Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Snowbird Property Checklist

Great article at about what snowbirds should do to prepare their homes and properties for the months that they will be away from them. Read the article here.

The article mentions turning off the main water valve and the hot water heater, and while I agree with this advice, when you return make sure to turn the water back on, before the hot water heater. The hot water heater has coils inside that can burn up if they are on with no water passing through them. I mentioned this in my new book Florida for Boomers: A Guide to Real Estate

Sit on Trump

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is invading your home. Pretty soon, you can furnish your new home in the sunbelt with the Donald Trump line of home furnishings, "Trump Home" by Lexington Brands. It certainly begs the question... what's next? Appliances... plumbing fixtures (toilet that says "You're fired!" everytime you flush?)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

North Carolina "Home Tax" transfer tax increase in the works

Buying and selling a home in North Carolina might get a little bit more expensive later this year if some local leaders and legislators have their way. NC already has a .2% deed stamp tax (by comparison, Florida's is .7%). But some people in local and state governments are saying thats not enough to fuel North Carolina's growth and want to add an additional transfer tax (Realtors opposing the measure are calling it a "Home Tax") of up to 1% ($1,000 for every $100,000 of the sales price).

Read the full article in the Greensboro News-Record

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Retirement "Spotlight Shines On The Sun Belt"

(Photo from
Found this article in Investor's Business Daily about the Sun Belt being the ideal destination for retirees.

"Florida and its beaches remain a popular place to spend the sunset years, yet the current hottest retirement destination doesn't even have a coastline: It's Arizona."

A study by a University professor spotlights the top areas the over 60 set are moving to. "According to Wake Forest University professor Charles Longino, a gerontologist who studies the migration of people 60 and older, the top retirement destinations for Americans are the counties that include the following metropolitan areas:
• 1. Phoenix.
• 2. Las Vegas.
• 3. West Palm Beach, Fla.
• 4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
• 5. St. Petersburg, Fla.
• 6. Fort Myers, Fla.
• 7. Tucson, Ariz.
• 8. Los Angeles.
• 9. Sarasota, Fla."

I had planned the first follow-up to Florida for Boomers to be Carolinas for Boomers. But after seeing this perhaps Arizona for Boomers will be the next book in the for Boomers series. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Retirement Community Amenities: Clubhouse, tennis, shuffleboard, swimming pool... Nintendo?

What sort of amenities are you looking for in a retirement community? A recent story highlights the hottest new amenity in retirement communties: The Nintendo Wii. The race is on to see which builder/developer will give one away with every house sold.

Copy and paste this into your browser for the full story:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Thinking of starting a new business when you retire?

If you are, I've got good news. Several top states for retirement are also ranked as the most business-friendly states.
Here's the top five: 1) Virginia (it's for lovers...and businesses) 2) South Carolina 3) Florida 4) North Carolina and number 5) Utah

Read the full story

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

UF: Florida single-family housing hits bottom

From an article in the Jacksonville Business Journal
A University of Florida study suggests the state's single-family residential housing market has bottomed out.
"If you're thinking of buying a house, there's probably not much to be gained by holding out at this point," said Wayne Archer, director of UF's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. "It doesn't look like prices are going to fall anymore." Read the entire article.
My take:
It's certainly starting to look like the perfect storm: Lots of homes to choose from, great incentives, we haven't had a hurricane in months!, and if they do away with the property taxes look for demand (and pricing) to start heading back up. If you're still on the fence about Florida, it might be time to start thinking about getting off.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No More Property Tax

If you've been reading this blog regularly, you know that property taxes will be a hot topic in Florida for the foreseeable future. Here's more on the subject:

From the website

"Skyrocketing property tax bills, combined with the high cost of insurance and energy, are breaking the backs of Floridians. The cumulative impact is hurting our economy and threatening our quality of life. As our wallets get skinnier, government gets fatter. Since 2000, government income from property taxes grew by 99%, while Floridians’ income only grew by an average of 44%. Floridians have the power to stop the out-of-control property tax bills and out-of-hand government spending. But we need Legislators to give us the chance to let our voice be heard. Learn more about the plan, calculate your savings under the plan and tell your Legislator you want your chance at the ballot box to vote NO to property taxes."

To learn more, and to sign a petition endorsing the plan to eliminate property tax in Florida, visit No More Property Tax

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Psychology of a real estate market crash

Real estate crash or no crash...if you own real estate in Florida, or you're considering buying some, you're interested in what's going on with the market. This article from the Herald Tribune provides some good insight into the psychology going on behind the scenes of the Florida real estate market.
Theorist: As real estate investors emerge from denial, expect grief

Friday, March 9, 2007

Baby Boomer Moving and Housing Trends

Good article at on where baby boomers are moving to. The article suggests that most boomers will be moving "across town" rather than to other parts of the country.

Read the article here

So, where are you moving to?