Getting Your Edge: How to Rightsize your Home and Life.

The Good, the Bad, and the Adventurous: How to choose a home and lifestyle that fits your needs

December 05, 2022 Judy Gratton and Dennis Day Season 1 Episode 3
Getting Your Edge: How to Rightsize your Home and Life.
The Good, the Bad, and the Adventurous: How to choose a home and lifestyle that fits your needs
Show Notes Transcript

You are ready to rightsize! But where do you go? In episode three, hosts Judy and Dennis share the pros and cons of different dwellings and lifestyle choices, like: the beach, desert, mountains or rural areas. You'll also learn about all types of dwellings, from Retirement community,  RV,  Condo, Townhome to "aging in place" and more. Don't miss this episode packed with information to help you choose the right lifestyle and home that fits all your needs and desires.  

Episode 3 of the Getting Your Edge: How to Right-size Your Home and Life Podcast

The Good, the Bad, and the Adventurous: How to choose a home and lifestyle that fits your needs

Dennis Day:  0:00  

Hello and welcome to the Getting Your Edge podcast, how to right size your home and life. I'm Dennis day.


Judy Gratton:  0:06  

Hi, I'm Judy Gratton.


Dennis Day:  0:08  

This is episode three, and it's called "The Good, the Bad and the Adventurous, how to choose a home and lifestyle that fits your needs."


Judy Gratton:  0:16  

Today we're going to provide you with information on different types of homes and lifestyles. We'll look at the pros and cons of each one and hopefully give you some information so you can begin to narrow down your choices to find the perfect home and lifestyle for you.


Dennis Day:  0:35  

We've got a variety of lifestyles and dwellings, so let's go through the list real quick here we've got Condos, Townhomes, a Rambler, Manufactured Home, RV, Retirement Community, Vacation location, Aging and play, living abroad. And we've got some specific information on places like Desert Mountain, Ski resort, Beach run etc. So how about we start with Condo? What are the pros and cons of a Condo, Judy?


Judy Gratton:  1:00  

Well, to begin with, the pros are that in relationship to homes, they're relatively inexpensive to buy. There are lots of choices as to where you might find a condo and how much they're going to cost. And there's little maintenance involved. Generally the outside of the building is the responsibility of the homeowner association. And oftentimes there are a lot of amenities like swimming pools, clubhouses, exercise rooms, things along those lines. 


Dennis Day:  1:28  

That sounds pretty good. But are there some downsides? 


Judy Gratton:  1:30  

Oh, absolutely. Most people are not too keen on the idea of having to pay those homeowner association dues. Those dues, though, are what take care of the outside of the building and the amenities. So they really are everyone's coming together to split the cost of those repairs and a good condominium. We'll have dues that take care of all of that. So nothing is left sitting on the table, when you don't have dues that cover everything. 


Eventually, you're going to run into a situation where there's some large item that needs to be repaired, the money isn't in the budget to do it. And then the homeowners association will levy what's referred to as a special assessment. And those special assessments can be small or they can be very large, just depending on the health of the condominium association itself.


Dennis Day:  2:24  

Can I interject there? 


Judy Gratton:  2:25  



Dennis Day:  2:25  

Yeah, I was working with a woman from a Brahmo residential community and she had purchased her Condo. Well, they did the dues, they didn't cover the cost of the repairs, and they didn't do the maintenance. So she was slapped with a $50,000 assessment fee. She didn't have the money, she reached out to me to see if she could sell the cost of buying a condo with that large of an assessment. She wasn't going to make any money that would allow her to move anywhere else that she was really stuck.


Judy Gratton:  2:54  

That is one of the issues. When you buy a condominium. When you buy a condominium. You have the right in the state of Washington to review what's referred to as a resale certificate. And the Homeowners Association provides you a copy of the budget, they show you how much money is outstanding, say they have members who haven't been paying their dues. They show you if there are any lawsuits, they give you a lot of information on the association. 


They also provide you minutes and budgets for the past two years, a lot of new buyers do not look at those. But they should because those minutes can tell you if there's someone living there that is not the best neighbor, shall we say so you can get a good picture of what you're getting into before you actually sign on the dotted line. You do have to have a contract in place to buy the condominium. But then you have a period of time to review the resale certificate. And if you don't like what you see there, you can terminate the contract and get your earnest money back. So it's really important to review that resale certificate if you get one.


Dennis Day:  4:02  

Do your homework. 


Judy Gratton:  4:03  



Dennis Day:  4:04  

Got your realtor to help you out and understanding anything else that's negative of a condo?


Judy Gratton:  4:09  

Sharing walls, you're always going to be sharing walls with someone somewhere might be above you below you on either side or all of the above. So it's a good idea to spend a little bit of time in there, maybe on a weekend, when other people are there so you can see how well insulated those walls are and see if that's really going to bother you. My husband plays electric guitar we would not be a good neighbor in a condominium situation. So that would be probably a con for a lot of people.


