Monday Market Update: Real Estate Regrets (Top 3)

hot topicsIt has been a crazy market… and it has made people do some crazy things! Before we look forward to 2018, let’s talk about what we won’t miss (and what we hope won’t continue!) in 2017…

The real estate regrets below are inspired by a recent report summarized on RealtorMag: 5 Trends the Housing Market Will Regret. To read the original article in full, click here.

#1: The ‘No-Inspection’ Trend. This is one I just don’t get on any level… even as a selling agent I could never advise my client to put their home on the market with no inspections. Integrity as an agent means knowing exactly what you are selling… and wisdom as a buyer means knowing exactly what you are getting. I worry about the issues that will arise down the road for those who bought homes with no inspections… the surprises of 2018 and beyond will live on in the unknowns that arise for those whom waived inspections.

#2: The ‘Offer Sight-Unseen’ Trend. We talked about this on our blog and on the radio this year. While technology has paved the way for the home to be ‘seen’ via Syke, FaceTime or FB Live, you had REALLY better trust your agent to go this route. The old-fashioned part of my career LOVES taking buyers to view the homes they are interested in and SEE their in-person reaction. Buying sight-unseen isn’t just an industry disruption, it’s just not fun.

#3: The ‘Cashing-Out Retirement Savings’ Trend. Ouch! Life isn’t getting any cheaper to live, and while your down payment has to come from somewhere – your 401K may not be your best bet. To avoid regrets down the road, my hope is that buyers look at the big picture as well as the short and long-term consequences of using retirement funds to buy a home. It’s not a bad idea all the time… unless it’s your only idea with no way to compensate for any penalties incurred.

Is there anything you won’t miss about the 2017 housing market?!

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

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Senior Spotlight: Deciding Where To Live In Retirement

FitRetirement is supposed to be the age of relaxation, right? Fewer worries, fewer big decisions, fewer unknowns… more life experience! But unfortunately, like all stages of life, it’s one that does not arrive with all of the answers. In fact – it brings up ONE big question that has no one answer: where should I live in retirement?! While only you can answer this question for yourself, you do not have to do it alone. As a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I’m more than happy to help connect you with some of the best considerations and resources available to help you make the best choice for you.

My one biggest piece of advice: don’t wait until it’s too late. Many of us are on the fence for years before we decide to move, but as we age – those years could be spent giving you a better quality of life, placing yourself in a better financial position or ensuring your health and well-being are first and foremost. Decisions that HAVE to be made about a move are 1000x harder than those made with time on your side. Always consider your short and long-term health, your current and future financial outlook and what makes you happy – everyday.

Now check out these three great resources for more tips and tricks in finding the path that leads to retirement bliss…

The Wall Street Journal | Where Should You Live in Retirement? ( Nine questions to ask yourself before deciding)

What kind of life do you really want? How close do you want to be to the grandkids? Who will you want to have lunch with? How will I get an ice cream cone (that’s a REAL consideration of the longevity economy!)? Seriously… these questions are great food for thought so check them out!

AARP | The Most Livable Places at 50+

This list from AARP is great because it presents 6 different ‘livability’ factors, and then offers a compilation of cities who are up to the task. Best cities for staying healthy, best cities for a date night, best cities for making friends… whatever is important to you, yes, there IS a list for that! Very cool.

The Balance | Find out Where You Should Retire ( Learn How to Decide on the Best Place to Live in Retirement)

Appropriately named from a source called The Balance, this article summarizes the many considerations you need to level out in choosing where to retire. You’’ll find 5 variables to assess in any location you are considering, tax considerations, human service assessment indicators and more. I also could not agree more with the advice here to not only consider retiring locally, but to visit any place on your maybe list. I truly think the best way to weigh your options is to see them for what they are and all they have to offer.

If you are considering an offshore retirement, we have an awesome resource to help you decide if a BIG move is right for you! Email buddy@bobbidecker.com for access to a guide that help you see the potential, the reality and the type of personality that fits an overseas retirement best.

Can’t wait to hear what you decide… and how I can help!

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/
 

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International Market Update: Belize ( A Big Piece of Paradise With Big News!)

Thank you so much for following our blog and taking this tour of 4 distinctly diverse Central American stops with us! Last but definitely not least was… our visit to Belize! Let us level with you… if the Caribbean and like island life is (hopefully!) in your future, you will  absolutely want to check out Ambergris Caye in Belize.

