What is a garden home?

While the product name may vary among builders, the idea is the same: a single-family detached or duplex home on a small lot with amenities similar to a townhome or condominium, such as yard maintenance provided by the homeowner's association or a community pool. Some include tennis courts, fitness/workout areas and walking trails.

Garden Homes in Edmond

There are many Garden Home Communities in the Oklahoma City/Edmond area. They have different amenities such as pools, greenbelts, walking trails, workout facilities, lakes, tennis courts, gates, along with club houses that are for the communities use. Several of these communities are built on Golf Courses also.

Infrastructure is gaining momentum for the hotel and conference center in development at the northwest corner on Interstate 35 and Covell, said Janet Yowell, executive director of the Edmond Economic Development Authority.

See more at: http://www.edmondsun.com

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Move-Down Buyers Can Be Eligible For Tax Credit Too

Move up, move down, move sideways; it just doesn’t matter.

Whichever direction you move, financially, you may still qualify for the new tax credit available to current homeowners. It is unfortunate that the credit has too often been characterized as a credit for “move-up” homeowners. The phrase carries the implication that the new home must cost more than the sale price of the former one. Indeed, even the November 6 White House Press Release said that the credit would be available to qualified homeowners who “wish to step up to a new home.” Same implication.

So, it is worth emphasizing that the credit is equally available to homeowners who are moving down, cost-wise.

The move-down homebuyer is not an unusual phenomenon. For years retirees have been known to move from a larger home to one that is smaller and often less expensive. Moreover, it is reasonable to think that current economic conditions may lead to even more move-down buyers. Just as thousands of families have found it necessary or desirable to downsize with respect to their cars and their general lifestyle, so it may be when it comes to considering the costs of owning and maintaining a larger house than they really need.
The same requirements apply to both move-down and move-up buyers.

First of all, the previous home must have been occupied as the buyer’s principal residence for at least five consecutive years out of the past eight years.

Two examples:

(1) Suppose that during the past eight years you occupied the property for three years, then rented it out for two years (perhaps because of a job transfer or temporary assignment), and then occupied it again for three years up until now. Even though you had occupied the property as your principal residence for six of the past eight years, you would not be eligible because you had not occupied it for five consecutive years. (I’m not saying this makes sense; I’m just reporting on the requirements.)

(2) Suppose you bought a home eight (or more) years ago, you occupied it as a principal residence until two years ago when you sold it. Would you qualify? Yes, because you had occupied it as a principal residence for at least five consecutive years of the past eight.

There are important issues of timing as well. You must have purchased (that is closed on) the replacement home sometime after 11/6/2009 and before 4/30/2010. With one exception: the new home will also qualify if you had entered into a binding contract no later than April 30, 2010 and you closed no later than June 30, 2010.

The time the previous home sold doesn’t matter. Indeed, it doesn’t even have to be sold. You might, for example, keep it as a rental. The tax credit is for 10 percent of the purchase price up to a maximum credit of $6,500 for joint filers and $3,250 for those filing separately. There is a full credit for singles whose income does not exceed $125,000 and for couples whose income is no more than $225,000. A phase-out applies to higher incomes up to $145,000 and $245,000 respectively.

The cost of the new home may not exceed $800,000. The new home must be used as a principal residence for a three year period subsequent to closing, or else the credit must be repaid.

This program won’t help everyone, of course; but it’s pretty nice for those to whom it applies.

Written by Bob Hunt

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There are about 48 Garden home communities in Edmond. Some are within larger housing developments such as Fenwick Gardens, Sonoma Gardens, and Capri Villa’s in Borgata just to name a few. These offer similar amenities as the “just garden home” communities. I would love to show you how easy it is to be a part of one of the “life is good” communities. Just give me a call at 405-816-3744! Thanks, Kristi

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The kids have moved out.

Those three bedrooms are looking awfully lonely. That spacious back yard that once served as a barbeque pit – football field – volleyball court now looks like a breeding ground for weeds, not to mention back-breaking acreage during mowing season.

You want to move to something smaller, but the task seems over whelming. There’s a basement (or extra room) full of boxes, a garage filled with more stuff and rusting machinery. Let the expert’s help you get moving.
Many see what must be done and it stymies them. They can’t get started because the task seems so great. The key to downsizing is to sort through your stuff regularly and get rid of what you no longer use. You will thank yourself on moving day!

Some folks think they will live in their family home forever, and then medical setbacks strike. You need a place where many of the chores are taken care of for you. Garden home communities afford many options as you will read in other parts of the website.

When going through your belongings, one organizer recommends the following:

Make several piles,

  1. trash
  2. donations
  3. ask children to take their stuff
  4. keep

Another professional suggests getting the family together, making a party of it, and have each child make a list or put post-its on what he or she wants.

There are companies that specialize in helping with estate sales and auctions, they help with donations and assist with packing.

Some older folks don’t even want to know how they’re going to get from point A to point B. Having someone to assist them through the process can be a big help.

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Garden Homes – Pros

  • A garden home can be less expensive than a single family home
  • Not as crowded (dense) as townhomes or condominiums
  • No neighbors above or below
  • Often only one shared wall
  • A garden home affords an easy lifestyle – HOA often covers roof replacement, exterior maintenance, landscape maintenance, common area maintenance, and other expenses
  • Ideal for “lock and leave” vacation homes
  • Mostly no stairs and low maintenance make garden homes popular with seniors
  • Commonly includes amenities such as a community pool, greenbeltsl and gated neighborhoods for safety.

Garden Homes – Cons

  • Noise from neighbors through the shared wall or walls
  • Homeowners’ association fees and politics, and CC&R restrictions
  • Less common than townhouses or condominiums, so the selection of garden homes may be small
  • Not much yard, just a patio overlooking a common area.
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