From the perspective of Real Estate Senior Specialist
Michelle Klippert Broker/Owner of The Real Estate Store, Montrose, Colorado
Often I drive through communities and see a common thread that has to do with the “socialization” of the home. And what I mean by the socialization is to ponder exactly where on the property is there a place to socialize and enjoy your outdoor space. What I have noticed is that many a community and/or subdivision has a feel of emptiness. One of which it is very quiet and docile out front and the socialization that happens with the home is associated with the back yard.
Once the baby boomers started buying homes in the 70’s the home and the communities started to have a different look. Front porches were replaced with attached garages at the front of the home. People started to retreat to their homes and all activities of the home were developed out of the back yard area. In my opinion, at the same time, neighbors stopped being neighborly and fewer and fewer cared about what was happening in the neighborhood. We as families became more selfish and systematically uncaring to our neighborhood surroundings and more concerned about our back yard living space which was fortressed by 6 to 8 ft fencing so others could not be a part of the festivities or way of life.
Now race forward to 2016/2017 where 53% of the population is over 65, kids have gone off to college and extended family does not live in the immediate area. The homes that emphasize socialization in the back give way to older residents looking to socialize end up reaching out to web based neighbors without the direct communication of
current neighbors and the comfort of knowing who lives around you. In 2033 it will be the first time that age 65+ will outnumber those under 18. This in my opinion will lead to a safety issue of both elderly abuse but also the baby boomers as a target for primary scams as the aging process gives way to good cognitive decisions.
So you say what can help?
Well once again in my opinion socialization coming back to the front porch would be the start of a different way of life. People would see their neighbors, baby boomers would have the much desired communication that aging will demand and the community at large will encounter a more caring environment once people start to learn more about neighbors. Block parties may happen and communications for safety will be not just taught but a distinct result of the change. People may watch the neighborhood and be able to help if unwanted circumstances arise. And just maybe the web based neighbors would be replaced with actual caring neighbors and make an area become once again alive.
My thought process is that if we change the socialization areas of the property just perhaps we can change the community at large…. And all for the better!