As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether they should sell their homes and move has become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.
According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.
“It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”
Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?
“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”
The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $9,700 in equity last year.
“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”
As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself?
“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”
As scary as that thought may be, any additional security is helpful. An extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.
“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”
Consider all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?
“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”
Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.
“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”
How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.
When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!
Share your thoughts in the Comments! For questions or any other assistance you may need in your real estate matters, please feel free to contact me anytime. I am here for you always and ready to help.
Special thanks to Keeping Current Matters for contributing this article. The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.
APRIL boasts one of the most perfect weather conditions on the planet. While the rest of our country is still thawing from a harsh winter chill, Riverside is delighting in glorious Mediterranean climate at it’s finest! No need for air conditioning or heaters this month. Be sure to keep your windows open and enjoy the gorgeous fresh air! You will find plenty of blue skys, green rolling hills and flowers everywhere. Living in Riverside this time of year is truly like taking a vacation without having to travel anywhere. This month is nothing short of an absolutely stunning and magical month. You will not find a better vacation spot in the world to relax by a pool, soak in the sun and simply enjoy! Take it all in everybody! This is a great time of the year to sit back and truly appreciate this beautiful city we live in. …
LOCAL FUN: Drive over to Lake Elsinore and visit the Poppy’s | Hike wildflower Superblooms all throughout the many California foothills | Take a Day Trip to your favorite beach and enjoy the cool spring weather | Stroll through your favorite local park | Visit Riverside Plaza and take in a new movie | Enjoy the great weather, relax and have a “staycation” in your backyard
Don’t Forget! You have been invited! Our Portraits in Park event is coming up soon Saturday May 18th 10:30 to 2:30. Where does the time go? See invitation below!
To print an event invitation flyer or share with your friends, click HERE to download an invitation! Look forward to seeing you Saturday May 18th!
With a simple sketch, basic tools and the right plants, you’ll be on your way to growing your first flowers or edibles
The rewards of gardening are great — fresh air, exercise, beauty and relaxation, to name a few. But starting your very first garden can feel like an overwhelming task. Luckily, gardens are surprisingly forgiving creations, and the best way to learn is by simply diving in. Here are 10 tips to help get a new garden off on the right foot.
1. Get to Know Your Site
Take your time to get familiar with your property before beginning a new garden. Here are a few things you may like to try while you’re getting to know your landscape:
- Take a leisurely stroll around your property with a notebook and make a rough sketch of the existing planting areas.
- Add notes to your garden “map” about which areas get the most sun and which are shaded.
- A simple soil test from your local garden center will tell you whether your soil is well-balanced in nutrients and pH.
- If you’re thinking of growing edibles (vegetables, fruit or herbs), it’s a good idea to have your soil tested for lead. Most at-home kits aren’t reliable indicators of lead in the soil, but you can send your soil samples to the Lead Safe America Foundation for a free lead test. If you find that your soil has an unsafe level of lead, you can still grow edibles in raised beds or pots with new soil.
- List which existing plants and features (such as fences or paths) you’d like to keep and which need to be replaced or removed.
- Spend time just hanging out in your garden. Let yourself daydream and see if any creative ideas present themselves.
2. Determine Your Style and Goals
Gather a few images on Houzz that inspire you and look for a theme. Are you drawn to lush flower-filled gardens or more crisply defined modern outdoor spaces? It helps to pair a few words with the pictures you’ve chosen, so try to come up with something that evokes the sort of garden you want, even if it’s not an “official” style term.
For instance, maybe you’ll decide your style is Industrial Zen or Playful Modern or Simplified Cottage. While you’re figuring this out, it helps to keep a photo of the exterior of your home at hand — whatever style you choose should be able to work well with the architectural style of your home as well as your personal preferences.
Once you’ve named your style, take a moment to jot down the activities and features you imagine enjoying in your landscape. If you have children, you may need a lot of open space for running around. Or perhaps you dream of relaxing in the middle of a big wildflower meadow — whatever it is, write it down.
