In recent years co-living has gained popularity not only in younger 20’s demographics, but attracting popularity for 50+ Boomer generation. Typically, seniors who opt for the co-living lifestyle as homeowners enjoy additional income from roommates and companionship!
What’s the difference between Co-Living versus Co-Housing?
In co-living people without family ties choose to cohabitate in a single dwelling. Typically, each resident has a private bedroom but other rooms (such as kitchen, laundry room, family room) are considered shared common spaces. In a co-housing community, each individual or family has an independent living unit (single family home, condo or apt) and they might share common facilities such as pools, a library, conference or fitness space.
In the SF Bay Area we know that the lack of affordable housing is difficult as it can hit the senior population hard. As the ‘Silver Tsunami’ and senior households continues to expand over the next two decades, households in their 80’s will be the fastest-growing age group according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Many of those households already face cost burdens.
As the cost of senior communities continue to rise, along with visitation restrictions which COVID19 has placed on family members not being allowed into these senior communities, the desire for multi-generational housing continues to escalate. These are hard questions all families must decided what is important to them. Families are looking for more options as our lifestyle has shifted during these stressful health crisis times our community and family interdependence has become of greater necessity.
What are Co-Living Advantages?
- Sharing household responsibilities can lessen the load and housemates can have complimentary benefits such as one roommate’s ability to drive to the store and another can prep food and cook. This might allow individuals to live independent and active lives.
- Fewer seniors own their own homes these days, more are likely to have a mortgage or even a second mortgage. Co-living can help homeowners afford to stay in their home but creating passive income with rent. Sharing space means dividing up utility costs and home maintenance expenses too.
- Loneliness is one aspect of aging-in-place that co-living can help remedy. A sense of belonging and community can be nurtured with scheduled co-living events such as “Italian Night!” and plan cooking a dinner while playing Italian opera and watch a favorite Italian movie!
Preventing Co-Living Conflicts
Create a written agreement outlining who pays for what and when. Housemates with declining cognitive abilities and/or mobility issues can make living together difficult so a mutually agreed upon rental contract will help avoid co-living conflicts.
Make sure to interview to find the right fit housemate. Look for someone who is financially stable, and shares your interest, values and lifestyle. Always discuss privacy expectations and do consider looking outside an age range. When meeting with a prospective roommate for the first time, always meet in a neutral public location for safety reasons. Get references from previous roommates and consider a background check and credit check; protect oneself.
Consider a trial period and see if all personalities get along! Will pets or habits become irritating after two weeks? Will you need to consider ‘overnight guests’ and does each roommate need to seek permission and could this be considered an invasion of privacy for some? Some people need more privacy than others and having a written agreement can help communication and expectation.
It can be a wonderful experience co-living with others. Co-living can be multi-generational or the same age, but whatever one decides to do I hope you’ll enjoy the company and appreciate your differences!
If you’re interested in other cities, let me know, I can set-up your customized search to assist your needs.
Lynne Watanabe MacFarlane, MCDM, SRES | Realtor
PFAC Silicon Valley affiliate
Intero | A Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate
Here are some ways to add value to your current home. Some are relatively inexpensive, such as painting trim or adding new bark for curb appeal, but solar panels are expensive and depending on the next home buyer, it may not get the direct return as expected (plus solar technology is always advancing).
There are certainly many other ways to add value to a property, one of them involves creating more space by adding an ADU (attached or detached) or adding a carport or garage. I’ll soon be posting my interview with Bob Harrison, owner of Creative Design Builder who specializes in building high-end luxury properties with design considerations working on steep mountain grades in Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto Hills, Hillsborough and others.
Let me know if I can be of any assistance.
I’m never too busy for your referrals. Thanks!
It may only be the middle of March but for Silicon Valley real estate, spring has sprung.
Overall, the housing market is on the rise. Available homes for sale or inventory continue to be very low, which has fueled housing price appreciation for the past several years. Historically, inventory rises as the weather warms and we enter the spring selling season. One benchmark comparison that can provide a deeper understanding of the housing market is the overall health of the stock market.
