Seniors don’t want McMansions; they want ranchers and ADA friendly townhouses

A Maryland real estate agent looks at recent figures about the number of aging Americans and what is being built and asks if there is enough of certain kinds of housing:

After I read these facts I thought to myself, why aren’t more builders building what the greatest generation wants – the rancher home or townhouse that is “senior ADA friendly and energy efficient” ?

This is an interesting set of options:

1. The rancher. The legacy of this home dates back to the early to mid-1900s when Americans sought easier to build homes amidst housing shortages and quick-growing suburbs as well as relatively clean and straightforward design. The advantage for older residents is a lack of stairs and all of the house on one level. Of course, there are ways to make ranches more unique – features like vaulted ceilings or wings with master suites or basements – but they are relatively simple homes.

2. Townhouses provide several advantages including newer construction and homeowner’s associations which take care of exterior maintenance as well as yard work. However, townhouses are not necessarily cheap (particularly if they are all ADA friendly and energy efficient) monthly homeowner’s fees might make it less of an option for lots of people.

The aging population will present a unique challenge to the housing industry: who will purchase all of the homes owned by aging Americans and what will the housing options be for their later years?

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