Weekly Edition ~ July 21, 2017
"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." ~Lucille Ball
This Week's Community Review:
Laguna Woods, California
About seven miles from Laguna Beach in southern California, Laguna Woods is an established 55+ community with 36 holes of golf, five swimming pools, an equestrian center, seven clubhouses, more than 250 activity groups, a bus system and a wide range of home styles and prices.
Previous Weekly Reviews:
Charlotte is in southwestern North Carolina and is the setting for The Vineyards on Lake Wylie, a waterfront community with an age-targeted neighborhood of single story, single family homes. Amenities include a private dock, a boardwalk and an attractive clubhouse.
On Florida's Gulf Coast, Fort Myers is the site of Pelican Preserve, a lush, large and gated 55+ community with a wide range of home styles, a golf course, a nature preserve, a resort-style swimming pool, a movie theater and more.
Surprise, outside of Phoenix and near the White Tank Mountains in southern Arizona, is the location of Arizona Traditions, a 55+ community with single family homes, an 18 hole golf course, a lovely, 24,000 square foot clubhouse, swimming pools, bocce ball courts, tennis courts, bicycling trails, a woodworking shop, a stained glass studio, a fitness center and more.
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Baby Boomers' Practical Home Options
Let's face it, Baby Boomers, we're all getting older. Yes, even you! I know you don't believe it and I'm sorry to be the one to have to tell you, but it's true. Have you been thinking about where you want to live as you age and wondering if you'll ever really retire?
If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you're a Boomer. You're in the largest generation in U.S. history. You aren't a kid any more. But, many of us still feel like kids and we can't believe we're "gettin' up there." Of course, we have a long time to go and may never retire, but then again, some have retired already.
The National Association of Realtors recently conducted a study of about 2000 Baby Boomers to understand what it means for housing to have this huge number of people moving into a new stage of life. According to the Realtor study, this group of people is uncertain about when and where they will retire. Some of us say it will happen when we're 70 and some say never. Forty-two percent say they want to retire in the South.
Eight out of ten Boomers are homeowners. They own 57 percent of the vacation homes and four out of ten of them plan to convert their vacation home into their primary residence when they retire. Most Baby Boomers are unsure of their finances for the future - they're a bit anxious. Three quarters of us say we're not adequately prepared.
Baby Boomers Define New Housing Trends
The following gives you an idea of what Baby Boomers want in a home as we move into our "older" years, whether we retire or not. This is from a variety of reports including Deborah Hornblow's article in LexisNexis, "The New Sleek Chic: Design Trends Reflect Desires of Baby Boomers Scaling Down."
Because Baby Boomers, in general, don't think they're really getting old, they are redefining the aging process. Many Baby Boomers don't plan to move into retirement housing. We're a very vibrant generation! We're intelligent and creative. When it comes right down to finding a place to live in our older years, Baby Boomers are quite practical.
Baby Boomers are thinking they want maintenance-free homes because we want to have time to do the things we want to do. If we like yard work, that's one thing. But, we want to have the choice. If we want to be off traveling or kayaking or taking a class, we want to be able to do that - not mowing the lawn and doing other chores. So, a smaller home with less stuff will give us the simplicity we want. Plus, it's more eco-friendly and energy-efficient, and we like that.
Green is Important
Baby Boomers are interested in the environment, at least to a certain extent. And we want to save on fuel when possible. We think it's worth it to spend a little more on a house when it will save us money in the long run. Plus, we're health-conscious. We take our vitamins, exercise and want to stay healthy. That means we value good indoor air quality.
Baby Boomer are Practical
Baby Boomers tend to be practical. Thinking ahead means wanting practical home design so we can "age in place." Wider hallways, at least one exterior entrance with a wider door, grab bars in the bathrooms, having the master bedroom and full bath on the main floor are all important features to the Boomers. Minimal steps are important. You can always send the visiting children and grandchildren upstairs or downstairs to the guest rooms, but you need full access to the things you need on the main floor.
This generation also likes open-floor plan homes with lots of natural light. We want room for our books and hobbies - a place to paint or put the pottery wheel. And more than likely we will need extra rooms for at least one, if not two, home offices. We may have personal work we enjoy doing or we may have a home business.
Community is an important consideration. Some Baby Boomers want to live with other Baby Boomers. We may be drawn to active adult communities. One survey found that most people were in this category. About 29 percent said they wanted to stay in the home they've been in. Twenty-four percent said they would love to live overseas and 16 percent said they wanted to live in a co-housing community. I suspect more people would have said a co-housing community, but they didn't know for sure what it was.
Many Boomers want a moderate, four-season climate -- not the harsh northern winters or scorching hot southern summers. They want restaurants, the arts, cultural events, opportunities to meet interesting people and do fun things. They want natural beauty, places to hike and explore where they can continue to grow and enjoy every day to the fullest.
So, you aren't alone! Many are searching for the perfect place to put down retirement roots. We're all hoping for an opportunity to live in a safe and comfortable home. We may want to stay where we are or adventure out into a new place and special. We may retire and we may not. But, whatever we do, together we're setting new standards and finding new meaning in a hopeful, if uncertain, tomorrow.
~Patricia Spaulding is an environmental real estate consultant and broker in Asheville, NC, where she loves to help people plant their roots. Asheville is not only a great place to "go green" but also the perfect place to retire. http://topretirements.com/Home.html rated Asheville the number one retirement town in 2010. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report named Asheville one of "America's Best Affordable Places to Retire." There's so much to see and do in this small city in the mountains - galleries, theater, hiking, kayaking, classes of every kind, home to the N.C. Center for Creative Retirement, interesting people, wonderful restaurants, and so much more. For more information about Asheville you can look at Patricia's website: Asheville North Carolina Real Estate where you can also contact her and participate in forums. This site is a growing source for Asheville information and home-hunting resources. Article Source: Ezines.
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