Aging in Place - a Guest Post by Jim Vogel

In a departure from the norm, today I have a guest blogger, Jim Vogel, who wrote a great piece about aging in place. Many times Seniors want to stay in their home without moving, and it's great to help them do that when it's feasible. Other times, a move is better for them.

Read Jim's article and then check out his site, www.elderaction.org You'll find a great deal of information that can help us work better with our Seniors.

Seniors

Aging in Place: Tips For Seniors Who Are Looking To Buy A New Home

Buying a new home is a major life decision, but for some seniors, it’s a necessary one. Around retirement age, many seniors begin thinking about whether they want to stay in their home, downsize, or move into a retirement community. Some of the major factors that go into that decision include how to stay safe and healthy, and sometimes the current home just doesn’t have all the accommodations that some seniors need. For instance, a home with a lot of stairs or a large lawn to take care of might not be the easiest choice for a certain age, especially if there are health issues involved. 

If you’re a senior who is thinking about making a move, there are several things to consider, such as financing, how best to downsize for aging in place, and how to find help on moving day. Being prepared and having a plan will help enormously when it’s time for this major change, as will asking for support from friends and family.

Here are some of the best ways to get started.

Get support

Moving is never an easy job, especially if you’re downsizing, so garner support from friends and family who can help you go through your belongings, pack them up easily, and assist with the big day. This is especially important if you have things you want to give to children or grandchildren, as they can take things off your hands before you start packing up each room. Invite a few people over, order a pizza, and make it a fun night that everyone can enjoy.

Get organized

Moving is a big job, especially if you’ve lived in the same house for many years, so it’s imperative to get organized before you make any major decisions. Start in one room and clean it out from top to bottom; go through closets, drawers, and cabinets and make a pile for things you want to keep, a pile for things you want to donate, and another for things you might be able to sell. Bag or box these items for easy removal and to keep clutter up off the floor, which can be a trip hazard, and mark them well so they don’t get mixed together.

Look at all your options

Depending on what state you live in, you may qualify for housing assistance or special financing. These programs are available to seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals in a certain income bracket, and their availability may depend on how early you apply, so check online to see what the policies are for your state.

Think about how to age in place

There are many considerations to make when buying a home in your senior years, including how to find the right place for your needs. If you have a health condition that requires certain accommodations--such as a wheelchair--you’ll need to take that into account when you’re looking for a new place. Let your real estate agent know exactly what your needs are. You may want to make sure your new home has a smaller lawn, or only has one story so you won’t have to worry about climbing stairs everyday.

Location is also a consideration; start your search in neighborhoods that are close to your family, your doctor, the grocery store. It’s a good idea to stay close to the places you visit most often, in part so you won’t feel isolated.

Find the right movers

Finding the right people to help on your big day is important. Do some research to find a moving company that will work with your schedule, and ask about their fees for moving large items such as a piano. Remember that most moving companies charge per hour as well as per mile, and those fees can add up. It’s best to be prepared for their arrival--with everything boxed up and ready to go--so there are no holdups. 

Buying a home during your senior years comes with a lot to think about, but it can be a very smart move to think about the future and how you can make it as simple as possible. Make a list of all the things you want in a home and do some research on neighborhoods and price ranges. Having a plan is the best way to get started.

--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®

Today | Sotheby's International Realty

San Carlos, California, 94070

CA BRE#01215160; 650-465-4547

Lottie@LottieKendall.com;

www.LottieKendall.com

www.SFCondosForMe.com

 

 

Comment balloon 38 commentsLottie Kendall • July 31 2017 04:43PM

Comments

This is excellent advice to share.

Dolores and I are among those who need to downsize.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) about 2 months ago

Gene and I downsized a handful of years ago and have enjoyed every minute of our new lifestyle. I hope the same for you and Dolores, Roy Kelley 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Excellent advice for seniors, Lottie.  I am one of those who plans to stay in my home until they carry me out in a box.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 2 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS Lottie, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!    

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 2 months ago

Good morning, Myrl. Thanks for the feature! Jim's group is an interesting one; lots of good info. 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

There is very little in my house that I would take to my house in Hawaii, besides my husband, guitar and cats. I'll probably sell everything when it's time to go. I've purged so much I'm not that attached to anything anymore. I understand how freeing it is to downsize.

