From a Storage Space… on The Appeal of a Second-Story L…
Thanks, Carolyn. We both agree you are the best realtor that we have worked with. You are efficient and timely. You had so much helpful information about HG and WG. We apologize for needing to terminate on the Wheeler unit, but we made the offer thinking we could drywall and rearrange kitchen lighting. in this unit the kitchen lighting situation works out and we are happy with our choice.
You went far beyond your realtor obligations in helping us with remodeling ideas, getting us into the condo to make remodeling plans, and connecting us up with Bud. You also created an atmosphere that was comfortable and fun.
We think of you as our realtor and friend. We will definitely recommend you to others.
Stop by anytime you are at HG and we will have you for dinner when remodeling is done.
Celeste and Chuck
Marijuana is Starting to Intersect with Real Estate
You don’t think of the changing status of marijuana in many states as having a real estate impact but it does. In the states where medical marijuana is decriminalized (and in Washington and Colorado, where it’s decriminalized even for non-medical use), landlords and their rental agents have a disclosure issue on their hands. The landlord has to decide whether or not the rental property accommodates marijuana use, and if so, the rental agent has to be sure to adequately disclose the policy to prospective tenants. That’s just one of the issues stemming from the changing legality of this controlled substance.
The marijuana issue is one of several trending legal issues you’ll be hearing about more in the months ahead. Fracking, which involves extracting gas from shale rock, raises contractual issues: do the rights to the gas leases convey with the property in a sale? The answer is, it depends on what you negotiate. So, agents need to be up on the contractual issues that fracking raise and also has to be able to manage buyers’ and sellers’ expectations about who gets the rights to the gas leases.
NAR Legal Affairs identifies five trending residential real estate legal issues for 2014 and discuss them in this 9-minute video. The five issues are medical marijuana, fracking, pocket listings, IDX copyright violations, and broker liability for actions of a salesperson. Each issue has its own twist. The goal of the video is to make you aware of these twists so you can have a better idea of what to do if you find yourself dealing with one of the issues this year.
Find your ideal home with my help.
I’m your SRES®
Every transition is an opportunity, regardless of your stage in life. With the right preparation, a new home can provide the fresh start and continual enjoyment you’ve been working toward.
By partnering with an SRES® like me during your new home search, you’ll gain the help and expertise of a REALTOR® specialized in meeting the needs of home buyers and sellers aged 50 plus.
I have both the education and real estate experience to serve as your trusted advisor through the unique financial and lifestyle transitions involved in relocating or selling your family home.
What is an SRES®
A Seniors Real Estate Specialist®(SRES®) is a real estate agent who is uniquely qualified to assist the 50 plus market in housing sales and purchases. The SRES® designation is awarded only to real estate agents who have additional education on how to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions.
SRES® designees also draw upon the expertise of a network of specialists, such as estate planners, CPAs, and eldercare lawyers, and are familiar with local community resources and services. Their mission is to help seniors and their families navigate the maze of financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany the sale of the home and assist Boomers in relocating to the home of their future.
What qualities make an SRES® different?
- Has knowledge, experience and compassion in dealing with 50 plus issues.
- Can suggest housing alternatives, including ones that may allow an aging parent to remain in the home instead of selling it.
- Takes a no-pressure approach to the transaction and has a strong service orientation.
- Will take the time needed to make a client feel comfortable with the complex selling process.
- Understands the emotional demands a sale can make on a 50 plus client, and tries to minimize them.
- Can interact easily with all generations, including adult children and caretakers.
- Is knowledgeable in senior housing options from active adult communities to assisted living.
- Has a wide network of other senior focused professionals who can assist in tax counseling, financial and estate planning, and other aspects of the sale and move.
I’m pleased to be your SRES®.
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Eric WcWhinnie, Wall St. Cheat Sheet7:33 a.m. EST December 22, 2013
New housing gauge — Zillow Market Health index — compares housing markes nationwide.
(Photo: Chuck Burton AP)
- Zillow Market Health index combines 10 measures of housing market strength
- If a metro area has a value of 8 on the index, it’s healthier than 80% of all metro areas
- Rapid appreciation in home values can cause significant housing affordability longer term
The aftermath of the housing bubble will likely be debated for years to come. Many analysts say the real estate market is on a path to recovery, but some are waiting for the house of cards to collapse once again, when the Federal Reserve steps back from the table. One thing is certain: Some housing markets in the country are currently stronger than others.
