Vail Ask a Realtor column: Baby boomers have specific real estate needs |

Vail Ask a Realtor column: Baby boomers have specific real estate needs

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan: I am sick of reading about what the “millennials” like, want and do. When it comes to real estate, it seems like builders, landlords and Realtors are all trying to cater to what the younger generation thinks they want. I think more consideration should be given to the changing needs and wants of the baby boomer generation, since we are still the ones with the most money and buying power.

What I want, and probably need now, is much different from what I was looking for 25 years ago. Do you Realtors realize we want smaller (not small) homes, main-floor masters, slightly more contemporary and a home that we can stay in until we are ready to transition to a better place? I am not sure we are understood. What do your think?

Vocal Boomer

Dear Vocal Boomer: I feel confident saying the majority of Realtors understands you, here and across the nation. I believe the average age of a Realtor is around 55 years old, which means for every one younger Realtor, there are Realtors that are definitely older. Therefore, the majority of the Realtors are actually in your generation. And, yes, we are well aware that there are fewer buyers for the enormous trophy homes.

New homes for buyers of all ages are trending smaller. We believe this is happening on the Front Range, and as construction starts to come back in our area, we will be seeing a significant reduction in the size of the homes from the last construction boom.

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The “main floor master” is now a category in the Multiple Listing Service, since so many clients are looking for “main floor living.” The main floor master is sought after for many reasons. First of all, it works well for seniors, but it also works well for couples, empty nesters and young, athletic clients who often injure themselves recreating in the wonderful array of sports our mountain life style offers.

As far as style or decor goes, the new “soft contemporary” or “comfortable contemporary” is very popular for all ages, as well as a mixture of barn wood or farm style and modern, which are gaining favor with both the young and the more mature groups of our clients.

I believe that the two generations are really not that far apart in housing dreams and needs. Keep your eyes open, as Western Eagle County is starting to address our need for new homes on several levels. You are being heard.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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