The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Haven't Bought A House Since 1955?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 @ 03:23 PM

By: Diana Rondinelli

Haven't bought a house since 1955?  Wow - things have changed! 

Through the years, the process has been transformed into one that protects both buyers andseniors sellers. Even though it is complicated, a Real Estate professional specializing in senior moves can lead you on the right path to a smooth closing.

Your Realtor can help you decide:

  • To stay where you are
  • Move into a new home which might have a first floor bedroom; or,
  • Move into a retirement community ~ whether you sell your home and move on to a different way of life or rent your home while you decide if you really like the new digs.

Your Realtor will provide you with a list of references for estate planning, attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, and "down-sizing experts” who can help you decide what to keep and what to part with – everything to make the transition an easier one.

The next step will be to set up a prelisting home inspection, conventional appraisal and termite moisture inspection. Once those are completed, you will be ready to make necessary repairs, nail down a price, hang the sign and wait for a sale.

Waiting for a sale may not be what it used to be, either. The average market time in our area has risen to about 6 months, depending on where your home is located and your price range. The most important thing to remember about market time is that, to a great extent, you can have a great impact on that length of time preparing your home for sale as instructed by your Realtor.

Negotiating your contract is an important part of the process ~ one your Realtor is an expert at accomplishing. Once you have accepted an offer on your home, the buyer will either accept your prelisting home inspection or have their own. Either way, your Realtor will guide you through that process as well.

The buyer’s mortgage appraisal should not hold surprises since you had a pre-listing appraisal beforehand. That, along with final approval from the buyer’s mortgage company, are your final hurdles. Although the current mortgage market is much different today than even three years ago, your Realtor will stay in touch with the buyer’s mortgage company and should be aware of any roadblocks that could occur before closing.

Finally, the day of closing arrives! In our area, the buyer receives the keys at the closing table unless other arrangements are made. So by this time, you should be moving into your new home.

Even though the process is not simple, it can go smoothly with the right professional. Look for a member of the Liz Moore Savvy Senior Real Estate Team ~ you can’t go wrong there.

By hiring a professional to help you make the decisions that are best for you, the cost of the services provided oftentimes will be covered by the sale of your possessions with a profit coming back to you. Don't you think it is worth it for the peace of mind itself?  Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, to meet with a Senior Specialist!

 

Meet with a Senior Specialist

Tags: Seniors

Marl Inn B&B in Yorktown - Steeped in History and Romance

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 @ 03:40 PM

Buying a B&B is a perfectly wonderful way to Retire – you’ll still work, but you’ll work at home – to have a gracious home to showcase a lifetime of acquired antiques, to indulge your love of being a host or hostess, and to contribute to your retirement income. Today, Retiring InYorktown B
Williamsburg is showcasing a premium retirement opportunity
, purchasing and running a successful, profitable B&B found in a historical area and steeped in history and romance:

Marl Inn is a private-home Bed and Breakfast with a significant owner’s suite, entirely separate from the four (4) suites that the guests rent – each with their own entrance, bath, and privacy. Besides the lovely home (with over 100 major improvements made in the past 5 years), this place has Location, Location, Location! The entire area is rich with history. In fact, it is called the “Historic Triangle” to include WilliamsburgJamestown Settlement and Yorktown - not to forget the modern-day fun of Busch Gardens.

Yorktown BMarl Inn is so named for the hard clay called “Marl.” Marl is found in the York River riverbed and was often used by early colonists, in Yorktown, as a building material. A Marl stone sits in the amazing English Gardens, due to the green thumb of current owner, Poppet. This British-born gardener has a passion for making beautiful outside living spaces. Poppet has done extensive landscaping providing seasonal color and it is a sight to behold, even in the month of November!

As part of a business decision, in 2013, the Marl Inn Bed and Breakfast started offering No Breakfast, Continental Breakfast, or Full Breakfast options to their guests – over 90% choose No Breakfast or Continental Breakfast – which has made the daily maintenance considerably easier. The breakfast choice has increased occupancy as well as reduced the amount of work and expenses – a good thing for Inn owners. The Marl Inn only requires less than an hour to thoroughly clean a suite after guests’ checkout. 

In closing, we interviewed Thomas Nelson, Jr. and his wife, Poppet, the current owners theYorktown B Marl Inn, and they said that many guests asked about the amount of work they do, on a daily basis. In Tom’s experience, “Shopping, cooking, and serving a full breakfast, every day, scares many potentially interested B&B prospects… we, too, felt the burn out from that lifestyle. The plan that we have implemented here really works. Bookings are up (because of the decreased cost to the customer), the amount of work we do is down (because only 10% of the bookings want a cooked breakfast), and we have discovered the guests appreciate the peace and quiet. Bottom line: We have been very successful, here at Marl Inn, for 3 reasons: 1) our Christian values drive the way that we run the business 2) we treat our customers like family, and 2) we love sharing our home with people. Owning a B&B is a lifestyle. It has to be that for the next owner, too. This lifestyle has given us a gracious home, the ability to entertain interesting guests, allowed us to live in a beautiful and historical area, and gave us a monthly income for our retirement years.”   Is being an Inn Keeper your retirement dream? Do you enjoy cooking and entertaining? Do love history and historical settings? Can you picture yourself relaxing, with guests, in an English garden? Then THIS is your opportunity.

