Month: May 2014

Millennials Say They Don’t Want a Home Like Their Parents’

Millennials Say They Don’t Want a Home Like Their Parents’

The millennial generation is showing differing housing tastes than their parents’ generation. For example, millennials say they prefer smaller, functional homes than sprawling “McMansions,” and they’re not interested in “cookie cutter” homes that look like everything else on the block. Instead, this generation of do-it-yourselfers wants to put their individual stamp on their home and make sure it reflects them and their tech-driven lifestyle.

I agree they millennials don’t want a home like their parents, they don’t want superfluous rooms, they don’t even want a living room.  I have not seen a DYI mentality in the western suburbs of Boston at all. In fact I see a reluctance to do any work, painting seems overwhelming to many.

Mllennials are the next big demographic of home buyers emerging in real estate.

“It’s critical that real estate professionals understand what embodies a quintessential home for the millennial generation, which vastly differs from the traditional norms of generations before them,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Better Homes and Gardens recently conducted a survey of 1,000 adults aged 18-35, known as “Generation Y” or the millennial generation. “Understanding technologies to communicate with this generation is now only one piece of the puzzle for agents; smart technological capabilities must now be ingrained into the home itself.”  The search for the home is online and a possible drive by, more likely satellite imagery will be used.

I currently have a relocation buyer that knows what every home/building within a few blocks of any house he will be looking at by using google walk.  If he can’t figure it out I get a text to see whats what. 

About 30 percent of millennials surveyed say they prefer a “fixer-upper” home rather than a home that needs only a few repairs.

I am sure there are some out there, but I haven’t seen them especially in the higher price points.  

They desire homes where they can entertain, and they don’t necessarily need all the upgrades. Fifty-nine percent said they prefer extra space in the kitchen for a TV rather than having a second oven.

They’re also technology driven and they want their homes to reflect that too. Forty-one percent of Millennials surveyed say they are more likely to brag to a friend about a home automation system rather than a newly renovated kitchen. Seventy-seven percent say they want a home with technology capabilities.

This seems a bit overstated, millennials want renovated kitchens AND smart home capabilities.

They also want each room in their home to have a purpose. One in five of Millennials surveyed said they’d prefer the name “home office” be used for their dining room since that’s how they would usually use it. Forty-three percent said they’d like to change their living room into a home theatre, according to the survey.

This is an absolute, younger buyers want a kitchen, family room as one huge room and possibly an office on the first floor.  Gone are the days of the dining room.  I understand the living room being wasted space but a dining room?  One day they might want it.  I’ve seen a definite preference for a tricked out basement rather than living room home theatre, but they want the living room to be anything other than another under utilized space; perhaps that home office.

Boston as a Retirement Mecca?

Boston as a retirement mecca?

Non-Traditional “Retirement” Metros Becoming Meccas for Older Adults Who Want to Age in Place

Non-Traditional “Retirement” Metros Becoming Meccas for Older Adults Who Want to Age in Place | Keeping Current Matters

It’s probably only natural for real estate agents to assume that most boomers or retirees bent on moving to a new city to enjoy their golden years will be on the trail to Florida, Arizona, or some other state blessed with warmth and plenty of sunshine. And those states are probably the ones best situated to offer plenty of age-in-place benefits, right?


When a boomer or senior who’s open-minded about where they wish to move and retire searches Google for the best cities to age in place or best cities to retire, they finds some spots that are a bit out of the norm, but quite intriguing nonetheless.

Places like Sioux Falls, SD; Provo, UT; Iowa City, IA; Bismarck, ND; Columbia, MO; Omaha, NE; Madison, WI; and Boston, MA top the list.

As adults 55+ begin to contemplate their future and plan for a possible move, they are hearing more and more about the importance of preparing to age-in-place. They already know they hope to live in their own home, independently, for as long as possible. And the cities listed above – plus many other non-traditional retirement options – are receiving plenty of attention as go-to spots for their aging-in-place benefits in the form of quality healthcare, accessible transportation, government initiatives in building the city as senior-friendly, and a number of other indexes.

The Milken Institute, a non-partisan think tank, compiled a list in 2012 of the 259 Best Cities to Age Successfully. Another ranking is due later this summer of 2014. It divided the rankings into “Large Metros” and ‘Small Metros,” with Provo, Utah topping the Large City list and Sioux Falls the Small City rankings.

