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Old 01-10-2016, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,134 posts, read 23,019,359 times
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OP, why would you need to rent before you retire? First retire. Then go rent somewhere to see if it's a good fit. If not, go rent somewhere else, until you find a place you love. Then buy. Or heck, never buy. There's a lot of freedom in renting.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,288 posts, read 4,162,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceOwl View Post
I want trees taller than 5 ft. , we have looked at all age groups, and my age is 66. Of the established ten year old communities, I noticed almost everyone was older than me, the places are more quiet. I'm thinking we would feel less trapped in a younger community with people in our age group.

Golf and activities nearby are a big factor. We also want some space around us something to look at other than windows and patios.

It's a difficult age, like we don't fit in either stage,the young or old!


I'm in a ten year old community and I'm one of the youngest ones there, but give it ten years and I should be in the middle of the pack. Besides, I have more in common with someone 15 years older than me than I do with someone 15 years younger than me.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,947,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceOwl View Post
I want trees taller than 5 ft. , we have looked at all age groups, and my age is 66. Of the established ten year old communities, I noticed almost everyone was older than me, the places are more quiet. I'm thinking we would feel less trapped in a younger community with people in our age group.

Golf and activities nearby are a big factor. We also want some space around us something to look at other than windows and patios.

It's a difficult age, like we don't fit in either stage,the young or old!
Lots of trees over 5' in many places. Either as a result of developers not clear cutting all existing trees or planting new ones. In our HOA (not 55+) - when people/builders were building new houses - they were often required to install a certain number of large mature trees if their lot didn't have enough of them.

If you're interested in golf - that can help you narrow things down. You can narrow things down more if you add in weather preferences. You can narrow things down a lot more if you want an area of at least a certain population size with certain amenities. A final filter is budget. In all honesty - if you have pretty specific needs/wants along these lines - you're not going to wind up with that many choices in terms of geographical areas.

OTOH - if you're ok with a generic 55+ golf community that - for example - may be 2 hours away from a major airport - an hour away from major shopping or a major hospital - etc. - well there are tons of those in many states in the country - including states in the southeast (including Florida) - Arizona - Nevada - etc. I find that at my age - I am wanting to be more in the "thick of things" than I am now - not farther away. Not that I am that far away now. It's just that most of Florida isn't even semi-urban. It's mostly suburban and very car-dependent.

BTW - I am 68 and a golfer too. And I agree with you about the age thing. Many people my age still aren't retired or living in senior communities. And many people in the senior communities are a decade or more older than I am. I also think that if I want to be more in the thick of things - it won't be possible to do that until/unless we give up playing golf. FWIW - if you're interested in golf - you might take a look here in NE Florida. The area isn't exactly undiscovered these days like it was when we first moved here - but it's a pretty good smaller metro area for golfers. We have dozens of golf courses (all flavors of membership types). Robyn
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,802 posts, read 4,851,439 times
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I'm 56 and DH is 61, and we're certainly at the younger end of the age spectrum for retirees in our community. We have plenty of friends in our own age group and older. We also belong to several clubs and congregate with folks for special purposes. Age has not really been an issue for us. We do tend to lean towards the late boomers as we can relate more on things like music and common experiences, but we also have some very close friends who are 10 to 15 years older. It helps that our community is geared toward many outdoor activities, so there is a lot of participation by people of all ages in those activities and it seems to keep folks healthy I guess. Our POA and marketing department is also aware of the need for newer retirees to move here, so they benchmark similar communities and our long term planning is directed by dual tracks, 1) to bring in younger retirees we need the things they are looking for such as walking paths, kayak facilities, party pavilions, farmer's market, etc and 2) how to keep our older residents from "aging out" and moving back to their children, or into IL, by meeting their needs for rides, smaller homes, assistance with maintenance, etc. It helps that the community is so service-oriented. The level of volunteerism and help that neighbors give one another here is amazing. I've never met people so helpful, and at the same time so trusting of their neighbors. It's refreshing because I've never lived anywhere like this before.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:23 AM
 
29,808 posts, read 34,894,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
If you're considering a move to an area that's totally new to you - I think it's important to rent first. To get not only a feel for a particular community - but the area in general. Whether you're talking about the weather - the traffic - the availability of services/activities you need/want - etc. Also - not all areas have newer and older retirement communities. An area you like may have one or the other - but not both. Or an area may have older communities that are closer to things - and newer ones that are farther away from things (that's the case in the area where I live).

