Adult Lifestyle Community – A Definition

Now that our aging population has visibly become a force to be reckoned with, many homebuilders are discovering mature adults to be a potent market. But often homebuilders tend to miss the market by focusing more on the home (which is after all what builders are selling), rather than the lifestyle (which is what drives most of the sales activity in an adult lifestyle community).

Many developers and homebuilders operate from the misconception that mature buyers prefer to live in homes that are inexpensive and focus on pricing their homes as low as possible, believing that product and price are what drives the sale. And surely there are adult lifestyle purchasers for whom price is a prime consideration. But most potential residents of an adult lifestyle community are looking for three things: adult, lifestyle and community.

Purchasers in adult communities want to be sure that the community they are considering moving to is indeed an “adult” community. As such, many such communities are age-restricted, with a hard and fast set of rules that precludes the possibility of children moving in. Of course, in jurisdictions that do not allow discrimination on the basis of age, there are other ways to “restrict” who moves in. This could range from so-called restrictive covenants registered on title of the property to rules about the permanent number of residents that may occupy any one dwelling unit (usually no more than two) under a condominium corporation or a rental agreement. Finally, the best method to maintain the integrity of an adult lifestyle community is to offer homes that are specifically designed for an older, childless demographic. The market will take care of the rest.

Some builder want to hedge their bets by offering large two storey homes in adult communities, imagining that they would be appealing to younger baby boomers that still have children at home. This fallacy results in pleasing neither the younger baby boomers that do not want to live in a community comprised largely of older people, nor the active adults seeking a childfree lifestyle.

As stated above, one of the most important considerations on the part of the purchaser in an adult community involves lifestyle. Many people in their 50s and 60s who are either retired or semi-retired have a lot of leisure time and a plethora of interests about which they are very passionate. Many are into golf in a big way and seek communities that are near golf courses. Many are into personal fitness and look for communities that provide exercise facilities. There are nearly as many interests as there are individuals seeking to live the adult lifestyle. Those communities that recognize this very important fact tend to do very well, while those that don’t, not so much.

Finally, active adults tend to be very social and seek to live in a community where they find others of similar interests and values. Many of these communities have organized activities, such as a bridge club, a golf group, round-robin tennis tournaments or group projects such as quilting or knitting. A sense of being a part of a community of like-minded individuals really is one of the most important aspects of a successful adult lifestyle community. These are the reasons why a community clubhouse is probably one of the most important amenities that any adult lifestyle community could provide. And the greater the variety of amenities and interests, the more people will be attracted to live there.

The Basics of First Home Furniture

Buying your first home is exciting not only because it is a symbol of the American dream, but also because it provides you with a space that you can make your own without limitation. One of the biggest challenges when moving into your first more permanent residence is deciding on how to decorate. While the decor you choose can be ultimately redone, buying all new furniture frequently is expensive and time consuming. For this reason it is important to pick a style for your home that meet the following criteria.

First, it needs to be functional. You may love the look of a couch that has almost no padding, and wood trim built in the 17th century, but the truth is a chair like that is not much fun to sit in. Functionality is the first priority when picking out furniture because of the idea that beggars can’t be choosers. Ultimately design and high style are luxuries that, unless you can afford them, do not trump functionality. Make sure that the items you purchase are going to get the job done.

Second, think about style in terms of staying power. Often if you choose a highly trendy style of decor it will be out of vogue by the time you get the furniture delivered. Look for styles that are conservative and are going to provide satisfaction for many years to come. There are lots of stores which specialize in used furniture in Alpharetta, and these stores generally have inventories full of pieces that are built to be attractive through the decades.

Disabled Travelers – Plan, Prepare and Protect Your Policy

You’ve booked your holiday and you know exactly where you want to go and what sights you plan on seeing, the question is; are you fully prepared? As a disabled traveler it is important you attempt to anticipate as many hurdles that could potentially present themselves to you as possible. From contacting the airline to ensure they can cater to your needs as well as ensuring the receiving airport can receive you successfully and with as few hiccups as possible.

If you are a wheelchair user it is important to make sure you choose a carrier that will take into consideration your limitations. Similarly it is important to check that your entire journey is accessible, it is not about planning the perfect trip only to find out that at the other end the airport cannot receive you. Consider the more remote areas in the world or the less developed nations, a lot of them do not have ramped access and so if you have not taken this into consideration prior to the purchase of your ticket and it comes to your attention just before you are due to travel you may feel your travel insurance should cover you and compensate you the cost of a cancellation.

You may find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation when you find the provider refuses to honor the claim. Being aware of your limitations you are expected to take the necessary steps to ensure the seamless nature of your vacation. By not carrying out the necessary checks prior to your departure you are proving to be negligent.

Similarly if you were a driver but could only drive an automatic and failed to mention that when placing a reservation for your rental vehicle, subsequently on your arrival the only cars available were manual, your failure to mention your limitations is likely to automatically make you ineligible for a refund. In such an instance, your insurer is highly likely to agree with the rental company and will refuse to honor any claim related to the cancellation.

