What do Baby Boomers REALLY want in their Next Homes?

Retiree 03It’s all about millennials these days. Everything seems to center around these special snowflakes. But what about the original “me” generation? We’re talking about baby boomers, of course. What do these roughly 76 million Americans want when it comes to housing?

Well, they want multicar garages, for one thing. According to a recent survey by national homebuilder PulteGroup, they were the top feature boomers were looking for in a new home, followed by open decks or patios; eat-in kitchens; and a private yard.

About 38% of boomers plan to buy a home within the next three years, according to the report. About 11% expect to purchase a residence within the year.

The survey was of 1,043 folks between the ages of 50 and 65 who plan to buy a home in the next decade.

“Retirement marks a new phase in a baby boomer’s life, and it only seems natural to relocate or move to a new home when transitioning away from their primary career, or from the day-to-day rearing of school-aged children,” Jay Mason, vice president of market intelligence for PulteGroup, said in a statement. “It’s not surprising that the 55+ buyer wants a variety of options and choices in their homes.”

Retiree 02According to the survey, 39% of respondents said the main reason they’re moving is because they want to retire, 33% want to downsize, and 30% want to move to a more desirable location.

“One thing we know about boomers is they are not done yet,” says Amy Lynch, president of Generational Edge, a Nashville, TN–based company that consults with companies on generational differences in employees. “As a group, they are starting encore careers and also going back to school. And they often move to be near their millennial kids, who are having kids.” They also start new families of their own, through divorce or remarriage.

All of these situations may require a move. About 26% of boomers plan to stay in their current cities, but just move to a different home, while 34% want to remain in the state, but in a different city or town. Also, 38% hope to cross state lines.

Their top retirement destination? You guessed it: Florida. It seems you just can’t beat all of that year-round sunshine. The state was followed by fellow warm-weather states Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The cost of living is lower in these states than on the pricier West Coast or in the Northeast.

Grandparents1About 82% of boomers wanted to be someplace affordable, and 74% want to be close to their preferred health care programs.

But boomers don’t want to just pack up and leave their grandchildren. Being close to kids was their top consideration when choosing a new community. They also want to be near the water and park or other green space.

“We are in a period in this country where family life and family connections are very strong,” says Lynch. “There’s a lot of regret among boomers because they worked so many long hours when their kids were young. With grandkids there’s a chance to make up for that.”

by Clare Trapasso, realtor.com

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs.

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10 tips to help your child successfully transition to a new school

kids - 3.jpgYikes! School starts in North Texas soon! Whether you’re new to the area … or new to your neighborhood … or your child is attending a new school, it’s a fact that transitioning can be difficult for kids.

There are things you can do before and during your child’s switching to a new school to help them feel comfortable, and get used to their new environment.

  1. Talk it out: Ask your child questions like what are you most excited about for your first day of school? What are you worried about? The way you talk about going to a new school will shape how your child views it.
  2. Replicate first day of school traditions: Continue on with former traditions like making a special breakfast for the first day, or planning a stop at the library, or a visit to grandma’s house after school. Offer your child a little extra TLC and minimize changes within the home.
  3. Make new friends early:Take advantage of the time before school starts. If possible let your child join a sports team or attend a day camp where they can make friends that go to their new school, and have these friends over for a play date.
  4. Take a test run: Do a practice first day of school and take your child to their bus stop or drive them to school. If possible arrange to meet their teachers before school starts and have a tour of the new school. Make teachers and administrators aware of the last school your child went to and ask if they have any helpful suggestions.
  5. Stock up on school supplies:Choosing their own backpack, lunchbox, binder or clothes might help your child feel more confident and in control on their first day.
  6. Be involved:If possible volunteer at your child’s school or help out with a school sport or club. Try to take an active role in their school environment and get to know your child’s friends and the other parents.
  7. Be patient: During a transition phase, your child may be quieter than ever, or begin to question everything. They might have more attitude than they normally do. Remember they’re reacting to a new environment, and you shouldn’t change your standards for how they’re expected to behave, but they will need time to adjust.
  8. Play school: Try role playing with your child before school starts. They can be the teacher and you can be the student. This helps them think about what these respective roles mean, and they’ll get to play with the concept of school, and see it as a fun scenario.
  9. Don’t miss out on ZZZs: During a stressful time, anxiety can make sleep difficult. Sleep deprivation can adversely affect mood and academic performance. Routine is really important during a high stress time of change. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep!
  10. Remain vigilant and watch for signs of strain and stress. Look out for these signs your child needs some help adjusting to their new school:
  • repeatedly refusing to go to school
  • throwing tantrums whenever school is mentioned
  • recurring meltdowns when you try to bring them to school
  • suffering separation anxiety and needing you more than they have in recent months or years
  • changes in sleeping or eating habits

If you notice your child’s showing signs of poor transitioning, it’s important to talk to them about it, and to meet with their teachers and administrators so you can work to target the sources of your child’s discomfort. School guidance counselors and school psychologists can also help with difficult transitions. They can sometimes designate a faculty member as a contact person with whom you can communicate. The school may even be able to pair your child with a “buddy” like a built in friend who is comfortable in the school already.

Source: Pathways.org

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

How To Hire a Mover

Moving - 2When moving, there’s a million small details to juggle. Hiring a moving company can save you a bundle of stress, but it’s important to note that not all moving companies are the same, and you want to make sure your items are safe and secure in the hands of your movers.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking to hire a moving company:

Hire a licensed company – Be sure to only use a licensed moving company and check for a valid U.S. Department of Transportation number on the main DOT website.

