Monday, January 13, 2020

When Pals Buy Homes Together


Two unrelated buyers splitting ownership need to consider the legal implications of this venture. 
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Potential home buyers who have been priced out of the market may consider purchasing a property with friends. But chances are they’re concentrating more on the cost savings from such an arrangement than the legal ramifications of splitting ownership with nonrelatives. Though you should never give advice outside your expertise as a real estate professional, you may be able to help such clients consider the questions they should ask of each other and an attorney before signing a sales contract.
Friends may be less likely to agree on the goal of a real estate investment than couples or family members who share common objectives. So the homebuying process comes with an increased risk of misunderstandings or conflict unless the parties have consulted an attorney to draw up a comprehensive joint purchase agreement, says Chloe Hecht, senior counsel and director of legal affairs at the National Association of REALTORS®. A lawyer can help buyers determine how to split their ownership stake in the property—a decision that will affect other actions, such as how to divide the costs of property taxes and utility bills.

Small But Growing

Despite such challenges, a small but growing share of buyers are forging this alternative path to homeownership. Three percent of buyers nationwide fall outside the categories of married couple (61%), unmarried couple (9%), or single male (9%) or female (17%), according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. This buyer segment identified as "other" rose from just 2% in 2018. Changing lifestyle choices and continued affordability pressure are lending more legitimacy to the idea of friends buying a home together, says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights.
But that could mean more problems for you if you’re not prepared to serve those pursuing an unconventional arrangement. Make sure your clients work out their purchase agreement before you begin showing them properties to minimize stops and starts in the home search that arise from unexpected complications, Hecht says.
The biggest hurdle may be the plan for transferring ownership in the event one friend wants to exit the partnership. "The parties may want to consider allowing the person who is staying a right of first refusal to purchase the other person’s interest in the property they jointly own," Hecht says.
"Related issues to consider are how the parties will determine a fair market value for the house and what happens if the person staying can’t afford to purchase the other’s interest in the house."

Take Your Time

Making decisions about which home to purchase also may be trickier for friends, says Stacey Schalk, associate broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Northglenn, Colo. Couples, for example, usually have a firmer understanding of what they want in a home, while friends may need more time to come to an agreement, she adds.
Schalk recommends sitting down with the friends to establish what’s important to them in a home, including which spaces they’re willing to share, such as the kitchen, family room, and outdoor area. While it can be exciting to consider living with your best friends, practitioners need to look beyond their clients’ initial enthusiasm to figure out what they really require in their spaces, Schalk says.
Daniele Kurzweil, a sales associate with Compass in New York, bought a single-family investment property with two friends in 2011. She says the experience tested the strength of her friendships. They never created a formal purchase agreement outlining who was responsible for which expenses but have since formed an LLC, putting in writing the details of each person’s ownership stake. Kurzweil says she acted as an adviser to her two friends when they came upon items they didn’t understand during the transaction. But Kurzweil allowed them to choose the home. "I trusted that my friends would make the right decisions," Kurzweil says. "Had I tried to get [more] involved, it would have been a distraction."
Kurzweil acknowledges that a home purchase with friends is a risky commitment, even when you’re not planning to live with your co-buyers. Before unrelated clients move forward with a purchase, she says, both parties should ask themselves two questions:
  1. Would you trust your friends to do the right thing, even without a legal document?
  2. If, for some reason, you were unable to make a decision regarding a problem with the property, would you trust your friends’ judgment?
"If your answer to either of these questions is no, then making it legal with a contract won’t change things," she says.
Call me today and say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!" 


Toby Parks, SRES
p: (520) 310-0122 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Does Your Home Spark Joy?

