Archive: March 2008
A recent study of 150 Coldwell Banker brokers around the country reveals that more empty-nester Baby Boomers are eager to leave their current homes once their children have moved out. The primary motivator for making this change is the desire to downsize. It was quite common in the past for people to live in the same home from marriage until retirement. Many homeowners viewed their homes as a long-term investment worth staying in for many years. The study indicates that that attitude is slowly waning.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a 2.9 percent increase in the number of homes sold in February over January's total. The total brings the seasonally adjusted pace of sales to 5.03 million, up from January's rate of 4.89 million. The news marks the first month-over-month rise since July 2007. "These are signs that housing's problems are being addressed, but I wouldn't break out the champagne yet," said Northern Trust chief economist Paul Kasriel. "We still have a ways to go."
As Americans reach retirement age many are already planning the next phase of their lives, although a recent study by Transamerica reveals that many Americans are not quite ready for retirement. In fact, one-third of Americans 50 and older are not confident they will have enough money to retire. In addition, two-thirds feel they will have to continue to work well into their golden years before they can retire.
Anyone watching the real estate market over the last several years knows that the media has not exactly been painting a very promising picture on the thought of home ownership. With a real estate market that has seen its worst performance in several decades, this certainly comes as no surprise. A recent article on Time.com, however, considers this idea: ignore the headlines. With the current depressed real estate market, now may present some of the best home buying opportunities people will see for a while.
Although it may still be winter outside, it will not be long until enthusiastic golfers are shining up their clubs and hitting the links. Many of Chicagoland's most dedicated retirement-age golfers spend their winters in warmer places like Arizona and Florida. While it is true that the most serious of golfers head south for the winter, the fact is most 55+ golfers remain right here in Chicago. Even though golf is no longer the main attraction at most active retirement communities, it still remains a popular past time for much of the 55+ crowd. For those 55+ golfers who want to live in an active adult community AND have access to a golf course, we have compiled a list of Chicago active adult golf communities.
It is a question that many potential home buyers are asking themselves right now. On one hand, there are many compelling reasons to purchase at this time. On the other hand, there are many reasons buyers are afraid to take the leap when the market is so uncertain. The Chicago Tribune recently analyzed this question and made a convincing argument for either situation. Reasons to Buy 1) Selection: In today's slower market, selection is plentiful. Plus, buyers do not have to feel pressured to make a decision on the spot. Buyers can take their time and browse through numerous listings to find a home that suits their tastes without having to feel like they are settling for what is available. 2) Mortgage Rates: Rates are still very attractive. As long as you have good credit and are not taking out a jumbo loan, you can likely find a 30-year mortgage for under six percent.
For people seeking an active adult community in Chicago's southwest suburbs, names like Carillon, Grand Haven and Carillon Lakes often come to mind. This pocket of active adult communities stretches along Weber Road from I-55 south to Renwick Road. Combined, these communities are home to nearly 4,000 households. Carillon has been around since the late 1980's and Carillon Lakes and Grand Haven opened in the early 2000's. As a result, many of the 55+ crowd near south and southwest Chicago gravitate towards this area when they are ready to move to an active adult community. Yet, just a little further down I-55 there is Shorewood Glen by Del Webb.
For years, studies have analyzed the affects of pets on human health. While the results are still regarded as inconclusive by some, many point to obvious signs that pets can make their owners happier and healthier people. Here are just a few of the ways pets can improve the well-being of their owners: 1) A pet has been a proven way of reducing stress. The simple act of petting an animal can reduce heart rates. 2) Pets encourage their owners to exercise. Dogs are not the only ones who benefit from a long walk!
As Boomers grow older, the desire to stay physically fit is a top priority. Many 55+ aged adults are finding the ability to reinvent themselves and stay more physically fit by moving to active retirement communities. Nearly every active adult community offers some type of fitness center. Some communities are now offering mega workout facilities complete with fitness instructors, plenty of cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights and flat screen televisions. Other communities, however, may only offer a hapless attempt at a fitness center by designating a small room in their recreation lodge as the fitness room and adding a few machines. One thing seems for sure though, no matter how big or small the fitness center is, the community will surely promote the fact that they offer "state-of-the-art" fitness facilities.
The National Association of Home Builder's (NAHB) 50+ Housing Council recently published an interesting report about the latest trends in the active adult market. The report confirms several of the trends 55Places.com has spotted in the industry. Specifically, the 50+ Housing Council noted that while buyers are downsizing, it is not by much and most 55+ home buyers will stay close to their current home when they make their next purchase. The NAHB estimates that in the next year over a quarter of a million people will buy homes in age-restricted communities specifically designated for people 55 and older. New home builders will build over 100,000 units in active adult and retirement communities in order to meet this demand.