Considering Retirement in a Pocket Neighborhood?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

September 28, 2016 — This website absolutely gets so many great article ideas from our Members and visitors. A perfect illustration was the suggestion which we had from 2 different members, huntley61 and janeAnn, to explore the idea of retiring in a pocket community. Thanks to all!

What is a Pocket Neighborhood?
The most common characteristic of a pocket neighborhood is a small group of homes and other type residences sharing a common, open space area. That space might be for gardens, pedestrian walkways, shared yards, or something else. The idea is to promote a close knit sense of community and neighborliness with an increased level of contact. Instead of a sterile parking lot as a common area, these usable public spaces belong to everyone who lives in that neighborhood. While the name and the communities are new, the idea is old and traditional – villages and city neighborhoods in Europe and New England (think homes clustered along the green) have had the same thing going for centuries. Pocket neighborhoods exist in a variety of environments – rural, in cities, or even the suburbs. Another aspect of pocket neighborhoods is that they are small scale – maybe 12 homes max (although many pocket neighborhoods might be linked together by walkways). Homes are usually smaller and closer together than in existing towns and suburbs. The movement is in some ways an extension of residential cluster housing, where a group of homes might be built on fairly large piece of property, but the homes are close together to create large common spaces.

Are pocket neighborhoods good for retirement and those 55+?
While we are aware of only a few pocket neighborhoods built expressly for those 55+, many baby boomers are interested enough in the idea to move into one. One attraction is the idea of living next to and relating to people of all ages, not just older people. In these shared settings neighbors get to know one another; children learn to (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 27th, 2016

How Much Has Your Home Value Changed Since 2004

Category: Retirement Real Estate

May 11, 2016 — Is your real estate experience something you are pleased with, or a subject best left untouched? A new interactive tool published in the Washington Post will confirm that for you in just a few seconds. Enter your zip code or town, and voila!, it will show you how much the value of your home has changed since 2004. (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 10th, 2016

Renting vs. Buying – Which Is Better in Retirement?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

April 29, 2016 — One of the biggest considerations most Americans face is determining if, and when, it makes sense to buy a home. In retirement, however, the question becomes a different one: “Should I remain a homeowner?” For all Americans, one recent study by Trulia.com found it is more cost effective to buy than rent. But what about for retirees? Trulia found that it is 41.8% cheaper for retirees to buy than rent in all major US metros. The issue is not quite that simple though, as there are emotional and practical considerations as well as financial ones.

We were very pleased that Trulia reached out to Topretirements for this article, providing us with custom data for our Top 10 Most Popular Places to Retire. This data, presented (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 29th, 2016

Renting Frustrations Lead to the Snowbird Dilemma – Rent or Buy?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

March 14, 2016 — Every year about this time a significant segment of the snowbird population, the portion that rents instead of owns their own place, share a common worry. The concern boils down to this simple question – where on earth are we going to stay next winter? In this article we will attempt to explain the many issues that come into play when boomers go about seeking a snowbird rental, and how those factors often drive them to start thinking about owning a place vs. continuing to rent.

The rental worries
Here are some of the major problems that repeat snowbird renters can face – assuming they were lucky enough to find a rental (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 13th, 2016

Are You Ready to Join the Tiny House Movement in Retirement

Category: Retirement Real Estate

July 13, 2015 — Some people dream of retiring in an expansive home with plenty of room for hobbies, friends and grandchildren. And others can’t wait to downsize, get rid of 40 years of accumulated “stuff”, and live in a manageable-sized home. This article is dedicated to those interested in the latter, especially to the folks who want to take it to a small extreme. The end of this feature had many resources to find out more about the tiny homes movement along with examples of – from TV shows to a Netflix documentary.

The average new single family home has grown and grown. In 1978, according to Wikipedia, it was 1,780 square feet (165 m2), but, despite a decrease in the size of the average family, the average home had bloated to 2,662 square feet by 2013.

