Many baby boomers live in “time capsules” that need renovations to age in place

Key Takeaways:

– 55% of surveyed baby boomers plan to remain in their existing homes as they age
– Less than a quarter of baby boomers surveyed have plans to renovate their homes to accommodate aging
– Baby boomer homes are described as “time capsules” with many never investing in renovations
– This creates an underinvestment crisis for future millennial inheritors of these homes
– There is a notable deficit of renovations and safety features in baby boomer homes
– The current housing inventory is ill-equipped for aging in place for older Americans
– Only 24% of baby boomers are preparing their homes for aging
– 75% of baby boomers have never added safety or accessibility features to their homes
– 81% of baby boomers plan to leave an inheritance, while 51% of millennials expect to receive none
– The housing market is caught in a generational tug-of-war between boomers and millennials
– The aging and ignored inventory of homes may lead to a crisis in the home improvement industry and strain the budgets of inheriting millennials.

HousingWire:

Fifty-five percent of surveyed baby boomers plan to remain in their existing homes as they age, but less than a quarter of those surveyed have any plans to renovate their homes to more safely and easily accommodate natural changes that come with aging.

This is according to a new report from home improvement services company Leaf Home and market research firm Morning Consult, which enlisted responses from 1,001 baby boomer homeowners (aged 59–77) and 1,001 millennials (aged 27–42) in late December 2023 and early January 2024.

The report describes homes owned by baby boomers as “time capsules,” since most of the surveyed boomer cohort (73%) said they have lived in their homes for 11 years or more. This is combined with the finding that “over half of their homes were built in 1980 or earlier with many never investing in renovations,” according to the results.

For millennials and younger generations who could eventually purchase these homes in the future, this creates a “looming underinvestment crisis that promises a future of deferred maintenance for their millennial inheritors,” the report said.

But for those who are aging in place in these homes today, there is also a notable deficit of renovations and added safety features, which could prove problematic for those who will naturally develop vision, mobility or cognitive impairments as time progresses, the report said.

Another recent report found that the current housing inventory is ill-equipped to facilitate aging in place safely for older Americans.

Just 24% of baby boomers are preparing their homes for aging, and even fewer are adding other safety features. Roughly 75% of baby boomer respondents report that they “have never added safety or accessibility features in their homes,” while 81% of the cohort report planning to leave an inheritance of some kind when they pass away.

Roughly half of millennial respondents (51%) expect to receive no inheritance.

“The housing market is caught in a generational tug-of-war. Boomers will soon face aging-in-place hurdles, while millennials will face the surprise of homes in need of major upgrades,” said Jon Bostock, CEO of Leaf Home, in a statement accompanying the report.

“With an aging and ignored inventory of homes available in the next decade, we may see a crisis that will overwhelm the home improvement industry and strain the budgets of inheriting millennials, impacting the housing market,” Bostock added.

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Property Chomp’s Take:

The baby boomer generation, comprising individuals aged 59 to 77, is showing a strong inclination to remain in their current homes as they age. However, a recent report reveals that less than a quarter of these baby boomers have plans to renovate their homes to accommodate the natural changes that come with aging.

The report, conducted by home improvement services company Leaf Home and market research firm Morning Consult, surveyed 1,001 baby boomer homeowners and 1,001 millennials aged 27 to 42. The findings highlight a significant disparity between the intentions of baby boomers and the potential challenges they may face, as well as the impact on future generations.

Described as “time capsules,” the homes owned by baby boomers have remained largely unchanged for over a decade. The report reveals that 73% of the surveyed baby boomers have lived in their homes for 11 years or more, with many homes built in 1980 or earlier. This lack of investment in renovations sets the stage for a potential underinvestment crisis, particularly for millennials and younger generations who may inherit these homes in the future.

Moreover, the report highlights the lack of safety features and renovations in homes occupied by aging baby boomers. This deficiency can pose significant challenges for individuals who naturally develop vision, mobility, or cognitive impairments over time.

Another recent report also sheds light on the ill-equipped current housing inventory to facilitate safe aging in place for older Americans. It appears that only 24% of baby boomers are preparing their homes for aging, with even fewer adding safety features. Shockingly, 75% of baby boomer respondents have never added safety or accessibility features to their homes, despite the potential risks.

On the other hand, 81% of baby boomers plan to leave some form of inheritance when they pass away, while half of millennial respondents expect to receive no inheritance at all. This stark contrast between the two generations underscores the potential challenges millennials may face when inheriting homes in need of major upgrades.

Jon Bostock, CEO of Leaf Home, highlights the generational tug-of-war unfolding in the housing market. As baby boomers face aging-in-place hurdles and millennials grapple with homes requiring significant upgrades, the housing market may witness a crisis that overwhelms the home improvement industry and strains the budgets of inheriting millennials.

In conclusion, the report sheds light on the need for baby boomers to prioritize renovations and safety features in their homes to ensure a comfortable and secure aging experience. Simultaneously, it underscores the potential burden millennials may encounter when inheriting homes that require substantial investments. The housing market must address this growing issue to prevent a future underinvestment crisis and ensure a smooth transition for all generations involved.

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