Well, I will miss my huge Pottery Barn dining room table that is really just a place to deposit incoming mail . . .

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) about 2 months ago

Will your Hawaii house be full-time home in future years, Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents ? We made that switch to a simpler lifestyle 6 years ago this month, and absolutely love it.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Lottie Kendall Hard to say. My husband is not gung ho on island living but he keeps telling me that's not a concern because when it's time for me to move to Hawaii, he'll be dead because nobody in his family lives that long. I've offered to buy a third home near the coast, sell our home in Land Park, live half a year in each and he's luke warm to that idea. It's tough being married to a guy 10 years younger than you, LOL.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) about 2 months ago

I have a friend/Client who is in his 80's. He is single now and does not need his 3,800 sq-ft home any more. He wants me to list his house but he has been saying that for over three years now. His home is worth around $500,000 and he wants a smaller home for $250,000. He is picky and homes he likes are more like $400,000. I am focused on trying to find a home he likes so he will move forward.

Posted by John Mosier, Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142 (Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert) about 2 months ago

It can take a lot of patience working with older people like your friend/client John Mosier I often give Seniors a copy of this book--sometimes they simply don't know where to start, and a book like this can help them realize it's possible!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Try #2 to upload a photo @John Mosier:

book

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

This is a really important topic and very well thought out and written account. It isn't easy for the elderly or the ones who love them Give them good options and choices and listen to them. Do not ignore their wishes or feelings or emotions. They deserve respect and support. They also deserve kindness without condescension  Thank you Jim Vogel

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) about 2 months ago

I did re-blog this and it wouldn't let me post your name in my remarks Lottie Kendall but I followed you and i think it will now... Thank you so much for this beautiful senior moment we all should read and learn from!

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) about 2 months ago

Hi Debra Leisek - thanks for your kind words and the "follow." I really enjoy working with Seniors, and agree with your remarks left in your comment. I'm glad to meet another kindred soul.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Wow Lottie this is such a wonderful post! I am so glad you shared Jim Vogels thoughts and ideas.  It will be very helpful to many, many folks!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten,CRS,CRB,GRI, Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 2 months ago

Anything we can do so we better serve Seniors has a warm place in my heart, Anna Banana Kruchten, CRS 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Lottie, this is absolutely wonderful and I had no idea that you also had a focus on seniors. I work with the owner of an elderly care operation who specializes in Alzheimer's patients' (near & dear to my heart) care & placement and working to keep them in place is so much better than an instant move. Many people don't even realize - there ARE options; you just have to connect the right people.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 2 months ago

This is such a great article regarding seniors and their particular needs. I am also going to reblog this great post. Thanks for sharing. 

Posted by Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA, Providing the integrity and service you deserve. (Future Home Realty) about 2 months ago

This is a great post and timely for so many boomers who don't feel old but are getting older. We spend our how life being busy, most of us don't realize how much we accumulate. Most of it comes in the form of gifts from other people (sadly, we don't have the heart to say, no thank you), or we buy in the spur of the moment, or just out of habit, sales are tempting, aren't they. 

You've outlined a blueprint that needs to be shared and thought about carefully. You're a very caring lady and I am thankful you wrote such a very informative and worthwhile article.

Thank you. 

Posted by Patricia Feager, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) about 2 months ago

Dear Lottie,

Ageing in place is a topic I bring up with much younger buyers too. If you are going to spiff up your home after you buy it, why not think ahead & install universal design features now? It costs about the same to put a wider door than a narrow one & lever handles are similar to knob versions in price. If you are 45 today & stay in the same neighborhood, your 85-year old self will thank you. A future older buyer may do the same, if you have to sell down the road.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) about 2 months ago

Good morning Lottie Kendall ,

I enjoyed reading your post and so enjoyed the practical information from your guest blogger. I just sold a home of a precious couple in their 80's who moved to another town in Texas on the same street as their daughter and family and it was a wonderful move. I've never felt so good as helping this wonderful couple make the transition!

Posted by Dorie Dillard, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) about 2 months ago

Our Senior population is growing at an astounding rate.

