There is an awful lot of discussion about the impending retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the impact that they are and will continue to have on the real estate market.Â I noted it here a little while ago. The CharlAlbemarle area has very little housing that is suitable (mostly single-level living, Universal Design, (and here)conveniently located near efficient public transport) for the 55+ crowd.Â One of the only single-family developments (condos excluded) designed for retiring baby boomers is at least 20 minutes north of the City – with no public transportation at all….Â While the houses may not suit today’s lifestyles – open floorplans and kitchens, master suites, at least 2300 finished square feet – they have that other major criterion – Location.Â What will the landscape look like in thirty or forty years when these now new developments (I am reluctant to call some of these new incarnations “neighborhoods” just yet) start to experience their own turnover?…Â The current trend for Gens X and Y is toward smaller, smarter spaces rather than large, sprawling McMansions plopped into a field somewhere.Â This seems to me to be two incompatible trends poised to collide at some point.A Rismedia story noted:Three out of five (baby boomers) say their idea of the perfect location to retire is in a rural area or small town, with only 12 percent saying an urban or city setting, and nearly half would consider living in an age-restricted community; 38 percent want to be close to family.If money were no object, access to quality health care is important to more Boomers than being on a golf course (38 percent vs. 4 percent).Â Ideally, they would like to live in a rural area with access to quality health care.
Always be vigilant about your identity.Â Your credit history is probably the greatest determinant as to whether you can purchase a house (or car, or get phone service, or insurance …Â ).This is the story of a piece of paper no bigger than a credit card, thrown away in a dustbin on the Heathrow Express to Paddington station.Â It was nestling among chewing gum wrappers and baggage tags, cast off by some weary traveller, when I first laid eyes on it just over a month ago. …Â I picked up the stub, mindful of a conversation I had had with a computer security expert two months earlier, and put it in my pocket.If the expert was right, this stub would enable me to access (the traveler’s) personal information, including his passport number, date of birth and nationality.Â It would provide the building blocks for stealing his identity, ruining his future travel plans – and even allow me to fake his passport.From this weekend’s Guardian.There have been reports of identity thieves using vacant houses in the area to have their stolen identities’ good delivered to.Â It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.
As always, thanks to CvillePodcast and WNRN.Â Does the idea of buying a house make you feel like curling up into a ball?Â Relax!Â Itâ€™s actually a pretty straight-forward process, according to Jim Duncan and Matt Hodges.Â Jim is a realtor with Century 21 Manley Associates, and Matt is with Compass Home Loans.Â I haven’t been on the radio before; it was an interesting experience and hopefully we answered some questions today.
Realtors or the public (those who are thinking about buying or selling)?Â I pay more to have my listings featured on Realtor.com as a marketing service for my clients and potential clients.Â Now Realtor.com wants to sell leads generated by my listings back to me or someone else who is more willing to pay the big bucks?Â More incentive not to renew next year.Am I off base?Â Russ at RCG has a report from the NAR convention.
Are they worth it?ProBut listing and selling houses via Open Houses has always been â€œmy thingâ€.Â I have provided some online training on the subject to agents around the Country, and still there are some agents who can honestly say that they have never sold a house from an Open House.ConOn average, public opens generate less than 2% in sales.Â In other words, less than 2% of the time a public open house sells the home to an open house visitor.Â I tend to agree with Merv – Open Houses for Realtors are an excellent opportunity to market your listings to other Realtors – the ones who most likely will bring a buyer.Â Public open houses tend to attract nosy neighbors, career lookers and those who frequently have nothing better to do.Â However, I would love to be able to crack the nut the way Ardell has.
Reading the national news on the changing market leaves one no better off than before reading.Inman:”Many of the fundamentals for housing are at a crossroads: Inflation, interest rates, demand, household incomes, prices, and whether homes are a good investment compared to other investments.Â Summer is going to be interesting to say the least,” Prentice said.Apparently from the same press release: “Right now sellers are sticking to their price,” Los Angeles Realtor Brock Harris says.Â “Weâ€™re seeing a lot of over-optimistic sellers and increasingly cautious buyers.Â Thatâ€™s keeping a lot of inventory on the market.”…Â “At some point someoneâ€™s going to drop their price.Â People will see that as the new comp and itâ€™ll be a domino effect.”CNN:Charlottesville (area) properties will appreciate 2.6% from 2006 to 2007.Â HT: Urban TrekkerBernake (via WSJ)In a question and answer session following a speech at the Chicago Fed’s annual banking conference, Mr. Bernanke said it “seems pretty clear that the housing market is cooling,” though he added that the slowdown is “orderly and moderate.”Who knows?Â My prediction remains – properties will continue to appreciate, yet not nearly at the same precipitous rate that they have for the past several years.