The New Empty Nest: a Bigger, Better Condo

Baby boomers are scaling down, but not at the expense of spacious rooms, generous views and luxe amenities
by Marcelle Sussman Fischler The New York Times Magazine December 23, 2018

Downsizing is passe. Boomer buyers of luxury condominiums are not inclined to manage a large house any longer, but they’re not looking to squeeze into two-bedroom, two-bath flats either. “They want everything they have in their big house,” plus maintenance and services, says Jay Philip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida brokerage.

Downsizing comes “at an emotional cost,” explains Dr. Neil Applebaum, a clinical psychologist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “There is a tendency now for empty nesters to be reluctant to downsize; they want to give up the responsibilities and chores of a large home but still maintain the creature comforts they are used to….and then some.”

Enter the trophy condo. Affluent buyers in their 50s and 60s are seeking to feather house-sized nests in luxe high-rises with tall ceilings, walls of glass, designer kitchens, sumptuous baths, and oversized glass-railed balconies with sweeping views. Five-star services and amenities, from valets to spas, art studios, golf simulators, and private restaurants, add to the allure.

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