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  • Writer's pictureSheila Alston

Wellness Revolution: How Real Estate is Transforming Toward Healthier Living

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

By Sheila Alston

Wellness Real Estate Trends

Wellness in real estate has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, and it's not just about fancy spas and luxury getaways anymore. The Global Wellness Institute, a respected research nonprofit, has been keeping tabs on this shift. Here's the deal: wellness is no longer just for the rich and famous. It's become something that everyone can access and afford.

Beth McGroarty, the institute's research VP, sums it up nicely: "People are done with wellness being all about luxury and escaping reality. It's now about getting strong and prepared for our unpredictable future."

So, what's driving this change? Well, it's a mix of factors, from the pandemic and natural disasters to supply chain hiccups and global conflicts. In the face of these challenges, wellness has become a way for folks to find resilience. But there's more to this story. People are tired of vague promises and so-called "magical thinking" in wellness. They want proof and transparency. And they're pushing for wellness to be inclusive, reaching underserved communities.

So let's take a closer look at how wellness has evolved in the real estate world in recent years. What are the trends, innovations, and shifts in thinking that have turned wellness from a luxury into an essential part of our homes and communities? Let's explore how real estate is adapting to this new era of wellness and making our living spaces healthier and happier!

Thriving in Wellness Lifestyle Communities:

Where Living Well is a Daily Ritual

Imagine stepping outside your front door and exchanging cheerful greetings with a neighbor who's also a good friend. Your day unfolds with a healthy twist as you decide to embark on a leisurely walk along the community trail, leading you to the neighborhood farmstand where you snag fresh, organic produce for your evening meal. En route back home, you encounter more friends, and you all decide to attend the upcoming community social event over the weekend. Upon entering your home, you're greeted by the same crisp, fresh air indoors as you experienced outdoors. The soothing, inviting colors of your living space set the tone as you head to the sink, where pre-filtered, mineral-rich water awaits in your glass. Days like these aren't merely dreams; they are the inspirations behind the visionary developers who have spent the past decade building wellness lifestyle communities across the nation.

What exactly is a wellness lifestyle neighborhood? The Global Wellness Institute defines it as "homes that are proactively designed and built to support the holistic health of their residents."

These communities have been meticulously designed to enable you to make healthier choices. Instead of creating separation, they offer features and amenities that foster a sense of community and bring people together. Meandering hiking trails snake through the neighborhood, inviting you to explore the great outdoors in your own backyard. Well-planned biking paths intersect the landscape, while accessible walkable destinations encourage movement and connections with neighbors. The ultimate goal? To seamlessly integrate wellness into your everyday life.

But this type of intentionality goes well beyond adding some trails and a community pool. Many of these wellness lifestyle communities are centered around organic, often regenerative, farms, earning them the fitting title of "Agrihoods." These communities recognize that a healthy lifestyle isn't confined to where you live; it also entails convenient access to clean, nutritious food. "Naturehoods" are communities without a farm but place a strong emphasis on the joys of outdoor living. While there are hundreds of communities and more being built every year, here are a couple of examples of these innovative community concepts:

  • Serenbe, one of the first Agrihoods located outside of Atlanta, GA

  • Fox Point Farms, a new Agrihood being developed in Encinitas, CA

  • Sterling Ranch, a Naturehood located in Denver, CO

Seniors Embrace Active Living at Home Generations United:

Multi-generational living might be a thing of the past, but it's also a contemporary wellness trend. Today's seniors seek to maintain an active lifestyle while staying intimately connected with their families. In contrast to some choosing to reside in the same city or neighborhood, a growing number of seniors are opting for cohabitation with their adult children's families.

Modern home designs align with this burgeoning trend by incorporating two primary suites on the main floor or even including an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on the property, ensuring that everyone enjoys their own personal space. However, the benefits go beyond shared space and life experiences. Multi-generational living has a substantial financial aspect as well. By pooling resources and sharing expenses, families often find they can save significantly on housing costs, making this arrangement not only emotionally fulfilling but also financially prudent.

Research from Blue Zones, those enclaves of the world where exceptionally healthy seniors thrive, underscores the profound importance of feeling needed and being an integral part of a tight-knit family unit. As a consequence, homes are adapting to embrace multi-generational living setups, cultivating robust bonds and active lifestyles across different age groups. In essence, it's about more than just cohabitation; it's about creating lasting memories and securing a bright future, both emotionally and economically, for everyone involved.

Self-Reliance Renaissance: Wellness Starts at Home

Imagine a world where you have control over your health, no longer reliant on strangers with prescription notepads who offer medications that merely mask symptoms instead of addressing the root of health issues. This vision may not be as distant as it seems. Could it be that we've grown weary of witnessing our loved ones struggle with chronic pain and the seemingly increasing prevalence of allergies?

Perhaps this collective frustration is steering us towards alternative approaches to extending not just our lifespan, but our healthspan—living healthier, longer lives.

In the present day, consumers are actively engaging in research and making informed choices regarding their health. The desire to enhance our healthspan has taken root. As a result, we're increasingly conscious of the sources of our food and are opting to cultivate produce gardens at home. Whether one chooses indoor or outdoor gardening, explores hydroponics, or simply gets their hands dirty in the soil, it fosters a profound connection with nature that elevates overall well-being. It's no wonder that last year, a remarkable 80% of American households embarked on various gardening projects.

Additionally, the realm of functional medicine is experiencing a surge in popularity as individuals take charge of their well-being, delving into alternative methods to combat chronic diseases and promote self-healing. This movement extends beyond the physical; it embodies empowerment. People are awakening to the notion that their homes can serve as epicenters of well-being, evolving their living spaces into havens of health and happiness.

The Rise of Holistic Living Spaces Healthier Homes:

Homes are evolving beyond their traditional roles; they're becoming havens for wellness. The trend for flex spaces that were once-dedicated home theaters has now morphed in recent years to home school study areas, and now to dedicated fitness and well-being rooms. Some households are even taking it a step further by incorporating features like infrared saunas and steam components into their showers, creating daily opportunities for rejuvenation right at home.

What's truly remarkable is that enhancing wellness at home doesn't have to break the bank. You don't need a hefty budget to create a serene corner for meditation or equip a space for yoga. Many wellness practices can be embraced without significant financial investments. Moreover, homeowners are increasingly mindful of the air they breathe and the products they use within their living spaces. Toxic chemicals are on the way out, replaced by organic and less harmful alternatives. Indoor air quality is under a microscope, driving the adoption of whole-house water filtration systems. It's all about creating living environments that not only nourish the body but also soothe the soul.

The wellness revolution in real estate is all about making well-being accessible to everyone, regardless of their budget. The demand for healthier living is soaring, and the market is stepping up to meet this demand. Even real estate agents are embracing this movement, evolving into holistic realtors who connect clients with a network of healthy home experts. It's an inspiring journey that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the Global Wellness Institute projects that by 2027, the wellness real estate market will burgeon into a staggering $850 billion! The future is undeniably bright for wellness in real estate, transforming not just the homes we live in but also the way we live our lives.

By Sheila Alston

Founder of HealthyHOME Media

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