BABY BOOMERS (AGES 40 TO 58) ARE FINALLY reaching the age when they can look forward to an empty nest. But a recent study conducted by Pulte Homes subsidiary, Del Webb, shows that the nests won't be empty long. Of the boomers polled, 25 percent anticipate their adult children (known as boomerang kids) will move back in with them. Today, more than 25 percent of Americans ages 18 to 34 live with their parents, according to U.S. Census figures. And this number is expected to grow. According to a job-search Web site, 62 percent of college students say they expect to live at home after graduation. And it doesn't stop there. Boomers may also choose to house their aging parents who are no longer able (or willing) to live on their own.

No matter what situation baby boomers find themselves in, they do express a strong interest in active-adult communities that are part of multigenerational developments, according to the Del Webb survey. Other findings include:

  • 36 percent of boomers who move from their empty nest will move more than three hours away.
  • 44 percent say the top reason for moving is that they want a smaller house; 44 percent say they want a house that requires less maintenance.
  • Of boomers considering a home in an age-qualified community, 86 percent seek security features; 85 percent seek high-tech features; 79 percent seek social activities; and 72 percent seek fitness programs.
  • Of that same group, 30 percent prefer a community in an urban location; 22 percent want an adults-only neighborhood that is part of a larger multigenerational development; and 29 percent desire a community with fewer amenities that maximizes local natural benefits such as hiking trails.
  • The 2004 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey can be accessed at