Dennis Day:  4:40  

And are condos as easy to sell as a home in the current market?


Judy Gratton:  4:44  

Well in terms of price, they're great. But all of these the homeowners association dues there can be requirements for instance, what kind of pets you can have or not have so a lot of the restrictions in a homeowner's association their bylaws rules and regulations may turn some people off it will narrow the market a little bit more than a regular residential home. There's also limited storage normally in a condominium, you will have maybe a storage unit on your deck, something like that. So you're not going to have generally a full size garage, something along those lines. So they're not as easy to sell as a free standing home.


Dennis Day:  5:26  

You might get one parking spot, true, perhaps covered, perhaps not sure. So a townhome. Similar condo, they are, but let's talk about what makes them better.


Judy Gratton:  5:34  

Most of the time, they're bigger, often they're two storeys, so you do have to look at something like stairs and if that's going to be an issue to you frequently, they do have a garage, they feel more like a real home. They have more square footage for the most part. Again, the interior of your home is normally your responsibility and the exterior of the home is sometimes the responsibility of the homeowners association and sometimes it's not frequently you might even have a small yard with a townhome that could or could not be your responsibility again. So they are bigger. They're more like a home. They're also a little more expensive


Dennis Day:  6:16  

 Then a condo?


Judy Gratton:  6:17  

Yes, normally.


Dennis Day:  6:18  

Do they have amenities?


Judy Gratton:  6:19  

Some do, some don't. Sometimes they have a clubhouse. Sometimes they're on a golf course. It just depends.


Dennis Day:  6:25  

 HOA fees of Home Owner Association?


Judy Gratton:  6:27  

Yes, they do. 


Dennis Day:  6:29  

And you are going to be sharing a wall probably with at least one other.


Judy Gratton:  6:33  

Yes, yes. With at least one other family. Frequently it's going to be a bedroom wall or the garage wall depending on the layout of the townhome.


Dennis Day:  6:42  

Usually you get a garage. 


Judy Gratton:  6:44  

Frequently you do yes.


Dennis Day:  6:46  

Okay, you're just gonna have limited storage. But with how many garages, it is helpful.


Judy Gratton:  6:50  

Yes, it is. But the homeowners association may require that you park your car in the garage, I have seen that in the past where you're not allowed to park your car in the driveway even if it's supposed to go into the garage so that could limit the storage again, that resale certificate comes into play. And it's very important that you read it and know what you're getting into


Dennis Day:  7:12  

Your boat or your RV or your?


Judy Gratton:  7:15  

Those items are generally not allowed to be parked or stored in any kind of condominium or townhome community. Sometimes they do have parking on the perimeter of a subdivision like that where you could pay rent to have a space for your boat or your RV. It's normally fenced off.


Dennis Day:  7:34  

Alright, I want to talk about one of my favorite dwellings, the Rambler or if you're in some parts of the country, you call it a ranch house. And I love these because you could get them with no stairs. So you're on a one story living and I envision myself staying in my home a lot longer if I don't have to go up and down stairs to a bedroom or some other part of the home. And the other advantages. 


Judy Gratton:  7:59  

Well, normally they are freestanding homes, they could still be in a homeowner's association many subdivisions these days have homeowners associations and what's referred to as CC and Rs for covenants, conditions and restrictions that the developer has put into place when the subdivision was developed. 


So you want to know if there's a homeowner's association, you want to be able to review the rules and regulations and make sure that they fit for you we call them Ramblers here are on very large, lots others are on very small lots, they tend to be the most popular home to buy and sell they will sell first they'll generally sell for a little bit more in a neighborhood than even a two story home because of the fact that there are no stairs. 


And of course there are garages and depending on them could be a two car, three car, one car, it just depends on the subdivision that they're in. Those are all pluses for a single story home, they take up the footprint of a single story home normally unless it's a small home is going to take up more land. So they could conceivably also be a little bit more expensive if you're buying a brand new.


Dennis Day:  9:14  

Meaning it might be a little more expensive to get in but the resale value is excellent. 


Judy Gratton:  9:18  



Dennis Day:  9:19  

So we've kind of on that line. It's a high cost per square foot. But you're still perhaps doing yard work. Yeah. And maintenance and building fences and things like.


Judy Gratton:  9:29  

Yes, I do know of a 155 plus community in Burlington where all the homes are single freestanding homes, they do fall under your account. That's a whole different baileywick but they do fall under condominiums the way they were zoned, but they are freestanding, they do have maintenance, so someone does come along and mow the lawns for you. You do have limited ability to do gardening in those homes. So there are a few out there that are more like condos but freestanding? Not many. They're hard to find.


