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10 Rightsizing Tips

by Denise Townsend Group

1)  Start with the easy stuff. If it's broke, damaged or no longer wanted - get rid of it. Then continue on to out- of-the-way places like attics, basements and crawl spaces.

 

2)  If it disappeared tomorrow would I go out and replace it?  If the answer is "no" then it should go.

 

3)  You are not a storage unit.  If you've been keeping things for family and friends, then ask them to pick it up.  Set a timeline and be firm.

 

4)  Ask for help.  Family members are good for this.  You may have some of their stuff or want to pass on some things to them.

 

5)  Decide what is really important.  Pretend you are moving to another country and the cost of shipping is high.  Make a list of what matters most.

 

6)  Is this something from a lifestyle I no longer have or want?  Thirty years ago you water skied every day and now you live 200 miles from a lake.

 

7)  Schedule time.  Once a week or twice for a few hours.  Remember, it took a lifetime to achieve everything so don't expect to decide what to keep or finish in a day.

 

8)  Value what you keep.  The fewer things you keep the more you will treasure them.

 

9)  Prevent new collections.  Do your parents have everything?  Instead of gifts that become "treasures" to be cleaned up give time, help or food.  Last Christmas I gave everyone treats from the NW that they can't get back home.

 

10) Use age to your advantage.  Now is a great time to "gift" items you eventually want to give family members.

 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

Rightsizing (Downsizing)

by Tom Townsend, Denise Townsend Group

In my past Blogs I've discussed downsizing.  Go back and cross that word out. Downsizing.  Replace it with Rightsizing.  It sounds positive, doesn't it?  Like, right vs wrong.  Yes vs no.  Blue vs cloudy.

Rightsizing is downsizing; finding and preparing to move to a smaller, safer and more manageable home.  This could be a single-family home, a condo, apartment or a form of assisted living.

Rightsizing is about expanding options and defining purposeful directions. 

Moving from a larger home creates challenges, particularly what to take with you.  All your things won't fit and may not be needed in your new place.  We all have "stuff". Some "stuff" we haven't seen or used in decades.  The goal is not to simply toss things. The goal is to feel good about the decisions and the life you are consciously choosing for yourself. Taking control of yourself, rather than your stuff controlling you, is a huge step towards defining and loving your life, rather than merely living it.

Rightsizing:  Plans the next phase of your life.

                     Realizes your options.

                     Looks forward to future endeavors.

                     Reaches your lifetime goals and dreams.

                     Gives you a feeling of empowerment.


Sometimes Rightsizing triggers strong emotions, especially around sentimental items. Here are a few things to think about.

Gifts shouldn't be burdens.  "My daughter made me this in kindergarten."  Are you really obligated to keep everything you ever received?  Does your daughter remember what she made and gave you?  No?  All these little treasures add up.  Why not take a photo of these things and create a physical album, or digital, and keep the memories.  You can then ask your daughter if she wants what she made you all those years ago.  She's probably appreciate it.  This would probable explain when my mom Rightsized I got 3 boxes of childhood treasures in the mail.  Most I had forgot about.  Some I kept.  All of it I appreciated.

Rightsizing is not about loss.  "I don't want to loose everything else.  I've lost a lot in my life."  Rightsizing is about taking control and prioritizing what's permitted to take up space, time and resources in your life. If you've experienced loss, Rightsizing is one way to take control again.  You decide what matters most and what parts of your past to leave behind.  Life is a personal journey.  Nothing should monopolize your time and space unless it's valuable to you, emotionally and psychologically.

Free yourself.  "Why bother now?  I'm used to it.  My kids can deal with it."  Why spend any more time dealing with stuff just because you always have?  Instead of spending energy caring for possessions you hardly use or see, start considering what's on your bucket list and spend your time doing those things.  Then go find a large bucket and some boxes and start filling those with what you really don't need.  Unsure?  Pack it, seal it, date it and visit it in one year.  Still sitting there unopened?  Time to donate it.  And really, are you that upset with your children to leave them with all that stuff -and decisions- to make?

It's your choice.  "Do I have to get rid of everything?"  No!  Keep what you want.  What you are going to need.  What makes you smile.  But if it brings sad memories, heartache, loss or regret, then consider leaving it.  Surround yourself with what makes you happy. Remember, you are embarking on your next big journey in life.

