Market demand stays strong for 55-plus, single-family housing
By 2019, nearly 45 percent of all households in the United States will be headed by someone 55 or older, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
To meet the needs of this market sector, more home builders are offering single-family homes in age-restricted, active-adult communities.
The draw for these communities include living among others of the same age and interests, home maintenance services, added security, accessible-design features, planned activities, proximity to health care and retail establishments, and access to fitness and recreational amenities.
“For many people of a certain age, the burden of keeping up with an older, bigger home is greater than the burden of a new mortgage,” said Paul Silverman, a Houston-area Realtor with the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation.
Silverman said the majority of those who sell their homes at or near retirement are empty nesters who simply don’t need the extra space. There are also benefits to customizing a new home to meet one’s future needs instead of renovating an old one.
Jan and Curtis Brown own a home in Wellspring at Tamarron, a 55-plus gated community of 109 homesites in the Katy-Fulshear area. Jan retired as a deputy from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and Curtis spent 27 years in retail management with Walmart.
After becoming grandparents, and with their three sons well into adulthood, the Browns decided to move into a smaller home.
“We enjoyed living in a bigger house, but time was coming up for us to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars in repairs and retrofitting,” Curtis said. “When we found the opportunity to move, it changed a lot of things for the better. We still have more than enough room when the grandkids come over, and we’re living in a home that is perfect for this stage in our lives.”
Homes in Wellspring at Tamarron, built by Freedom Homes, a D.R. Horton Company, come in single-story, two- to three-bedroom floor plans designed to have wider hallways, energy-efficient features and master bathrooms that connect to the utility room for convenience.
Front yard maintenance and planned activities are perks of living in this section of Tamarron.
By participating in community outings and events, the Browns have gotten to know their neighbors, who come from all over the country. Some, from the Houston area, chose to start over at Wellspring after Hurricane Harvey.
This past October, they all took a limousine to Minute Maid Park to watch the Houston Astros.
“Wellspring is a mix of retirees and people who still work, and all of them maintain very active lifestyles,” said Kristina Jones, marketing manager for D.R. Horton. “Because they are among like-minded neighbors in an area that is safe, everyone enjoys a very engaging, open and active community.”