Dennis Day:  10:05  

Moving on. Let's go to the manufactured home. So you're moving into a community and you're putting what's something that is moved on to the property or you're buying one that's already there. How does that stack up?


Judy Gratton:  10:20  

Well manufactured homes they've been out there referred to as trailers. There are single-wide, double-wide, even triple-wide, and they come on a chassis with wheels. And once they have been moved into the property, they are considered personal property, not real estate. So the taxes that you pay on them as long as they stay on those wheels is a personal property taxes just like a car. So you would buy tabs for them, once you remove them from the wheels and tie them to the ground, which is really the safest thing to do so that in an earthquake or something they don't fall off. That is called Title elimination. 


And at that point, they become real property and you pay real property taxes. Now you can put a manufactured home on owned land where you own the land, there are parks, where you own the land, the majority of the parks, you do not own the land, you rent the land. And so even though you own the home, and you may have paid cash for it, you're still going to be paying rent to the owners of the park. And owning manufactured home parks has become an incredibly lucrative situation where corporations are literally looking into it, and they'll come in and they'll buy a park and they may raise the rent to something that is not comfortable for you. 


The thing about manufactured homes is they can only be moved once, once you move them a second time, you cannot get financing on them at all. Older manufactured homes are very hard to get financing on and the interest rates may be high. That's why they're generally less expensive. Although because of all of the appreciation in all real estate values over the last couple of years, they have gone up quite a bit from what they used to be, you really need to again, if you're going into a park where you're paying rent, you have to make application with the park managers and be approved by the park managers they are going to run a credit check, they're going to run background and you have to be approved based on the ability to pay the rent. 


And then depending on the park, you may be responsible, most likely you're going to be responsible for your electricity, but water, sewer and trash may be part of the rent fee, then again, it may not they do have restrictions as to what kind of gardening you can do. They have a lot more restrictions, but it is a free standing home. And really a lot of manufactured homes are laid out better than many stick built homes are just well thought out where maybe you've got your primary suite on one side of the unit and the other bedroom or bedrooms clear at the other end. 


So it provides people with a little bit more privacy, they generally have a lot of good interior storage, but they're just not ever going to be considered as valuable as a stick built home as we refer to it. 


So they're not going to appreciate as much but they might and they can be a little more difficult to sell because the park has to approve the potential buyer and I would never suggest buying any manufactured home older than July of 1976. And that may have even changed but that used to be the break even point where lenders will not loan on them at all. 


At that point they had aluminum wiring and aluminum wiring can be dangerous in that when the electricity is going through the wire and then you turn it off, it stretches the wire when it's going through then you turn it off and the wires leg and it could cause for arcing, so there can be some fire risk in those aluminum wired older manufactured homes.


Dennis Day:  14:14  

So that's 1976.


Judy Gratton:  14:14  

Or older.


Dennis Day:  14:16  

 So you think about the old centennial. Yes, 1976 we had all that all the hoopla about the bicentennial in July. So think about anything that was manufactured before that time, has potential to be dangerous doesn't have to mean reconstruct it.


Judy Gratton:  14:32  

They can reconstruct it, they can rewire it they can do a lot of things it generally does not make a whole lot of difference to a lender. So if you're looking to get a loan on a home number one in a park, it will always be a little bit more expensive because you don't own the land. So you're getting a personal property loan and number two, the older they get, the fewer lenders will actually loan on them at all. 


Dennis Day:  14:56  

So one of the things around this area in the Seattle area is that most These manufactured home parks are 55 and older. And for some people, that's awesome. You love it. Other people are like, maybe not, I don't want to do that, or it really blocks out people who have children.


Judy Gratton:  15:10  

Correct. And if you have someone coming to stay with you for a long period of time, the park may restrict how long they can stay, especially children on many of these parks have swimming pools and clubs, houses and things like that. And they so far I've run into a few of them that will not allow you to bring your grandchildren into the pool. So again, you need to review the rules, regulations of a manufactured home park and make sure you're going to be happy there, maybe get to wander around and meet some of the neighbors. You know, I keep using my husband, the electric guitar player, he probably would not be welcome in a manufactured home park because they kind of like it in the 55 plus to be a little quieter and he's not so.


Dennis Day:  15:52  

One of the nice things I've seen about the manufacturers at some of the parks really have a community feel the clubhouse the activities you've been go guard playing trips, Christmas parties or holiday parties, and it can be a really fulfilling place for people to live.


Judy Gratton:  16:12  

If that's the sort of thing you like, Absolutely. If it's not that may seem to be a little intrusive, what do you like as an individual and then you should be very aware of what that park rent is and if they are a question to ask, Are they anticipating any large price hikes in the rent in the near future because they will almost always raise the rent it could be anywhere from 10 to $50 a year maybe even a little bit more just on average. 