For all photos, pricing and full listing, visit the Real Estate Listing here

 

 

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Tags: Buyers, Seniors, York County, Home Page

Attention Seniors: Find a Home that Fits Your Needs

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 @ 04:24 PM

We are excited to bring you the latest issue of the Liz Moore Savvy Senior Magazine!  Click the image below to flip through the magazine featuring our newest "Senior friendly" homes for sale.

Senior DigitalMagazine resized 600

Check out the rest of our digital magazines - Hampton HomesWilliamsburg HomesWaterfront Property, and more!  You can subscribe to one or more of our magazines, and they will be delivered FREE to your inbox once a month, dynamically uploading the latest issues.

 

Check Out Our Digital Magazines

Tags: Seniors

Should I Stay Or Should I Go - Real Estate Decisions for Seniors

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 @ 04:10 PM

By Holly Miller

As we age one of the most difficult and emotional decisions we face is whether or not to move from our current home.  The answer to this question is not the same for everyone.  It will vary depending upon the individual situation.  Statistics show that most decide to stay put, but is this really the best choice for you?senior living

Many people do not want to leave their family home because of the memories they have there.  You moved into your current home for a reason. You built many memories and you will do the same in a new neighborhood.  Another reason, is that many feel that moving into a retirement community forces them to give up some of their independence.  This is a misconception.  Most active adult communities have tons of things for seniors to do.  As a matter of fact many claim that they became more “active” after choosing to move.

Family is another factor.  It is much easier to age when we have the support of our loved ones.  This is much simpler for everyone if the kids and/or grandchildren are nearby.  Many will choose to relocate closer to family members as they age.

For many of us the design of our current home is simply not conducive to aging.  Maybe your bedrooms are upstairs.  Maybe it is simply too large to keep up with the cleaning and routine maintenance.  Maybe the yard work is becoming a burden.  Having these things taken care of for you and having a floor plan that makes life easier is the number one reason why people choose to move.  With all of these things being done for you it frees up your time to do more travelling or leisure activities.

Can I afford to move?  This is a common question among those trying to decide if they should move into a retirement community.  Most communities have regular fees to cover some of the extras you are currently paying for, which makes it easier to budget your monthly expenses. You will not have to worry about unexpected repair costs, etc.   Things such as monthly lawn care and routine maintenance costs can be expensive. 

I believe that making the move to a retirement community should at least be considered by all.  There are many types of adult communities from active to assisted living to full time care.  The type you choose depends upon your needs.  Once you decide to make the change¸ you should first decide on a location.  Next you will want to find something that suits your lifestyle and provides all of the amenities you want and need.  It can make your aging years much more enjoyable.

Interested on finding out what is best for your situation? Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, and we'll be happy to connect you with someone who specializes in this senior moves!

 

Meet with a Senior Specialist

 

 

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Tags: Seniors

Are You a Savvy Senior?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, May 06, 2013 @ 04:09 PM

Then the Liz Moore & Associates Savvy Senior “virtual office” is just the place for you! 

What is a “virtual office?”  It’s an online real estate brokerage effort, dedicated solely to serving a specific niche in the market.  Research and experience has taught us that consumers today want REALTORS who are specialists in their field of endeavor.  And so, Liz Moore & Associates is giving consumers what they want…the best of the best!

TheSavvySeniorOnline.com is a content rich website, offering resources galore to the 55+ community, all the way from Williamsburg to Hampton and Newport News, VA.  We’ve featured lots of info and photos of our favorite 55+ communities, as well as our favorite local retirement communities.  We’ve also invited many local senior specialists to share their tips and expertise on topics such as downsizing, reverse mortgages, living trusts, the difference between continuous care facilities, and much, much more.  You can even Ask a Guru!

senior living

You can also search for properties that have first floor master bedrooms (or are all on one floor!) in Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown, Poquoson, Gloucester, Smithfield, Williamsburg, and James City County.

Who are the Gurus at TheSavvySeniorOnline.com?  They are local agents who have proven track records in successfully helping our senior clients make careful decisions about this critical real estate step. They can help ease the burdens of this transition by recommending a variety of experts and resources in moving, downsizing, etc.  These Gurus are savvy in finance, patient, and understanding of the unique challenges that the senior market faces.  Many hold a special designation in the senior market, and generously share their personal tips and network of affiliates.