Rightsizing decisions can be difficult.  "It's small, it doesn't take up much room, so what's the big deal about keeping it?"  Large or small, comments like this usually signal avoidance.  If you don't want to be bothered with the decision now, do you want to be bothered with it later?  Hopefully, you are reading this to prepare a few years ahead.  Set it aside and see how important it is a year later.  If you find out it hasn't been important, donate it.

There are some strategies to that help you have your cake and eat it too.  "I have lot's of stuff that makes me happy.  How can I possibly Rightsize?"  Then why is in a box?  Why has is not been used in 15 years?  As stated earlier, create memories by taking photos and creating an album or a journal.  Then pass the item on to someone who can use and appreciate it.  Along with the item,  considering giving the new owner verbal or written history of the item.  I remember when my grandfather passed something on to me, along with a long speech, when I was a kid.  It meant something to me then.  It means more to me now that he's gone.

Cleaning up your environment helps focus on what's more important, while eliminating unnecessary work and expenses.  "I'm planning on aging in place.  Why should I consider Rightsizing?"  If you are planning to age in place, you don't have to keep all areas of your home "active" for living.  You may want to clear unused rooms on the second level and basement and keep the main level for living.  This will eliminate the need for climbing stairs, cleaning, heating and cooling.  This also frees up space for guests, caregivers, family or friends that need assistance later on.

 

As Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES) we have the training and a network of connections to help you in every aspect of your next move.  

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

Is it time for Seniors to move?

by Denise Townsend Group

Over 65% of Seniors (65+ years old) have been in there homes for more than 30 years.

Do you remember when you bought your home?  It was probably a lot of work from beginning to end.  I know because I have lived in 5 states and have moved so many times I can not remember how many homes I've lived in.  But did the fear and pressure of going through the process last long?  Most likely not.

A lot of seniors at some point in their lives find that it makes good sense to move from their family home.  However, most are reluctant to move due to fear of the unknown.

 

Reasons Seniors consider moving:

#1.  Home maintenance; either too much work or unable to do it themselves.

#2. Health issues; physical limitations, need medical help.

#3.  Downsizing; kids have moved out, home is too big.

      #4-6 were equally weighed.

#4. Loneliness; spouse is gone, no one to deal with emergencies, relatives live far away, loss of family

      and friends.

#5.  Transportation; unable to drive any more, shopping areas too far away.

#6.  Age; too old to enjoy the home.

#7.  Finances; already high taxes, affordability.

 

You may have had worries about the move, the new home, learning a new neighborhood or city and concerned about leaving friends and neighbors.  But when you finally moved the excitement kicked in.  You started coming up with new decorating ideas for your new home, you met new neighbors, made new friends and learned the layout of your new community.

Fear is a human instinct.  It kept our ancestors alive when predators showed up.  It keeps us alert, alive and on our toes.  Fear can be conquered.  And fear is usually short-lived.

 

Fears about deciding to move:

#1.  Change; strange surroundings, new neighborhood, leaving memories behind.

#2.  Downsizing; packing, moving, the time to do it, what to keep and what to get rid of.

#3.  Emotional; making the right choice, missing your home, new neighbors and surroundings.

       #4 & 5 were low concerns

#4.  Financial concerns; costs of new home or residence

#5.  Loss of independence; loosing control, who's making my choices, sharing living space.

There will be more about "Fears" in upcoming blogs.

 

There are numerous housing options, from a single-level home to a senior community to senior living options including independent, assisted and care facilities.   75% of seniors who have moved to senior housing are satisfied. 

So, what to do?  How to plan it out?  Who to talk to?

Families should first talk about it together.  Don't keep relatives in the dark to avoid conflicts.  Next, drop me an e-mail, tom@denisetownsendgroup.com

I have printed information and many contacts who specialize with seniors.   Plus, we are here to help you every step of the way.

 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

10 Ways To Help Your Parents Downsize

by Tom Townsend, Denise Townsend Group

Sooner or later we have to deal with helping a parent, grandparent or other family member move.  It may be to a smaller home or an assisted living facility. 

There are many things to consider.  Care for your loved one, selling the home, legal matters, pets, all that stuff....

It's best to prepare now, for yourself and your loved ones.  Don't wait for that call telling you mom's fallen and now she requires assistance and can no longer live in her home.

