Living green has morphed itself

May 26, 2010

Living green has morphed itself. In a short couple of years, it has gone from being environmentally friendly and conserving energy to all things healthy. Just look at the homes that are currently being certified green by the Florida Green Building Council. The only Platinum Home — the highest designation available — is in Orlando, Fla., that indeed is not sexy green. It scored high marks not for its roof gardens or rain barrels, but for its low-VOC and no-VOC carpets and paints. The tight envelope of the home keeps out allergens as does the fresh air intake of the air conditioning unit. Moreover, Cambria countertops are installed in the kitchen and all bathrooms: Cambria is food safe since it is nonporous and food and moisture cannot penetrate the surface.

And it’s not only the sick buildings we are addressing; it’s the foods we eat that have become the newest green offshoot. It started with eating local foods to cut down on emissions and carbon footprints, but it has become a quest for eliminating obesity — especially in children — and returning our eating habits to those of our ancestors free of processed foods and out-of-control portions. The obesity factor has reached such a high scale that the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity was just released by First Lady Michelle Obama, which is aimed to reduce childhood obesity from 20% to 5% by 2030.

The greener eating craze has caused an uptick in the fight for exercise as well. It is not only a good diet that will keep you healthy, but it’s the regular exercise that so many people avoided way too long.

Indeed, it is the influx of baby boomers into their senior years that is really causing a stir.

If boomers are not kept healthy, their sheer numbers could crush even the best of health care plans.

Future is Bright for Housing – Get Out Those Shades

May 6, 2009

Take a guess the age more people are today than any other age in the United States? If you guessed 49, pushing 50, you’re right, according to the folks at the National Association of Home Builders and MetLife Mature Market Institute.  The association recently addressed this age group at the NAHB’s Building for Boomers and Beyond 50+ Housing Symposium in Philadelphia, because this bodes well for the housing industry. These 49-year-olds are next to join the 50-plus market, a demographic that surveys say are posied  to move and will be seeking smaller, aging-in-place homes.

I am not sure why I was so intrigued to learn this age-fact tidbit, but my guess was more in the 20s or 50s. The number two age? Nineteen, which is even better news for housing: In a few years, those college grads will also be seeking their first home, and they, too, will want something smaller, just not necessarily an aging-in-place home.

Let’s look at the sheer overall numbers of the next wave of homebuyers. Greg Logan, managing director for the Orlando-based Robert Charles Lesser Company, notes there are around 76 million baby boomers in the United States and some 88 million representing Generation Y, those born between 1981 and 1999. 

With these two behemoth demographics poised to buy real estate in the near future, some builders are already reacting. K. Hovnanian, according to the builders association, has been downsizing some of its homes, starting as small as 1,100 square feet, down from a minimum of more than 1,500. And there will be a lot of takers.

The point here is that both generations make up more than 50 percent of our people. That equates to more than 160 million consumers on the loose spending money as this recession subsides, and besides just wanting cars and jeans, they will be looking to buy homes. Lots and lots of homes.

Got your shades handy?