Marianne Avila - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Marianne Avila on 4/26/2020

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Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito... from Pixabay

Baby Boomers remain the single largest demographic, and their transition into retirement age continues to change the senior living landscape. At more than 74 million strong, this generation will completely cross the retirement age threshold in the next decade, and 52 million Americans are already enjoying their golden years. That being said, the quality of life needs impacting our valued elders are likely to shake up the status quo going forward. These are senior living trends that are expected to unfold in 2020.

1: Location Matters

Today’s health and wellness conscious seniors are living more energetic lifestyles. With that in mind, retirement communities are increasingly being developed in close proximity to robust shopping, dining, and cultural arts facilities. Gated communities that offer amenities such as health and fitness centers, recreational spaces, and public transportation for day trips are enticing places for seniors seeking improved quality of life.

2: Embracing Technology

It wasn’t many years ago that the complexities of emerging technologies limited their usefulness to Baby Boomers and older generations. But innovation has all but eliminated the user unfriendliness of those early desktops and hand-held devices. Seniors are increasingly pleased with Smart-home technologies that are voice operated, such as the friendly Alexa. Beyond controlling lights, televisions, and other home items via voice command, tech gadgets are topping lifestyle wish lists.

3: Fifty-Five & Older Communities Prove Desirable in 2020

The 2019 housing market saw modestly inflated single-family listing prices. That was largely due to low inventory and fierce competition between downsizing Baby Boomers and upstart Millennials. The latter struggled through some economic adversity, such as student loan debt, that caused them to buy starter homes a tad later than previous generations. A log jam between the two groups over smaller homes has developers creating more 55-and-older communities that eliminate competition of younger homebuyers.

4: Aging in Place is a Thing

While some aging parents and grandparents opt to downsize, buy into communities with other seniors, or move into assisted living facilities, many are determined to remain in their family home. The priceless memories of holiday gatherings and children’s first steps are not worth trading. Aging in place continues to trend among independent-minded seniors, and family members may want to consider augmenting this lifestyle rather than try to persuade mom or dad to relocate.

Support systems such as community groups, volunteerism, and having a visiting nurse check-in on parents and grandparents are more likely to enhance the quality of daily living. It may seem logical to children and grandchildren to have your elders come live with you. However, it’s essential to respect their independence.

5: Isolation Issues

It would be something of an understatement to say that our valued elders enjoy an independent spirit. As admirable as that sense of self-determination may be, the loss of a spouse or community members tend to reduce the human interactions our elders have on a daily basis. Isolation can be the downside to independence, and it’s up to friends and family members to maintain the communication channels open.

It’s worthwhile to set up group texts and emails to make sure loved ones consistently visit. Getting involved with pastimes such as going to sporting events and impromptu family get-togethers can go a long way to reduce feelings of isolation.




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Posted by Marianne Avila on 12/2/2018

We’ve all seen the way landscaping and decorating trends can sweep through a neighborhood. Some are practical, like planting drought-resistant vegetation. Others are purely aesthetic choices.

In this article, we’re going to break down some of the latest trends in landscaping. Who knows, you might be inspired to get out and revamp your front or backyard with one of these ideas. Read on for some of the latest and greatest landscaping techniques for your home.

Landscaping you can eat

One trend that is making a comeback is growing herbs and vegetables. We’re not talking about a backyard garden in a chicken wire fence (although those are great, too!)--what we’re referring to is planting herbs and colorful lettuces right in your front yard. Well-placed plants look natural and can save you money at the grocery store at the same time. Just make sure they’re planted in soil appropriate for growing vegetables.

Similarly, many people are rediscovering the native fruit trees, bushes, and vines of their area. Adding these items to your yard will give you something sweet to eat and also a sense of pride in your region. So, find out which fruits and vegetables grow well in your area and find some to compliment your yard.

Drought resistance

We’ve all seen the headlines. Climate change is upon us, and water shortage is one of the chief long term concerns. To save water and keep the front yard looking manicured, many people are turning to vegetation that can resist long periods of time without water.

There are drought tolerant plants in almost every family of flora. From flowers to shrubs and even grass. However, many homeowners in areas warm areas prone to drought are opting out of grass completely in favor of stone pathways lined with hardy, yet beautiful, cacti.

Actually comfortable outdoor seating

The days of uncomfortable plastic and metal chairs are numbered. Waterproof outdoor seating has improved immensely in the last few years and a greater number of people taking advantage of it.

Another indoor comfort that is taking root outdoors is the use of varied lighting techniques and colors to create different moods, be it calm or whimsical.

Let it grow

Many homeowners, fed up with having to mow their lawn every weekend instead of spending it relaxing, are opting to let their grass grow out. Planting shade-giving trees, incorporating natural boulders, and creating stone walkways give a wild, but pleasant feeling reminiscent of an English garden.

Where there is grass, it is often left to grow to “meadow” length to complement the natural feeling of the rest of the yard. Planning out such a yard, however, takes time, or you could end up with a backyard that looks like it just hasn’t been taken care of.


What are your favorite backyard landscaping trends?




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Posted by Marianne Avila on 6/3/2018

In a culture where more is more minimalism has a certain appeal albeit one that can also feel intimidating. Not only do we add sentimental value to many of the items in our home but we also accumulate piles of it as the years pass. It can be overwhelming to even think of cutting down on the clutter. Minimalism doesn’t have to mean an all white house devoid of knick-knacks or a lifestyle only for those couples who opt to forego having children, however. By using the tips and tricks listed below you can create a happy balance in your home that is inspired by minimalism. Uncluttered surfaces. Part of the appeal of minimalist homes is how neat and clean they are. Everything is intentionally placed and countertops aren’t filled with gizmos and gadgets. You can easily give your home the same feel by giving everything you own “a home”, that is, a place that it will always be returned to when not in use. Create storage space in drawers, cabinets and consider investing in furniture that pulls double duty with hidden storage inside. By creating storage that is out of plain sight you allow yourself the sleek, clean look of a minimalist home without tossing out half of your belongings. Quality over quantity. So many purchases we make eventually get pushed to the back of closets after the excitement of a new item wears off. The next time you go shopping, opt for quality over quantity. Whether this is with household items, clothes or toys for your children you can choose just one “category” to start. Knowing your family’s lifestyle will really help aid in the decision process of what items will get the most use so that you can then choose one that is well made. Minimalism does not equal boring. You can still have decorations, paintings and knick knacks while maintaining a minimalist home. Keep what you truly love or items that hold value to you and place them somewhere in the open where they can truly be enjoyed. Arranging the items you keep on display artfully creates an air of intention instead of clutter. Keep decluttering. Don’t let this be a one-off project. Each month take some time to assess your home. You will be sure to find more and more you can get rid of as time goes on and you become more comfortable with having less stuff in your home. Easily decrease the amount of things you have by clearing out duplicates. Think towels, kitchen items, cleaning supplies, etc. Ask yourself if you use this item every three months, and if it’s not a seasonal item, consider donating it. Keep in mind that this process doesn’t have to be a big project where you makeover your entire house. You can always begin with one room at a time or even just one area of a room. Shop less. This step is one you can proactively and easily work on each week. Every time you go shopping assess the items you are putting into your cart whether it’s a physical one or online. Ask yourself if these are must have items and envision them in your day to day life. If you can’t see yourself reaching for it time and time again, put it back on the shelf. When looking at sleek minimalist homes featured in the glossy pages of a magazine you might be tempted to think your home can never achieve a similar look. However, this is not so. With a dedication to the process of decluttering over time and making smart purchases, you too can have a minimalist inspired home before you know it!




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