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Guide to Downsizing

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAWhen it comes time to consider downsizing your home, there are a mix of emotions and stressers you may have never encountered before. For seniors, it’s a situation that sometimes comes about out of necessity and sometimes simply as a way of improving the quality of retirement years.

As the number of Baby Boomers entering retirement continues to climb in the US, the reasons to start downsizing are more apparent than ever:

  • Economic necessity. It’s common for many older adults to be faced with unexpected medical expenses, growing homeowners insurance rates, and rising utility costs. Selling the house and moving into a more affordable space is often the solution.
  • Convenience. If you’re tired of doing all the housework that comes with a larger home, you’re not alone. A lot of retirees opt for smaller homes where upkeep is less of a responsibility.

In terms of the cost benefits, retired seniors stand to save significantly when moving to a smaller space. Consider that for the typical single-family home, heating and cooling accounts for 42% of the energy bill. When the square footage of your home shrinks, so does that energy bill.

Moving to a smaller home could also help you save on:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Property taxes
  • Maintenance (lawn, pest control, snow removal)

If you’re preparing for retirement or have already retired and you’re now considering downsizing, know that you’re in good company. A recent poll concludes that 37% of Baby Boomers plan to move later in life. Of those planning to move again after retirement, 47% said they’d like to downsize.

Choosing to downsize to an apartment in Stafford, VA in retirement isn’t always motivated by economics, but it is always affected by it. Even for retirees belonging to a high tax bracket, downsizing is a consideration for practical reasons.

Finding a place to live

Would you prefer to stay in the same area or are you excited about moving to a new place? If you’re moving somewhere new, take into consideration all the amenities you’ll need now and later on. Check for proximity to hospitals, grocery stores, and other essentials. Downsizing should make life easier—if you have to travel 45 mins to weekly doctor appointments, think about how that will affect your quality of life.

No matter the reason you have for considering downsizing, you are wise to contemplate its advantages. Not only do you have the opportunity to start anew, perhaps in closer proximity to family, but you can drastically improve your quality of life in retirement. By downsizing to a smaller home, you are freed from the upkeep responsibilities of owning a large home. You’ll potentially save big on standard costs associated with homeownership and most importantly of all, you can finally take time to relax.

For more information contact Abberly Waterstone.

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bankrate.com


What's it Like Living in Stafford, VA?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAStafford County has a great mix of civilized refinement and natural beauty. Are you considering relocating to Stafford, VA? If so, below is just a bit of what the area has to offer.

Arts and Culture

  • Locally, a wealth of fine arts and performing arts resources
  • Close proximity to rich arts and culture offerings in Washington DC and Richmond

Education

  • Stafford County Public Schools serves nearly 28,000 students in 31 schools in a county covering 280 square miles.
  • Stafford County Public Schools (K-12) equaled or exceeded the state on all Virginia Standards of Learning tests, achieving higher scores on 28 or the 29 assessments; SCPS’ average SAT score is 1533 (higher than Virginia’s 1490).
  • Largest school division in Virginia with all of its schools fully accredited.
  • Higher Education offered at University of Mary Washington and Germanna Community.
  • The Marine Corps University located on Quantico Base, partially located in Stafford.
  • Virginia is home to some of the nation’s top research and academic institutions, including: University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, George Mason, VCU and more.
  • Several private K-12, undergraduate and specialized training institutions serve Stafford.

Healthcare

  • Stafford is ranked one of Virginia’s healthiest counties.
  • Stafford Hospital, part of Mary Washington Healthcare, offers modern facilities and an array of routine and specialty services.

Neighborhoods and Housing

A wide variety of housing options are available, from gated communities to starter homes, townhouses, cluster homes and apartments. Golf and waterfront communities.

History

  • George Washington’s Boyhood Home located in Stafford, source of the “Cherry Tree Legend.”
  • Past dates back to largest of the dinosaurs, various Native American tribes, 17th Century settlers.
  • Played critical role in “Trail to Freedom” for slaves during Civil War.
  • Numerous Revolutionary and Civil War sites.
  • County’s rich history researched by Stafford Historical Society and the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center.
  • County’s historic assets provide foundation for thriving tourism industry.

Sports and Recreation

Recreational opportunities abound throughout Stafford.

  • Bordered to the east by the Potomac River and to the south by the Rappahannock River, county offers 51 miles of shoreline.
  • Waterways and numerous lakes provide fishing, water sports and water access to the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Government Island, natural park and archaeological site, includes trail system and interpretive signs.
  • 11 public parks and trail facilities.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.

