Within the next five years, Baby Boomers are projected to have the largest household growth of any other generation during that same time period, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard.Let’s take a look at why…
In a recent Merrill Lynch study, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices” they surveyed nearly 6,000 adults ages 21 and older about housing.
Crossing the “Freedom Threshold”
Throughout our lives, there are often responsibilities that dictate where we live. Whether being in the best school district for our children, being close to our jobs, or some other factor is preventing a move, the study found that there is a substantial shift that takes place at age 61.
The study refers to this change as “Crossing the Freedom Threshold”. When where you live is no longer determined by responsibilities, but rather a freedom to live wherever you like. (see the chart below)
As one participant in the study stated:
“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.”
On the Move
According to the study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.
The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses”. See the chart below for the top 6 reasons broken down.
Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes
There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with fewer children at home, they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.
Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them.
“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”
If your housing needs have changed or are about to change, meet with a local real estate professional in your area who can help with deciding your next step.
It’s already November, but major retailers have already stocked their displays with twinkling lights and shiny ornaments, so you know what that means: The holidays are here.
Easy Holiday Home Decorating Tips
Whether you plan to host holiday get-togethers with friends, family, and neighbors or plan to visit your loved ones this year, you can prepare your home with today’s best styles to get into the holiday spirit.
Here are three ways that you can decorate your home for the holidays.
Use Seasonal Centerpieces
Nothing says “festive” quite like seasonal decorations around the table. Prepare for Thanksgiving Day meals by setting out cornucopias, small pumpkins, and autumn leaves, and exchange them for holly wreaths or tiny Christmas trees close to December.
Try Scent-Sational Decorations
Cinnamon, vanilla, gingerbread — these are the warm aromas that define the holiday season. So light a few candles in the kitchen or bake some cookies to fill your home with seasonal fragrances.
Fill Your Windows with Winter Joy
Let the sun cast its rays on your holiday decorations.
You can hang decorative snowflakes from your windows and watch your room light up with the sparkles, or choose stylish window decals to give your home the look and feel of a winter wonderland.
Let Us Be Your Real Estate Resource This Season
Are you searching for a new home during the holidays? You don’t have to find it alone. We have a variety of free, helpful home buying resources that can help you discover the perfect place to call home in the coming months.
Contact us today to learn more about the area, find homes for sale, or to schedule a showing of your dream home. We are always happy to help.
As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first-time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.
Let us explain.
There are many factors that influence the ‘cost’ of a home. Two of the major ones are the home’s appreciation over time, and the interest rate at which a buyer can borrow the funds necessary to purchase their home. The rate at which these two factors can change is often referred to as “The Cost of Waiting”.
What will happen over the next 12 months?
According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices are expected to rise by 4.7% by this time next year.
Additionally, Freddie Mac’s most recent Economic Commentary & Projections Tablepredicts that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will appreciate to 4.7% in that same time.
What Does This Mean to a Buyer?
Here is a simple demonstration of what impact these projected changes would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:
In today’s market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
Here are five reasons:
1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:
The buyer who wants the best deal possible
The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
The appraiser if there is a question of value
2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers
Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
3. Results Come from the Internet
Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?
43% on the internet
9% from a yard sign
1% from newspaper
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.
4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.
Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $208,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $235,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $27,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.
Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.
The costs of exiting one property and settling into a new home can accumulate quickly. Review these tips before making a move.
TIPS & ADVICE / STORY / BY TALI WEE ON 22 DEC 2014
Moving is expensive, no matter how carefully you plan for it. Whether relocating for a new job, escaping rising rent prices or downsizing, the costs of exiting one property and settling into a new home can accumulate quickly.
We asked some finance bloggers to share their budgeting advice on relocating, and here are their suggestions.
How do you prepare your finances for an upcoming move?
