Bridges In Real Estate http://bridgesinrealestate.com • The Bridge to your next home! • Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:05:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 6 Ways Seniors Can Stay Healthy http://bridgesinrealestate.com/6-ways-seniors-can-stay-healthy/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/6-ways-seniors-can-stay-healthy/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:05:39 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2313 Aging isn’t necessarily anyone’s favorite topic to think or talk about. However, that doesn’t mean we can ignore it! in fact, beginning to think about and prepare for the realities of aging are one of your best strategies for aging well. I’m thankful to have known individuals who have shown me seniors can stay healthy […]

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How seniors can stay healthy

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Aging isn’t necessarily anyone’s favorite topic to think or talk about. However, that doesn’t mean we can ignore it! in fact, beginning to think about and prepare for the realities of aging are one of your best strategies for aging well. I’m thankful to have known individuals who have shown me seniors can stay healthy and live happy, fulfilling lives. According to experts, here are some of the best ways seniors can stay healthy (and keep in mind, many of these are best practices we all should be starting today!).

Be preventative with your health by receiving regular checkups for general health, hearing, vision, and dental care. Sometimes the difference of catching a disease or deterioration before it gets too far and waiting until it’s progressed can be tremendous. Part of this includes knowing what screenings you need to be doing and staying on top of regular immunizations.

Shed unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking too much. While these things aren’t good for you at any age, the effects become more pronounced as you age. Work with your doctor and loved ones to find out the best ways to break any unhealthy habits you have.

Replace unhealthy habits with better ones. You’re probably tired of hearing about diet and exercise, but they really are the foundation stones to being healthy. Eating well can become a challenge for aging adults, especially if they live alone. Starting habits of cooking clean, nutritious food will keep you feeling better and give you a pre-established routine to keep. Exercise is crucial at any age, but really can help the elderly by preventing falls and helping maintain a healthy weight.

Manage stress well. Stress is highly detrimental to health. Focus on becoming more self-aware and learning some strategies that will help you manage stress better and keep it from aging you before your time.

Proactively improve mental function. Of course it’s impossible to completely predict or control memory loss, but there are things you can do to slow or even prevent age-related mental challenges. There’s quite a bit of research pointing to hobbies like crossword puzzles, language studies, and even learning something new that improve your mental functions.

Staying social may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a top way seniors can stay healthy, but it really is. Community involvement and interaction is one of the best ways to prevent depression.

I strongly recommend working with your doctor to determine what areas you should focus on. You could even consult your family or close friends and invite them into the process (hey, you might even inspire them to come up with their own healthy life plan!). And again, let me reiterate that these suggestions hold true for people of any age! The earlier you set healthy routines, the more likely you are to maintain them as you age.

A big part of the reason I’m so passionate about staying healthy is it’s the key to being able to stay independent longer. Aging in place is a dream for many Americans, but the biggest reason it becomes impossible for many people is they simply aren’t healthy enough to care for themselves. Think of it as an investment in your future!

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What is the Difference Between a Short Sale and a Foreclosure? http://bridgesinrealestate.com/difference-short-sale-foreclosure/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/difference-short-sale-foreclosure/#respond Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:02:39 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2302 Here is how to get a great deal on foreclosures and short sales while heeding all the risks when buying a home. Not sure about the world of foreclosures and short sales? Don’t worry. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know to grasp the basics of foreclosures and short sales. What Are Foreclosures […]

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Difference Between a Short Sale and a ForeclosureHere is how to get a great deal on foreclosures and short sales while heeding all the risks when buying a home.

Not sure about the world of foreclosures and short sales? Don’t worry. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know to grasp the basics of foreclosures and short sales.

What Are Foreclosures and Short Sales?

A foreclosure is a process by which a lender is able to repossess a property when the borrower defaults on loan payments.

A pre-closure is the period between when the lender files the Notice of Default and when the foreclosure process is complete. If the home is sold during this period, the transaction is called a short-sale foreclosure (or “short sale” for short).

While both a short sale and a foreclosure result in the unfortunate event of the borrower not being able to stay in their home, a short sale allows a borrower to avoid the harmful effects that a foreclosure would have on their credit score.

