Volume LIXNovember 2012Number 4

Eliminate Real Estate Blunders with Masonic Villages

We've all seen it. The house that rests quietly on the lot, picturesque with sculpted hedges and a shiny "For Sale" sign protruding from the front yard.

And just as our excitement piques, it comes crashing down with the first step into the house. When purchasing a home, deal-breakers range from water damage, scurrying critters or a lack of air conditioning to roofs, foundations and plumbing that have seen better days.

Thankfully, Masonic Villages offers an entirely different scenario. With maintenance-free living, residents throw aside the hassles of home upkeep and always know what to expect. No matter what cottage/villa, apartment or suite you choose, the beauty of each home's exterior matches the interior's classic style.

Total maintenance provided by dependable staff means you can enjoy your new surroundings and never again have to be tied down to the headaches of home ownership. Furthermore, the days of moving boxes and simultaneously cleaning your new home have passed since Masonic Villages has your accommodation of choice in spotless condition prior to your arrival. On the rare occasions when you encounter a concern after moving in, relax in knowing our team members will resolve the issue with no hassles or additional charges to your monthly service fee.

Real Estate Tips

With everything taken care of on the Masonic Villages' end, moving to one of our communities means you can focus on selling your home.

The housing market shows evidence of ascension. According to an article in "The New York Times," "Roughly six years after the housing market began its longest and deepest slide since the Great Depression, a growing number of experts and people who actually put money into housing believe the end has come."1

The S.&P./Case-Shiller index showed that home sales began to rise in April for the first time in 2012. Even more encouraging, after adjusting the information to take into account seasonal sales trends, the index showed that price increases began as early as February. Home prices are rising, sales are increasing and construction of homes is gaining momentum.1

"The housing market is clearly superior this year compared with the past four years. ... Actual closings for existing-home sales have been notably higher since the beginning of the year, and we're on track to see a 9 to 10 percent improvement in total sales for 2012," Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, said in a news release this summer.2

Now is a good time to begin planning a move. A few tips to get you started include:

1. Start downsizing now.
You'll feel more at ease deciding whether to trash or treasure the expansive collection of odds and ends in your garage when you don't have the added pressure of packing your home for a move. Remember, others may treasure many of the items you no longer need, so consider donating them to a local charity.

2. Fix it.
Take care of minor repairs and routine maintenance so your home is in top-notch condition for buyers.

3. Select a good, reputable real estate agent whom you can trust and who will work for you.
Your home is special, so work closely with your real estate agent to ensure you share the same selling goals. Changing agents may be appropriate if you are dissatisfied with the results.

4. Prep and primp.
Ask your real estate agent what suggestions he or she has to get your home ready to sell.

5. Establish your "asking price."
realistically based upon your local real estate environment.

6. Participate in the sales process.
Tell your neighbors, family and friends. It may result in an unexpected sales referral.

7. Be willing to negotiate with the buyer.
By doing so, you often find the buyer is willing to pay more than the original offer.

8. Remain optimistic!
There is a family out there just waiting to fall in love with your home and create memories of their own.

"It was very easy to sell my home and move in here. I was fortunate that my home sold within two months," Bro. Bob Dare, Chester Lodge No. 236, said. Bro. Dare moved into his brand new cottage at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown in November 2011, after living in his Brookhaven, Pa., home for 23 years. Earlier in 2011, Bro. Dare wasn't really considering a move when he contacted Kelly Eakin, Marketing Manager in Elizabethtown. Before his appointment in April, he learned from a Masonic publication that the Committee on Masonic Homes approved the construction of up to 100 new cottages in Elizabethtown. Within the first 10 minutes of his meeting with Kelly, he asked about the cottages and realized that construction was completed on a first-come-first-served basis, meaning he wouldn't need to apply to a waiting list. "I signed up then," Bro. Dare concluded.



WE CAN HELP

Annually, Masonic Villages helps more than 150 people move into their new retirement living residences throughout the state. While the specific moving services vary by location, the process has been created so you experience a smooth transition.

"[The marketing staff] was very helpful. Any questions I had, I just called," Bro. Dare said. When he needed a temporary storage facility while awaiting his move to Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, he called the marketing department, which provided information about a local company to care for his household items. When he moved in, Bro. Harry McMullen, Brandywine Goddard Lodge No. 383, Coatesville, served as Bro. Dare's welcome volunteer and showed him around the entire campus so he could familiarize himself with the community. "It all went well. I just love it here. The environment is nice and the friendly neighbors are great. ... I told my sister, Carol, 'it's going to feel funny to have someone come in and clean my house.'" He paused. "It took about five minutes before I thought, 'Wow, this is nice!'"

When you call Masonic Villages, we pair you with a marketing staff person who will work with you from the time you start exploring the community to the day you move in, so you can confidently make decisions and find answers to all of your questions. Even when you pick up a brochure, you'll find helpful resources for selling your home and calculating costs. If you join a priority waiting list, we provide periodic updates about new projects and upcoming events so you're in the know about your new neighborhood.

