List Your House in April

Data Says April Is The Best Month To List Your Home For Sale

The spring housing market is off to the races! The inventory of homes for sale is increasing, buyers are out in force, and interest rates have remained low, piquing the interest of buyers and sellers previously on the fence about making a move.

New research from realtor.com shows that the first week of April is actually the best time to list your house for sale! The report used “trends in median listing prices, views per property on realtor.com, home price drops, median days on market, and number of listings on the market over the last three years,” to determine a ranking for every week of the year.

Listing your home in the first week of April contributes 14x more property views, 5% less competition from other home sellers, and results in the home being sold 6 days faster!

Below is a graph indicating the average score for each month of the year.

It should come as no surprise that April and May dominate as the top months to sell. The second quarter of the year (April, May, June) is referred to as the Spring Buyers Season, when competition is fierce to find a dream home, often leading to bidding wars.

However, there is one caveat worth mentioning. When broken down by metro, realtor.com noticed that while warmer climates share an overall trend, they have different top sales months. The best month to get the most exposure in Miami, FL, for instance, is August, while in Phoenix, AZ, June leads the charge.

If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, the time to list is NOW! According to the National Association of Realtors, 41% of homes sold last month were on the market for less than 30 days! If you list now, you’ll have a really good chance to sell in April or May, setting yourself up for the most exposure!

Bottom Line
Contact your local real estate professional who can show you the market conditions in your area to get the most exposure to the buyers ready and willing to make a move!

Source : Article from Keeping Current Matters

Senior Housing Options Defined

A wonderful resource provided by The Senior List.

Finding the right type of senior housing for a loved one can be overwhelming and frustrating. Depending on your loved one’s location, the options can be numerous or very limited.

The first step is understanding what types of options may be available and understanding what those options can provide. Visit www.Seniorlist.com for a more in-depth explanation of what each option provides.

In Home Care – In-Home Care or Private Caregiving is a widely used option to help keep people in their own homes or with family when care needs arise.

Home-Health Care– Home Health Care refers to the skilled side of home services provided by Medicare. Home Health includes services like Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-language pathology (therapy) Services, Medical Social Work, wound care, IV or nutrition therapy, and Injections that can all be provided in the home with orders from a physician.

Adult Day Centers– Adult Day Centers (also known as; Adult Day Services, Adult Day Care, and Adult Day Care Centers) can be a welcome respite for families and spouses caring for a loved one. These facilities may provide meals, activities, transportation, and hands-on care for those needing assistance with activities of daily living.

Retirement Living– Independent or Retirement Living Communities are most appropriate for those who can manage their health care needs on their own or with assistance from family or private caregivers in an apartment type setting. Independent Living does not offer health care services or assistance but may offer a monthly meal plan, housekeeping, social activities, and transportation.

Assisted Living– Assisted Living Communities (ALF) provide a structured setting for people with a variety of care needs in an apartment type setting. The needs of people who live in an Assisted Living Community range from independent to needing assistance with all Activities of Daily Living(ADL’s).

Adult Care Homes– Adult Care Homes (ACH) (also known as Adult Foster Care, or Adult Family Homes) are located in residential areas throughout many metro cities in the United States. You may not even recognize an Adult Care Home in your neighborhood unless there is signage for advertising.

Dementia Care– Dementia Care, Memory Care, and Alzheimer’s Care communities are licensed and designed specifically for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. These secure, specialized units offer services and structure specially designed to accommodate those with various dementia diagnosis.

Nursing Homes– Traditional Nursing Homes are much different today than the dreaded institution of long ago. Even the term “nursing home” is being phased out as these facilities are being defined by one of two categories; Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Intermediate Care Facility (ICF). Many of these facilities offer both levels of care under the same roof.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities– Continuing Care Retirement Communities, also known as CCRC’s, offer a continuum of care within one community or campus. CCRC’s offer the security of an “until end of life” guarantee of housing, activities, and an increase in levels of care as needs change for members. CCRC’s contain Independent Living options (apartments, or single level homes), Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing Facility services. Some also offer Memory or Dementia Care units. CCRC’s also come with a price.

Read more here: https://www.theseniorlist.com/senior-housing/

New to Rockdale County, Age 62+, Veteran, or Disabled

Property tax exemption deadline is April 1

Source: Rockdale Newton Citizen

Source: Rockdale County Property Tax

In Rockdale, there are two opportunities seniors can take advantage of – one for vehicle registration and the other for property taxes.

