Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Favorite Real Estate Magazine for Identifying Trends and Location Characteristics

I go to Borders Books about once every two weeks for reading magazines and books for free. I was disappointed this weekend when they didn't have my favorite real estate magazine in stock.

It's not a "real estate" magazine as you may be thinking. The magazine is called "Where-To-Retire." Puzzled at why a 31 year old is looking in the retirement section?

Ha, Ha, anybody that follows trends should take a moment to look at the magazine. This particular magazine caters to a huge demographic group that is entering a period where many are likely to up-root and retire to new locations fueling area specific booms. Yes, there's a housing bubble; however, if you follow the retirement dollars, look for the good deals and diversify your areas, you may do better than your friends that are only buying houses in one area.

Don't get me wrong, buying houses in only one area allows you to self manage the properties. However, if there's a serious earthquake, series of tornados or a hurricane, your real estate empire might take a larger hit than necessary.

The magazine I mentioned above will help you identify trends and area characteristics that may be favorable to you. Each magazine covers several communities with well thought out articles and discusses characteristics such as:

Median Housing Price
City/Town Profile
Arts & Cultural Activities
Recreation & Outdoor Activities
Continuing Education Opportunities
Tax Info
Climate & Weather

At the end of the articles, key characteristics are bulleted in a quick read section. Occasionally, they will write up some communities that are only for seniors, but these types of articles are limited.

Anyways, the magazine gives you plenty of ideas so that you can judge whether or not the area is of any interest...Then, you can just go to yahoo real estate (or other site) and start surfing to find your next investment property. Ultimately, you might live there. If not, you know that many others in the baby boomer demographic are reading the same magazine and making real estate decisions based in part from the magazine or from peers that might read the magazine.

My strategy: Acquire rental properties until we permanently retire. Between now and then, i'll have people pay off some of the mortgages (through rent)...We would then move into a few of them for the minimum two year period and then sell them without paying capital gains. I know we'll get tired of moving between houses; however, we'll do it a couple two or three times.


Finance Junkie said...

In no way am I trying to promote the subscription service that I linked to. It was essentially the only thing I found that had great pictures of the magazine.

If interested, it's Amazon.com affiliate service.

Finance Junkie said...

Also, the trends that this magazine helps you identify are principally limited to baby boomers. It doesn't necessarily come out and say: "Here's the trend." However, you can get good ideas from it... Especially since baby-boomers are shaping up to be a large macro-economic force to be reckoned with.