Great Deals for Seniors

These deals may vary at participating locations and can change without notice. 

■ McDonald’s: discounts on coffee and beverages (55+)

■ Whataburger: free drink with purchase of a meal, depending on location (55+)

■ Wendy’s: give free coffee or other discounts depending on location

■ Piccadilly Cafeteria – 10% discount with “Prime Time for Seniors” card

■ IHOP – 10% discount (55+) and a menu for people aged 55 and over at participating locations

■ Golden Corral: Senior discount varies by location

■ Krispy Kreme Senior Discount: 10% off (50+) (age and discount varies depending on location)

■ Perkins Restaurants: Fifty-Five Plus menu Offers special deals (55+)

■ Subway: 10% off (60+) varies by location

■ The Old Spaghetti Factory: Spaghetti Factory “Senior Menu” offers discounted list of menu items

■ Uno Pizzaria & Grill: “Double Nickel Club” 25% off on Wednesday (55+)

■ Sizzler: Offers “Honored Guest Menu” (60+) varies by location

■ Papa John’s Senior Discount: check with your local stores (no standard senior discount policy)

■ Old Country Buffet: Daily discounts for seniors (55+)

■ Friendly’s Restaurants: 10% off meal w/ free coffee at breakfast or free small sunday during non-breakfast hours

■ Fazoli’s: Join “Club 62” for special senior menu items (62+)

■ KFC: free small drink with any meal depending on location (55+)

■ Country Kitchen: Great Senior Menu (55+)

■ Burger King: 10% discount on purchase depending on location (60+)


Lodging Discounts

■ Marriott – 15% discount (62+). You can book online or call and ask for the senior discount

■ Red Roof Inn – option of “senior rate” when you book online, may not be available for all locations

■ Choice Hotels – 10% discount if you book in advance (60+)

■ Hyatt Hotels – up to 50% off in participating locations. To qualify for this deal you have to make a reservation in advance and book for two people (60+)

■ La Quinta – varying offers at participating locations (65+). Book online or call and ask for senior discounts

■ Omni Hotels – varying offers at participating locations (55+)

■ Motel 6 – 10% discount (60+). Call and book over the phone in order to get discount

■ Wyndham Hotels – varying offers at participating locations (60+)

■ Hampton Inns & Suites – 10% off when booked 72 hours in advance

Almost One Quarter of 2017 U.S. Home Sales Closed Above Asking Price

– The share of U.S. home sales that were above the listed price increased from 17.8 percent in 2012 to 24.1 percent in 2017.

– The typical price increase for homes that sold above the listed price was 3.1 percent.

– More than half of home sales in San Jose, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Seattle went for more than the listed prices.

Buyers paid more than the asking price in nearly one quarter (24 percent) of U.S. home sales in 2017, netting sellers an additional $7,000 each. Five years ago, 17.8 percent of final sale prices were higher than the asking price, according to a new Zillow analysis.

Over the past year the American housing market has been struck by the combination of strong demand and limited supply. Young adult renters are increasingly feeling confident enough to buy, but they are entering a market with very few homes for sale, as inventory has been steadily declining for almost three years. Low interest rates have buoyed buyers’ budgets, raising the limits on what they can afford – and may be willing – to pay.

Homes sell quickly in such a competitive market, with the typical U.S. home selling in 80 days, including the time it takes to close on the sale. In San Jose, San Francisco and Seattle, the average home sells in less than 50 days. Fierce competition means buyers may not win a home on their first offer. The typical buyer spends more than four months home shopping and has to make multiple offers before an offer is accepted, according to the 2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report.

“Low interest rates and strong labor markets with high-paying jobs have allowed home buyers in some of the country’s priciest housing markets to bid well over asking price,” said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. “In the booming tech capitals of the California Bay Area and Pacific Northwest, paying above list price is now the norm. In the face of historically tight inventory, buyers have had to be more aggressive in their offers. We don’t expect this inventory crunch to ease meaningfully in 2018, meaning buyers will be facing many of the same struggles this year.”

