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Family a Big Factor in Baby Boomer Real Estate Decisions

One trend to keep a careful eye on is part of an enormous economic development just on the horizon involving the Baby Boomer generation. Early numbers indicated the Boomers are packing up and leaving town, with one in five planning on moving in the next five years.

One out of five Baby Boomers plan to move in the next five years. Proximity to and needs of family are top priorities when this group considers real estate options, according to a recent survey.

Three out of four polled say it is important to be near their family when considering their next move. And, 43 percent would purchase a home to be closer to work or family - up 10 percent from a year ago. For those considering an active adult community for their next home purchase, 70 percent wanted family and friends nearby.

Respondents were clear on where they want to live - single-family homes handily won out over active adult communities or other condo options, at least for 65 percent of respondents in a fourth annual telephone poll of more than 1,000 males and females over age 50 conducted by ERA Real Estate.

Similar findings are found in a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The Center found that fewer baby boomers are looking to downsize than previously thought.

In the ERA survey, about one-quarter of respondents said the reason they would buy a new home would be to upsize, compared with 15 percent last year. Of those who own single-family homes, only 11 percent would consider purchasing a condo, townhouse or apartment.

For those Boomers and seniors opting to downsize, amenities are in greater demand. Only 2 percent of those surveyed last year were considering active adult communities, one built around a golf course, for instance. That number has increased to 6 percent in this year's survey. Men are three times more likely than women to consider a move to an active adult community, the ERA survey found.

Rachel Koning Beals has written about credit, real estate, personal finance and investing for 12 years.

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