.
2. Exterior Upgrades
When you finally have the means and time to create your perfect home, every detail matters, especially the outdoor spaces.
They’re spending their money on decks, patio upgrades and landscaping. These exterior upgrades hint at a desire to entertain more and have designated places to relax, which are staples of retirement life.
3. Rustic Design
All generations favor contemporary home plans when it comes to their home design. But while Millennials gravitate toward minimalism, Baby Boomers gravitate toward modern rustic design.
Modsy, an interior design company, asked its users to take design quizzes and segmented the results among age groups. What they found was that Baby Boomers described their style as “refined rustic.”
“‘Refined rustic,’ in particular, blends classic forms with a more informal rustic style, suggesting that these generations are looking for a comfortable feel to their homes,” Alessandra Wood, director of style at Modsy, told Architectural Digest.
4. Walk-in Showers
Baby Boomers often have more money to spend on luxury home upgrades than other age groups. If you’re going to upgrade your new-construction home, why not do it in style when you have the means?
That’s why walk-in showers are popular with people who are 55 years and older. They make any bathroom look amazing and they just happen to be accessible as well, whether you have a wheelchair or other mobility issues.
5. Tech Upgrades
Smart homes have become commonplace. It’s normal to integrate technology into your home now and Baby Boomers are no exception.
That same HomeAdvisor study found that almost half of older home renovators install home automation systems and 14 percent install assistive technology in their homes.
And it makes sense. Technology now makes it easier to live independently while still making it easier to do the little things that get harder as we get older.
Being able to control your lights, heat or air conditioning and security from any location in your home is not only fun, but it’s also efficient. And with automatic countertops and shelves and health monitoring, these smart home features might eliminate the need and cost for in-home care for many people.
6. Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans are a popular design feature because of how spacious and airy they make a space feel. Plus, they have the added benefit of being accessible to people of all mobility levels. Being able to move around their home easily as they age is a big focus for Baby Boomers.
This design also makes it easier to entertain and keep an eye on grandkids, making open floor plans one of their go-to choices when it comes to new home upgrades.
These six popular home upgrades show that you can have it all — a home that looks good and is customized to your changing needs.
And as spending on home upgrades increases over the next few years for this generation, it will be interesting to see what other kinds of new home features they’ll be into in the future.
Danielle Small is a freelance writer and strategist with a few awards under her belt (including a 2016 Min Online’s Editorial & Design Awards – Editorial Award for Opinion/Commentary).