Thursday, May 26, 2011

Be Ready for Your Next Move

Deciding whether to move or not isn’t always the hardest part.  It is the transition from one place to another that is difficult.  Very often we find that prospective homebuyers know that they really want to move or that they have to move due to changing health, mobility or finances, but lack the motivation to make it happen.  Inertia in one’s home can be a powerful force that holds us back.  But, we also find that those happiest with their new homes were proactive and moved before something happens and they had to move.
Once you identify the desire or need it is time to begin your homework to sell and research to buy.  The more time and energy you put into these tasks the smoother your transition.  In most cases prospective buyers have a home to sell.  This will entail identifying and interviewing the best agents in your area who can help assess the condition of your current property. Determine what repairs or enhancements are needed for the best selling results, and at what price the home should be offered.  In today’s market, it is paramount to put your best foot forward from the onset.  This includes cleaning, de-cluttering, throwing out, replacing, repairing, upgrading, storing and staging to make your home attractive to lookers.  If you follow this advice, your home will stand out because far too few sellers understand the importance and impact of these essential steps for a successful sale.  If agents had ten dollars for every time they could say “I told you so” to a seller who didn’t listen four or five months into a listing they could retire and not need to sell another home.
Besides the condition in which your home is to be shown (inside and out), the initial asking price is equally important.  And keep in mind that a really clean and appointed home does not out weight it being overpriced.  You are far better to price the home at today’s “fair market value” than trying to get: a) what you need, b) what your neighbors got three years ago, or c) what you put into it since you have lived there.  None of these matters.  Today’s buyers are very savvy about what a home should sell for and will not pay anything more.  You stand to lose months of fruitless showings that will simply frustrate you without a sale.
While you research the purchase of a new home, consider the benefits you are looking for.  What is it about your home that you want to keep?  What do you want to change?  Keep a list and cut out photos to help you focus on what you want.  Consider that even those of us with some more years of work before retirement can see the benefit of a more accommodating house.  We won’t want stairs.  We won’t want rooms that we don’t use.  We will want space to entertain family and friends.
Many of today’s homes incorporate Universal Design which is meant to enhance a home’s livability for anyone that might live there.  Fewer stairs, no step entries, convenient switches, easy to use levers and latches, and reachable shelves make a home attractive today but possibly essential in the future.  We hear very often that customers want this to be there last time to put down new roots.  You can help ensure that will be the case by thinking ahead of not only where you want to be but how you may need to live in the future.  So be ready for your next move.  Start getting your home ready while you are still enjoying it.  Start looking into the alternatives on the market or in a new town or city before you are ready.  When the time comes, you will be able to make a smooth transition to your new home.
We are ready to help you along your journey.  Check out any of our 29 communities in eight east coast states at or call us at 800-458-6832 to find out how you can Get in on the Good Life!®

Thursday, May 19, 2011

“It’s like being on a vacation everyday for the rest of your life.”

Trying to convince my friend Sue of the benefits of trading in her big family home for a simpler, less stressful lifestyle in a 55+ active adult community, wasn’t easy. She wanted nothing to do with the idea of giving up the home she had raised her kids in (which was now in need of serious repairs and tons of upkeep) and was in a stern denial about entering the latter part of her life.

“No, offense, she said, but I’m not “grandma”- not yet anyway.” 

I couldn’t help but laugh. She had no idea what an incredible change this kind of move could be for her. After a tough New England winter, seeing her through ice dams and a leaky roof, a fallen gutter, a whole new heating system, a thrown out back from too much shoveling, and an attic and basement full over 35 years of clutter- there was only one thing left to say to sway her into considering the move. 

“Sue, I’m telling you- it’s like being on vacation  everyday, for the rest of your life.”

Think about it, when you go away, you pack up a single piece of luggage with only your most necessary items. You never want to go anywhere with more than you need, because it’s that much more that you have to worry about. Being free of all the “stuff” is what makes the getaway so wonderful. When you’re away from the responsibilities that weigh you down in your everyday life at home- the broken appliances, shoveling duty, yard work – you feel so free, and therefore able to truly enjoy the beauty and the relaxation of your vacation. 

