Erin Gates

5 Must-Haves of Millennial Home Buyers


5 Must-Haves of Millennial Buyersopen concept

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are the second-biggest segment of home buyers, behind Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1979), according to a 2013 National Association of REALTORS® study about generational housing trends.

Real estate professionals told ABC News recently of some “must have” features that tend to be in high demand among young buyers. Some of those “must haves” include:

1. Updated kitchen and bath: “The primary reason young buyers seek updated kitchens and baths is because they have limited budgets,” says Jack Curtis, a real estate professional in Dublin, Ohio. “Most of their savings will go toward the down payment and furnishings. Kitchens and bathrooms are also the most expensive parts of a home to update, and young home owners cannot afford to sink a lot of money into those areas.”

2. Big kitchen with an open floor plan: “The kitchen has become the hangout room along with the family room,” says Lou Cardillo of The Lou Cardillo Team in Yorktwon Heights, N.Y. “An open space that can easily transition from kitchen to TV room is high on the list of the perfect home for young buyers. In essence, the kitchen is the new living room.”

3. Home office: “As technology continues to make us more mobile, young buyers have more options than ever to work from home, depending on their job,” says Paige Elliot, a real estate professional with Dave Perry-Miller & Associates in Dallas. “Having a dedicated space is important because it will help keep them focused and concentrated on work while they are at home on a Skype call, planning a presentation, setting up their workday or simply paying bills.”

4. Location: “My young buyers look for properties that are in proximity to public transportation and that have a good walking score,” says Margaret Szerlip, Real Estate professional at Sotheby’s in Newton, MA.

5. Technology: A home’s appeal can be increased if it has a strong mobile carrier’s signal or its list of Internet service provider options, says Cardillo. “Internet and cell service matters a lot to this generation, and they’re going to ask, so you need to have answers,” Cardillo says.

We Need Your House!!


  We Need Your House!!!  This is a Supply and Demand Business and there is no supply!

Sotheby’s Newton, MA.  Top Realtors, Supply and Demand

April 21, 2015EST Newton, MA.

We Need You(r House)!! | Keeping Current Matters

Though the real estate market has improved, we still have one item holding it back from a full recovery – a robust supply of homes for sale. Demand has increased dramatically. At the same time, housing inventory is decreasing especially at the lower price points. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed that there is apent-up seller demand caused by the uncertainty created by the housing crisis of the last decade.

What does that mean to you?

Houses listed today sell quickly. With prices still below peak values of 2007 in many parts of the country and mortgage interest rates at historic lows, this may be the perfect time for your family to make the move to the dream house you always wanted – whether that’s a larger home or that vacation/retirement home you have been looking at.

What does that mean to the economy?

Housing has always been an essential part of the U.S. economy. As we have reported before, real estate not only provides housing for families. It is often the greatest source of wealth and savings for many. The recent increase in real estate sales has led to an increase in real estate prices. This has increased the value of everyone’s’ home, whether they are selling or not. This leads to an increase in consumer confidence which in turn leads to an increase in consumer spending. Plus, each home sale automatically puts money into the economy. NAR compiled data from research conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis & Macroeconomic Advisors on the economic impact of a home purchase. After reviewing the data, they concluded that the total economic impact of a typical home sale in the United States is an astonishing $52,205. The more homes that sell, the better the economy.

Bottom Line

In order for the U.S. economy to get better, we need to sell more homes. Perhaps, it makes sense for one of those homes to be yours. If you have considered selling but are still a little nervous, now might be the time to sit down with a real estate professional familiar with your market and see what your options truly are.

3 CLIENTS ALL IN ONE ARTICLE IN THE BOSTON GLOBE


3 CLIENTS ALL IN ONE ARTICLE IN THE BOSTON GLOBE

Erin Gates: Designer and Elements of Style Blogger and Author

Sarah Winchester: Photographer Extraordinaire

Dina Cirimboli: Owner

Newton, Sotheby’s Realty, Top Newton Brokers

ErinGatesDesignDinasGirlsStudy(2015)-5 copy

I was so excited to have this special little space I designed featured in the Boston Globe Magazine this weekend (shot by the wonderful Sarah Winchester)!  This room was for a long time client (whose house is in my book) that needed a study space for her daughter as well as a second guest room, and I think we succeeded on both fronts!