Others in the Top 10 of Large Cities to Age Successfully include Pittsburgh, Toledo, Des Moines, Salt Lake City, and Washington D.C.

Others in the Top 10 of Small Cities to Age Successfully include Rochester, MN, Ann Arbor, MI, Missoula, MT, Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, and Gainesville, FL.

See the entire list here and learn more about the Milken Institute’s approach to promoting aging-in-place awareness:

Frankly, if I were a real estate agent or broker in any of these top cities (and even many further down the list), I’d be going full-bore to make sure I was positioned to capture as much of this older adult segment in my town as possible. Yes, older adults will purposefully be moving to my city and I should be the one to serve them and find a stellar house for them to buy.



Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend

Newton, MA.

Looking for something to do with your family this weekend? You can check out activities throughout Massachusetts.






Blue Star Museums
 – Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America. First launched in the summer of 2010, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 26, through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.


Service of Commemoration
 – Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, May 25, 1:30-3:00pm
 Words and music will help us to remember those who have gone before us during this Memorial Day Service on Bigelow Chapel Lawn. In the event of inclement weather, the Service will be held in Bigelow Chapel.

Street Performers Festival – Boston
 – May 24-26
 – Street performers, world-class jugglers, clowns, storytellers, mimes, acrobats,
dancers, storytellers, and others will perform on the cobblestone streets of the
Faneuil Marketplace. Location: Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Time: all day. Cost: 
Free. 617- 523-1300

Memorial Day Weekend Sale
 – Wrentham Village Premium Outlets 
May 23 – May 26 – 
Don’t miss the annual Memorial Day Weekend Sale. Enjoy extra discounts on top of already low outlet prices. 
May 23 : 9am – 9pm
 May 24: 9am – 9pm
 May 25: 10am – 6pm
 May 26: 9am – 9pm

Museum of Fine Arts
 – Free Memorial Day open house


Arlington: 9:30
Cambridge: 9:30
Hudson: 10:00
Medford: 10:00
Needham: 6:50

Back to Top


Newburyport Spring Fest – Newburyport
 – May 25-26
 – Celebrate the season in downtown Newburyport! Thousands attend to enjoy great live music, art, fine crafts, food from Newburyport’s best restaurants and Kid’s Korner featuring entertainment for children and families and the ever popular Teddy Bear Parade.
Location: Downtown Newburyport
. Time: 10a.m.– 5 p.m. 
Cost: Free 
Information: 978-462-6680

Back to Top


Haverhill: 10:30
Lexington: 9:00am
Marblehead: 9:00am
Methuen: 10:00am
Salem: 10:30am

Back to Top


Free Admission for Veterans
 – May 24-26. All active duty, retired and reserve military personnel who show proof of service will be honored with free admission to Battleship Cove.

Memorial Day Ceremony May 26. Honor and commemorate the men and women who gave their lives for freedom. Experience a traditional military observance at 12:00 PM with the raising of the American flag from half-staff and a 21-gun salute. The ceremony is open to the public.

Colonial Military Arts
 – May 24-26
 Plimoth Plantation
n early Plymouth Colony, all men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to serve in the town’s militia. Meet a member of New Plimoth’s militia in the center of the Century English Village. Free with general admission.

Military Service Appreciation Day
 – Buttonwood Park Zoo
 – 425 Hawthorn St., New Bedford – 
May 24 – 26. 
On Memorial Day Weekend all active duty, retired and reserve military personnel and their dependents who show proof of served will be honored with free admission to the Zoo.

Annual Fisherman’s Memorial Service
 – Starting at the Seamen’s Bethel
 – May 26 
10:00 am – 
Annual walk from Seamen’s Bethel on Johnny cake Hill down Union St. to Pier 3 on the New Bedford Waterfront for a service honoring all of the many fishermen who have lost their live going to sea.


