A 55-plus buyer is an experienced buyer. They know, for example, that they do not need a living room. Perhaps they initially were talked into buying a house with a living room because their realtor told them they needed one for resale. What they learned over the years is that this room rarely saw use and now that it is time to sell, this phantom living room enthusiast remains to be seen.
The same holds true for the dining room. We’ve all been told that this buyer profile wants a big dining room so they can host holiday dinners for their extended family. In reality, a formal dining room is too large 11 months out of the year and too small when the entire family actually does visit. Other times, they travel to see their children for holidays and don’t use this room at all.
These rooms can be nice to have, but does every 55-plus buyer really want to pay for, furnish, heat, and cool rooms they don’t use? Instead, let’s expand the rooms that are enjoyed on a daily basis. With this age demographic in mind, Housing Design Matters recommends jettisoning the living and dining room to create a casual lifestyle plan. This plan offers a casual eating space off the kitchen that is both suitable for daily meals and large enough for entertaining. These buyers also want a large kitchen for entertaining. This is the room where people tend to gather, so why not facilitate the traffic? They want a kitchen that welcomes and encourages conversation and participation while preparing food and cleaning up after an event.
Since entertaining often revolves around TV, ensure that the family room is large enough to accommodate a crowd and position the TV so that it is visible from the kitchen and the casual dining area. Why go to a bar to watch the game when your house is the life of the party? Also, did I mention movie night? With Netflix and HBO, movie night can be every night (for better or worse) from the comfort of your own home. The point is, in the past, it may have been taboo for your guests to see the TV in that “other room.” Today, the TV is the center of our entertainment world.
The way we live today is different than it was 100, 50, or even 25 years ago. The casual lifestyle plan acknowledges that and embraces today’s habits and routines by eliminating the rooms we don’t occupy and adding square footage to the rooms we do use.