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Baking With the Grandkids

Living in a Regal Home’s community in Monmouth County gives you close access to many orchards and farms for apple and pumpkin picking.  Taking the grandkids for an outing to an orchard is a great bonding experience.  Once you bring your gatherings home you can only eat so many raw apples and carve so many pumpkins.  So what should you do with the left over apples and pumpkins?  Baking is a fun activity to do with your grandkids.  Not only is it fun, but it warms the home with laughter and delicious smells.  We created a list of our favorite pumpkin and apple recipes to enjoy with your family.

Apple Treats:

Pumpkin Treats:

So, bond with your grandkids in your beautifully designed kitchen from Regal Homes.  To find out about layout options in Regal Home’s active adult communities, click here.

 

Fun Fall Activities

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The crisp cool air and beautiful colors of falling leaves make fall the perfect time to spend outdoors with family and friends.  Monmouth County is home to 30 state parks and many orchards.  Living in a Regal Home’s community in Monmouth County gives you close access to fun fall activities such as apple and pumpkin picking, hay rides and festivals. 

If you are looking to pick your own apples or pumpkins you can head to:

  • Battleview Orchards
    Offers hay rides and a country store where you can pick up fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods and apple cider.   
    www.battlevieworchards.com 
  • Dearborn Market
    Corn and hay maze, hayrides, pick-your-own pumpkins.
    www.dearbornmarket.com
  • Twin Pond Farm
    Corn and hay bale mazes, hayrides, pick-your-own pumpkins, mums, gourds, Indian corn, corn stalks.
    www.twinpondfarm.com
  • Wemrock Orchards
    Corn maze, hay rides, school tours, wine tasting, pick-your-own pumpkins, gourds, mums, Indian corn.
    www.wemrockorchard.com
  • Westhaven Farm
    Corn maze, hayrides, farm animals, pick-your-own pumpkins.
    www.westhavenfarminc.com

Some fall activities going on at Monmouth County’s state parks include:

  • Thompson Park Day in Lincroft on October 14th.  There will be scarecrow contests, pumpkin painting, wagon rides, corn maze, arts and crafts, entertainment and much more.  So take your grand kids for a fun filled fall day!
  • Harvest Home Festival at Longstreet Farm in Holmdel on September 30th.  There will be ongoing entertainment, wagon rides, cider making demonstrations, crafts, a pie eating contest and much more. http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?ID=3203
  • Walnford Day in Upper Freehold on October 7th.  Take the afternoon and explore the past.  Activities planned for the day include wagon rides, blacksmith demonstrations, dressing up in period garments and much more.  http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?ID=3198

So take the grand kids out for a fun-filled weekend this fall when they come for a visit at your home in one of our Regal Home’s communities.  To learn more about Regal Home’s communities, click here.

 

Floor Plan Options for New Homes

ImageWhen searching for a new home there are many house plan styles that you will incur.  When visiting a model home you will be presented with a floor plan.  A floor plan is a simple line drawing showing rooms as being seen from above.  There a many different floor plan styles and it can be quite confusing to understand and know the differences between them.  Here is an explanation for a few industry standard floor plans to help you in your home buying search:

  • Single Story– Is also known as a ranch style and has both the living and sleeping space all on one level.  This style is ideal for those who don’t want stairs in their home due to physical and safety reasons.  The downside to a single story home is that the yard is usually smaller.  This is because the square footage is spread horizontally instead of vertically like in a 2 or 3 story home.
  • Two Story- This style will usually have a larger yard than a single story home because they don’t take as much room on a lot.  It is usually less expensive to build and costs less to heat and cool.  There is usually more privacy in a two story home due to the separation between living and sleeping.  The biggest drawback is the stairs.  The stairs on average take up about 100 square feet of space and can be a safety hazard.
  • Multi-level- Is also known as a split-level.  It began as a variation of a single story/ranch style home.  Multi-level homes are usually built on lots that slope.  Instead of having one level floor plan, it has split levels at various heights.  Stairs usually connect the levels so this is something to take into consideration.
  • Loft-style-   Is a home that may resemble a single story home on the ground floor, but has an added loft level below the roof.  This area is open to the lower floor below. It is a flex space that can be used as a guest bedroom, home office or children’s play area.  A loft space adds extra living space or storage to your house design.

