Newport Cove Blog

The ARM Is Making a Comeback

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A type of loan that fell out of favor following the housing meltdown is starting to look good again to bankers and homebuyers.

Adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMS, were blamed for playing a part in the financial crisis. But, these once-shunned loans are becoming an increasingly attractive option.

Banks typically charge significantly lower initial interest rates for ARMs than for fixed-rate loans. However, after the initial period ends, an ARM interest rate will change periodically, usually in line with an index. Your payments might go up or down. An ARM loan typically has a “cap,” the highest interest rate that the loan can adjust to.

Currently the most popular ARM has a fixed rate for five years, but other versions fix the rate for as long as 15 years. Generally, the shorter the fixed-rate period, the lower the initial interest rate, while the longer the fixed-rate period, the more time before the loan’s interest rate adjusts and a higher rate could potentially click in.

Some banks are even doing interest-only ARM loans again. For example, PNC Bank recently introduced several interest-only ARMs that allow borrowers to postpone paying any principal for as long as 10 years. The interest rate also can remain fixed for up to 10 years.

Does an ARM work for you? It depends on many factors – if you expect your income to rise, how long you plan to live in your home, if you think your home will appreciate. But, the wise homebuyer does look at the downside; if the rate would rise to the maximum cap, can you still afford your mortgage?

The savings can be considerable. Borrowers who sign up for a $400,000 10-year ARM with an initial interest rate of 3.64 percent would save $2,000 per year compared with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of 4.14 percent.

One financial planner we know suggests that homeowners taking out ARMs use the monthly savings to reduce principal.

If you are curious about mortgage payments, use the Newport Cove’s mortgage calculator to see how your monthly payment adjusts depending upon your interest rate. (Incidentally, ARM loans are usually loans with a 30-year term.)

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To Rent or To Buy – That Is the Question

DSC_0011 Is it cheaper to rent a home or to buy one? With rents rising much faster than home prices, the answer these days definitely comes down on the buy side. And, in Chicagoland the difference is even greater than in much of the country.

Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia, published a research study a few weeks ago showing that across America it is cheaper to buy than to rent – some 38 percent cheaper. Kolko also looked at specific metro markets, and his study found that in the Chicago area it is 47 percent cheaper to buy than to rent.

This research assumed that buyers had a 30-year fixed rate loan with 20 percent down and a 4.5 percent interest rate, itemized their income tax deductions, are in the 25 percent tax bracket and stay in their home for seven years. Kolko also wisely used a very conservative annual price appreciation number – between 1.7 and 3.1 percent, depending upon the metro area. (Most experts say you should never look at a house as a short-term investment – in other words, less than five years.) Of course, as the assumptions change, the benefits of renting vs. buying change, too.

Interestingly, the rent vs. buy math indicates that, under current conditions, buying beats renting until mortgage rates hit 10.6 percent, then renting becomes cheaper than buying.

If you are thinking of buying at Newport Cove, our waterfront development on the Chain O’ Lakes near Antioch, Illinois, we do work with our customers to make that happen. Besides helping locate mortgage professionals who can adapt to your particular needs, we also are open to discussing rent-to-own or mortgage assistance programs.

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For Staycationers There’s No Place Like Home

999727_10153132060350637_1504846125_n A waterskier at dawn off the shores of Newport Cove

Staycations are not just for the budget conscious. They are for people who love the comfort of home, for those who enjoy putting their heads down on their own pillow each night. Staycationers are intentional and tend to occur in environments that others describe as “year round vacation.” They make the best of each day, each room in the house and leisure activities outdoors. For the staycationer, there’s no place like home.

Staycations make sense for boaters living in lakefront houses, for people who like to hike around or fish in a nearby lake, for those who gather family together. They know how to create the feel of a vacation in their own back yard.

Staycation Rules
There are some unwritten rules for the time-designated staycation. Even though you may be close, do not go to work during your staycation. Limit the time you view your email. Eat out. (Nobody likes doing dishes during vacation.) This is the “splurge while you’re saving” mindset. For any night spent watching TV, an evening is spent in front of the fireplace or taking a walk or gazing at the stars.