Small… and then there is Tiny!
The small house movement generally refers to houses of less than 1,000 square feet. Tiny houses take that further, and are less than 400 sq. ft., with some (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 13th, 2015

It’s Official: The Top 15 Builders in the Top 50 Retirement Markets

Category: Retirement Real Estate

June 9, 2015 — We were very flattered recently to see a story from Builderonline.com, “The Top 15 Builders in 2015’s Retirement Magnets“, which used Topretirements’ “100 Most Popular Retirement Towns” as the starting point of its research. The online publication basically looked at our top 50 towns (chosen on the basis of visitor popularity on our site), and then determined which companies build the most homes in those markets. It was an intriguing idea with at least one very big surprise.

Quantity Built
Let’s start with a big surprise: the #10 builder is…. Habitat for Humanity. So at least we know from the beginning that there all kinds of builders in our 50 most popular retirement markets – not just those catering to the retirement set. The builder with the most (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 8th, 2015

Midwest Dominates Most Affordable Housing Markets in USA

Category: Retirement Real Estate

May 15, 2015 — Looking for a place to retire where your housing dollar gives you the biggest bang? If so the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, which ranks U.S. metros by housing affordability, might just have your answer. All of the top 10 most affordable markets are in the Midwest or Northeast, not such great news for retirees looking to retire in warm weather. The price of homes in these Metros ranges from a low of $75,000 (Springfield, OH) to a high of $105,000 in Sandusky, OH. Another problem with these “most affordable” Metros – none of them has inspired us enough to write them up as interesting (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 15th, 2015

Housing Markets Making Forward Progress

Category: Retirement Real Estate

This article contains information from the NAHB on 2 topics: progress toward recovery in the housing market and the list of finalists in their 50+ housing category awards competition.

WASHINGTON – Markets in 59 of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the third quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) report from November. This represents a year-over-year net gain of seven markets. Based on current permit, price and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 90 percent of normal economic and housing activity. Meanwhile, 66 percent of markets have shown an improvement year-over-year.

“The markets are recovering at a slow, gradual pace,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Continued job creation, economic growth and increasing consumer confidence should (more…)

Posted by Admin on December 8th, 2014

Are Time Shares Part of Your Retirement Strategy?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

October 30, 2014 — Our member Louise recently started an interesting conversation about time shares on another of our posts. Then Caps suggested that we begin a Blog post on that topic. Seems like a fine idea, since we know that many retirees rely on time shares, aka Interval Ownership units, as a way to make their retirement life more enjoyable.

Time Shares – Different Strokes
Many folks have 1 or 2 time shares that they look forward to using every year. Some have additional weeks in different locales and time periods. Others we know have consecutive weeks in the same locale/complex, which allows them to stay in a favorite place for a long period of time. And then we know others who not only have consecutive weeks, but have multiple units at the same time so their children/grandchilden can visit.

How time shares get used also varies. Some folks stay (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 30th, 2014

Should You Buy a Home for Retirement with a Swimming Pool

Category: Retirement Real Estate

September 16, 2014 — One of our members, Caps, posted this question on another Blog topic, the results of our recent Retirement Confidence survey. SandyZ suggested that since it generated a fair amount of discussion, we move the swimming pool conversation here to give it its own place. Good suggestion!

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Another question for the other readers…. There hasn’t been a blog addressing this issue that I am aware of.
We plan to purchase our retirement home next week. We will be choosing from 5 that intrigue us. One home has a full underground pool, one has an above ground pool with decking, one has a swim spa (swimming against jets, plus a hot tub all in one unit 16?), one has a regular hot tub that seats 6 and one has no pool or spa, but a great location.
So the question……do any of you have any experience with pools or spas? We do not, however believe it would be a good feature for exercise as we age. We live so far up north, owning and heating a pool seemed nonsensical to us. We are planning a relocation to eastern TN, where water features are quite common.
We could really use some advice and help with our decision. We have no idea how any of these choices would affect our budget. PLEASE HELP

Posted by Admin on September 18th, 2014
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