U.S. Housing Market Changes Call for Flexibility

The housing marketing in the United States is turning around. Increasing first-time homebuyers means potential retirees can sell their homes at a fair price. Downsizing for some means being flexible.
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Oct. 13, 2015 - PRLog -- U.S. News reported that Americans lost $2 trillion in retirement savings within six-months during 2008. For some, that means they must find additional income and ways to cut expenses in retirement, which can obviously be a challenge. Finding a flexible living arrangement is important. For retirees who need options, Costa Rica may be the answer.

Individual 401(k) users lost an average of 7.2 to 11.2 percent during the first nine months of 2008. Later estimates stated that some Americans lost over 25 percent. At the time, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the downturn would decrease spending and delay retirement. In fact, The Employee Benefit Research Institute predicted that for those very close to retiring, recovering could take another 10 years.

As the stock market crashed, so did the housing market. Plummeting home values caused potential retirees to hunker down and remain in homes that they may have otherwise sold. From an economic standpoint, it did not make sense to downsize when downsizing would actually cost more.

Now, the housing market is coming back to life. Traditionally, millennials have shied away from home ownership, but it seems like they are making changes. In fact, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Study, millennials have purchased 32 percent of the homes sold in the past year. These starter homes are smaller, less pricy, and temporary.

As millennials begin to buy, this triggers a movement. Others can move out of their starter homes and buy larger homes. As this trend continues, it means that retirees can downsize while still getting a fair price for their home—something that was difficult in prior years.

As retirees consider downsizing, they are limited by their decreased retirement funds. They may need less conventional options. For example, many retirees are now making a move to a location where the cost of living is lower, maintenance is easy, and there is potential for rental income. Costa Rican homes designed by Americans are especially well-suited to meet these goals.

One such home is known as Casa de Vista. It sits high, overlooking the beautiful Orosi Valley, providing breath-taking views of the tropical Costa Rican rainforest. This two-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home is in a unique location where it does not need heat or air conditioning. Its modern kitchen and great room make it perfect for entertaining parties from 2 to 50 people. Gardens and walking paths cover the surrounding grounds. It is a modern home in a tropical paradise.

It has a unique guest area that can be rented out separately. It also has a full-time groundskeeper and gardener that will maintain the home while the owner is away visiting family in the United States. This home is perfect for retirees or for those considering buying a vacation home now for future retirement. The best part is that, like many Costa Rican sellers, the current owner has slashed the price by $100,000, just as demand is picking up, to be sure that it is sold quickly. Its asking price is currently $450,000 and is very reasonable for a fully furnished home on 7 acres.

Ackerman Realty International (http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com/) specializes in finding Americans homes in Costa Rica, where there is both income potential and the cost of living is lower. The Ackermans relocated to Costa Rica years ago, and now they share their experiences and tips for moving to Costa Rica with others.

Margo Ackerman/ Ackerman Realty International
Tags:Housing Market, Costa Rica realty, Costa Rica housing
Location:Orosi Valley - Costa Rica
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