Planning the Staycation
For some official tips on planning the perfect staycation read Matt Wixon’s book, The Great American Staycation. His advice is to plan ahead and stay focused on leisure. Forget the rut routines and start something new. Enjoy a wine tasting, sunset cruise, historic house tour and local festivals. Bring the family together for quality time fishing, swimming and boating. Alas, there should be a start and end date for the staycation.

Staycation Destination
After a few days of visiting a friend at Newport Cove, Jane S. was ready to sell her west suburban home and head for the shores of Bluff Lake, near Antioch. “It’s so peaceful. My friend works from home, so she can live anywhere. I love visiting her. It’s like being on vacation, but still close.” The term for this type of experience is “nearcation.” No kidding.

So imagine a vacation with all the comforts of home, no lodging costs or travel expenses, no flight delays or hungry kids, a vacation that lasts year round. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. To find the perfect staycation house and nearcation destination, call today to get a view of Bluff Lake, take a golf-cart tour of the area and a walk through of our Newport Cove house models.

Does your house environment invite you to stay home when vacation time rolls around?

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The Strong Case for Buying vs. Renting

When it comes to housing, is renting better than purchasing? We say, NO! In most instances owning a home is less expensive – and more satisfying – than renting.   DSC_0011

So, before you decide to sign that lease, consider these points:

1. Rent usually goes up. If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, your payment will be the same for 30 years – or 15 years, if you can manage a 15-year mortgage. At the end of that time, you will have no house payments whatsoever.

2. A home is an investment. When you pay rent, you are putting money in someone else’s pocket. When you pay a mortgage, part of that money is being invested in your property. In a sense, as you pay off your mortgage, you are being forced to save. Eventually you will own your home free and clear.

3. A lease is short-term. If you have a one- or two-year lease, at the end of the lease, your landlord can decide to no longer rent the property. If you own a home, you can live there as long as you like (if you pay the mortgage and taxes).

4. You will pay less income tax. The interest you pay on your mortgage and the dollar amount of your real estate taxes are tax deductible on your federal and state income tax returns. The tax savings lowers your cost of ownership. On the other hand, rent is not tax deductible.

5. Real estate tends to increase in value. This fact is difficult to believe if you only consider the last four or five years, but in the long run real estate prices have done nothing but go up. Historically home prices have risen four to six percent annually.

6. You become part of a community. Homeowners tend to stay longer in their residences, put down roots, be more invested and involved in their communities.

7. You have more influence. Municipal officials, whether it is fair or not, tend to pay more attention to property owners than to renters.

8. You can plant a garden. With a home usually comes a little land – a place for a garden plot or a swing set.

9. You can paint the walls red. When you own your home, YOU are the landlord. You can paint, decorate and create a home that is a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. (By the way, “Red Gumball” from Pittsburgh Paint’s Fallingwater Collection is a great red paint choice. . .)

10. Mortgage rates are at historic lows. Today offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lock in interest rates that are lower than they have ever been in our lifetimes.

According to Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko, across the United States owning a home now averages 44 PERCENT less expensive than renting. Moreover, owning is cheaper than renting in all of America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, but particularly in the Midwest. Kolko arrived at this conclusion using these assumptions: a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage, a down payment of 20 percent, a 3.5 percent interest rate, a 25 percent income tax bracket, a taxpayer who itemizes deductions, an owner who stays in the home for at least seven years.

Of course, as one changes Kolko’s assumptions, the picture does change.

As mortgage rates rise, the cost difference between being a renter or a homeowner goes down. For example, at an interest rate of 4.5 percent, the average cost difference between owning and renting falls to 39 percent.

If the homeowners do not itemize deductions on their income tax, the difference between owning and renting drops from the 44 percent average to 35 percent.

If a buyer stays in the house for less than seven years, the 44 percent average also declines. It goes to 37 percent for five years and 20 percent for three years.

