Remember when big-name golf courses were the big draw for what used to be called "retirement communities?" According to NAHB's most recent consumer preference survey, golf courses now top the list of amenities that people don't want. The "What Home Buyers Really Want" survey shows that today's baby boomers and elders still want to be active, but they have simpler preferences.
The survey asked home buyers what amenities would influence their decision to buy in a community. Walking and/or jogging trails, parks, outdoor swimming pools and lakes were in the top five for boomers, for the older 65+ age cohort as well as for survey participants of all ages.
As for the fifth preference, the two older age groups signaled that outdoor maintenance service was an amenity that would positively influence their choice of community. Those groups no longer see such maintenance as another opportunity for physical activity, but as something that could land them in the doctor's office. Providing gutter cleaning, lawn mowing and snow removal certainly helps prevent injuries among older residents.
Surprisingly, the site-specific and outdoor maintenance features — plus the "exercise room" that came in fifth for the entire sample — were cited by the full set of respondents as more important than a convenience store, drug store, playgrounds, public transportation, a clubhouse, tennis courts, arts and crafts and a host of other more expensive features.
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