According to a 2016 Freddie Mac survey, more than 18 million people 55 and older are going to be in the market for a new home in the next few years. This supports data from KB Home’s exclusive market survey data that finds a jump of 11 percentage points in 55+ buyers of both new and resale homes in our markets over the last decade. But today’s older buyers are worlds apart from previous generations and so is their dream home. That’s why we chose to focus our new KB Home ProjeKt on the 50+ home of the future.
“ProjeKt is a 50+ home for the next 50,” said Dan Bridleman, senior vice president of sustainability, technology and strategic sourcing for KB Home. “This isn’t your father’s retirement. People are living longer, working longer, having children later, creating flexible new family structures and work lives. And they want a home that reflects that.”
Inspired by the huge leaps we’ve seen in this market over the last few years, the new ProjeKt envisions and demonstrates how a new concept of home can offer an entirely different way to look at 50+ living, one that integrates health, sustainability and technology-driven innovation into a home that supports holistic wellness for both its residents and the environment.
The Gig Economy Isn’t Just for Twentysomethings
More workers of every age are earning their living as freelancers, or supplementing their income with gig-economy jobs to earn additional money for retirement. More than one in three workers currently are freelancers and of those freelancers over 55, 49% are using supplemental work to help fund their retirement, according to a 2018 Betterment report on the Gig Economy and the Future of Retirement. In addition, workers today are much more likely to transition into retirement with freelance work and small businesses instead of just throwing the switch one day on a traditional retirement. A recent Gallup poll found that 41% of workers today plan to work past the age of 65, up from just 12% in 1995.
The ProjeKt home reflects this new reality with flexible spaces that are ideal for a home office or yoga room during the day and an entertainment area at night, making the same square footage do double duty in an efficient, thoughtfully designed way. These same spaces can later be adapted to become an additional bedroom for an adult child, elderly parent or caretaker.
Supporting Shifting Family Structures and Needs
The home of the future has to be flexible, particularly for today’s 50+ buyer who may pack a lot of life stages into their years in their home. More homes today have multiple generations living under one roof, whether older relatives who may be helping with children or adult children returning home while making career or life transitions, or any number of other family configurations. The KB Home ProjeKt is designed as a traditional two-story family home that can accommodate any number of family configurations. But the innovative ProjeKt design also allows for literal “downsizing” within your existing home, with a second floor that is designed to be easily separated into an independent unit that’s ideal for adult children, older relatives, live-in caretakers, or even short- or long-term rental income.
Today’s 50+ Buyer Wants Connection Not Restriction
ProjeKt is not designed for the buyer looking for typical age-restricted communities. It’s for the buyer who wants to be part of a thriving community that includes strong connections with their neighbors of all ages.
“When we hold focus groups, many 50+ buyers tell us that they don’t like age-restricted communities. They say it feels like high school, just 40 years later,” said Bridleman. “Today’s 50+ population wants to be a part of life, not apart from it. They’re looking for connection and community — and that spans generations.”
Inspirada, a master plan community in the Las Vegas area and home to the KB Home ProjeKt, is a great example of this trend.
“Our Inspirada community, for example, is located near an age-restricted community and we actually have multiple sales from buyers literally driving away from those restrictions. They’ve stopped by our community on the way out and found what they’re looking for in a thriving community that spans all ages,” said Jen Haack, KB Home’s senior manager of strategic marketing for the Las Vegas division.
KB Home is all about relationships. The relationships between builder and buyer, homeowner and home, home and community, neighbor and neighbor. That spirit and commitment are reflected in the design of the ProjeKt community. ProjeKt is more than a single home; it is part of a larger virtual community designed to support this new vision of future living and greater inter-connectedness to serve as an antidote to today’s increasingly isolated lifestyles.
Redefining Home Health Care
Every day we are learning more about how important our living environments are to our health. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that physical and social environments are the largest determinants of our health. Having a home that supports long-term health is going to be increasingly important to all home buyers in the future, but in particular the 50+ buyer who is likely to spend more hours in their home as they wind down their work life outside the home. The KB Home ProjeKt is designed to actively promote health with restorative and rejuvenating features, from circadian lighting that promotes sleep and greater mental health to biophilic design elements that bring nature into daily living. In addition, a suite of technology-driven connected capabilities create an innovative health partnership between homeowner and home and greater control, comfort, safety and independence for the years to come.
All of these features are creating where tomorrow lives for the 50+ home buyer of the future and inspiring how we serve the evolving needs of today’s 50+ home buyer. KB Home, its innovations collaborators, and its partners at Builder and Hanley Wood are unveiling the 2019 KB Home ProjeKt in Las Vegas in February 2019. Sign up here to receive updates as we continue to share more details and sneak previews of the home in-progress.