Each location offers a variety of payment options, which provide flexibility to fit your lifestyle. Once you've decided to move to a Masonic Village, we provide scale drawings for most accommodations to assist in placement of furniture, and you may schedule visits to your new home as many times as you wish.

Bro. Robert G. Boone Sr., P.M., P.D.D.G.M., Palestine-Roxborough Lodge No. 135, Philadelphia, and his wife, Barbara, moved to Masonic Village at Dallas in November 2011. Bro. Boone and his brothers are the third of five generations of Masons in his family who have joined Palestine-Roxborough Lodge.

The Boones never considered retiring anywhere other than a Masonic Village. As an admissions counselor for the Masonic Villages for many years, Bro. Boone gained first-hand knowledge of the quality services and security provided by each community. For the past 13 years, the Boones have lived in the Pocono Mountains, so they ultimately choose to retire at Masonic Village at Dallas.

"For us, the home was brand new, and we had the option to upgrade many areas to suit our tastes," Bro. Boone said. "Since we have been here, we find the staff to be always friendly, receptive to our needs and have only confirmed that we made the right choice."

During your move, maintenance staff provide an allotted time to help you hang pictures, light fixtures, fans and more. Each location has its own way of helping you become familiar with your new home - whether it's a welcome program run by residents, tours of the local community, a directory providing local information and/or a meet and greet to get to know your neighbors. No matter which community you choose, rest assured that a monthly calendar will help you find events of interest, the nearby cities and towns offer a plethora of recreational opportunities and the state-wide "Village Voice" magazine will keep you up-to-date on Masonic Villages' friends.

At Masonic Village at Dallas, the Boones particularly enjoy their options for nearby shopping and dining. An abundance of cultural opportunities, such as concerts at various colleges, local performances and stage plays at various theaters; the nearby Casino with its harness racing; and the local arena featuring sports games, performances and the circus, all keep the Boones busy.

"We feel we made the right choice of Villages, as this one fits our lifestyle and, because it is a smaller community, we feel people know each other and are very supportive," Barbara said.

"The amenities they offer fit more into our lifestyle at the present time," Bro. Boone added.

Personality Counts

While maintenance-free living is common to all Masonic Village campuses, each community has a personality of its own and something unique to offer. Take time to explore which community best fits your lifestyle:

Masonic Village at Dallas provides retirement living apartments and villas with a golf course in your backyard among the Endless Mountains Region. As a community partner, Masonic Village at Dallas' amenities range from the Irem Clubhouse Restaurant and Pub on campus to a host of wellness, social, recreational and cultural opportunities extended by neighboring Misericordia University. Nearby Wilkes-Barre and partnerships with healthcare providers ensure your needs are always met. Select villas are available immediately, and if you're not quite ready for a new address, consider signing up for the apartment waiting list.
Contact: 866-851-4243

Masonic Village at Elizabethtown is located on 1,400 acres of Lancaster County farmland where residents always have a social event to attend, hobby to pursue, workout to do or trip to take (if they so desire). This campus offers an immense number of opportunities and options, including retirement living cottages, apartments, suites, studios and rental options on select accommodations. The adjacent train station provides easy access to local cities without the hassle of driving. Healthcare and home care services are available on site, ensuring peace of mind for the future. A few new cottages and apartments are available now!
Contact: 800-676-6452

Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill gives you the tools to live vibrantly among friends with an in-house bowling alley, computer lab, wellness center, wood shop, putting green and much more. When residing in elegant apartments just 30 minutes from Philadelphia, you can spend the day exploring the city's shopping, cultural and historic sites and return home to the safety and beauty of the suburbs. Ask how you can be one of the first to move into Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill's brand new apartments, planned to open in early 2014. Lock in the 2012 rate, and experience security for your finances and future.
Contact: 610-828-5760

Masonic Village at Sewickley has been compared to living on a cruise ship. Your needs come first, and you experience a care-free lifestyle that allows you to cast away the concerns of the world and explore new opportunities. Enjoy a dynamic life with more than 60 acres of amenities. Just 10 miles away, Pittsburgh's cultural, recreational and educational opportunities await with the assurance that you can return home to the safety and serenity of the suburbs. As a Lifecare community, Masonic Village at Sewickley preserves your nest egg by providing access to healthcare services without changing the monthly fee structure.
Contact: 866-872-0664

Citations:
1 Appelbaum, Binyamin. "Housing Market Sending Signals It Is Recovering." The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 June 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.

2 National Association of Realtors. Washington. "Pending Home Sales Up in May, Continue Pattern of Strong Annual Gains." www.realtor.org. National Association of Realtors, 27 June 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.

Table of Contents | Index of Issues | Home