Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Best Use of your Equity is a House within your Means

These thoughts are directed to those 55 and over! Being on the business side of age 50 myself, it is hard to imagine anyone really wanting to be paying down a big mortgage when they retire. We expect that our disposable income will take an adjustment from our working years. While our expenses may be reduced without the costs associated with getting to and from and working a job, we will want to maintain our lifestyle and living standards. Hey it is our time to do the things we have always wanted to do!

Typically, a house and perhaps our retirement plan are our biggest assets. How do we best use the equity from our home to supplement our retirement income? Many people consider a move to a more accommodating home at this stage of life. If the home is too big, has too many rooms, has too many stairs or we are just tired of caring for a large yard, some other housing option begins to look better and better. Maybe we just want to move to a different climate or nearer our children. In either case, ideally we have paid down most or our entire mortgage so that we actually own our home rather than the bank still owning it.

The equity we have created or saved over the years in our home becomes a tool and a resource that allows us to make a move. With enough equity, we can buy a more manageable place in terms of size and upkeep as well as being more manageable financially. This is not always easy to do especially with the cost of new homes.

An apartment may offer a lower monthly expense, but paying for one will result in a loss of our equity for each month we rent. A condo may offer a lower level of investment, but most of the lower price condos are townhomes that are not suited toward 55 and over buyers (if the living areas and master bedroom are up a flight or two of stairs).

An investment in a modestly priced manufactured home can be the answer by offering you the ranch style home that puts everything on one floor and the home within financial reach. You can decide how much to reinvest in your new home or to keep in savings for other purposes. Buying too much home will just move your equity from one home to another and perhaps get you back to paying a mortgage. At today’s interest rates a mortgage may make sense for some but not if the expenditure keeps our finances to tight to enjoy what we really want to do at the 55 and over stage of life. By best using our home’s equity or other savings we can own within a manageable monthly expense.

Seriously consider your options and how to most effectively use your equity “nest egg”. The Jensen Team is available to help you “Get in on the Good Life!” and explore the possibilities.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Are you Living Your Priorities?

We all have dreams of what we would like to do in life. Making those dreams reality can be difficult without a plan and the determination to see the plan through. Let’s face it, life gets in the way of our dreams and then they just get pushed aside due to more immediate needs. But if we feel short changed, especially as we live out the “second half” of our existence, then perhaps we need a better plan. And perhaps we need to take more definitive action to make our dreams realities.
What are your true priorities? How do you want to live? Where do you want to live? How many more years do you want to keep working? Would you rather be working in a different capacity than what are doing now? Who do you want to be with? What do you want to be doing? What do you want your finances to look like?

Everyone has the right to define their lives in their own terms. Some want to work forever because it is truly their passion. Some would rather sit on a beach or dock or boat. Some want to travel on regular trips in the US or foreign destinations that pick their interests. Never had the time to develop the skills needed to play competitive golf or tennis? Now may be the time before it is too late. Have you always wanted to build furniture, make your own pottery, paint landscapes or sew quilts? How about really learning to cook? Do you want more time to help out an elderly relative or see more of your grandchildren or nieces and nephews? Many find fulfillment engaging in a part or full time volunteer organization that will either make time at home more interesting or enable them to travel to other places at the same time they are “giving back”. Whatever you do, make sure that it is important to you. Living our passion will help provide the drive to make your goals happen.

Daring to dream and to make those dreams come about may be a little scary but exciting and fun at the same time. There are so many excuses to avoid fulfilling our dreams and sometimes not enough motivation to push us along.

It goes without saying for most Americans that finances play a part in reaching our goals and aspirations. By living more simply and with less financial burden in a home within our means, we gain more freedom to spend our time and money in more meaningful ways. In the end it may be the things we do and the people we do them with that will be more important to us than what we have accumulated.

At Jensen communities®, we can help you to “Get in on the Good Life!” with a “Simply Affordable” home that is within your means so that you can live your priorities.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A House within Your Means Should be Well Built

While manufactured homes built today can be lavish and extravagant to fit any means and lifestyle, and we do build $200,000 and even $300,000 houses in our flagship communities, many of the homes Jensen sells are just good basic modest homes in the $100,000 range. The new technology of factory construction allows you to get more home for less of an investment especially when sited in a land lease community.

You need to start by finding a good neighborhood and a community owner with a strong track record of reliable resident service, community upkeep and reinvestment back into the infrastructure.

You also want to be sure that there is a strong program in place to ensure that the homes are built and the neighborhood standards are such that things will stay in place. And if no one is around to back them up, where does that leave you?

Equally important is that the home Manufacturer has a reputation for quality and for standing behind its homes after the sale. What types of homes do they build and to what level of quality? Factory builders are not different than site builder in that they have a quality niche that they try and fill.
Jensen communities uses what we call our Traditional, Classic and Premium Standards and matches those price points to certain manufacturers standards so that prospective buyers can more easily determine what they want to buy. Each level offers a well built home albeit at a different price point as well as materials and finishes as the labels suggest.

By its very nature, a manufactured housing land lease community is a long term investment where the best approach is for the owner to “partner” and work together with the residents. What is good for the residents should be good for the owner. The best part is the owner does not simply move on to the next project; they will continue to manage and stand behind the community. The owner has a real vested interest in keeping customers and homebuyers happy. Satisfied customers want to remain in their homes as long as they can and will readily encourage their family, friends and co-workers to buy as well.

If you have not seen today’s manufactured homes, take advantage of your next opportunity to do so. Most people are simply “wowed” at what they see!

With 29 Jensen communities® from New Hampshire to Georgia, including our newest in New Hartford NY (Cherrywood at, there may be one in your area or one where you have always wanted to live. Please visit or call 800-458-6832 to find out how you can “Get in on the Good Life!”®.