This is a divers paradise and so much more… fishing and water everything is your main attraction. 70% of the tourists that come to Belize visit the island simply because it offers so many options. The central town of San Pedro is where the action is. Golf carts serve as the main mode of transportation, followed by bicycles, motor bikes and you’ll see a car now and then. As you read this, they will be moving into the high season and probably will be inundated this year as it is the only one of the four islands that didn’t get hit with hurricanes in 2017.  Our developer host team was very gracious, as they were in each of our stops. They have some big news: their properties are in San Pedro proper and the ocean front property will be a  new set of Marriott Residences when finished in 2020. Acting fast is the word if you want pre-construction pricing for the developer owned portion of the residences.

B Collage

From Secret Beach on the southern end of the island to the very high-end hotels on the northern part of Ambergris Caye ~ you have options galore in a laid-back, very hospitable part of the world. If you are interested in determining if you are someone with the right personality to move or acquire off shore property, please email us! We will send you a questionnaire that will tell you if you are or aren’t a candidate. It is not all glitz and glamour; you have to be very flexible and have some serious motivation to make the move but the rewards are truly compelling… Email Buddy@BobbiDecker.com or call him at 650. 533.87690.

1200GandBaymen_PerspDockside

If you missed our other Central American stops, visit the blogs here:

International Market Update: Costa Rica (Is It Really Too Expensive?!)

International Market Update: Panama (Central America’s Modern City)

International Market Update: Nicaragua (The Reality)

All our best,

Bobbi & Buddy

Bobbi Buddy Big Numbers

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It’s All About Veterans On Real Estate Radio LIVE

V Day RadioWhile much of the work we do and the industry that we focus on is real estate of course, we all know that no industry exists in a bubble. We are all part of something greater than ourselves – and our local, regional and national market housing updates would not be possible if we did not have an amazing country to call home. On that note, we are proudly dedicating an entire program of Real Estate Radio LIVE to those whom deserve it most – our veterans! Please join us THIS Friday from 3-4pm PST on AM 1220 KDOW for a very  special edition of our show.

You can expect to hear some up close and personal stories of veterans, and as we pay tribute to their service, we will also recognize an individual or business (or two!) whom have gone above and beyond for our service members. In addition, we’ll be talking about the Tuskegee Airmen – a little known but intriguing part of American History that serves as an ongoing & crucial reminder that who we can be together is SO much bigger than any one of us alone.

(Note that this year, our Veterans Day efforts also include raising awareness for Operation Protect Veterans. Did you know… Veterans of military service are twice as likely as others to be victims of consumer scams, according to recent research from AARP. Please visit our blog for more information on this very important topic.)

We can’t wait for you to join us Friday from 3-4pm PST on AM 1220 KDOW for an hour of honor, respect and appreciation! The gift of the present is only made possible by the labor of our past… so let’s join together in the present.

Cheers,

Bobbi Buddy Big Numbers

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Senior Spotlight: Operation Protect Veterans

veterans-day-essayAnyone who follows our blog knows that those whom protect and defend our freedoms are always at the forefront of our hearts and minds. Every chance we get, we take a moment to thank, honor and recognize those individuals and families who give so unconditionally so that we may live so freely (Click here for our Veterans Day blogs for 2015 and 2016).

This year, we continue to remain more than grateful to our veterans, but are expanding our efforts to not only appreciating them but protecting them. It always breaks my heart when I hear of scams and fraud alerts that target aging adults, and I was equally disgusted to read on AARP about a growing number of scams aimed at veterans. This week I wanted to share an effort organized by AARP in conjunction with the United States Postal Inspection Service: Operation Protect Veterans

Did you know… Veterans of military service are twice as likely as others to be victims of consumer scams, according to recent research from AARP. (Source: Associations Now) 

Please share this link with any of the veterans in your life, and please become familiar with the scam types listed here so that you can help your aging service members stay alert and aware. Some of the most common types of fraud are:

| Benefit buyout scams (cash in exchange for a veteran’s future disability or pension payments)

| ‘Veterans Choice’ Program scam ( a nearly identical to the number veterans dial to find out if they are eligible to use approved health care providers outside of the VA system which prompts them to leave their credit card information in return for a rebate.) The correct number for the VCP is 866-606-8198.

| Records charges: never pay for records – your records are FREE through the VA

Other scams include: Information phishing, employment scams, rental fraud & GI Bill marketing tactics of for-profit educational institutions.

AARP states: If you’re a veteran who’s been contacted by a scammer or know someone else who has been, share your story at protectveterans@aarp.org or 1-855-800-9023.

For a PDF copy of the Veterans Watchdog Alert Handbook (which outlines 9 ways that con artists target veterans) please click here.

Now that THAT part is taken care of … please join us Friday on Real Estate Radio LIVE from 3-4pm on AM 1220 KDOW as we continue to thank our veterans…. and introduce you to some on our show! We’ll have some amazing stories of not only the achievement s of our service members, but how our communities have stepped up for them as well! Plus an inside glimpse into the Tuskegee Airmen… hope you can join us!

