According to the U.S. Census Bureau, multigenerational living is defined as households that consist of at least three or more generations. Over the past few years, multigenerational living has grown in popularity for both primary and secondary homes, revealing an emerging buyer market for real estate developers. With this comes a new challenge: how to create an age-inclusive community that caters to each demographic.
At Balsam Mountain Preserve, we have found success in attracting multigenerational buyers through the dramatic enhancement of amenities and programming while still offering the active lifestyle associated with living in a community within a park. Set on 4,400 acres in the western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Asheville, Balsam Mountain Preserve is a low-density, conservation-oriented private community. By weaving land stewardship into our amenities and programming, Balsam’s commitment to nature transcends age, allowing the community to appeal to all life stages.
While the community offers a wide range of amenities, from 34 miles of hiking trails and a Nature Center to an Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, our experience has proven the greatest thread that weaves multigenerational households is a community with a sense of purpose. Balsam’s conservation efforts, implementation of thoughtful amenities and network of likeminded homeowners continues to attract a diverse group of buyers with a single common passion: a love for the outdoors.
Below are four significant age demographics and examples of how Balsam Mountain Preserve has learned to successfully market to each group.
Millennial Buyers and Young Families
The demands of work-life balance, childcare and finances take center stage for this group. Their priorities include finding quality time with children, spouses and friends. To meet these needs, Balsam Mountain Preserve features family friendly amenities, such as an outdoor pool, onsite campground and Equestrian Center. Families can also enjoy programming like pavilion cookouts, the annual Summer Dog Olympics and Trust Talks, which offer a social atmosphere with wine, hor d’oeuvres and special guest speakers highlighting diverse subject matter such as pollinators, bears, mushrooms and more. In addition, painting the picture of the community’s future is also vital to appealing to this buyer set. We often discuss planned enhancements and improvements, such as the addition of Doubletop Village, a mountain hamlet of dining, recreational amenities and residential cottages all at an accessible price point. Highlights include the Summit House, a 130-seat restaurant with general store and pro-shop, Mine Tavern, Ruby City Farm and two activity lawns. Millennial and young buyers want to know their investment will continue to grow alongside their families.
Families with Teenagers
Parents of teenagers want three things for their children: safety, engagement and constant learning. At Balsam, homes are spread out enough to maximize privacy and encourage strong family bonding. Instant access to the “outside world” is available with ultra-fast fiber optic internet and close proximity to the neighboring towns of Asheville, Sylva and Waynesville. The community restaurant, Boarding House, is a great gathering place for family dinners, and the ongoing calendar of club events – pool parties, movie nights and holiday celebrations – appeals to both teens and parents.
As parents become empty nesters, they must reinvent their family dynamic. Couples rediscover shared interests and maximize their enjoyment in new-found leisure time. Balsam Mountain Preserve addresses this group’s needs by highlighting its non-traditional gated community lifestyle: homeowners find the usual amenities of a high-end development, but also unique offerings like its Nature Center and access to the neighboring Nantahala National Forest, Pisgah National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – all of which encourage adults to remain active. Couples are also looking for engaging social gatherings that promote a community network, and Balsam’s weekly social hours provide ample opportunity to connect with neighbors and friends.
The Golden Years
During the later years, mature couples look for homes that accommodate visits with children and grandchildren. This overlaps with the needs of young families. To cater to special family visits and holidays, Balsam’s restaurant, the Boarding House, offers special meals, brunches and celebrations making family gatherings easy and carefree. Grandparents are drawn to Balsam’s activities and community programming in the same way as parents of young children. The many summer camps especially make a great excuse for the grandkids to make a long visit. Adult-friendly programming is also available for empty nesters, from group fitness classes and massage therapy to seasonal golf tournaments and multiple hikes each week.
The common guiding principal for marketing Balsam Mountain Preserve to different age groups is the fundamental love of nature. Living along a mountainside surrounded by undisturbed flora and fauna appeals to a specific buyer seeking far more than just a piece of property. They are looking for a lifestyle to share with their multigenerational family. Our job is to capture this passion for nature in our amenities and programming, so that no matter the age, residents can sow their family roots in both the Balsam community as well as the surrounding western North Carolina area.