Everyone thought Bob and Suzie were nuts to abandon their beautiful suburban oasis, replete with ducks flying to and from the pond, for a 17 foot wide row home in Philadelphia in 1992. A row house with no parking and no more than a small square slab of cement to call a back yard and four stories from basement to top floor. Their move signaled a shift in the residential paradigm. Their parents left the city after World War II, and come hell or high water, they weren’t coming back. But Bob and Suzie think of themselves as far to cool and hip to spend their days in a five bedroom ranch house with a half acre of land, and a basement full of tools and half used accouterments. Remember, they are the generation that said words like “groovy”, and “right on”. The idea of never owning a lawnmower, or a garage full of half used brooms and shovels, appeals to many empty nesters. No more yard work, no more owning more than one car, and no more having to repair the roof. The thought of new surroundings, in a new luxury condominium, with much less responsibility (and therefore more freedom) is again very appealling.
Baby boomers, becoming empty nesters provided the fuel needed for many new projects that have recently been added to Center City’s skyline. Buyers of many luxury Philadelphia condominiums have made wonderful gains in the last twenty years, with respect to their real estate investments. Without the burden of private schools for the kids, the kids, and often during prime earning years it is the Empty Nesters’ turn to treat themselves, and the developers of many condominiums have positioned themselves to take advantage of that market.
The perception that downtown Philadelphia has really come a long way over the past twenty years. Our City is cleaner, safer, and culturally more adept -are all reasons that contribute to the lure of the empty nesters. From friends who have also made the move, to museums, restaurants, shopping, and the bike trails up the Schuylkill river, Philadelphia is shaping up to be a fine residential attraction, and empty nesters have taken notice. And to think that Northern Liberties is now the place to see and be seen. Who would have thought?
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106