I know of one right now and they the homes that have been selling in there they are advertising that as of January 2023 their rents are going from like $700 a month to over $1,000 a month a new management company has come in they've done a lot of updates to the property and the roads and things like that the clubhouse whatever but they are raising the rent significantly and people on a fixed income they may not be able to deal with that really the only choice they have is to sell the home and


Dennis Day:  17:11  

You can't move it off. 


Judy Gratton:  17:13  

You really can't move it off. I mean you can it's expensive but you'll never get it sold to anybody who's looking for a loan if you do.


Dennis Day:  17:21  

One of the worrisome parts about manufacturing we spent a lot of time on is that these parks are in urban areas are highly sought after and we've seen this around our area where the park is sold by the owner everybody has to move off so that they can build luxury condominiums.


Judy Gratton:  17:38  

That can happen.


Dennis Day:  17:39  

You don't have a lot of guarantee that you're going to be there forever.


Judy Gratton:  17:42  

No you do not. And the problem again is selling a home that needs to be moved is close to impossible so there's risk involved in buying a home and a manufactured home park there I know a lot of people who have lived in a manufactured home park absolutely love it and have been there for years so you just need to do your homework around the park and and understand that there's no signed sealed and stone that you can stay there forever.


Dennis Day:  18:11  

Now let's move on. This is a lot of people's dream. Selling the home packing up a big RV and hitting the open road. Yep, sounds fun. It does. What's the advantage?


Judy Gratton:  18:23  

Well it's your it's flexible. You can go wherever you want to go your home goes with you. The there is a sense of community among our viewers. They love to meet up in the different RV parks and whatnot, get to know each other and could conceivably be able to work from your RV because of the internet. It provides you with a massive amount of freedom.


Dennis Day:  18:44  

I have a friend who did just as old as the West Seattle home and took the RV. They've been traveling for three, four years. They absolutely loved it. I mean, they were in Vermont for the leaves turning. They were in Florida in the winter. They were able to go to places in the west, the big national parks and kind of an off season when other people aren't there and it was really a fantastic experience for them but they lived in 110 square feet.


Judy Gratton:  19:12  

Yes, yes. So talk about downsizing that's about as downsize as you can. Well I'm sure you could get more but yes, it becomes very small. Those are very expensive per square foot when you think about it too. 


And then you have the at this point time I don't know of any electric RV's so you have to pay for the fuel which is outrageously expensive, those large amounts of quantities so you have to really be prepared to run out put up money to do the RV situation.


Dennis Day:  19:41  

You have to maintain the vehicle too.


Judy Gratton:  19:42  




Dennis Day:  19:44  

The same friend of mine. They went to Labrador Canada, and this is a very isolating place. Well their vehicle broke down and nobody had part so they were sitting there in Labrador for a week waiting for a specific part to be flown in from the States.


Judy Gratton:  19:59  

I can't even imagine what that must have costs. And then just like any other vehicle RVs resale value is going to diminish exponentially the minute you drive it off a lot, so the more mileage on it the poor the resale value.


Dennis Day:  20:14  

And you don't have a home to come back to, I know that people get on that RV, and then sometimes it just really isn't the lifestyle that they think it is, or they get tired, and they don't have a stationary home that they can come back to, if you can do the RV and have a home come back to that's kind of the ideal thing to do.


Judy Gratton:  20:35  

I have had clients do that they bought a brand new manufactured home, they put it in a 55 Last Park and they loved they had friends in the park already. And then they had a beautiful RV. So they would use their RV which they were able to store at that park in a storage area for RVs. And they would go out in their RV when they wanted to. And then they had a beautiful brand new manufactured home that they really loved. And that was perfect for them.


Dennis Day:  21:04  

Now one of the things that we haven't really talked about is if you're in an RV, or doing a beach area, vacation home is things like health, dental care, because if you're traveling all over the place, you're going to have to have a plan that allows you to go to a doctor anywhere and you then you can you won't have one specific doctor that is your.


Judy Gratton:  21:24  

And I learned this from our little condo down in Long Beach, there is a very small hospital in Long Beach, they have very limited services, if we had a major medical issue happen while we're in Long Beach, and that would be true of any place where the population is small, and they have limited medical services, you will be airlifted to someplace that can accommodate your needs, or at the very least put in an ambulance. 


So you better make sure that your insurance covers that type of transportation. There is insurance out there that will pick up air lifts and ambulances and things like that. But if you're moving around a lot, especially like in an RV, or even, for instance, in my little beach town, you need to be aware of what is it going to look like to get medical, dental services, things along those lines.



Dennis Day:  22:17  

Well, speaking of healthcare, one of the options that people have is moving into a retirement community. And this could be a small apartment called assisted living, it would be a more intensive care. But there's some real nice advantages to these kinds of communities. Can you talk about that? 


