Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Homes are not a Commodity!

New Home builders are as varied as the homes they build.  Builders target certain markets and build homes that suit them best.  There are starter, move up, empty nester, vacation and retirement homes just to name a few.  Along with the design for these markets, there are varied levels of quality or the “fit and finish” that gives the home its price point and style.
While all home builders promote that they build a “quality” home, everything is relative.  It is really no different than any product you buy: there is generally a “good”, “better” and “best” scenario in the market to consider based on your budget and priorities.
The amount of your investment needs to be considered first and foremost.  We should ask ourselves “how much can I really afford over the long term that will provide us with a comfortable home and adequately meet our other financial priorities (monthly utilities, retirement savings, college savings, vacation allowance, and health care)?”
Many who are just starting out and buying their first home need to consider how much space they can buy in an area with a good school system.  Empty nesters might not care so much about the local school system as being close to work, shopping and activities/entertainment.  Those retiring with a limited budget will want to buy a modest but comfortable home and keep monthly costs well under control.  Those wanting to move up will look for prime locations and some added luxuries.  It is a matter of personal choice, budget and priorities.
The quality of materials is also an important consideration and will escalate with the good, better best price points.  A more modestly priced home will have fewer options which allow the builders to better maintain their costs.  Higher priced homes can have infinite options available as these buyers expect the best and don’t mind paying for the upgrades provided that they offer good value.
You can buy a well-constructed home at any price point with the right builder.  At the less pricy level you will just be getting simpler cabinets, laminated versus granite counters and carpet rather than real hardwood flooring as examples.  There are many levels as you move on up the ladder.
When looking for a new home it is a good idea to understand the type of home that you are buying and how the builder is constructing it to specifically meet your needs. These steps will assure a good fit and not only allow you to be proud of your home, but enjoy its comfort for years to come.
Kris Jensen III
Get in on the Good Life!®

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wise Words To Live By

Of life after 50, Agatha Christie once said,

We couldn’t agree more. How are you enjoying your “second blooming?” Leave us a comment – we’d love to know.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting By With A Little Help From My Friends

I heard a funny thing the other day – which got me thinking. Apparently, some researchers in Australia found that there seems to be a link between plentiful social connections and longevity. Strangely enough, studies had shown that elderly people who enjoyed an active social life with their friends were more likely to live longer than those with fewer social interactions.

When I first read this, I got a bit of a laugh over it, but in thinking about it further; – it started to make a whole lot of sense. Especially as I get older, I find that it’s when I’m surrounded by my friends or even my neighbors here in the community, that I get a feeling of youthfulness again. I’m sure you can all relate – no matter how old you are:  it’s the act of laughing until your stomach hurts, enjoying great conversation over a great meal, or circulating around a room and connecting with new people who bring a whole new perspective to your everyday. It’s a feeling of fulfillment, of both newness and of comfort.

The article went on to say, that these social relationships actually stimulate the neurochemistry of the brain to help it stay healthy.” It’s a good thing to know – especially for those of you out there who think that getting older means sitting on your couch all day and watching Wheel of Fortune.

Now that you know that engagement with others is vital component of adding some extra years on to your life – I’d say it’s time to get off of this computer and start mingling!

Community soirée, anyone?

Get In On It

Monday, May 7, 2012

Friends Don't Let Friends Get Old

Me and my buddy Ted - we have this pact. We told each other, way back when we were in our 20’s, that we’d never let each other get old – ever. That was before, of course, we ever imagined that our 60’s would creep up as quickly as it has.

While the years have certainly passed in the blink of an eye – we’re still pretty committed to that promise we made.

Having lost both of our fathers to heart disease is motivation enough to keep each other in line – to make healthier decisions and to slow down the aging process that we refuse to give in to. In the last 10 years, we’ve been in this thing together. We’ve helped each other quit smoking and we’ve motivated each other to exercise, at least a couple of times a week. We even opted out of a couple of juicy cheeseburgers the other day at the local diner, for salads with chicken. (Luckily, in an effort to protect our manly status, the waitress promised she wouldn’t tell a soul).

These days, when either of us complaining about a sore back or weak joints, one of us looks at the other with an unspoken reminder of the pact that we had made. A promise – from one man to another.

Us? Getting old? Not a chance.

Flyin’ Free