When it comes to motor vehicle registration, residents 65 years and older may be eligible for a senior waiver. With this waiver, an emissions test would not be required to renew a registration. To qualify for the senior waiver, the vehicle must be registered to the applicant, be at least 10 model years old and be driven less than 5,000 miles a year. To apply, simply bring in your current mileage and our office will assist you in filling out the application. Or you can visit Georgia’s Clean Air Force website at www.cleanairforce.com to apply. It is important to keep track of your mileage throughout the year because you will be required to report your mileage every time you renew your registration. Write down the actual mileage; do not guess. If the mileage from one year to the next is more than 5,000 miles, an emissions test will be required.

In terms of property taxes, all property owners who occupy their homes and are 65 years and older are eligible for a senior exemption. Owners with this type of exemption will not be taxed on the first $35,000 of the home’s value, as opposed to owners with a standard exemption who are not taxed on the first $15,000. If an owner has a standard exemption in place and later turns 65 years old, he or she must apply for the higher exemption. Once a senior exemption is approved, the owner does not need to apply again.

There are different exemptions that seniors may be eligible for, such as an exemption that takes effect at age 62 years old or a disabled veteran exemption, so contact our office and we can help you navigate the application process.

Contrary to popular belief, seniors in Rockdale do pay school taxes. However, depending on the value of the property, an exemption may be in place that wipes out that tax obligation for a senior. For others, the exemption may drastically reduce the amount of taxes due on the property.

If you have questions about waivers or exemptions, please contact the Rockdale County Tax Commissioner’s Office (678) 278-9833.

FEATURED on FORBES.COM

Hilary is featured on Forbes.com! Thanks to writer Tom Pfister for putting a spotlight on how Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES)​ work with their clients.

After Credentials, Two Realtors Show How To Delve Deeper To Serve Seniors

After the initial education and designation, though, what can Seniors Real Estate Specialists do to build their capabilities to serve the seniors market?

I asked Realtors Hilary Walker, SRES, Seniors Division Director with American Realty Professionals of GA, who’s also a real estate instructor of the SRES designation; and Brandy Heath, SRES, Affiliate Broker with Crye-Leike, who’s also a registered nurse, to share practical ways that agents can self-propel their knowledge and abilities for senior-focused service.

Tom Pfister: After earning the SRES designation, what did you immerse yourself in that contributed to your proficiency to satisfy older persons’ real estate needs?

Hilary Walker: It is important to continue networking and meeting with senior providers such as Elder Law Attorneys, Assisted Living site representatives, other vendors such as Move Managers and Estate

Hilary Walker, SRES, Seniors Division Director COURTESY OF HILARY WALKER

Sale Coordinators. Building relationships allows me to hear from others the kind of issues they find common, and for me to share my clients’ concerns that might be of interest to them.

Working directly with older adult clients has been the greatest experience—to learn each person’s wants and needs by listening and being empathic to their journey. The more people I consult with brings me closer to the conclusion that I need to use the skills of a social worker to best serve my client(s). Every situation is different and needs a unique plan of action, which includes being able to provide resources for them, as and when a need arises. READ MORE…

 

 

How Seniors (and Their Families) Benefit from a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®)

Couple laughing

This specially-designated REALTOR can save the children of seniors a lot of time when their parents need to downsize

Not just limited to Conyers but all around Atlanta, many older adults who own homes eventually get to a point where their home no longer accommodates them as it was originally intended. They may no longer need the size of the home, be physically able to take care of the home or can afford the cost of maintaining the home. In too many cases, health challenges compress the time needed to plan for a housing transition, find a new home or other living arrangements and/or sell their current home.

The Challenge

The adult children will find there’s a plethora of resources, housing options and price points to consider, so finding a residence that is the perfect mix of warmth and proximity to health care providers and facilities while being functionally adequate for the challenges of aging means much time and effort is involved in considering all the options. Senior-specific financial and real estate considerations often must be handled by the children of seniors, while juggling their own careers and family life.

The Solution

If your aging parent or other loved-one needs to downsize or find a residence better suited for them, a SRES®-designated REALTOR is best trained to handle your loved-one’s real estate needs. They can sift through the options and present them to your parents, saving you a lot of legwork and time.

Hilary Walker, a SRES®-designated REALTOR on the Atlanta Seniors Real Estate Team, says it best:

“The challenge is that ‘many adult children of baby boomers’ rarely have the time that is needed to gather all the necessary information about the services that would be helpful to their parent. This means the parent often remains in their ‘ineffective’ situation for longer.  But also, connected to this, is that often the adult child is trying to show the parent that it may be best if they no longer live in the family home that has functional issues relating to the parents’ current health conditions or lifestyle needs. The other challenge is for the adult child to find and provide solid information to parents without making the parents feel as though their child is ‘babying’ them or trying to take over. Seniors Real Estate Specialists like me can help with all of this.”

