… I’d love to see someone start asking what will happen to our area when all these retired Baby-boomers either die or can’t maintain these large homes as they age? Even Nationally, that could precipitate a second disastrous crash of the housing market that I don’t know if anyone is considering just yet.
With a few edits here and there, this is what I wrote in May of last year –
What happens after the Baby Boomers? There is an awful lot of discussion about the impending retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the impact that they are and will continue to have on the real estate market. I noted it here a little while ago. The CharlAlbemarle area has very little housing that is suitable (which I define as primarily as single-level living, Universal Design conveniently located near efficient public transport) for the 55+ crowd. One of the only single-family developments (condos excluded) designed for retiring baby boomers is at least 20 minutes north of the City – with no public transportation at all.
All housing has a life-cycle. Look at the older, tree-lined streets in the City of Charlottesville and the urban ring within surrounding Albemarle County . Many of these neighborhoods are experiencing turnover for the first time in at least thirty years. While the houses may not suit today’s lifestyles – open floorplans and kitchens, master suites, at least 2300 finished square feet – they have that other major criterion – Location.
What will the landscape look like in thirty or forty years when these now new developments (I am reluctant to call some of these new incarnations “neighborhoods” just yet) start to experience their own turnover? Who will buy these houses?
The current trend for Gens X and Y is toward smaller, smarter spaces rather than large, sprawling McMansions plopped into a field somewhere. This seems to me to be two incompatible trends poised to collide at some point.
So – what do we do to prepare for the next fifty years?