These people are often faced with what seems to them insurmountable obstacles. You have shared some great suggestions on how to help our seniors through this process.

Thanks

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,SFR,PSA (Jones & Co. Realty) about 2 months ago

Hi Debe Maxwell, CRS - When my mother moved from her home of many years to be closer to me and my family, I saw how difficult things were for her, what caused her angst. When I began my real estate career, it seemed natural for me to work often with seniors--I felt in some way I was helping my mom!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Good morning, Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA - thanks for the re-blog. Jim's article is a good one, and I'm glad more eyes will see it.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Good morning, Patricia Feager - while I didn't write this article, Jim did a great job of outlining ways to help Seniors enjoy their homes safely. I rarely have a "guest blogger" but this was a no-brainer. 

While I'm not a shopper and rarely buy things on a whim, gifts from friends, family and clients are another story - I have a hard time passing them on.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

I love that Lottie and it really does help when you've been through something like this to be able to serve your clients in the best possible way. 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 2 months ago

Hello Dorte Engel - universal design is visually appealing and include nice features to have in a home, no matter what age we are. Many of the new condos being built in San Francsico and elsewhere incorporate these elements.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Hello John Wiley - working with Seniors is something I enjoy. Slowing down the pace, taking time to explain everything, and making a transaction as easy as possible for them is good for me as well as for them.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Beautiful post love the ideal of older generation being able to stay home if possible. There is so much that one can see why this is the case, memories are there. But if it is time to move to a smaller place or to a total different area that is ok as well. My mother in law needed to do this she really did not want to make the move but it was in her best interest to do so. We helped her with the transition and in the long run it was perfect for her. She was able to spend her last days with her daughter and grandchildren in that area. A blessing indeed. 

Posted by Laura Filip RE/MAX UTOPIA | 903-271-4978, Your locally owned RE/MAX OFFICE (RE/MAX UTOPIA , Serving all of Texoma ) about 2 months ago

Something I've been giving lots of thought to for years now.  When my parents built a few years ago we built with aging in place in mind and although I'm pretty young I plan for my next house to built with it in mind as well.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 2 months ago

Lottie,  I feel that getting support is huge.  Aging has its own challenges. Making a decision to move, to downsize or otherwise relocate for other reasons is such a big life event. Having support in this process will certainly help ease the challenges of moving. 

Congrats on the Feature post!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Broker (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 2 months ago

Seniors should also explore the option of getting a reverse mortgage to purchase what might possibly be their last home.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) about 2 months ago

"Granny pods." This is a bit of a stretch for keeping them in their own home and yet still close by:
http://blog.phmc.com/resources/homehealthcareoptions/

Posted by Corey Vandenberg (Platinum Home Mortgage) about 2 months ago

Hi Corey Vandenberg - ADUs (accessory dwelling units) are becoming more common in San Mateo County where I work a lot; they can make a lot of sense as a "granny pod" or as legal rental units. San Francisco has recently created a path to legalize many basement units as long as they meet safety and housing codes. We have a severe shortage of housing and expensive real estate, so thinking small helps our seniors and all of us. Thanks for sharing the article.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Planning well in advance is the key. Great ideas, good post!

Posted by DALIA KIBBY, Selling Broward County Homes with Passion! (Keller Williams Realty Partners SW) about 2 months ago

Hi DALIA KIBBY - you're right - advance planning makes either aging in place or moving to another place better suited to one's needs much less stressful.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 months ago

Baby boomers are aging--but they refuse to acknowledge it!  LOL -- this is such an underserved market.  Most aging boomers I know don't have $400K -and up  cash budget to purchase a maintance free villa.  They are moving to apartments so no mortgage payment. They don't want steps.  They will not go to a senior living community as it's too much in monthly fees and payments.  This problem grows every day.  

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) about 1 month ago

Hi Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR - You can count me in as a Boomer who refuses to acknowledge it! We did, however, move 6 years ago to a 1-level condo, in a building with security and elevators, where we can walk (or hop on Muni bus) to go everywhere we wish. I think it will serve us well as an age-in-place home in the future.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco (Today | Sotheby's International Realty) about 1 month ago

Participate