Tribune Print Share Text

Home free at Oak Crest

An affordable alternative for those tired of the headaches, high costs of home ownership

Created date

May 12th, 2016
Headaches, high costs of home ownership

Headaches, high costs of home ownership

While nearly 80% of Americans age 65 and older own their homes, an increasing number, 30% (4.4 million people), are still paying on their mortgage, according to the latest report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For retirees on a fixed budget, a monthly mortgage payment, along with rising property taxes, maintenance, and utilities, can be a challenge. 

Whether you are still paying on your mortgage or own your house outright, there’s no denying owning a home is expensive. 

The average homeowner’s insurance premium across the United States in 2012 (the most recent complete annual data available) was $1,034, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. ValuePenguin.com shows the average cost in Maryland just under that at $824 annually.

Although Maryland’s property taxes are among the lowest nationally at an average of 1.04%, Maryland homeowners typically pay more than homeowners in other states due to high property values. For example, a $350,000 home in Baltimore County, Md., at the current tax rate of 1.105%, would cost you $3,868 annually. 

Don’t forget to factor in 1% to 4% of your home’s value for house repairs and routine maintenance. Homeadvisor.com lists the average hot water heater installation at $890, and depending on the size of the unit, a new heat pump could run between $4,000 and $5,000. And then there’s routine maintenance like lawn care and trash and snow removal.

Affordable alternative

Some 1,800 Marylanders have found an alternative to the headaches and high costs associated with home ownership. Residents of Oak Crest, an Erickson Living community in Parkville, enjoy the independence associated with home ownership without any of the worries. 

Erickson Living communities like Oak Crest allow you to remove the uncertainty of real estate from your financial portfolio and replace it with a refundable entrance deposit that is safe and secure. Unlike the value of your house, which may go up or down, Oak Crest’s refundable entrance deposit is guaranteed. You can also bank on predictable monthly expenses versus the ever-increasing energy and repair bills you may now face in your house.

Oak Crest’s financial structure is fairly simple. A refundable entrance deposit secures your apartment and protects your nest egg, while a monthly service package covers your living expenses. So instead of juggling a stack of bills each month, you write just one check (the Residence and Care Agreement has all the details). 

No surprises

“Monthly expenses are much more predictable here than in a single-family home,” says Jim Antonakos, director of sales at Oak Crest. “The monthly service package makes it easy for residents to budget because there aren’t any surprises or unplanned expenses.” 

The comprehensive monthly service package replaces the dozens of expenses you incur in your house every month, including the gas and electric bill. In addition to heat and electricity, the monthly service package includes property taxes, home and seasonal maintenance such as snow removal and furnace/heat pump inspections and air conditioning, all major repairs and appliance replacement, a flexible meal plan, and cable TV. 

Not only can Oak Crest residents plan their budgets with confidence each month, but they also have access to a wide variety of amenities and services you likely won’t find in your home, including 24-hour security and emergency services, an all-season swimming pool, fitness center, putting green, bocce courts, more than 170 different clubs, classes, and volunteer possibilities, as well as access to conveniences such as a bank, hair salon, convenience store, on-site medical center, and computer lab.

Oak Crest also offers more than 20 floor plan sizes and styles, resulting in a wide range of affordable entrance deposits and monthly service packages from which to choose. 

“I think it’s difficult to put a dollar value on the features and benefits Oak Crest offers,” says Antonakos. “Think about never having to shovel snow ever again or never having the surprise and financial burden of having a major appliance break down or having to get a new roof. The endless amenities, along with peace of mind, provide tremendous value both to community members and their families.” 

Comments