Senior Housing Trends That Impact Real Estate Investors

Senior Housing Trends That Impact Real Estate Investors
Holly Welles

If you’re a real estate investor, the ultimate goal is getting the most bang for your buck. The older population continues to grow across the U.S., and this generational shift creates new revenue streams to explore.

What trends dominate senior housing? From aging in place to the growing number of people with chronic health conditions, investors should keep up with the latest trends if they want to pad their bottom line.

In-Law Suites Gain Popularity

One of the hottest senior living trends is aging in place, which housing experts define as exercising control over where they live. Not all members of this population can remain in their family home due to safety concerns. However, a 2010 survey found that 88% of those over age 65 prefer to stay at home at long as possible, and 92% want to remain in the community they consider their neighborhood.

The solution? In-law suites. You can find these located as part of the principle property or as a separate structure on the same acreage. These appeal to families who are buying or renting a home and want to have their senior family members move in, as well. Residential landlords and fix-and-flip types who seek to improve their properties should consider remodeling to include these amenities.

Number of People With Chronic Conditions Continues Rising

As the population ages, the number of people with chronic health conditions climbs. Landlords who want to ensure the ongoing viability of their rentals should invest in accessibility upgrades.

The most appealing property in the world won’t rent if prospective tenants can’t reach the door. Substitute gravel or paving stone walkways for unbroken concrete or continuous tiles. If the door stretches above the front lawn, residents will need a way to reach it. Install a wheelchair ramp if your apartment unit(s) lie atop a hill.

Additionally, pay attention to the materials you use when you upgrade, even if you own stand-alone residential rentals. Carpeting is nearly impossible to push a chair across, and linoleum can develop ruts. Opt for hardwood flooring, which offers a soft landing if someone falls, but which allows wheelchairs and walkers to glide effortlessly. As a bonus, it’s one of the longest-lasting choices, so you’ll get significant mileage from your investment.

On-site Amenities Earn Favor

Today’s seniors embrace active lifestyles, and they want to live in communities that encourage health and well-being. At the very least, they demand grounds that offer an attractive outdoor space for fresh air and exercise, complete with benches to take a rest. Elderly residents with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis often appreciate pools and hot tubs where they can enjoy hydrotherapy and aquatic exercises that decrease pressure on creaky joints.

Residents also seek out communities that encourage socialization. Senior loneliness is a growing problem that increases the chances of premature death. Therefore, living arrangements with community events are increasingly popular. Plus, luxury amenities such as community rooms and even beauty salons on-site attract a higher class of clientele.

Location Still Matters

Many seniors face significant financial struggles, and they need affordable housing. However, they also crave access to shopping and dining, and they don’t always maintain their driving ability. Recent research indicates that homes located along public transportation lines rank as more valuable than similar properties in areas lacking this access.

Additionally, millennials and Gen-Z don’t hold exclusive rights to craving eco-friendly options. Many Baby Boomers consider sustainability a critical factor when seeking housing. Therefore, if you’re looking for new investments, properties with a high walk score and amenities like low-flow water fixtures demand higher rents.
Seniors Are Redefining Real Estate Investing

If you’re a real estate investor, failing to stay abreast of generational trends can cost you. Given the aging population, making decisions with seniors in mind can improve your revenue stream.

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