08 Feb Age-In-Place Multifamily
We’re at an interesting point in the real estate industry as a whole. The two demographics with the most spending power are also the two demographics that seem to be set on turning the ‘norm’ on its ear. While millennials continue to draw flack for doing things their own way, we’re also seeing sections of the boomer demographic eschewing just about every retirement stereotype – including homeownership.
The term ‘age in place’ often conjures images of single-family homes with single-level living and a range of features meant to make independent living easier for residents as they age. However the appeal of fewer maintenance requirements, flexibility, a closer community, and the overall convenience of closer-in city living that come with living in an apartment or condo has not been lost on the 55+ crowd. So, as more and more retirees make the decision to seek out multifamily living, multifamily developers are determining what it will take to set their properties apart and to attract these potential renters to their properties. Enter age-in-place features.
In single-family homes, age-in-place features tend to be discreet ‘plusses’ that only stand out to those buyers specifically looking for them, and they don’t need to be any different in a multifamily housing development. However, the lifestyles being lived in these homes are a little different, so the features vary accordingly. Unlike a single-family home, the emphasis on aging in place in a multifamily complex should begin at the front door or gate, and continues all the way to the details of the kitchen. Here are a few features that an older renter will be looking for throughout a multifamily complex.
Building Security and Accessibility
Especially for older singles, feeling secure and free to safely move around the complex or building is key. A few elements they’ll be looking for may include:
- Gated Entrances
- Doormen or Security Guard
- Front Desk or Concierge Services
- Ramps and stairless entry throughout
- Convenient parking options
- Elevators (preferably multiple, in case one is out of order)
Amenities and Community
A few of the biggest draws to multifamily for the older demographic include a sense of community, and the freedom to explore and find new hobbies. Benefits in this area could include.
- Resident Clubs (book clubs, dinner clubs, fitness clubs, etc)
- Well maintained outdoor common areas
- Fitness Centers
- Flex Common Spaces
Many prospective residents are used to the privacy that comes with single level living. Echoing that feeling in a multifamily complex can be done in the following ways.
- Private Home Entrances
- Well placed landscaping
- Layouts that minimize shared walls
Entryways and Hallways
When welcoming your boomer residents home, there are a few ways to make their lives simpler that a millennial wouldn’t even notice.
- Smart Locks
- Peep Holes at varying heights on the door
- Built-In shelving, benches and cubbies in the entry ways
- Wider Hallways
- Shallower closets with built in storage options
- In/Out lock boxes for delivery of mail or medications
Kitchens and Living Areas
- Raised height dishwashers
- Hands-free faucets
- Lower, soft close cabinets
- Top-load refrigerators
- Smart lighting and outlet options
- Motion sensor nightlights
Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Bedrooms and bathrooms have many features that could be a hinderance or even a hazard as residents age, here are a few options to counter those effects.
- Extra space in both the bedroom and bathroom floorplans
- Smart outlets and lighting
- Smart thermostats
- Extra built-in closet racks
- Plenty of lighting in closet
- Extra Large, walk-in showers and tubs
- Built-in seating and sturdy shelving in shower or tub
The demand for age-in-place multifamily is out there. Are your complexes ready to meet the expectations that come with this new trend?