The Sandwich Generation

The Sandwich Generation

This month, Alissa is newly a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) after completing a course that dives deep into the dynamics and proclivities of the generations. The course was a fascinating peek into what makes each generation “tick”.

The course confirmed what we have known in our bones for some time…the interests, motivations, and priorities of our clients tend to cluster based on the time period of their birth.

Alissa and Jess are solidly in the “Sandwich Generation”. A group characterized by their care of both elders and young children, this generation is pulled in multiple directions with nearly half caring for those under the age of 18 and nearly 21% providing support to parents over the age of 65.

We wonder if it’s for this reason that we connect to both Boomers and Millenials.

No two groups have competed more for the same batch of available homes than these two. In the past two years, we have witnessed the competition only getting more heated between buyers who are entering the market newly - with burgeoning careers, growing families, and the desire to put down roots - and buyers who are downsizing, moving closer to family and grandchildren, and seeking homes that meet their physical needs (no stairs!).

Both buyer groups prioritize “move-in ready” condition, but for different reasons. The Millenials are more likely to be working full-time, juggling high-demand careers and high-demand children, and don’t have experience in home maintenance and renovation. These folks are overwhelmed by the prospect of a home remodel and would much rather slide into a home that looks great and can support their busy lives, enabling them to continue their focus on family and career.

And as folks age, many of them are joining the ranks of those of us sandwiched between aging elders and youthful upstarts - with even less free time to take on home projects than ever before.

Our older buyers are also drawn to move-in ready homes because there’s a good chance that they’ve embarked on a renovation project in the past, and as most will tell you - “one and done!” If you know how hard it is to pull off a great remodel, there’s a good chance you’ll value it when you see it in a home and houses that are done well are quite attractive to this group.

The one difference between the two groups is that if you have bought and sold real estate in the past, you are more likely to pay cash for a home. While many live on a fixed income, this is a group that can afford to downsize from a 5 bedroom home to a 3 bedroom home and edge out the competition.

As Kathy Bates said in her inimitable role as Evelyn Couch in Fried Green Tomatoes, “Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.” (if you’re not familiar with the reference, do yourself a favor and watch the clip here)

The majority of our clients are actually buyers AND sellers. So many need a steady hand to make the big move from home A to home B, whether it’s an upgrade into the “forever” home, a relocation, or a downsize after the kids have left for college. Second to that, we specialize in trust sales - a deeply personal and difficult position to be in for our clients who are handling the estate of a loved one while also honoring their own grieving process. In all cases, we are honored to be a trusted resource.

Perhaps it’s fitting that we’re in the Sandwich Generation - caught between many worlds with experience as once-newbies, as homeowners, as trustees, and as advisors.

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