To be experienced in serving this demographic, the REALTOR must pass the National Association of REALTORS-designed course. Earning the SRES® designation means the REALTOR specializes in the needs of clients aged 50 and over who are buying and selling real estate.

SRES®-designated REALTORS are knowledgeable about these things and will save you much time by handling them for you:

  • Senior housing options and locations
  • Move Management Coordinators
  • Counseling strategies to help in life transition planning
  • Remodel/Renovation contractors in case they wish to age in place
  • Factors and trends in housing, retirement income and finance specific to those 50 and over
  • Identifying and protecting seniors from finance, mortgage and loan scams that target this demographic
  • Aware of Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), senior communities and housing restrictions
  • Advisers for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, Reverse mortgages, 401k accounts, IRAs and pensions as part of wealth management and to assist in real estate transactions
  • Protecting a parent or senior loved-one from losing access to Medicaid, Medicare, VA or Social Security benefits when selling their real estate

Atlanta Seniors Real Estate Team provides holistic real estate services for the unique needs of older adults and their families. Contact a Seniors Real Estate Specialist today!

SRES® REALTORS also have partners in the Senior Care Market who help make the transition to a new home as easy as possible for all concerned. Kaye Ginsberg, founder of Peace of Mind Transitions, a full service seniors relocation partner, explains:

“Senior Move Managers take the stress out of moving. We work together with the senior and their family to decide which belongings will go to the new home, then work with them to manage what to do with the rest (sell, donate or dispose). We coordinate packing and moving and then completely unpack the new home; including hanging pictures and making the beds.”

Ginsberg said, “The first step is for the senior to identify what they will take with them and what they would like family members to have – and that’s the hard part. This is the first time in history that we have two generations downsizing at once – and none of the “children” want any of their parents’ belongings. Which means that many items like china, crystal and silver are not holding up in value for re-sale. Perhaps it would be better to focus on what I like to call ‘Doing Good While Downsizing’.  Why not donate items to a local charity who will make sure your items go to people in need who will appreciate them?”

Ginsberg says it’s good to strategize early: “It’s never too early to start thinking about the future.  Even if you’re not ready to move now, it is wise to know what your home is worth and what other housing options are available for you.  And it is certainly never too early to start thinking about what you want to do with your lifetime accumulation of possessions.”

Download “Your Guide to Stress-Free Rightsizing and Relocation” 

 

Sources:

National Association of REALTORS. SRES

National Association of Senior Move Managers. Your Guide to Stress-Free Rightsizing and Relocation 

 

 

 

 

Story of 105 year old Martini Lover – shared by Jeff at CPA Allies

This 105-Year-Old Martini Lover Has Been Retired for Almost 40 Years. Here Are Her Smartest Money Moves

Patricia Lyons Harrington recalls applying for a credit card in the 1950s, when she was a single, middle-aged school teacher in Boston. The company turned her down, since gender discrimination was as common in credit transactions as in other aspects of society.

More than a decade later, the tide began to turn, and the same company sent her a solicitation. “I said ‘no thank you,’” recalls Harrington, 105.

Well past the century mark, Harrington retains the feisty spirit that helped her forge her own career and manage her own money at a time when most of her peers married and stayed home to raise children.

Click here for more of this story

 

Cards for the Elderly

The Cards For The Elderly campaign has been running since 2015 in partnership with Christ Advocates For the Elderly also known as C.A.F.E.org. The idea came about during a conversation about doing something for seniors during the holiday season.

Cards4Elderly2018.v3

The inspiration was my own 70 year old mother who lives in England. I had sent her a birthday card, which she determined was highly worthy of telling her church friends and the pastor about. After she had bragged about her loving daughter who had sent her this beautiful card, the Pastor of her church mentioned it during his ceremony and asked my mother to bring the card to him, which he then read to the entire church as an example of how simple it is to give love and how greatly an affect it can have on the receiver and that his church members should do more simple gestures just like sending a greeting card.

I shared the idea in a meeting with other Senior Providers and they all wanted to help by contributing cards from their families. The first year we collected a little over 100 cards, all signed with a message “to a friend”. Children sent cards. a couple of artists sent a bunch of hand made cards, regular Christmas cards were sent, holiday or friendship cards were received too.

For the first couple of years, two of us dressed in our Christmas attire, went to Remington House Senior Living community in Conyers, GA, to deliver all 100+ cards. We handed them to the residents who we met while walking around, some were placed on tables in the dinning area and the balance were placed in a basket in the common area.