I recommend that you begin saving and planning for a move as soon as you know it’s coming. Calculate all of your anticipated costs and begin setting aside money each month. Remember that there may be a lag time on getting back your current security deposits, so don’t count on those being immediately available to spend. — Laura Adams of Quick and Dirty Tips
The best way I have found to budget is by little bits. Think of it like filling up a cookie jar, although I do it electronically with a separate savings account. When I was saving for a house I used to put $300 a month into the account automatically, just like a bill right along with the other normal budgeted expenses. Next, any extra income I could generate — I would always have some ideas brewing to create side income or side jobs — I would throw in on top. If I had a slower month where I couldn’t contribute extra, I still felt like I was progressing toward the goal. — Ryan of Spilling Buckets
What are the most surprisingly expensive costs of moving?
I am always surprised at the extra costs you wouldn’t normally consider like deposits on utilities and having to buy things like rugs or curtains. You can really bust up a budget buying all new rugs and bath mats for your new place! — Kim Parr of Eyes on the Dollar
Signing up for new services. There always seems to be a fee to connect or move services. — Ryan of Impersonal Finance
The costs that typically shocked me are the ones related to things at the place I’m moving out of — cleaning fees, other expenses that I didn’t think I was going to get charged for, bills that were unpaid during the landlord’s downtime. — Jeff of Sustainable Life Blog
There’s always something! An extra night in a hotel, new furniture or home supplies, cleaning products … packing material. Whatever cost you estimate for your move, just add 10 percent so you’re not completely shocked at the end. — Spencer of Military Money Manual
How far in advance should you begin saving for a move?
This depends entirely on budget and income, but I would say budget your costs in advance, and aim to save 20 percent above those costs. However long it will take you to comfortably save that amount, do it. — Ryan of Impersonal Finance
How do you offset the costs of moving when you haven’t had much time to save?
One way to save money on your next move is to find your boxes for free. Check with some apartment communities in your area to see if you can collect boxes after someone moves in. This is a win-win for you and someone who needs to get rid of their boxes. — Laura Adams of Quick and Dirty Tips
It is best to identify things you don’t need or won’t need in the future. Moving should be the trigger point to get rid of things you don’t need so that you not only simplify your life but save a good deal of money on the move and storage expenses. — Shilpan Patel of Street Smart Finance
I love selling or giving away as much of my stuff as possible before I move: old furniture, clothes and sports equipment. Basically, if I haven’t touched it in the three years I’ve lived somewhere, I probably don’t need to lug it across the country! If you force yourself to give away or sell many of your things before you move, you’ll avoid the trap of having a storage unit or so many possessions that they begin to possess you! It’s liberating to have less things to worry about, care about and maintain. — Spencer of Military Money Manual
How do you prevent overspending on moving services?
To budget for a relocation it’s important to get multiple mover quotes and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. For instance, get quotes that offer the same amount of damage insurance and provide the same amount of service and packing material. I found out the hard way how expensive boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap and tape can be. Even if you plan to move yourself, it’s still a good idea get a full service moving quote as a baseline. — Laura Adams of Quick and Dirty Tips
I’ve had my fair share of challenges during moves in the past several years. One of the challenges is to find the right mover at an affordable price. The lesson I learned from some of my mistakes is to do proper planning before hiring a mover and have all the terms and conditions properly documented so if disputes arise, then you have legal protection. Also, you should check references online and with the better business bureau before hiring a moving company. — Shilpan Patel of Street Smart Finance
Should you recruit friends to help?
We’ve always had help from friends and it’s worked great. Our last move was only a few miles, so we didn’t even rent a truck. Our friends all showed up in vans or their own trucks and we had a caravan. If you buy them all pizza afterward and return the favor when it’s their turn, it’s a win-win for everyone. — Kim Parr of Eyes on the Dollar
I have had friends help move in the past, and it has worked out great. To make it easy on your friends, please make sure that ALL of your things are packed before you start moving. — Jeff of Sustainable Life Blog
Do you have any tips for people considering moving?
Moving is hard and expensive. I am all in favor of moving for a better opportunity, but I would really consider the true costs and all the extras before pulling up stakes. — Kim Parr of Eyes on the Dollar
Remember, relocating is more expensive than the fees for boxes, movers and utility cancellations and reactivations. You’ll have new bills and want funds to furnish your new home. The standard guideline is that monthly debts should not surpass 36 percent of your monthly income, including rent, car payments and other bills. Calculate home affordability before committing to the expensive process of moving, to ensure it’s the best long-term fit.