Home buying, I told her, in a 55+ active adult community is just like that. You clear your lifetime of clutter out of the way, and take yourself into a whole new world, free of all the things that used to weigh you down, and become surrounded by perfectly manicured, lush green grass, friendly people who are going through similar life changes, tons of fun activities to take part in and a brand new space, designed just for your needs. You give yourself a clean slate- a fresh new start, and clear the way to enjoyment for the next years of your life.

What an analogy, right?  But it couldn’t be further from the truth. Needless to say, Sue was convinced. She’s currently in the process of “purging” and will be moving into her new community home in September…to enjoy the freedom and the beauty of her golden years “vacation.”  

Oh, and her new nickname is “grandma.” (wink, wink).

Living the good life,
Get In On It

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Should 55 and over buyers wait out the current real estate market?
Being a home seller today is no fun.  There is so much competition from other homes including bank owned, short sales, foreclosures and other distressed sales.  It feels like you’re giving away even a real nice home in a good location.

But while there are many reasons that make this market tough for sellers, those same reasons makes it an advantageous time to buy a home.  In a buyer’s market you have so much more choice than when the market is tight.  You also have more time to decide since homes stay on the market longer than usual.
As they say, “everything is relative”.  Is it a better idea to wait and sell at a higher price when you will also buy at a higher price?  Or should you make a smarter move now, even though you will sell at a lower price you will buy much lower too?  We also need to keep in mind with possibly higher selling and buying prices in the future, interest rates could increase too.
Active adult buyers are usually looking at more than just a new home.  A change at this point means more than just a new place to live.  This is a time when one’s lifestyle offers more freedom with an empty nest.  It is an opportunity to make more time for things we want instead of have to do.  We have spent years maintaining the old home and big yard, and even if we still want to get our hands dirty and the thumb green, we don’t want to be burdened with hours of chores every night or weekend.  A shift to a smaller home and yard or a community that offers full lawn care can allow for more enjoyable pursuits and make our lives better!  The time is ours to redefine and reallocate as we desire.
Be proactive about your future!  Test the waters and see what is on the market that would provide you with a better lifestyle.  A new home in a new location can inspire a new sense of freedom and opportunity.  The key is to price your home at fair market value.  Make repairs suggested by your realtor.  Then stage your home with the help of a professional to appeal to home buyers.  By taking these steps you will maximize your selling price, use those funds to buy a more advantageous and competitively priced home, and move on to a better life.  In the end you will be glad that you moved ahead instead of hesitating indefinitely in a home that is no longer meets your needs.
Come see a Jensen community and find out how you can Get in on the Good Life!®.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Don’t Just Invest in a Home, Invest in a Lifestyle

Home buying is a huge decision- and we know that. It’s especially hard when it involves downsizing; when you’re forced to accept changes in your life that aren’t always easy to accept- like growing older, kids moving on, and not being able to keep up with all the necessary things required to keep a big family home running. Being emotionally ready to make the big transition is the most important factor of all, but once acceptance has sunk in, we assure you, there’s a whole new lifestyle waiting for you to walk into.

According to this article from the National Association of Home Builders, , the need to become more practical as we enter into our 50’s and 60’s is significantly increasing across the nation, and with the state of the economy, it’s really no surprise. In the article, it’s noted that those who have “moved into an age-qualified community reported the greatest satisfaction, rating their homes and communities a nine” on a scale from one to ten. Not surprisingly, too, the top two reasons for people making the transition into an adult active community included:

  • Living closer to family
  • Getting more house for less
    For all practical purposes, it just makes sense to transition into a living situation that simply better suits your needs, and it’s great to see that the raw facts support that. With Jensen’s land–lease concept, you certainly do get a whole lot more for your money, but in addition to the financial benefits, there’s so much more value that you get with the purchase of your home. 

    The benefits of making the move are clear. So, think practically. Take a deep breath and go on start exploring your home buying options. Take it from the people who have already made the change, reap the incredible benefits that a 55+ active adult community can offer and start living your carefree lifestyle today.