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Best Places to Retire March 3, 2013

Where are the best states for retirement? As a Senior Real Estate Specialist (and over age 50), I’m always looking for recommendations on recommendations for the best places to retire. has published the following 10 states as the BEST for retirees.

Their criteria for choosing the best states for retirement? • •

Senior population growth – fastest growth in the 65+ age group, as measured by the federal census. Economic conditions – cost of living, property taxes, and part-time work availability

• • •

Crime rate – violent and property crime rates Climate – least variations from 68 degrees Life expectancy – this includes quality of health care, environmental conditions, and other factors

10 Best States to Retire (2012) 1. Hawaii More seniors over 65 than any other state, 2nd for consistently moderate temps, however, highest cost of living in the US.

2. Idaho Low crime rate, good economy, 3rd in senior population growth.

3. Utah Fast-growing senior population and good economy

4. Arizona Life expectancy for 65-year-olds is third-highest in the nation and great weather, but higher crime rates.

5. Virginia Low crime rate and high on every other criteria EXCEPT life expectancy.

6. Colorado Fourth in senior population growth

7. (tie) Florida First for climate and 2nd for life expectancy among seniors. The overall crime rate is among the highest in the nation.

7. (tie) New Mexico Great climate but choose your location wisely-New Mexico’s overall crime rate is one of the 10 worst in the nation.

9. South Dakota One of the highest average life expectancies in the nation, and the crime rate is also one of the lowest in the U.S.

10. (tie) California Despite the state’s economic woes, the climate is spectacular and life expectancies are among the best in the nation.

10. (tie) Texas also chose the WORST places to retire, and I’m chagrined to report that Illinois is among them. I suppose it’s not a surprise – with the state of our economy, weather, and Chicago crime rates, I wouldn’t have expected us to be at the top. I know, however, many friends and clients who have retirement homes here. Maybe the answer is to find a way to enjoy a home in Chicago and a home in one of the top 10 states! If you need a real estate agent in one of those states – call me! I have colleagues and resources all over the United States who can help you find your next great home! Anne Rossley Baird & Warner 773-620-5333

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Walk Score – choosing a home that’s close to what you love February 24, 2013 Walk Score is the new scale by which home buyers calculate the closeness of amenities to their potential new property. The scale, ranging from 0 – 100, ranks how easily you can conduct your life on foot: 90 – 100 Walker’s Paradise – daily errands do not require a car 70 – 89

Very Walkable – most errands can be accomplished on foot

50 – 69

Somewhat Walkable – some amenities within walking distance

25 – 49

Car-dependent – a few amenities within walking distance

0 – 24

Car-dependent – almost all errands require a car

The site (select this link) can be accessed on its own, or within listings you find while searching online. Walk Score gives Chicago a 74 – “VERY WALKABLE” — making it the 4th best city nationwide for walking. My home scores an 86 — most errands can be accomplished on foot. It’s not the highest score, obviously, but it made me ask the question -

Is it possible to have too high a Walk Score? After a quick search, I decided that for some, the answer could definitely be YES.

My office is located at 737 N Michigan Avenue. If you’re not familiar with Chicago, let me

paint a picture… • • • • • •

The Nieman Marcus Building/Olympia Centre condominiums… Entrance on Chicago Ave – across the street from the famous historic Water Tower of Chicago. Walgreens is on the corner, chic dining and shopping are steps away, and Northwestern Hospital is on the next block. The Museum of Contemporary Art is one block east. Believe it or not, a track, softball field, and tennis courts are a block and a half! And yes — Lake Michigan is a mere 3 blocks east of us.

Thanks to Zol87 on Flickr for the great photo!

Here’s the Google map – click on this link to see the Walk Score map:

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View Larger Map Yes- I could live in Olympia Centre or 777 N Michigan Avenue. I could brag about my 98 Walk Score, finding food, clothing, prescriptions, and anything I can imagine within a few yards of my doorman’s station.

When my kids are out of the house, and my arthritis makes cleaning this 3-story balloon-frame dustbowl more than I can bear, then trust me — I’m cashing in for the 98 walk score.

Until then, though, I’ll keep my 86 Walk Score. I’ll enjoy the Clark Street retail – Andersonville shops, and Dewey and I’ll walk the Bryn Mawr/lakefront loop. I enjoy the thrill of driving south on Lake Shore Drive with the city skyline beckoning me to my office.