At Newport Cove, our waterfront community on the Chain O’ Lakes, we are offering a rent-to-own option for those who have the income but – because of the recent recession – are unable to presently qualify for a loan. Call 847.726.2727 to talk to us about this program!

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Chain O’ Lakes Past: Millionaires and Hoi Polloi, Pols and Gangsters

While you cruise the Chain O’ Lakes this summer, pause a moment to consider the ghosts of those who once traversed these lakeland waters – from Native Americans to explorers, mobsters to politicians, boaters to 1920s flappers.

PRIOR TO 1900

The area’s original inhabitants were Native Americans from the central Algonquian tribes, primarily the Miami, Mascouten and Potawatomi. The first Europeans appeared in the mid-1600s. They were French trappers and traders, including explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet.

By the late 1800s the area had become a popular hunting and fishing area for wealthy Chicago sportsmen.

The site now known as the Mineola Hotel was originally built in the 1880s by members of the Chicago Board of Trade as a private club for boating and fishing. In 1897 a group of powerful Chicago business leaders and politicians founded the Pistakee Yacht Club, still alive today. Starting in the 1890s, the Chain O’ Lakes began attracting weekend visitors from Chicago who boarded steamboats to view the “Egyptian Lotus” beds on many of the lakes. Moreover, famous merchants and industrialists from Chicago built Gadsby-esque summer mansions along the miles of Chain O’ Lakes shoreline.

1900-1930

With the 1901 opening of the Milwaukee Road railway between Chicago and the Nippersink Point Station, the Chain O’ Lakes became a tourist destination for the masses (while the wealthy moved on to more exclusive locales farther north). With improved access by rail and road, resorts and cottages began crowding along the water’s edge. Dance pavilions and ice cream parlors sprung up. The steamboats filled with sightseers competed with fishing and sailing boats and – each year – more and more motor boats.

Chicago mayors Big Bill Thompson and Fred Busse vacationed along the Chain, as did Illinois governors William Stratton and Otto Kerner. In 1922 some 5,000 people watched then Cook County Board President Anton Cermak, later famed mayor of Chicago, win a boat race on the lakes. The name of his boat? The City of Chicago.

But, although wholesome family fun was prevalent, there were other things to do in this popular vacation spot. Gambling, booze and prostitution were big business.

Lake County officials, not ignoring this lawlessness, staged raids on numerous establishments. So, in order to keep the bars going and the County vice squad at bay, in 1907 business owners around Nippersink Point incorporated as the town of Fox Lake. The new town had only 500 permanent residents, but its summer population was as large as 20,000. The town government placed few restraints on resorts within its borders and, just prior to prohibition, issued 48 liquor licenses. As prohibition became the law of the land, Fox Lake turned a blind eye toward alcohol.

This permissive attitude brought in the mob. Infamous gangsters Al Capone and George “Bugs” Moran vied for control of the illegal booze and gambling business. Capone owned a summerhouse on Bluff Lake (where our Newport Cove community is located). He also was known for frequenting the popular Mineola Hotel. Legend says the Feds caught Moran, who reportedly also had a summer home on Bluff Lake, at Elizabeth Cassidy’s Bluff Lake resort.

The Chain’s worst prohibition violence occurred on June 1, 1930 when three mobsters were gunned down at the Manning Hotel on Fox Lake. Occurring about a year after Chicago’s famous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and supposedly involving the same players, this  unsolved crime became known as the Fox Lake Massacre.

1930 – TODAY

Gangsters did not hurt tourism, but the Great Depression did. It decimated businesses around the lakes. Many hotels and restaurants closed, their heyday ended. Numbers of families, after losing their year-round homes in Chicago, permanently moved into their Chain O’ Lakes summer cottages. Developers bought up bankrupt resorts and, following World War II, many returning soldiers bought homes in the new housing developments that now claimed the land. The area evolved into suburban, middle-class communities.