IMG_1665

A daybed from Restoration Hardware anchored the room and gave us ample floor space for the other elements we needed to incorporate into the space.  We used Farrow & Ball’s Lotus wallpaper behind the bed for some drama and installed two brass sconces from Circa Lighting for ample direct reading light. All the pillows were custom as were the cuffed drapes.

ErinGatesDesignDinasGirlsStudy(2015)-1-1 copy

ErinGatesDesignDinasGirlsStudy(2015)-4

In between the draped windows we used a tall skinny bookshelf for book storage ( lots of the accessories I found at Homegoods).

ErinGatesDesignDinasGirlsStudy(2015)-2-1 copy

Across from the bed we used a West Elm dining table as a double desk so two chairs could face each other for when help was needed at homework time.

ErinGatesDesignDinasGirlsStudy(2015)-3-1 copy

1592 Commonwealth Ave — Open House Sunday from 12-2


1592 Commonwealth Ave Open House Sunday from 12-2

Sotheby’s Newton, MA.  Newton Top Realtors

FOR SALE: 1592 COMMONWEALTH AVENUE, NEWTON, MA. $3,599,000

Sotheby’s Newton, MA.  Top Newton Brokers  12:00PM EST

 

RESORT LIVING IN NEWTON:050   BostonRealEstateMedia com

This Georgian inspired colonial embodies all of the elements of intelligent design. Perfect home for family gatherings, large formal entertaining, and cozy evenings with friends. The enchanted garden-scape created by Sudbury design includes an in-ground pool, inviting hot tub, elegant plantings, stone walls, and wide patios, plus room for cooking & outdoor entertaining. This is a property that exudes a life of fun and sport… handsome billiard room on the lower level with a built-in dry bar, a Sauna, an enormous game room with custom storage, and a coveted MEDIA room with elevated platforms, leather recliners, surround sound, a seating area for snacks & popcorn & fireplace. Chef’s kitchen with all “Wolf” appliances, huge island dining & prep area; Family room with fireplace and double height windows; French doors and bay window Breakfast Room; Stunning dining room and Living Room; Mahogany paneled Library; Luxurious Master suite with a fireplace and heated floors in steam spa bath.001   BostonRealEstateMedia com003   BostonRealEstateMedia com006   BostonRealEstateMedia com013   BostonRealEstateMedia com011   BostonRealEstateMedia com019   BostonRealEstateMedia com027   BostonRealEstateMedia com036   BostonRealEstateMedia com048   BostonRealEstateMedia com047   BostonRealEstateMedia com

 

FOR SALE: 1592 COMMONWEALTH AVENUE, NEWTON, MA. $3,599,000


Sotheby’s Newton, MA.  Top Newton Brokers  12:00PM EST

 

RESORT LIVING IN NEWTON:050   BostonRealEstateMedia com

This Georgian inspired colonial embodies all of the elements of intelligent design. Perfect home for family gatherings, large formal entertaining, and cozy evenings with friends. The enchanted garden-scape created by Sudbury design includes an in-ground pool, inviting hot tub, elegant plantings, stone walls, and wide patios, plus room for cooking & outdoor entertaining. This is a property that exudes a life of fun and sport… handsome billiard room on the lower level with a built-in dry bar, a Sauna, an enormous game room with custom storage, and a coveted MEDIA room with elevated platforms, leather recliners, surround sound, a seating area for snacks & popcorn & fireplace. Chef’s kitchen with all “Wolf” appliances, huge island dining & prep area; Family room with fireplace and double height windows; French doors and bay window Breakfast Room; Stunning dining room and Living Room; Mahogany paneled Library; Luxurious Master suite with a fireplace and heated floors in steam spa bath.001   BostonRealEstateMedia com003   BostonRealEstateMedia com 006   BostonRealEstateMedia com 013   BostonRealEstateMedia com 011   BostonRealEstateMedia com 019   BostonRealEstateMedia com 027   BostonRealEstateMedia com 036   BostonRealEstateMedia com 048   BostonRealEstateMedia com 047   BostonRealEstateMedia com