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gostaffordva.com


What Retirees Should Consider when Deciding Whether to Rent or Own

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAHome ownership has long held an honored position as an integral part of the American dream.

But when retirement time comes, rethinking that dream could be in order. Sometimes renting an apartment is the better bet both financially and in terms of the retiree’s changing lifestyle and health.

When people plan for retirement, they focus on things like how much they have saved, how much Social Security will pay, and whether they have pension. But as you get older, you also need to think about such issues as whether you can keep mowing the lawn or handling other day-to-day chores that homeownership requires. If you must hire someone to do them for you, how much will that eat into what may already be a tight monthly budget?

The truth: There’s no answer that will fit everyone’s situation. So, retirees or those approaching retirement, should weigh their personal pros and cons.

There’s a lot to think about. Should you sell the house you raised your family in and downsize to something more suitable for just the two of you? If you’re planning to move to somewhere else in the country to enjoy your retirement, is it more prudent to buy in that new location, or is leasing the way to go to give you more flexibility if it doesn’t work out?

Some things retirees should think about as they ponder the own verses rent question include:

Maintenance issues. When you own a home, every leaky faucet, electrical problem or faulty appliance is yours to handle as best you can. If you can do it yourself, great; but often, these household repairs mean calling in a professional at a sometimes-exorbitant cost. When you rent, it’s up to the landlord or the property management company to take care of the repairs.

Mobility. Selling a house can be a long and complicated process, and you never know what the market might be like when the time arrives. Whereas breaking a lease is much simpler. If your children are scattered all over the country, you may want to move closer to one of them. Also, if your health takes a turn for the worse, selling a home can be a significant burden on your family.

The inheritance. For many people, a house is the most valuable asset in their estate and they might want to leave it to their children in the will. Once again, it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons. Having a home to pass down to the children is a noble gesture, but it is not always feasible.

Before considering whether owning or renting is the right option, it’s essential to review all the intricacies of your situation and decide based on your finances and your overall health and well-being.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abbelry Waterstone.

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myvalleynews.com


10 Reasons to Move to a Small City

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAHere's why choosing a small city is one you won't regret.

As bittersweet as it is to pack up and drive away one last time, remember that the world is your oyster. While some of your friends might be flocking to massive metropolises to start their post-college lives and careers, big cities aren’t the only option — and thank goodness for that!

Small cities have so much to offer every resident, but they’re especially well-suited to young people and new graduates. Here are 10 reasons moving to a small city after college is a choice you won't regret.

1. Less job competition.

Let’s start with one of the biggies: smaller cities make for less competition when it comes to lining up your dream job. This can also equate to better job security once you’ve landed the role you want. Plenty of major cities certainly have lots of career opportunities, but bustling urban centers aren't the only place to climb the ladder. In many cases, a smaller city is the ideal spot to start building your career — fewer people are vying for the same jobs, networking is easier, and there's often a general feeling of inclusivity and support in the professional community that you don't find in bigger cities.

2. More work-life balance.

When you land that dream job, you might find that a smaller city affords you more time, money and energy for a healthy work-life balance. Living in a big city with higher expenses and a culture that prizes overworking can mean tough compromises. In a smaller city, you’re a lot less likely to have to decide between making enough money for anything more than just squeaking by, and having enough downtime to pursue hobbies or spend time with friends.

3. A creative community.

Creative types thrive in small cities for a variety of reasons: cost of living is lower, it’s easier to find studio space, and the creative communities in small cities tend to be more collaborative than what you’d find in NYC, LA or Miami. Another bonus of all this creative energy? Even if you’re not drawn to creative pursuits yourself, you’ll benefit from all the coffee shops, boutiques, galleries and murals the artsy crowd brings along with them.

4. More affordable rent.

Compare your rent in a small (but still very cool!) city to the rent your friends in Manhattan are paying. Need we say more?

5. No sharing your favorite bar with a wall-to-wall crowd.

The same goes for your favorite cafe, yoga studio, or hole-in-the-wall dinner spot. Instead, you’ll be greeted by the same few regulars who know your name.

6. You can take a community leadership role.

You’re in a smaller pond in a small city. If you want to make a positive change in your community, your actions will have a bigger impact. The same goes for making a name for yourself in a local organization or city government, or even creating a whole new club or community group from scratch. Your actions have real power, and the possibilities are limitless.