Brockton: 11:00
Cohasset: 10:30
Fairhaven: 8:30
Fall River: 1:00
New Bedford: 11:00
Plymouth: 9:30
Somerset: 10:00
Swansea: 1:00
Taunton: 9:30
Westport: 8:00

Back to Top


Massachusetts National Cemetery
 – May 26th 
Annual Memorial Day Services.
 (508) 563-7113

Cape Cod Scenic Railroad
 – May 24
 Opening day, tickets on sale for scenic passenger train rides from West Barnstable, until train time 11:50 am. Visit the historical museum 9:00am to 2:00pm every Saturday, May 28 through October 15, 2011. 
Location: 2469 Meetinghouse Way, West Barnstable
Information: 508-362-9287

43rd Annual Figawi Regatta
 – May 24-26
 Sailboat race from Hyannis to Nantucket Island and back; weekend-long festivities
Hyannis Yacht Club, Hyannis & Nantucket Boat Basin, Nantucket
. Information: 508-778-6100

Back to Top


Wool Days at Old Sturbridge Village – Sturbridge
  – May 24-26
 Wool Days means sheepshearing at Old Sturbridge Village, plus demonstrations of other parts of the seasonal processing of wool, including scouring, carding, dyeing, spinning, and weaving. Try your hand and learn about other fibers available to early New Englanders at our textile exhibit. Wool Days fall on Memorial Day weekend, when the Old Sturbridge Village stagecoach returns for the summer, along with the Quinebaug River Boat Ride.

AIS 44th Annual Memorial Powwow
 – May 24-25
 Native American powwow
 4H Camp Marshall, 92 McCormick Rd., Spencer


Ashburnham: 8:45am
Ashby: 10:00am
Fitchburg: 10:00am
Westminster: 11:00am

Back to Top


Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair
 – May 24-25
 Sheep shows, sheep dog trials, spinning contest, fiber contests & workshops, handcraft & hand spun yarn contests, fleece show & sale, shearing demo & shearing service.
 Location: 97 Fairgrounds Rd., Cummington
Time: May 29, 9-5; May 30, 9-4
 Fee: $8:00 per vehicle
. Information: 413-458-0168

Memorial Weekend Sidewalk Sale
 May 23-26
 Annual Memorial Weekend Sidewalk Sale featuring incredible savings on spring clearance and summer merchandise at participating stores.
 Lee Premium Outlets

Annual Memorial Day Marathon Races
 – May 25 Lenox. 
This annual event starts and finishes at the iconic Tanglewood Music Center in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Come experience The Berkshires, a true slice of Americana featuring the quaint towns, beautiful views, and friendly people depicted in Norman Rockwell’s art and James Taylor’s music, as we celebrate running – a true American pastime – on the national holiday honoring our fallen soldiers. The weekend will feature The Memorial Day Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, The Berkshires 10K & 5K, The MDM 15K Trail Race, The MDM Trail-Road Challenge, The MDM Kids Run and The MDM Pre-Race Expo at Tanglewood.

Paradise City Arts Festival
 – May 24-26, County Fairgrounds, Northampton. 
Ranked the #3 arts fair nationwide. This is truly one of the most spectacular fairs of fine craft, painting and sculpture in the whole country, lauded for its fresh, innovative approach. Four buildings, a big tent and a lush Sculpture Garden showcase 260 of the nation’s finest artists and craftspeople, featuring furniture, glass, large-scale sculpture, jewelry, paintings, ceramics, fashion and home furnishings. The Festival Dining Tent cooks up sensational cuisine by Northampton’s best chefs and a soundstage featuring live music with a New Orleans beat by the likes of Charles Neville and Samirah Evans. The theme this spring is “Wild Things!”, with an exhibit of art inspired by the animal kingdom, a silent art auction to benefit the Dakin Animal Shelter and a host of children’s activities and demonstrations centered on animals. Boston Magazine writes, ‘There’s no better place in the country to pick up original artwork than the Paradise City Arts Festival.’


Agawam: 10:30
Amherst: 9:30
Chicopee: 10:00
Easthampton: 10:30
East Longmeadow: 10:50
Greenfield: 10:00
Hampden: 10:00
Holyoke: 9:00
Ludlow: 9:00
Monson: 10:00
Montague: 10:15
Northampton: 9:30
Palmer: 10:15
South Hadley: 11:00
Southwick: 9:30
Ware: 1:00
West Brookfield: 9:00
Westfield: 10:00
West Springfield: 9:00
Wilbraham: 10:30

Rethinking The 55+ Real Estate Market

Rethinking the 55+ Market


Posted: 01 May 2014 04:00 AM PDT

I am excited to have Nikki Buckelew back as our guest blogger for today. Nikki  is considered a leading authority on seniors real estate and housing. – 

