Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Leisureville Takes A Look Inside The Villages

Lots of people who visit and read this blog regularly originally came here because of information I have posted about The Villages retirement community in central Florida.

Well, The Villages just got a little more famous. This past weekend the Wall Street Journal published a review of Leisureville: Adventures in America's Retirement Utopias.

One of the "utopias" chronicled happens to be The Villages. You can also read an excerpt of the book here.

Leisureville comes on the heels of another "ville" book called Nextville: Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life by Barbara Corcoran.

I'll have a review here and on Amazon.com after I've read Leisureville. If you're looking for solid advice on buying a home and living in The Villages don't forget to check out The Villages Florida Book.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Problem With Nextville

Nextville: Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life by Barbara Corcoran drops this month and I was given a copy by the publisher to review. You should also know that Barbara was kind enough to provide a quote for the advertising of my book, Florida for Boomers: A Guide to Real Estate.

Nextville is less "how-to" guide and more of a "find yourself" or "figure out whats right for you" guide. Barbara basically breaks boomers down into eight possible different lifestyle categories such as "following your passions", "living green", "losing yourself" for the soon to be ex-pat, as well as those who will choose to "stay put".

While actual "how-to buy" advice isn't as meaty as you might have hoped, there are plenty of checklists and quizzes to help guide the boomer who isn't quite sure where they want to end up or what they want to do with the next quarter century. The main strength and value of the book is that it does a great job of exploring several out of the ordinary places to think about spending your time.

Which leads me to my only bone to pick with the book. In Chapter 1, "Forget Florida" Barbara is clearly highlighting what the media is making everyone "think" is the trend, that nobody is moving to Florida anymore. The media wants everyone to believe that Florida is dead as a destination. Forget it, it fell off the map!

However, and believe me, I hear it from people everyday, folks are still researching and moving to Florida more so than any other state. There's even a book reviewed by the Wall Street Journal this weekend which chronicles the lives of folks who have moved to The Villages, located in, yup, you guessed it...Florida. (This book is called Leisureville...Leaving me wondering what's with all the "villes"?)

For good measure how about some search engine stats to back me up (Data is from Wordtracker):

Estimated Daily Searches:

Florida retirement communities: 51
Georgia retirement communities: 12
South Carolina retirement communities: 9
North Carolina retirement communities: 11
Tennessee retirement communities: 4
Virginia retirement communities: 12
Texas retirement communities: 23
Arizona retirement communities: 26
Nevada retirement communities: 4
New Mexico retirement communities: 7

You can clearly see above that interest in Florida still out paces most other states by quite a wide margin.

Lastly, and then I'm done picking on this fantastic book (I promise), is that someone needs to tell the publisher that postcard book covers are sooooo 2007 :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How To Make Sure A Retirement Community Lifestyle Is Right For You

TopRetirements has a good article here that talks about the pros and cons of retirement community living.

A compilation of input gathered from boomers who have lived the community experience, the article does not try to scare you from exploring the active adult retirement options available to you, but it does give you some things to think about before making a decision.

As with anything there are good things and bad, and what is good for you may not be good for someone else. So when reading the article, don't just rely on what someone else experienced, think about how the experience fits your 'ideal' lifestyle.

image credit: nickgraywfu at flickr

Monday, April 14, 2008

Unfinished Houses Causing Nightmares for Buyers and Neighbors

A few months ago I covered the topic of houses and communities not being completed due to bankrupt builders who have become victims of the housing market.

Mainstream media is finally catching up to us bloggers in describing the topic.

It's not only a nightmare scenario for buyers whose dream homes are not being completed, but what about the folks who've already moved in and have unfinished home sitting on either side of them?

Be smart out there.

image credit: dospaz on flickr

Friday, April 11, 2008

Boomers Want to See the Green Choices

The Chicago Tribune has a good article here on Boomers choosing to "go green" when shopping for new homes and communities.

But, this is only after their specific lifestyle and convenience needs are met. The article compares the choice to "buying a Lexus Hybrid instead of a Toyota Prius".

I've written about Boomers exploring different ways of going green here before, and no doubt it will be a noteworthy trend in years to come. Developers interested in the boomer market better get their green home plans and designs together!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

No Guarantees When Booking Flights with Struggling Airlines

Before 2006, if you were to purchase airline tickets and before taking your flight the airline were to go out of business, other airlines were required by law to honor your ticket.

Well, that's not the case anymore since Congress let this law lapse.

So with today's rash of airline failures and bankruptcies, you may not only have to research your airfare online, but also the health of each airline your considering flying with.