7. Smaller clubs and groups.

If you want to explore a hobby (which is a great way to find new friends after college), you’ll benefit from more intimate gatherings with smaller groups. Whether your jam is a book club, a local sport or a church community, less crowded meetups will enable you to make connections faster and dive deeper into what you care about.

8. Hidden gems galore.

Quirky local joints, bizarre community traditions, and hidden gems are the hallmarks of small cities. Whether it’s a perfectly tucked-away dive bar or your neighborhood’s annual apple-bobbing contest, each discovery gives your city special character that you can’t find anywhere else.

9. New friends around every corner.

Large cities have high turnover. Transplants often stay for just a short amount of time before moving on to another metropolis, and the ones who stay are at risk of becoming jaded beyond their years. In a small city, your new friends are likely to stick around for more than a few months, which gives you a chance to build a tight-knit, enduring community for yourself. Making friends after college can be tough. Living in a small city makes it easier.

10. A more zen morning commute.

Cheers to less crowded public transit, shorter drives and more peaceful biking and walking paths.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.

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liveability


Reasons to Rent in Retirement

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAHomeownership and retirement don't always mesh. Here's why you might consider renting as a senior instead.

Though owning a home has long been hailed as the American Dream, that's not necessarily the case when it comes to retirement. Since 1990, homeownership has declined among 55-64 year-olds, and experts expect this trend to continue in the coming years.

Before you prepare to live out your senior years as a homeowner, here are a few reasons to consider renting instead.

1. Your housing costs will be fixed

The problem with homeownership is that even in the absence of a mortgage payment, you still face countless unknown costs. Your property taxes, for example, could go up significantly if you have a year when your home is reassessed. Similarly, as your home ages, your regular maintenance costs could easily go from manageable to downright astronomical.

Consider this: The typical homeowner spends anywhere from 1% to 4% of his or her home's value on annual upkeep. If you're dealing with, say, a $500,000 property, that's a pretty huge range, but you can't discount the possibility of creeping toward its high end as you make your way through retirement.

Then there are repairs to consider -- problems that aren't expected, but rather pop up suddenly and constitute a huge financial burden. Do you really want to deal with those when you're on a fixed income?

When you rent a home, you're locked into the same monthly payment regardless of whether the roof starts to leak or the heater needs repairs. If the local lawn service raises its rates one year to cut the grass, that's not your problem. Of course, the downside of renting is that your landlord could raise your monthly payments once your lease expires -- but if that happens, you could always find a new home or try to negotiate.

2. Owning may not help much from a tax perspective

One benefit of being a homeowner is getting to deduct the interest on your mortgage, thus saving you money on taxes. But if you're coming into retirement mortgage-free, which is the case for the majority of homeowners 65 and over, then that benefit no longer exists.

Furthermore, it used to be the case that you could deduct your property taxes in full, and as we all know, those apply even once your mortgage is paid off. But as part of the recent tax changes that took effect this year, the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which property taxes are part of, is now capped at $10,000. This means that if you live in a state with high taxes, you might lose the bulk of that write-off (at least for the next seven years), thus making homeownership a less appealing prospect.

3. You'll get more flexibility

The beauty of being retired is not being tied to a job, or that job's location. This means that if you want to pick up and move to a state with warmer weather or get closer to your grandchildren, you're free to do so -- provided your home isn't holding you back.

As a renter, you have the option to leave your home once your lease ends, or, in many cases, break your lease prematurely with a reasonable bit of notice. Selling a home, by contrast, could take months, and there are numerous expenses you might encounter along the way. You may therefore be better off unloading your home prior to retirement and buying yourself that added leeway later in life.

Now this isn't to say that renting a home in retirement is always the right move. At the same time, it pays to think about the benefits of renting at a time in your life when you're no longer bringing home a steady paycheck.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.

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The Motley Fool


Ranking 9 on List of Top Ten Best States is Virginia

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAMost Americans do not choose where they grow up and often end up living in the same place as adults, either for financial reasons or because of social and familial connections. Still, many Americans choose to pack up and move to a new state — usually in search of better life.

People who contemplate such a move would certainly consider a state’s overall quality of life. While every person is different and may weigh certain factors more than others, quality of life generally consists of a multitude of factors, including an area’s economy, jobs market, income levels, poverty, crime, education levels, health care, transportation, and whether the area is generally desirable.

