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New Trends in Real Estate Decisions

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By Lauren Baier Kim

RISMEDIA, Oct. 19, 2007-Here’s a look at what’s new in real-estate markets across the U.S. from around the Web.

Boomer roomies

As baby-boomer women near retirement, more are expected to consider living with a friend or purchasing a place with a pal, says a Boston Globe article.

The article cites an AARP study of women conducted last year. Nearly half of those between the ages of 45 and 59 surveyed said they considered living with a friend as they aged an attractive possibility. Women are more apt to feel comfortable living with a friend than men, the Globe says — and they are more likely to outlive their spouses.

Women who live together can pool their money — particularly important in light of high housing costs — and sharing a space can combat loneliness. “Women have significantly less [financial] resources than men,” the Globe quotes University of Massachusetts gerontologist Ellen Bruce as saying.

“It’s nice to have somebody else in the home,” says a 68-year-old woman profiled by the Globe who put in $350,000 to purchase a home with an in-ground swimming pool with a friend. The residence would have been unobtainable for the woman if she had tried to buy it alone, the Globe says.

A vacation home by the water – slide

For vacation-home buyers who want a waterfront property but can’t afford an oceanfront or lakefront home, there’s another option — buying a condo at a water park. For those truly interested in waterfront properties, the idea may sound less than ideal, but developers are having luck in selling such properties to vacation-home buyers, especially to families, says a New York Times article.

Often, the condos available at such properties are condo-hotels, which allow owners to rent out their units when not in use, the Times says. Resorts that have water parks tend to have occupancy rates that are 26% higher than non-water-park resorts, with room rates that are $69 higher on average, the article says. Such parks can be found across the U.S., at resorts in Kissimmee, Fla.; Rehoboth Beach, Del.; Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; near Telluride, Colo.; and in the Wisconsin Dells area — the “water park capital of the world.” Most water-park resorts are close to metropolitan areas, the Times says. The newspaper attributes the rise of such vacation-home properties to the popularity of water-park vacations at hotels. There were 50 U.S. hotels with indoor water parks in 2002 — at the end of this year, there will be 184, the Times says.

Kim is a senior editor at RealEstateJournal.com.

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