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Empty nests need fresh ideas

Ever wondered how you have come across the perfect home, or more often you are shown homes that are not ‘you’ for various reasons. Have you asked yourself, particularly, if it is not you, then why?

The answer is very simple. A good builder, and/or a good land developer, researches the target market to which they have designed their product to hopefully sell. Being human, they don’t always get it right.

Having thirty years experience in the Perth residential property market, I have witnessed many changes.

For example, thirty years ago many married young, had families early and were in the market for an affordable family home.

Today, marriage at a young age is rare. Both have career paths planned which exclude marriage and, of course, children.

The majority, especially the professional and career-minded ones, want to live closer to the city and enjoy all the attributes that go with that, particularly travel distance to their workplace versus out there in new suburbia on the extremities of our city.

This is largely why urban infill and inner city living has become popular.

Post-war baby boomers make up a very interesting market, one that I have been involved with for a number of years.

Western international research has clearly demonstrated the preferred locations for this group front onto water and parkland/passive recreations such as golf courses.

Naturally there are some variances to this and is largely up to the individuals themselves for their final choice.

Gone are the days of the big four bedroom, two/three bathrooms family homes with three eating areas, lounge, family and/or games room on a large block of land.

The kids have grown up, most have left home and the house is no longer the preferred abode for the parents.

They are seeking ‘quality not quantity’ – large living areas, fewer bedrooms and, in many cases, a more casual atmosphere in the home to suit their changed lifestyle on a smaller block.

There are two main reasons for a smaller block. The first is ease of maintenance so that people are able to enjoy their chosen quality of life, including travel. The second is that Western Australia has a shortage of water and a smaller block needs a lot less water, particularly in the garden.

In fact, many of these baby boomers have two homes – one in the city with the other being a holiday home at a location that suits their new lifestyle.

Apart from a smaller home on a smaller block, security is paramount. Anyone can have a electronic home security system, however there are growing needs to have small communities protected by secured entrances into their community by either manned security, electronic means or a combination of both.

Throughout USA, Canada and Europe, this is very much a pre-requisite for the post war baby boomers. Many baby boomers travel and are away a lot, stressing the need for top security in their home and in their community.

Our policing, laws and punishments are a joke – no wonder we have the problems we do and this reinforces the need for excellent security.

The demographic profile of the baby boomers is very wide, particularly as many are taking the option of early retirement for varying reasons or are downsizing to suit a changed lifestyle.

A good and market-attuned developer will cater for as large a demographic spread as possible ensuring a social balance is achieved within his particular project.

Naturally, the needs of baby boomers, particularly security, costs money. For peace of mind and living enjoyment, they are happy to pay for this extra service not offered by government and statutory authorities.

If you are in the marketplace for a new home at a new address, make a list of your preferences and don’t be persuaded by others who suggest you need four bedrooms or lots of bathrooms for resale value, This, of course, is absolute nonsense and should be avoided.

Remember, it is your life and your time – ensure that you get it right when you move and enjoy your twilight years.

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