Based on these factors and others, 24/7 Wall St. ranked all 50 states for overall quality of life.

9. Virginia

  • 10-yr. population change: +10.1% (21st largest increase)
  • Annual unemployment: 4.0% (tied — 14th lowest)
  • Poverty rate: 11.0% (tied — 12th lowest)
  • Life expectancy at birth: 79.1 years (25th shortest)

Problems with crime tend to be local rather than statewide, but across Virginia crime tends to be low and the state is relatively crime free compared to most of the country. There were just 217 violent crimes reported in the state for every 100,000 residents, nearly half the national figure of 397 incidents per 100,000 people.

Virginians are also among the most likely to have a college degree, which often results in higher incomes and better quality of life across a population. Just over 38% of Virginia adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 31.3% of adults nationwide. This high educational attainment rate may help explain Virginia’s relatively low unemployment rate. Last year, average unemployment was 4.0%, well below the national average rate of 4.9%.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.

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247wallst.com


More Seniors are Renting Apartments

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAAn interesting phenomenon among seniors who are selling their home is their changing attitude about buying another. Younger home sellers are typically focused on quickly buying another home. Their lifestyle has changed and they need to sell and buy another.

Most senior sellers will become senior homebuyers but there is an increasing trend among seniors selling their home: They don’t intend to buy another home and they are making the decision to rent.

“I think we’ll rent for a while” is an increasing response to my question: “Have you thought about your next home?”

Rent? Here are folks who have worked hard all their lives to pay off the mortgage so that they could enjoy retirement in their own home and now they want to rent?

Isn’t renting for the economically challenged, the young millennials, the unstable? Why throw money away renting when equity-rich seniors can sell and buy the home of their dreams?

The homeownership rate for seniors has been declining for the last 10 years as an increasing percentage chose to rent rather than own a home. A recent national survey of seniors who rent were asked the question: Why?

One-out-of-ten planned to buy a home within the next 6 to 12 months, about half could not afford to buy but four-out-of-ten responding seniors who could afford to buy, won’t. They’re content to remain tenants.

Why do you suppose more seniors are choosing to rent than own?

Replacement home too costly

Most seniors who are selling say that they would like to downsize into another, perhaps smaller, single-level home, closer to shopping, medical facilities and family. We have homes meeting that description in our county but they are usually higher in price than the market value of a senior’s existing home.

If family is in the region, perhaps relocating to another state is not an option. Faced with reinvesting all their sale proceeds and perhaps the obligation of a new mortgage, many choose not to sell their home or if they sell, they will rent.

Demands of homeownership

Often seniors don’t have the same physical strength at 60 as they did at 40. Some seniors are physically unable to maintain, remodel or repair everything that’s routinely necessary.

Rural properties require even more attention. Whether clearing brush or mowing the back yard, it takes good health and energy to maintain a home.

Renting is cheaper

Despite what the real estate community would have you believe, every homeowner knows that at the end of the day it’s more expensive to own a home than rent one.

Absent a mortgage, homes are still expensive to maintain. Ask anyone who has had to replace a leaking roof, a new HVAC system or replace a deck.

Retirees likely have less income than when they were working and many depend upon Social Security as their primary source of income to pay household expenses. Renting may not be the lifestyle they would prefer but it is one that they can afford.

Been there, done that

While some seniors enjoy puttering around their home with projects and working in their yard or garden, many don’t. They have spent a lifetime tied to their homes with the responsibilities of ownership while their friends have been vacationing. These seniors do not want another long-term commitment to a home. As tenants, mobility finally becomes an option.

Fear of another real estate bubble

Most of our grandparents never psychologically recovered from the Great Depression. They became compulsive savers, skeptical of debt and leery of investing in the stock market.

The 2008 Great Recession and the collapse of home values left a similar impression on many retirees. They have personally experienced how quickly the value of their home can disappear. They have watched helpless as friends and neighbors lost their home to foreclosures. They know first-hand that the real estate market has up and down cycles and they are not going to get caught in another.

There are 75 million baby boomers who are on the verge of retirement. For the next 20 years an average of 10,000 people each day will reach age 65, which has historically been the retirement phase of life. What’s fascinating is after a lifetime of homeownership more are choosing to rent.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.

