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Top Home Features Boomers Want

Baby boomers have a few distinct preferences when it comes to home location and features, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The survey asked first-time buyers and existing home owners across different age groups to rank features based on how essential they are to a home-purchasing decision.

Boomer home buyers overwhelmingly preferred to live in the suburbs compared to other age groups. When asked about community features, boomers want to be near retail space. They also had a strong preference to live in a pedestrian-friendly community with walking/jogging trails and a park area. Compared to millennials, playgrounds and swimming pools are not popular community features for boomers.

The survey revealed different preferences for home size across age groups. Older buyers preferred a smaller house with high-quality products and amenities compared to millennial home buyers. Only a few older home buyers in the survey preferred a home with more than one story, compared to a majority of younger home buyers.

There also were striking differences between age groups when asked about bath and specialty rooms. Nearly half of older home buyers consider a full bath on the main level essential, compared to less than a third of younger home buyers. A significant percentage of older home buyers did not want a whirlpool tub, skylight or dual toilets in the master bath, compared to younger home buyers. Specialty rooms associated with entertainment, such as a media or game room, appeal less to boomers compared to millennials.

Although most home buyers in each generation consider energy efficiency an essential or desirable home feature, this preference increases significantly with age. A majority of millennials (76 percent) want ENERGY STAR-rated windows in their homes, compared to an overwhelming majority of boomers (91 percent).