Find reassurance in valuation – Even if movers are bonded and insured, verify if belongings are covered during the move. Some states require a valuation of 60 cents per pound of coverage but in many cases additional valuation can be purchased for the move.

shutterstock_28772560Avoid imposters – Visit the official site of the moving company and ensure there is a local address and the office is staffed.

Get a real quote – Inspect the website to ensure they will not sell personal information to other movers to provide the quote and avoid sites that feature multiple quotes from different companies. Never pay for an estimate and consider an on-site estimate to ensure accuracy for larger moves.

Inquire about the movers – Be careful if choosing to move forward with a company that employs temporary or day laborers and does not have Workers’ Compensation coverage should anything happen.

moving - 3Research options – The Internet is filled with reviews and comments on social media pages, so take the time to read about pros and cons of a potential company. Learn from customers’ experiences and look into complaints on the Better Business Bureau website, as well. Understand, not every move can be perfect, but if the company is taking time to respond to customers comments and work toward resolution, it is a good sign.

Don’t fall for a too good to be true price – If the price seems like it is too good, it probably is going to cause headaches and problems down the line. Moving is expensive – even if completed without movers – be sure to look at all of your options as it’s best to go into the process prepared. Also, never move forward with a company that only accepts cash.

Check for hidden fees – When asking about pricing, be sure to understand what is included and if there are cancellation fees or a nonrefundable deposit. Most companies will refund a deposit if within a certain amount of days before the move, and see if there are extra fees for stairs, mileage or large items. Some movers will offer complimentary padding and stretch wrap to protect furniture, but not all companies will.

Movers - 6Reputation is important – Many reputable movers belong to the American Moving and Storage Association. Identify if a prospective company is a member before booking a move.

Ask for references – Get advice from friends and family who have had a good experience with movers. Did they feel like they were communicated with throughout the process and were told a window of time for the movers to arrive? Don’t forget to ask questions to feel confident with booking a company.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. It’s highly beneficial to have a professional knowledgeable, local real estate agent by your side. Call Keller Williams Dallas Metro North today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

Proper home staging begins with getting it sparkling clean

cleaning - 4

If you watch TV, you know that preparing homes for sale is a hot topic. Shows about decluttering, cleaning and home staging with furniture and accessories are extremely popular.

The folks on those shows always say that the home should be “super clean” before showing — but they don’t offer details on how to achieve this!

1. Rent a storage unit before home stagingCleaning - 7

If you don’t use something every day, pack it up and take it to the storage unit before you clean and stage your home. The less you have in your home, the less you have to clean around.

2. Dust everything when house cleaning for staging

When cleaning house while preparing to stage your home, your baseboards should be near perfect; same for ceiling fans and light switches. A clean front door, washing machine, even a bed frame can all be little things that go a long way when it comes to presenting a tidy home. If you do it right, it will look like someone turned up the brightness of your lights.

3. The home staging smell testcleaning - 5

Invite someone who doesn’t live in your home to walk in the door and take a big sniff. Whether it’s pets, your favorite cooking spices or air fresheners, all sorts of odors can make your house off-putting to buyers. Find the source and eliminate it.

4. Take a serious look at your walls before staging a house

Vacuuming walls with the correct attachment can really spruce up a house. If doors are dirty, clean them … or even paint old interior doors and change doorknobs if necessary.

5. Cleaning can make the bathroom a showplace

Your toilet should shine after you’ve cleaned the bathroom for a home showing. Pop open the caps behind the seat that cover the bolts and clean thoroughly. Clean all dust from around that area. Scrub around the base of the toilet, carefully wiping any residue. The tub and faucet should look as clean as those in the bathroom of a top-rated hotel. No residue should be felt anywhere.

6. Staging requires a sparkling kitchen

Look at each cabinet knob. Scrub all cabinets, starting at the knob; focus on getting all the little smudges off. Clean all your appliances thoroughly.

This seems over the top, but “stage” your refrigerator and pantry. Make sure all surfaces are cleaned and wiped. Organize the food items neatly; all spices need to be in carefully placed rows. If your kitchen is clean and orderly, it’s easier for the new owners to picture themselves cooking there.

7. Examine the floors before your home staging

cleaning - 6This is where calling in a professional can go a long way. If a pro isn’t in the budget, mop thoroughly, preferably with steam, paying special attention to corners. If the carpet is dirty, at the very least vacuum thoroughly and then rent a cleaning machine at the grocery store and maximize your carpet’s potential. This means taking your time and vacuuming again when done.

Just like getting in shape, there are no real shortcuts to the hard work of cleaning and preparing to sell your home. Knowing how to approach the massive task will give you confidence and help you to move on.

[reprinted from Angies List]

Ask your realtor for recommendations on cleaning services who will help you prepare your home for sale. Call Keller Williams Dallas Metro North today for your real estate needs!

4 Strategies to Make a New City Feel Like Home

Moving to a new city? You may find these tips from Real Simple Magazine helpful.Moving - 1Many big changes follow graduation day—including the overwhelming task of moving, often to a new, unfamiliar city. If you’ve recently settled in a brand new place, or you plan to move any day now, this week’s episode of “Adulthood Made Easy” is for you: Host Sam Zabell interviews Terri White, editor of Time Out New York, on how to take advantage of everything a city has to offer. Here, a few of White’s strategies for feeling a little less lost.

One last thing … “WELCOME to Texas!!!”
area - texas welcome