***Catch the show streaming LIVE on Facebook… right here from 3-4pm! 

~ Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Living Longer, Living Better, Senior Spotlight | Leave a comment

International Market Update: Nicaragua (The Reality)

When you think of Nicaragua, your first impressions may be the result of misconceptions based on third-party perspective of the country’s revolutionary period many years ago.  Even understanding what really happened from a non-American news perspective provides a totally different story.  While the now-trendy term “Fake News “ is all the rage these days, I think most of us would agree that those whom create and distribute media approach it (knowingly and unknowingly) with a bias or at least a sense of their audience’s bias. This is nothing new; it has been happening since the first news was published. But with a firsthand experience in a modern day perspective, the reality here is that Nicaragua is one of the safest places in Central America.

As we return to the third installment of our international blog series based on our tour of Central America last month, recall that one of the 14 top places for Expats to live and invest was… Granada in Nicaragua.  We saw exactly why when we visited there with our developer host. The city has a lot of charm and plenty of options for expats with restaurants, plazas, and entertainment abound.

We headed to the Gran Pacifica property on the west coast; the road to the property is improved  each year and upon total completion, the prices in this community will climb.  There are home sites with a wide range of coasts, condos, a 9 hole golf course, the second best surf breaks in Central America, a great restaurant and all the key infrastructure is either in existence or ready for expansion.

The  developer is very socially conscious with a new clinic that will be opening soon to serve the local as well as the Gran Pacifica community and has even built a school for the local inhabitants.

Nic Collage

Images include: Granada, Lake Nicaragua, Masaya Volcano, Gran Pacfica, Leon Cathedral, Flor de Cana (rum tour) – so much to see, enjoy & behold! 

While there are economical options here, ocean front is still ocean front – when you see an $800,000 home you’ll understand that you will have to be prepared if the on the ocean is part of your plan. This very substantial home and beach front property would be in the millions in most places in North America. Everything has a value and a cost after all… and we are still talking about real money, it just goes much farther here.

If you are interested in determining if you are someone with the right personality to move or acquire off shore property email us we will send you a questionnaire that will tell you if you are or aren’t a candidate. It is not all glitz and glamour you have to be very flexible and have some serious motivation to make the move. Email Buddy@BobbiDecker.com or call him at 650.533.87690.

Listen in to our podcast with our Central American experts, hosts and friends from ECI Development here

Check back next week as our blog takes you to the last stop in our tour…. Belize!

All our best,

Bobbi Buddy Big Numbers

 

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Senior Spotlight: National Family Caregivers Month

November may be known most for turkey time, but did you know that it’s also National Family Caregivers Month? The Caregiver Action Network declares the theme for this year as ‘Caregiving Around The Clock’ and outlines what the real role of caregiver looks like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While family caregiving is often needed and especially talked about in the senior community, we’d like to also recognize the efforts of families who care for children (both youth and adult) and other relatives with special needs and disabilities.

If you or someone you know is a family caregiver, we’d like to direct you to “The Family Caregiver Toolbox” – a compilation of nearly 30 topics, videos, tips and checklists that are designed to support caregivers in their compassionate, grueling and ever-important efforts to be their loved one’s constant and consistent support.

 

In a more analytical and abrasive (yet necessary) approach, The Huffington Post talks about National Caregivers Month in the realm of a nation ‘asleep at the wheel’. Click here to see their multiple-part post on the realities of caregiving in our nation, and how public policy is failing the nearly 18 million people who are caring for a relative aged 65 and older.

For additional information, please visit our previous blogs on this topic below, and consider how you can support a family caregiver in your life. You may not be able to do a lot – but every bit helps. Lending an ear after a rough day, stopping by with a cup of coffee or helping on an outing or errand can make a HUGE difference.

Senior Spotlight: Caregiver Health & Support

http://www.bobbidecker.com/bobbisblog/senior-spotlight-caregiver-health-support/

Senior Spotlight: The Unsung Heroes ~ Family Caregivers

http://www.bobbidecker.com/bobbisblog/senior-spotlight-the-unsung-heroes-family-caregivers/

Senior Spotlight: California’s Focus On Older Adults

http://www.bobbidecker.com/bobbisblog/senior-spotlight-californias-focus-on-older-adults/

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Living Longer, Living Better, Senior Spotlight | Leave a comment

LIVE From The Realtor® Expo & Global Real Estate Pavilion

We Are BackWe are more than excited about this week’s show… as a new month continues along with the new era of international real estate development that we have been exploring! As you know, we are BACK Fridays from 3-4pm PST on AM 1220 KDOW, The Wall Street Business Network, in addition to our continued presence on your favorite podcast platforms. This week we are also remaining here on home turf – but the guests who made our overseas journey possible are now an adventure of their own ~ and you’re invited to take the trip. Tune in Friday as special guests Mike Cobb & Rachel Jensen join us right from the Global Real Estate Pavilion at the REALTORS® Expo!

