Boomer Real Estate Trends: Education & Smarter Investing Strategies

All of today’s buzz and media attention seems to be on Millennials, but what are “pre-boomers” up to in the U.S. property market? What real estate education lessons and smart investing tips can we glean from them while we still can?

From Inman News to Zillow, and a dozen copycats spouting spun content, all the hype and ‘news’ appears to be focusing on how big of a force Millennials will be in the 2015 housing market. Some media outlets are trying to subliminally tell Millennials what they want. Some are already focusing on generation Z. This isn’t necessarily all bad. Long term planning is smart. However, a great percentage of these generations aren’t ready to buy homes or invest in real estate yet, and can’t for various reasons. Like their predecessors, their appetites, design taste, and housing demands will change dramatically over the next decade. So what’s happening with the other generations who may be more active in the U.S. real estate market?

Generation X Real Estate Trends

Generation X has seen some of the biggest winners and losers in the real estate market so far. They have experienced some of the best times, and some of the most severe hardships in history. All have gained invaluable experience and insight to what the full cycle looks like. However, with the bulk of this generation now getting back on track financially, and perhaps under the most pressure to buy homes again, Generation X could actually be a far more powerful force in the housing market over the next 10 years. They are first-time home buyers (again), moving up to their dream homes. Some are building them, are expanding into second homes and vacation properties, and know the immense value of investing in real estate.

Boomers’ Real Estate Needs

Boomers are on the opposite end of the real estate life cycle to Millennials. This is a broad, spread out generation, which is going to continue to be a major force in real estate for several years, and probably for at least another decade. We are also living and working a lot longer than in the past, which means boomers may have a longer impact on the market than other generations.

Some young boomer executives may still be moving up, or seizing on the opportunity to grab large and luxurious dream homes as great opportunities and deals on high-end real estate continue in 2015. Others are “empty-nesters,” downsizing or relocating to warmer climates in Southern California and South Florida. These buyers and sellers may often be more motivated and better qualified, making them far more attractive clients for many real estate professionals.

What About Pre-Boomers?

There is very little talk about this generation (or two). They may not be the largest anymore, but they actually may both be the most active and the best qualified. Many are downsizing, relocating, and are selling off second homes they have accumulated and own free and clear.

Sooner or later, many must move. They need help liquidating estates (or their heirs will). Many need to transition into assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and hospice care. These may not be the traditional staple of most individual real estate investors, but are needed, and valuable.

However, perhaps even more importantly than learning how to make money from serving all of these groups, is gleaning what they know about real estate. This is priceless real estate information that we need to take advantage of. So what can we learn from this generation?

  • Recognize the importance of buying real estate when interest rates are low
  • Valued doing good business, relationships, and preserving their names
  • Lived modestly, but well, and when they lived extravagantly it was within their means
  • They made providing for their families a top priority
  • They gave generously, including dedicating much real estate to public use including libraries and parks, and more