Welcome to our blog. We hope to educate you and share relevant content that inspires and moves you forward in your legacy journey. 

Feb. 21, 2020

You May Have More Home Equity Than You Realize

You May Have More Home Equity Than You Realize

With home values continuing to rise, there's a good chance you have more home equity than you may realize. Let's connect to explore how you can use your home equity in your next move. For more information or to find out your home's value, click on the "What is your home worth" link at the top of the page.


Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 18, 2020

California Dreaming of the Perfect Vacation Home

California Dreaming of the Perfect Vacation Home

Photo via Unsplash

California offers a range of landscapes and endless things to do that is unmatched by any other US state. From the beautiful redwood forests of the north to the tranquil coastline of the Pacific, California is a vacation destination to millions every year. With so much to see and do, the vacation possibilities are almost endless. If you’ve found yourself California dreaming lately, maybe it’s time to find yourself a rental home in your favorite getaway.

However, maybe you’re not a high roller who can afford a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. Do your dreams of easygoing California living need to be squashed because your budget isn’t in the seven digits? No, you can find a reasonable vacation home in the Golden State in your desired area. You just need to do your research.

Perfect Beach Towns

Are you drawn to the soothing sound of the crashing waves? California’s beaches are some of the Golden State’s most appealing destination’s. California beach towns stand out for their laid-back lifestyle, beauty, and inviting spirit. If you’re dreaming about an adorable abode near the beach, there are plenty of options available. In Oxnard, for example, you’ll spend around $500,000 to purchase a rental property that will put you right next to the ocean.

LA, Baby!

Maybe the glitz and glam of Los Angeles is more your speed, and living near Hollywood movie stars excites you. Lots of people seek out LA in hopes of fame and fortune, but it’s still a city full of opportunities for those who are more low-key. Hot spots range from Chinatown and the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach to tourist meccas like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You don’t need to be a millionaire to find a home in Los Angeles, you just need to know what you can afford and what area appeals to you. With so many, flocking to the city of show business, housing shortages are common. However, if the hustle and bustle of a big city with beaches is calling you, do your research and find affordable options.

California Wilderness Retreat

While many people associate California with surf and sun and movie stars, there are other areas to explore as well. For example, the San Ramon area offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and loads of other outdoor activities. If this sounds like an area where you’d like to purchase a rental home, keep in mind that in San Ramon, you’ll pay around $1.04M on average, though being so close to nature might be worth every penny!

Of course, San Ramon isn’t the only place that offers countless opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Just one and a half hours from Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake provides endless adventures year-round. If you can handle the cold, bundle up in the winter and enjoy skiing and sledding, or set off in the summer on mountain bikes. At seven miles long and one mile wide, Big Bear is California’s largest recreational lake. What’s more, homes located in the Big Bear Lake area are usually more affordable than some of the other popular destinations in California. Whether you have your sights set on treehouse chalets and lavish cabins, or functional family homes, Big Bear is an adventurous destination you should seriously consider.

If you want to soak up the California sun and live like the locals, you have to find the perfect place to call home. You don’t need a big budget to claim your home away from home. Research your desired area and find out what’s possible.

- Henry Moore

Posted in Vacation Homes
Feb. 5, 2020

Does “Aging in Place” Make Sense for You?

According to the Senior Resource Guide, the term means,

“…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.”

There is no doubt that you would find comfort staying in a home you’ve lived in for many years instead of moving to a totally unfamiliar or new environment. There is, however, new information that suggests this might not be the best option for everyone. The familiarity of your current home is a positive of aging in place, but the potential financial costs of remodeling or renovating your home might actually be more than the long-term benefits. Perhaps you live in a home that is larger than you need now, or maybe you live in a two-story home and a single-story home would better suit you in your later years.

A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) titled Housing America’s Older Adults explained,

“Given their high home ownership rates, most older adults live in single-family homes. Of the 24 million homeowners age 65 and over, fully 80 percent lived in detached single-family units…The majority of these homes are now at least 40 years old and therefore may present maintenance challenges for their owners.”

If you’re in this place, 40 years ago you may have been raising a growing family. For that reason, you probably purchased a 4-bedroom home on a large piece of property in a child or family-friendly neighborhood. It was a great choice for your family, and you still love that home very much.

Today, your kids are likely grown and have moved out on their own, so you don’t need as many bedrooms. Perhaps the yard maintenance is time consuming and no longer suits your lifestyle. You might be thinking about taking some equity out of your house and converting one of your bedrooms into a massive master bathroom, and maybe another room into an open-space reading nook or maybe even exploring renovating your home to create more of an "open concept floor plan." You might also be thinking about cutting back on lawn maintenance by installing a pool surrounded by beautiful paving stones, or maybe even a spa to soothe increasingly sore muscles as you age gracefully.

