Adult Lifestyle Community – A Definition
With our aging populations visibly becoming a factor to be reckoned with, many homebuilders discover that mature adult are a powerful market. But often, home builders tend to miss the market by focusing more on the home (which is what builders sell after all) rather than the lifestyle (which drives most selling into a mature lifestyle).
Many developers and homebuilders misunderstand that adult buyers prefer to live in low-cost homes and focus on pricing their homes as low as possible, believing that product and price drive sales. And there are certainly adult lifestyle buyers for whom price is a primary consideration. But most potential residents of an adult lifestyle community are looking for three things: adult, lifestyle, and community.
Buyers in adult communities want to ensure that the community they are considering moving to is indeed an “adult” community. Many such communities are age-limited, with hard and fast rules precluding the possibility of children moving in. Of course, there are other ways to “limit” who forces in jurisdictions that don’t allow age discrimination. This can range from so-called restrictive covenants registered on the property’s title to rules about the permanent number of residents that may occupy a housing unit (usually no more than two) under an apartment building or a rental agreement. Finally, the best method of preserving the integrity of an adult lifestyle community is to offer homes specifically designed for an older, childless demographic.
Some contractors want to hedge their bets by offering large, two-story homes in adult communities, figuring they would appeal to younger baby boomers who still have children at home. This misconception pleases neither the younger baby boomers. They don’t want to live in a community largely composed of the elderly or active adults seeking a child-free lifestyle.
As mentioned above, one of the most important considerations for the buyer in an adult community is a lifestyle. Many 50- and 60-somethings who are retired or semi-retired have a lot of free time and a plethora of interests that they are very passionate about. Many are passionate about golf and seek communities near golf courses. Many love personal fitness and look for communities that provide exercise facilities. There are almost as many interests as individuals who want to lead the adult lifestyle. The communities that recognize this very important fact usually do very well, while the communities don’t.
Finally, active adults are often very friendly and try to live in a community where they find others with similar interests and values. Many of these communities have organized a bridge club, a golf group, round-robin tennis tournaments, or group projects such as quilting or knitting. The sense of being part of a community of like-minded individuals is truly one of the most important aspects of a successful adult lifestyle community. These are why a community clubhouse is probably one of the most important amenities an adult lifestyle community could provide. And the greater the variety of facilities and interests, the more people will come to live there.
Written by Klaus Rohrich, Maturity Marketing specializes in marketing for baby boomers. Allow us to help you target the 50+ market and bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a proven track record.