Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santa Monica at Christmastime

There is so much to do in Santa Monica -- fly out there for a week of Christmas shopping -- trust me, your gifts will be spectacular and you will have a  great time.  While there view a community or two because Santa Monica would be a great place to retire.

We ate at "Veggie Grill" - vegan restaurant; amazing food that looks and tastes like meat but isn't -- delicious -- crispy "chicken" sandwich with lemonade, gumbo soup my daughter raved about and a huge salad -- so huge I couldn't finish it all -- this restaurant is really catching on and is very popular in LA.
We went back later in the week and had the "crab" cake sandwich, strawberry lemonade and side salad.  Others had the salad or the "hamburger."  Or the "steak" sandwich with caramelized onions and cole slaw.

We enjoyed the Santa Monica pier -- just walking around breathing fresh ocean air and laughing at the sea gulls and pigeons.   Saw a senior sitting and reading--that's what I'd do.

But best of all were the shopping malls!  Westfield Mall was fabulous -- shops with great stuff for gifts. 
 There is a children's store there called Naartjie that is incredible -- the cutest clothes for the grandkids that didn't break the bank.  Wonderful!

We came back that evening for a Mexican dinner at the Pink Taco restaurant.

Santa Monica downtown shops were great too.  I bought some of the freshest spices and some very unique ones from Penzeys Spices.

Then we headed over to The Grove  for more shopping.
Los Angeles Mormon Temple right outside our Azul Inn hotel window...beautifully decorated for Christmas.
What a trip!  We had so much fun.

You can see our community list of senior apartments in LA or our independent/assisted retirement communities in LA here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rodeo Drive at Christmas

Our Christmas card to you this year to thank you for visiting us and keeping us in mind is of the beautifully decorated shops in The Rodeo Collection on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles which I hope you'll enjoy. 

We visited recently during the dampest, foggiest, wettest, rainiest few days of the entire year.  This is quite the opposite of what LA weather usually is.  People like change, so they probably don't mind the blanket of fog making their hair frizz or wilt, putting an extra sweater on; all things they don't usually have happen in LA.

But the crowds were out as we strolled among stores frequented by billionaires and celebrities who aren't too intimidated to enter.

It was fun to gawk and be gawked and admire the colors of bright poinsettias everywhere paired with twinkly white lights.  I noticed the decorations were very understated and elegantly beautiful.

I bought $50.00 worth of chocolate and cocoa at Vosges, a favorite culinary treat, and thought this might be a good place to look for online gifts.    I passed on the beautiful black dress I loved with turtleneck up to the chin and a price tag as high paired with patented high boots which I noticed is a look so popular now.

I want to take this moment to say how much I appreciate all the visitors to my site.  I do work hard to make it current, correct and authentic.   It means so much to me if you enjoy my site and more importantly find it useful in finding communities.  Let me know what you think and have a wonderful Christmas and holidays.

More photos:

Enjoy!  Merry Christmas - Happy New Year!

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Photos by Carol Fena, Best Guide Retirement Communities

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Tree for the Holidays..

Have you ever sent the same Christmas card out 2 years in a row. I thought I could never do that. However, this year I find myself without a photo that could possibly be better than the one from last year. In my opinion, there really is no more beautiful place at Christmas than this place: New York City I wish all of my visitors Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays-- and thank you for visiting this year. ..and I hope we can all look forward to a healthy, happy and successful 2012...maybe it will be your year to find your retirement home.
Christmas tree

A New Home for Christmas at Retirement Communities

Being home for Christmas is easier than ever at your retirement community.  This is the time of year best for choosing a home from the builder's inventory and especially from ready-to-move-in homes.

Your builder is anxious to deplete their stock of new homes waiting for a buyer.

There are often additional incentives and interest rates are at an all-time low.  End-of-year inventory may have further discounts.   You need to ask though.

I'm seeing some unbelievable prices in areas previously very exclusive and upscale.  This, in part, is due to builders adding on some smaller square footage plans that cost way less.

There's still time but hurry since moving you in will take time in many different ways: Getting your financing if necessary, a final move-in check, adding any special features you may want and more all require time.

At least when you buy a new home, you may receive warranties not available on a resale or foreclosure home.  But be sure to ask if there are warranties whether new or resale.

Today when you buy new, you may also receive  more energy-saving features than homes that are ten years older since these features are more popular now.

For those finding savings in resale or foreclosure homes, there are plenty of vacant homes just waiting for a buyer.  Some of these homes are often already in marketing condition with fresh paint and/or carpeting if carpet is the floor covering.  Many homeowners have found it necessary to install new fixtures and features to get a sale such as granite countertops, which continue to be appealing to buyers.

Of course moving in quickly may not be an option if you have a home to sell.   But some communities may be able to advise you and some even offer solutions. But always check with real estate experts.

Most retirees pay all cash for their home and that eliminates the time it takes to get a mortgage.  Builders may have their own financing department.  Ask your builder how fast you can expect to move into your new home.

At some communities, it is still time to be in a new home and lifestyle for Christmas but probably best to visit this weekend.