SRES® Senior’s Real Estate Specialist
“Enhance your Life Style with Your Real Estate Choices”
REALTORS® who carry the “Senior’s Real Estate Specialist” (SRES®) designation are specially qualified to address the real estate needs of those clients aged 50+…
SRES® designees recognize that a home is often the largest and most precious asset Baby Boomers and people 50+ have.
Their special skills help 50+ Buyers and Sellers look at the big picture, factoring in financial issues and current and future care needs to ensure each client arrives at the best decision about selling a property and finding a new home.
Such 50+ real estate specialized REALTORS® also recognize the emotional dimensions associated from selling a beloved home and approach clients and family members with patience and empathy.
Aging: Myths and Realities
How old is old? How did 50 become the starting point for the senior years? Why is 65 the traditional age for retirement? What are the Myths and Realities for aging and the elderly?
- Myth: All people are all the same.
Reality: The diversity of interests and experience of youth and middle age is no less present in mature years. Keep in mind people age at different rates, just about everybody knows someone who is a “youthful 85” and an “old 40”.
- Myth: Families “Dump” relatives into nursing homes.
Reality: Nursing homes a usually the last resort for most families. Less than 10% of the elderly population live in nursing homes. For the most part families provide in-home care with little or no support until a time of crisis such as caregiver stress, other responsibilities, illness or increased care needs. Services that allow the eldrly to stay in their own home are the first choice.
- Myth: Old equals ill and disabled.
Reality: In a previous study 78% of seniors viewed their heath as good, very good or excellent. How ever it should be noted 4 out of 5 seniors living at home suffer from a chronic health condition.
The most common chronic health problems reported by seniors are arthritis, Rheumatism , high blood pressure, allergies, back problems chronic heart problems, cataracts and diabetes.
Buying: Having Mixed Emotions
Buying a residence as a senior can be both exiting and daunting. The excitement comes from anticipating new beginnings in a fresh environment. It’s daunting because there are so many types of 50+ residences, finite resources and sometimes emotional hurdles to overcome.
Selling a home is rarely simple—and selling a seniors home can add additional considerations and complexities. As your SRES® I can modify some aspects of my marketing efforts to meet the individual needs of senior home owners. Here are the essential steps you can expect during the process after listing papers have been signed:
As your SRES® I can offer guidance on the difficult task of finding the appropriate price for your Home. The process involves several steps; analyzing your home, comparing it to the local market, and taking into account and taking into account an aging parent’s special circumstances.
Staging Your Home
Preparing your Home for showing to the public is called staging. The goal is to put the homes best foot forward to prospective buyers. Staging usually takes place before the For Sale sign goes up.
Staging involves getting the outside and inside of the home in top shape, it might involve:
- Hiring a service to do a thorough attic to basement cleaning.
- Calling a Handyman to do necessary or cosmetic repairs.
The staging process can be stressful for a senior because it may call for moving and storing treasured objects. Sometimes this can be made easier by family involvement. The goal of staging is not only to make the home look as good as it can but also to protect objects that have special significance.
Showing Your Home
Showing a home to prospective buyers while the homeowner is present can put a seller in an awkward position of feeling forced to answer a buyers sensitive questions. For that reason agents often prefer to have sellers out of the house during showings.
There are two types of showings:
Open Houses: during which the house is open for a few hours to REALTORS® and potential clients who wish to view it. As your REALTOR® I will be present at during any Open houses.
Individual showings: during which an agent not necessary your SRES® will bring prospective buyers to your home and I will be present at all showings.
An SRES® knows that there often special considerations in showing a senior’s home. I work with your best interests in mind and I will adapt my business practices to meet your needs.
Negotiating the Sale and Closing
An offer is made on your home. During slow markets when sellers out number buyers–buyers will come by with an offer below expectations and when it a Sellers market it is possible to have multiple buyers competing for your property.
Packing and Moving
Moving from the family home can be can be overwhelming especially if you are facing a lifetime of possessions and must make choices about what to bring and what to let go. These decisions can be paralyzing because each possession often triggers a walk down memory lane.
Family members can help a parent sort through possessions but sometimes hiring a 3rd party is the best thing.
For families facing the task of packing and moving on their own think about starting the process well in advance.
Assessing Your Real Estate Options as a Senior
SERS® designees can sit down with you and your loved ones to discuss needs, outline options and assist you determine the very best 50+ residence option for you. Then working with the Parameters you provide we can locate a property that fits your needs.
SRES® designees leverage our knowledge, experience and network to find properties, determine appropriate offers and negotiate purchases on your behalf.
Finances: Clarifying the Financial Picture
Need assistance with sorting out the complex decisions and figuring out what role your real estate investment plays in your overall financial picture? Those considerations include taxes, retirement savings withdrawal schedules, long-term care needs, inheritance issues and others.
