We made it! We now reside in Banning, California! This is a favorite retirement town for Seniors, but if you visit, you will see the growth that’s happening right now for families, too. New homes are going up in Beaumont right next door. Lots of them and the prices are still reasonable compared to the rest of Riverside County.
Banning is on the edge of Riverside County in the San Gorgonio Pass area. My home sits at 2,495′ elevation. Snow fell Thanksgiving Day 2019, one month after we moved in. There are “seasons” up here a little more extreme than “down the hill” in Santa Ana, where I came from.
Sun Lakes began construction in the 1990’s, with mine being completed in 1999. To me, that’s new compared to the house I left in Santa Ana which was built in 1952. I confess I’d always been reluctant to consider senior community living. I am used to single family houses on large lots. I was afraid I would be desperate without a yard to garden and play in with my animals even though my old bones sought some relief.
At the time I decided to sell my home in Santa Ana and move elsewhere, I had a big dog named Bruno. Fortunately, Bruno has gone to stay with my son in Irvine, I’m very happy to say. I miss the big yellow Lab but I still have a small Pomeranian that is easy to handle in my new patio home on the golf course at Sun Lakes Country Club. I get to see Bruno when I get to see my son now. That is something I’ve had to get used to because my son was ten minutes away and now he’s over seventy minutes drive away, in traffic. We visit when we can by phone, and I’m getting used to using Duo so I can see my boy!
There are large dogs in the community. Unlike mine, some yards are fenced for it, but we still have to watch out for wildlife and bring pets in at night. People say we have Bobcats up here. I’ve heard the Coyotes. I saw them frequently roaming near Santa Ana, but haven’t seen any such wildlife in Banning yet. I do have a lot of colorful Orchard Orioles and Hummingbirds visiting my bird feeder. They even showed up the day it was snowing!
Gaskill Enterprises LLC and Gaskill Real Estate Company
California Real Estate Broker
GELLC is Gaskill Enterprises LLC, a name I’ve called myself since I was very small. Professionally I have been a licensed real estate agent since 1978 and a California broker since 2003. I have originated mortgage loans from before the S.A.F.E. act went into affect, and have continued to meet all endorsement requirements. Start a conversation. Ask a question. If it’s all real estate it’s all good!
Some of us are downsizing our homes, but don’t want to downsize our pets! It’s a real problem trying to find just the right place for our pets. Golf Course Communities often have pet rules, no pets, or no fences! A dog howling at the moon might be serendipitous in the country. That cute canine companion to you could be a community disturbance issue and if he’s really big, and he jumps on someone and hurts them, you have a community canine crisis.
I don’t have any great answers for the difficult search, except to keep searching for that perfect home for you and your beloved animal family members. There are wonderful pet friendly communities, condos and apartments alike. Many landlords have wisely realized how great pet owners are as tenants.
Lastly, don’t give up the house to your pets! I mean, they can scale down a bit too, and the only feelings hurt by it would be yours. They are always so happy to be with you and don’t care about material possessions! You know that, right? So why do I still want a swimming pool for my dog? Because I enjoy watching my big dog swim!
I am reminded that there are in fact many ways to grow your nest egg besides buying real estate. There are real estate hedge funds, partnerships, and other “share-based” investments with no hands-on property management.
Another sound investment with ample growth is a Mutual Fund that diversifies their holdings in various but select investments. With proper professional guidance these are all sound investment plans for the future. After all, buying a house does not guarantee a “Home Sweet Home”. Home ownership is often all about Home Sweat Home! That’s right! Sweat Equity! Hard labor, maintenance, gardening, painting, cleaning, over and over again.
When you are a young person, you may enjoy apartment life while you accumulate personal “inventory” including collections, pets, more people, and more toys. It makes sense to look for a larger home to accommodate all that action. It might mean an acre of landscaped land, a big house full of activity and hopefully commensurate help in the upkeep.
On the other hand, when we are considering the rest of our lives after an empty nest or retirement transition, it’s tempting to choose a big change; to “re-size” into a decidedly new lifestyle. What are the options we have? Therein lies the question, and therein lies the angst, the emotion and the finances, especially if family gets involved in your decisions. So think! What is you really want? First you need to sort that list!
What are the efforts you’ve made in life because it made others happy? Set that list aside and look deeper. What were always your personal likes, dislikes, and favorite activities, goals and dreams that maybe got put on a back burner before you gave more of yourself to others. I believe those others understand it’s your turn, and what you do that makes you happy in your golden years, should make everyone that loves you happy, too!
This brings us back to our homes and whether we own or rent, lease or live with family. If you’re perfectly happy, by all means, stay put! If you own your home you can rent it out via a property management company for a small monthly fee taken from the rental income. It’s nice to not have to worry about tenants. The rental income should be saved a while to cover sudden expenses, but should help supplement a comfortable lifestyle perhaps renting or owning an exciting new home elsewhere. Not only that, the rental income should grow with the economy over time. Loans may be drawn from the real estate as value grows in some cases. One way equity is used is via “Reverse Mortgages”.
Reverse Mortgages certainly have their place in the lending market. Our Brokerage works with Reverse Mortgage Wholesale Lenders should you like to inquire about a loan or have your questions answered. There are many loan types available for refinance like that, or for the purchase of a new home. Suppose you decide to sell your home and cash it out to move to the “country and clean air”! You might wish to keep half your cash in the bank or investments, and use as the required part down of a Reverse Purchase Loan! Rates and loan amount change all the time so I won’t quote them here but this is one good option for seniors.
Perhaps you sell your home or rent and want to relocate. Try renting for awhile in your choice for new home town. Meet your neighbors, check out senior services and activities, medical facilities and don’t forget good internet reception! That’s very important for staying in touch today and most of your entertainment. Add to a list of amenities you love to have, like a window over the kitchen sink! Do you need a doggy door? Well you just might need a yard then. Make that list, then make a list of everything you absolutely do not want.
If you don’t want to water a lawn again, you better live in an HOA. It’s worth it when you add up gardeners and pool cleaners. If you hate cleaning and cooking, assisted living might be pure luxury to you. Maybe you always dreamed of more land space, so you should put “NO HOA’s” on your “Don’t Want List”. There are darling homes in the country on small lots requiring minor maintenance that are also next to open lands available for all to enjoy. If you don’t want to mow lawns or pull weeds again, this is something to consider if you still like to walk in nature and look at the view.
There is the option of buying a lot and having a home built exactly to your specifications. There are loan programs for that called “construction to permanent” financing. Funds are pulled from the bank as invoices for construction are submitted for payment. When the home is built and receives its Certificate of Occupancy, you get a final Residental Home Loan of whatever type you chose, and you get to move in! This home is made for you and you alone! Nice!
In closing, I have my ear to the ground on real estate projections. As of today, the word I got was it’s a good time to sell in Southern California this summer. Prices are edging up and rates are going down! The lending limits on the Reverse Mortgages is better than end of last year when they reduced them. Maybe sell, then rent for awhile in a new place, then buy when the next dip in prices rolls around. Maybe late 2019 to mid 2020 will be a good time to buy! After owning and caring for a home for perhaps decades, doesn’t a luxury apartment with management for repairs on the line sound like a dream? No? Tired of renting and want a yard for Fido? Do it! Do it for yourself this time!
I hope you enjoyed my article. I am a senior facing all of the issues that I ponder here. I’m guessing I’m not alone! I am a Broker and MLO, also a retired child care provider and accountant. My experience in this field is long. If I can help you buy or sell real estate, add you to my MLS search for properties, or get you started on a Mortgage Loan through a choice of Wholesale Lenders we “shop”, do contact me!