Active military and veterans made up 21 percent of all home buyers in 2015. According to NAR’s 2016 Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, the typical veteran home buyer is 61-years old, married without children under the age of 18 living at home. Veterans move long distances for retirement and to be closer to friends and family. They often purchase senior-related housing.
The median age for veteran home buyers is 61 years old, compared to 34 years for active-duty members and 44 years for all buyers. As veterans become older in age, their reasons for purchasing a home shifts towards the desire to move closer to friends and family (14 percent) and retirement (11 percent), compared to active-duty service members that purchased a home due to a job relocation (33 percent). Veterans and active-service members also only searched for eight weeks for the home they purchased, compared to 10 weeks for all buyers.
That being said, 43 percent of veterans bought senior-related housing, compared to only 14 percent of buyers over 49 years of age. Twenty-one percent of active military bought multi-generational homes compared to 13 percent of all buyers. Veterans also moved the farthest distances to be closer to friends and families at a median of 75 miles, compared to 14 miles for all buyers.
Veterans are more likely to be married (78 percent) or single males (13 percent), compared to 67 percent of all buyers that are married and nine percent of single males. Seventy-four percent of veterans reported having no children under the age of 18 living at home, compared to 63 percent of all buyers. Nearly half of active-duty service members reported having at least two children under 18 living at home.
Veteran Home Buyers: Moving Long Distances into Senior-Related Communities