Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boomers Go Green With Cohousing

No doubt about it, green is in. And not just the color...the movement. And why shouldn't it be baby boomers at the forefront?

Read about the Wolf Creek Lodge [via TreeHugger] in Grass Valley, California. The Wolf Creek Lodge is a "Cohousing" community for active adults. If you've never heard of cohousing, here's a description from the Wolf Creek website:

"Cohousing communities are small-scale neighborhoods that provide a balance between personal privacy and living amidst people who know and care about each other. Individual dwelling units enjoy convenient access to shared space including a common house with facilities such as a gourmet kitchen, dining room, laundry facilities, guest rooms, library and sitting areas, and workshops. Each home is entirely self-sufficient, complete with a kitchen, but residents often prepare common meals together in the kitchen of the common house."

The environmental benefits of cohousing are achieved through the sharing of resources and space.

While there are currently less than 100 cohousing communities in the United States, look for that number to grow as boomers look for ways to go green and also look for alternatives to the traditional retirement community concept.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Retirement Community Politics

Great article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune about the massive effect retirement communities can have on elections.

The article focuses on The Villages and the 2008 Republican primary.

A large majority of "Villagers" are republicans, and candidates regularly stump there.

Even this guy made a stop there leading up to the 2004 election.

The Villages Homes May Exceed Standards...Get an Inspection Anyway

Came across this article in The Villages Daily Sun about homes that have been built since 2002 in The Villages exceeding the required construction standards.

While homes in the area where The Villages is located need to be built to withstand 100 mph winds, they are engineered and built to withstand 110 mph winds. Wa-la-ya but...

The article implies that you shouldn't bother having a home inspection done...that all home inspectors are crooks and aren't licensed anyway. If you've read any of my books, you'll know I strongly recommend having a home inspection done before buying a home matter how it was supposedly "engineered and built".

Lots can happen once "certified" house plans leave the building department office. Always best to be safe and get an extra set of eyes on the house before going forward.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bloomberg: "Market to get worse in '08"

On the heals of my post the other day about possible real estate market optimism for 2008, Bloomberg has a report today saying things will get worse in 2008.

According to some experts quoted in the article hope for a turnaround in best. Bad news for homebuilders, mortgage lenders and the like.

Good news if you're a boomer looking to get a good deal and don't have a house to sell first.

Boomer Golf News

Wanted to let you know about a new website

The goal of this new site is to cover the world of golf as it relates to the largest segment of the population playing golf, baby boomers.

Look for articles and features on boomers still making a living on the tour, ways you can enjoy the game more as well as improve, new courses to check out in your travels and more.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What will the real estate market do in '08? Who can you trust?

I'm skeptical when I hear that all of a sudden, despite credit and mortgage woes galore, that the housing market is all of a sudden going to get better in 2008. Especially when the folks preaching this info. are "in the biz".

Believe me, I want it to get better too. But pretending like it will get better is about as good as praying for it to happen.

I ran in to this article today in the Herald Tribune (Southwest Florida) about a report saying that New Home sales have reached a bottom. Thankfully, the report is from a researcher at the University of Florida, and not from the Association of Realtors or the Home Builders.

So, hopefully we can trust this report without being too skeptical. While it certainly isn't exceptionally cheery (sales sales will be flat for the next year, but not declining), it isn't the worst news one could receive if they've got Florida real estate on the brain.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Think Airport Security is Bad Now?

If you think airport security is bad now, just wait until TSA gets its grimy hands on even more of your private data.

Read this post from about TSA's push to get even more control of your private data.

It's sure to tick you off...

Picture from nedrichards on flickr

Pet Showers, No Smoking HOA's, Oh My!

Here is an article from RISMedia on the hottest homebuying trends for 2008. Two of them really caught my eye and I wanted to share them with you here.

Shower for Fido
The first is pet showers. Maybe you've heard of this before, or maybe you thought yes, I put my pet in the shower too, so what?

That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about an dedicated shower JUST FOR your pet. In some cases these have marble tile and the highest level of shower fixtures. Pretty cool if you're a pet lover.

No Smoking by Order of The HOA
The next trend for 2008 which we're starting to hear more about is "Non-smoking HOA's". What like you mean I can't smoke at the clubhouse? Ok, I'm used to not being able to smoke in public anyway.

Nope, I mean you can't smoke in your own home. This rule was already upheld in one court case but I'm sure we'll start seeing lots more cases being tried on this topic before long.

So, let me ask my readers: Any interest in a shower just for your pet, or desire to live in a no smoking allowed HOA?

Photos by bchow and wizardhat respectively on flickr