How Can You Buy a Foreclosure/Short Sale Property?

There are fewer foreclosures and short sales on the market today than there were a few years ago. “Default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions…are down more than 7 percent from a year ago,” according to RealtyTrac’sNovember 2015 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

But if you’re a buyer, you can still find a great deal on a foreclosure or short sale, particularly if you work with an agent who focuses on finding these deals.

If you are interested in purchasing either a foreclosure/short sale property, talk to an agent who specializes in foreclosures and short sales.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Foreclosure/Short Sale Property?

Let’s start with the advantages.

Foreclosures and short sales are often priced below retail, which means that you can buy these properties for less than the cost of other comparable homes. Subsequently, your monthly mortgage payments will be smaller and you’ll spend less interest over the life of the loan.

Furthermore, you may build equity quickly, particularly if you improve or renovate the home. This equity increases your net worth, and you have the option of borrowing against this equity in the future if you choose.

Additionally, if you purchase a short sale, you’ll also enjoy the emotional satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone avoid foreclosure.

Although foreclosures and short sales can offer the buyer exceptional deals on real estate prices, there are some drawbacks.

Foreclosures and short sales often need renovations or repairs. It’s likely that the owner wasn’t able to maintain the property, which means that you might have to deal with deferred maintenance issues. It’s important to get a full report of the maintenance issues you might face. Ask your real estate professional if he or she can recommend a qualified licensed home inspector who can produce a full report for you.

It is possible that some foreclosed properties are vandalized while they’re vacant, which can add to these repair bills. However, this damage will generally be reflected in the pricing of the home.

Foreclosures and short sales are in shorter supply, which means there’s a lower likelihood that the property has all your wants and needs. You may need to compromise on certain features, amenities or desired location. You may also need to act quickly, as these opportunities can get snapped up fast.

For a short sale, the seller may be motivated to sell, but he or she may not be able to budge on the negotiation price due to the outstanding balance on the mortgage.

Short sales are notorious for their lengthy closing times – typically between 45-90 days. This is because the original lender needs to approve the sale. If you’re in the market for a quick closing, a foreclosure or short sale property may not be for you.

That said, however, the financial benefits of buying a foreclosure or short sale can be fantastic for homebuyers who are flexible and patient.

Want to speak with an agent? Click here.

This article originally published on Coldwell Banker’s Blog.

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5 Guidelines for Choosing a New Neighborhood http://bridgesinrealestate.com/5-guidelines-choosing-new-neighborhood/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/5-guidelines-choosing-new-neighborhood/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 14:32:15 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2310 You may not realize it, but when you buy a new home, you’re getting more than just a house and some land. Just like getting married means a whole new family, a new house means signing up for a whole new neighborhood. So while you may have a list of likes and dislikes for a […]

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Choosing a new neighborhood

Photo via Pixabay and PublicCo

You may not realize it, but when you buy a new home, you’re getting more than just a house and some land. Just like getting married means a whole new family, a new house means signing up for a whole new neighborhood. So while you may have a list of likes and dislikes for a house, it’s important you think through the kind of neighborhood you want to be part of. We’ve all had experience that reinforce the truth that neighbors can make your life miserable or wonderful! Here are a few guidelines I’ve discovered for choosing a new neighborhood that will fit your needs:

  1. Look for a similar lifestyle. Of course everyone is unique and it’s unlikely your neighbors will be exactly like you. However, similarity in life choices can keep things more harmonious. For example, if you’re a young family with several kids, living in a neighborhood surrounded by empty-nesters might not be a good fit. Of if you’re looking for a quiet place to retire, the neighborhood full of younger people living life late into the night might not make you happy in the long run.
  2. Determine proximity to services. For many families buying a new home, being close to good schools is important. Do your homework to find out what the schools are like and if they’ll be a good fit for your kids (or future kids). Another thing to think about is how close the nearest hospital is to the neighborhood you’re considering living in.
  3. Find out what there is to do nearby. If you really value running outdoors, check the running routes nearby. If you have a family and a good local park is important, see if there’s one within walking distance. If you love eating out, ask what kind of dining is available and how far away. Whatever it is you love, be sure you know how near (or far!) those things are from your potential new neighborhood.
  4. Research safety and crime. No neighborhood is perfect and some neighborhoods deserve a second chance. However, you need to know the full story going into things. Look up crime statistics and even ask around about safety in the area.
  5. Weigh the sense of community. You may or may not become best friends with your neighbors, but you’ll want to know they have your back. Attend a function in the community like a sporting event, religious service, or even just take a walk through the neighborhood on a weekend or after work during the week to get a feel for the vibe in the neighborhood.