So, if you are wondering if now is the time to take the next step in your retirement journey, then we have the perfect place for you to begin!  Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below to meet with one of our Senior Specialists.  

 

Meet with a Senior Specialist

Tags: Seniors

Liz Moore & Associates Welcomes Retirees to Williamsburg at the “Live South” Expo in Washington DC

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 @ 04:06 PM

Deelyn Neilson and Susan Krancer from Liz Moore & Associates, along with Roberta Hammel, a preferred lender with Townebank Mortgage, hostessed a booth on February 16 – 17 at the Live South Expo.

Live South (actually now “officially” called the 2013 Ideal Resort and Retirement Expo) is aretire in Williamsburg trade show aimed at prospective retirees who are evaluating their retirement options to warmer weather.  There were exhibitors from multiple 55+, golf, and resort communities in Florida, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.

Liz Moore & Associates was representing Rivers Bend at Uncle’s Neck, in addition to all of the potential retirement communities in Greater Williamsburg.  Nearly 500 prospective retirees from the metro DC market attended the show.

Attendees are beginning to research possible retirement destinations, and Live South shows afford them the option to speak with representatives from a number of communities in a “one stop shop” type of environment.  55+ communities, golf amenities, warm weather, low maintenance, great healthcare, and less traffic seemed to be the most important features most retirees have in common.

The Williamsburg booth was a popular stop, because we offer one of the greatest places on the East Coast to retire.

It’s a great time to buy a home in a 55+ community in Williamsburg, Yorktown, Newport News, Poquoson or Hampton.  Check out our online digital magazines today!

Check Out Our Digital Magazines

Tags: Seniors

Financing the Conversion of a Home to be Handicap Accessible

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 @ 04:03 PM

Is there an easy way to finance the conversion of a home to handicap accessibility?

Well, I’m not sure that there is an EASY way, but there is definitely a mortgage product forhandicap accessibility that.  It’s called a 203(k) loan, and it’s an FHA loan product.  It can be used for either a purchase, or also on a refinance.

Essentially, it allows a borrower to add the cost of repairs to a mortgage, so that they can be financed over time.  On the streamlined plan, you can borrow up to $35,000 over the sales price for repairs or remodeling, as long as the appraisal will support it.

Here is how it works:  An appraiser will do an “as is” appraisal, and then an appraisal that factors in your proposed repairs.  As long as the improved value can be substantiated, you’re good to go!  You must begin the work within 30 days of closing, and complete it within 6 months. 

The cost?  An extra 3/8 to ½%  All other FHA guidelines apply:  a 3.5% down payment, a sales price maximum of $458,850 in this area.

You could use a 203(k) loan to retrofit for handicap, or to remove it and restore a home to its previous condition (removing wheelchair ramps and grab bars, for instance).

There are lots of nuances to these types of mortgages, and it’s important that you work with a local lender who specializes in this product, so if you would like to learn more, Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, to meet with a Senior Specialist and we’ll hook you up with a reputable loan officer that is experienced in 203(k)’s.

 

Meet with a Senior Specialist

Tags: Seniors

The Ups and Downs of Being a Senior

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 02:48 PM

Need a Lift?

Is the pain of climbing stairs getting to be a challenge due to physical handicaps such as kneeseniors replacements and arthritis, bad health, or just old age?

The solution may be an in-house elevator. There once was a day where installing an elevator in a home was only an option for the wealthy, however they are becoming much more popular than most people realize. An investment of $10,000 - $25,000 depending on the degree of remodeling can give you your very own elevator!  There are a number of loan products (an FHA 203k comes to mind) that can make this sort of home improvement affordable, and roll the cost right into your mortgage.

The biggest obstacle to installing an in-house elevator is figuring out a place in your home to install it. The ideal situation is two stacked 8x8 closets. If your home doesn’t have the ideal situation, though, don’t worry. There are numerous other ways the companies can make it fit in your home. Every home and every situation is different and they will work with you to configure a custom solution.  The elevator itself can run on average $15,000 - $30,000, depending on the bells and whistles you add.  Other costs include an architect and builder, which will vary depending on the situation.

Another way to challenge the steps is with a “stair lift.”  I recently encountered one in a home, a seat that rides along the rail on one wall of the stairs. These can run from $2,800-$17,000 installed, depending on the configuration of landings and the type and number of steps there are in your home.  The advantage is it’s a far easier installation than an elevator, and a great solution for avoiding stairs or even transporting heavy items up or down stairs if you’re unsteady.  The biggest disadvantage to a stair lift is that it is hard to transfer a wheelchair bound person or the wheelchair itself.   

