Seniors On Cruises

 Just returned from a 15 day cruise to Hawaii out of LA and met the most wonderful people on the ship.  No better place to talk with seniors about where they live, especially the ones living in the active adult communities.  My wife and I spoke in detail with five or six different couples.

On delightful couple was living in one of the original Del Webb communities in Phoenix.(Interestingly, another couple from CA said they were living in the original Del Webb community. I don’t know which one was correct.) 

Anyway we spend three and a half hours at the dinner table listening to them and asking questions about how they liked living in their Del Webb active adult community in Phoenix. They just loved it. They were very social able people and loved life. She took tap dancing classes and they both went on about all the activities they participated in at the community.  They told us about a new game like tennis but played in half the court with paddles. I wish I could remember the name of it but it started in Washington state and now it is very popular in their community in Arizona. They did not know that I work with Retirement Media Inc. They just knew we were 59 years old and looking at options. They could not have been more positive.

It is interesting to know that they really like living in their active adult community.  I have been to several model park and community openings this year and felt the excitement created by a new community, but wondered what it would be like when the community was settled in and the marketing people had moved on to another opening. It was not only this couple living in Phoenix but two other couples living in California adult communities, that were so positive about their experiences.

However these couples living in what they considered to be the original Del Webb communities before Pulte, all said there communities were better than the ones being build today. When I told them about the new Del Webb / Pulte communities we had visited, they were surprised at the amenities and the features of the new homes.  According to them the new homes being built in their existing communities did not measure up in quality to the original homes.

But almost all positives from the people we spoke with about their experiences living in over 55 active adult communities, mostly Del Webb communities. At the end I asked each one but what about the negatives of active adult communities. They had to think hard to even come up with anything, but next post, I will comment on the negatives of active adult communities. 

It was also nice to talk with such positive engaging people, some in to their eighties. We can only be so lucky to be doing as good at that age.  

Robert banner #4 

10 Coolest Small Towns

Budget Travel article says these are the coolest small towns.

Millerton NY
Milford PA
Yachats OR
Waitsbuurg WA
Pala HI
Silver City NM
Peterborough NH
Tuscumbia AL
Collinsville CT
The article says these are up and coming small towns that may be worth a visit if you are nearby.

Destin, Florida

Recently I spend a week down in Destin Florida. Of coarse I had to check out the real estate market.  Riding around I sure did see a lot of For Sale signs on a lot of really nice properties.
A local broker says the property and lot sales dropped big time in the third quarter of 2005 and have leveled out at a much lower level.  He reckons it will stay that way for another two years or until the new regional airport opens.  I do bet with a new larger airport that will help spur things up a bit.

Destiin is such a beautiful area and a lot of people have second homes there. To them, if they are long term holders, it shouldn’t matter much. We talked with an owner at the condo community we were staying. She is from Oklahoma and has owned here unit since it was new, about 30 years ago.  They visit about twice a year and do not rent out their property.  She has such a low initial investment, it really has paid off for her.

Plenty of properties to rent for a week or longer in Destin even thought rental rates seem to be holding up very well.   But I know Destin had become so hot, a lot of people were into flipping.  I know several people who says they would put down a pre construction deposit and then were able to sell at a double closing when property was ready for a big profit.  Those days seem to be over for the time being.

Destin will come back so a bargain hunter could start looking now.

Many retirees are getting a second home to live in part of the year and keeping their current home. Or if you live in a nearby metro like Atlanta for example, you could make several trips down as often as you like, and either rent out your unit or not.