When you’re choosing a new neighborhood, it’s impossible to find out everything, but it’s important to try. Some of these things can be easily discovered by your own detective work. Some might require a little more insight. If you’re working with a real estate agent who’s knowledgable about the area you want to move (which you should be!), take advantage of their expertise by asking lots of questions and getting their input on your potential new community!

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Top Trends Shaping the Luxury Real Estate Landscape http://bridgesinrealestate.com/top-trends-shaping-luxury-real-estate-landscape/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/top-trends-shaping-luxury-real-estate-landscape/#respond Wed, 26 Jul 2017 11:40:00 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2257 Recently, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC asked seven respected and knowledgeable sales associates and broker/owners affiliated with the Coldwell Banker® brand to gather for a roundtable discussion to reveal and examine the developments currently having the greatest effect on the industry. As we were preparing for the roundtable, we expected to hear that buyers are […]

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Recently, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC asked seven respected and knowledgeable sales associates and broker/owners affiliated with the Coldwell Banker® brand to gather for a roundtable discussion to reveal and examine the developments currently having the greatest effect on the industry.

As we were preparing for the roundtable, we expected to hear that buyers are concerned about safety and security, highly focused on technology and smart homes, and even preoccupied with spaces for their collections of art, wine or cars. And to some extent this was true. But it was clear that our panelists are also finding great impacts centered around generational and ethnic differences, changes in the home due to lifestyle trends, and the significant use of newly manufactured luxury materials.

Boomers Are Rightsizing, Not Downsizing

Perhaps one of the most surprising observations from our gathering was that a significant portion of 50-to-70 year olds are no longer downsizing to condominiums.

Jill Hertzberg, affiliated sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Miami Beach, Florida, said that previously, almost all boomers who contacted her would want to move out of their big house and into a condo. But that’s no longer true.

“A lot of them don’t want condos all of a sudden,” Hertzberg said. “Now, a lot of them are wanting to go to new homes. They want smaller homes, and they want one story, or they want a master downstairs.”

Jade Mills, affiliated sales associate with Coldwell Baker Residential Brokerage in Beverly Hills, said that she is witnessing the same trend. Boomers who used to move to condos in high-rises are opting for smaller single-family homes instead. “Now, a lot of those people are saying, ‘I have five friends in this building, and three friends in this building, and we really would rather be more private, and have a little house. We don’t want to see the people in the lobby every day.’”

“They want to live on one level,” Mills added, noting that additional bedrooms are desired for when the children come home to visit. “They want the master on the same level as the living room.”

In Aspen, Colorado, Carrie Wells, affiliated sales associate with Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate, said the idea of downsizing is not the norm in her market. “We’re seeing equally as many older clients who are wanting larger homes,” she said. “They really want a place where the family can come and convene.”

Elevators, or at least planning for one, are becoming commonplace as well, noted Wendy Lister, affiliated sales associate with Coldwell Banker Bain outside Seattle, Washington. “We used to only have them in the older homes, and now they are either put into the newer homes or they are, as we say, plumbed — a shaft has been created for someone to put one in when they want it.”

Younger Buyers Want Large, Creative Spaces

If what boomers want is somewhat surprising, then what younger buyers are seeking may be no surprise at all. Work, lifestyle and design trends are being established and adopted by younger consumers.

“The newer buyers that are coming in and wanting the ‘white boxes,’ or the more modern contemporary — I’d say they are up to 40 [years old],” Hertzberg said. “They are the ones who are wanting the bigger homes.”

