Being outside doesn’t just mean backyard pools and patios anymore. With the growing focus on health and wellness, today’s homebuyers are drawn to living healthier and nature-based amenities are at the top of their list. While the increased health benefits are important, it’s decreasing cost to manage and operate that makes natural settings more than just a pretty place.
As the largest generation for five decades, baby boomers spending trends continue to drive the economy. They have spent much of their lives in cars and offices and now want fresh air and walkable neighborhoods within easy reach of parks, beaches, shopping, dining, entertainment and culture.
Research shows that outdoor group oriented exercise such as gardening improves social skills and confidence, while even increasing mobility and dexterity. At The Georgia Club in Athens, Georgia, plans are underway to incorporate a community garden to provide fresh produce to the Country Club kitchen in the future. On the Florida panhandle, NatureWalk at Seagrove, is already offering a neighborhood horticulture area for growing fresh vegetables and flowers. They also have the NatureWoof neighborhood dog park for friends and man’s best friend to enjoy. Outdoor group activities can be an effective way to exercise and get your daily dose of vitamin D.
It’s no secret that nature reduces stress and increases relaxation. Positive mood, better concentration and more creativity are also added benefits. Buying a home in a community surrounded by tranquil waters, such as The Islands on Manatee River near Sarasota, Florida, can also provide a relaxing sanctuary. Personal docks afford homebuyers the luxury to privately access a boat, launch a kayak or simply witness a colorful sunset.
Today’s retires have turned everything we used to think about the active adult housing market upside down. Gone are the days when the senior niche was the bridge playing older folks moving into their last home. Even more intriguing for the real estate industry is that 41 percent of leading-edge boomers – a group with over $500 billion in spending power, according to Brent Green, author of “Marketing to Leading Edge Baby Boomers” – say they will definitely purchase another home. What’s at the top of their list? You guessed it. Nature- based amenities.