Some remnants of the old days remain. A few mansions and resorts survive as private  homes or public buildings. The Mineola Hotel, although in disrepair, still stands and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Then, there is Blarney Island, the self-proclaimed “greatest boating bar in the world.” In the beginning (the early 1900s), Blarney Island was a houseboat owned by Jack O’Connor and docked at the water’s edge. Across from O’Connor’s establishment was Shorty Shobin’s place. Jack and Shorty were intense competitors. Their heated feud came to a head during a game of poker. In the last hand the two men wagered their businesses, and Shorty came out on the short end. Folklore has it that Shorty left the poker table and took his life in the back room of the bar. Soon after that, Jack O’Connor’s houseboat burned down, forcing him to move Blarney Island over to Shorty’s bar.

In 1939, when the Stratton Lock and Dam opened in McHenry, it caused permanent flooding around some of the lakes. Blarney Island was cut off from any dry land and became an official island one mile off shore – thus, the current tagline, “a mile away from reality.”

TODAY

Today Blarney Island is the most famous spot on the Chain O’ Lakes and is known for what it calls “the five Bs – babes, bikinis, boats, bands and beer.” Those who come by boat to this all-bar island can tie up at its large network of docks. If you do not own a vessel, a shuttle which departs every hour from the bar’s mainland satellite location, Port O’ Blarney on Grass Lake Road, can ferry you over. If you like speed, be sure to catch the drag boat races at the Island on Thursday nights.

Although here we have focused on Chain O’ Lakes history and entertainment, the area offers a wide range of recreational options. With some 7,100 acres of water, 15 interconnected lakes and 45 miles of river, this self-styled “Key West of the Midwest” accommodates activities for every water-lover: canoeing, kayaking, waterskiing, tubing, fishing, swimming, even hunting and birdwatching. Complementing these activities are many local businesses, including numerous marinas and restaurants, several of which sponsor special events throughout the summer: boat shows, fishing tournaments, festivals and live music.

For a quiet afternoon on the water, boaters can visit the 3,000-acre Chain O’ Lakes State Park and adjacent conservation area, or follow the Fox River out of Grass Lake and north to Wisconsin where, just a few knots above Blarney Island, you will find an area so untouched, so beautiful and so remote it seems you are back in the days of the Miami, Mascouten and Potawatomi.

Below: From the Lake County Discovery Museum, this colored postcard shows Bluff Lake in the early 1900s.

Bluff Lake Antioch LCDM M-86-1-24_new watermark

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The Chain O’ Lakes Floats Your Boat!

bluff lake view The Chain O’ Lakes, about an hour’s drive from Chicago, Milwaukee and Rockford, is a boater’s paradise. It is made up of 10 lakes connected by the Fox River and another five lakes connected by channels.  This waterway system has, is and will continue to be a boating enthusiast’s dream environment protected and defended by residents, businesses, state and federal agencies.

Water, Waterfront Homes and Boats

Once a summertime getaway for Chicago residents who traveled to the lakes by train, the Chain O’ Lakes now has year-round housing options ranging from modest to million-dollar custom homes. What all those living in Chain O’ Lakes waterfront homes have in common is their enthusiasm for lakeside living and water bound vessels.

While water skiing or jet skies are often the stereotypical image of watersports on the Chain, the boating community is much more diverse. Those who enjoy paddle sports, sailing and fishing also enjoy the variety of lakes, as well as the upper Fox River.  Bluff Lake, where the Newport Cove planned community is located, has a depth of 31 feet and 1.6 miles of shoreline, and is famed for its deep fishing holes.

Canoes and Kayaks

Canoeing and kayaking are popular on these inland lakes and rivers. Paddle sports enthusiasts can hand carry their vessels from garage to shoreline. These folks like the exercise as well as a close and unobtrusive connection with nature. They are often bird watchers as well.

Sailboats

Sailors compare their sails to wings.  These boaters love harnessing the wind. Small sailboats are often seen flying across the waters of the larger lakes of the Chain.

Speed and Ski Boats

Speedboats offer a thrill and, for the person cresting the waves behind with skis or tube, unforgettable memories. Because there are no horsepower limitations for boats on the Chain O’ Lakes, fast boats are in abundance.  Weekly boat races in the summer months attract many residents and visitors.