 

1.  Have the talk

This involves the entire family.  Don't leave anyone out.  Involve all your siblings.  The worst you can do is make all the plans and arrangements and then inform the rest of your family.  This will only induce conflict and confusion.  Make the talk casual at first with your parents about their health and age.  What would be their best case scenario to live out their lives?  What is the worst?  What will they give up?

 

2.  Legal matters.

Consult a lawyer with your parents. It's always best to seek legal council in any real estate matter.  Find out how your title is held, how a sale effects your estate, heirs, taxes and finances.

 

3.  Financial matters.

Consult your financial planner.  There are many variables to consider when downsizing.  Are you buying a smaller home?  Moving in to assisted living?  How are you going to pay for it?  There are many ways to do afford a new home.  They can be Veteran benefits, a life insurance policy, a long-term care insurance policy, Reverse Mortgage, using annuities, renting your current home, using Medicaid or Social Security Income, a Bridge Loan or your family members. Some of these options may work and others you may not qualify for.  There may be penalties or other factors to consider doing one of these.  So, again, consult your financial planner.

 

4.  Choose an SRES

A Seniors Real Estate Specialist, like myself, has been trained and has earned the credentials in dealing with seniors.  We have patience and know we need to spend the time with you and your family to assist you in the next stage of your life.  An SRES also has multiple contacts to assist seniors, from movers and packers, financial planners, Reverse Mortgage specialists, lawyers, contractors, specialists to help you plan your move and contacts with many types of senior communities and living.  Think of us as one shopping.

 

5. Gather information

What updates have been made to the home, who did them and permits if applicable.  Collect all the dates on major appliances and warranty information.  When was the furnace, roof and HVAC serviced?  Collect all this information, write it down and have the file handy for your realtor.  This information will help provide an estimate to the homes value, give an idea on what needs to be done for service and repairs, and will be a helpful tool for inspectors and appraisers. 

 

6.  Choose the right place to live.

Not every senior wants to move to a retirement community.  Not everyone needs to go to some type of assisted living.  Finances play a huge role in what they can afford and where.  A condo or townhouse may be an option where HOA dues pay for yard and building maintenance.  Or a single-level home with a small yard may afford more privacy and independence. 

Help them choose a safe place to live, both inside and out.   Can modifications be made to the home like wider doors, lower counter heights, bathroom improvements, ramps or stair lifts?  Also, consider location to shopping areas, doctors, public transportation, retailers and family.

 

7.  Have a timeline.

Selling a home has a lot of considerations, especially if your parents still live there.  Preparing a home for sale means organizing, staging and cleaning inside and out.  This is where a professional stagger is helpful.  Your realtor will set up dates to list, photographs, placing signs, and showing times.  Have them work with you to achieve your goals.  A good realtor won't rush you unless there is a good reason for both parties to make a timeline.  And finally, when are you going to your new home?  Or are you still looking?  And are you prepared to move sooner if your house sells very quickly? 

 

8. Make decisions.

If your parents are unable to make their own decisions then it is up to you to help them find the perfect home.  Don't rush or force them into something you think is ideal.  Remember, it's where they will live, not you.  Definitely express your concerns for safety, convenience and finances.

 

9.  Choose the right stuff.

Your parents stuff is not junk.  It's their treasures and memories.  Help them decide what to take, what will fit in their new home and what will be given to family, friends, sold, donated and tossed.  If you can start this process early, great.  If they are not sure about something, put it in a box, date it and store it for them.  After a year, re-visit it with them and see if they still find it of interest.

 

10.  Stick to the norm.

Although moving interrupts life, make sure they are following their normal routine as much as possible.  Whether that is walking, exercising, hobbies, attending functions and clubs... continue to do it.  And make sure that wherever they move to, they can continue doing it as much as possible.

 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

Making Homes Safe for Seniors

by Tom Townsend, Denise Townsend Group

In a 2010 AARP study, nearly three quarters of the people surveyed said they wanted to remain in their own homes as long as they can.

As we age we become more fragile and living in our homes become more challenging... and risky.  Health issues and side effects from medications increases the chance of injury.  Falling risks also increase, the leading cause of death for those over 65.

However, 48% of home accidents experienced by seniors are avoidable.

Adult children need to be aware that their senior family members (SFM) needs and abilities are ever changing.  And they can happen fast.  Keeping up with modifications could mean the difference of a SFM living in their own home or in a care facility. 

