According to a survey recently done by the Opinion Research Corporation for the AARP, one in four baby boomers (ages 45-64) plans to move from their home in the future, with most looking for a a single level home. What the survey didn’t indicate was just how many of those boomers have been coming through duplex open houses.
I have sat in a lot of open houses over the years. And this year, I’ve started to see a change in the types of people who come through. Namely, I’m seeing a lot of baby boomers, who are thinking of buying a duplex as both a home and a supplement to their retirement.
As Minnesota is the summer home to many migrating snow birds, owner-occupying a Twin Cities duplex over the summer months makes sense on another front. When the owner is in Arizona or Florida over the winter, the tenant remains in the property; not only providing additional security and supplemental income, but also serving as a means of checking on the home in the owner’s absence.
It all sounds like a great idea except for one thing: the baby boomers all have houses to sell. Almost all of them are waiting for the market to recover before putting their home on the market.
Trouble is, none of us know when that will be. And the great deals in the duplex market are here now; properties are cash flowing in abundance. That wasn’t the case over the last five years.
Remember, when it comes to qualifying for a loan for a multi-family property, the buyer can count 75 percent of the rents toward his or her own income. The smart move might well be to buy now and move in a few years down the line; when things look better for everybody.