Many Boomers have been told by the financial press to downsize, saying they could live cheaply and save money. And, if you’re an empty-nester, why do you need so much space anyway? I’m not entirely convinced downsizing will always save you money. While many counties on the outskirts of a larger metro area do offer better senior property tax exemptions, even moving to a small town doesn’t seem much cheaper than living in the suburbs (of course, there are plenty of other reasons for retiring in a small town). Anyway, with all the hype surrounding seniors and downsizing for retirement, have you noticed that many…don’t? In fact, they do quite the opposite; they buy more than one home. So, what gives? Why do Boomers own multiple houses?
Some Real-Life Examples of Boomers Who Own Multiple Houses
We know a couple who got remarried. Both kept their own homes. They stay in one for a while, then switch to the other for a bit. Oh, and in addition to those two homes, they own a lake house and a mountain condo…and just bought another house in the foothills! I kidded my friend, who is 71, that he’s becoming a real estate tycoon in his retirement!
Several other friends, who are in their 70s, spend half the year (or more) in our active adult community, then head to Florida for the remainder of the year. One friend, who lives on my street, actually lives in Florida for 6 months and Georiga for 6 months – 50-50!
Some friends we know have a house in Big Canoe in the North Georgia Mountains and also a cluster home in Atlanta. The same couple also owns a condo in Sandy Springs! When they want a “city fix” they can spend some time in the city.
Why Do Boomers Own So Many Houses?
Well, retired Boomers like to have options and variety. Living in different locations during the year offers just that. Plus it’s a nice way to offset harsher temperatures you often get in some regions for part of the year.
Another reason Boomers like to own multiple homes is that real estate has been a good investment for us over the years, even despite the big real estate downturn of 2007. Home prices have risen, especially in small towns that are growing and now have more to offer.
Some Boomers just like to try out different homes and different places. Buying a retirement home and staying put is certainly not always the case. You may have bought a home that was too large. Or maybe you found yourself in a home that is not large enough. Selling and moving are not as hard to do once you already have downsized somewhat from that home you lived in for 30 years or more.
It’s clear that we Baby Boomers are not following the pattern of our parents in deciding where to live and what kind of house we should have.
Discovering what living arrangement works for you is part of the fun we get to have in retirement!