At Intero, we chart the S&P 500 as it relates to home prices in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. Historically, we find that the two indices are closely correlated. If you examined the chart a few weeks ago, you’d observe a widening gap between the S&P 500 and the average price in our local real estate markets. The unending stock market rally seemed to be marching continuously upward while the real estate market took a breather in 2019, causing a gap between home prices and S&P 500. Then as news of the Coronavirus dominated headlines, the gap narrowed as the current stock market correction began to take hold.
It makes sense local housing prices should chart the S&P 500; many of our buyers in Silicon Valley are employed at companies like Apple, Google or Facebook and use their stock options as down payment capital to purchase homes.
So, when prospective buyers or sellers ask the perennial question:
Presuming the stock market decline did not wipe out your down payment, now is the best mortgage interest rate environment in 50 years!
We suggest that now is a good opportunity to get involved with the housing market no matter what side of the fence you’re on, buyer or seller. Why? Presuming the stock market decline did not wipe out your down payment, now is the best mortgage interest rate environment in 50 years! The uncertainty in the stock market has pushed yields on treasury bills as well as mortgage bonds to all-time lows. Your money buys you more house than it did just a few weeks ago.
Is now a good time for prospective home sellers? The continued low inventory of homes for sale has caused prices to firm over the past six months and in many cases, we’re seeing multiple offers on attractive, well-priced properties. When supply is low and demand is strong, prices tend to rise. Stay calm and sell!
Savvy buyers and sellers will stay calm and proceed with plans to buy and sell. – Brian Crane, CEO Intero
Our hearts go out to those affected by the Coronavirus and we should all take necessary precautions to stay healthy, but this is not the time to retreat from the real estate market. Savvy buyers and sellers will stay calm and proceed with plans to buy and sell. Please let me know if you or someone you know is interested in selling, buying or investing, I’m never too busy for your referrals.
Lynne MacFarlane, Realtor, PFAC Affiliate
(831) 346-2743 text/voice anytime
Have you seen what’s happening in the stock market last week?
The Dow and S&P 500 each dropped 12% and 11% for the week marking their worst weekly performance since the financial crisis.😳
Maybe it’s time to consider diversifying your portfolio – While the stock market is a common investment option (its true that stocks are more liquid, easier to diversify), real estate investments offer an alternative. Under the right circumstances a real estate investment may be low risk, may yield better returns and in California we do have great appreciation. As an investor or landlord you can provide housing, and get a tax break, passive income before you retire; awesome right?
Give me a call when you’re ready to move up, downsize or buy your first, second…rental property. As always, I appreciate you and let me know if I can help you in any way!
Lynne MacFarlane, MCDM
Intero Real Estate Services
(831) 346-2743 text/voice
Ladies, please listen up! When buying a home, we all want to feel like we’re making the right decision, paying a fair price, and making the best investment of our lives. According to a recent gender-based study, men and women can unknowingly walk away with very different financial outcomes when the deal closes. Thankfully, if you follow some simple ways to arm yourself with the information you need to prepare in advance, you’re more likely to feel like you’ve won when the keys to your new house are in your pocket.
Kelly Shue and Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham of the Yale School of Management showed in their recent study The Gender Gap in Housing Returns, when single women invest in the housing market, they’re generally losing out compared to their male counterparts. The report explains,
“We find that single men earn one percentage point higher unlevered returns per year on housing investment relative to single women…The gender gap grows significantly larger after adjusting for mortgage borrowing: men earn 6 percentage points higher levered returns per year relative to women. Data on repeat sales reveal that women buy the same property for approximately 2% more and sell for 2% less.”
On National Public Radio (NPR), Kelly Shue elaborated by saying,
“Women are losing about $1,370 per year relative to men because they tend to buy the same house at a higher price and sell for a lower price.”
In the grand scheme of things, $1,370 a year could be as much as an entire month’s mortgage payment for many households in the United States.
How can you make sure this doesn’t happen to you?
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way for anyone, regardless of gender. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you’re prepped and ready to enter the housing market with your best foot forward.
1. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Professional
You need someone on your side who’s going to have your best interest in mind and support your unique homeownership goals. Hiring an agent who has a finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying experience an educated one. You need someone who’s going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear. (Call me today and let’s get together a plan for your real estate needs in 2020.)