Many Seniors here in the Boston Suburbs are active and fit.  I rarely see an under 60 person looking to move to an over 55 community.  I do see many people in their 70’s and 80’s looking to stay in Newton and Brookline but there is nowhere for them to move.  Many of these Senior’s live in very large big old Victorians and the thought of moving into a 2 bedroom condo or small house is not feasible.  There is a huge market for townhouses with first floor master bedrooms with 2 beds and a bath upstairs.  These Seniors are engaged with their children and grandchildren and want room for them to stay.  They don’t want a retirement community or an over 55+ community.  They would like to live in a neighborhood with all age types.  I find that it’s not until Seniors are in their late 70’s and have had at least one health scare do they even consider an over 55+.  We just moved my 87-year-old mother in law into an Independent Living Community in NJ.  I can tell you she was scared to death to be with all those “old” people, she now loves it!  But what about the rest?  Where are the late 60’s to early 70’s going to go?  They no longer want to hassle with home maintenance and repairs, they don’t want to hire the landscapers or the snow plowing, or the exterior painter.

Many sellers also just don’t know where to begin.  We have people to help you with that.  Check out Laurie Norman’s website Next Stage Associates.  Laurie’s services are unrivaled and her prices are extremely competitive.

Builders, decide what the next big thing is…it’s here.  Townhouse with first floor master bedrooms or flats that are large, in a community that appeals to young, middle-aged and older.


Mature Couple at ParkSomeone said to me recently, “Sixty-five is the new forty-five.” We chuckled, but the more I thought about it, the more I found myself in full agreement.

With more and more people working beyond traditional retirement age and the advances in modern medicine, the lines between middle and late adulthood are becoming a bit blurred.

What makes this relevant in the world of real estate?

As our population ages, we will see more and more organizations dedicating their marketing efforts toward the “senior” demographic. You have read previous KCM blogs about the various designations agents can earn for this specific purpose, and undoubtedly you have already seen real estate professionals in your market professing to “specialize”.

Reality check — not all seniors are the same.

Just as with using any label, we run the risk of putting people into a category when they may or may not actually belong there. This is especially true of the senior segment.

Despite the label of “senior,” there are 3 distinct types of moves you may encounter as a real estate professional —  all three involve seniors, but they aren’t based necessarily on age. You see, age is not a good predictor of relocation. Instead, people generally make changes in residence based on life circumstances.

Listed below are the three primary types of moves made by those labeled as seniors:

Move #1: Amenity-based

These individuals and/or couples are seeking a certain type of lifestyle and their home is only one component of a much larger picture. When looking to sell, they are usually transferring their equity from one home to the next and can usually either pay cash or put a significant down payment towards their purchase. Depending upon employment status, they may be moving across the country for more appealing climates or seeking a place near an airport making it easier to commute. Some are moving closer to kids and grandkids, while others are moving to destination locations where the family can enjoy visiting.

Social engagement, including quality family and friend connectedness, are key decision-making elements.

Move #2:  Anticipatory / Planning

As people age, they may begin to experience changes in personal health status or become the caregiver of a spouse requiring additional care. When this occurs, people may find their current home unmanageable or no longer suited for their current situation. Moving means simplifying and making preparations for future care needs and support. With this type of move, seniors are typically looking to either buy or lease a property with minimal maintenance, accessibility features, and in close proximity to quality healthcare. Family members and adult children may be called upon at this stage to assist, and will often have some influence in the relocation process.

Access to formal and informal support, as well as low maintenance and accessibility features, are primary decision-making factors. 

Move #3: Needs-based

While most people intend to live independently until they die, unfortunately, this reality isn’t always possible. As health declines to the point where more support is needed than can be provided for within the person’s home and community, relocation is necessary. This move may involve selling the personal residence and relocating to a senior living community or into the home of a family member. In many cases, needs-based moves involve caregivers and/or family members as additional decision makers. Late-life moves involving frail elderly or those experiencing illnesses or disease processes can be highly emotionally charged and necessitate a level of empathy in addition to real estate competency.

Timing, health status, and caregiver support are keys to decision-making.

As you can see from these various different types of moves, not all seniors share the same housing needs and goals. And while specializing in the 55+ housing market appeals to many, there are actually many sub-niche opportunities within the senior segment worth exploring.