I don't think renting is a big deal. You sell your old place - rent a new place - and move. If you like the area - you buy/build. If you don't - you move again. BTW - if a place is totally new to you - living there before you buy/build can be very important in terms of getting a handle on things like the local real estate market - and the things that are important in a house. I find that buyers coming here from up north are often clueless when it comes to the features that are important in a Florida house (as opposed to a house in Massachusetts or a similar location). Also - if you wind up buying a new house (which I would prefer - my husband and I have never been "fixer upper" kind of people) - I think it's super important for the buyer to be around when the house is being built. I've seen/read many horror stories about new houses that were built without supervision from owners (because they lived out of town).

Finally - a lot of 55+ communities here - even newer ones - have resident populations that are 70+ (or older). That's something you'll have to look into - community by community. Robyn
What always needs to be said and is especially true when relocating is to have a very good buyers agent who know the area and the important points you have noted. They can also monitor the construction negotiate a better deal for you and most importantly the seller pays for them not you. Selling agents can love buyers agents who have the right personality and can hopefully get them more business. We have had the same buyers agent for both places in NC and she was a gem and saved us money.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
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Robyn hit the nail on the head about what are one's wants. As an example, I play golf 3-4 times a week so golf and the weather to play year round are tops on my list so that in itself limits me to specific geographical areas.

One other major thing is trusting any developer to come through with the amenities they promised. I would not be buying unless all was in place thus this typically means a deep pockets, national builder such as Del Webb/Pulte.

My good friend (retired CPA, former HOA BOD President) lives in Sun City Hilton Head (Bluffton SC) and he loves the fact that Pulte is still in charge and will be for some years as they keep expanding. He says the owners taking over would be like the inmates running the asylum.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,947,745 times
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Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
What always needs to be said and is especially true when relocating is to have a very good buyers agent who know the area and the important points you have noted. They can also monitor the construction negotiate a better deal for you and most importantly the seller pays for them not you. Selling agents can love buyers agents who have the right personality and can hopefully get them more business. We have had the same buyers agent for both places in NC and she was a gem and saved us money.
The bolded is a common misconception. Sellers' brokers often split their commissions with buyers' brokers (just like sellers' brokers split them) - or a FSBO seller can offer half a commission to any broker who brings in a buyer. But the buyer is always paying the commission - because it's baked into the cake (the price of the house):

So what’s the "con" of going with a "pro"? Money. You may have heard that the seller pays the buyer’s agent commission (commonly 2.25 percent to 3.5 percent), but the fact is that the commission is often wrapped into the house price. In other words, sellers factor in the cost of commissions when they price their homes. Typically, the listing agent and the buyer's agent split the commission from the transaction.
“The funds come off the seller’s side, creating the illusion that the seller pays,” says Jay Reifert of the Excel Exclusive Buyer’s Agency in Madison, Wis. “But you are the only one bringing money to the closing table.”

Learn the Pros and Cons of a Buyer's Agent | Real Estate Tips | HGTV

FWIW - we saved a fair amount of money last time around buying our lot directly from a developer using a broker - but then building the house ourselves - after negotiating a contract directly with the builder (who had nothing to do with the developer). IOW - we only paid a commission on the lot - not the house.

When it comes to construction contracts - I don't think most real estate agents are competent to write them or negotiate them. That's the province of (real estate) lawyers. I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to have gone through about 5 (smaller) commercial/residential jobs/contracts before we built the house - so I pretty much knew what I was doing at that point. Still - it took a fair amount of time to come up with a good contract. I see some "boiler plate" construction contracts that real estate brokers bring to their clients - mostly from developers. They are simply awful. Drawn up by the developers' lawyers - with few or no buyer protections. Even when it comes to something as simple as having provisions if the construction isn't finished on time - or detailing what the buyer's remedies are if there are issues with mechanics' liens.