In San Jose, Calif., San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Seattle, more than half of all homes sold last year went for above the list price. The average home sold above list in San Jose netted sellers an additional $62,000, the largest difference between list and sale price of the metros analyzed.

Over the past five years, Seattle saw the greatest increase in the share of sales that were above the asking price, from 20 percent of home sales in 2012 to 52 percent of sales in 2017. The amount over asking price grew as well, from 2.5 percent to 5.3 percent above the listed price.

Miami homes were least likely to sell for more than the listed price last year, followed by Virginia Beach and New Orleans.

Mortgage Applications Increase

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Applications Survey (BAS) data for December 2017 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 7.8 percent compared to December 2016. Compared to November 2017, applications decreased by 18 percent relative to the previous month. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

“After playing catch-up for 2 months following the slowdown caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, mortgage applications for new homes declined in December to a more normal growth rate of 7.8% on a year over year basis,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA Vice President of Research and Economics. “Looking at all of 2017, applications increased by 7.1 percent compared to 2016. Based on December applications, we forecast that new home sales fell in December but remained nearly 16 percent higher than a year ago, and we are anticipating only modest year over year growth for new home sales in 2018. Despite robust demand, a lack of labor and land will continue to constrain homebuilders.”

By product type, conventional loans composed 72.5 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 15.1 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 2.3 percent and VA loans composed 10.1 percent. The average loan size of new homes increased from $337,427 in November to $339,203 in December.

The MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 554,000 units in December 2017, based on data from the BAS. The new home sales estimate is derived using mortgage application information from the BAS, as well as assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for December is a decrease of 16.4 percent from the November pace of 663,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 40,000 new home sales in December 2017, a decrease of 14.9 percent from 47,000 new home sales in November.

Celebration of Martin Luther King’s Birthday

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.

Oysters Helping Jersey Fight the Surge

Dunes and Oyster Reefs Possible Answer

Efforts are underway in the state to invest $20 million a year of taxpayer revenues to fund grants that will help towns launch projects using natural and organic materials such as wetlands, oyster reefs, barrier reefs and dune grass to benefit the environment.

The legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, under the name Living Shorelines Act of 2017, is expected to be an annual series of grants made available to towns along the shore.

Such natural systems are seen as non-manufactured solutions that will protect New Jersey’s coastal communities from storms and erosion.

Oyster reefs are known to decrease the impact of storm surge. Oysters also provide a positive environmental benefit of filtering pollution and also can be harvested.

New Jersey’s fishery and aquaculture resources contribute more than $1 billion annually to the state’s economy.

The dune grass also proved to be a great barrier from the storm surges as is evidenced by towns like Bradley Beach, which attributes the dunes along its beach to have saved the town millions of dollars in damage from the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

Presently, New Jersey accounts for more than 50 living shoreline projects currently being built.

The first living shoreline is currently being built in Raritan Bay with Naval Weapons Station Earle.

Home Builder Confidence Stronger

According to a report issued by the National Association of Home Builders [NAHB], builder confidence jumped in December, reflecting the strength of a resurging economy. The NAHB monthly reading of homebuilder sentiment climbed 5 points to hit 74, which is the highest reading since 1999. This reading stood at 69 in December 2016.

One of the reasons for the surge in sentiment is that builders now see the business incentives in the new Trump tax plan as outweighing negatives that they believed would reduce incentives for home owning.

Buyer traffic is also a contributing factor affecting sentiment due to the severe shortage of existing homes for sale. Many builders are ebullient over the fact that Realtors are reporting the lowest supply on record and are not expecting the situation to improve anytime soon. Even with the brisk number of sales taking place despite supply shortage, builders don’t see demand letting up anytime soon.

Covenant House Wins Grant for Homeless Young People

A $123,000 grant from Impact 100 Jersey Coast, a women’s philanthropy group, was awarded to the Covenant House Rites of Passage program operated out of Asbury Park.

Rites of Passage program offers a safe place for homeless young people, 18 or older, who have “aged” out of the system.

