Report Sheds Light on Older Homebuyers

Seniors have special financial and lifestyle needs when looking for a new home.

December 1, 2005

The results of a national survey released last week show that homebuyers age 50 and older aren’t afraid to use the Internet when searching for a home and that most don’t plan to venture out of state when they retire.

The survey, "Moving Forward: 50 and Beyond," sponsored by the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council, explores the buying trends of consumers who are 50 years old or older and have purchased a home within the last six months.

In addition to finding many common buying behaviors among members of this demographic group, the report also shows that there are some key differences between those on the younger side—age 50 to 64—and homebuyers age 65 or older.

According to the survey, nearly half of respondents used the Internet as part of the homebuying process. Of those, 92 percent went online to research comparable prices; 61 percent went online to locate a real estate practitioner; and 19 percent went online to learn about specific neighborhoods.

Among the top differences between the “younger” and “older” homebuyers was how far they moved from their previous home. Those 65 and older were much less likely to move more than 100 miles away than their under-65 counterparts. Of the 18 percent of all respondents who reported moving to a new state, the most popular destinations were Florida, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Virginia.

“It has become increasingly important to understand the changing and emerging buying and selling habits of senior homeowners," says Dr. Nathan Booth, senior adviser to SAREC.

Whether they plan to remain in the workforce or retire early, older homebuyers have special financial and lifestyle needs when looking for a new home. SAREC developed the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation program to help practitioners meet those special needs.

Full results of the senior homebuyer survey are available to SRES members for $9.95 and to nonmembers for $19.95. The report can be ordered from the SAREC Web site.

(c) Copyright 2005 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.

Blanche Evans is a writer/editor and CEO of evansEmedia. Formerly, she was a senior editor with Realty Times, where she was named by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry.

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