Living in an Active Adult Community could qualify you for Insurance discounts

Talking with a Farmers Insurance Agent, I discovered there are discounts for most of the Active Adult Communities in the Greater Phoenix Valley. Call your agent, or Barb for more information on getting your discounts.



How fast will I use up my equity with a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage(HECM)?

This is a question I had to know the answer.  If your not making a mortgage payment and every month a little of your equity is getting used up… how long does that take? And what happens if the loan becomes upside down?  Do I have to pay it back?

Listen and find out – your gonna love what you discover with me.

What is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage? Is it right for me?

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program offers people who are a min of 62 years of age (actually only one of you needs to be 62) the opportunity to purchase your home with as little as 40% cash down payment and never make a mortgage payment again.

This can make getting your dream retirement home a reality. You won’t need to put all your cash into the purchase of your home. Leaving you with more for living. If you already have had a mortgage and it still is going on, you could look at note investing, this is where a mortgage note investor buys your mortgage loan, land contract, mortgage contract, deed of trusts, etc. to help you out with another mortgage that suits you better.

I sit down with Jacqui Hamilton a specialist in HECM loans to discuss what they are and the benefits.


Jacqui Hamilton
Concord Mortgage

Get your copy today!

Now available! At Amazon and all your favorite book retailers.

If you are about to turn fifty-five years old, there’s a good chance you’re thinking about where to go and what to do when you retire.

Thousands of people just like you have already made the leap, and many of them are enjoying life in active adult community. On the beach, in the mountains, in the desert, wherever you have envisioned for your retirement, it’s waiting!

Irene A. Hammond is a veteran real estate agent who prides herself on helping people find the perfect place to retire. She answers the questions you have been pondering and brings up other details for consideration. Get the answers to questions such as:

  • Is an active adult community right for me?
  • What are the benefits of a large or a small community?
  • Is it easy to make new friends in these communities?
  • Should I purchase a new build or purchase a resale home?
  • What is Estate Planning?

She also explains how you can be younger than 55 and still live in an active adult community, any fees you should know about, when is the best time to visit one of the communities, and common activities. Attorney Leanne B. Martin has written a bonus chapter on estate planning, trusts and wills.

Here is the guidance you need to enjoy the lifestyle you crave, with the active adult community insights in Retirement Isn’t Boring

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Nobel Nook


How do I own my home?

rock painting in Sedona ArizonaThere are several ways of taking title in Arizona, you can take title by any of the legal methods offered. Arizona is a community property state, with several different ways for couples to take ownership. Please confirm with your Tax Accountant, or attorney as everyone has different and unique requirements. Owning your home may be of utmost importance in your life/career, if that is true then you must consult with professionals that will be able to help you with this, and get you on the property ladder the correct and financially stable way. An accountant like Dave Burton can help with managing your accountancy needs and get you onto the right pathway for you to eventually own your new/old home. This is an important journey and needs to not be taken lightly. If your financials are not in order before embarking on this next area of your life, you could find yourself in financial difficulty, another reason why an accountant can be the right road to take.

This list gives a short explanation of the ways to take title

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What is a "Spec" Home?

McCormick-and-CamelbackWhen a builder has crews available, or he is trying to sell lots in a certain section, or for any number of reasons, he will begin to build a home on the "speculation" that someone will want to buy it. There may or may not be Specs available at any given time. All of the choices that go onto the city permit to build are already made: elevation, left or right garage, patio extensions, garage conversions etc. Depending on the building stage the buyer may have choice in selection of paint, cabinets or flooring and countertops, or the home may be completed and ready for occupancy. It is an opportunity to own a brand new home without the long wait to have it built.

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What is a "builder’s incentive"?

sedonaWhen a builder is looking for business, rather than lower the base price, he will offer an "incentive"  to the buyers to purchase his product. It will range from giving you refrigerator at closing to several thousand dollars to be used for your closing costs or the purchase of his options. It is always tied to your using the builder’s financing or paying cash. Many of the builder’s parent corporations own financing and title companies. This is to their benefit because they can control the time lines of the lenders and have a direct line of communication with them. We always encourage our buyers to compare the "Good Faith Estimate" that the builder’s lender gives you with one from an independent lender. The rates may be similar, the expenses may not. However, sometimes even if your brother is a lender he cannot beat the builder’s incentives. You must compare to be certain.

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What is a Lot Premium?

leaf in waterThe builder offers their plans built with a base price on a standard sized lot. They frequently have the lot price included in the base price. If the builder has several lots available on which to build a plan, some may be more desirable than others by virtue of exposure, size or location. Those more desirable lots will have a "premium" to purchase them. That can be from a few hundred dollars to over several hundred thousand dollars for a lot on a prime golf course or lake. The same applies to selection of a floor in a condominium; the higher the floor or the better the view or exposure, the higher the premium.  The penthouse unit may be identical to one on the first floor, but will be much more expensive.

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What is an Upgrade and an Option?

Sedona Arizona Bell RockAs soon as you request a different grade of material than is offered by the builder and included in the base price of the home you are requesting an "upgrade".

The builder expects you to do this and makes certain "options" available to the buyer by pre-pricing the expected upgrades. 

For example: the builder has already priced groups of tile in amounts necessary for each of the areas in the specific plan you are purchasing, they know what it will cost to convert that open den to another bedroom etc.

These upgrades and options include everything from door knobs, lighting, windows, flooring and cabinets to raising a ceiling, rounding corners, adding a bathroom or converting a garage. The average buyer will spend from 15% up to 30% or more of the base price in upgrades. More if they add a casita or pool. Although the builders do not as a rule build pools, they work closely with selected pool contractors and the cost of a pool can usually be added into your mortgage.


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What is a Base Price?

Palm Tree in Arizona

The Base Price is the lowest price for which the builder will construct a specific set of home plans. It will be ready to live in when complete. Each builder builds several price level homes. Each of these price categories will have a different level of amenities. The homes will all have the same type and quality of construction. The amenities will differ for example:

  • The least expensive group of homes will use vinyl flooring in the "wet areas" of the entry, kitchen, laundry and bathrooms and will use a mica product for countertops.
  • The next group up will use ceramic tile of a certain grade in those areas and may offer a man made composite surface on countertops,
  • while the top of their product line will use a porcelain tile or stone in more than those simple areas and may offer granite countertops all included in their "Base Price".

Keep in mind the old adage that there is no free lunch and  the product levels are priced to include those "upgrades" or "options".

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