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Baby boomers face challenges in selling Tucson homes

Posted: 1:31 PM, Aug 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-16 21:17:45-04

Baby boomers are getting older, many looking to downsize, moving into assisted living and possibly changing their housing choices altogether. Now, real estate experts at the University of Arizona believe boomers may face some challenges in selling their homes. 

Chris Nelson, a professor of urban planning and real estate development at the University of Arizona, analyzes housing and long-term residential trends and how they affect certain areas in the country. He is also a baby boomer.  "As we grew up in the suburbs, we understood them, we raised our own families there,” he said.  

He explained that many baby boomers moved their families to Tucson’s suburbs during 1960's through the early 2000's. But now, as boomers age and look for smaller housing options, he is worried about who might buy their homes.  “A major concern is that as boomers age, will there be enough people behind us willing to buy our homes?” Nelson said. He believes the answer to that concern is there probably will not be enough buyers, saying there are about 27-million boomers nationwide that will be selling homes between now and 2036. Nine-million of those sellers will not be able to find buyers, with thousands of them being right here in Tucson.  “So the seniors are going to have to sell the homes to syndicates that rent the homes, to renters, or in some cases, especially in the northern states, leave the homes and let them fall to the ground,” Nelson said. 

Although real estate experts say Tucson won't be affected as much, there still is a small concern for older baby boomer homes that are 15 miles from downtown, that will take a little longer to sell. According to Nelson, the distance is a big issue. “Young families typically want to be a little closer in, closer to schools, shopping and so forth,” Nelson said. 

That's why he recommends baby boomers sell soon, if they have a chance, and not be too greedy.   "Sell for a good price and leave...Take your time, sell, but don't plan on making a lot of money. If you sell, it'll be for a reasonable price, maybe less than what you paid for,” Nelson said.