Does It Make Sense For Your Parents to Down Size?

Does It Make Sense For Your Parents to Down Size?

We all want the best for our parents. We all want our parents to ride off into the sunset and enjoy their life when they retire. In some cases this means downsizing, and using that home as a cash cow for the remaining years of their lives.

In many cases this is the best option for your parents, but in some cases this may not be the best thing to do for them. There are many reasons to sell the family home and move into a smaller place or a retirement home. Here are some reasons why you should think about a few other options which may be available before convincing your parents to sell their home.

1. In this crazy market, downsizing may not save them much money. Going from a detached home and into a semi, townhouse or condo, may not make them as much as you think. Sometimes staying there longer, will be worth it until its absolutely necessary. The market is jumping so much, a few more years could mean a few hundred thousand dollars. There are also fees associated with moving, and you may have to do some renovations in a new home as well.

2. Moving to an old age home or retirement living may cost more to live monthly. These new places cost a lot of money to live in. It could be cheaper to bring care to your parents home. A few thousand dollars a month, is a lot of money for basic care. It may cost a lot less to hire somebody full time, and dedicate some space in the house to that care person. Or have the care come in daily instead. There are many options these days.

3. Moving a Senior to strange surroundings could affect their health. I have never been around a Senior that likes moving or moving out of a home they have lived in for a very long time. There are a lot of memories in a family home, and it might be very painful and could affect their health in a negative way.

4. Retrofit the family home. This is a great way to keep your parent at home, and do some home renovations to accomodate a new stage of their life. Turning the main level of a house into a one level home is easier than you think. There are many professionals who specialize in this type of renovation. You can use the rest of the house for storage or for full time care person.

5. Reverse Mortgage or Investing with Equity. There are many companies which will use the equity in the home to invest and pay you after a period of time. This is a great option to use the money that the equity is accumulating and re-invest it in other portfolios. Some Seniors choose to do a reverse mortgage, take the equity out and enjoy it right away. These are both options rather than selling to get the money out of the home.

Being an Accredited Senior Agent, has taught me that most children and parents first thought is to sell the house, but I have learned that there are many options that should be thought of before putting the “for sale” sign on the lawn. After these options have been exhausted, the next step may be to sell the house.

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Does It Make Sense For Your Parents to Down Size?

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Reverse mortgages

Reverse mortgages

Seniors today are living longer, saving less, spending more and carry more debt. Unlocking their home equity is likely the most viable solution for a significant number of these people. Exclusively for Canadian Homeowners 55+ 

The CHIP Home Income Plan is a home equity loan (reverse mortgage) available exclusively to Canadian homeowners 55 years or older. With the CHIP Home Income Plan, individuals can take up to 50% of the value of their home as tax-­‐free cash, and unlike a traditional loan, they never have to make a payment until they choose to move or sell. Homeowners can use the funds as they see fit; pay outstanding debts, fix-­‐up their homes or cover monthly expenses. CHIP’s unique loans help clients maximize their cash flow, with rates you might not expect. 
Advantages 
Funds can be advanced as a single lump sum, regular payments, or a mix of both 
No payments (principal or interest) are necessary for as long as your client or their spouse live in their home 
No need for traditional income qualification • 
The amount of funds available vary by client and/or spouse’s age, location and dwelling type, at its appraised value 
Loans cannot be recalled once placed Help you position yourself as the debt expert for every member of the family
Written by Mary Lepone-Flor
For more information click here

READ RECENT BLOG & ARTICLE POSTS BELOW

Does It Make Sense For Your Parents to Down Size?

We all want the best for our parents. We all want our parents to ride off into the sunset and enjoy their life when they retire. In some cases this means downsizing, and using that home as a cash cow for the remaining years of their lives. In many cases this is the...

read more

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Seniors today are living longer, saving less, spending more and carry more debt. Unlocking their home equity is likely the most viable solution for a significant number of these people. Exclusively for Canadian Homeowners 55+  The CHIP Home Income Plan is a home...

read more

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It’s all gone like clock-work. You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, found the right home and know exactly what the future looks like. Or do you? Hidden costs could drive up the cost of a real estate transaction for both the buyer and the seller. The solution is to...

