Retirement living isn’t what it used to be. The must-have list for today’s retirees and empty nesters goes well beyond scaled-down spaces and one- level living. When looking for what’s next, age-preferred buyers are seeking a certain lifestyle, location, and, of course, luxury amenities. Byrom Building knows the market—the company is currently constructing Ridge Landing, an age-preferred community in Jefferson County with 28 homes.
“In a community where many residents are in the same phase of life, social opportunities are a must.”Colt Byrom, president of Byrom Building
How does the typical real estate topic of location come into play with the retiree/ empty nester market?
A convenient location is still important. The difference is this particular demographic doesn’t need to be zoned for a school system, so there isn’t a big concern about getting into a specific city. Oftentimes what is more beneficial is the ability to avoid expensive city taxes. A community located near the conveniences of the city but zoned for the county instead of the city, such as Ridge Landing, is certainly a bonus.
What does this market look for inside the home?
All of the Ridge Landing floor plans offer complete main-level living with a two-car garage on the main level, but they also include a second floor so the space is there if needed for grandchildren, family coming in town, etc. Other important features we see retirees and empty nesters looking for are things like wider doorways, which allow for future wheelchair access if needed.
Are there specific requests for a home’s exterior?
Low maintenance is always an important option with retirees and empty nesters. That can include everything from the materials used for the home, such as metal-clad windows that will never have to be painted, to landscaping. Having an HOA that will handle landscape maintenance for you, as Ridge Landing has, is a benefit many seniors enjoy because it provides peace of mind that it will be taken care of without the stress of doing it yourself.
Any other amenities within the community to attract this type of buyer?
In a community where many residents are in the same phase of life, social opportunities are a must. Ridge Landing will feature a fully-stocked pond and pond pavilion, complete with fireplace and pier, for homeowners to gather together. Sidewalks within the community will also be wider for friends to walk side-by-side.
Colt Byrom is President of Byrom Building, a 45-year-old building company focusing on custom new home residential and light commercial construction. Colt received his degree in Real Estate Finance from The University of Alabama and is a fourth-generation home builder. He lives in Homewood with his wife Ashley, an agent with ARC Realty, and their kids, Parker, Beckett, and Adley.