Showcase Listing

Cadence at Lansdowne is a brand new 55+ active adult community offering a vibrant lifestyle in Lansdowne, Virginia. It's where you can ha...

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Cresswind Georgia at Twin Lakes is a new, gated 55+ community in the metro Atlanta, Georgia area. With a focus on fitness, relationships,...

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Life at Heritage Shores is full of amenities, activities and social opportunities. When you live here, each day can be as active or laid ...

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Brookfield Residential at Two Rivers is a brand new community designed for those 55+, and offers an abundance of opportunities for a vibr...

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Bon Ayre is a 55+ active adult, manufactured home land lease community located in Smyrna, Delaware, a town which was recently ranked 31st...

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Cresswind Wesley Chapel is a vibrant, brand new 55+ active adult community Located just 40 minutes from Charlotte City Center.  Wesl...

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New Florida Law Sends Tsunami Towards Florida Condo Market

Category: Active adult communities

November 13, 2022 — Hurricanes Ian and Nicole were bad enough, destroying thousands of homes, changing the coastline, and scaring residents and real estate buyers alike. But a new Florida law, SB 4-D: Building Safety, is about to provide a potential killer wave to the Florida condo market.

Courtesy of lucas andreatta

The Building Safety Law is a reaction to the tragic Surfside building collapse in Miami in 2021. It has several key requirements for condominium associations that most are not yet aware of, especially how fundamentally those will affect their finances. This article will attempt to give a quick snapshot of what is now required, and how things will change. We recommend that if you are on a condo board you get familiar with the law now, because it has several new requirements. As it spells out clearly, failure to meet them is a breach of an officer’s and director’s fiduciary relationship to the unit owners. Sadly, jailhouse humor going round is that it could cause mass resignations of board members across the state. Even if you are not a board member, you should make sure that your board is working on this issue.

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Posted by Admin on November 12th, 2022

As Housing Prices Fall Off Their Highs, These Markets Are Thriving

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

August 3, 2022 — Since the pandemic began a housing boom has churned markets across the country. Big cities have lost out, and smaller ones with better quality of life and cheaper housing prices have gained. The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index  is a list of the top metro areas for a strong local economy, appealing lifestyle amenities, and an appreciating housing market in this year’s second quarter. This index comes as home prices have fallen in most parts of the country for the past few months, finally succumbing to higher mortgage rates and an overheated housing market.

Although the study was mostly oriented toward young working people looking for a better lifestyle, an easier commute, and lower real estate prices, many of the markets that came out on top are quite suitable for baby boomers and people of retirement age. That is not only because these housing markets bode well for the future, but mainly because many of them, such as Billings, Montana, offer exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities. The index’s top-ranked market for the quarter was Elkhart, IN with its 206,000 people. After that came Burlington, NC; Johnson City, TN; Fort Wayne, IN; and Billings, MT. Indiana had two cities in the top 10, as did North Carolina.

Here are the WSJ’s top 10 Emerging Housing Markets:

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Posted by Admin on August 2nd, 2022

The Perils of Selling in a Rising Market: Pamela’s Experience

Category: Retirement Real Estate

June 28, 2022 — Back in 2018 Pamela shared her ideas on looking for an amenity-lite active community. That article, When Amenity Rich Is Not the Answer, was clearly relevant to many of our Members and sparked 60 Member Comments (which were turned into another article: “When Amenity Lite Is the Answer“). Recently we heard back from Pamela on a related topic. She recounted her experience in selling her home in 2020, along with its aftermath and sellers remorse. We are grateful for her sharing her story; it is always fascinating to hear about actual experiences in the retirement world. We wish her and anyone else in this tough market who has faced challenges well. Note: This article makes an excellent counterpoint and addition to last week’s “Time to Sell Your Home and Rent” post.

Here is her story (with minor edits):

Pamela: I am still dealing with the absolute worst mistake of my life – selling my home that I owned for 28 years and lived in since it was new.  Since you’re always looking for new topics to write about, I wanted to update you on my situation, hopefully generating some helpful insights and advice from your great subscribers. 

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Posted by Admin on June 27th, 2022

Crazy Markets: Time to Start Thinking about Selling Your Home and Renting?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

June 18, 2022 — The last two and half years have provided an amazing ride for homeowners In almost every part of the U.S. Most sellers probably had to fight off buyers willing to pay far more than the asking price, and ended up with a buyer the same day they put it on the market. For renters, it wasn’t such a great period, with rents high and hard to find.  In 2019 the NAR median sales price of a home in the U.S. was $274,600. Two years later, that price has risen to $368,200, a 34% increase, certainly one of the most meteoric rises in history. The Census Bureau reported a similar increase in the average price of a home, now at $570,300. Those double digit increases put a smile on many people’s faces, but is it time to think change is a coming?

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Posted by Admin on June 17th, 2022

Will Renters Ruin Your Retirement?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

May 10, 2022 — People living in a retirement face a new and growing problem – short term renters. While the problem is more acute in resort communities, it can occur almost anywhere.

Imagine living in a peaceful community where you know your neighbors on a first name basis. Then one day you wake to see strangers dragging suitcases down the hall, not sure where they are going. Confused about which unit they are renting, they might even try to get into yours. When when you hit the hay at 10 or so, the party next door is just getting started, their alcohol-fueled voices getting louder and louder over their music. The next day at the pool you find that you can’t get a lounge chair, all of them taken up by your new neighbors as they enjoy their music, smoke, and drink beer from glass bottles. The renters, who might have crammed 3 couples into a 2 bedroom home, have helped to fill the parking lot too.