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Jimmy The Renovator: Renovations for Seniors to Stay in Your Home

Jimmy The Renovator: Renovations for Seniors to Stay in Your Home

Typically when a parent or Senior gets old they start to look to retirement and Senior homes. Being A Senior Accredited Agent has taught me that one of the first things to seek out is a way to keep a Senior in the home if it makes sense and make that an option. 

While there are many options and home modifications you can do to make a stay at home easier, here are a few things to consider before ruling a move in order. 

1. Bathroom Renovations:

Here are a few things you can add such as 
Bathroom Grab Bars, A Shower Seat,Raised Toilet Seat, Install a Tub Cut or remove the Tub completely with Ground Floor Bathroom. A none slip floor or Skid Mats Everywhere is key to helping not fall at all and adding space to the bathroom for a Senior who needs to enter with a Wheel Chair. 

2. Chair Lifts and Elevators:

A chair lift is typically the most cost effect thing to get someone upstairs in a house. There is also an option to create a single personal elevator in the house. Both are costly in their own way. 

I strongly believe against both of these as a first option and I would speak to a contractor to actually make the first floor an option to add a bedroom to an existing room. Removing a family room and using that den to accommodate a bedroom is probably much more easily accessible. If this is not an option then go ahead and see if a chair lift or elevator is possible and affordable. 

3. Hospital Adjustable Bed:

Adjustable beds have come a long way since its inception. You can get very comfortable beds that can help you get out of bed with the click of a button. This is very useful even to help a caregiver when entering and exiting a bed. 

4. Ramps & Step Elevator:

These two ways to help a Senior get into the house from the front steps. I was exposed to this when my great uncle had a stroke and his mobility was taken away. There was no way for him to make the 4 steps into the house, so my great aunt decided to get a ramp which was the cheapest solution at the time. This is the cheapest but also the ugliest option. Putting a ramp at the foot of the house, doesn’t look great. Depending on how your front of house is, obviously a Step Elevator might look better or you might be able to put this in a garage entrance. 

5. Home Automation:

In the last two years, home automation has come so far its unbelievable. With voice recongnition, you can turn your lights on, lock the doors, turn the tv on, change the temperature, change the channel on the tv, and change the temperature of the lights, see what is in the fridge and so much more. Home kit from apple and every technology company now has home automation products. 
These products as well as the other Renovations and Senior solutions mentioned above can really help make staying in your home an easier decision. 

READ RECENT BLOG & ARTICLE POSTS BELOW

Does It Make Sense For Your Parents to Down Size?

We all want the best for our parents. We all want our parents to ride off into the sunset and enjoy their life when they retire. In some cases this means downsizing, and using that home as a cash cow for the remaining years of their lives. In many cases this is the...

read more

Senior Abuse an Unspoken Truth

We hear about abuse in the media a lot. We hear about teacher scandals, priest abuse and so many more of people in a power position. One area of abuse we do not hear anything about is Senior Abuse.  There are many forms of senior abuse. It is similar to all of the...

read more

Reverse mortgages

Seniors today are living longer, saving less, spending more and carry more debt. Unlocking their home equity is likely the most viable solution for a significant number of these people. Exclusively for Canadian Homeowners 55+  The CHIP Home Income Plan is a home...

read more

Moving For Seniors is Not the Same

In this Future, where people buy and sell houses like trading cards, moving is not the same for young people as it is for Seniors. Sometimes young people forget that a parent has changed with time, they still see them as the parent that they grew up with. Another...

read more

Hidden costs of buying or selling a home

It’s all gone like clock-work. You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, found the right home and know exactly what the future looks like. Or do you? Hidden costs could drive up the cost of a real estate transaction for both the buyer and the seller. The solution is to...

read more

Working With Seniors

Are you parents selling their house? Or is there an emergency in the family? After taking the ASA (Accredited Senior Association) Course and selling numerous Seniors homes this past year, I've learned a lot. If your parents are seniors, you might not even look at them...

read more

Moving For Seniors is Not the Same

Moving For Seniors is Not the Same

In this Future, where people buy and sell houses like trading cards, moving is not the same for young people as it is for Seniors. Sometimes young people forget that a parent has changed with time, they still see them as the parent that they grew up with. Another thing that children sometimes don’t take into account is an illness or ailment that has affected their parent but the child does not want to accept that it is happening.

