From the desk of Ralene Nelson, Realtor serving the California Delta: Whether it’s important to live close to family, or just looking for a slower pace and an active lifestyle, contact me if you are interested in the retirement community: Trilogy at Rio Vista. You will love these elegantly styled, energy efficient homes, located right on the golf course and 10 minutes from the Sacramento River.
Maybe a bigger house is better in retirement. When Marian Watkins, who is single, retired from the Air Force in 1998, she moved into a townhome community in Lansdale, Pa., went back to school for a doctorate in educational leadership and became a teacher. Then when she retired from her second career in 2013, she moved to a more spacious single family house in Griffin, Georgia in the Sun City Peachtree development. Now she’s planning on moving within the Del Webb community to an even bigger house, with three bedrooms on the ground floor and an upstairs loft. “A lot of people who come here think they want to downsize, and then they buy up,” Watkins says, adding, “I thought I was the only crazy one.”
Watkins, 66, is part of a growing group of home buyers – single female boomers—who want to live big in retirement. They owned homes on their own before, and they want to own a home in retirement. Homebuilder PulteGroup PHM +0.00% says it’s seen a steady increase in single women buying homes at its Del Webb active adult communities over the past few years. It’s still mostly couples buying, but of the single buyers (1 in 5 buyers), 70% were single women in 2012, 76% were single women in 2013, 77 % were single women in 2014, and 80% were single women last year.
Based on the single women buyer profiles, Del Webb commissioned an online survey of women aged 55 to 74 to delve into this promising demographic. The survey found that 28% of single female boomers—who number 25 million—are planning a move in the next five years. Three-quarters of them were planning to move within their home state.
That’s what Watkins first thought she’d do. She looked at a Del Webb community in Pennsylvania, but then she looked farther afield at Del Webb communities in Georgia–to be near three cousins who live there. When boomers go about buying a new home, it can be a long process. “They’re very thoughtful about where they’re going to spend their money,” says Valerie Dolenga, director of corporate communications for Del Webb, adding that she’s seen it take up to four years to seal a deal.
While family was the driver for the move to Georgia, Watkins says the lower cost of living was a big factor, including much lower property taxes, and the weather helps too. “I don’t miss the snow,” she says.