Wells noted that younger buyers with money are enjoying newfound freedom thanks to today’s technology.

“One trend that we’ve been seeing for a number of years is people who can live and work anywhere in the world, and they are uprooting their young families,” Wells said. “People are making lifestyle decisions.”

“Another trend is how taxes in different states affect people’s decisions as far as where their primary residence is,” noted Wells. “For instance, in California, with very high real estate taxes, many of my clients are shifting to Aspen as their primary residence and counting the days they are here. California becomes their second home.”

Laurent Demeure, president of Coldwell Banker France and Monaco, said that younger buyers are seeking to transform nontraditional spaces, such as lofts and artists’ studios.

“Most buyers are in their mid 30s to 40s,” Demeure said. “Buyers have become more sensitive to the French charm and are looking to experience a lavish lifestyle. Buyers have also increased their decision-making time slightly, in order to find the perfect match.”

Bringing the Outdoors In —  And the Indoors Out

Outdoor living is not new as a trend, but our panelists report that today’s high-end homes are incorporating more elements than ever to maximize enjoyment of the outdoor space.

“Our outside area … it used to be the pool, then it was an area to eat,” Hertzberg said. “Now it’s a full living room and dining room outside.”

Lister affirmed that observation, joking about her Seattle location. “You all have sunshine. We have it lots of times, but as you have maybe heard, not always,” she quipped. “So our outdoor living rooms have become absolutely essential. And the really fine homes have two of them — one is covered and one is uncovered.”

Lister said they are normally heated with a fireplace, and include wet bars and barbecues.

Hertzberg described a new, surprising improvement in this realm: artificial grass.

“At first, when I saw it, I was horrified, but now I love it,” she said. “It is so beautiful. Now they have made it with little weaves in it, and it looks real.

“A lot of people here have rooftops, so they will have a Jacuzzi or a pool up there, and then around it on the roof that you would normally see, you’ll see it will be covered with this artificial grass. But it is quite pretty. They have potted plants around it and it looks real.”

“We do see a lot of it,” Mills concurred. “There is a huge difference between the very good grade and the very poor grade artificial turf. If it’s bad, it’s really bad. And if it’s good, you can barely tell.”

It’s A Material World

Often it’s the details that distinguish a nice home from a luxury one, and one of the topics our panelists talked most about was the newer materials being used in new construction and renovations.

“We are seeing a lot of different manufactured materials,” Mills said.

It can be startling, Lister said. “In the finer homes, where you would expect to see marble or certain granites, we’re certainly going back to uses of coppers, stainless steel and materials that people have used in the past. But some of the manufactured products that are very, very expensive.… I’m having a hard time adjusting.”

Mills talked of contemporary glass walls and porcelain floors. “I’ve had people love it, and I’ve had people who have said, ‘Oh my gosh, it is just too much.’” Although our experts noted that not all of the porcelain they are seeing today has the stark white sheen. Porcelain closely resembling whitewashed oak is becoming popular as well, they reported.

Hertzberg referenced visiting a listing in Los Angeles with Mills, during which she was caught off guard by a revelation from the builder. “When we went into bathroom, I said, ‘Oh, this is so pretty,’ because I thought it was onyx … and he said, ‘Oh, it’s not onyx, it’s an artificial material that’s made to look like onyx.’” The manufactured onyx look-alike is more expensive than real onyx, and doesn’t stain. The same is true of the “marble” in the kitchen.

Hertzberg noted that back on the East Coast, she deals with clients’ need for constant maintenance of decks and docks, often made of teak. Now, she explained, the plastic composites that look a lot like wood are making life easier. “It has eliminated all that maintenance.”

In Aspen, understandably, Wells reports: “You don’t see super stark, white contemporary homes like you might find at an ocean location.”

“We still see honed marble and black absolute granite in addition to Caesarstone and other manufactured materials,” Wells said. “The trend is for clean lines and soothing color palettes, but not so cold, because many buyers and designers think about the fact that for five months out of the year, the outside is white.”