2. Understand the Homebuying Process
Know the key homebuying steps in advance, so you have the best context for how the process works from pre-approval to budgeting, inspections, and more. Have a price range in mind that you can realistically afford, too, so you’re ready to make an offer that positions you for success. Ask your agent questions along the way, and partner together so you feel confident and prepared at every turn. (Call me today to schedule a Home Buying Process appointment)
3. Research the Current Market
Make sure you know the current trends and insights of the housing market as well. When you find a home that’s the perfect fit, determine what other homes are selling for in the neighborhood. These numbers can vary over time based on market conditions such as inventory, appreciation, and many other economic factors. A great agent will provide you with this information and guide you through every step from start to finish. (Email me today to receive a current real estate market report in your area).
When you have a trusted advisor on your side and you’re confident you know exactly what’s happening in the market, you’ll be in a great position to negotiate effectively. Let’s get together today to make sure you’re ready to win the homebuying deal.
I would like to help you. Give me a call and let’s go over the buyer process together to make sure your offer is the winning one!
Lynne MacFarlane, Realtor
(831) 346-2743 text/voice
Outside of a strong economy, low unemployment, and higher wages, there are three more great reasons why you may want to consider buying your dream home this year instead of waiting.
1. Buying a Home is a Great Investment
Several reports indicate that real estate is a good investment, topping other options such as gold, stocks, bonds, and savings. Why? Real estate helps build equity, a form of investing for you and your family. According to CoreLogic’s Equity Report,
“U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 64% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of nearly $457 billion since the third quarter 2018, an increase of 5.1%, year over year.”
This means the average homeowner gained approximately $5,300 in equity over the past year. If you want to start building your equity, put your housing costs to work for you through homeownership this year.
2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Low
The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac indicates that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have fallen since November 2018 when they hit 4.94%. In their latest forecast, Freddie Mac expects rates to remain low, leveling out to a yearly average of 3.8% in 2020.
When you purchase a home at a low mortgage rate, it will impact your monthly mortgage payment, giving you the opportunity to buy more house for your money.
3. Investing in Your Family is a Win
There are some renters who haven’t purchased a home yet because they’re uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you’re living rent-free with your parents, you’re paying a mortgage – either yours or that of your landlord.
Today, rental prices continue to increase, and when you’re paying your landlord’s mortgage instead of your own, you’re not the one earning the equity. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ you can use later in life to reinvest in your family. You can use it for a variety of opportunities, such as saving for your children’s education, moving up to a bigger home, or starting your own business. As a renter, it can be more challenging to achieve those types of dreams without home equity working for you.
Buying a home sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings and long-term financial growth for you and your family. Let’s get together to determine if homeownership is the right choice for you this year.
Lynne MacFarlane, MCDM, Realtor
Your investment options go beyond traditional stocks and bonds. You can use your IRA investments to purchase real estate or undeveloped land. Any money you make from the investment, either from a sale or rental income, must be directed back into the IRA. Learn more about the benefits and risks by using self-directed IRAs in this article by Policy Genius (click on image).
Join me at my Open House at 448 N 21st Street San Jose
Aug 18th Sunday from 1PM – 4:30 PM
Following yesterday’s ADU (accessory dwelling unit) event called “Small Homes, Big Impact” sponsored by the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley and the AARP of California, I will host the open house at 448 N 21st Street in San Jose as example of a home built with an attached ADU in the backyard. There is 2,265 SF of living space with a lot size of 6,375 SF lot. This 5 Bedroom and 4 Bath is ready for move-in. All you have to do it think how you’d like to take title… as a home allowing multi-generational living, one can pass the property down to adult children or two or three couples can purchase as tenants in common, it’s up to you how you would like to use the space.
This ADU is 404SF, complete turnkey with 1Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, kitchen with stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, a living room, and A/C. This ADU has a separate entryway allowing the resident independence from the main home. It can be used as a business office, an in-law/family unit, or rented for lease or AirB&B.
The structure has permits for all work and shows very well.
The pass-through garage looks like a single car garage, but actually allows 3 or more cars inside the long driveway.
Here’s my Open House video:
Let me know if you’re interested in receiving this home’s property report &/or disclosures. This is a fantastic turnkey property with many uses!
If you or anyone you know is looking to buy, sell or invest in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am never too busy for your referrals! Thank you.