Judy Gratton:  22:35  

There are, it's sort of and many of them are all a cart. So if you don't need any real health, you can just rent an apartment, we have everything from shag, which is there's not a lot going on there other than those are senior 55 plus communities to the more assisted living where there's on site medical staff where they provide meals, if you want them, if you don't want them, you have an apartment, and you could cook your own food. So it just depends on what you need. And the more services they offer, the more expensive those communities become.


Dennis Day:  23:10  

You might not even need a car. No, because these will offer a last trip to the grocery store or library or other adventures. So you could abandon that car and get rid of it. 


Judy Gratton:  23:22  

And it might become more of a liability because parking is limited even in the best of situations. And so you may have to pay for parking that car, though frequently people will eliminate the car in that type of living situation. But they go on trips, they have trips for the holidays, they have dining rooms, they have entertainment that comes in, they can take you to plays and take you to doctor's appointments. And they frequently have medical staff that there's 20 sites there 24/7. But they can be incredibly expensive.


Dennis Day:  23:59  

I know what we're talking about: $10,000 or more a month, it can be horrendously expensive. And the more care you get, the more amenities they offer, the more expensive thinking about a retirement community, you're going to have to think about the buy in fees. And this is just a large amount of money that allows you to move into that community. It can vary drastically. So pay attention to how much that's going to be.


Judy Gratton:  24:24  

And there are waiting lists in the really good ones. I have someone who's interested in selling her home but she's on a two year waiting list to get into the Retirement Community assisted living community that she would like to live in.


Dennis Day:  24:39  

One of the things my mother experienced was that there was bad food. She was in one that was just dreadful, absolutely dreadful. And then we moved her to another one and the food was good until the lockdown and then they basically released all the cooks and they were she had a turkey sandwich every day for lunch or for months and months food became really really dreadful. 


So that's one of the biggest complaints that seniors have when they're in a retirement community, check out the food before you decide which one you're going to go into. Also, you don't you don't build any equity. No, this isn't your home, you're not going to get a better retirement nest egg from a buy in on this one in the huge variation in quality of care. Be very careful if you take one of these. Alright, let's have a little more fun. Let's talk about vacation locations.


Judy Gratton:  25:27  

Oh, yeah, those are great. And people frequently will gravitate to areas that they enjoyed for recreation at other times during their lives. For me, it's the beach, I love the beach. The beaches in Washington are not sunny and hot there. They might be warm at best in the summer months, but they're absolutely gorgeous. 


So weather for me is not so much of a deciding factor. But it really is for other people, especially people suffering from arthritis, they tend to want to gravitate to warmer climates, like maybe the desert, or if they love hunting or fishing, maybe it's the mountains. I mean, there's any number of places or they're moving to be closer to relatives. 


That's another thing that people might consider in terms of vacation, they're not vacation locations, but a new area because they want to be closer to family members. Just if you're going to do that one, you better make sure those family members are going to stay put, because the worst thing would be to move somewhere and then have them pick up and leave. And now you're in a new location and you don't know anybody. You might want to make sure that you have that discussion with someone if you're considering moving to be closer to someone.


Dennis Day:  26:39  

These vacation homes can be peaceful, beautiful, quite safe, you can really build a community in some of these. And some of them have some tremendous amenities. I mean, like for the beach, it's the beach.


Judy Gratton:  26:52  

It's the beach. But there are golf course communities in the desert in Palm Springs and Arizona and it just depends on what it is you're looking for. Again, the more amenities, the more expensive those situations are going to be, especially in sought after places like the beach in the desert. 


Dennis Day:  27:13  

So let's look at some of the downsides of a vacation area. Yeah, one of them is it is it could be expensive, correct. And it could be crowded. 


Judy Gratton:  27:21  

During the high season.


Dennis Day:  27:22  

During the in season, the high season.


Judy Gratton:  27:23  

Absolutely, absolutely traffic becomes snarled. There are a lot of people distance to healthcare, again, really, that's a very important thing to consider who's going to take care of you if something goes wrong. And generally you'll need a car to get around from point A to point B, unless it's an assisted living, or a senior community that has that built in.


Dennis Day:  27:46  

Oh, my parents lived in a quaint little beach community in Northwest Washington, and they loved it. They absolutely loved it. It was the best 10 years of their life, we said, but it was a 30 minute drive to the doctor. And that was a regular occurrence because they were both in their 80s. And it was a 30 minute at best to get the ambulance to your home. That's a lot can happen in 30 minutes.


Judy Gratton:  28:08  

When you have medical issues that is definitely something to consider. And then you know, there's the social aspects of it. And for instance, churches, do you have a faith that you enjoy and practice regularly and is that particular faith, whether it be Christian, Muslim, Jew, whatever Buddhist do they have facilities near you. Otherwise, you may not be able to practice your faith, you may not fit in with the rest of the community. And that might be difficult. 


