Retirees Create New Demand for Homes in Natural Settings
PRNewswire (08/14/01) Vol. 158, No. 6 p.48; Goldstein, Andrew

Affluent retirees and semi-retirees are younger, hipper, more active, and more interested in purchasing a home with natural surroundings than reserving a room in a retirement village, says David V. Johnson, chairman of Victor International, a developer of environmentally sensitive homes. Wealthy seniors are increasingly overlooking historical retirement destinations like Florida, Arizona, and California in favor of environmentally protected home sites in Washington, Michigan, and the Carolinas, with the intent of passing them on to future generations. Johnson says today's buyer wants a somewhat smaller home sitting on a spectacular piece of land but with amenities as well, such as concierge services, fine dining and shopping, and recreational facilities. Mixed communities--which combine young families, empty nesters, singles, and career couples--are popular with the emerging retiree demographic. Rather than living in a segregated area with people their own age, well-off seniors and near-seniors prefer living near people with their own interests. A Wall Street Journal survey of the top five towns attracting such retirees includes the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area of Michigan; San Juan Island, Washington; Destin/South Walton Beach, Fla.; Corolla, N.C.; and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Johnson says guaranteed low density and design controls are essential to attracting affluent seniors interested in protecting both their lifestyle and their investment.

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