More information on the niche community movement

More information on the niche community movement

NEW OLEAR BANNERRecently, we’ve been sharing information with you on the topic of unique niche retirement communities — communities where residents all share a common interest —that are gaining popularity across the country. Well, we’ve found some more interesting examples to share with you!

The Wasserman Campus in California is run by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, a nonprofit organization founded in 1921 by silent-film stars Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and others to provide financial assistance to workers in the entertainment industry. Wasserman Campus opened in the 1940s and is open to individuals who worked in any aspect of the industry for at least 15 years.

Over in Texas is the Stilwell Retirement Residence that serves retired Texas teachers. It is owned and operated by the Texas Retired Teachers Residence Corp.

Back on the East Coast, the ElderSpirit Community in Virginia was founded by a group of nuns and welcomes anyone interested in spiritual growth.

While some of these niche communities are fairly new, others have been running a successful operation for decades! Who knows what the next decade will bring?

More information on the niche community movement

Retirement question: Should I stay or should I sell?

NEW OLEAR BANNERPerhaps you’ve recently retired, or maybe you’re counting down the days until the big event. If that’s the case … congratulations!

At The Olear Team, we’re often approached by individuals contemplating their retirement years. Inevitably, the conversation turns to the big question: Should I stay in my home, or should I sell?

Typically, it’s not an easy question to answer because much of the decision is based on the type of lifestyle you hope to live during retirement. There are many things to consider before making a final decision.

First, how’s your financial situation? Will your retirement income allow you to continue to live comfortably in your home? Hopefully, there’s a pension or savings in a 401(k) retirement account to help you overcome the loss of a weekly paycheck and still meet your financial responsibilities such as your mortgage, taxes, utilities, credit card payments, etc. Property taxes can vary greatly from state to state, with some states being much more tax-friendly than others. In some cases, the annual savings on taxes alone can be in the thousands of dollars.

Next, let’s take a close look at the structure you call your home. Do you spend a significant amount of money each year on repairs and maintenance? How do you feel about the constant upkeep that comes with homeownership? Are you still OK with mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow and taking care of business? Will you feel the same way in five years? Ten years?

Let’s take a look at your post-retirement lifestyle as well. Do you plan on being a homebody, or now that you have some free time are you planning a more adventurous lifestyle with lots of outdoor activities and travel? Will owning a home keep you from achieving your new goals?

While this is your first experience with retirement, the professionals at The Olear Team have successfully guided numerous clients through the process. For more information or a personal consultation, please contact our office today!

Olear Team plans housing seminars for older adults and caregivers

Olear Team plans housing seminars for older adults and caregivers

Olear BannerHas approaching your senior years raised questions regarding your current or future housing options? Or, perhaps you are caring for an older adult who needs to downsize and move into a more suitable living environment. If so, the Olear Team has three upcoming seminars planned that will help answer many of your questions and concerns.

Led by Michael Olear, a licensed real estate broker and member of the Olear Team at MJ Peterson, these housing seminars for older adults and caregivers will take place at the following locations:
• 11 a.m. March 19 at Elderwood, 225 Bennett Road, Cheektowaga.
• 11 a.m. April 2 at Presbyterian Village at North Church, 214 Village Park Drive, Williamsville.
• 10:30 a.m. April 11 at the Southtowns YMCA, 1620 Southwestern Blvd., West Seneca, 
through a partnership with Eagle Crest Senior Village. Featuring Judy Cuzzacrea Wagner, attorney, Harris Beach PLLC.

The seminars, free and open to the public, will focus on real estate topics relevant to older adults and their loved ones and caregivers, including right-sizing and simplifying a living situation, legal and regulatory issues, what to do with personal property, developing a monetary plan, hiring the right professionals to help you with selling and moving, available resources and tools related to these matters and much more!

To register or learn more, please contact the Olear Team today at (716) 880-4442 or [email protected].

Real estate shines as an investment in 2015

Real estate shines as an investment in 2015


A survey by The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that when a family is buying a home they consider the financial benefits of homeownership along with the social benefits. The survey mentions things like:

  • Paying rent does not make sense
  • Homeownership provides a good financial opportunity
  • Owning a home helps you building family wealth
  • Buying a home is investing in your retirement
  • Home equity gives you something to borrow against

So how did homeownership match up against other investments in 2015? Here is a chart that compares its return on investment against precious metals and the stock market last year:


Bottom Line

Not only did homeownership offer all its social benefits. It also was a great investment financially. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Baby boomers finding freedom in retirement

Baby boomers finding freedom in retirement


Within the next five years, Baby Boomers are projected to have the largest household growth of any other generation during that same time period, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard. Let’s take a look at why…

In a recent Merrill Lynch study, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices,” they surveyed nearly 6,000 adults ages 21 and older about housing. 

Crossing the “Freedom Threshold”

Throughout our lives, there are often responsibilities that dictate where we live. Whether being in the best school district for our children, being close to our jobs or some other factor is preventing a move, the study found that there is a substantial shift that takes place at age 61.

The study refers to this change as “Crossing the Freedom Threshold,” when where you live is no longer determined by responsibilities, but rather a freedom to live wherever you like. (see the chart below)


As one participant in the study stated:

“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.” 

On the Move

According to the study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.

The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29 percent, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses.” See the chart below for the top six reasons broken down.


Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes

There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with fewer children at home, they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.

Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits or to allow other family members to move in with them.

“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”

Bottom Line

If your housing needs have changed or are about to change, meet with a local real estate professional in your area who can help with deciding your next step.

For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Is it time to downsize your home?

Is it time to downsize your home?


A recent study by Edelman Berland revealed that of homeowners who are contemplating selling their house in the near future 33 percent plan to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why that would make sense to many Americans.

In a recent blog post, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, discussed the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs, something we refer to as right-sizing. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep
  2. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
  3. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down. If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20 percent down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3 percent interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process. also addressed downsizing in a recent article. They suggest you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”

Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profit from the sale of their current home and splitting it to put down payments on a smaller home in their current location and a vacation/retirement home where they plan to live when they retire. This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values. This makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments: A recent study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37 percent of Americans believe they have significant equity (> 20 percent) in their current home. In actually, 69 percent have greater than 20 percent equity. That equity could enable you to build a life you have always dreamt about.

Bottom Line

If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can help guide you through the process. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!