According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, older homebuyers are far less willing to compromise when purchasing a home. They are already likely to have bought several homes in the past and to have a much clearer picture of exactly what they want and like in their home.
This view has been backed up with research, as a survey of 93,502 people who had recently bought or sold a home found that approximately half of those aged 58 or older had not made any type of compromise over their recent purchase. This compares to 28% of younger homebuyers who were also unwilling to compromise. Most home buyers compromised on a number of different factors including the size of the lot, the distance from work, price, and the style of the home.
It's perhaps hardly surprising as experts have pointed out that the typical first-time buyer doesn’t really know what they need, and are likely to be looking for sufficient room for a family, and are more concerned about being in an area with good schools. In contrast, older buyers will have already raised their family and are more focused on their needs. While having a clear picture of exactly what you want in a home is no bad thing, it can make the search much trickier. Some people will spend a considerable amount of time looking for the perfect property while others may end up paying over the odds for their ideal home.
The age of the home is another important factor, as so-called millennials who are buyers born between 1980 and 2000 are more likely to purchase a property built around 1986. This is a full 10 years older than the typical home bought by someone who was born between 1925 and 1945. Older buyers who are unable to find their perfect home are also more likely to build, and this is perhaps one of the reasons why homebuilders catering for buyers over the age of 55 have become more optimistic during the past few months. This generation is typically looking for plenty of space for entertaining, both inside and outside the home. Many now work from home, so a properly designed office is another important factor rather than having to convert a bedroom. They’re also more concerned about location and being within walking distance of amenities.
Older buyers falling into this category are encouraged to do their homework before looking for a new property, and to identify features that are particularly important to them.