Marie Kondo has started a cult. The Japanese tidying expert’s series first appeared on Netflix early this year and since then cause a whole following of people to look at everything in their home and ask if it “sparks joy.” Anything that fails the “joy sparking” test is thanked for its service and moved to the not-keeping pile. With spring cleaning time around the corner, it might be time to ask yourself what “spark joy” for you and your family.
We all get into positions where we need to go through the clutter of our home, but what do you do with the clutter you don’t want to keep?
Tucson as a community is quite giving; in Groupon’s 2018 recap, Tucson ranked as the 6th Most Generous City in the United States. Therefore, it’s no wonder that we have so many great options when it comes to passing on our gently used stuff.
Donate books, CDs, or DVDs to the Pima County Public Library or Friends of the Pima County Public Library for their book sales. Bookman’s is another great place to rehome all your books, musical instruments, or gaming gear. They might even give you store credit for an item or two. The store will happily accept anything they don’t offer you credit for, to add to their collection of supplies that gets donated to local schools and book-oriented nonprofits.
For household goods and clothing you have several options – HabiStore, Big Brother Big Sisters of Tucson, Casa de los Niños, Goodwill of Southern Arizona, Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store, Salvation Army, White Elephant of Green Valley to name just a few. These stores, in particular, all help you greenly recycle clothing while supporting other causes with resale profits.
Some items in your house can even go to local schools, especially books, clothes, and craft supplies. A good place to start is checking to see if your local school or school district has a resource center for drop-offs.
You might consider RISE Equipment Recycling Center as a home for old electronics. The nonprofit refurbishes your working and nonworking electronics and sells them at discounted rates to other nonprofits. Cell phones, in particular, are happily accepted by the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse to help those in domestic abuse situations.
Not everything in your home will be donation worthy, but it is important to recycle where we can. For anything else, just be sure to dispose of it responsibly. For larger items, the City of Tucson also offers “Brush and Bulky” days twice a year – visit WWW.TUCSONAZ.GOV/ES/BRUSH-AND-BULKY to find out your neighborhood’s schedule.

Toby Parks, Senior Real Estate Specialist
Long Realty
Call Me Today @ 520-310-0122

      and say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!" 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Top Cities Where Millennials Rule, Gen Xers Dominate & Boomer Move The Market ~ Tucson Arizona

The Top Cities Where Millennials Rule, Gen Xers Dominate, and Boomers Move the Market

Work-life balance, parenting, retirement—each generation handles these life challenges in a different way than the one before. And that helps explain just where each group is putting down roots.
Millennials are opting out of the bright lights, big city lifestyle for more affordable small cities. Baby boomers facing retirement want walkable communities with urban amenities, not just 55-plus developments. The perpetually forgotten Gen Xers? They're splitting the difference, opting for larger and more expensive markets while they have the cash to do so.
But there's a sea change happening as millennials, the largest U.S. generation ever, truly come into their own. It's already having far-reaching repercussions across U.S. housing markets, according to a new report by the® economic team on home buying across generations.
“For the first time, we’re finally seeing evidence of millennials outcompeting older generations in more markets than not,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research at "If millennials continue to grow [their market share] at this pace, we expect them to buy more homes than Gen X and baby boomers combined in the next year.”
Still, the major factors motivating buyers remain the same: growing families, the requirements of work, and the combined freedom and restraints of retirement.
"Life stages is what drives demand in housing," Vivas says.
So which are the markets that have what each generation needs most to buy a home and build a life? To find out, the economic team looked at the current share of home mortgages taken out by each generation and the change in that share from last year. These were combined to yield a generational "score" that we used to rank housing markets seeing the most activity from each generation.
OK? So let's take a deeper dive into the places millennials, Gen Xers, and boomers are most likely to call their own. Get ready for a few eye-openers along the way.

Millennials: Playing it safe with starter homes

Top Metros for Millennials
Top Metros for Millennials
Tony Frenzel

For millennials trying to break into homeownership in an era of high prices, affordability is key.
“For many of them, this is really the most expensive time they’ve seen since they’ve entered the market,” Vivas says.
So while they might crave the excitement of urban life, they're turned off by the high prices of the largest metros.
“Young millennials want to flock to the bright lights. They go to cities, where the action is,” says Dowell Myers, a demographer and professor of urban planning and public policy at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. “But housing is in short supply and it’s very expensive. So they get pulled away to [the suburbs] or smaller metros.”
So what are millennials searching for?
"They’re looking for a house they can afford. They’re looking for communities they want to be in. They want to be in a place where they can find steady employment," says Jason Dorsey, president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, which does marketing research on Gen Z and millennials.
The top 10 metros for millennials (those born between 1982 and 2000) that we identified all fit this bill, and they have high homeownership rates among the youngsters to prove it—an average 47% of 25- to 34-year-olds own a home, compared with 43% in the largest 100 metros.
But there’s a downside—the overwhelming demand for affordable homes in the Midwest and Northeast is seriously depleting inventories. The good times may not last, kids.
For now, though, Grand Rapids, MI, claims the most millennial cachet.
“It’s a city where there’s enough to do but you can still travel around in it within 15 to 20 minutes,” says Steve Volkers, a broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate in Grand Rapids. “You have the availability of good arts, a really great food scene, a number of big breweries in town.”
While the average sale price is in the $240,000 to $250,000 range, millennials are looking for slightly cheaper homes, Volkers says. And they’re finding them in starter neighborhoods like Alger Heights, where $175,000 to $200,000 gets you a single-family home with a yard and garage in a walkable area; or Cedar Springs, in the north suburbs, where a newly built three-bedroom with 1,500 square feet can be had for $200,000 to $250,00.
Salt Lake City is another millennial mecca. According to Kenny Parcell, a real estate agent with Equity Real Estate in Salt Lake City, the predominant home buyers here are either grads of local colleges who stuck around or folks coming in to work in “Silicon Slopes,” as the local tech industry nestled among ski resorts is known.
“There are a lot of job transferees from the California market,” he adds. “They pay a lot less in taxes and home prices.”
Downtown tends to be too pricey for millennials, pushing younger families into the suburbs, where $300,000 to $400,000 or so can buy a two- to three-bedroom house with a yard. Draper, Sandy, Harriman, and South Jordan are all popular towns because they’re affordable and close to the freeway and public transit.
The presence of Scranton, PA, at No. 3 at first seems like a head-scratcher. Do millennials really like “The Office” (whose fictional Dunder Mifflin paper company was based there) that much?
It turns out, Scranton just happens to be one of the very few markets with homes under $160,000. With such a low bar to ownership, millennials account for well over 50% of mortgages in the metro.
The former mining and railroad town was one of many in the Rust Belt that lost jobs and population in the second half of the 20th century, but its population has stabilized in recent years. Although the city skirted bankruptcy in 2012, a revitalization effort downtown has created a vibrant, walkable community with the loft-style apartments that millennials love in architecturally significant buildings.

Generation X: Throwing money at the issue

Top Metros For Generation X
Top Metros For Generation X
Tony Frenzel

In many places, the “sandwich generation” is getting squeezed out of the market by the up-and-comers—millennials were taking out 44% of home loans in September by value, whereas Generation X’s share of the market fell to 39% from 41% the year before. But when they do buy, Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1981) purchase homes that are on average $49,900 more expensive than millennials’ purchases. Take that, youth culture!
On the whole, the real estate markets dominated by Gen Xers are significantly larger, more urban, and more expensive. Several of them are also investment hot spots.
No. 1 on the Gen X list is Memphis, TN. Here, many of the buyers are also selling their starter homes in order to get more space and a more desirable location.
“Gen X buyers are move-up buyers,” observes Bob Peterson, an agent with Keller Williams Realty in Memphis. “Their families are growing, and they’re getting out of an apartment or a smaller house. They [are also] more concerned about schools.”
"The appeal for Gen Xers is the quality of life for families, because Memphis offers the amenities of a large city along with a friendly and approachable character of a small town," says Holly Whitfield, who runs a blog called I Love Memphis.
The downtown area can yield some lovely homes along the river, from $300,000 up to $1 million. Midtown has more traditional homes, often remodeled and updated.
Peterson sees midcareer types moving to Memphis for employment, including at FedEx and in the military. Memphis—along with Lakeland, FL; Raleigh, NC; and Knoxville, TN, also on this list—also has a fairly high share of investor sales. Perhaps those Gen Xers are exercising some hard-earned real estate savvy.
The nearby city of Arlington, TN, also gets a lot of Memphis overflow—it’s about a half-hour away, and you can get a newly built three- or four-bedroom home for the mid- to high-$300,000s, he says.
Such deals are scarce in the Los Angeles metro, which ranked No. 2 for Gen Xers.
“The difference between buying a home in Memphis and buying a home in Los Angeles is about $750,000,” says Boni Bryant, who leads a team of agents along with Joe Reichling at Compass Hollywood brokerage, in Los Angeles.
Bryant says most of their clientele are in their 40s and 50s, because the market in Los Angeles is difficult to get into at the ground level—an “entry-level” home often goes for $1 million or more. And that typically means you’d need a household income of $500,000 or more, with $200,000 in cash for a down payment.
Bryant and Reichling’s clients are often looking for homes in Los Feliz, Silver Lake, and Hancock Park, which are accessible to Hollywood, downtown L.A., and the studios in Burbank. (Here’s a sweet three-bedroom in Hancock Park, for a cool $2.1 million.) Some people who want a bit more of a suburban vibe move to Altadena or South Pasadena, northeast of downtown L.A.
On the other side of the country, well-heeled Gen Xers working in New York City favor Stamford, CT, in leafy, ultrapricey Fairfield County, which has easy train commute to Manhattan and plenty of amenities.
“The folks I see are getting out [of New York City] because of the high taxes and [lower] quality of life," says Martin Nirschel, an agent with William Raveis Real Estate in Stamford.
For $600,000 and up you can certainly have an elevated quality of life, as in this four-bedroom home for $620,000. Nirschel notes that the Gen X buyers he sees don't have the patience for renovations; for a newer home that's more turnkey, you're looking at $800,000 and up.

OK, boomers: Time to take it easy

Top Metros For Boomers
Top Metros For Boomers
Tony Frenzel

Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) may have dominated American cities in the '80s, but as they approach retirement they're more drawn to lower-tax states and smaller metros with a reasonable cost of living. And, just as with previous generations, they're attracted, like lemmings, to warm-weather locales—why bundle up for the elements and shovel snow if you don't have to?
Seven of the top 10 markets dominated by boomer buyers are in warmer locales, equally popular with vacationers and retirees—so many buyers are, in fact, picking up a second home.
No. 1 Tucson, AZ, offers that balmy weather in combination with a vibrant downtown and housing that's inexpensive compared with pricey coastal cities, if not exactly cheap.
“It’s big enough to have basic amenities, good restaurants, good shopping, and a lot of activities throughout the year," says Arthur C. Nelson, professor of planning and real estate development at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
According to a 2015 report by Downtown Tucson Partnership, 17% of residents living within a mile of downtown were aged 55 and older. Boomer buyers are flocking to higher-end rental apartments, which go for $1,500 to $3,000 a month, or to the historic neighborhoods just outside downtown, where bungalows starting at 1,500 square feet go for $300,000 and up. (This three-bedroom Craftsman, listed at $390,000, was built in 1905!) In suburban neighborhoods like Oro Valley and Marana, a buyer could get a much larger house on a quarter- to half-acre lot starting in the mid-$300,000s.
Nearby in Albuquerque, NM (No. 3), Paul Wilson, an associate broker with eXp Realty, says, “Most of the relocations we’ve had have been boomers.”
Albuquerque residents also enjoy that dry and sunny Southwest weather, and there's an excellent veterans hospital, Wilson notes.
Buyers “can get a nice ranch house with space for anywhere from $170,000 to $300,000. The better neighborhoods will cost a little more,” he says. The Northeast Heights area offers good value, where this three-bedroom home is just $289,900.
The Sunshine State still has an irresistible attraction for retirees (or almost-retirees)—Cape Coral (and adjacent Fort Myers), at No. 2, is one of three Florida metros on the boomer hit list.
"We have some of the most affordable waterfront property in the country," says Susan Christiano, an agent with Engel & Volkers in downtown Fort Myers.
In fact, you can buy a waterfront home for under a half-million dollars in Cape Coral—like this four-bedroom home on a canal, with easy access to the islands just offshore and the Gulf of Mexico. It's a boater's dream.
Fort Myers, on the other hand, offers no-hassle living, amenities, and social structure in its planned communities—although they're not necessarily for the 55-plus group. This gorgeous, modern three-bedroom home, for example, is in a golf course community with amenities, including a pool, clubhouse, and tennis and bocce courts.
It's not all fun in the sun, though—boomers also made a strong showing in Dayton and Akron, OH. If it weren't for the fact that we've seen affordable Ohio display its dominance in our hottest markets ranking, we might be shocked!

Toby Parks, Senior Real Estate Specialist
Long Realty
Call Me Today @ 520-310-0122
      and say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!" 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Stethoscopes and Germs

           Stethoscopes and GERMS  
             The stethoscope is used by most care givers for monitoring the blood pressure. (Manual blood pressure unit) Sometimes it is used to listen for various lung sounds to complete a report to the physician. 

       These instruments usually are part of the caregivers’ supply of “tools” and travel where ever the nurse, nurse aid goes. How many patients, beds, table tops, handbags, and car seats will the stethoscope come in contact with in a day or week? Germs love to travel on the surface of stethoscopes from person to person. I have used a stethoscope for over 50 years both in the field and in a hospital environment after each use it was stuffed back into a lab coat pocket or trauma bag.  Far too many in the medical field have not given much thought to the potential contamination that this valuable tool can spread but awareness is growing.  

        Some steps to reduce the risk of cross contamination are:
·         Clean the diaphragm off with an alcohol swab prior to each use and after you have completed working with each person.
·         Clean any parts of the tubing that came into contact with the patient, bed or counter tops. You can use a fresh alcohol wipe or sanitary cloth for this.
·         Clean out the carry bag used for the stethoscope on a regular basis you may be surprised how much debris collects there.
·         For those instruments that are used on a daily basis, once a week remove the ring holding the diaphragm then clean the threads on the bell.  
·         If the person being cared for has any type of infectious illness or wound situation then a disposable stethoscope is a preferred item.  You should still clean before and after each use. This can be disposed of after the condition clears up.
·         Ear pieces can be wiped off and even removed to be cleaned with a cotton tip applicator dipped in peroxide or use something like Clorox wipes. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly then let them dry before using again.
·          Even when using the stethoscope on the same person/patient it is a good idea to wipe it off after each use.
·         If the plastic disc (diaphragm) is damaged, cracked it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Germs get into the damaged part faster than I can spill coffee on a new white shirt.  A damaged diaphragm will reduce sound transmission or prevent any sound coming through at all. 
       Old damaged tubing must be replaced as germs love to hide deep in any opening in the tubing. Sound transmission can be reduced or even blocked by old, stiff or heat damaged tubing. Replacement tubes were common in the past though it is now less expensive (cheaper) to replace with a new stethoscope. A few of the high end brands may have a lifetime replacement program offered by the manufacturer.
       All this may sound like a lot of work; it can be done in a matter of seconds for the cleansing. It’s a lot easier and safer to do than finding out a cross contamination happened.

The above are opinions of the author, for medical conditions it is best to contact your physician for advice.

For more information on the variety of stethoscopes available, replacement parts for some and or an evaluation of one that you have please stop by our showroom at:

Tucson Safety & Medical Supply
1740 E. Fort Lowell Road
Tucson, AZ 85719

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Is a Senior Day Program the Right Choice for You or a Loved One?