 Regal Homes uniquely meets and exceeds their home buyer’s expectations.  Regal Homes continuously delivers the highest quality homes at prices that are competitive, focusing on the home buyer’s overall experience.  To view Regal Home’s communities and floor plans, click here.

Back to School Isn’t Just for Kids Anymore

You’ve worked your entire life and now that you’re retired you’re faced with the question of what to do with all this new free time?  There is no right or wrong answer to this question.  It is a personal decision and may include a wide array of activities.  Retirement is an opportunity to re-examine your life and pursue new possibilities.

More and more new retirees are heading back to school whether it is to obtain a degree that was never completed, attend graduate school or maybe take some special interest classes because you love to learn.  Going back to school may be an unrealized dream for many.  Don’t worry about feeling out of place in the classroom; there is an increase in “non- traditional” students.  A non-traditional student includes older adults both in and out of retirement who return to college later in life.  Changes in the economy, increased lifespan and evolving attitudes about aging have lead to the increase of non-traditional students.

The best option for retirees continuing education is to attend their local community college.  It is less expensive than a 4 year university, but allows you to transfer to a university if that’s your choice.  Brookdale Community College is the local college for all of Regal Home’s communities located in Monmouth County New Jersey.  Brookdale not only offers classes for degree seeking students, but continuing education classes and certificates as well.  Call and speak to someone in the registrar’s office and they will provide you will all the necessary information you need to enroll.

They sometimes say education is wasted on the youth.  When you return to college after retirement you bring so much more to the table because of life experiences.  Perhaps when you return to school after retirement, you send a message to the younger generation that there really is life and a purpose after retirement.  Life is a journey, not an endpoint.  Whatever your retirement dream may be, you can achieve it.

If your dream is to stay active and continue your journey of making new friends and life long memories, contact Regal Homes for more information about an Active Adult Community that is right for you.

Grandkids Coming to Town: Central New Jersey Activities

ImageHaving your grandkids visit for the weekend is always a fun time for all.  You want to create new, long lasting memories for you and your grandchildren.  It can be a little overwhelming to plan activities that keep kids of all ages entertained.  All of Regal Home’s active adult communities including Rosemont Estates, Chelsea Square and Pineview Estates are located in Monmouth County, NJ.  Monmouth County is located in Central New Jersey and is home to more than 630,000 people.  With its central location, you can find a multitude of places to see and explore with the grandkids.  Here is a list of activities in the area to keep the grandkids smiling:

  • Six Flags Great Adventure:  Great Adventure is located in Jackson, NJ, just a short distance from the Jackson Outlets.  It is home to three adventure filled parks: Hurricane Harbor (Water Park), Wild Safari (largest drive-through safari outside of Africa) and Great Adventure (home to Kinda Ka, the tallest roller coaster in the world).  So check out Six Flags for a day full of fun.   
  • iPlay America:  Is located in Freehold, NJ and is an indoor amusement park.  Kids have the options of playing in the arcade, riding the rides or speeding down the iPA speedway in go-carts.  With so many games to play and rides ride your grandkids will be occupied all day.
  • Liberty Science Center:  Is a bit further of a drive located in Jersey City, NJ, but well worth the trip.  Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum and learning center for kids.  It is home to the largest IMAX dome theatre in the United States and has more than 10 hands on exhibits.  Who knows, you might spark the interest of a future scientist in the family!
  • Jersey Shore Beaches:  The Jersey coastline is home to over 40 communities.  Some of the best kid friendly beaches in the area include Asbury Park, Point Pleasant and Seaside.  Asbury Park has a splash park adjacent to the beach as well as a mini golf course.  Point Pleasant and Seaside have boardwalks that contain rides, games and mini golf.  Point Pleasant’s boardwalk also contains an Aquarium.  As you can see, there is plenty to do at the Jersey Shore.
  •  Your Active Adult Community:  Active adult communities have a multitude of amenities from pools to golf courses to tennis courts.  You’ll never have to leave your community to keep the grandkids entertained and active. 

Monmouth County is a great place to live and play.  So contact us today and we will find you your dream home in one of our great communities! 