Your walk score is a number – something to be considered but not coveted. My brother in Colorado wouldn’t trade his 42 Walk Score in Winter Park for anything!

We all have our own definition of “Living Well in ….. “ Don’t you agree?!

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Chicago Investment Property February 23, 2013 Chicago multi-units – 2-4 flats … 6-flats … so many options for investing in real estate these days! I helped out a colleague yesterday – while she’s recovering from back surgery, I showed 2 listings to her client. I was tickled by the first one – I had actually showed this 6-flat near the United Center several years ago to a buyer. He didn’t buy it then, but someone else did. Now it’s on the market again!

When I saw it in 2007, it as listed for $850,000. My buyer passed on it, but some lucky soul picked it up for $ 450,000. It was listed again in 2009, starting at $ 920K. It was then reduced to $770,000 before someone bought it for $ 730,000. Today’s it’s listed for $799,000, and it’s been for sale for 60 days so far. There are 6 units in the building, generating $71,546 per year in revenue. A boiler provides heat to the units – after expenses the net income per year is approximately $44K. Currently. no income is derived from parking – the garages are boarded up and provide additional income opportunities. The building is near I-290 and the Blue Line, and it’s in the shadow of the United Center. I’m going to be keeping my eye on this one!

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It’s School Fundraiser Season! Chicago Parents are now busy with “spring fundraiser fever” – that time of year where we’re racing around the city begging businesses to donate goods and services that we can place in our auctions. Whether online or at a live event, we’ll all elbow our way around, looking to bid “just enough” to win certificates, [...] more →

Reasons to Stay in Chicago and NOT move to the Suburbs Chicago Schools – Can we live in the city or must we leave for the suburbs? This is the time of year when young Chicago parents are worried about whether junior will get in to a gifted program, a magnet school, a selective enrollment high school…. Chicago Schools Status Selective Enrollment/IB Notifications go out around [...]

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Carbon Monoxide Deaths in Rogers Park Two people have died, and 2 others are hospitalized this morning, apparently due to carbon monoxide poisoning, reports the Chicago Tribune. Chicago CO Ordinance Chicago requires that all homes and apartment buildings have working carbon monoxide detectors (see city page with details), and on all my home inspections, we look to make sure they’re installed [...] more →

Chicago Parent Updates Chicago Parents – it’s that time of year! Selective enrollment high school season is in full swing – eighth graders are taking their exams, revisiting the choices they made in their December applications, and crossing their fingers for a postive result – acceptance into a Chicago Public School of their choice. Chicago School Updates As [...] more →

Lincoln Park Homes For Sale- Chicago Vintage Real Estate Looking for Lincoln Park Homes for sale? Love vintage houses? Curious about historic districts? Read on to see great Chicago real estatehomes for sale under $ 1.5 MM. Lincoln Park Lincoln Park is still the “go-to” neighborhood for many single family home buyers in Chicago. From new construction to Victorian, rowhouses to McMansions, the [...] more →

2650 N Lakeview Luxury One Bedroom for Rent Luxury One Bedroom For Rent $1850/month Full amenity building on the park with views for MILES! Building amenities: Indoor Pool Fitness Center Party Room 3 Sun decks Tennis Mini-mart Apartment amenities: Stainless new appliances Hardwood floors Upgraded bath Floor to ceiling windows with unobstructed lake and city views Wired for internet, cable Included: heat, air, [...] more →

2650 Lakeview – Chicago Condo Building of the Week 2650 Lakeview, built in 1972 and converted to condominiums in 1979, is one of the premier condominium buildings overlooking Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan. It’s a full-amenity building, offering the following*: 1 indoor pool 2 mini-mart 3 fitness center 4 3 sundecks 5 tennis courts 6 attached garage 7 hospitality room with panoramic views of [...] more → ← Previous Entries

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10 Best Places to Retire-2012 (US NEWS) 25 Things to do When you Retire

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Best Cities for Successful Aging Best Retirement on a Budget – US News Places to Retire Worst Places to Reitre

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Living Well in Chicago  

Anne Rossley's Chicago Real Estate Blog- information on how to best take advantage of the opportunities for buying/selling/living well in Ch...

Living Well in Chicago  

Anne Rossley's Chicago Real Estate Blog- information on how to best take advantage of the opportunities for buying/selling/living well in Ch...