Pontoons

A pontoon boat can carry a small crowd across the water’s surface with little effort. Floating along with friends and family, then anchoring and taking a swim at one of the many sandbars along the Chain, makes for an idyllic afternoon.

Fishing Boats 

The fisherman (or fisherwoman) can be seen in small motorboats on the lakes in early morning and evening. For the determined and calculating, there is a Chain O’ Lakes daily fishing forecast that relies on solar and lunar influences.  Among the fish found in Bluff Lake (according to old timers, the best fishing lake in the Chain) are yellow bass, bluegill, large mouth bass, yellow perch and walleye.

Waterway Transportation

Often referred to as the Key West of the Midwest, the Chain O’ Lakes is dotted with bars and restaurants. Boating to such “hot spots” as Steitz’s on Bluff Lake or the Sand Bar on Lake Marie is a summer tradition.  Establishments throughout the Chain (everything from a McDonald’s on Fox Lake to the famed Blarney’s Island in the center of Grass Lake) cater to the boating community by providing pull-up-and-tie-up marinas.

chain O' Lakes

Chain O’ Lakes boaters stay abreast of current boating conditions and weather forecasts at the Fox Waterway Agency website.

Newport  Cove’s Marina

Residents of Newport Cove can dock their watercraft of choice at our community’s private marina. It is a safe harbor, anchored by a place called home. To learn more about lakefront living, Newport Cove’s lake homes and boating on the Chain O’ Lakes, email us or call 847.726.2727.

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‘Not So Big’ Reaps Big Rewards

If you watch HGTV or read home magazines, you probably have heard of Sarah Susanka, celebrated architect and author of the Not So Big series of books. Susanka, in the proverbial right place at the right time, published her first book “The Not So Big House” in 1998. It called for the end of the McMansion and advocated the idea of building smaller, higher quality homes. Ultimately her book started a movement that changed the focus on what a house needs to be.

With the new economic realities of the 21st century, Susanka’s message became even more meaningful to homebuyers and builders, including those of us building the Newport Cove community. By speaking against sprawl and faux mansions, Susanka gave voice to the fact that not everyone wants to live in excess.

As a result, thoughtfully designed homes proportioned to one’s actual lifestyle have been consistently gaining market approval and success. Articles proclaiming the “death of the McMansion” are found throughout builder trade magazines.

The “Not So Big” philosophy of home building works for homebuyers on many levels: financial, environmental and personal.

MORE AFFORDABLE

Affordability, according to Susanka, can be as simple as taking inventory of what you really need. Will you use it? If not, forget it. Rather than increasing costly square footage, put money into enhancing the quality of space. Builders can make less feel like more by using varied ceiling heights, open floor plans and architectural details. What is needed is not size, but a custom-designed space that is personalized for the owners. Once those owners are able to define what they need, their ideal home becomes more easy to afford.  A sense of home, sought by so many, can be achieved.

MORE RESPONSIBLE

Environmental awareness can reduce home costs and protect the eco-system. Twenty percent of all carbon emissions come from existing housing stock. “Leaky” houses have an enormous environmental impact. New houses, built according to today’s energy-efficient standards and using the latest in building technology, are less costly to operate and save precious resources.

MORE PERSONALIZED

Beauty matters, too. A house may be efficient and affordable, but if it’s not pleasing, its owners will not care enough about it to take care of it. When a home offers a sanctuary for its occupants, it becomes a place of refuge. And, that’s where personalized and universal design concepts come into play. For example, a niche designed for one’s family portraits can be a source of joy for a homeowner. Or, a wide entry door with no steps ensures that residents can age gracefully in the home, but also becomes a plus for baby strollers and moving furniture. At Newport Cove we recognize that everyone uses a kitchen differently, so we work with our buyers to design their personalized kitchen layouts.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

We’re curious. What size house works for you? Click below and answer our FOUR-QUESTION SURVEY:

What size house works for you?

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How many people in your household?

If your house has a full basement, how much space would you need?