Home Trends for Growing Families

ImageThe two bedroom starter home you bought when you first got married just isn’t cutting it anymore.  You have kids now and need the space.  So what are growing families looking for when upgrading to a larger home?  Here is a list of home trends in 2012 for growing families:

  • Multi-purpose rooms:  Rooms dedicated to one purpose are becoming less and less popular.  Dedicated dining rooms are declining and homebuyers are looking for rooms that serve multiple functions.  These spaces typically are adjacent to the kitchen where functions such as homework, bill paying and much more are accomplished.
  • Open floor plans:  An open plan makes a home seem larger with an open sight line from the kitchen to living room/great room.  Living rooms are also decreasing and being replaced with a great room.  The great room combines the family and living room together and flows into the kitchen.  Higher ceilings from 10’-11’ also add to an open floor plan.
  • Jack and Jill bathrooms: Is a bathroom accessible by 2 bedrooms.  Instead of having one shared hallway bathroom, a Jack and Jill type bathroom allows for more privacy by residents.
  • Functional and beautiful kitchens:  They say the kitchen is the heart of the home.  So homeowners are looking for kitchens with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.  Large center islands are also in high demand because they can provide extra seating as well as functional work space.
  • Larger garages:  Nowadays, the garage is not only used to house the cars, but “stuff” as well.  Growing families need a place to store bikes, lawn equipment and much more.  Garages are also being used in part as a “man cave”.  A space for dad to add a TV, couch and/or a small home gym.
  • Going green:  Energy efficiency is becoming a key concern for homeowners.  Compact fluorescent bulbs as well as LEDs are becoming more and more popular as well as Energy Star appliances.  Building codes have changed as making HVAC systems and insulation more efficient.  Installing solar panels are also an option builders are offering.

A house is not a home without family.  So find your dream house that you can turn into your dream home and make memories.

Primrose Acres in Monroe, NJ offers homes with an open floor plan, two story family room and upgraded kitchens with granite and stainless steel appliances.  There are also options for hardwood flooring throughout the house, Jack & Jill bathrooms or four full baths and three car garages.  For more information about Primrose Acre lots, contact us.

Preparing for Retirement

ImageWhether you are 25 or 55, retirement should be on your mind.  Retirement is an investment in YOU, so why wouldn’t you take it seriously?  Where do you want to retire? What do you want to do?  What truly makes you happy?  Today’s retirees as well as future retirees will have a new kind of retirement.  With people living longer and healthier lifestyles than previous generations, you may be an active older American.  Whether your dream is to buy a boat, travel the country in an RV or simply “relax”, it is important to plan ahead of time for your retirement.  Saving money for retirement should be a habit to stick to.  Here are a few tips to help you to plan for your retirement.

  • Know your retirement needs to save.  Take charge of your financial future, it is your responsibility.  Statistics show that Americans spend about 20 years in retirement.  What do you plan/hope to be doing during those 20 years?  Be sure to plan ahead and save, save, save.  If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, such as a 401K, sign up and contribute to it as much as you can.  Your taxes will be lower and your company may match or exceed what you are putting away.    
  • Find out about your Social Security benefits.  Your Social Security pays on average about 40 percent of what you earned before retirement.  The Social Security website has a retirement calculator you can take a look at here website
  • Live on your projected retirement income while you are still employed.  You always test drive a car before you buy it, so why not “test drive” your retirement finances?  If you start living on your projected income for retirement while you still have a steady income, it allows you to make adjustments if needed. 
  • Put your health insurance plan in place.  Be sure to take the time to find a good health insurance plan and understand the different options.  It is important to already be enrolled or can immediately enroll in a health plan as soon as you are no longer covered by your employer.  Sign up for Medicare Part B at age 65, or when you leave your employer, because premiums go up 10 percent for every year that you are eligible but delay opting into the program.  Health insurance is a major cost for retirees, plan ahead and find good insurance.

Remember, retirement is an investment in yourself.  Hopefully these tips will get you on the right track to prepare for your retirement.  As mentioned earlier, retirees today are more active than past generations.  If you are looking to stay active and healthy, take a look at our Active Adult Communities and enjoy your retirement!  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.