Sky-high residential buildings and billionaire bidding wars. When it comes to New York’s real estate market, it seems like everything is over-the-top.
Now, even rents are reaching new heights — to the tune of $500,000 a month.
Or at least that’s what one tenant is paying for a six-bedroom suite that occupies the entire 39th floor of Manhattan’s posh Pierre Hotel.
The renter is not only renting the suite for the entire month of December, but also the separate one-bedroom Getty Suite for $150,000 a month, according to Therese Bateman and Andres Perea-Gurzon, the Town Residential agents who represented the listing.
The agents wouldn’t disclose the tenant’s name, but one thing is clear: The half-million-dollar a month rent is not only a record for Manhattan. “It blows everything else out of the water,” said Jonathan Miller, head of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel. “It’s the highest rent I’ve ever seen. Nothing comes close.”
The 4,786 square-foot main dwelling of the rental includes the hotel’s lavish presidential suite.
Many international visitors traveling with large families or entourages rent the Pierre Residences. But some locals are also in the mix, including some Upper East Siders doing extensive renovations on their own luxury homes.
Elizabeth Taylor, Yves Saint-Laurent, Dashiell Hammett, Mohamed Al-Fayed and Francis Ford Coppola are just some of the famous residents who have lived at the Pierre.
Opened in 1930,the Pierre went through a $100 million renovation a few years ago in which public spaces, such as the lobby and grand ballroom, were redecorated and the guest rooms updated with new technology.
Its views are panoramic, with Central Park, the Upper East Side and Midtown Manhattan within easy sight. The George Washington Bridge, five miles north, is evenvisible on a clear day.
The location is a big part of the property’s attraction, said Bateman, who, with Perea-Gurzon, also represents nine other luxury suites at The Pierre that start at $75,000 a month.
“Living at the Pierre rental suites gives residents great flexibility,” she said.
Tiffany, Cartier and Harry Winston Jewelers, FAO Schwartz, and Madison Avenue boutiques are all nearby, as are the Theater District, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
Beyond the apartment’s comfort, location and views, what really makes the Pierre special is the numerous services and benefits that are included. There’s a private elevator, butler and maid service, 24/7 concierge, and a chauffeur driven Jaguar.
If you’re planning a move, you may have an overwhelming urge to throw all your possessions into cardboard boxes, tape them shut and think, “I’ll deal with this after moving!”
We get it. But before you start dumping drawers into boxes willy-nilly, we implore you: Declutter first.
There’s no better time to get rid of unnecessary stuff than right before a move. You’re in the right mindset—you’re open to change.
Plus, you have to go though everything already, and if you follow through, you’ll start life at your new home with less junk and a stronger connection to the items you decided to hold onto before moving.
Sounds great, but how do you do it? We recently gave a best-selling book—“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo—a read.
The book isn’t necessarily about moving; it’s more about how to live a less cluttered, happier life. But many of the suggestions Kondo offers are invaluable to those brave souls about to pack up their possessions and begin anew.
Here are four tips from Kondo’s book we found for downsizing before a move.
1. Category by Category
Think about your past attempts to tidy up or simplify your physical space. Odds are you went about it room by room. Rookie mistake!
Kondo subscribes to the theory you should instead go category by category. For example, if you keep some dinner plates in the kitchen and others in the dining room, put them all together in one place before going through them and deciding what to keep. Same for clothes, books, athletic equipment and so on throughout the house.
Don’t focus on what you’re discarding. Rather, focus on the things you are choosing to keep: This makes the process feel more positive.
2. Handle Everything
Kondo suggests touching everything you own in order to determine if you truly want and need it.
Take clothes, for example. Kondo believes it best to remove all your clothes from your closet and dresser, physically hold them and decide one-by-one if you want to keep each item.
You might be tempted to just flip through your shirts as they hang in your closet. According to Kondo, that’s a no-no. You have to get everything out of its place to determine if you want it—and if it truly brings you joy.
3. Find the Joy
This is a little touchy feely, but bear with us: Kondo believes that a possession either “sparks joy,” or it doesn’t.