It's very important that adult children take at least one day a year to perform a thorough safety inspection of their SFM's home.  About two-thirds of adult children say their SFM has at least 1 safety hazard in their home.  However, about 70% of seniors say their homes need no modifications and are safe.  Father knows best?  See the problem here?

Only 18% of senior homes have safety modifications/fixes made by either the SFM or their children.

The most common safety hazards are:

1) Tripping hazards

2) Bathrooms without assisting equipment

3) Storage too high or too low

4) Poor lighting

 

Here's just a few thing things you can do to make your SFM's home safer:

Clear fire escape routes.  Have an escape plan.

Have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they work.

Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

Remove unused furniture and clutter.  Furniture that may be leaned on needs to be stable.  If not, remove it.

Clear paths in the home for movement, and once cleared, don't rearrange furniture.

Cushion sharp corners on furniture, walls and cabinets.

Remove throw rugs.

Repair loose carpet and tiles.

Use non-skid wax on floors.

Place colored tape or removable decals on glass doors and windows to mark them from accidentally walking in to them.

Increase wattage (only to manufacturers recommended maximum) on bulbs in bathrooms, bedrooms, stairwells, halls and outside.  No-glare bulbs (indirect light) are best.

Use automatic night lights in well traveled areas.

Install grab rails in bathrooms and tubs.

Convert faucets handles to lever-style ones.

Replace wall mounted shower heads with a hand held shower head and hose.

Use non-skid mats in and out of the tub/shower.

Use a toilet seat that is a different color than the toilet bowl.

Consider using monitors and intercoms inside and out.

Remove raised thresholds, fast closing doors.

Replace round door knobs with lever-style knobs.

Make sure electric and telephone cords are out of the way and secured.

Make chair seats 20" high.  Arm rests should be sturdy enough to support weight.

Have friends, neighbors and family clear snow, ice and leaves outside.

For wheel chair and walker use:

Consider automatic door openers.

Allow 18-24" clearance from the door on the landings.

A minimum of 32" is needed for wheelchairs to access doorways.  Widening a door can be done by removing trim or with offset/swing-clear hinges.

If access to a second floor is needed, install a chair stair elevator.

 

Most changes can be simple, inexpensive and done by the SFM or adult child.  Others may cost a bit more.  A licensed professional should be hired to perform major changes for safety and liability reasons.  There are government and non-profit groups that are available to help seniors with modifications.  Some are free or at a lower cost.  A lot of repairmen and contractors offer a senior discount.  Churches may also have people who can assist you.

See these links on obtaining government grants.

http://www.ehow.com/info_8629734_government-grants-senior-home-repairs.html

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/grants-senior-citizens-fix-up-homes-53480.html

 

Here are some other helpful links, some of which added information to this blog.

Stay safe!

 

http://www.caring.com/articles/senior-home-safety

http://www.csa.us/freeresources/freeguide/homesafetyguide/

http://www.caregiverstress.com/senior-safety/making-home-safer/safety-checklist/

http://stopfalls.org/

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/index.html

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

Elder Financial Fraud

by Denise Townsend Group

Senior financial abuse is becoming the crime of the 21st century.

In order for fraud to take place we need to learn about the fraud triangle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rationalization (or attitude) and Pressure (or incentive) can not be changed.  People are going to commit a crime if they want to.  Opportunity is the only thing you can control.  More on this to follow.

In Oregon, from 2009-2012 fraud allegations rose from 2,153 to 2,811.  Substantiations rose from 612 to 828.  For various reasons, fraud is not always reported.  A lot has to do with fear of retaliation.  Or family and friends are involved and people do not want to report them.  Oregon's highest fraud counties: Multnomah, Columbia, Coos, Curry and Jackson. 

Statistics:

About $3 billion is annually stolen from 9.5% of the elderly population, or 5.9 million people (2010)

Typically, the thieves are not strangers.

For every 1 case reported, 4 or 5 are not.

Neglect is the #1 crime,  emotional/physical abuse #2, and fraud is #3.

Financial costs:

20% of victims end up having financial or credit issues.

Health care choices are limited due to the lack of income.

Due to age, re-cap of monetary losses are limited.

Emotional costs:

Most victims relate fraud to a violent crime.