Bi-Monthly Newton Real Estate Recap


Sotheby’s Newton, MA. Top Brokers

Newton, MA.  1:30PM EST

Spring has finally arrived and it has brought a few more listings to the market.  Inventory has increased from 92 to 108 homes for sale.  While 20 additional homes are available we are still about 50% of a normal market.  31 homes have gone under agreement in the past 2 week with the 1.5-2 million dollar price range continuing to be the most active.  There is also activity in the very high-end market.  Only 14 homes closed in the past few weeks and that is a direct result of snow bound buyers and sellers during late January and February.


On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 4/13/2015 1:07:03 PM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 03/31/2015
Towns: Newton
 03/31/2015  4/13/2015
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999 1 6
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999 1 6
$500,000 – $599,999 1 209 4 61
$600,000 – $699,999 1 0 1 3
$700,000 – $799,999 2 149 3 9
$800,000 – $899,999 4 63 6 43
$900,000 – $999,999 3 56 6 50
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 22 32 24 38
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 23 48 27 42
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 14 167 14 177
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 12 128 15 149
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 8 228 7 131
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 22
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 92 Avg. 92 108 Avg. 79
Lowest Price: $399,000
Median Price: $1,717,500
Highest Price: $4,500,000
Average Price: $1,906,135
Total Market Volume: $175,364,486
Lowest Price: $450,000
Median Price: $1,662,000
Highest Price: $3,999,900
Average Price: $1,791,334
Total Market Volume: $193,464,086

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 4/13/2015 1:09:03 PM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 03/31/2015
End Date: 04/13/2015
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999 1 1
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999 1 1
$500,000 – $599,999
$600,000 – $699,999 4 2 2
$700,000 – $799,999 1 1
$800,000 – $899,999 4 1 2 1
$900,000 – $999,999 4 2 2
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 7 1 6
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 4 3 1
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 2
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 2 2
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 1
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 31 15 15 0 1
Lowest Price: $399,000 Median Price: $986,950
Highest Price: $4,500,000 Average Price: $1,429,977
Total Market Volume: $44,329,300

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 4/13/2015 1:10:38 PM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 03/31/2015
End Date: 04/13/2015
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Avg. Days
to Offer
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 65 65 $560,000 $634,900 $634,900 88
$600,000 – $699,999 1 80 3 $655,000 $630,000 $630,000 104
$700,000 – $799,999 1 6 6 $777,600 $729,000 $729,000 107
$800,000 – $899,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$900,000 – $999,999 1 68 68 $950,000 $950,000 $950,000 100
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 6 61 55 $1,244,689 $1,249,333 $1,291,000 97
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 1 16 2 $1,940,000 $1,879,000 $1,879,000 103
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 2 8 6 $2,230,000 $2,050,000 $2,050,000 109
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 142 106 $2,600,000 $2,750,000 $2,850,000 91
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 $0 0
Total Properties 14 Avg. 54 Avg. 42 $1,386,481 $1,369,207 $1,394,207 99
Lowest Price: $560,000 Median Price: $1,200,000
Highest Price: $2,600,000 Average Price: $1,386,481
Total Market Volume: $19,410,735

Open House 45 Buswell Park, Newton, MA. $1,899,000 Sunday 1-3


New Listing 45 Buswell Park, Newton $1,899,000

Newton Sotheby’s, Newton, MA.  3:00PM EST

 

001   BostonRealEstateMedia comA stylish Colonial beautifully sited on lush grounds. This tasteful home was expanded and improved with a white chef’s kitchen, large island, high-end appliances and custom cabinets. A grand family room with fireplace adjoins the kitchen and breakfast area. Exceptional master suite with plentiful closet space and a beautiful 2014 bathroom. There are four additional second floor bedrooms, all generous in size with ample closet space and an updated bath. Third floor recreation room with full bath and abundant storage. Attached oversize 2 car garage. Walk to schools and express bus. Downtown Boston and Cambridge are a 10 minute drive and Logan Airport is accessible in 15 minutes. Showings can begin Tuesday 4/7/15 after noon.