Before traveling it is vital you cover as many bases as possible, this should be of the upmost importance to any traveler who suffers from an impairment. Whether it is limited sight or weak limbs you should make sure you inform the various institutions involved in your traveling expedition of any factors that may affect your trip and your enjoyment of it.

When it comes to taking out travel insurance it is vital you are completely honest as any discrepancies will be noted and may nullify the entire policy. When it comes to making a claim, knowing that insurers do not actually want to hand over any cash to their customers it is in your best interest to make sure you are never to blame. Negligence is one of the main reasons travel insurance claims are refused, extra preparation on your part therefore is required to ensure it is not something the company finds you guilty of.

Neglecting to inform your travel insurer of any ongoing health conditions for which you need cover for while you are abroad will mean if your condition flares up while you are aware and you attempt to claim the cost of treatment from your insurer, the very insurer you neglected to inform of the condition is almost guaranteed to refuse your claim, leaving you to pick up the tab. If you have enough foresight to take out life insurance you should try to do all that you can to protect that investment.

Why Do Small Businesses Raise Money From Friends and Family?

Small businesses face many challenges and one of them is obtaining funding at the beginning.

We noted that 42 percent of entrepreneurs go to family and friends to raise money. Annually this figure is $50 to $75 billion for U.S. startup companies, which is about three times greater than funding from either angel investors or venture capitalists.

A further breakdown has shown that 82% of funding will come from either an entrepreneurs’ own savings or from friends and family. A number of reasons can be attributed to this avenue and here’s a few.

Immediate Funding Right Away

To raise money, going to family and friends can result in immediate funding. By approaching these connections, the entrepreneur knows they will already have available funding and he can avoid going through extensive financial background checks and voluminous paperwork.

Small businesses may also lack some business savvy and by going to family and friends they may be more comfortable talking about the opportunity and asking for money.

Only Available Funding at the Beginning

For some small businesses, funding from family and friends may be their only source at the start as sometimes banks and government grants may not be available to them due to a lack of credit, a business track record or an established business model.

It is family and friends that will fund the small businesses at this time. Entrepreneurs will then focus on creating their products, services, business models, offices and business plans.

You already have a relationship with family and friends: they believe in you and your vision

For many entrepreneurs, their small businesses have been a dream for quite some time and a passion. When this is the case, they have likely been speaking about this with family and friends, gaining their support and sharing their vision.

Family members as potential sources of funding may include parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors as well as childhood friends.

By receiving funding from this group, they are investing in the entrepreneur’s small business because they believe in him. They also know his desire to succeed and his work ethic.

Family and friends invest in people, not necessarily small businesses.

Lower or no interest on the loan

By going to family and friends, they may charge a lower interest on a fundraising loan as they know your current financial situation. Small businesses will also be able to avoid fees and penalties by structuring through families and friends.

In some situations, the money may even come as gift, further decreasing extra costs and excluding interest. The loaner may have an interest to give additional funding in the future and become a partner.

This can provide small businesses with an opportunity to put more money into the business right away while paying off the loan and not worrying about financial constraints.

Lower attorney fees

By receiving funding from family and friends, the structure of the loan may be less complex and require less documentation. It is important to have an attorney review this but by setting it up in a simpler manner, future changes may be less intensive and costly.

Regardless of the amount borrowed from family and friends, it is still important for small businesses to have a business plan and proper documentation as well as act in a professional manner.

Have these reasons further spurred your interest in borrowing from family and friends? Here’s a success story that may inspire you.

Nike Started with Family and Friends

Philip H. Knight, co-founder and the current Chairman of the Board for Nike, Inc., got the idea for his business when he wrote a business plan for a Stanford MBA class assignment in the 1960s. He dreamed up a company that would sell shoes to athletes through the paper, “Can Japanese Sports Shoes Do to German Sports Shoes What Japanese Cameras Did to German Cameras?”

This assignment was to answer the question of whether or not a shoe could be designed and manufactured for less with better quality than the current market leader for athletic shoes, Adidas.

Knight was so inspired by the assignment he then went to Japan and met with Onitsuka Tiger Co executives, a manufacturer of fake Adidas shoes. He said he was the head of a fictitious company named Blue Ribbon Sports and that he wanted to distribute Tiger shoes back in the United States. Tiger officials accepted his pitch and sent samples to him after Knight said he would give them a big order once after he showed them to his business partners (but no, he did not have any).

When he returned home, Knight borrowed $500 from his father to start his business and pay for shoe samples. Keep in mind this was the 1960s and in today’s dollars and cents, this is equal to about $3,700.

After Knight received the shoes, he sent some to his old running coach Bill Bowerman, hoping he would purchase them and show the shoes to his runners.

It turned out even better: Bowerman gave Knight $500 and the two became partners in 1964.

The rest you could say is history.