Recently I wrote about how construction since the Recession has not kept pace with population increases and household formations leaving the nation with millions fewer homes than it needs, which has driven up prices. Because construction isn’t keeping up the supply end of things, people are staying in their homes longer – especially older people.

You see, the real estate market is a “circle of life” industry whereby the young start out small and move their way up until the kids are gone and they’re older, at which point they downsize to lower-maintenance properties. This makes room for the next generation to move up to the next level.

According to FreddieMac, 1.6 million senior-owned homes are not shuffling along the real estate conveyor belt to make way for a new generation. That’s essentially a typical year’s worth of new construction and over half the estimated 2.5 million home deficit the country struggles with due to over a decade of underbuilding.

The hot term is “aging in place” and I see the appeal of living independently – just maybe not in an oversized house I can’t take care of. Of course part of the reason those 1.6 million senior homeowners aren’t moving is because there’s nowhere to move. It’s not like the construction industry was building retirement facilities instead of homes for the past decade.  There’s not a ton of empty Shady Pines and Gossamer Meadows out there gathering dust.

And that’s not all.

(more…)

save

Photo courtesy Joint Base San Antonio

From staff reports

Not quite 20 percent of Americans surveyed by LendEDU said their goal was to save enough to retire one day, but almost 40 percent of them felt that goal was unattainable.

The survey was released earlier this month, and polled 1,000 Americans to understand their financial goals and their confidence that they could meet them. The data was then sorted further by generation.

Also on many minds was paying off credit card debt — 14 percent said it was a goal, but seven percent weren’t confident they would. Twenty percent said they wanted to buy their own home, but 17 percent didn’t believe they would be able to do so. 

Four percent of the post-millennial age bracket said they’d like to invest in real estate — more than the stock market or creating a retirement account. (more…)

When Dallas architect Allan Ross conceptualized Bentley Place in Greenway Parks, he designed the eight-villa luxury development with at least one specific type of home buyer in mind: downsizers.

At last month’s CandysDirt.com Staff Party, we gabbed with the noted architect about a mind-boggling virtual reality tour of Bentley Place (seriously, mind-boggling!) and discussed some of the trends in new downsizing properties. Ross, principal of Waal Architecture, is an accomplished creator with four decades of experience in the design, development, and construction of award-winning projects for private sector clients throughout the United States, Canada, Caribbean, North Africa, and the UAE.

We tapped into that brilliant mind of his to share the most sought-after features that downsizing homeowners are looking for in a smaller home:

(more…)

NAR’s recent generational survey uncovered some really interesting trends. For starters, more and more Millennials are eschewing urban life and heading for the burbs, where they can afford to buy a house. Though Millennials contributed the largest share of home buyers in 2017 at 36 percent, a shortage of single-family construction has kept aspiring homebuyers from making the move. Additionally, larger numbers of households are living a multi-generational lifestyle, with more younger Baby Boomers buying homes to house their adult children and their own parents. Even Gen X households are buying homes with the intent of having their parents under the same roof. 

Now that many Millennials have started to pay down their staggering student debt, more of them are starting families. According to NAR’s report, the share of Millennials with at least one child continues to grow. But for many Millennial households in America, their desire to become homeowners combined with slow wage growth and high housing costs have pushed many out of larger cities and toward the suburbs. In fact, 52 percent of Millennial homebuyers bought larger and more affordable properties in suburban locations. 

In fact, Thrillist just published a piece that speaks to this trend: “State of the Suburbs: Dallas.” Forced to look in every nook and cranny for a home they can afford, Millennials are now turning their eyes toward the close-in suburbs that might not get as much attention as the master-planned communities in Collin County, such as Duncanville, DeSoto, Garland, and Grand Prairie.  

Of course, a lot of these trends speak to life in Dallas, which has a very upwardly mobile workforce and a lot of Millennials. However, are we seeing a run on suburban living? We asked some of our most-trusted Realtors to find out. 

