From the March 2008 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

Retrofitting the one-story ranch...

Nancy Mueller, writing for Gannett, reports on new trend in housing showing up in some neighborhoods: singlestory homes designed to fulfill the needs of baby boomers.

These homes bear no resemblance to the low-profile, one-story ranches that many of the boomers grew up in during the '50s and '60s, she notes.

These new homes for empty-nesters are stylish and plush, with an emphasis on European-influenced architectural flourishes and open floor plans.

Fixtures, cabinets and flooring materials are high quality. This new version of one-level living also nearly always
includes a second-story bonus room, so that most of these homes are technically 11/2 stories tall.

But Mueller warns the homes are more expensive to build because they require, proportionally, more foundation,
which can make the price per square foot higher.

However, she notes that boomer buyers do not necessarily want to lose too much square footage when they downsize. They just want all of their bedrooms on one floor. And they care about the exterior appearance of their new homes, eschewing anything that appears too squatty.

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