There are a lot of abuses that are both mental and physical that children can do to their parents which they might not see that they are doing. In many cases this happens when a Senior moves. The child just thinks that they are moving and its no big deal.

I put together a list to help understand what a Senior is going through when moving and how to stop and think what is going on in the present.

1. Will I be able to afford where I am moving to?

This is a huge stress for a Senior moving. Moving to a Seniors home, or Retirement home can be very costly. If a child is paying for a portion of that care, then this can further stress or make the parent feel like they are burdening their child.

Sit down with your parent and re-assure them of the costs are taken care and the commitment you have to them. Go over with their finances and yours and what is expected on both ends. Be very patient and make sure that this move is the correct one before proceeding. It might be more efficient to keep the parent at home, with care being brought in, and retrofitting the home. Make sure all avenues are explored.

2. What Will I do With All of My Belongings?

Many years of accumulating stuff and mementos is part of life. Most people end up having a huge house full of things. Where to put those things or get ride of them when downsizing or moving to a retirement home is a tough thing to organize.

Do an Inventory of the house and try to organize what is going to come and go. What is going to go to charity and what is going to fit in the new place. This can be the hardest part of a move. Some of these things are associated with a persons Identity at this point. It can be a finale of a persons life when getting rid of some possessions. You can hire people to come in and organize for you and companies to throw out stuff as well.

3. Is This the End?

Moving to a Retirement home, or nursing home can bring a lot of fear surrounding death and the end. A lot of anxiety can be brought upon with this stage of a Seniors life.

While this is not the end, a Senior can enjoy many years in these facilities, and even enjoy being around similar people at this stage of their life. Some seniors like the care, and get to be very close with the staff. Many Seniors enjoy the routine, and enjoy the care that comes with these homes. Usually Seniors homes have day trips, and arrange for group outings to Casinos, Church events and attractions such as CN tower etc.

4. Will I Like it There?

Many Seniors moving will question if they are going to the right place. Sometimes budget is an issue and the proper care cannot be obtained. This is a challenge for many children who are looking to help in a move.

Doing as much research as possible into the facility is key. Talk to the Seniors if you can entering and leaving. Talk to as much staff as you can to get a vibe for the place.

5. Should I Move or Not?

This is one of the most important things I’ve learned since I’ve become an Accredited Senior Agent. Not all people need to move out of their home. Sometimes a home can be retrofitted, and a senior care giver can come into the home, live there and or come in each day depending on the need. There are many options other than moving out. Sometimes, a simple downsize to a condo, or apartment with some care giver coming in is needed only. Explore all options before finalizing on a move.

The most important thing in all of these situations is patience. Listen to what your parent is saying and try to meet their needs, and explain to them if some options are not available. It is so difficult in a move time, and most Seniors have not bought or sold a home for years, and many things have changed in the Real Estate process.

Hidden costs of buying or selling a home

Hidden costs of buying or selling a home

It’s all gone like clock-work. You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, found the right home and know exactly what the future looks like. Or do you? Hidden costs could drive up the cost of a real estate transaction for both the buyer and the seller. The solution is to know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.
There is a wealth of information on hidden costs available through realtors, lenders, publications and internet sites. Still many buyers and sellers just don’t get it. They should. First-time buyers, in particular, should be aware of costs that could add thousands of dollars to the price of their home. Following are just some of the costs you should consider as a:
BUYER
Home appraisal costs. Your lender may want to establish an independent fair market value for your dream home and this could cost you up to $500.
Cost of a building inspection. No, a building inspection isn’t the same as an appraisal. The inspector will go through the property to identify mechanical or structural problems and provide you with a list of repairs and the estimated cost. The charge for this could be up to $500.