3. Start Small
Dreaming is wonderful, but when it comes time to begin digging in the earth, it’s equally important to stay grounded in reality. The bigger the garden, the more time and energy it will require to maintain. Examine what you want (say, a vegetable garden) and then scale it down (for example, plant one raised bed rather than six). You can always expand next year!
This holds true for purchasing plants too: It’s easy to get seduced by the bountiful plants at the nursery and come home with far too many. Remember, planting takes time, so buy only what you can comfortably get into the ground within the next day or two.
4. Make a Plan
Even if you’re planting only a single raised vegetable bed or cluster of potted flowers on the patio, having a plan is key. If you’re not sure which plants to buy, take a “research” trip to a local nursery (without buying anything!) and snap photos of plants you’d like to consider adding to your garden. Look at the tags and note down when they bloom, as well as sun and water requirements.
Pulling this information together into a sketched-out plan (no artistic skills required) takes extra time initially but will make for a more successful garden in the end. Choose plants that bloom in different seasons for year-round color, and be sure to pick plants with similar sun and water requirements to plant together.
5. Pick the Right Tools for the Job (Without Going Overboard)
Having the proper tools makes garden chores more pleasant — but don’t think you need to buy out the store on day one. Just a few tools and supplies should keep your garden running smoothly. The basics include:
- Gardening gloves. Choose a pair that feels comfortable and protects against thorns.
- Shovel. This is essential for preparing sizable garden beds and for digging holes for trees, shrubs and large plants. A shovel with a pointed tip is more versatile than a flat spade.
- Trowel and weeding tool (or a Japanese gardener’s knife). Use these tools to dig holes for planting and pull weeds out at the root.
- Long garden hose and spray nozzle. Select a hose long enough to comfortably reach each of the main areas of your garden.
- Hand pruner. Sharp clippers can trim branches and cut back woody plants like rosemary.
- Metal rake. Use this to spread mulch and prepare beds for planting.
- Leaf rake. Use a flexible plastic or bamboo rake to gather leaves.
6. Mix Up Perennials and Annuals
A common newbie mistake is to grab too many plants from the “annuals” section at the nursery, making for a garden that dies back within a single year. For longevity and color, go for a mix of perennials (plants that come back year after year) and annuals (plants that bloom and die within a single season).
7. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
One great way to give your garden a professionally designed look is to repeat the same plants and hardscaping materials in different places throughout the landscape. Avoid picking one plant of each type, as this tends to appear jumbled — even in a wild English cottage-style garden, plants look best when repeated or planted in clusters. The same goes for other materials: Choose just a few hardscaping materials for paths, pots, planters and outdoor furniture, and repeat, repeat, repeat.
8. Combine Seeds and Starts for an Affordable Mix
Starting an entire garden from seed can save money, but it can also be incredibly frustrating. Purchasing only started plants is not only expensive, but it also may limit your choice of what to grow. The best option is usually a combination of the two: Pick up some started seedlings at your local nursery and start some of your own from seed. Good plants to start from seed yourself include lettuce, radishes, beans, sunflowers, marigolds, cosmos and zinnias.
9. Grow What You Like
This sounds utterly simple, but it’s something even the most experienced gardeners sometimes seem to forget. Why grow squash if it’s not really your favorite? Over the years, we’ve stopped bothering to grow beans and zucchini, instead devoting extra garden space to family favorites like snap peas, radishes, Tuscan kale and mini pumpkins for Halloween.
10. Further Your Garden Education
Seeking out local workshops is a wonderful way to learn more about gardening and connect with other gardeners in your community. Check plant nurseries, community gardens and botanical gardens in your area for free or low-cost workshops on a wide range of topics like container gardening, using native plants, attracting pollinators, creating a water-wise garden and composting.
Gardening is a lifelong learning experience, and even the most seasoned gardeners are learning all the time — so don’t beat yourself up if it seems that there’s too much to know. Just begin somewhere and take it one season at a time. The wonderful thing about gardening is that there’s usually room for do-overs.