If your house does NOT have a basement, how much space would you need?

How much basement space is ideal for your needs?

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Home Buying Tips for Growing Families

What are growing families looking for in a new house? That question stirs up a lot of ideas and emotions. So we ask, listen and learn. What many growing families come to realize is that they may not need more space, but a better floor plan. The “nice to look at” grand foyer, formal living and dining rooms are considered a waste of space for many of these families. They want functional space that supports who they are as a family.

The kitchen in Newport Cove's Moonriver Cottage is open to both the great room and the hearth room.

The kitchen in Newport Cove’s Moonriver Cottage is open to both the great room and the hearth room.

Today’s growing family may not consist of only parents and young children, but grandparents, in-laws or older kids returning from college. The Pew Research Center reports that about 19 percent of families are currently living in multi-generational households.

The following home-buying tips come from growing families who are looking for or recently purchased a new home. These are the most often requested and/or desired features. So if your family is growing, look for the following amenities:

- An open, flexible floor plan that can be configured to suit your changing needs.

Newport Cove's Stillwater Cottage has a "tech center" tucked into a space at the foot of the main stairway.

Newport Cove’s Stillwater Cottage has a “tech center” tucked into a space at the foot of the main stairway.

- Easily accessible laundry room for everyone in the family.

- A mudroom for shoes, jackets, boots and book bags.

- An office, study, computer area for paying bills or doing homework.

- At least 2.5 bathrooms, with one close to the backdoor.

- Appropriately sized kitchen with enough cabinets and counter space.

- New kitchen appliances that make cooking meals easy.

- A pantry to keep canned goods, bulk groceries and paper towels.

- Finished walkout basement for playroom, hangout for teens, solitude for adults.

- Big closets in the entry way and bedrooms.

- Extra bedroom for guests.

- Energy efficient cooling & heating.

- Garage that fits two cars plus storage area for bikes, lawn mower, tools.

- Attic space to store seldom used, but important stuff like holiday decorations.

At Newport Cove, a planned community on the shores of Bluff Lake in northwest suburban Chicago, we make the wish lists of growing families happen. We are ready to build with your specific needs in mind.

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A Dozen Reasons To Like NEW

DSC_0001 If you have ever said, “They don’t build homes like they used to.” You are right. Today we build them better. And, although new homes may initially cost more than used ones, in the long run we believe they cost less.

Here are a dozen reasons why we like new:

1. New homes have lower operating costs. Maintaining a house can be expensive. Because everything in a new home is NEW, you will have fewer major repairs – things like roofs, furnaces, appliances, etc. And, because of new energy-saving construction standards, your energy bills will be significantly less in a home built today than one built even a few years ago.

2. New homes are under warranty. Typically a new home has a builder warranty. This means that certain items in your home will be maintenance-cost-free for the length of that warranty (one or five years for most items, 30 years or more for things like roofs and siding).

3. New homes are built to current codes. Building codes continue to be upgraded, particularly those dealing with health and safety. Current codes require such improvements as a) more fire-retardant products, from wall sheathing to electrical wiring to heating ducts, b) larger electrical services to accommodate today’s greater usage – compare what we plugged in 30 years ago to the appliances and communication equipment we “need” today, c) wider and less steep stairways, d) construction that withstands higher winds and greater trauma – better reinforcing in foundations, better structural engineering and so on. Moreover, local governments are much more conscientious about checking architectural drawings and doing construction oversight; today’s new homes must pass stringent government inspections at each step of construction – excavation, footings, foundation, carpentry, mechanicals, insulation, grading – and they typically cannot be occupied until the town or county signs off on them and issues a Certificate of Occupancy.

4. You do not pay for space you do not use. With a new home, particularly a custom-built home designed for your specific life style, you are building only the space you use. Take the cost per square foot ($120 per foot is a good benchmark) and determine what extra unused square footage costs for not just mortgage, but also utilities, maintenance and real estate taxes. Is that formal dining room you use just once a year really worth it?

