Reaching that 55+ milestone can be scary and exciting. The children have left (or are about to leave) the nest and suddenly these empty-nesters have more time on their hands to do what they want to do. Concurrently, their home no longer suits their needs. Not only are there empty and redundant rooms, but the house no longer reflects their lifestyle. Now is a great time for this buyer to downsize. This means big decisions for them.

Lifestyle changes require some adjustments. Not only are they considering a smaller house, but what about the neighborhood? Should they move to an age targeted or age restricted community? Should they stay close to their kids and grandkids? Maybe they are still working but want something smaller with a short commute. So many choices!

Deryl Patterson, architect of NEXTAdventure home
Deryl Patterson, Housing Design Matters

Changes to their body and their health can also be quite an adjustment. The knees and back just aren’t what they used to be! So they have to be mindful of how much strain they put on the body. Moving down could also mean moving downstairs to a single level home. It could also mean adding features to the home that allow them to age gracefully with wider doorways, grab bars, ample lighting and fewer tripping hazards.

Daunting as these changes may seem, our industry can facilitate a seamless transition to moving down for the 55+ buyer. In the upcoming series of blogs, I will discuss how to help this buyer celebrate their milestone by rewarding them with a home that is designed around their needs and their lifestyle. This is an experienced buyer who can understand the value of features that matter to them.

In this series, we will look at the various rooms and features that are important to this buyer profile including:

  • How their house transforms
  • Casual Lifestyle Living
  • Storage, storage and more storage
  • Low Maintenance Lifestyle
  • The Kitchen Transformation
  • The Ideal island
  • One size fits none -Customizing for the 55+ buyer
  • Bathrooms
  • Outdoor living
  • Designing for him and her
  • When stairs are acceptable
  • Snore and more rooms
  • Single women solutions
  • Pets importance to the 55+ buyer

Stay tuned for the next installment of the architect's notes on this industry-altering 55-plus focused project. Track all developments at