Regardless of whether you choose to make working with mature home buyers and sellers a part of your overall business plan, with at least 1 in 4 home sellers over the age of 65, there is little doubt you will work with older adults in the course of your general real estate practice.  When encountering these opportunities, it will serve you well to consider the three types of moves listed here and evaluate your value proposition accordingly, so that you can be the very best agent possible for your mature clients.

6 Habits of Great Connectors

6 Habits of Great Connectors


Is is really so hard to smile?  Most of you who read my Blog know that I am not Polly Anna but please at least once a day there must be something to smile about?  If you meet someone new look them in the eye and smile, engage, smile, engage.  I think if we all concentrated on being open, having a dialogue, start a conversation the world will be a better place.  We would be happier and smile more!
Entrepreneur Scott Dinsmore shares the traits that the best networkers he’s met have in common.

The second part of the 1936 Dale Carnegie classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, is called “Six Ways to Make People Like You.”

All these years later, connecting with new people remains a vital skill for any entrepreneur hoping to grow her network. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially for introverts. Not long ago entrepreneur Scott Dinsmore formed a list of the habits he’s observed in skillful connectors. In the spirit of Carnegie’s “Six Ways,” here are six habits from Dinsmore’s list, supplemented with timeless tidbits from How to Win Friends.

1. Smile. “Smiles are contagious and the simple act makes people feel better,” writes Dinsmore. Carnegie goes one step further: “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.” Carnegie even cites an old training program that phone companies provided to teach selling over the phone. “They suggest you smile when talking on the phone,” he writes. “Your ‘smile’ comes through in your voice.”

2. Make friends. “Ask, ‘How would I treat this person if they were my close friend or someone I’d want to be a close friend?'” explains Dinsmore. Carnegie stresses the practice of empathy. He tells the story of a Philadelphia fuel salesman named C.M. Knaphle who hated the advent of chain stores because a chain in Philadelphia bought its fuel from out-of-town dealers, instead of him. At Carnegie’s behest, Knaphle agreed to debate other students in Carnegie’s courses about whether chain stores were good or bad. The catch? Knaphle had to defend the chain stores. He went back to the store that wasn’t buying his fuel and asked the buyer for advice that could help him in the debate. “I must confess that he opened my eyes to things I had never even dreamed of,” wrote Knaphle. The buyer grew to like Knaphle personally–and ultimately became a customer.

3. Pay attention. “People want to tell their story. Be the person excited to hear it,” notes Dinsmore. Carnegie tells the story of meeting a woman at a party who’d just returned from a trip to Africa with her husband. “Africa!” Carnegie exclaimed. “How interesting. I’ve always wanted to see Africa.” He asked the women a quick series of questions. The woman wound up talking to him for 45 straight minutes.

4. See friends, not strangers. “When you walk into a room, see the new faces not as strangers but as friends you have yet to meet,” writes Dinsmore. Carnegie describes how Jim Farley, former chaiman of the Democratic National Committee, had a method for morphing strangers into friends. Whenever he met someone new, Farley found out their full names, their family situations, and a few business or political opinions. By soliciting these specifics, he was in a better position–when he met someone for the second time–“to shake hands, inquire about the family, and ask about the hollyhocks in the backyard.”

5. Contribute. “Meeting people is about making their lives better….Give like crazy, embrace generosity and make others more successful,” writes Dinsmore. For Carnegie, aiding others became both a sales technique and a method of persuasion. Once, when a storekeeper couldn’t pay him in cash, Carnegie accepted payment in shoes. He sold the shoes to the railroad men he’d befriended traveling throughout his territories, then forwarded the receipts to his employer. Later, when Carnegie was trying to persuade YMCAs to host his classes, he faced an uphill battle. YMCAs were incredulous that anyone could “make orators out of business people.” So Carnegie agreed to teach on a commission basis and only take his pay as a percentage of the profits. The YMCAs agreed to host his classes.

6. Be open to conversation. “Embrace conversation with those around you. Everyone has something to offer–your server or the guy next to you on a park bench or plane flight,” notes Dinsmore. Of course, being open to conversation isn’t easy, if you’re the shy type. But the only way to get better is to make an effort–even if it’s a fruitless effort. Carnegie certainly felt this way. The best method for overcoming fears, he believed, was “to do the thing you fear to do and get a record of successful experiences behind you.”

Read more: