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Now that you know The Perks of Living in an Active Adult Community, the question is, when is the best time to move into one?  The answer is…NOW!  If you are at least 55, there is no reason to wait. In fact, if you do put off your move, you may end up regretting it.  Consider these reasons for moving to and active retirement community sooner than later:

  • The older you get, the harder it will be to move. Despite how much you work to stay in good physical shape, you can’t fight aging.  If you think packing and moving would be exhausting now, then try to imagine what it might be like in your 60s or 70s. 
     

  • Timing is everything.  Just because you start the process of selling your home and finding the perfect 55+ community to move to, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away.  It might take a long time to organize your current home and get it ready to sell.  It also might take a significant amount of time to research 55+ communities to find the right one for you.  55+ Communities in Memphis Area
     
  • You might miss out if you wait.  There is going to be a "Silver Tsunami" of baby boomers that will be ready to downsize and move to these communities and if you wait, you might find that desirable 55+ communities are full.  In addition, there is a current shortage of homes for sale in traditional communities and demand for them is still high. So, now is the time to sell while the market is in your favor!
     
  • It simply makes sense to be prepared for “senior living”.  Unplanned medical issues might make living in your current multi-level home a big problem. Don’t wait for that to happen. Find an active retirement community featuring one level living now and you won’t have to worry about renovating your current home to accommodate your future needs.
     
  • Start building your social network now.  There is no place better than a 55+ community to make new friends.  But it won’t happen overnight.  Starting now will give you the opportunity to build a network of friends that will be there for years to come.
     
  • You will likely be more active!  Some people think of retirement communities as places you go to slow down.  But 55+ communities offer so many activities and amenities that slowing down will only happen if that is what you want.  It will be so easy for you to participate in fun activities that you will likely do more than you are doing now to stay busy!
     
  • Save money on home maintenance.  If you’re currently living in an older home, chances are you have been shelling out your hard-earned money for lots of maintenance and repairs.  Imagine moving to a new home that is more energy efficient, has new appliances and will require less upkeep. That leaves more time and money for all those fun activities that will keep you younger longer!

55+ communities offer so much that will make your life better and more fun. Why wait to enjoy the benefits? Start looking now and find the community and home that is right for you!

If you have recently become an “empty nester” and you or your partner are 55 or older, an active adult community might be just the place for you to start fresh. Melissa Thompson is an experienced, professional Realtor who can help you get the best price possible on the sale of your current home so that you can join in the fun of living in a 55+ community!  Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

Photo Credit: rd.com

The Perks of Living in an Active Adult Community

by Melissa Thompson


When confronted with the term “retirement community”, many people think of nursing homes or assisted living facilities. But today’s active adult communities are nothing like the ones of the past.  These age-restricted communities are built for independent living older adults (usually age 55 and over) who are ready to downsize and live a more maintenance-free lifestyle.  Whether you have retired, been widowed, or simply find your current home too large to manage, an active adult community may be the perfect place for you to start a new chapter in your life.  Here are some perks of living in a 55+ community:

  • ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
    If you want to maintain an active lifestyle, then a 55+ community is the place for you!  There are a plethora of ways to stay active with workout facilities, pools, and handicapped accessible walking trails; and fun activities such as cooking classes, shuffleboard, and organized field trips.  And staying active doesn’t just mean strenuous physical activity.  Being social is an important part of maintaining an active lifestyle too.  Lots of these communities offer opportunities to socialize with things like book clubs, classes, bingo, charity work & service projects, coffee groups, and movie nights.  Staying active is so important to physical health and there are specific health benefits associated with being active and social in later years.  These benefits include: reduced risk of cardiovascular problems, increased longevity, reduced risk of stroke, stronger immune system, less risk of Alzheimer’s disease, lower blood pressure and better overall mental health. The Top 5 Reasons Seniors Should Stay Socially Active

     
  • SENSE OF COMMUNITY
    We’re using that word a lot, but community is what it’s all about! The sense of community felt among residents of a 55+ neighborhood is one of the main differences in living there versus a typical residential neighborhood.  This can have a huge impact on a person’s sense of well-being and quality of life. Neighbors in these communities are in the same stage of life and often share similar desires and goals.  They become a kind of “family” who look out for each other and take care of each other in times of need.

     
  • MAINTENANCE FREE LIVING
    Many 55+ communities offer maintenance-free living. What does that mean?  Well, it can vary, but it usually includes all exterior building maintenance including streets, sidewalks, roofs and driveways.  In addition, staff will typically: take care of weeds, fertilize lawns, blow clippings off sidewalks and driveways, spread mulch, edge the lawn along walkways and driveways, change hard to reach light bulbs, and make interior repairs on major appliances and exterior repairs to roofing, downspouts and more. 

     
  • RETIREMENT LIVING BEFORE YOU RETIRE
    You do not have to retire from your job to live in a 55+ community.  They are often referred to as “retirement” communities, but in truth the only restrictions for residents are age and income.  You can keep your job and still enjoy the benefits that will allow you so much more free time for fun and travel.

     
  • FEELING SAFE & SECURE
    Many active adult communities are gated and only allow residents and their guests to be admitted onto the property. Some will also have security staff on-site for residents’ protection.  Security may also include: lighted parking lots, sidewalks, streets, and common areas, working fire alarms and smoke detectors, emergency evacuation maps posted, and clearly marked exit doors.

     
  • DOWNSIZING BECAUSE YOU WANT TO, NOT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO
    Downsizing on your own terms is so much better than the stress that comes with having to move due to an illness or injury. Moving while still healthy and active is an easier process and allows you to take your time and make thoughtful choices.  Selling your home is also less emotional and overwhelming when it is your choice and not something you are being forced to do.  Choosing to move into a 55+ community while you are still healthy and active allows you to be in control of your own future and how you want to spend your time and money. Downsizing Your Home: 3 Money Benefits

If you have recently become an “empty nester” and you or your partner are 55 or older, an active adult community might be just the place for you to start fresh. Melissa Thompson is an experienced, professional Realtor who can help you get the best price possible on the sale of your current home so that you can join in the fun of living in a 55+ community! Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

Photo Credit: go4life.nia.nih.gov

Staying Physically and Mentally Fit as an Empty Nester

by Melissa Thompson


Photo Credit: 55places.com

Studies show that staying mentally and physically active in your senior years is vital to your overall well-being.  Socializing also has a positive impact on your health as you age. Adopting healthy habits and behaviors and staying involved in the community will contribute to your ability to live a full and meaningful life. There is no better place for seniors to stay active, both mentally and physically, than an Active Adult Community!  With a community of peers that are in the same stage of life as you, you will be able to find many people with common interests and goals.  And built in activities will make it easy for you to participate and meet people.  Here are some of the most popular activities offered in 55+ Communities in the Memphis area:

Swimming: Some communities include swimming pools. Swimming is a great, low impact way to stay physically fit, while also getting fresh air and a healthy dose of vitamin D.  The swimming pool is also a fun place to socialize and cool off on hot summer days!

Exercise Rooms: No need to join a gym elsewhere because most 55+ communities have their own exercise rooms available to residents. Get your heart pumping on the stationary bike or treadmill, lift some weights to maintain strength, or take a yoga class for relaxation.

Multi-Purpose Rooms: Keep your mind sharp by meeting up with fellow neighbors to play card games are to do arts & crafts in the multi-purpose room.  Some communities will offer classes; remember, you are never too old to learn something new!


Photo Credit: Ilcorp.org

Walking & Biking Trails: When the weather is nice, no need to stay indoors to exercise. Take advantage of beautiful walking and biking trails that many communities offer.

If you have recently become an “empty nester” and you or your partner are 55 or older, an active adult community might be just the place for you to start fresh. Melissa Thompson is an experienced, professional Realtor who can help you get the best price possible on the sale of your current home so that you can join in the fun of living in a 55+ community!  Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

Buying New Construction in a 55+ Active Adult Community

by Melissa Thompson


While the real estate market in general is starting to cool off, demand for homes in “retirement” communities is continuing to rise.  High prices, decreasing inventory, long waiting lists, and buyer lotteries are all signs that homes in these communities are very popular with the 55+ crowd.  And ever since the Baby Boom Generation started hitting retirement age a few years ago, the number of buyers in this age range has grown and will continue to do so over the next decade at which point the number of retiree households will grow by about 10 million.

What this means for people looking to buy a home in a 55+ active adult community is that there may be a shortage of homes available.  Some builders are even resorting to holding lotteries when they can’t keep up with buyer demand. Instead of bidding wars, they simply choose names out of a hat and if your name isn’t chosen, well, you are out of luck.

This may not sound like good news to you if you are thinking of buying your “retirement” home soon.  But because of demand, there are new communities popping up everywhere.  And one key to successfully purchasing new construction in one of these communities is to have a professional Realtor on your side. While new construction sites have Realtors to show you the community and home models, it’s important to remember who that Realtor is working for.  He or she represents the builder, not the buyer. Many people think that they will get a better deal or save money if they simply use the builder’s Realtor, but the truth is that the builder pays the commission for the buyer’s agent.  So, having an experienced, professional Realtor on your side not only doesn’t cost you anything, it might save you money in the long run when your Realtor negotiates a better deal for you!

There is still another reason why it will benefit you to have your own Realtor when buying new construction. If you’ve never purchased new construction before, you may not realize how many steps are involved.  It is a long process and it’s important to have someone representing your interests along the way, especially if you are relocating from another state and can’t be there for the building process.  Once you have chosen your home and been approved for a mortgage, it may be several months before the home is completed, inspected and ready for move-in.  Your Realtor will be there every step of the way, making sure all the work is done properly and everything is in order for the closing. 

If you are thinking about purchasing a home in a 55+ Active Adult Community in the Memphis area, let the professionals at Your Key to Memphis assist you in finding the right community and building the perfect home to meet all your needs and desires! Call and speak with someone from the Melissa Thompson Team today to get started! 901-756-8900

Why We Observe Memorial Day

by Melissa Thompson


Memorial Day weekend has become a holiday weekend that people look forward to all winter and spring.  It is the de facto start of the summer season and it’s filled with cookouts, camping trips, and family gatherings.  But, it’s easy to forget the actual reason we observe Memorial Day when you’re sitting by the pool contemplating your summer vacation.  The historical significance of the day is much more than a three-day weekend filled with relaxation and celebration.

Memorial Day is a solemn day of remembrance for all who have died serving our country in the armed forces.  It began after the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, to honor the Union and Confederate dead, and was originally known as Decoration Day. By the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to their fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.  It soon became a nationwide date of remembrance held on May 30, 1868.  That date was chosen because it did not coincide with any particular battle.

Decoration Day gradually became known as Memorial Day and included military personnel who died in all wars.  It was observed on May 30th for decades until 1968, when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May so that federal workers would get a three-day weekend.  The same law made Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Across the United States cities and towns will host Memorial Day parades that include military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations.  Washington DC, New York City, and Chicago are known for hold some of the largest parades to commemorate this day. 

Even if you can’t make it to a parade, you can still observe the day by visiting cemeteries and memorials, or even just taking a moment of silence to thank those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  

Memphis National Cemetery

Memphis National Cemetery on Memorial Day - Photo Credit: youtube.com

Getting Your Gas Grill Ready for Outdoor Cooking

by Melissa Thompson


Memorial Day Weekend is one week away, and with it comes the unofficial start of the summer season. For many families, summer means cooking on the grill.  One of the best things about cooking out on the grill is that there are fewer pots and pans to wash than with stovetop cooking.  While you don’t have to scrub down your gas grill to shiny perfection after each use, it is important to give it a deep clean every now and then to make sure it runs safely and efficiently.  Here’s how!

  • Gather your cleaning supplies - You may want to use gloves and you will need a grill brush or some other type of cleaning brush.  You will also need old cleaning rags or paper towels, a bristle brush or putty knife, and soap and water.
     
  • Turn off the gas supply - This is very important!  Make sure the gas supply is turned off or play it extra safe and remove the gas tank from the grill while cleaning it.Gas Grill Safety
     
  • Remove the grill grates - Pull them out so you can give them a thorough cleaning . Scrub them with a grill brush or other coarse brush.
     
  • Clean anything covering the burners - Remove any V-shaped metal heat tents, ceramic briquettes, or lava stones that cover the burners and brush them clean.  You will want all the gas grill parts to be spic and span. Anatomy of a Gas Grill Parts Guide
     
  • Clean the burner tubes - Lightly brush the burner tubes and make sure all the gas ports are clean and open. How to Clean Your Gas Grill Burners
     
  • Clean the bottom of the grill and the lid - Brush or wipe any debris out of the bottom of the grill. If there is peeling black stuff (usually carbon flakes and grease) on the grill lid or bottom, use a bristle brush or putty knife to scrape it off.
     
  • Clean the grease collection tray - Use soap and water to clean the grease collection tray and replace any disposable pans as needed.  Make sure to dispose of grease properly - pour it into an empty can or bottle, wait for it to harden, then throw the whole thing away.
     
  • Wipe down the outside of the grill - With a rag or paper towel, wipe down the outside of the grill and any side trays using soap and water.
     
  • Put the grill back together - Now you’re ready for a cookout!!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs!  Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

Photo Credit: wallimpix.com

Increase Your Home Value with these Designer Tips

by Melissa Thompson


When designing and decorating your home, unless you plan on living there forever, it’s important to consider resale value.  Since your home is likely your largest asset, you want to be sure to get the highest return on your investment when you sell it.  So, design upgrades should not only appeal to your aesthetic desires, but should also have a positive impact on resale value.  Here are some tips for renovations that designers have found to be most beneficial in helping houses sell:

  1. Choose a design that makes a room feel bigger than it is.  If you select and place furniture to fit the scale of a room, it will go a long way in making the space feel larger than it actually is.  Even though buyers will know the square footage, the perception of rooms being larger will have a powerful impact. When rooms feel more spacious, buyers see more potential in the home.
     
  2. Stick with tradition.  If you are redesigning a room, don’t feel like you need to get rid of everything you have and purchase all new things. Keep some of the home’s traditional elements. You’re never going to please every potential buyer, but making too many changes can backfire. People like to see homes that stay true to their roots.
     
  3. If you don’t have a walk-in closet in your master bedroom, add one.  A roomy, functional walk-in closet will add value to any home. Buyers see it as a luxury and are always excited to see one.  It might feel like an expensive upgrade, but it is one that will pay off in the long run.
     
  4. Don’t neglect the kitchen.  Of all the rooms in your home, an upgraded kitchen is the one that will get you the best return on investment.  The kitchen is the heart of the home. Even if you don’t love cooking, and order out more than you cook, it’s still used for eating, drinking, and storage.  You don’t even have to do a lot to make your kitchen stand out.  Even small upgrades like new light fixtures and hardware will add value to your home.
     
  5. The more storage your home has, the better. Buyers seek homes that provide a lot of storage space.  You truly can’t have too much!  If your home is lacking in storage, adding some will increase its value.  You may have to be creative, but it will be worth it! 7 Sneaky Ways to Add More Storage All Over Your House
     
  6. Fresh paint makes a huge difference.  You don’t have to make huge changes to make your home more appealing.  A simple, fresh coat of paint can give your home a whole new look and feel.  It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to update your home.  When choosing colors, stick with neutrals because they are a safer choice when selling your home.
     
  7. Be environmentally friendly. Millennials purchasing homes are looking for energy efficient, environmentally friendly options. You will not only reap the benefits of living in a more energy efficient home, but you will impress potential buyers who want to do their part in protecting the environment. 4 Eco-Friendly Upgrades for Your Home
     
  8. Bathrooms get you a lot of bang for your buck.  Second only to kitchens in importance to retail value, an upgraded bathroom is sure to impress potential buyers.  Since they are small spaces, little changes like replacing an outdated vanity, changing light fixtures, and updating hardware can go a long way. 

Whether you plan to be in your home for a long time, or you’re thinking of selling soon, make smart choices with your home design upgrades for your own enjoyment and for a great return on your investment.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs! Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Mother’s Day in Memphis

by Melissa Thompson


Mother’s Day is May 12, which mean you still have time to plan a special way to celebrate Mom!  Here are some special events taking place in Memphis for Mother’s Day 2019:

  • Queen of My Heart Mother’s Day Brunch

What better way to celebrate Mom than to shower her with a delicious brunch prepared by Memphis’ own Chef Nea! Enjoy brunch southern style with unlimited mimosas and bellinis! There will be a live jazz band, open bar, and giveaways!Each attendee will receive a gift bag and entries into giveaways throughout the day.

Sunday, May 12, 2019 - 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Purchase tickets HERE.

The Jack Robinson Gallery
44 Hulling Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103

  • Mother’s Day Paddle on the Wolf

Bring Mom out for a Mother’s Day paddle on the Wolf River. River Guides will accompany you on a paddle of one of the most interesting sections of the suburban Wolf River. Have an adventure in the river that you likely pass over every day!

Sunday, May 12, 2019 - 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM.Space is limited, so please register early!Must be registered by May 9. Register Here

Mother's Day Paddle on the Wolf

  • Mother’s Day Picnic at Memphis Botanical Garden

Start a new tradition with Mom this year and celebrate her with a relaxing day at the Garden. Enjoy a picnic in the most beautiful setting in Memphis!You can pre-order a picnic from Fratelli’s or pack your own to bring with you.There will be a cash bar available for mimosas and other adult beverages.Plant a special flower as a memento of the day. There will be a photographer on site to capture the day (additional fees apply).Free admission for Moms!

Click HERE for more information and for Fratelli’s Mother’s Day pre-order menu.

Memphis Botanic Garden
750 Cherry Rd.
Memphis, TN

  • My Mother Once Said…Tea Luncheon

Come together with other Moms for tea, catered lunch, cocktails, and conversation on Sunday, May 12, 2019 - 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Talk about all the things your mother/guardian taught you about faith, love, and self-love.Purchase tickets HERE.

Happy Mother’s Day from the Melissa Thompson Team!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs! Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

Photo Credit: grammarly.com

How to Stay Cool and Reduce Your Electric Bill

by Melissa Thompson


Being a homeowner comes with a lot of expenses, so, we search for places where we can cut back to lower costs. With summer approaching, and the hot days that come with it, chances are your air conditioning will be running full time, but there are several ways to save on your monthly electric bill.  Try these tips and you’ll find a lower bill in your mailbox next month!

  • Get an Energy Audit - Check and see if your utility company offers a free home energy audit.  If so, it’s well worth it to have them come out.  They can point out areas where you can trim your energy use.
     
  • Install Dimmer Switches - Dimmer switches will allow you to only use as much light as you need.
     
  • Keep Your Fridge & Freezer Full - The food that you store in your fridge and freezer serves as insulation, so the more you have in there, the less your appliance must run to keep itself cold.
     
  • Install Ceiling Fans - If you keep the air circulating in your home, your AC will not have to work as hard to keep the house cool.
     
  • Line Dry Your Laundry - Let Mother Nature dry your clothes for you on warm, sunny days.  When that is not possible, try using a drying rack indoors.
     
  • Eliminate Phantom Loads - You may be shocked to know that about 75% of the energy used by home electronics is consumed when they are turned off. Some examples of these “phantom” users are: televisions, CD players, computers, and various kitchen appliances. The simple solution is to plug all these items into a power strip and then turn the power strip off when not using them. Phantom Loads - Take Control and Save
     
  • Install an Attic Fan - An attic fan will pull cool air into your home, and help to remove hot air.
     
  • Shield Your Home from the Sun - You can cut down on air conditioning use by closing your curtains and blinds on the sunny side of the house.  You may also want to consider planting trees that will provide shade during the sunny times of the day. 12 Fast-Growing Shade Trees
     
  • Schedule Yearly HVAC Maintenance - Having your HVAC inspected and cleaned each year will save you money in the long run…and it will help provide cleaner air to your home.
     
  • Change Your Filters Regularly - Filters should be changed every 30 days to keep your HVAC running at peak efficiency.
     
  • Switch to LEDs - LED light bulbs use 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.  Switch out the bulbs you use the most in your home and then change the rest as they burn out.
     
  • Lower the Temperature of Your Hot Water Heater - 13% of your home’s energy goes to heating water. You can lower this percentage by setting your hot water heater to 130-14 degrees.

As you can see, while you may need your AC to keep cool during the warmer months, there are a lot of other ways to cut costs so that you don’t get a shocking electric bill in the mail!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs!  Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

Photo Credit: hessolar.com

A Guide to Cleaning Your Home After Selling

by Melissa Thompson


SOLD!  The word you’ve been waiting to hear!  You’ve received that much wanted call from your Realtor that your home is off the market. It won’t be yours for much longer; soon you will be moving out.  Pride in ownership means that you will likely want to leave your house looking its very best for its new owners. In some states, real estate purchase contracts stipulate that the home is to be “swept clean” meaning the seller should at least sweep the floors and leave walls and ceilings bare. But the language can often be vague.  Sample Purchase and Sale Agreement for TN

Here is a list of cleaning tips for home sellers to help you leave the house reasonably clean and to create a feeling of goodwill toward your buyer:

Cleaning the Interior of the Home Before Moving Out:

  • Remove all personal property.
  • Vacuum the floors.
  • Clean kitchen appliances including the inside of the refrigerator and over.  Wipe down the counters.
  • Scrub sinks and tubs.
  • Wipe down interior cabinets and shelves.
  • Wash tile/vinyl/wood flooring.

Cleaning the Garage Prior to Closing:

  • Remove personal belongings.
  • Throw away trash.
  • Properly dispose of toxic chemicals.
  • Sweep the floor.
  • Stack items pertaining to the home such as paint cans, roofing materials or extra flooring.  Check to make sure the buyer wants the extra materials first.

Keep in mind that you want to leave the home in the condition that you would like to find your new home.  Your buyers will appreciate it! 

The smart thing to do is to NOT wait until you have sold your house to start getting it ready for moving out. Give yourself plenty of time to get it done so that you are not rushing to complete tasks on move-out day. You will be moving in to your own new home as well, and you won’t want to be going back and forth between homes trying to get things done once you’ve moved. 5 Things to Do Before Moving Out of Your House

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs! Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

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