Housing Options: Independent living
Aging in Place: Aging in Place refers to three types of situations:
1. remaining in the current residence and not being forced to leave in order to secure the necessary support services in response to need changing needs.
2. aging in a community in a different residence such as a condo, apartment or a different house with friends, family with other activities nearby and
3. relocating for the last time to a community that provides a range of options as needs change from independent and assisted living to skilled nursing.
Aging in place means staying in one’s own home safely, independently, comfortably and enjoying the daily routine and rituals that give structure, order and pleasure in life. The pleasure of living in familiar environment continues throughout the maturing years and the reassurance of being able to call a house a home for a lifetime creates security and peace or mind.
For many, where they are located at age 65 is where they will stay. Most live out their lives wherever they are at that age milestone. Does this mean seniors do not move? Many plan for their retirement and relocate before reaching an age or life stage milestone. Among second home owners in the leading edge of the Baby Boomers a significant number are moving in their late 50’s or early 60’s to their vacation homes and they stay put. Another trend is to relocate and then commute from their planned retirement residence during those last few years in the full-time work world.
While aging in place is by far the most preferred option, seniors will experience special housing needs at some point at some point in the future. Modifications in their home can make it possible for seniors to stay in their homes for many years. For example: breaking a hip is common and a valid fear of the elderly. Some simple home modifications such as handrails, hallway lights and grab bars in the shower or tub can help prevent this life changing injury.
Communities want active retirees because they make the area more attractive to others they often have high income and do not make many demands of community services. Active-adult communities offer a range of services, social events, amenities and activities to attract and serve residents.
Some services and amenities might include:
- social and recreational programs
- community center or club house
- fitness facilities
- gardening plots
- computer labs
- hobby facilities
- cultural and arts programs
- worship facilities and spiritual counseling
- continuing education programs
- information and counseling
- outside maintenance and referral services
- emergency and preventive health care programs
- restaurants and meal programs
- transportation on a schedule
Active-adult retirement communities come in a variety of forms
- single family homes
- attached homes, duplexes and townhomes
- manufactured and mobile homes in a park, real estate owned or leased
Seniors Only Apartments
Renting is a convenient option for many seniors. Some reasons for becoming renters include circumstances such as:
- divorce (divided equity)
- financial inability to pay mortgage, taxes, insurance and up keep
- relocation closer to family
- free up equity to invest for divided income
- freedom from home and garden maintenance
- freedom to travel
- Garden Suites
Garden suites are a second living uninstalled on a temporary bases and are built so they are easily moved. These are usually they are factory built and contain one bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom as well as storage and laundry facilities.
Shared housing involves sharing a home with a roommate in ones own home or that of another. Sharing a home can be a strategy for aging in place. Some community organizations help with matching up those who want to share their homes or find roommates.
Independent Supportive Living:
This form of living offers private apartments from studios to 2 bedrooms independent supportive living offers privacy but with an advantage of custodial care.
Medical care is generally not available although staff may assist residents with self medication. Features usually include common social areas and communal meals if desired.
Assisted living is an intermediate step between independent living and care facilities. Assisted living facilities provide a residence for those who need help with daily activities such as cooking, house keeping and transportation as well as personal care such bathing, dressing, grooming and eating. These types of facilities are best suited for those who can not live on their own and are ambulatory, but do not need nursing care.
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC)
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) provide increasing levels of care at one location as the needs of the residence change. CCRC’s can be high rise apartments, condominiums, planned unit developments or co-op’s. The resident may have an ownership interest as part of the buy-in entrance fee. It provides the choice of moving between the housing environment and degrees of service within one community as well as the security of being taken care of through the various stages of aging.
Board and Care
Board and care facilities are smaller assisted living facilities for personal and custodial care. Some of these facilities are converted private homes with a few residence. These facilities are suitable for those who cannot live independently and need assistance with activities of daily living but do not need a nursing home environment. Long term insurance policies may help cover expenses.
Nursing homes, Skilled Nursing facilities:
Nursing homes provide personal care and medical around the clock. They are staffed by registered nurses, practical nurses and nurses aids. They can be freestanding or part of a CCRC. There are two categories of residents.
1. Short term residents recovering from surgery, illness or needing physical therapy
2. Long term residents who cannot care for themselves or those who require medical or extensive custodial care that an assisted living cannot provide.
Respite care allows care givers occasional time off to re-coupe emotionally, handle other family responsibilities or get away for a while. An alternative is a stay at an assisted care facility. A short term stay may be the opportunity to test the assisted living center to see if it is suitable without having to commit to moving there permanently.
As necessary we can tap a network of experts such as Home Inspectors, Movers, attorneys to ensure that the purchase of your new residence and move proceed smoothly.
LifeStyles for the 50+
Heath Services BC
Health Link BC
Healthy Eating for Seniors
Health Insurance BC
The Care Guide
Tax and Refund Information
Canada Pension Plan