A new housing gauge called the Zillow Market Health Index aims to illustrate the current health of a region’s housing market relative to other markets across the nation. The index combines 10 measures capturing home value movements, the time homes stay on the market, and the financial health of homeowners. It assigns a value for each region ranging from 0 to 10. For example, if a metro area has a value of 8 on the Market Health Index, the metro is healthier than 80% of all metro areas covered by Zillow in the United States.
While the index can help determine which metros are witnessing strength, it’s important to note that rapid appreciation in home values could cause significant housing affordability issues in the longer term. There’s also no telling how long before today’s winners turn into tomorrow’s losers. This was seen during the housing bubble, when the hottest markets quickly turned into the worst. With that said, let’s take a look at the 10 healthiest housing markets in the United States.
1. San Jose, California
Market Health Index: 9.04
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 86%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 7.6%
Days on Market: 45
2. San Francisco, California
Market Health Index: 8.85
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 86%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 12.4%
Days on Market: 47
3. Los Angeles, California
Market Health Index: 8.64
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 86%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 13.2%
Days on Market: 65
4. San Diego, California
Market Health Index: 8.41
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 81%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 14.7%
Days on Market: 61
5. Denver, Colorado
Market Health Index: 8.1
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 86%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 11.9%
Days on Market: 62
6. Boston, Massachusetts
Market Health Index: 7.43
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 57%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 12%
Days on Market: 83
7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Market Health Index: 7.37
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 87%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 12.1%
Days on Market: 103
8. Portland, Oregon
Market Health Index: 6.49
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 80%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 16.9%
Days on Market: 66
9. New York, New York
Market Health Index: 6.01
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 79%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 17.3%
Days on Market: 146
10. Sacramento, California
Market Health Index: 5.99
Share of Homes Sold for Gain: 79%
Mortgages in Negative Equity: 23.4%
Days on Market: 64
Wall St. Cheat Sheet is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
5 Reasons It’s Great to be a Baby Boomer
by BILL NESS on DECEMBER 9, 2013
Baby Boomers make great company for meals as they aren’t distracted by iPhones, Facebook or Twitter!
Today’s twenty-somethings are living in a different world than the one where Baby Boomers came into adulthood. While Baby Boomers have adapted with the times, growing up in another generation has given them a different outlook. Here are just five reasons it’s great to be a Baby Boomer:
1. Baby Boomers are less connected
Sure, Baby Boomers appreciate cool technology and the convenience of having a cell phone as much as the next guy. However, they grew up with landline telephones and the idea that it was okay to be away from them for long stretches of time. It was understood, and accepted, that someone might not be available to answer the phone right away. So while Baby Boomers may now have smartphones, they are less likely to be chained to them or feel anxiety over turning them off when they don’t want to be disturbed.
2. Baby Boomers know how to dress for work
There’s no doubt that office attire has gotten more casual in most professions. Most companies favor business casual and many new start-ups let employees wear whatever they want. While jeans and t-shirts are great weekend wear, Baby Boomers see the value in dressing professionally in the workplace. They tend to take more pride in their appearance and carefully consider how they present themselves to coworkers and clients.
3. Baby Boomers enjoy dinner dates
Many Baby Boomers grew up in families where restaurants were for special occasions. Dinner dates are still a romantic occasion where they can dress up and make an effort to look their best. Dining out with friends is also a popular pastime. At the restaurant, they also know how to enjoy lively dinner conversation without distractions like tweeting pictures of their food or narrating the evening on Facebook.
4. Baby Boomers know how to volunteer
Baby Boomers are known for their efforts to make the world a better place. Today, that attitude continues as they seek out ways to volunteer for social, environmental or political causes. Many active adult communities have their own volunteerism groups or charitable organizations as well, making it even easier for Baby Boomers to find opportunities that fit their schedules.
5. Baby Boomers value their privacy
Today’s young adults think nothing of posting every detail of their lives online. Their friendships and romantic relationships play out on social media, and they even use GPS to post their location throughout the day. Baby Boomers grew up without an audience. They don’t feel compelled to share private information and they understand the value in having a little mystery in their lives.
