Baby Boomers Finding Freedom In Retirement

Baby Boomers Finding Freedom In Retirement | Keeping Current Matters

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)

Crossing The Freedom Threshold | Keeping Current Matters

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.

Merrill Lynch Moving In Retirement | Keeping Current Matters

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.”

Bottom Line

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.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

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How to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

dinner table with thanskgiving mealIt’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.

snowflake ornament with blue glitterFill 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.

The Real Estate Trends That Defined 2014

Real Estate Trends

The year 2014 saw a steady build-up of housing momentum that is expected to carry the market into 2015 gains, according to a realtor.com® report released today.

The 2014 Housing Review points to significant improvements in the U.S. economy overall and low mortgage rates as fueling the housing market. However, there are also factors that continue to hold back a recovery, including tight credit restrictions and a limited supply of homes for sale.

“The strong outlook for 2015 is based in part on the improvements and momentum experienced by the economy and housing in the second half of 2014,” said Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “With several key factors turning strongly positive, 2014 was a turning point and sets the stage for a stronger recovery in 2015.”

Here are the top 10 trends of the past year, with five indications of growth and five limiting factors.

Realtor.com®’s Top 10 Real Estate Trends of 2014

Indicators of a stronger housing recovery

1. Improving economic fundamentals: After an especially harsh winter, the economy picked up steam this spring and produced a banner year for new jobs. The GDP this year was higher and is still trending higher, resulting in stronger consumer confidence.

2. Historically low mortgage rates continued: Mortgage rates declined despite the end this year of quantitative easing, a monetary policy intended to stimulate the economy. Global weakness, along with actions by the European Central Bank and central banks in Asia, kept our Federal Reserve from raising the Federal Fund Rate, which kept mortgage rates low.

3. Return to normal price appreciation: After two years of abnormally high levels of home price appreciation in 2012 and 2013, price increases moderated throughout 2014. We are now experiencing increases in home prices consistent with long-term historical performance.

4. Decline of distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales declined throughout the year, and while total home sales decreased year over year, normal (non-distressed) home sales increased over 2013. Foreclosure inventories also fell substantially and are forecasted to be down 30% year over year at the close of 2014.

5. End of the era of major investors active in purchases: Related to the drop in distressed sales opportunities, and against a backdrop of higher home prices, portfolios of single-family homes for rent may have reached their peak this year. Large-scale investor purchase activity in the single-family market sector continued to decline, leaving more room for traditional first-time buyers.

However, we still have a ways to go back to normality.

“Despite the positives, several factors were far from normal this year,” Smoke said. “The limiting factors held back demand and even supply in 2014, but economic gains and late 2014 government housing policy actions brighten the potential for even more positive change in 2015.”

Factors holding back recovery

1. Tight credit standards: Despite historically low rates, many households were prevented from capitalizing on mortgage access because of overlays lenders added to qualification standards in order to limit their risk. As a result, mortgage credit availability did not improve in 2014.

2. Limited inventory: While absolute inventories increased as the year progressed, supply did not outpace demand. Monthly supply of new homes and existing homes remained beneath normal levels, and the age of inventory was down year over year.

3. Depressed levels of first-time buyers: The share of first-time buyers fell to the lowest level in more than 20 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. “But the first-time buyer share is showing signs of modest improvement by the year-end,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist. Federal policy actions, such as revised regulations for lenders and new low down-payment programs introduced in December are anticipated to have a positive impact in 2015.

4. Record levels of renters and ever-increasing rent prices: Continued declines in homeownership rates resulted in record numbers of renting households. Rent increases became an inflationary concern this year, and looking ahead, the pace of these increases is not slowing down.

5. Lack of recovery in homebuilding and low share of new home sales: Single-family starts barely increased in 2014 over 2013. New home sales remain far from normal share levels – typically near 16%, they are now around 9%. New home prices increased substantially again this year, revealing that higher priced product is limiting the demand.