A new, rapidly growing “village” movement where seniors help other seniors in the same geographic area is gaining momentum across the country. According to The Fiscal Times, “Many different models are emerging, with 50 already in existence around the country and a whopping 600 in development.” “People who join Villages are planners,” notes Elinor Ginzler, senior vice president for livable communities at AARP. “The notion of either delaying or avoiding institutional care is exactly why these folks joined.”
The need for long-term care is expected to double between the beginning of this century and 2040, which makes village movements even more practical with the skyrocketing costs of institutional care and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
An “aging in community” program collects a very reasonable, annual fee to both coordinate and deliver an organized service package. This includes services such as transportation to stores and medical visits. People join for other reasons too, such as, for the social aspect, the parties, and the convenience offered. Discounts and savings are just an extra plus. As a result, isolation is reduced and seniors can remain safe and secure in their own homes.
One of the first and perhaps best-known village movements occurred in the venerable Beacon Hill district in Boston, Massachusetts, a 450 – member village that launched 10 years ago. The impact was immediate. Calls poured in from around the country; in 2007, the Beacon Hill Village shared their knowledge with 250 members of a national conference. Shortly after, villages began to pop up throughout the U.S.
Many members discover new social connections as volunteers in the neighborhood. The community aspect is a key reason for joining. Only a few of the Beacon Hill members need home health care, however, many members and their loved ones find it reassuring to know the people and resources that can help if and when such a need arises, whether the need is temporary (e.g. after surgery) or long-term.
In the Beacon Hill Village, the age of members range from 51 to 99. However, most tend to be in their early 70’s. How does pricing work at the original Beacon Village? There are two types of memberships: an individual, which is $640 a year, and a household at $890 a year. In addition, help is available for those who are struggling financially.
Many of you out there may be questioning whether or not you should buy real estate. You may be wondering is it really a good time to buy or should I wait? The thought has probably crossed your mind that, us, real estate agents would push buying a house on you regardless of the current market situation.
So with that said, we figure it’s probably time for you to hear some outside information from people other than real estate agents.
According to an article written by Jim Woods, in The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, “If you’re a long-term investor looking to put money to work, now is not really the best time to get into any of these three asset classes. However, with home sales starting to improve, and with prices now possibly forming a bottom, real estate could well be the asset class that represents the best low-risk buying opportunity out there today.”
If his statement still has not caught your attention then read what he goes on to say later, “Yes, mortgage rates still are near historical lows, but if we see these rates rise, then the cost of a new home could climb significantly. So, now could really be the best time to pull the trigger on that home purchase — and it could also be your best investment right now.”
It’s no surprise that there has been an increase in the number of foreclosed home over the past year but with this increase there are things to know about which houses to buy and which to walk away from.
Get it checked out by a professional. It’s as the old saying goes, ‘you can’t judge a book by it’s cover,’ just because you’ve fallen in love with the appearance of a house does not mean it is a good buy. For all you know there could be mold growing beneath the surface or foundation walls caving in. By having a professional inspect the house you can truly know what repairs are in store.
Remember common real estate logic. Don’t just try to focus on price when looking at a foreclosed home remember other important things such as location, school district, lighting, the local crime rate, and any other reasons that would have caused the home to become foreclosed. Don’t just assume that the previous owners financial troubles were the reason for foreclosure. A few things to take note of are how long the property has been foreclosed and if there are many other foreclosed home in the area as that might not be a good sign.
Skip the flip. Flipping homes is not as popular as it once was. Many people see great potential when they look at a house but what they don’t consider well enough is the price. If you’re not a pro with incredible contracting connections then the price you believe the house will cost to flip is probably going to be three times that amount. Before giving into temptation talk to a real-estate professional or a home inspector.
Don’t go over the budget. Fixing up houses can cost you a decent amount, before you buy make sure you have enough cash, more than half, saved up for those fixes. The interest on taking out a loan will chip away at the initial foreclosure bargain.
Always see it in person before you make a decision.
As of recently, homebuyer’s across the country are having more difficult with financing. If you’re a homebuyer and you’re wondering why this is getting harder to do, well, one of the reasons could be that investor activity is dominating a distressed national market.
Cash transactions set a new record in February, accounting for 33.7 percent of purchases. This increase in cash caused a rise in investor activity, which accounted for 23.5 percent of home purchases in Feb. this up from 19.9 percent in December.
According to a real estate agent in Arizona who participated in the latest HousingPulse tracking survey, “There are a number of investors and businesses buying up the short sale and REO properties and renovating them and selling them as traditional sales.”
To note what is also going on in housing market, the Distressed Property Index fell 2.3 percent from Jan. to Feb., this being the first time it has dropped since last fall.
It’s a problem most of us have had to deal with or one we hope we never do. But for those of us that have and would like to prevent this disaster from happening again there are some things that can be done.
One of the main reasons for the abundant amount of flooding in the early spring is not due to the melted snow but from a combination of the frozen ground around the foundation de-thawing and the heavy arrival of spring rains. With this increased amount of water if your sump pump fails then flooding will most likely occur.
Sump pump failure is one of the most common reasons for basement flooding/water damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Water damage— including sump pump overflow, frozen and burst pipes—has accounted for about 22 percent of all residential insurance claims. The average claim was $5,531.”
A few ways to prevent failure are to check the sump basin for any type of debris that might have built up, inspect the “check” valve to insure that it is properly installed, clean the weep holes out with a toothpick, and install a back-up power source.