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(Updated August 2015)

The over-50 population is a growing force in America and the rate of home ownership is higher among this age group than in any other. Today's seniors have more active lifestyles, are more affluent and if they downsize their homes it is often in square footage rather than price. This field guide offers articles, statistical data and links to help REALTORS® gain insight into this lucrative demographic. (C. Dodge, Information Specialist)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

2014 Home Ownership: Rates by Age 

  • 65+:     77.9%
  • 55-64:  74.7%
  • 45-54:  69.1%
  • 35-44:  58.3%
  • < 35:    34.1%

Source: Homeownership Rates By Age, (U.S. Census Bureau, July 28, 2016).

Reverse Mortgage Basics

Reverse Mortgages, (Federal Trade Commission, June 2015).

Reverse Mortgage Disadvantages and Advantages, (New Retirement, Apr. 23, 2014).

The Pros and Cons of a Reverse Mortgage, (For Dummies®, n.d.).

Frequently Asked Questions About HUD's Reverse Mortgages, (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, n.d.).

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Considering a Reverse Mortgage, (AARP, Fall 2012).

Reverse Mortgages: 10 Things You Need to Know, (Fox Business, May 31, 2013).

Housing Trends of the Over-50 Demographic

Retirees Choosing to 'Upsize' Homes, (REALTOR® Magazine, July 30, 2015).

A New Twist on Planned Senior Communities, (Next Avenue, July 7, 2015).

Baby Boomers Creating Their Own Retirement Communities, (Daily Finance, May 2, 2015).

7 Baby Boomer Housing Trends to Watch, (U.S. News & World Report, Apr. 6, 2015).

NAR Identifies Top Metro Areas Poised for Uptick in Baby Boomer Home Sales, (National Association of REALTORS®, Dec. 10, 2014).

Baby Boomers & Their Homes: On Their Own Terms, (Demand Institute, 2014).

Homebuyers Age 55+ Make Move As House Values Rise, (Investor’s Business Daily, Aug. 28, 2014).

Cities With Biggest Senior Populations, (REALTOR® Magazine, Nov. 4, 2014).

The Next Housing Crisis: Aging Americans' Homes, (Forbes, Sept. 2, 2014).

Marketing Tips & Strategies

7 Reasons Why Marketing to Baby Boomers Is Unique, (Forbes, June 5, 2015).

4 Things Real Estate Agents Should Know About Baby Boomers, (Trulia, Apr. 10, 2015).

Myths About Boomers and Real Estate, (Market Watch, Mar. 19, 2015).

Study: The 3 Most Effective Ways to Reach Baby Boomers, (DMN3, Mar. 10, 2015).

9 Digital Marketing Strategies to Woo Baby Boomers, (CIO, Sept. 17, 2014).

Baby Boomers Not Showing Any Signs of Downsizing, (Reverse Mortgage Daily, June 15, 2014).

Shared Living Options for Seniors, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2014).

Creative Housing for Seniors, (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, June 2013).

Related Websites

Mortgage Calculator


Immersion Active

The Cohousing Association of the United States

Information for Senior Citizens, (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development).

Housing Choices, (SeniorResource.com)

Leading Age (AAHSA)

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Boomer Basics (Adobe eReader)

Boomer Marketing (Adobe eReader)

Future Marketing: Targeting Seniors, Boomers, and Generations X and Y (Adobe eReader)

Generation Blend, Managing Across the Technology Age Gap (Overdrive WMA Audiobook)

Gilbert Guide to Senior Housing (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Reverse Mortgages for Dummies® (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Complete Guide to Reverse Mortgages (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Mortgage Answer Book (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Reverse mortgages for dummies, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2005). HG 2051 L99r

The new reverse mortgage formula: How to convert home equity into tax-free income, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). HG 2051 K29

Pocket idiot’s guide to reverse mortgages, (Indianapolis, IN: Alpha, 2005). HG 2040.5 P76

Reverse mortgage handbook: A consumer's guide for senior homeowners, (Kissimmee, FL: Jawbone Publishing Corporation, 2004). HG 2051 B21

Reverse mortgages for senior homeowners, (Dearborn Real Estate Education, 2003). HD 7287.9 L13

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Complying With the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

Field Guide to Fair Housing

Field Guide to the Best Places to Live

Field Guide to Vacation, Resort, and Second Homes

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.