Increased depression occurs

General mistrust with everyone

Possible paranoia

A lack of independence occurs

Physical costs:

Deteriorating health

Unnecessary institutionalization increases

Medical needs may become limited

 

Perpetrators can be family members taking advantage of the situation or think it's their entitlement due to taking care of an elder or inheritance rights.  It can also be drug, alcohol or gambling related, survival (kids living with parents because they have no other means) or a social behavior problem.  Often times, it is the sons more than the daughters, but statistics are changing.  More men between the ages of 40-59 and women between 30-59 commit these crimes.

Other, more common, perpetrators (but not all):  non-agency caregivers, life and health insurance misrepresentation, predatory lenders, internet scams, security/bond scams, unscrupulous contractors, lottery scams, professional con artists, travelers (people who travel from one city to another, perform a couple scams and move on to the next place).  Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.  Buyer beware.  Ask for references, license information, insurance documentation and other credentials to prove their work.  If they can't, don't deal with them.  Even people and businesses who have never committed a crime may find themselves tempted to do so.

Here are some red flags to watch for:

Isolation - often times if someone is committing fraud they will try and keep the victim away from family, friends and their usual routine.  This way they have total control over them.

Bank Accounts Change- if their is a change in the current account to who is handling it or new accounts and money transfers, question it.  It's a good idea to get duplicate statements sent to you as well if you are in charge of a loved one.  This way you can follow transactions and balances.  Also, consider using a credit protection company to monitor accounts.  Keep checks, credit and bank cards locked up when not in use.  If you have power of attorney, don't mingle funds and keep the rest of the family in the loop so their is no mistrust.

Delinquent bills - this could be due to other financial issues, but again, question and investigate it.

Caregivers handling finances - it's not a good idea to let strangers handle your money.  If need be, deal with small purchases and small amounts of cash.  ALWAYS get the receipts.  It's best to use a trusted family member or an agency who pays for such purchases and charges you.  Have a trusted person double check your purchases.

Anxiety about personal finances - again, this could be unrelated to fraud, but verify why.  Maybe the criminal is threatening behavior if payments are not made?  Or their are second thoughts on why a person is giving up money.

New BFF - a new best friend may be a new besty or it may be someone  taking advantage of an elder.  It could be a harmless, having fun and spending money friendship.  But double check.  Find out the persons name and other pertinent information and perform a background check.  Just searching for a name online can come up results for free.

Missing property or belongings - we all misplace things and get forgetful, but don't blame that on advanced age.  Be extra cautious when its a person with a mind disability.  Caregivers, delivery people, grandchildren...  all are suspect.  Take inventory, pictures or set up "Granny" cams for surveillance.

 

If you ever suspect fraud, you need to report it to the authorities.  Contact the police and the Department of Human Services in your area.  For the office near you call DHS at 1-800-232-3020.  Also, get an attorney.  Some speculate in elder law.

For more reporting information you can visit the DHS website here.

 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

 

 

 

55+: Why Sell? Why Stay? How to Prepare. Part 3 of 3

by Tom Townsend, Denise Townsend Group

Part 3, How to Prepare

There is no doubt about it, moving is a lot of work.  Selling your home, buying a new one, working with agents, buyers and sellers, getting both homes ready, changes of addresses, and packing - just to name a few - is time consuming.

It's also something that shouldn't be done alone.  Seniors need to share their plans with their family and get them involved.  This reduces the stress and questions over aging, health, health care, safety, distance, finance and inheritance. 

This blog, and the 2 parts previous, need to read and planned with everyone in the family.

 

It's you that's moving...

 

Start thinking and planning on the years ahead

Start now!  (Even if you are not close to retirement).  Where do you want to be?  How do you want to spend your time.  What size home do you want?  Will children and grandchildren be visiting? 

Prepare emotionally

It's hard to move and leave those memories behind.  I've personally experienced this with my grandfathers home.  After most things were moved out, I was walking through it and had almost 50 years of memories flashback.  Again, it's hard to let go.  But, eventually we must.  Start focusing on your new life and make it a positive experience.

What's your income level going to be?

The best thing to do is meet with your financial planner and decide what you can afford to do during your retirement.

How long will you work?

As posted in Part 2, people are working in to their later years.  This will definitely make a difference in what you do and how you do it. 

What is my home worth?

Hopefully you do not have to move when the market is down.  Although their is no crystal ball to foresee this (I wish), talk to an agent for a free market analysis.  Here is our link.  No mater what the market is, it doesn't hurt to find out.  We'll let you know if the time is right for you.