Impact 100 Jersey Coast is a women’s giving community in which each woman donates $1,000. Then, non-profits are invited to submit grant proposals annually. Each of the members casts one vote in the determination of which non-profit will receive the award.

Currently, Impact 100 Jersey Coast group represents 246 members and expects this number to increase in 2018. A total of 52 local non-profits applied for the 2017 Impact 100 grant.

Impact 100 Jersey Coast was founded by Deirdre O’Brien Spiropoulos and Heather Burke, and nine others back in 2016.

In 2016, 180 Turning Lives was awarded a grant of $145,000 for the Family Justice Center in Freehold to support victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, child abuse and human trafficking.

CoreLogic Posts Prices Jump 7 Percent

According to CoreLogic, on an annualized basis, home prices climbed by a very steep 7% in November.

Aside from being the third straight month when prices exceeded projections, the speed to market continues to fuel one of the strongest seller’s markets in decades.

On top of the chronic low inventory issues affecting this market, now the real estate market is meeting a new force: a rebounding economic climate and ongoing labor shortages affecting new home construction. Despite the historic low temperatures, one local agent based in New Jersey’s Ocean County reported two closings, one offer and one new listing – and that was on Monday!!

This market is obviously pushing the buyers out before the spring thaw.

Shortage Is Giving Way to Scarcity
Inventory in New Jersey for November is put at 4.9 months for single family homes, 4.5 months supply for condo-townhouses and a ridiculous 3.1 months supply for adult communities.

All of this buying activity is clearly a silver lining: the cloud to this climate change is over-valuation, which, according to CoreLogic, is the case in the nation’s top 50 markets, where half of the housing stock is now considered overvalued. The largest metropolitan areas are seeing the biggest gains.

Regions cited as overvalued were:
Las Vegas with annual price gains of 11%
San Francisco with annual price gains of 9%
Denver with annual price gains of 8%

Las Vegas and Denver are both considered overvalued, but San Francisco is not, as incomes in the tech capital far exceed the national level.

Seven out of 10 of the nation’s major markets were reported by CoreLogic to be overvalued, including Washington, D.C., Houston and Miami.


Apartment Vacancy Rate Rises

The U.S. apartment vacancy rate increased marginally in the fourth quarter from the third as supply exceeded demand. Asking rents edged higher by 0.4%, while the national apartment vacancy rate rose slightly to 4.5% from 4.4%.
– Renters paid a record high $485.6 billion in 2017, a $4.9 billion increase from 2016
– Renters in New York and Los Angeles spent the most on rent over the past year
– Rents increase by nearly 4% Y-O-Y
– Vacancy rates increased in 50 of 79 metros, with New York City hitting a vacancy rate of 5.1%
According to a study conducted by HomeUnion, New Jersey boasts one of the most prospering and expensive rental markets in the nation – as one of the best places to invest in a home – whether for residing or as a real estate investment. New Jersey’s average rent exceeding $1,300 each month is the result of a good educational system, access to rail, road and airports as well as its ideal proximity to New York City and the I-95 corridor.
New Jersey’s rental market is the sixth highest rent in the nation, with only Hawaii, Washington, D.C., California, New York and Maryland coming in ahead of it.
San Francisco rents are so high that renters collectively paid $616 million more in rent than Chicago renters did, despite there being 467,000 fewer renters in San Francisco than in Chicago.
Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Charlotte, N.C. had the largest gains in the total amount of rent paid, with each increasing by more than 7% since 2016.
As reported, the economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.3% in the third quarter of 2017, representing the highest level reached since 2014.
In light of the two consecutive quarters of 3% growth, it is not expected that interest rate hikes will dramatically impact this trend. This strong economic growth, reflected in retail spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, confirms the strength of this economy. Estimates point to retail sales jumping 17% year-over-year to $6.6 billion. Compounding this, consumer sentiment is at the highest level since 2004 according the University of Michigan’s index.
The single-family rental home investors look upon this particular economic environment as a healthy sign that rent hikes are likely. Potential real estate investors believe that there are still property acquisitions that make economic sense which will offer attractive yields.
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