5. New homes are designed for today. The way we live has changed over the years. We spend more time in the great room and less in a formal living room. Because family life has become “kitchencentric,” kitchens have grown larger and are as much a gathering place as a cooking space. We now want the kitchen attached to the great room, not a rec room two rooms away from the kitchen. Closets are larger, to accommodate those trips to Costco and all the extra “stuff” of today’s lifestyle. Technology spaces are planned into the design.

6. New homes are tech friendly. New homes are built with the structured wiring required for today’s (and tomorrow’s) ever-more-connected world.

7. New homes are “green.” Building codes and technology have greatly improved the energy efficiency of homes. New homes built in the Midwest under the new federal 2012 energy code must have R-20 insulation in the walls, R-49 in the ceilings and low-e windows, as well as fully insulated basements.

8. New homes are healthier. New homes – unlike their older counterparts – no longer include asbestos or lead paint. Today’s plywood and particle board emit almost no formaldehyde. Copper piping is long-lasting and doesn’t rust like the old galvanized steel pipes do.

9. New homes contain better products. The quality of many building products has sig.nificantly increased. For example, the mechanical equipment – furnaces, air conditioning, plumbing fixtures – available today is much superior to that in older homes. Engineered lumber products are much stronger than standard sawn wood. Roofing shingles are made to last a lifetime.

10. A new home reflects your personal taste. When you build a new home, you can select the style of your cabinets, materials of your countertops, tile and flooring, colors on your walls, type of hardware, features of your appliances, etc., etc.

11. Homes in new developments offer better infrastructure. For example, a new home in Newport Cove is hooked up to a new community sewer system. All storm and sanitary sewers are new. The wells are new. The roads are new. The new television and electrical cabling is buried under ground.

12. New homes appreciate more. Historical statistics tell us that the value of new homes tends to grow more than the value of used homes.

The changes in construction standards are much more dramatic than the public realizes. Just a few years ago, we used 2×4 lumber in the exterior walls, R-13 wall insulation, 80-percent efficient furnaces. Now we do 2×6 construction, R-20 in the walls, 96-percent efficient furnaces, low-e windows, more electrical outlets, better lighting, wider hallways and more efficient floor plans. The quality has increased, but the price you pay not so much. Without a doubt today’s homes are the best built (and best value) our 30-year-old company has ever offered.

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Young Empty Nesters Seek New Life Style

Selling the family home is an option many parents consider when their youngest child goes off for college or to an out-of-town job. Research shows that young empty nesters are not bound by the habits of past generations. After raising the kids, a fresh start may begin with a new house.

Boardwalk

Some of these people are motivated to find a place where their children will be eager to visit. Such a place may be on a lake, near a cozy downtown or other setting where the whole family can enjoy being together.

Other young empty nesters are seeking a more relaxed lifestyle, downsizing or upgrading to better finishes and floor plans.

Also, some will admit, they don’t like looking at the empty bedrooms in their existing home. They want to start new and find the kind of house that works with the life they now have.

If leaving the family home seems too drastic of a move, young empty nesters may decide to purchase a vacation home where time together can be scheduled and shared.

Look ahead to find the right house

Looking ahead is a good way to start making such a decision.  Will the house suit your new lifestyle? Do you want to use your new house as a base for traveling from or to? Do you want a single-level home that’s energy efficient? Should you be close to work or a commuter line? Will future grandchildren like visiting?

Rather than looking at school districts, empty nesters are watching for walking paths, natural settings or waterfront property. Upkeep is an issue, too.  Forget the backyard pool. Enjoy a maintenance-free lake.

One mom told us she dreaded the day her son would get his driver license, only to realize what freedom it brought to her not having to drive him around anymore.  He’s preparing to leave for college now and she’s ready, looking for a new house. But, she confesses, she wants to be sure it is a place he (and his friends) will want to visit. That’s a sentiment every one of our empty-nester buyers at Newport Cove has expressed

Learning about this young empty nester trend makes us at Newport Cove realize that our houses represent a new beginning for families past, present, and future.

 

Keywords: Young empty nesters, new house, vacation home, waterfront property

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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