Here's to your health

As posted in Part 1, health can play a huge role in what you do.  It's the difference between a home, assisted living or a care facility.  If you are going to buy your own home consider it's size, number of levels and access.  While shopping for a new home keep these things things in mind. Remodeling before moving in is a great time to adjust for possible aging and health concerns.

Are my children financially fit?

Because of the recent economy, a lot of children are moving back home or may be there now.  This can put  a halt to your retirement needs, temporarily or permanently.  If there is a possibility of your children and their families moving back, and you intend to help them if that were to happen, have a contingency plan for your retirement dreams. Remember, Family Feud is a game show, not something you want to experience in real life.

Keep your home up to date

What seems to have been great over the last 40 years to you probably will not be great to someone in todays market.  Outdated homes generally sell for less.  So do homes that have not been maintained.  Don't put things off because you are moving.  Buyers will ask for repairs.  Some lenders will too in ordered for the buyers loan to be accepted .  Not doing repairs may cost you the sale, and a failed sale puts up a red flag to other buyers, which makes it tough to get people interested in your home.  As far as updates, consider spending some money to make money.  Your agent can give you insight to what should and what could be done to to help your home value.

Take, give and throw away

Do you have 40 years of treasures?  20?  5?  Even if it's a few years off, start organizing and cleaning now.  Decided what to keep, what to give to family and friends, what to donate and what needs to be thrown away.  Unsure?  Put it in a box and put that days date on it.  If you haven't opened it up in a year, toss it.

 

Is it your parents/grandparents moving...

 

Express your concerns and be empathetic. 

Don't push unless it's serious or a timing issue.

Support them through all aspects of the move.

Ask questions they may not ask, or may be afraid to ask, about the process, details, etc.

And most importantly, think of them, not you.

 

As an SRES, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, I have the training to meet your needs.  Our Team, including my wife Denise who has been a realtor for 24 years, are here to help.  We live by our motto: "Results with a Caring Touch".

Other experts to consult during the process are your mortgage office, accountant, financial planner and lawyer.  Don't have one of these?  Call us.  We have a large referral network.

Take care!

 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

 

 

55+: Why Sell? Why Stay? How to Prepare. Part 2 of 3

by Denise Townsend Group

Part 2, Why Stay?

 

Aging in Place.

A lot of our grandparents and great-grandparents had plans to retire and move somewhere else.  Become a Snowbird and live in Florida for the winter months.  Move to that second home in the country.  Buy a smaller home in a retirement community because the kids were gone. All this was common.  Not so much anymore.  "I'm going to stay here until the day I die" is now often said.  People have spent years making a home a home.  Homes can be modified to meet your aging needs.  Home health care and delivery services is becoming common and a preferable choice rather than hospital or nursing home care.

Working in to their later years.

In some cases this is necessary to make ends meet financially.  For others, the idea of retiring and taking it easy sounds good until they try it.  Boring!  Working full-time past retirement age is becoming more and more common.  So is working part-time.  Baby Boomers don't want to take it as easy as their Silent and GI generation parents.

People are healthier, living longer.

Marketing, self-awareness, education and medical breakthroughs are keeping us around longer, and generally healthier.  Remember, Boomers are "forever young".  And they want to stay that way.  Health and home goes hand in hand.  As long as they can keep up the home, and get around it, they're staying.

Cautious of the markets.

Those approaching or in retirement age remember the recessions of 1980, 2000 and 2008.  Housing markets are not predictable.  Some people are shy to make a move from a home with equity, paid-off or nearly paid-off.  It's become a wait and see approach for some.

Children.

Many people choose to stay close to their families. Even if they have to move for some reason, they want to be within a few hours drive.  Younger Boomers may still be raising children at home.  Due to the latest recession, children are moving back home or staying after college due to the lack of jobs.  And there is a rise in the number of grandparents raising their grandchildren due to family and financial issues.

Houses are an investment.

The GI and Silent generations didn't look at real estate as a big investment.  It was just a home.  Not so with the remaining generations.  And walking away from an investment is not an easy thing, or even an option.

No urgent needs.

If it's not broke, don't fix it.  Why move if you are financially set to stay.  Your health is good so there are no worries about maintenance or getting around.

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

55+: Why Sell? Why Stay? How to Prepare. Part 1 of 3

by Tom Townsend, Denise Townsend Group
 
  
This is part 1, Why Sell (or move)?

