Buying Real Estate: Seniors Real Estate Specialist
Helping Greater Vancouver seniors with their real estate plans!
In a perfect world most people would choose to age in place as they grow older. Often however, the spacious family home becomes too burdensome to maintain (financially and physically) in a persons retirement years. The question of how best to solve this problem entails a complex set of decisions relating to finances, adult oriented housing options, as well as anticipating future needs as you or your loved ones age.
We begin by reviewing your current housing situation and outline the topics to weigh as you consider your next move. We'll provide pertinent information on 50+ housing trends, financing and market conditions. Our team of experts and advisors are ready to help you with every step while you're exploring your options and determining the very best place to call home. We realise at times, the amount of information coming your way may seem overwhelming. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you'd like until you feel comfortable with the process.
We've helped many navigate this very important move and welcome the opportunity to help you.
If you are considering a move and need help deciding on the best way to proceed please don't hesitate to contact us. We are always available to answer your questions.
A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) is a REALTOR® who is uniquely qualified to assist seniors in housing sales and purchases. The SRES® designation is awarded only to REALTORS® who have successfully completed a series of educational courses on how to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions. They also draw upon the expertise of a network of senior specialists, such as estate planners, accountants, and eldercare lawyers, and are familiar with local community resources and services. Their goal is to help seniors and their families navigate the maze of financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany the sale of the home.
WHAT QUALITIES MAKE AN SRES® DIFFERENT?
- Has knowledge, experience and compassion in dealing with senior issues.
- Works first and foremost with the best interests of the client in mind.
- Can suggest housing alternatives, including ones that may allow an aging parent to remain in the home instead of selling it.
- Takes a no-pressure approach to the transaction and has a strong service orientation.
- Will take the time needed to make a client feel comfortable with the complex selling process.
- Understands the emotional demands a sale can make on a senior, and tries to minimize them.
- Tailors the marketing of a home to the needs of an older client.
- Can interact easily with all generations, including seniors, adult children and caretakers.
- Is knowledgeable about local senior housing options and elder support services.
- Has a wide network of other senior-focused professionals who can assist in tax counselling, financial and estate planning, and other aspects of the sale and move.
If you're simply looking for more information on the selling and moving on process (and can't find it here), our Moving On Guide is an invaluable resource designed to help guide you and your family through the complex issues and unique situations that may be encountered during the process. This comprehensive guide walks you through every step of the process and will help you find your next home, a home that is well-suited to your needs. The Moving Guide is FREE!
SENIOR HOUSING OPTIONS
Senior housing is categorized by the level of care available to residents. At one end of the spectrum, there are communities that offer little or no care; and at the other, facilities that provide continuous care. Between those extremes are a wide range of housing choices that can meet changing needs. A few housing options include:
Independent Living: Condos, townhouses and single family homes that are smaller and more maintenance free than large family properties are frequently people's first choice, particularly if they're healthy and active.
Active Adult Senior Retirement Homes and Communities: The aim is to service the interests of active adults over the age of 55. Housing types often include condos, townhouses and single-family properties, and all are designed with an eye toward delivering a maintenance-free lifestyle for residents. Such communities offer a vast array of on-site activities, including exercise, social clubs, art instruction and lecture series.
If you're looking for more hands-on care or anticipate needing such care in the future, a few options include:
Assisted Living Senior Retirement Homes and Communities: Residents live in their own apartments, but have the benefit of an on-site staff, meal service in communal dining spaces, and planned activities and outings. Some assisted living communities also offer access to nurses and daily living assistance. Others may offer more extensive medical and personal services.
Adult Family Senior Retirement Homes: Such properties are licensed to care for up to six residents in a home setting. Services typically include meals and housing maintenance and attending to residents' safety and care. Facilities may specialize in addressing specific health concerns and provide care and an environment tailored to those conditions.
Alzheimer's and Dementia Care: Facilities specialize in caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease offer programs that address residents' needs and provide an environment where they can live safely. Housing services typically include personal care, such as bathing and dressing and administering medicine, along with dining and housekeeping. In addition, many buildings incorporate over 50 design features, such as safe wandering paths and color coded areas to help with way-finding. Such designs provide comfort and ease residents' anxiety.
Continuing Care Retirement Living Communities: A Continuing Care Retirement Living Community offer progressive levels of assistance, depending on a person's needs. They include independent and assisted living and nursing care.
DECIDING ON THE BEST SENIOR HOUSING OPTION FOR YOU
Choosing the appropriate senior living arrangement is challenging, not only because it entails an emotional dimension, but also because of the complex issues you need to weigh, such as cost, location, services, amenities, activities, and current and future care needs. I am available to consult with to help you make an informed decision. For more information and advice on senior housing options and senior retirement homes, email or call me at 604.939.6666.
Because the laws surrounding senior issues are so complicated, actions like selling senior homes can affect areas that seem unrelated but are critical to a senior's well-being, such as qualification for senior benefits. It is important to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in senior homes and elder law, who can structure legal documents and transactions in a way that protects the assets, benefits and rights of an aging parent.
Many factors affect how much money you will realize from the sale of your home, as well as how the proceeds will impact your future financial situation. Looking at tax issues before selling your home is preferable to receiving an unexpectedly large tax bill later.
Most seniors would prefer to age in place, but health and aging issues can prevent full access to the house. Raised thresholds and bathrooms represent fall risks, doorknobs become difficult to turn, and stairs are hard to climb. Seniors may feel trapped in certain areas of their homes, forcing them to consider moving when they don't want to do so.
Accessibility and safety can also become issues when an aging parent moves in with an adult child, prompting a need for home renovations. It can be difficult for a homeowner to determine what changes are needed and how they should be made.
The answer may be as easy as adding grab bars in bath areas, flattening thresholds, and installing brighter lighting and higher toilets. In other cases, significant remodeling may be required to overcome the challenges of two-story living. An aging-in-place specialist can advise on which changes will be most beneficial and suggest cost-effective approaches.
If you are considering a move and need help deciding on the best way to proceed please don't hesitate to email or call me at 604.939.6666.