Also - what leads you to believe that any - much less all - real estate agents are competent to supervise construction? They're not architects - and they're not engineers. Both of the latter are competent to supervise construction - but they're going to cost you. We had an architect - but elected not to pay him extra to be a "supervising architect" (a term of art under Florida law - which involves a lot more than than the occasional inspections specified in our somewhat standard AIA contract). We did have a consulting engineer who drew up the specs for certain parts of the project - like the roof - and he inspected the construction of the parts he specified to make sure that the construction was in accordance with the specs.

This is not to say that a real estate agent can't be of some use. But you always have to remember that the main goal of the real estate agent is to get a sale and a commission. Which isn't necessarily compatible with the buyer's goal of winding up in the best retirement area/dwelling for his/her needs. Robyn
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,993 posts, read 7,766,040 times
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What Robyn says about how/having a "custom" home build is true. That said, in most retirement villages/developments while you will have a choice of models, options, etc. you will typically not be having a "custom" home built. The recent trend (I know Del Webb, Pulte is doing such) has been to throw more into the base cost and limit the option selections. In some places one use to spent a full day or more in their "Design Center" choosing options which often raised the base price by as much as 30% or more.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,947,745 times
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Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
What Robyn says about how/having a "custom" home build is true. That said, in most retirement villages/developments while you will have a choice of models, options, etc. you will typically not be having a "custom" home built. The recent trend (I know Del Webb, Pulte is doing such) has been to throw more into the base cost and limit the option selections. In some places one use to spent a full day or more in their "Design Center" choosing options which often raised the base price by as much as 30% or more.
When we moved from south Florida to north Florida 20 years ago - we were appalled at the quality of construction/construction techniques. And even the building codes (the NE Florida homebuilders had managed to get exemptions from the building codes that governed most of the state). We figured we weren't less prone to hurricanes than other coastal areas in the SE. And we certainly had more termites than most parts of the SE. So we found a builder from south Florida (Tampa) who built us a "south Florida" house. A non-disposable CBS (concrete block stucco) house that is still going strong after 20 years.

Our builder built 6 of the 30 or so houses on our block. The other 24 are stick - and the vast majority have had major mold/termite/similar issues/repair work since they've been built.

When it comes to Del Webb/Pulte in this area - it is basically building the kind of disposable houses that are still common here. No better - no worse. OTOH - they seem to be overpriced compared to similar houses in non-retirement communities. Without much in the way of amenities to account for the extra cost. For example - Riverwood at Nocatee by Del Webb is in a totally huge PUD (Nocatee). Where there was once plans for 2-3 golf courses. Now - there's no golf course planned - ever.

I have seen disposable houses elsewhere. My late inlaws bought a new retirement house in Southern Pines NC (a senior area but their development wasn't a senior community). By the time we sold the house - just about 20 years after my inlaws bought it and a year before my FIL died - it was a total fixer-upper mess - just falling apart in a lot of ways. We sold it for really cheap to a military couple from Fort Bragg who had a lot of youthful enthusiasm about fixing up "This Old House". Since when did 20 year old houses qualify as "This Old House"!!! Robyn
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:55 PM
 
1,076 posts, read 1,119,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
What Robyn says about how/having a "custom" home build is true. That said, in most retirement villages/developments while you will have a choice of models, options, etc. you will typically not be having a "custom" home built. The recent trend (I know Del Webb, Pulte is doing such) has been to throw more into the base cost and limit the option selections. In some places one use to spent a full day or more in their "Design Center" choosing options which often raised the base price by as much as 30% or more.
That's exactly how my lot and house was priced. You choose your lot and then the model and pay extra for the upgrades.

Last edited by organic_donna; 01-11-2016 at 05:09 PM..
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