 

Here are some Facts:

In 2010:

More than one-third of the U.S. population reached age 50
 

—17 million Baby Boomers, 20 percent, were age 60 or older.

Generation X moved into middle age and began knocking on the door of age 50

80% of homeowners are 50+

 

There are 6 Generation classifications:

G.I. - 90+ years old, 1.5% of the population, 4.8 million people

Silent - 69-89 yrs old, 11.4% of the population, 35.3 million people

Baby Boomers - 50-68 yrs old, 24.6% of the population, 76.5 million people

Gen X - 38-49 yrs old, 16% of the population, 49.6 million people

Gen Y - 20-37 yrs old, 24.8% of the population, 77.2 million people

Gen Z - 19 or younger, 21.4% of the population, 66.5 million people

 
Why Sell?
 
Bigger home
For some, getting older means going larger.  Maybe you had a smaller home and now you can afford something newer and larger.  Perhaps you want room for visiting children and grandchildren.  For some, they may need a larger home because their children are returning home due to the economic down turn.  And more and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren.
 
Down-size.
On the other hand, empty nesters may want a smaller place to take care of because they don't need or want the room.  Maybe a spouse has passed on.  People also down-size because they have a vacation or retirement home and don't want to take care of a larger home when they come back to visit.  Or maybe they are moving to that smaller vacation home.  Maybe it's health related and a single-level home is easier to get around in than a multi-level home.
 
Active Adult Community.
As in our previous blogs, these communities have like-minded people who have down-sized.  They are made up of retired or retiring people.  Some are "snow birds" that have winter residences in warmer climates.  They offer single-level homes, condos and apartments, making it easier to get around now or in the future.
 
Health.
Unfortunately, we sometimes can't control what becomes of us heath wise.  Progressive or chronic conditions, urgent needs, sudden changes and advanced conditions force us to move.  Maybe it's just down-sizing to a single-level home or one in an adult community.  Other times it's to various assisted living facilities because more advanced care is needed. 
 
Family Concerns.
Family members often get concerned about where their parents and grandparents live.  The world is full of "what ifs".  What if you fall...  What if something needs to be fixed...  What if you need to get a hold of someone in an emergency...  These are not signs of nagging, but of concern.  Concerns also include the loved ones income level, being alone, safety in the neighborhood and living too far away, just to name a few. More and more popular are children who purchase extended family homes; homes for them, their children and their parents or grandparents.  Usually these homes have separate living quarters, with all the amenities, on a smaller and private scale.  Money to purchase these homes are sometimes shared or gifted from the sale of the other home.
 
Income.
People now a days are working longer and not retiring, or semi-retiring.  It may be necessary to keep the income coming in, but for some, they don't want to slow down and retire.  Others may find they can not afford a large home even if it is paid off.  Taxes and maintenance are expensive.  Moving elsewhere or to a smaller home may save them a lot of money when they do retire.
 
 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

— 

The Benefits of Senior Community Living

by Tom Townsend, Denise Townsend Group

Like I said in my last blog, Senior Living is all about people 55 or better who are like-minded with interests and lifestyles like their own.  That's why they are sometimes referred to as affinity communities; having someone in common.

The benefits of these communities are designed for the person 55 or better.  They are designed to offer a piece if mind to you the buyer and your family (one less worry going both ways).  They are the stepping stones to the next stage of your life; retirement and pursuing the dreams you've had for decades.  Most of these communities are close to where you live now.  It's an an advantage still keeping close to family, friends and work.

Typically, the house, townhouse or condominium you purchase is smaller, with a smaller yard and generally a single-level home.  These homes are built and designed to be trouble free and easy to manage.  Most of these communities have a home owners association that manages common areas, among other things.  In some cases they may provide service for the maintenance of the front yard and parking strip.

There are usually a number of amenities associated with a senior community.  Clubhouses or meeting halls, common grounds for walking, swimming pools and spa/fitness centers are very common.  Some are associated with golf courses or have their own.

Active lifestyles and social activities are the norm.  Most communities have clubs you can belong to that fit your interests and hobbies, from book clubs, billiards and cards to gardening, golf, swimming, woodworking and wellness.  They can even off you the chance to be active in your community by sitting on various committees in the community.

Some communities even have added safety and security measures by having security patrols and gated areas. 

Of course, there is more and I will bring these to you in upcoming blogs.

 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

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