Is a Senior Day Program the Right Choice For You or a Loved One?

Did you know that moving into a facility or care home is not the only option when seeking alternative care for a senior?  Many situations are different and depending on the wants and needs of families there may be reasons to consider a Senior Day Program as an alternative to the traditional route of uprooting and moving a loved one. At Homes of Joy Senior Living, we provide both types of accommodations, so let’s explore what may be the right path for you.

Some of the biggest factors people look for when choosing Tucson independent living facilities include: enriching life activities, staying attuned to the passions and purpose of the residents, physical engagement, community interaction, a continued sense of independence—and for many families—the option of not entering a 24-7 assisted living situation. The last factor is where a Senior Day Program becomes such an important option. Homes of Joy Senior Living is aware of all these elements, and the importance of providing options that other senior living Tucson facilities may not offer. 

The Senior Day Program – The Value of Staying With the Family

There can be a lot of apprehension for a senior and their family before choosing to enter any kind of alternative living situation, and there’s a number of reasons for this. For one thing, seniors and their family alike may be worried about their level of independence being affected. This is especially true if a senior requires certain levels of help or there are physical / mobility issues—but they are still very capable / mentally cognizant even at an advanced age. In these situations, a senior may be living at home with the rest of his or her family, but those family members feel guilty or scared to leave their loved one alone during the day—risking falls, injuries etc., with no one around to help. This is when a Senior Day Program may become the best option. 

Interestingly, many people are not aware of the Senior Day Program option and it’s almost like a “best kept secret” providing the best of both worlds—where it’s possible to be part of an active senior center during the daytime and go back home in the evening. Through a Senior Day Program, a family member has access to a lively community with hands-on support by a staff of caregivers, including transportation to and from activities, with the freedom to go home in the evening. 

For many people, this option also solves a lot of the reluctance that seniors may have for going into an alternative living situation. Independence is important for almost everyone and no one wants to feel like they have fewer choices about how they run their lives.  Senior Day Programs can therefore become more like an active part of a schedule than a permanent lifestyle change. And many studies have shown how important staying active (especially mentally) is as we age—including even in the prevention of serious diseases. 

At Homes of Joy Senior Living, we provide both a day program and a live-in program to cater to these different needs and situations. Our vibrant, structured calendar provide the activities and mental engagement designed to keep seniors happy and healthy. Inquire today about our day program—and for those who decide that a live-in program is the best option, we have experienced live-In caregivers, meals, utilities, housekeeping, transportation and pet care if needed, with our main aim of providing a joyful / harmonious living situation.

Get in touch with us today at: 520-248-0550. We are located in the beautiful Catalina Foothills at:
Homes of Joy Senior Living
4731 N. Palisade Drive Tucson, Arizona 85749

Sponsor of the SPOTLIGHT Senior Services & Living Options Guide
Please say, "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!"

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Southern Arizona Family Services Caregiving Job Opportunities - Full Time & Part-Time in Tucson

If you are looking for a job that offers flexible schedule and rewarding experiences, Southern Arizona Family Services is perfect for you!

Southern Arizona Family Services is a caregiving agency that provides both in-home and community-based care to individuals with developmental and physical disabilities, in addition to Tucson’s elderly population.

We are currently hiring caregivers to work citywide, from North Tucson to South for Part-Time and Full-Time positions.

Fingerprint clearance card, Article 9, CPR/First Aid will be required but can be provided by the agency if necessary. Reliable car and clean driving record required.

$11/hourly, PTO, HealthCare, Vacation time, Workers Compensation, Referral bonus, the employee of the month bonus, etc.
You can fill out an application in person at 310 S Williams Blvd Suite 130, Tucson AZ 85711 and get an interview on the spot by our hiring managers.
For more information or to schedule an interview you may call 520 512 0200 or email us at
and mention that "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!"