It’s all about keeping the items that do offer that spark and getting rid of everything that doesn’t. Kondo uses books as an example: Does being surrounded by books you’ve never read bring you joy? Maybe not.
Of course, the standard doesn’t work for each and every item in a household. A plunger isn’t likely to “spark joy”—but having one around is still a good idea.
4. Make Moving an Event
Most people believe tidying is something you need to work at, something that requires upkeep. However, Kondo writes that if you’re constantly tidying up, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Instead of doing a little tidying up here and a little there whenever you have time, make your clean-up an event—something you spend a weekend doing with friends and family.
Painful? Maybe. But you’re more likely to experience a significant and long-lasting change. Of course, you’ll still need to put stuff away (unless you have a butler), but the effort will be minimal.
In short, think of Kondo’s method as a marathon that ends rather than daily sprints that go on and on and on.
Again, Kondo’s techniques aren’t specifically written for people undergoing moves. But there are few better times to assess whether you really need that old two-prong extension cord than when you’re holding it in your hand and have the option of packing it or chucking it.
For all the talk about people abandoning suburbia for urban cores, American moving trends still gravitate towards less dense spaces. According to a recent review of Census data by Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko, most movers in the US trend towards “lower density, lower unemployment, and cheaper housing.” This is illustrated by continued shifting from major high-density urban centers to smaller 18 hour cities and suburbs. Nearly half of these between-county moves are less than 100 miles, and 38% are less than 50 miles. “With the exception of the three moves that are the reverse flow of a higher-ranked move,” Kolko writes, “all of the 10 top between-county moves are from a higher-density county to a lower-density county — in other words, to a less urban, more suburban county.” This suggests that American suburbanization continues unabated by the re-popularization of urban cores.
Perhaps central to this trend is a movement towards inner suburbs, along with the “incrementally urbanizing” and redevelopment of outlying suburbs to bolster their appeal to city dwellers. Different types of suburbs exist, but many people consider the suburbs to be one single trope: cul-de-sacs and matching homes, manicured lawns and white picket fences. From the standpoint of an investor or potential homeowner, understanding how urban trends translate to the suburbs can make all the difference with finding a region that will thrive in the changing housing economy and avoiding property in one of the oft-mentioned “dying suburbs.”
Key to teasing out the differences between sustainable and unsustainable suburban growth is developing an understanding of what makes suburbs appeal to consumers (and what does not). The suburban model is largely based around single family homes that offer more space than their urban counterparts at a lesser-or-equivalent price point. Suburbs traditionally center on families, and schools and safety are paramount to a successful suburban community. People who criticize suburban living often find problems with its sense of isolation from wider culture and community. Other criticisms include long commutes, car-centric culture, and tendency towards “beige-ness.”
Taking these considerations into mind, finding suburbs that draw from the positive and avoid the negative is key to a successful buy. What trends should a homebuyer or investor look for when hunting for a perfect burb?
Good deal indicators. Often referred to as inner or first-ring suburbs or railway burbs, communities right beyond the city limits of major cities are growing in popularity, especially when fitted with public transit access to the city. Closer suburban cities tend to mirror many of the characteristics of the cities next to them, often including revival downtown spaces of their own to direct commerce to the city center. Suburbs that model themselves after the 18 hour city culture are also poised to attract creative industry business, young professionals, and Boomer retirees, making them a safe investment.
Less than ideal. Further flung suburbs can be more difficult to assess for their investment value. Take particular note of whether the city seems to have a centralized commerce space or is reliant primarily on strip malls and big box stores. Mixed residential/commerce centers are a sign that the town is shifting away from sprawl-model suburbia. Be wary of cities whose commerce is centered on very “vanilla” office parks or a monocultural economy.
Make sure to avoid. Anything defined by sprawl and endless parking lots. Anything that presumes the growth of tract housing for local economic health. Any exurb that is reliant on the closest city for its economic base and sense of identity. McMansions are unpopular with younger demographics who are looking to live smaller and cheaper, as well as their Boomer counterparts who are looking for simplicity. While cultural trends do shift, investment professionals suggest trending with what Millennials and Boomers are interested in . . and avoiding things they aren’t.