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Mountain Democrat


Are You Apartment Hunting in Stafford, VA?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAIf you are looking for an apartment in Stafford, VA bordered by history and nightlife look no further than Abberly Waterstone Apartments. Attractive and convenient, we are minutes from shopping, dining and downtown Stafford. Residents will value the ideal proximity to all the necessities and the benefit of easy access to VRE, Quantico, several government agencies, historic Fredericksburg and Washington, DC via Jefferson Davis Road (Hwy 1) and I-95. Abberly Waterstone is a community which offers expansive floor plans and luxurious amenities. They are the perfect choice for the family, professional, retiree, and you!

Take advantage of our spacious apartments with a community offering and numerous amenities. Living here means you can enjoy all of Stafford’s hidden treasures, and the area’s best dining and entertainment venues, historic sites, and outdoor recreational activities.

We have various apartment floor plans with luxurious apartment amenities. Our one bedroom apartments range from 800 to 1099 sq ft, all the way up to a three bedroom apartments with a spacious 1,496 sq ft plan. We encourage you to make an appointment, and see what Abberly Waterstone Apartments and Stafford have to offer.

Considered a Great Place to Retire and a Great State to Live In, and surrounded by natural beauty, Stafford, VA is home to restaurants, dynamic nightlife, historic landmarks, cultural entertainment, and recreational opportunities. We boast beautiful weather as well as local events and happenings throughout the year.

Contact us for an appointment to view our apartment homes.

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Should You Move and Rent During Retirement?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VThe choice about where to live in retirement is one of the most crucial decisions that a senior makes. It’s not just a major financial consideration, it’s also a highly emotional issue as a retiree’s home is often the anchor to their golden years.

One needs to think about where to live, how long to stay there, and whether to move later in retirement. There are plenty of justifications for either staying put or moving early in retirement.

There are a few important questions that a senior should ask before deciding whether to stay in their home or to relocate during retirement:

1. Are you making accurate comparisons?

If you stay in your home, you may need to make improvements or renovations in the future to accommodate changing needs. If you move to a new home, you may incur moving expenses. Make sure you are considering total costs in either scenario. Additionally, if you rent, you could be sure to move into the first floor and have an apartment without stairs.

2. Are you open to renting?

It can be hard for retirees who have spent their lives building equity in their homes—and being taught about the virtues of homeownership—to become renters. But renting a home in a city before buying can give retirees a chance to really know if it’s the place they want to spend retirement. Moreover, the cost of ownership in many locations actually exceeds the cost of renting, so it may be prudent to consider this option for both short- and long-term possibilities.

3. Where will you have access to important services?

Every consumer looks into the quality of restaurants, supermarkets and other day-to-day retail offerings when scouting out a possible new residential location. Seniors must be especially concerned about practical considerations such as the number of nearby physicians, convenient transportation, and community centers with programs for seniors.

4. Would you prefer to age in place or have a change of scenery?

Many people dream about moving to some exotic location for their golden years, but the truth is that 85 percent of retirees stay in the area where they raised their families, according to Realtor.com. Weigh the pros and cons of aging in place versus charting a new course.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.

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news-journal.net


False: "Renting is Throwing Money AWay"

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Abberly Waterstone Apartments, Stafford, VAYou might have heard the old adage “renting is throwing money away.” It seems like common sense. You don’t buy anything when you rent, but you get to keep the house you buy. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Buying a home is a lot more complicated than “Rent, except you get to keep it.” Not only are there major additional costs that you’ll be paying for the rest of your life (like repairs, renovations, and property tax), but for the first several years of your mortgage, you’re barely even gaining any equity!

Should you keep renting? Is renting better than buying? Or should you purchase a home? Is buying the better choice? Your answer is going to depend on a massive number of factors, including:

  • The local price-to-rent ratio.
  • How long you’ll live there.
  • Your alternative investment options.
  • Your assumptions about inflation and investment gains.
  • Maintenance, repair, insurance, property tax and capital expense costs.
  • The rate at which rents rise.
  • Et cetera, etc., etc.

You get the picture. This myth that “renting is throwing money away” is wrongheaded. In fact, it’s dangerous. It oversimplifies a life-changing, six-figure decision. It’s probably caused thousands (or millions) of people to buy houses they later regret.

While it’s true that you’re buying an asset when you purchase a house, it’s an asset that barely keeps pace with inflation, and you lose the opportunity to make other investments. Not to mention, renting is underrated.

For more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.

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lifehacker.com



Abberly Waterstone Apartment Homes

140 Abberly Drive, Stafford, VA 22554
844-379-7307
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