In 1982, Linda Curry and her husband bought a 3,800-square-foot home in Decatur, a comfortable town outside of Atlanta. They spent 25 years raising their three children in the house.
And then one day they decided to leave it all behind.
“The ink wasn’t dry on my son’s high school diploma before we sold the family house out from under them,” says the 55-year-old Curry, about the ease of their decision.
The house held important memories, but Curry and her husband Haywood, 66, were eager to downsize. They looked to downtown Decatur, just a mile away from their old home, and found an upscale condo project called the Artisan. For $739,000–$11,000 less than the sale price of their home–they purchased a 2,400-square-foot condo and began another chapter in their lives.
The Currys belong to a difficult-to-track, niche demographic: baby boomer parents who move when their last child leaves the nest. Compared with the percentage of people in their 20s who move each year–which is between 25% and 30%–the percentage of older Americans who move annually is quite small at 4% or 5%. Still, some experts see this empty nester trend as a significant break from the habits of past senior populations.
They may be on the cusp of retirement, but this set isn’t looking for a place to live out their golden years. Instead, they want a manageable home closer to the city (and their jobs) which they can use as a base for weekend traveling or just exploring the cultural amenities of downtown–something they’ve rarely done since their late 20s.