With a firm pulse on the international real estate markets and trends around the globe, Mike & Rachel will share what’s happening in the heart of the conference and how that mirrors their current projects with ECI Development. Plus, we’ll be asking them to tell YOU whether we were good guests on our trip to Central America with their team (and our guess is as good as yours when it comes to what they will say!).

Find out who is moving where and why and what the next big thing is – plus how you can determine if an offshore lifestyle is right for you. Tune in streaming online at www.kdow.biz, on the dial at AM 1220 KDOW or at www.reradiolive.com THIS Friday from 3-4pm PST!

We’d like to sincerely thank Mike & Rachel for their ongoing and continued commitment to help our listeners explore the hot topic that is international real estate.

Need a guide to help you decide if a change of pace in a whole new place would suit you? Email buddy@bobbidecker.com for a special resource to help you answer that question.

All our best,

Bobbi & Buddy

Bobbi Buddy Big Numbers

Posted in Bobbi’s Select Expert Guest Interviews, Friday Real Estate Radio LIVE, International Market Updates, Real Estate Radio LIVE | Leave a comment

International Market Update: Panama (Central America’s Modern City)

Panama 4Panama is quite the sight in Central America as an international hub for commerce and some other lesser known but equally exciting activity! The city is as modern as you get in Central America. Even our visits amidst Ambergris Caye in Belize and Managua in Nicaragua have been no match for Panama – despite their dynamic and rapid development.

Our trip here covered two areas – a teak forest out near the southern end of the Pan-American highway and the black sand beaches in the opposite direction.  Highways there and here in the US  are really quite different. Think mucho waco, very many pot holes … we were grateful to a driver who did the very best he could. After our trip to the teak forest, we headed north to the west coast ~ viewing a project named Los Islotes. The very interesting black lava beaches with a small peninsula jetty proved to be high surf on one side and lazy ocean lagoon-style on the other side. The main interest here will be the terraced effect for some of the home sites with ocean views. At the moment they are focused on getting the infrastructure in place.

Panama 1

This is a true get-a-way location far from Panama City. You will be very connected to the local cultures here, so getting your Spanish up to par will be a good thing when you decide to build your getaway hacienda here.

If you are interested in determining if you are someone with the right personality to move or acquire off-shore property, contact us and we will send you a questionnaire that will tell you if you are or aren’t a candidate. It is not all glitz and glamour; you have to be very flexible and have some serious motivation to make the move. Email Buddy@BobbiDecker.com or call him at 650.533.87690.

Panama 3

Panama 2

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Senior Spotlight: Medicare Resource Guide

FitIt’s the word that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of seniors around the United States: Medicare! While having access to health care is a great thing – navigating the maze that Medicare can be is intimidating to the majority of older adults. While we are NOT experts on this topic, we have seen a variety of resources and news articles around the web that we wanted to share to help you do your research, ask the right questions and choose the plan that fits your needs. This guide is intended for informational purposes only. For help in making a decision – please refer to this list of helpful resources.  

Note: Medicare Open Enrollment starts October 15 and ends December 7.

Find The Official Government Website For Medicare Here: https://www.medicare.gov/

AARP Medicare Resources

The Must-Read Medicare Glossary

What is Medigap (Medicare Supplemental) insurance?

Navigating the Medicare Maze (Steps you can take to avoid penalties, gaps in care)

What Medicare Won’t Cover

Medicare In The News

New Research Identifies Best Practices for Helping Seniors Select a Medicare Plan Online

Getting the most from Medicare

Figuring out the right health insurance plan

Pick the wrong Medicare drug plan and the cost will shock you

Please feel free to share the resources above with the aging loved ones in your life. As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, many of my clients find themselves in a position where they must reduce their housing costs to ensure they have funds available for medical, health and safety needs. The most important message I’d like to convey is to plan for the unexpected: select a lifestyle and medical plan that not only meets your needs today – but has some flexibility for the changes that could happen tomorrow.

Aging is inevitable (sorry fiends!) – but the surprises that come with it don’t have to be! Try to consider both best and worst case scenarios when reviewing your finances and choosing whether to age in place or move: do not wait until it is too late, or until your health care costs become unmanageable to make a change. Know what to expect and when to expect it by reviewing all of your options, shopping for affordable coverage and knowing where and what the pitfalls can be. Knowledge is power ~ even when it’s a bit painstaking!

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Living Longer, Living Better, Senior Spotlight | Leave a comment