It all sounds amazing, doesn’t it? In the short term, you may really enjoy the home upgrades, but you’ll still have to climb those stairs, pay to heat and cool a home that’s larger than what you need, and continue fixing all the things that start to go wrong with a 40-year-old home, including the battle of deferred maintenance.

Last month, in their Retirement ReportKiplinger addressed the point,

“Renovations are just a part of what you need to make aging in place work for you. While it’s typically less expensive to remain in your home than to pay for assisted living, that doesn’t mean it’s a slam dunk to stay put. You’ll still have a long to-do list. Just one example: You need to plan ahead for how you will manage maintenance and care—for your home, and for yourself.”

So, at some point, the time may come when you decide it is time to sell your house anyway. If you’ve already taken cash value out of your home, or taken out a reverse mortgage and used funds for the type of remodeling we mention here, it may be more difficult to sell. Realistically, some changes can actually inadvertently lower the value of your home, especially if you reduce the number of bedrooms, or make changes that may make the space more usable for you, but less desirable for a wide range of buyers. A future family moving into your neighborhood is likely similar to what your family was 40 years ago. They probably have young children and will want the extra bedrooms, and may or may not find a pool appealing.

Bottom Line

If your plan is to age in place, before you spend the money to remodel or renovate your current house, let’s get together to discuss your options. Making a move to a smaller home, even in the same neighborhood, might make the most sense for you. Maybe it's time to move closer to family, or even closer to conveniences like doctors and grocery stores, etc. We are here for you to be a resource. 

Bobby Taylor, Realtor ®, Seniors Real Estate Specialist ®

(916) 989-9989

Posted in Seniors
Sept. 19, 2017

Seniors Downsizing

Downsizing in Your Golden Years: A Guide For Seniors


Photo by Free-Photos


As a senior, it’s likely there will come a time when you need to downsize. You may want to get rid of an assortment of items and find yourself a smaller, more comfortable living space where you can enjoy your golden years.


Where to Begin


Finding the right home can be a daunting task, but with a little time and effort, you can find the perfect living situation for your needs. U.S. News says you should consider the type of lifestyle you intend to lead. If you’re still working, you may want to have an office space or a work area.

If you’re retired but intend to have guests such as children or grandchildren, consider getting a home with a little extra space. Condos are a popular option for seniors who frequently travel, as opposed to a single family home, which requires more upkeep and maintenance. When looking for a home, also consider details such as appliance height, home location, ease of access, and affordability.


Organizing Your Belongings


AARP recommends that seniors go through a checklist before downsizing your belongings. Checklist items include: creating a division of assets, establishing a sorting system, focusing on the lesser-used rooms first, and taking notes. Creating a division of assets, which helps your loved ones know who receives which items, should be done well in advance. This can prevent conflict during the move and eliminate unneeded stress. Establishing a sorting system with items in separate areas denoting what will be kept, what will be donated, and what will be tossed out can expedite the downsizing process. Starting with lesser-used rooms first will keep clutter out of the more occupied spaces, and keeping notes will ensure that you know where everything is.


Consider the floor plan of your new home and which pieces of furniture and large items you intend to keep. According to The Spruce, knowing what items will fit and what won’t can help make the decision easier. It’s also important to ask questions about each particular item you wish to keep. For example, ask questions like: How often do you use this item? Does it hold sentimental value? Would it be better in the hands of a loved one? How will this item serve your new home?


It’s also crucial to be patient with yourself. Downsizing can be a difficult and emotional process. Give yourself time to work through any emotions. If you need to, take a break, go for a walk, or talk to someone. Give yourself time to grieve the life you are leaving behind, if need be.


When to Call a Professional


A 2016 New York Times article outlines the benefits of hiring a professional moving manager for seniors. Moving managers specialize in helping seniors discern what to store with relatives, what to sell at auctions or liquidate, and what to throw away. They also take the brunt of heavy lifting, and allow the senior to separate themselves from the moving process — something that can be a daunting and potentially traumatic experience. The option of hiring specialty moving managers can be costly, however, with rates starting as low as $40 an hour and running as high as $100 an hour.


If you opt to do some of the moving yourself, remember basic safe lifting guidelines. According to OSHA, remember to keep a correct neutral posture where the body is aligned and balanced, with your head kept upright and the spine bent no more than 20 degrees while lifting with your legs. Your elbows should be kept at your sides and your palms should be facing inward. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or utilize lifting equipment that will reduce the risk of injury.


Downsizing to a smaller home doesn’t have to be a difficult process. While it’s certainly time consuming, it can be the best option to help you enjoy your senior years in comfort and ease. With a little organization, finding the right place and the right help, hopefully you will be well on your way to a comfortable new living situation with everything you need!








Posted in Seniors