WGN-TV Show Notes – May 28, 2004

With more than 70 million baby boomers heading into retirement over the next generation, developers are trying to figure out what kind of homes they’re going to want to buy.

With baby boomers, it isn’t just a question of aging gracefully, sitting in a rocking chair. For active boomers, hitting 65 could mean starting a whole new life.

Baby boomer Kay Vogt says, “My daughter is leaving for college and I want to start a whole new life.”

Kay Vogt’s new life starts in August when she’s scheduled to move from her house in Glen Ellyn to a brand new three bedroom condo in the west loop. She loves the low maintenance lifestyle.

“No one knows I’m gone and no outside to take care of, no maintenance to do.”

If the 50’s are really the new 30’s, Kay Vogt and other boomers like her are right on track.

Susan Brecht of Brecht Associates explains, “My 55 is not my mother’s 55.”

Susan says many boomers are demanding more — and different — housing choices.

“They want options. They want choices. They’re extremely sophisticated buyers.”

Some of those choices include main floor master bedrooms, elaborate baths, and terrific walk-in closets. But boomers who have home-based businesses want flexible space, a home office and a business center.

Baby boomers expect developers to provide recreational amenities like well designed work out rooms and conveniences like an in-building dry cleaner.

Susan says, “They’re moving from a house that didn’t contain those features and are looking for one that does.”

But many boomers are looking for the action only a city lifestyle provides.

“Cities almost become naturally occurring retirement communities. As people’s children leave home, they get to move back into the city where they’ve always wanted to live but didn’t want to raise their children.”

But older children might find a lot to like in a city lifestyle.

Current tax law permits sellers to keep up to $500,000 in profits tax free when they sell their primary residence, as long as they’ve lived there the last five years. That’s helping a lot of boomers buy the right home for this new phase of life.

Condo shown in story:

933 W. Vanburen

Susan Brecht, Senior Housing Consultant
Brecht Associates
Philadelphia, PA

Published: May 28, 2004