Tell us: Are you a newbie gardener? Share your challenges — and triumphs — in the Comments! For questions or any other assistance you may need in your real estate matters, please feel free to contact me anytime. I am here for you always and ready to help.
Special thanks to Laura Gaskill for contributing this article. Laura is a Houzz.com contributor covering decorating ideas, Houzz tours & monthly home maintenance…
“I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.” – John Stuart Mill (1840s)
Even back in the mid-1800s, people knew that negative news sells. That is still true today. All forms of media realize that they will get more eyeballs, clicks, likes, and engagement by posting something negative. However, they must realize that negative headlines impact markets. Just last week, the National Association of Home Builders released a survey revealing:
“Negative media reports making buyers cautious was a significant problem for 48% of builders in 2018, but 62% expect it to be a problem in 2019.”
Even today, good news is healined with a news is headlined with a negative spin in order to get attention. Here are “2” recent examples from mainstream media:
Actual Headline #1: Cash-out refis are back – will homes become ATMs again?
The Real Story
The headline is accurate – to a point. It is true that the percentage of refinances in which the homeowner received cash at the closing has increased to levels that existed in 2006. However, the actual amount of equity homeowners “cashed-out” compared to a decade ago isn’t close.
The dollar amount cashed-out last year was $63 billion. That seems like a really large number until we compare it to 2006, when homeowners cashed-out $321 billion. That is more than five times the current amount.
In 2006, people did use their homes as ATMs. They purchased new cars, boats, and lavish vacations. Today, the cashed-out equity is being used to consolidate debt, as seed capital for a new business, or to help a child with their college tuition.
Actual Headline #2: Consumer Debt hits $4 Trillion. Americans are diving deeper and deeper into debt.
The Real Story
The important number is how that total debt ranks as a percentage of disposable personal income. That percentage is the lowest ever recorded!! People are not “diving deeper and deeper into debt”. The exact opposite is true. They have less debt now than ever before.
If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, it is important that you have a true professional handling your real estate needs. Someone who knows the truth about the current economy and its potential impact on the housing market.
For questions you may have or any other assistance you may need in your real estate matters, please feel free to contact me anytime. I am here for you always and ready to help.
Special thanks to Keeping Current Matters for contributing this article.
APRIL is a beautiful month in Riverside. Spring is also the season when California is at its most beautiful. Starting in later winter and lasting into early spring, everything turns green. Wildflowers burst into bloom, blossoms turn fruit trees into pink and white clouds, and sometimes even the most barren deserts put out a flowery carpet. Snow can fall in the mountains as late as April and the days will alternate clear to rainy. But on the good days you will find the clearest and bluest skies of the year! Enjoy yourself this month with our top picks for the best local things to do this month!
LOCAL FUN: Hike or bike down the beautiful Victoria Street | Visit Downtown Riverside Farmers Market | Take a Drive and visit apple orchards in Oak Glen | Take a coffee break at your favorite outdoor Cafe |Take a Stroll through Riverside Plaza | Enjoy great weather and brows around Canyon Crest Shopping Center.
EMail or call us us today with your Referrals & Testimonials! Over 50% of our business is thanks to you and your referrals so we thought we would have some fun with it this year. For ideas about how you can spend your gift cards as the winner, visit Mission Inn Website link here!
Just like our clocks this weekend, in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale has been holding back the market.
Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest. Traditionally, they would have been right.
Buyer demand has seasonality to it. Usually, this falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic conditions.
That hasn’t happened this year.
Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Buyers are increasingly jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that in 2018 the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes all fell in April, May, or June.
Those who act quickly and list now, before a flood of increased competition, will benefit from additional exposure to buyers.
If you are planning on selling your home in 2019, meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate the opportunities in your market.
For questions or any other assistance you may need in your real estate matters, please feel free to contact me anytime. I am here for you always and ready to help.