Decorating and renovating. It doesn’t matter how perfect your dream home is there will be expenses to make it truly yours. If you haven’t required the seller to do it, you may have to complete repairs recommended in the building inspection. Or it may be just decorating, such as paint and window coverings. This always mounts up faster than you may think.
HST. You’ll be paying 13% HST on many of the services involved in buying a house, such as commissions, lawyer’s fees and appraisals. You’ll also pay HST on a new home but not on the purchase of a re-sale home.
Land Transfer Tax. This varies provincially and is based on the price of the property. In Ontario, LTT ranges from .5% to more than 2%. Don’t forget, if buying in Toronto, you’ll also have the 3% City LTT to pay.
Lawyers’ fees. You’ll need a lawyer right from the beginning, as lenders require a lawyer to write and register the mortgage contract. You also may want a lawyer to review the purchase agreement. Legal costs will vary dramatically depending on the lawyer you select and the amount of work involved. Shop around.
Property taxes. These are based on the assessed value of your property and the mill rate set by the municipality. In the purchase agreement there will be an adjustment date, and that date establishes when the property taxes become your responsibility . Your lawyer can figure out whether you will pay back the seller or the seller owes you.
Utilities. Hooking up telephone, cable, high-speed, electricity, gas, etc. also may cost more than you anticipate, and there may well be security deposits up to $500 per utility.

SELLER
Fees. As the seller you may incur escrow, title insurance, mortgage redemption and other related fees. These vary considerably according to your individual circumstances, so do your research before putting the house on the market.
Lawyers’ fees. Some sellers prefer to have a lawyer with them every step of the way, while others are happy to just have a final legal opinion on the purchase agreement. Depending on your comfort level, legal fees could be substantial.
Moving expenses and the cost of upgrading your new home.
Realtors’® fees. The seller usually pays the realtors’ commissions.
Renovations. Strategically done renos can increase the value of your property and perhaps more importantly improve the “showability” of your home. Experts suggest you pay the most attention to de-cluttering, painting (in neutrals), improving bathrooms and kitchens, and enhancing curb appeal. Hiring a stager may be a good decision as stagers can improve your home’s look without making major (expensive) changes.

Repairs. After the home inspection, you may find yourself with a list of repairs to complete before the buyer finalizes the agreement. Some Realtors® recommend their clients pay for a home inspection themselves prior to putting the house on the market. Not only do you know where you stand (and are able to make the repairs you believe are essential), but you also can hand the buyer the inspector’s report and head off the buyer’s own home inspection.
Rent payments. Many Realtors® recommend you sell your house before purchasing a new property; otherwise you may be stuck for some time with two mortgages. This has its own problems, as you may have to give buyers an early closing date and find yourself renting and storing furniture while looking for your own dream home.

Bottom line: Hidden costs will increase the cost of buying or selling. Real estate experts recommend that both buyers and sellers research the closing costs before they begin the process.
This information is brought to you by your Accredited Senior Agent, a specialist in the housing needs of older adults. Your ASA is an experienced real estate professional who has graduated from a special education program focusing on the needs of seniors.

 

By Barry Lebow

Working With Seniors

Working With Seniors

Are you parents selling their house? Or is there an emergency in the family?

After taking the ASA (Accredited Senior Association) Course and selling numerous Seniors homes this past year, I’ve learned a lot.
If your parents are seniors, you might not even look at them any differently than you did when you were growing up. Many of us don’t want to face the truth that your parents are in a different stage of their life and are not the heroes they once were, but they are in another way.
Depending on how old your parents are, did you know there are different stages of seniors? Different categories of seniors need different care. Do you know how to care for them at these stages?
Here are a few things that I learned over the past few years dealing with seniors, these are great tips and hard ones to follow through on.

1. Depending on How old they are, they need special care (of course) but are your parents receiving the proper care and attention they deserve? Examine their needs right now, and determine this.

2. Not All Seniors need to go live in a seniors home, some can live right in their own home with a nurse or care giver.

3. Patience: This is the hardest one. Seniors work at their own pace. In this crazy fast paced instant message answer world, its hard to calm down and respect this. Learn to work at their pace.

4. Lonely: Some seniors are very lonely because they don’t see or get out like they used to.

5. In conjunction with #4, If you are going to visit, it may be the highlight of their week, and it takes an incredible amount of energy out of them, depending on their age. They may be tired for a while mentally and physically after a visit or an outing.

6. Stories: Even though your parents have told you stories over and over, they may be saying them again to see if you were listening. They want to make sure that you are remembering the past for the future. The seniors I’ve felt with loved telling their stories and it was a great history lesson in most cases.

7. They are very capable: While some might have ailments, and are a lot slower these days, they are still alive and capable of doing a lot. You just have to give them the chance and be a guide.

There are many more things that I’ve learned and I’ll save for another post! See Ya

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