RETIREMENT REAL ESTATE …..WE ARE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE

Help…we need someplace to live!

motorcycle packed for the road
While I am not quite ready to be as nomadic as having everything I own on the back of a bike, I do have a strong desire to live more simply and only own things that we truly need and want to take care of. I bet everything in this guy’s bundle is very dear to him and appreciate this concept. However, even as we reinvent our lives, we are still in the camp that we need walls!
Dream Home
Wait a minute, didn’t we already buy our dream house? Isn’t every new home we buy “the one”? So why is it when we are looking for what we think is perhaps our last dream home we can’t find a single contender? Ah, let me count the ways.

As so the hunt begins…

The Rooster is an excellent surveyor of real estate. In fact, all of our lifelong friends know better than to ever relocate to live near us because our places of residence were ever changing for years. Once we bought a house on the way back from the grocery and told the agent to hurry up because we had milk in the car. Another time one of our son-in-laws realized he had never seen one of our places before we moved on. We thought we were pretty savvy until we plopped down in the area we wanted to retire, with a pocket full of funds and and hearts full of dreams. (after all, we had worked a lifetime preparing for this!)

Bayview with sailboats
What’s that saying in real estate…location, location, location? Well, when as we are looking for our retirement dream homes we all want a view like this. Right? Yes, and also we’d like 3 bedrooms(for all the guests), but we can settle for 2 baths. We really do not want to do renovations but do not want to live in a cookie cutter place. We’d like a pool, a garage and be able to park a car in the driveway. (good plan because there is going to be too much stuff we saved from our other places, and will have to give away, that we won’t be able to park cars in there for awhile ) We’d like a gated community, (throw in full time security), golf, tennis, clubhouse all with low HOA fees and no CDD. And “even though it’s not about the money”, our mind’s budget is so unrealistic we probably will get an honorable mention in our darling real estate agent’s weekly therapy session.
old kitchen with too much stuff
Being the troopers they are, real estate agents will grant our request to show us what “is” in the price point “because we are not going over budget!”. This example above may be a tad extreme, but this is what we saw. Heck, we even looked at two or three because surely “we” can find a deal and they can’t all be like this. Time loss…3-4 weeks. Advice: watch those listing descriptions and when the key feature are the ceiling fans, in retirement areas, it’s the same as words like “charming” or “quaint” from where we came from. (we bought several of those by the way)

Black Stainless Appliances in White Kitchen
Next up are the new “retirement” neighborhoods that seem to pop up overnight. New construction can be a nice option for those who have time. The developer’s initial pricing is attractive and the opportunity to choose the finishes exists. The selections are at times limited, have to be made in a half day and are not able to be changed. Upgrades may be what some of the same features standard in our past homes. Build-out times can be long, closing dates are missed and temporary housing has to be considered. (After all, our last dream home sold quickly because it was so appealing and now we have no where to live. Remember that nomad cycle above?) Our agents have now spent endless hours earnestly trying to find our unicorn. Therefore, we always tell a developer that we are working with an agent and give them all their contact information. They will not make the same amount of commission from an independent sale, but they will be compensated in some manor. My sincere suggestion is that if you know from the beginning you are going to build a home, and do not wish to have an agent represent you, talk with the sales office directly. I hate to see anyone work in such good faith without ever being paid. Have questions? The agent that sold your last home will always be happy to refer you to a local agent, or contact the developer on your behalf.
Water view condo
Ok, if new construction is not is not for you, then you have to wrap your head around the price you are going to pay for the home that really is closer to your dream home. Then you have to deal with the age of a property, home owners association fees, possible assessments and that not all places will let fido come along. None of these factors can not be overcome, just be sure to do your due diligence. Again, your real estate agent is invaluable at getting info for you at pretty much all the crazy hours these questions pop up in your head. After all, this is where you are going to start your reinvention and your agent is delighted to assist for you to stay excited about the property!
One side note, something that maybe hard to overcome is the initial impression of a property because of the taste and decor of the current owner. Keep in mind all the furnishings and personal items you are planning on bringing to the new abode. Soon this place will evolve just as you imagined and become your dream home. If not, there is always Facebook Marketplace and someone will come and haul off those goodies that were just so “you” before! Try not to calculate what you have paid to pack, move, and store that wall unit the new tv won’t even fit in. Go have dinner and have an adult beverage, near the water, instead. You are really on your way to the life you have dreamed of!


Want to see more about the retirement abode we have settled into…click on The Roost in the menu. Everyday is a holiday here!


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