Wells noted that texture is important, and barn wood siding is popular inside and out. “To have zinc, barn wood siding and stone is a very interesting combination that we see on many modern homes, with barrel vaults and even flat roofs.”

Jana Caudill, affiliated sales associate with  Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Naples, Florida, said homeowners in her area are trying to make a distinction between their second homes in Florida and their primary homes elsewhere. “We’re seeing that people want to decorate their homes completely differently than if they have a home up North where they might have the dark cherry woods.

“I’m seeing more wood in the higher end, but a lot of the condo renovations are using the luxury vinyl tile that looks like wood, but in various colors,” Caudill said, calling the look “coastal contemporary.”

Immigration Creates Localized Needs

Part of our roundtable discussion reinforced the age-old axiom that all real estate is local, further illustrating the shortcoming of national market report statistics. For example, Lister shared that the Seattle market is greatly impacted by an influx of Chinese and East Indian buyers, due largely to the booming tech industry in the area.

“The things that are absolutely mandatory are — for the Chinese — the second kitchens,” Lister said. “They have to be designed for their type of cooking, and they have to be ventilated.”

Lister added that her Chinese clients demand living space for their parents. “They take care of their parents,” she said. “Having quarters for parents, or one parent, even amongst the Washingtonians that are not from China, has become much more common.”

Lister closely tracks developments in China. “About 40 percent of my income has been from Chinese families buying my listings. But now that’s changing.” She said a slowdown is underway, due to Chinese buyers having more difficulty transferring their money into the United States.

“But it will come back; it will just be a bombardment in about a year or a year and a third from now,” she noted. “The regime in China will be changing toward the end of the year. There are so many Chinese people that do want to get out, and they are finding more ways to get their money over here legally and create businesses.

“We are going to go through a whole new learning process,” Lister explained. “The first thing that we ask is, where is their money?”

Investment Has Its Privileges

Randy Chavers, managing director of Coldwell Banker Island Affiliates, said the latest attempts to draw buyers to the Caribbean include “citizenship by investment.”

He said the trend, started in St. Kitts, allows for buyers to get a second passport. “You can invest $500,000 in real estate and get your passport,” he said. “You get to travel visa-free to 132 countries.”

Chavers noted that the financial industry continues to be responsible for much of the interest in the islands —
60 percent of all of the reinsurance business in the world is based in Bermuda, he said. And he hypothesized that the idea of a “global tribe” of people not being tied to a specific country, but rather eschewing nationalism and ideology in favor of a new mindset, might gain in popularity.

“I think that might be heightened by Brexit and some of the other changes recently in the global economy,” he added.

If Brexit is impacting the Caribbean, then it most certainly is being felt in France.

“Brexit has created an unprecedented opportunity, which we intend to grasp,” said Demeure. “The low-interest loans as well as the impact of the euro/U.S. dollar exchange rate have also largely contributed to boost the market. The low euro rate has led to an increase in the number of affordable properties.

“International buyers are drawn to the euro countries to invest in real estate as a strategic investment plan,” he added. “International buyers are back!”

Closet Space

Panelists reported a continued interest in massive his and hers closets. “What they now want is the biggest closet that money can buy and the house can hold,” Lister said.

“Here, the woman’s closet is substantially more important,” Hertzberg said.

“Of course. As well it should be,” laughed Lister.

Working — In Tandem — From Home

“It’s very, very important today that you have a space for two offices,” Mills said. “Even people in their 60s and 70s are looking for dual offices,” she said, noting that even if they are just doing charity work, everyone wants their own work space.

 

This article originally published on Coldwell Banker’s Luxury site.

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3 Benefits of Buying With an SRES Agent http://bridgesinrealestate.com/3-benefits-buying-sres-agent/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/3-benefits-buying-sres-agent/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:29:05 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2202 Helping seniors find a home is my passion. Because of that, I went through the process of becoming a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). This designation offers real estate agents the tools they need to specifically assist home buyers and sellers over the age of 50. You may not realize the difference this designation could […]

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buying with an sres agent in portland

Photo via Pexels and Pixabay

Helping seniors find a home is my passion. Because of that, I went through the process of becoming a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). This designation offers real estate agents the tools they need to specifically assist home buyers and sellers over the age of 50. You may not realize the difference this designation could make on your partnership with a realtor, but it is not insignificant. Specifically, let’s take a look at the benefits of buying with an SRES agent:

  1. Expertise

    SRES agents have taken additional classes to receive certification. This training educates agents on areas such as reverse mortgages and tax laws. If you are wanting to age in place, an SRES can help you find a home suited for this purpose and refer you to trusted contractors to make any additional renovations.