The best place to start is to call a mobility company and have an in-home assessment. They will visit your home and make recommendations on if and where either an elevator or stair lift will work. Depending on what modifications need to be made, they may put you in contact with an architect and builder. Industry experts claim that you can see as much as a 10% premium added to the value of your home, but that, too, is going to depend on the situation.

Are you interested in finding out how modifications like these will affect the value of your home? Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, to meet with a Senior Specialist!

 

Meet with a Senior Specialist

 

 

Tags: Seniors

Selecting an SRES REALTOR

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 @ 02:59 PM

What is an “SRES?”  That’s a great question!  SRES stands for Seniors Real EstateSRES Specialists, who are local REALTORS (here in Williamsburg, Newport News and Hampton, VA) uniquely qualified to address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50+.  The SRES Council of the National Association of REALTORS awards the SRES designation to those agents who have successfully completed an extensive education program.  Liz Moore & Associates’ Senior Team has a number of REALTORS who hold the designation of SRES.

SRES REALTORS have demonstrated the necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel clients age 50+ through major financial and lifestyle transitions involved in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home.

Seniors often have a more complicated set of needs than their younger counterparts when it comes to real estate transactions.  Accordingly, for older adults making home buying, selling, or financing decisions, there are many benefits of working with a senior specialist.  

Here are just a few examples:  SRES agents have lots of experience with downsizing.  Selling the family home can be extremely challenging, if mom and dad have lived in the same place for 30+ years.  Seniors often accumulate a wealth of “stuff” and disposing of it can be both physically and emotionally challenging, not to mention overwhelming.  An SRES is armed with many resources to help mitigate the stress of this task, and has plenty of experience in this area.

Another common challenge faced by many seniors who are selling their family home is that they haven’t updated in many years.  Outdated kitchens and baths, carpet and wallpaper that is out of style, and other similar issues can be overwhelming and hard for the prospective senior seller to understand.  Again, a compassionate SRES can guide them through making wise financial decisions about the cost to upgrade versus simply pricing the property to sell “as is.” 

SRES agents are also up to speed in senior friendly financing options.  Everything from how to leverage pensions, IRA and 401k accounts, to helping their senior clients pick out the right resource for a reverse mortgage product.  Because these types of loans are unique, few REALTORS are qualified to give advice; an SRES agent can help older clients steer clear of loan schemes and scams.

When it comes to choosing a new place, SRES agents are well versed in the range of 55+ communities, as well as local senior housing communities.  For first time retirees, it is extremely helpful to consider homes that will “age” with them – in other words, practical floor plans and options such as first floor bedrooms  and potential caretaker suites that can be adapted to meet their needs as they grow older.

Are you look for an SRES REALTOR? Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, to meet with a Senior Specialist!

 

Meet with a Senior Specialist

Tags: Seniors

No Mortgage Payments. No Qualifying. No Kidding!

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Apr 09, 2013 @ 01:58 PM

Sound too good to be true?  It’s not.  It’s a Reverse Mortgage, a unique type of FHA mortgage product designed for seniors aged 62 and up.

Over the years, reverse mortgages have developed somewhat of a bad rap.  But, there hasreverse mortgage been a significant amount of reform to the program, and it offers tremendous advantages to certain older adults under the right circumstances.

What exactly is a reverse mortgage

Essentially, it’s a mortgage that enables a borrower to tap into the equity in their home.  It can be used to extract a lump sum of cash, or take monthly payments (yes, I said “take” and not “make!”).  Unlike a home equity loan, with a reverse mortgage, there is no monthly repayment.  The only required payments are property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, until such time as the home is no longer a principal residence.

The loan does not have to be repaid until the last borrower permanently leaves or sells the home.  If the house is sold, the loan is repaid along with the accrued interest.  The owner and/or the heirs keep any remaining proceeds.  If for some reason the outstanding balance of the loan is more than the house is worth when it is sold, the balance of the debt is forgiven.  There is no recourse to the owner or to the estate.

The money from a reverse mortgage can be utilized in a variety of ways: from covering monthly living expenses to fulfilling life long dreams.  The money is available as a lump sum, monthly income, a line of credit, or any combination of these.

What are the qualifications

The youngest borrower must be age 62 or older, and use the home as a principal residence.  That’s it!  No income or debt qualifying, no credit score issues.  The home must meet HUD guidelines and minimum property standards.

Reverse mortgages can also be used to move up (or down) to a new property.  It’s an ideal financing solution for a senior who would like to trade up from a home that’s too large, perhaps to one on a single story, or with less maintenance, but who cannot make the monthly payments.

Interested in whether or not a reverse mortgage may be a solution for you (or a parent or friend)? Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, and we'll be happy to connect you with someone who specializes in this product!

 

Meet with a Senior Specialist

Tags: Seniors