(more…)

Courtesy: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Baby Boomers dominate renovation spending. Courtesy: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Don’t be misguided by what you see on HGTV. The renovation market is not being driven by young couples out to feather their first nests. According to a report released by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Baby Boomers, motivated by changing accessibility needs, currently spend more money than any other generation on housing renovations – and will continue to do so over the next several years.

(more…)

Left: This outdated shower/tub unit was rarely used and presented a fall hazard. Right: Bruce Graf updated the bathroom with trendy tile and frameless glass, which is now wheelchair accessible. (Photo: Graf Developments)

Left: This outdated shower/tub unit was rarely used and presented a fall hazard. Right: Bruce Graf updated the bathroom with trendy tile and frameless glass, which is now wheelchair accessible. (Photo: Graf Developments)

“For most folks, their home is the biggest investment they own,” said Bruce Graf, a home remodeler with more than 30 years of experience in working with multiple generations of families.

Graf has helped families remodel a house to accommodate growth, and then returned years later to adapt their home to special health needs so they can continue aging-in-place within that same residence filled with lots of memories.

(more…)

empty nesters

Aging in place is a big trend in real estate and housing.

Oh man, I’ve got to start this post with a quote:

“The back to the city” meme appeals to urban boosters and reporters but in reality the numbers behind it are quite small. A 2011 survey by the real estate advisory firm RCLCO found that among affluent empty nesters, 65% planned to stay in their current home, 14% expected to look for a resort-type residence, and only 3 percent would opt for a condominium in the core city. Most of those surveyed preferred living spaces of 2,000 square feet or more. RCLCO concluded that the empty nester “back to the city” condominium demand was 250,000 households nationwide, a lucrative but small market out of the 4.5 million empty nester households in the metropolitan areas studied.

250,000 nation-wide? I found this story by my pal Joel Kotkin to be very interesting and worth a mention or five. First of all, where ARE the most Baby Boomers living now? They currently make up 15 percent of the nation’s population, that figure expected to expand to 21 percent.

Answer: Tampa-St. Pete, Pittsburgh, Tucson, Miami, Buffalo, Cleveland, Rochester, Providence, Hartford, St. Louis and interestingly, Birmingham, Alabama, probably because of its manufacturing history. Two sand states and the rust belt.

The cities with the smallest percentage of Baby Boomers are Austin, Salt Lake City, Houston, DALLAS, and Raleigh, NC.

Why is this so important? (more…)

jeffrey green

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Jeffrey L. Green sees artistry in a home renovation, finding “the potential in what is existing and breathing new life into a home that many might not consider salvageable.”

Jeffrey Green, AIA

Jeffrey Green, AIA

This is something he practices as Vice President of Architectural Interior Design and Construction Administrator at Dallas-based PBH Construction.

PBH Construction is his family’s business, and Green helped with many projects before joining in 2009. His design and build experience includes new constructions, rebuilds, and renovations of single-family and multi-family residential homes, as well as commercial, retail, and institutional spaces.

In addition to older homes, Green is passionate about older people—namely, helping them build or re-create their homes so they can age in place. This is a big topic in the architecture community now largely because of the 76.4 million Baby Boomers, the oldest of whom will turn 70 this year.

Green is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), which makes him part of the growing dialogue on how to manage aging issues like a home’s livability for older Americans. He says this is just good design practice for all people.

“Ultimately, you want a home that is welcoming and accessible to all residents and guests,” Green said.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from Baylor University, and his Master of Architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. While attending Baylor, Green completed a cooperative program, studying one year at Washington University’s Architectural Studio in St. Louis, Mo.

Green began his career with The Preston Partnership, LLC in Atlanta. He was responsible for site planning and due diligence, schematic design and graphic visualization, 2D- and 3D-rendering development, and more.

Green’s talent for design has earned him several recognitions, including a Rosser International Fellowship Award, a winner of the 2000-2001 Otis/ACSA International Student Design Competition in Istanbul, Turkey, and a Presidential Scholarship Award.

He answered eight questions from us about his work, trends in the architectural community, modern design, and Dallas. We learned a lot!

(more…)