    Aside from the more practical “nuts and bolts” of helping seniors find a home, SRES agents also understand the more sensitive emotional and relational dynamics many seniors face as they sell or buy a home. This compassion creates understanding as you process a difficult transition.

  2. Network

    Part of being an SRES agent means being connected with other experts. Do you need help decluttering your house before selling? Your agent “knows a guy!” Are you wanting to age in place, but aren’t sure what renovations will need to be made? Ask your agent! Are you in need of financial assistance? Your agent can direct you to programs that can help. The point is, whatever your needs are, your SRES agent can connect you with the right people.

  3. Peace of mind

    Buying with an SRES agent brings peace of mind to your decisions. Not only are you relying on their expertise and accessing their network of professionals, but you aren’t being “sold” something. SRES agents are specifically educated to counsel seniors and their families rather than sell to them. I am especially passionate about this point. My goal isn’t to make a sale, but to help you find the home that will best fit your needs. With me, you can make decisions without the sales pressure.

Buying with an SRES agent is of huge benefit to you as a senior. If you are in the Portland area looking for a Senior Real Estate Specialist, please give me a call! I would love to help you find your next home.

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Why the Suburbs are Big Again http://bridgesinrealestate.com/why-the-suburbs-are-big-again/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/why-the-suburbs-are-big-again/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:34:12 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2254 An interesting trend is the recent exodus from the city centers back to the places where a small parcel of land has always been a reward for years at the daily grind. Though this time, the suburbs are seeing a lot of urban changes. In the last 20 years or so, the American suburbs have […]

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An interesting trend is the recent exodus from the city centers back to the places where a small parcel of land has always been a reward for years at the daily grind. Though this time, the suburbs are seeing a lot of urban changes.

In the last 20 years or so, the American suburbs have gone from a place where neatly-trimmed lawns and automobiles were the ultimate status symbols to places that were perceived as being too far out from the hub of “city-life” to be worthwhile for the modern home buyer. The interesting trend, however, is the recent exodus from the city centers back to the places where a small parcel of land has always been a reward for years at the daily grind. Though this time, the suburbs are seeing a lot of urban changes that have the potential to revitalize even the farthest-flung reaches of suburban sprawl.

Big City Boom

The reason for the initial shift was, in large part, due to the growing Millennial population who expressed a need for short commute times, good transit links, and commercial centers that were the hub of a community that could be accessed without the environmental or financial burden of a vehicle. With the burden of school debt, and the need to make their professional mark, it’s only natural that this segment of the population would choose to settle in an urban environment.

Urban sprawl

Image Source: StockSnap.io

Back to Suburbia

The pendulum began to shift and swing towards suburbia again, however, as the earliest of the Millennial population — those born between 1981 and 2000 — entered their thirties and began the slow process of settling down and starting families. The Economist reports that, between 2012 and 2013, there was an overall loss in city dwellers of 2.1 percent, an exodus that seems to have been absorbed by the suburban communities who grew by 2.6 percent over the same period. And the shift continues to gain momentum.

It seems Millennials are craving the familiar childhood experiences they had for their children, but with one very important caveat. They want the unique urban perks they enjoyed in the cities — and the suburbs are finding unique ways to provide just that, through revitalization and better planning to manage further sprawl.

