With the Baby Boomer generation becoming the largest-growing segment of the American population, it should be no surprise that these folks – not who we might think of as “trend-setters” – may be the ones driving the latest design and building trends in real estate.
This article in the Wall Street Journal explains how designers and architects are catering more and more toward the Baby Boomers. Research is now showing that many of this generation are choosing to stay in their homes through retirement, instead moving to “assisted living” or a retirement community.
This influx of aging buyers has led to home renovations and new construction including halls and doorways wide enough for walkers and wheelchairs, as well as more master suites and laundry rooms on the first floor. The technology behind home appliances and fixtures is also catching up, with a myriad of appliances and home design elements more senior-friendly.
Some of the innovations in home design and appliance re-design include:
- Stoves that monitor pots to prevent boiling over
- Adjustable typeface on appliance control panels
- Faucets that turn on and off with just a touch anywhere on the spout
- Dishwashers designed to be mounted at a more comfortable height
- Refrigerators with doors and storage designed to reduce bending over
- Adjustable volume/pitch of oven alarms
I saved the best for last. There is even a toilet on the market with an electric-blue nightlight built in and a motorized heated seat cover that rises with the touch of a button. Now there’s an amenity that everyone can appreciate!
The impact these trends will have on the real estate market as a whole is uncertain, but with more Baby Boomers purchasing Fairhope AL real estate, light-up toilets may come standard with the next home you purchase!