The kids are gone, you’re tired of cleaning and upkeep and you’ve got to watch your money to make sure it lasts at long, long time. Boomers are changing their attitudes and that is translating into how they view their living arrangements. From Boomers Start Downsizing For Retirement:
…The housing market might still be uncertain, but pre-retirees and younger retirees are making downsizing plans. In a survey conducted last year for MetLife Mature Market Institute, 11% of those aged 55 to 64 said they planned to buy a different home within the next three years, and 6% had definite plans to buy sometime after that. Another 12% weren’t sure if they’d move.
…Note that downsizing isn’t the same as trading down, although it is often a good way to free up equity for living expenses. Downsizers, says Armand Christopher, the listing real estate agent on Leavelle’s house, “want a lifestyle of luxury but in a smaller size. They still want the granite.”
But aging boomers want more than granite. In place of top schools they once prized, some now demand prime locations close to cultural or recreational attractions. Debra Schatzki, president of Weiser Capital Management in New York City, has clients in their 50s from Bergen County, N.J., who always wanted to live in the city but didn’t want to raise their kids there. Last year, after their last child left for college, the couple bought their dream apartment at a good price, taking advantage of low interest rates. “They looked at this as a pre-retirement move,” Schatzki says.
…Boomers buying for the long haul are looking for good access to transit, medical care and recreation; for high-speed Internet access and security systems; and for energy-efficient appliances and such green touches as solar water heaters. It all makes sense: Sure, even with all the tax breaks available going green involves an upfront investment. But it promises to pay off in lower utility bills later, when the buyer’s income is more limited. True, in some metropolitan areas you may pay a premium for being closer to good shopping and public transit. But that could help you stay independent later, if you don’t feel up to driving.
Another investment that can pay off: universal-design elements that will let you age in place gracefully. These don’t have to be expensive, especially if you’re asking a builder to put include these features into a new home from or a planned remodeling job. These elements include wide doorways; flush thresholds from room to room; lever door handles; adjustable closet shelves; kitchen cabinets with roll-out drawers; and good lighting.
If you are moving from one state or community to another, it also pays to invest time in researching taxes. Don’t just look at rates. Look too at special provisions that exempt some or all of your pension or retirement account income. Take a hard look at real estate taxes and any special homestead breaks for seniors.
If you’ve moved around enough you’re likely to have come across the dreaded nosy neighbor. From the pathological to the occasionally annoying they’re out there – lurking in your driveway, peering over the wall, staring through the windows and accosting you when they can to probe with questions and innuendo. You can tolerate the pain only to pass it on with a move from your house or you can get proactive and try a few tricks to reduce interaction and limit visibility. You may yet have the chance to enjoy that quiet cup of coffee in your backyard. From How to Get Rid of Nosy Neighbors, howtogetridofstuff.com, Feb 9, 2009:
We all want to be friendly with our neighbors, but we also need our privacy. Some neighbors may be too friendly to the point that they start to become pesky, nosy, and far too friendly for your taste. They may start to spread gossip, bad rumors, or talk about your private life in public. Or maybe they just peer over the fence or the hedge and watch every move you and your family makes. Here are some ways to get rid of your nosy neighbors.
Why Are Some Neighbors Nosy?
Before you do anything serious or drastic, you first need to know why your neighbors are so nosy. Here are some common reasons:
- Jealousy. Maybe you live next door to a family of limited financial means, and your neighbors may be jealous of your lifestyle. They may be very nosy and check out your new home entertainment system, your new car, or the swimming pool in your backyard.
- Perversion. You may have a neighbor who is strongly attracted or even lustful after some of your more attractive family members, or may even be attracted to you.
- Idleness. It’s often said that the idle mind is a boiling pot of evil thoughts. A neighbor of yours may not have much to do, so he or she may just look out the window or peer over your fence just to pass the time. Worse, this neighbor of yours may just have enough time to spread irrelevant facts or even rumors about you.
And while there are classic nightmare neighbors – Kramer on Seinfeld, Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched – the most penetratingly evil has to be Hyacinth Bucket in the great British comedy Keeping up Appearances. Snobbish, dictatorial, grating and so utterly clueless she drove everyone around her to tears from husband to neighbors alike. So deal with your pain and maybe use a few tricks from this article but understand – it could be much worse!
Tags: nosy neighbors
As real estate agents we like to advise our clients on area traffic patterns and try to fit our client’s lifestyle, especially those with children, within the right neighborhoods. But we can’t be there to babysit so please – always remember to pay close attention to your young kids whether near a door, a pool and frankly any time they’re moving. Incidents can happen in a second….as we learn in this unique public service video: Crazy Baby’s First Steps.
Here are three articles discussing choosing between a fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgage and some facts on just what are those things called “points”.
Fixed Or Variable-Rate Mortgage: Which is Better Now?: Whether a fixed-rate mortgage or an ARM is the best choice in today’s market really depends on your unique situation as a borrower. First, you should talk to several lenders to find out what you actually qualify for given your credit score, income, down payment and other factors. It’s far more helpful to know what you’re actually working with than to choose among options that are purely theoretical. If you have a choice between a fixed-rate mortgage and an ARM, how do you decide?
Fixed Rate or Adjustable Mortgage (Interactive Form)
Points or No Points? (Interactive Form)
Need more space for your cat but can’t stand the thought of letting your feline roam free in the neighborhood? If you have way too much time on your hands and extra cash to burn through you can always spend a weekend building the wraparound exterior cat walk. Your neighbors might hate you and the HOA will probably be typing you a letter the second you start but for those few fleeting days before a forced dismantling – your cat can smell the roses and you can stand proud of your caged achievement.