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Posted by Admin on May 10th, 2022

Is Apartment Living in Your Retirement Plan?

Category: Active adult communities

March 21, 2022 – A while back we heard from one of our Members, Debby, who asked about apartment living. She wondered why we don’t ever write anything for people who want to retire in an apartment. She has always lived in that type of housing, and being a single senior, doesn’t want a house now either.

In particular she would love “a senior community of apartments that is gated and has washer/dryers in the apartment, plus an attached garage. She is not particularly interested in other amenities that she won’t ever use. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ now, but apartment prices have gone up so much!”

Not alone

We are sure that Debby is not alone in seeking apartment life. Although we assume she is interested in rentals, many other apartments are owned as condos. The good news is that there are many communities that provide apartments suitable for baby boomers. Using Advanced Search for Communities at Topretirements, we came up with almost 1,000 apartment communities across the U.S. in our database. That list can be made more selective by choosing parameters like expense (if we delete higher cost the list goes down to 775). Other amenities might include covered garages, swimming pools, fitness centers etc. Using a state parameter narrows it even further; e.g., choosing only Arizona results in a list of 43 (we will explore some of those choices later in this article).

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Posted by Admin on March 21st, 2022

To Rent or Not to Rent: That Is the Question

Category: Retirement Real Estate

February 3, 2022 — Chances are that for most of your life it was drilled into you that home ownership is the road to economic security. Pay off that mortgage, count on rising property values, and someday you will have accumulated substantial equity. But now that you are approaching your retirement, it might be time to re-think that belief.

Our friend Ray brought to our attention a thought provoking article in the NY Times that makes the case that renting a home can be more appealing than owning one. Renting means giving up the prospect of investment gains, but more than makes up for it with hassle free living and not having to come up with big down payments and closing fees. Younger people like millennials might not have much choice in the matter, due to soaring costs of real estate, the difficulty of funding down payments, or qualifying for a mortgage. But many retirees are attracted to the rental option for a variety of reasons, which we will explore here.

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Posted by Admin on February 2nd, 2022

How Creative Can You Be in Finding Your Own Way to Retire?

Category: Retirement Planning

September 24, 2021 — Retirement is a modern concept. Not that long ago you worked until you dropped, or couldn’t do the job. The invention of pensions changed that for many people. Then, when Social Security started paying benefits in 1937, retirement became possible for almost everyone.

Until recently, once you retired you lived where you always did, moved in with your children, or, when you could no longer take care of yourself, transitioned to an old folks or nursing home. The landscape changed mightily in 1960 when Sun City opened with its active adult lifestyle and extensive amenities. Suddenly the idea of having fun in retirement became popular, and ever since people have been figuring out new ways to enjoy retirement.

Co-housing, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, and 55+ communities all have their devotees. But most of the innovation has come from the retirement industry, whose retirement offerings are geared to put money in their coffers when you buy into their dream.

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Posted by Admin on September 24th, 2021

Home Prices Continue on a Tear – But for How Long?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

August 13, 2021 — The median sales price of single-family existing homes rose in 99% of metro areas in the second quarter of 2021 compared to one year ago. And those increases were not small – there were double-digit price gains in 94% of markets measured by the NAR. Continued low levels of housing inventory, combined with record-low mortgage rates, have caused an increase in median sales prices for existing single-family homes in all but one of 183 measured markets during the second quarter of 2021. That is according to the National Association of Realtors®’ latest quarterly report.

The median sales price of single-family existing homes rose 22.9% to $357,900, an increase of $66,800 from one year ago. All regions saw double-digit year-over-year price growth, which was led by the Northeast (21.8%), followed by the South (21.0%), West (20.9%), and Midwest (17.1%). Three of the hottest markets in the country showed price gains of more than 40% year over year: Austin (TX), Boise (ID), and Naples/Marco (FL).

“Home price gains and the accompanying housing wealth accumulation have been spectacular over the past year, but are unlikely to be repeated in 2022,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

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Posted by Admin on August 13th, 2021

Housing Market Rockets Along, When Will It End?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

July 3, 2021 — Existing home prices hit a record high in May at a median of $350,000, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). A shortage of inventory and building materials, low interest rates, flush and frustrated buyers, and pent-up demand are some of the reasons why. Everyone seems to have a tale to tell in this crazy, red hot market: houses that sell the same day they are listed, multiple competing bids, offers of $100,000 or $200,000 more than the asking price, even huge cash payments to walk away to allow the next buyer in line to get the property. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for April confirmed the rising market, finding that prices rose at their fastest pace ever, an amazing 14.6% year over year.

So what’s next for sellers?

Baby boomers and retirees are more likely to benefit from this hot market than younger people, who are often first time buyers. That is because we usually have something to sell, and our homes are suddenly worth a lot more than they were 18 months ago. So if you are retired or about to retire, this might be the ideal time to step away from your existing home and move to one that is more conducive to your desired retirement lifestyle. You will most likely get top dollar when you sell – but what will your next move be? We were very interested in a new survey by Coldwell Banker conducted among all homeowners (not just retirees). It seemed to indicate that people are using the hot real estate market to dramatically change their living situation. Their survey found that about 20% of homeowners hope to sell their current home in the next year. Of those, about six out of ten plan on relocating to a different city or state. Does that describe you?

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Posted by Admin on July 2nd, 2021