Tagged as: Active Adult, Active Adult Living, Baby Boomer Facts, Baby Boomers
by BILL NESS on OCTOBER 23, 2013
Denver and surrounding Colorado areas offer fantastic options for retirement and active adult living.
With a walk able downtown, wide blue skies and plenty of exciting attractions, Denver, Colorado, is a fabulous spot for a memorable vacation. The Mile-High City is also a great place for an active adult retirement, as the Denver area features several impressive age-restricted communities.
Set in the South Platte River Valley, Denver is both Colorado’s capital city and largest city. Denver has been nicknamed the Mile-High City, because its official elevation is 5,280 feet, or exactly one mile, above sea level. Denver’s urban skyline features wide vistas with a mix of modern skyscrapers and distant mountains, as the city is nestled between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the High Plains to the east.
The Denver area features a comfortable climate, although winters do typically bring snow between October and April. Summer days are generally hot with average temperatures in high 80s and record highs climbing over 100 degrees. During the winter months, days tend to be in the low to mid-40s, while nights drop well below freezing, in to the high teens. Denver’s inland location at the foot of the Rocky Mountains can also lead to some sudden weather changes.
While Denver has grown into a large, modern city with beautiful architecture, it also features many parks and natural areas. The 314-acre City Park offers plenty of space to enjoy nature in the heart of the city. City Park is home to the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which is the fourth largest museum in the United States. Additionally, Denver is estimated to have over 200 parks of varying sizes, as well as 29 recreation centers.
If you want to stand exactly one mile above sea level while visiting the Mile-High City, plan a trip to the west steps of the Colorado State Capital. Other local must-see attractions include the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Visitor Center, and Confluence Park. The 16th Street Mall features a mile of shops and outdoor cafes, while the LoDo Historic District is a hip place to shop, dine or relax at a brewpub or local bar.
When it comes to active adult communities, mature homebuyers can find impressive options close to the city or spread throughout its popular suburbs. Windsor Gardens has the distinction of being the first age-restricted community within the city of Denver. Yet, despite its urban address, the community offers nearly 2,700 homes set on 143 acres of beautiful grounds. Additional active adult communities are found in many popular areas like Aurora or Highlands Ranch.
Whether planning a vacation or a mountain retirement, the Denver area is a beautiful place to shop, dine, explore and enjoy a wide range of urban attractions.
by BILL NESS on OCTOBER 11, 2013
Four Seasons at Harbor Bay offers large loft spaces ideal for special interests, recreations or hobbies.
When it comes to buying a home for retirement, many homebuyers prefer main-level living. This often leads to choosing ranch-style single-family homes, one-level attached homes or condos. However, homes with second-story lofts open up the possibility of enjoying main-level living as well as additional space which can be used in a variety of ways.
While main-level living may provide convenience and limit the need to climb stairs throughout the day, there are several reasons why it might be nice to have living areas that are separated from the rest of the house. Moving home offices and craft rooms to a second floor may make them a quieter place to work away from distractions. If you prefer to keep these frequently-used areas on the main level, moving a guest bedroom to the upper level will free up more first floor space. Having a guest suite on another floor provides more privacy as well, both for your guests and for you in your first-floor master bedroom.
Depending on the style of your home, you may use a second-story loft in a number of different ways. A loft can be a great place to put a home office, a hobby room, an exercise area, a TV room or even a playroom for visiting grandchildren. It can also work as a great, out-of-the-way storage area, and some floor plans include specifically designed storage rooms as a portion of the upper level.
There are many different designs available for homes with second-story lofts. The upper level may cover only a portion of the main floor or it may span the whole space. The loft may be a simple, open area or have fully enclosed rooms. Larger second-story lofts may feature a combination of open area, storage closets, guest bedrooms and bathrooms.
When buying a new construction home, optional full bathrooms are typically a useful addition to a second-story loft. A bathroom adds privacy and convenience to a guest suite. You will also appreciate having a bathroom near a home office, craft room, exercise room or playroom. If your floor plan only offers a small open space or a loft storage area, adding an optional bathroom may not be as important. However, additional bathrooms do usually add value to your home and they are often harder to install after the house is complete.
Second-story lofts add versatility to the convenience of main-level living. They can be a great way for active adults to find a low-maintenance home that still has space for guests, hobbies or a home office