Reimagined Suburbs

With the improvement of transport links to and from the large metropolis, suburbs can refocus resident transport from the automobile to buses, light-rail transit —and in some cases, subways to create easy access to outlying residential hubs. A clever redesign of existing spaces has also helped to infuse the sense of community and authenticity urban dwellers expect in their suburban spaces. Barren industrial complexes are readily being redeveloped into clever mixed-use spaces including childcare, shopping, community spaces, and restaurants that create smaller commercial centers. The resulting impact is the draw on the surrounding sprawl, which creates walkable commercial hubs that mimic the vibrancy of their more urban counterparts.

walkable neighborhood

Image Source: StockSnap.io

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the revitalization of suburban commercial spaces, such as that found in the Sugar Hill area, has allowed for a unique identity that is attracting a younger buyer. The Washington Post also reports that the revitalization of such before-their-time neighborhoods, like the Kentlands, can add to already master-planned communities that were built with walkable cities in mind and reform them for more modern uses.

As more and more Millennials begin the process of family life and enter the real estate market, the face of traditional suburbanism will continue to morph the staples of suburban life with the vibrancy of the city. Affordability, good schools, and space will complement the newly built or revitalized commercial centers to create a multitude of communities, each with their distinct flair and sense of inclusiveness — and that is a good thing for the face of real estate.

This article originally published on Coldwell Banker’s site.

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Important Updates About the Portland Real Estate Market http://bridgesinrealestate.com/important-updates-portland-real-estate-market/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/important-updates-portland-real-estate-market/#respond Wed, 05 Jul 2017 13:38:49 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2207 Just before we began 2017, I wrote an article outlining the experts’ predictions of what Portland’s housing market would look like this year. Now, halfway through, it’s time to share my Portland real estate market updates. 6 months ago, I shared that Portland was forecasted to be #2 in the top 25 markets this year. […]

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Portland real estate market updates

Photo via Pixabay and paulbr75

Just before we began 2017, I wrote an article outlining the experts’ predictions of what Portland’s housing market would look like this year. Now, halfway through, it’s time to share my Portland real estate market updates.

6 months ago, I shared that Portland was forecasted to be #2 in the top 25 markets this year. So far? The City of Roses is sitting in the #3 spot of our nation’s strongest markets. According to researchers, homes in the top 5 markets can expect to appreciate in value anywhere from 8.1% to 10.7% in the next 12 months.

Surprisingly, contrary to what was predicted in December, mortgage rates have actually dropped. January 5 saw an average rate of 4.20% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. This number briefly rose to 4.30% in March, but dropped down to 3.97% in April and continue to hover around 4%.

The hope in Portland for a long time has been to see an increase in inventory. While the first two months of 2017 did see a greater inventory margin (up to 1.7% in February from 1.2% in December), March saw that number plummet to 1.1%. It seems unlikely for there to be a drastic increase in inventory any time soon, especially in more affordable price ranges.

Another prediction was seeing more moderate growth in home prices. In 2016, the average median home sale price in Portland was $370,474. In the first 5 months of 2017, that number has risen to $378,023 before even hitting the historically high sales during the summer months.

Finally, experts called for high volume in home sales, topping 2016’s 5.8 million sales. So far, it seems likely this prediction will turn out to be accurate.

Other predictions discussed – like the number of millennials who will become home owners and the amount of new construction – will best be evaluated at the end of the year.

These Portland real estate market updates indicate 2017 will continue to be a strong year in real estate. I have enjoyed staying busy helping people find the home of their dreams in our beautiful city!

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Exciting News and Business Updates for Marie! http://bridgesinrealestate.com/exciting-news-business-updates-marie/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/exciting-news-business-updates-marie/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:58:23 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2286 Why would you care who Marie is contracted with as a Brokerage? (cue the horns: Toot Toot Toot!) Size, Forward Focus on Innovation, and Marketing is why! Marie has researched for over a year her next strategic move and has made a definitive decision: Coldwell Banker Bain is the winner! Knowledge, Integrity and a Ridiculously […]

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Marie-Nizich-Bridges-in-Real-EstateWhy would you care who Marie is contracted with as a Brokerage?

(cue the horns: Toot Toot Toot!)

Size, Forward Focus on Innovation, and Marketing is why!

Marie has researched for over a year her next strategic move and has made a definitive decision: Coldwell Banker Bain is the winner!