015   BostonRealEstateMedia com002   BostonRealEstateMedia com

Why Waiting To Buy Might Not Make Sense


Why Waiting To Buy Might Not Make Sense

Sotheby’s Newton, MA.  Posted: April 1, 2015 11:00AM EST

Why Waiting To Buy Might Not Make Sense | Keeping Current Matters

Whether you are a first time or a move-up buyer, there are two factors that will impact the amount of house you can afford in your price range: home prices & mortgage rates. Let’s look at what the experts are predicting over the next twelve months for these two areas:

PRICES

Over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists were recently polled as a part of the Home Price Expectation Survey. They were asked to project where home prices are headed. The average value appreciation projected over the next twelve-month period is approximately 4.4%.

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES

In the latest Economic & Housing Market Outlook from Freddie Mac, they predict that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will be 4.7% by this time next year. As of last week, the Freddie Mac rate was 3.69%.

What does this mean to you?

If you are a first-time buyer currently looking at a home priced at $250,000, this is what it could cost you on a monthly basis if you wait until next year to buy: Cost Of Waiting Spring 250K | Keeping Current Matters If you are a move-up buyer currently looking at a home priced at $500,000, this is what it could cost you on a monthly basis if you wait a year to buy:Cost Of Waiting Spring 500K | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With both home prices & interest rates projected to increase, waiting to buy could put a serious dent in your family’s wealth.

Newton Real Estate Bi-Monthly Recap


Newton Real Estate Bi-Monthly Recap

Newton, MA.  11:OOAM EST

Oh my there is no inventory and we will have the latest spring market in decades.  I have said many times that the average number of homes for sale in Newton during a “normal” market is about 200.  That gives us a 4-6 month supply.  I cannot remember the last time there were a mere 66 homes for sale across all price ranges in Newton.  There are only 11 homes for sale under 1 Million dollars!  The most inventory is in homes priced between 2 million and 2.5 million.  Let me say that if your home is listed under 1.5 million dollars for more than a week without an offer, your price is too high.  It’s not your agent’s fault or the weather; it’s the price!

15 Homes went under contract in the past 2 weeks about 25% of the market.  Interestingly, the most active segment was between 2 million and 2.5 million.  There are buyers in every price point from the most inexpensive homes (for Newton) to the most expensive.  Buyers are desperately waiting for more homes to hit the market.  If your home has not sold and you have not received any offers, you are in fact helping to sell your competition.

So repair your ice dam damage and get your home ready for a sale.  Call me at 617-921-6860 or margaretszerlip@gmail.com

 


On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:31:27 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 03/09/2015
Towns: Newton
 03/09/2015  3/9/2015
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999
$500,000 – $599,999 3 119 3 119
$600,000 – $699,999 2 68 2 68
$700,000 – $799,999 2 155 2 155
$800,000 – $899,999 2 99 2 99
$900,000 – $999,999 2 59 2 111
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 11 63 11 63
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 13 114 13 114
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 15 162 15 162
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 8 152 8 152
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 7 224 7 225
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 1 76 1 76
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 66 Avg. 130 66 Avg. 132
Lowest Price: $580,000
Median Price: $1,919,500
Highest Price: $4,300,000
Average Price: $1,988,507
Total Market Volume: $131,241,474
Lowest Price: $580,000
Median Price: $1,919,500
Highest Price: $4,300,000
Average Price: $1,988,507
Total Market Volume: $131,241,474