So whether or not you're LGBTQ in certain areas, that might be difficult as well. So these are all things that's why we really stress go out and practice those things that you're dreaming of, to make sure that they really are a good fit. But for me, I have to think about like, can I get my nails and my hair done though? I've got all that setup where I live right now if I move down to Long Beach, that's a small town. I don't know, you know, where am I going to have to go to get those things and like we talked about the dentists, the doctors, if you have pets, who is there good veterinarians in that area? What if you're gonna travel? Is there a place that you can board your animals to have them taken care of while you're gone? And then of course food, restaurants, grocery stores, everything that you rely on where you are, are you going to easily be able to get those things in that new location, no matter where you choose to go.


Dennis Day:  29:33  

There are some pros to rural areas, but there are also some downsides. You're not going to have the services that you will in a suburban or urban area. 


Judy Gratton:  29:42  

No, normally you will not.


Dennis Day:  29:43  

Let's talk about one of my best ones. I really love this age in place. Judy, tell us what that means.


Judy Gratton:  29:49  

That means not moving out of your current home. And there's a real pluses to that if you can do it. In most cases you have already built up equity in that home. And frequently those areas have become incredibly expensive, at least in Washington state where if you move out of an area, you just might not be able to afford to move back in. So there's a lot of value in many of the cities in these areas, and you bought at a time which is given you with a lot of equity. When you are ready to move, there will be incredible resale value.


So being in your home, staying in your home, if you can do that all of your social needs are pretty much already set up and ready to go. The emotional aspect of being able to stay in a home that you've been in for some period of time is huge. It there's just a lot of pluses if you can, if you can do that stairs are always something to consider for a lot of people as they as they downsize long can they maintain with stairs, what if you end up in a wheelchair, there's a lot of what ifs that you would need to consider. 


But aging in place, even if you're on a limited budget, and you have equity in your home, there is an animal called a reverse mortgage. And we will have someone come to the program and talk about what those look like and how they work. But you can utilize some of that equity to help you continue to survive and maintain that home. So there are a lot of pluses to aging in place.


Dennis Day:  31:24  

I have a few examples. One, my next door neighbor, they had purchased the home in the late 70s. They're getting older, the stairs were a problem. So they built on to the back of the home. And now they have 1000 square square space that is connected to the their original home. And they allowed their family to move in. So there's son and daughter in law and their grandchild to move into the original home. And they've got a built in family, they've got people they know already, you've got a built in babies, you can be the babysitter if you want. 


But you can also just go back into your space and close the door. Another example was somebody I knew through rotary where they really wanted to stay but they couldn't do the stairs. And they're worried about that. So it's expensive, they put up an elevator in their home. And now they can stay, they can keep their community, their church there, all the services, their doctor, etc. And they can keep building equity.


Judy Gratton:  32:22  

So aging in place is definitely something that could be considered and something to think about. And hopefully we'll have some experts in that, again, and another one of our episodes that can give you more information on what that looks like.


Dennis Day:  32:35  

One of the things I want people to think about is if you're going to age in place, and you're going to do an extensive remodel that you really need to be confident that in your health that you're going to stay there while otherwise you're going to pay a lot of money into a expensive remodel and deal with the mess and so forth. And then if you're have to move because your health fails, you're not going to be able to recoup that cost unless you're there for several years.


Judy Gratton:  32:59  

True because the next person buying will most likely not be looking at it from the same point of view that you are.


Dennis Day:  33:07  

We have seen this market that having a home that has two different living spaces is highly sought after it. Yes. Got great resale value. 


Judy Gratton:  33:17  

Yes, it does. 


Dennis Day:  33:18  

One more here, let's go live abroad. I think we're going to do a whole big episode on this on individually. But we just wanted to mention it some of the things that are exciting moving to another country, it's exciting. It might be less expensive, it could be peaceful, you could be closer to a lot of different other experiences. Like if you were living in southern Mexico. Well, South America is not that far away. All the areas of Mexico are a lot closer and so forth. So what are some of the downsides? 


Judy Gratton:  33:50  

Well, you're away from your family. Normally, you're not going to take everyone you know, and you better make sure you have your passport and keep that up to date so that you can come and go back between the two countries. And when you're dealing with a different country and a different government, you don't know how that's going to pan out. So I would definitely be doing a lot of research to make sure that you're going into a country where it's actually safe for you to stay for any period of time. 


And then healthcare. I do understand actually my brother lives in near Puerto Vallarta now, and initially, he was told that Medicare did not work in Mexico, but in the last month or so he has discovered that it does but he also knows more about once you're there for a certain period of time, you can actually qualify for the Mexican health care system, which is a lot less expensive than ours and especially prescription drugs and things along those lines. So the healthcare you need to know that you're well informed on that. Of course, there could be a language barrier. How are you going to deal with that and then again, you're away from your family.


Dennis Day:  34:59  

It can be a tremendous experience. 


Judy Gratton:  35:01  



Dennis Day:  35:02  

Do your homework.


Judy Gratton:  35:03  

Yes, I was in my youth, I actually was very lucky to be able to live in Japan for two years. And it totally changed my perspective on the world. And so I highly recommend that people, if they want to try it out, do your homework. And there are a lot of expats out there. That's what they're referred to that thoroughly love living in other parts of the world.


Dennis Day:  35:23  

So in a future episode, we'll bring on some people we know who actually do live abroad, and they can talk about the good, the bad and the adventurous part. Let's go to some specific places like the desert, the mountains, the beach, a rural area. How about the desert, what's good? 


Judy Gratton:  35:41  

Well, the weather in the winter, the weather is wonderful normally, I mean, you can have a few cold days, but it's much gentler, milder in the winter months in the desert than it than it is in many parts of the country. Not so good in the summer. So if you think you're gonna live there year round and not bopped back and forth between two locations, you better go there and visit in the summer. And see if you can stand the heat.


Dennis Day:  36:09  

I was born and raised in Pacific Northwest and I've got rust in my veins here. I could not tolerate a desert where it's over 100 degrees day after day after day, I just couldn't handle it.


Judy Gratton:  36:19  

Well and with global warming, it's gotten hotter. I lived in Arizona in the early 80s. And even then it was nothing for it to get up to 105, even 110 sometimes. And the thing that was so frustrating is you want to cool off and go in the pool, the pool is not cool. So you spend a lot of time going from one air conditioning building to another. But during the winter months, it was great.


Dennis Day:  36:45  

Like mountain great for the summer, but 



Judy Gratton:  36:48  

Great for the summer, there could be snow issues in the winter, where you might get stranded. So if you're going to be up there, you better make sure you've got all the supplies you need. Again, you have the issue of medical. Are you going to be able to get to the medical treatments that you need if there are especially if there are weather issues? 


One of the other things that's come up over the last few years, which is very, very sad, but it is something to consider and that's fires when those forests dry out in the summer months. I mean we have seen 1000s of acres of fires, and it would be tragic to get caught up in that. So that is something to consider. Winter would be tough unless you love snow sports. But again, if you get snowed in you better be prepared for that.


Dennis Day:  37:34  

I just was on a call with somebody who was she loved her mountain town up in the Colorado area that she was able to ski all winter and in the summer she was able to mountain bike all over the place. Yeah, she loved it.


Judy Gratton:  37:49  

Yeah, there are Montana, Colorado, Idaho there are some mountain cities that are just incredible year round


Dennis Day:  37:58  

How about the beach. I know you are very kind to the beach.


Judy Gratton:  38:02  

I am a beach fanatic. I am an ocean person. I love my ocean. I don't care if it's storming. I don't care if it's windy. I absolutely love the beach. But salt water is tough on housing of any kind. I mean you just maintenance is an a year round situation at the beach, especially up here in the Northwest. It just destroys wood it rusts metal so you have to stay on top of the maintenance. 


And then depending on what beach you're at, I mean if you're down in Newport Beach, California, I'm sure you can find a hospital or a doctor within five minutes of where you want to be but Long Beach, Washington, it is a very small community and there is a hospital but it is a very small hospitals. If you have a major health issue, you're probably going to be airlifted to someplace else. 


So you've got to make sure you have that insurance but our winter months and in the long are the Pacific Northwest. They can be brutal. It can snow at the beach, which happens to be something on my bucket list. So I'm hoping to be there some time when it snows. 


But it can snow, we have torrential rain storms, there can be flooding and of course there's always the risk of tsunamis and earthquakes and things along those lines. Whenever you're looking at the west coast beaches not so much on the east coast but those are warmer but then they have their hurricane season. You need to be prepared for those things if you can to the best of your ability.


Dennis Day:  39:38  

So one more area is just moving to a rural area. I hear this a lot that people sell their suburban home and they want to go to a small quiet safe area that is away from the big city because they're just tired of it. So it can be really nice can be quiet. It can even be less expensive than an urban area. But there are some downsides.


Judy Gratton:  40:03  

There are again, the medical issue, are you going to be able to get health care when you need it? As a lot of rural area, medical facilities have shut down in the last few decades just because of lack of funds to keep them open. And so that's really critical that you understand the medical aspects do they have what you're going to need. And then really, no matter where you go in the United States, there's always some weather issue. We have our storms, we have our earthquakes, we have tsunamis at the beach, you have snow in the mountains, there are fires, there are hurricanes or tornadoes. 


So you need to be aware of what you might encounter in the area that you're moving to. And if that's something that you feel comfortable dealing with, and then ideally make preparations. I am a strong believer in being prepared for emergencies so that you can deal with them if you have to. The other thing to consider in rural areas is the social aspect. You're farther away from people there may not be again, the same religious or faith based institution that you're looking for power outages could be longer. There's a lot of it's a beautiful, quiet, restful, wonderful place. But again, it's not right for everyone.


Dennis Day:  41:29  

Could be a good hour drive to Costco. 


Judy Gratton:  41:31  

Costco, they might not even have Costco, right?


Dennis Day:  41:35  

The currents lived in that small town on the beach, and they had a tiny little grocery store very expensive. And it was a 45 minute drive to get anything above the very basics. Alright, we have some must do's before you decide on making this big change. You must do it.


Judy Gratton:  41:55  

 Yes, go visit in the offseason and see if it's something that you're comfortable with. If it's the desert, go visit it when it's hot. If it's the beach, go visit it when it's cold. If it's a rural community, investigate your health care options. Can you afford homes? Can you be like can you go to the desert in the winter, be a snowbird and come back to wherever the Northwest or wherever you happen to be from in the summer. That is if you can do that, that's wonderful. If you cannot, you better make sure that you can live in the place you choose to live in.


Dennis Day:  42:27  

Must do. Investigate, plan, stay there for a long time, not just visit for a weekend.


Judy Gratton:  42:34  

Ask questions. Get to know the people that live there. See if you feel like you can fit into that social community.


Dennis Day:  42:42  

Last option. We'll go real quick with this one because it's a lot of I know a lot of people are doing this. They're they're not selling their large forever home, they're renting it out. And they're living abroad. They're using the RV. They're going to a vacation community and they're experimenting about where they might want to go permanently. Nice thing about it is that it builds you continue to build equity in that home while you are away. What are some of the downsides?


Judy Gratton:  43:13  

You are still responsible for the majority of the maintenance and you better know that your tenants are good at maintaining the home and taking care of the home and following the rules that you set. It's really tragic when someone gets in a situation where they have tenants that are renting the home that stop paying rent because to get them to move is a long drawn out process that costs you the owner a lot of money you have to evict them and you can't do that overnight. You also in most areas I know here in the state of Washington, there are a lot of rules that are very supportive towards tenants and non-discrimination and things along those lines. 


So you as a landlord can be limited to not discriminating against a family when you really don't necessarily want a family in your home because you don't really want children in there or you tell them I absolutely don't want you smoking or I absolutely don't want cats and dogs and you go away and you're not there to see that they bring those in or they start smoking in your house and it's very, very expensive to do the repairs. 


So if you know that you have great tenants I would hold on to them. They are golden and Airbnb. There are many people who are putting their homes into an Airbnb or a short term rental like maybe for traveling nurses things along those lines. Again, turnover is going to require maintenance to get the home up and ready to go between tenants or between stays and an Airbnb. And again with Airbnb. You don't know who's going in there. Ideally, you can do some I'm checks to verify that they're going to protect your investment your property, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way.


Dennis Day:  45:08  

Being an absentee landlord, it's kind of tough. 


Judy Gratton:  45:10  

It's very hard. I've done it. 


Dennis Day:  45:12  

You can also do a property management company. 


Judy Gratton:  45:15  



Dennis Day:  45:15  

But that's going to eat your profits.


Judy Gratton:  45:17  

That is, but it's probably worth it. Because then at least you have someone here who has an eye on your property, I wouldn't get your best friend or your family member to do that for you. You could end up losing your best friend or family member. If they don't go well. It's better to hire professionals to take care of that for you.


Dennis Day:  45:34  

All right. Wow.


Judy Gratton:  45:36  

A lot of information

Dennis Day:  45:37  

A lot of information folks, one of the things we need to do is get you the freebie at the Get a freebie that just lists the pros and cons for all these different ideas and thoughts about moving and changing your dwelling and so forth. 


Dennis Day:  45:54  

That's all we've got folks. We hope you've enjoyed this episode, How To find a home and lifestyle that fits your needs. The freebie that goes with this episode, The Good, the Bad, and The Adventurous how to choose a home and lifestyle that fits your needs be found on the podcast page of our website, go to 


Find that freebie, download it, share it whatever you need. Our next episode will be a little different. We'll have a special guest who is a home inspector and he'll share how to maintain your home. So when it's time to move, you don't have expensive repairs. That episode will drop in two weeks. You can get it anywhere you find podcasts, including now, Apple podcasts as we've hit the big time. 


As always, if you enjoyed this podcast, we ask you to share it, like it. Make a comment. Give us some feedback. We'd love that till next time. That's it. Goodbye and take care.

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