Knowledge, Integrity and a Ridiculously savvy website makes life easier for you.

Statistics show:

  • Buyers shop online FIRST
  • Sellers want an International Audience
  • And the cheapest Offering often yields a lot of headaches

Marie has taken her high level of education (What are all those initials after her name, anyway?) to the West Coast leader in Real Estate sales, listing income price, and International/Global Luxury Franchises.

You will continue to receive personal care, strategic discussions, honesty and integrity in your conversations, and a real world value every time you speak with her.

Marie at Bridges in Real Estate has “upped her game” to still give you great value for your most important investment in the NW: Your Home!

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How to Enjoy Senior Living In Portland http://bridgesinrealestate.com/enjoy-senior-living-portland/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/enjoy-senior-living-portland/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:42:32 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2199 It’s easy to enjoy senior living in Portland. The City of Roses is teeming with life and activities for all ages, certainly not excluding senior citizens. I’ve enjoyed researching the senior activities available in Portland, and can’t wait to share them with you! Below you’ll find a list of what I found, including links to […]

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senior living in portland

Photo via Unsplash and Jordan Whitt

It’s easy to enjoy senior living in Portland. The City of Roses is teeming with life and activities for all ages, certainly not excluding senior citizens. I’ve enjoyed researching the senior activities available in Portland, and can’t wait to share them with you! Below you’ll find a list of what I found, including links to more information when available:

In addition to the activities and resources above, here are a few more websites worth paying attention to where you’ll find listings of events and activities for seniors in Portland:

Additionally, local communities of faith can often be intentional about developing an intentional community for senior citizens and may be a good place to find socialization and fun. If you have any other suggestions of places that didn’t make the list, I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know!

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Senior Remodel: 3 Changes to Make http://bridgesinrealestate.com/senior-remodel-3-changes-make/ http://bridgesinrealestate.com/senior-remodel-3-changes-make/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:40:55 +0000 http://bridgesinrealestate.com/?p=2196 I’m passionate about helping seniors find a home where they can age in place. It’s suggested that 90% of Americans dream of growing old in their own home, yet the reality is that at least right now nowhere near that percentage will be able to. Few homes are designed with aging in place in mind. […]

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senior remodel

Photo via Pixabay and Skitterphoto

I’m passionate about helping seniors find a home where they can age in place. It’s suggested that 90% of Americans dream of growing old in their own home, yet the reality is that at least right now nowhere near that percentage will be able to. Few homes are designed with aging in place in mind. Yet, it can be relatively easy to take an existing home and turn it into the ideal home for aging in place. With that, here are the 3 most important changes you can make during a “senior remodel” to make your home a place you can stay:

  1. Attend to the floors. 75% of Americans 65 or older will have a fall this year. Many times, these falls are due to preventable problems with floors. Eliminating any elevation changes between rooms is key, and can usually be accomplished fairly easily. Removing carpet for hardwoods or linoleum makes floors wheelchair-friendly. And perhaps the easiest change of all is simply removing potential hazards like floor rugs and cords that could cause a senior to trip.
  2. Upgrade to senior-friendly appliances. Choose models that are easy-to-use and feature large buttons. I recommend a side-by-side fridge/freezer, as well as a front-loading washer/dryer combo. When purchasing a new stovetop and oven, look for auto-lock and timed shut-off features.
  3. Give the bathroom a makeover. Unfortunately, this is one room in the house that often gets overlooked and becomes a major safety hazard for seniors. Most importantly, the bathroom needs to have space to move, including enough room for a wheelchair. Grab-bars are essential in the shower/tub and near the toilet. Grab-bars and shower seats can be economical and very effective at increasing safety.

The main thing you’re focusing on preventing in every senior remodel is preventing falls. Whatever you can do to provide more space and fewer obstacles is a step in the right direction. I mentioned the importance of grab bars in the bathroom, but installing them throughout the rest of the house can be tremendously helpful. And don’t assume your only option is the hard-to-miss metal bars. While those are available, you can creatively install other fixtures that function like a grab bar without the sterile metal appearance. For more tips on remodeling, read this article about senior solutions.

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