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:56:13 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 02/20/2015
End Date: 03/09/2015
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999
$500,000 – $599,999
$600,000 – $699,999 1 1
$700,000 – $799,999 1 1
$800,000 – $899,999
$900,000 – $999,999 1 1
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 7 3 4
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 2 1 1
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 5 3 2
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 1
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 18 10 8 0 0
Lowest Price: $669,000 Median Price: $1,435,000
Highest Price: $2,650,000 Average Price: $1,645,333
Total Market Volume: $29,616,000

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 3/9/2015 10:35:22 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 02/23/2015
End Date: 03/09/2015
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Avg. Days
to Offer
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 1 8 8 $520,000 $489,000 106 $489,000 106
$600,000 – $699,999 1 4 4 $604,500 $598,000 101 $598,000 101
$700,000 – $799,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$800,000 – $899,999 3 24 17 $884,667 $866,333 102 $866,333 102
$900,000 – $999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 2 11 11 $1,347,750 $1,377,000 98 $1,377,000 98
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 3 97 75 $1,798,333 $1,865,667 96 $1,899,333 95
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 1 45 45 $2,280,000 $2,399,000 95 $2,399,000 95
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 310 310 $2,560,000 $2,995,000 85 $3,500,000 73
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 100 74 $3,650,000 $3,795,000 96 $3,795,000 96
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 13 Avg. 65 Avg. 57 $1,566,077 $1,632,769 98 $1,679,385 97
Lowest Price: $520,000 Median Price: $1,395,500
Highest Price: $3,650,000 Average Price: $1,566,077
Total Market Volume: $20,359,000

Protecting Your Nest Egg as You Age


Protecting Your Nest Egg as You Age

 Newton, MA.  10:15AM EST

Retirement savings golden nest eggPeople pondering their retirement years often conjure images of spending more time on a favorite pastime or traveling around the country or the world.

Health concerns can intrude on those idyllic scenes, though, not only affecting enjoyment of life but also punching a heavy dent in retirement savings.

“As we age, usually our medical or long-term care expenses increase, sometimes depleting our assets to a level of crisis,” says financial advisor Jake Lowrey, president of Lowrey Financial Group.

“It’s important for retirees, and anyone planning for retirement, to become educated about what the pitfalls are and what they need to do to avoid losing their life savings.”

Long-term care especially can burn a hole in savings accounts. In 2012, for example, nursing home care averaged $74,800 a year, according to a report by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Meanwhile, assisted living facilities averaged $39,500 per year, and home-health services averaged $21 per hour.

More than 10 million Americans need some sort of long-term care, the Kaiser report says. That number covers all ages, even children, but about half are people 65 and older.

“Those older Americans had looked forward to enjoying their golden years,” Lowrey says. “They should be able to have actual golden years instead of what can end up being scary years, both personally and financially.”

Certainly, being able to maintain good health is a key factor in protecting savings and making retirement enjoyable and satisfying, he says.

But life doesn’t always work out that way. Fortunately, there are strategies seniors can use to lessen the impact of expenses brought on by long-term care needs. Lowrey says some of those include:

• VA benefits.
Military veterans may be able to offset nursing home or assisted-living expenses through benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. A veteran’s eligibility for long-term care services would be determined based on his or her need for ongoing treatment, personal care and assistance, as well as the availability of the service in the area where the person lives, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Other factors, such as financial eligibility, a service-connected disability, insurance coverage, and/or ability to pay may also come into play.

• Medicaid compliant SPIAs. A SPIA is a single-premium immediate annuity. Typically, a SPIA is a contract with an insurance company where you pay the company a sum of money up front (the premium), and the company promises to pay you a certain amount of money periodically for the rest of your life.

A Medicaid compliant SPIA is a specially designed annuity that pays out over the person’s “life expectancy” and has other specific characteristics. A couple who put money in a Medicaid annuity are able to avoid having the income from that annuity count against the financial assistance a spouse receives for nursing home care.

• Setting up a trust. Trusts can help shelter wealth from the look-back periods in Medicaid requirements and assist in qualifying for VA programs, among other advantages, Lowrey says.