Just a few  years later, we have involvement from the Girl Scouts of Conyers (club 17015), who are supporting the campaign in a very special way.

First, the Girl Scouts and a host of other volunteers are knitting TwiddleMuffs to be given as gifts along with the cards. Twiddlemuffs  are known to be very effective for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s because it is something to “twiddle” or fidget with and has a calming effect for the person holding it. Each Twiddlemuff has different textures, a warm and cozy feeling and gadgets to twiddle – apparently they add to the quality of life as they keep the brain active and stimulated. You can learn more here.

Second, the Girl Scouts group will join Dawn from C.A.F.E and myself to deliver the #Cards4Elderly directly to the seniors living in a couple of Conyers Senior Living and Memory Care Communities.  We know that people don’t always have their grandchildren living near by, so the girls will provide much joy as they interact with the residents and give them a gift. Inter-generational interaction is also a fulfilling activity for both young and older groups.

Dawn, the founder of C.A.F.E.org found a Twiddlemuff pattern when searching  online for a muff crochet pattern for her 78 year old father who has Neuropathy in his fingers, which means his hands are always cold. After seeing him use a heating pad to keep his fingers warm she searched for muffs and came across a site that spoke about Twiddle Muffs for Dementia and Alzheimer patients. Inspired, she set about making the connection with others who could help to crochet as many Twiddle Muffs as we receive in holiday cards – not just for those with cold fingers – we now have gifts to share with seniors and memory care residents of senior living communities.

 

Our #Cards4Elderly campaign runs for 2-3 months leading up to the Christmas holiday and we deliver cards and Twiddle Muff gifts to the communities during the week of Christmas.

Please support our small act of kindness by sending a card to:

C.A.F.E. Org

Cards 4 Elderly

PO Box 82382, Conyers, GA 30013

If you have questions, please call (678) 609-8019

 

 

Baby Boomer Eight!

By Genie McGee, Reverse Mortgage Planner

While all the attention seems to be on millennial home buyers, it is important to also focus on the other end of the spectrum – Baby Boomers! Increasingly, tapping growing housing equity via a Reverse Mortgage loan is a viable option. There are eight issues that most Baby Boomers have to face as they enter Retirement.

HouseOnMoney

I call them my Baby Boomer Eight:  Continue reading “Baby Boomer Eight!”

Helping the Elderly Downsize

Leaving the family home or a house you have lived in for many years is not easy by any standards. Being in a situation where you must move to a smaller residence may force you into parting with your treasures. The things you have become familiar with and worked hard for over the years… yes, those things, your treasures are important to you.

Atlanta Seniors Real Estate Team work with services that are dedicated to helping older Americans downsize in a systematic and stress free manner.

“You ask yourself what you want to keep, and the answer is ‘everything,’ ” said Dr. Harrison-Ross, who turns 80 next month. “It’s an emotional roller coaster that takes a toll on you. It’s very tiring.

“I thought I could get down to the bare essence of things myself,” she said. “But that proved to be very difficult, much more than I had expected.”

Her solution: Dr. Harrison-Ross hired a senior move manager.

Moving is stressful at any age, but for those who have lived in one place for many years, getting rid of things that have accumulated over decades is a large barrier to overcome.

As people get older, said David J. Ekerdt, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of Kansas, cognitive and physical issues hamper divestment. “It’s also a very emotional task. It’s hard to quantify the attachment one has to certain possessions,” he said, adding that the probability of people divesting themselves of their belongings decreases each decade after age 50.

“You ask yourself what you want to keep, and the answer is ‘everything,’” said Dr. Harrison-Ross, who turns 80 next month. Credit Emon Hassan for The New York Times“You ask yourself what you want to keep, and the answer is ‘everything,’” said Dr. Harrison-Ross, who turns 80 next month. Photo Credit: Emon Hassan for The New York Times

Senior move managers specialize in the issues that comes with downsizing, including donating and selling items and hiring movers. In New York, these managers maneuver through the often stringent moving and trash-disposal rules adopted by co-ops and condominium buildings. They also deal with out-of-town family members who may want items sent to them. They pack and unpack; they call the cable company. Most also help with decluttering and organizing the homes of seniors who wish to stay put.

Click here to read more about how NASMM can help you or your family member to downsize their belongings.

Judith Kahn

Judith Kahn, who owns Judith Moves You, oversees a client’s move into a new apartment. Photo Credit: Emon Hassan for The New York Times

 

Sources:

NASMM Article Helping the Elderly Downsize

National Association of Senior Move Managers. Your Guide to Stress-Free Rightsizing and Relocation 

National Association of REALTORS. SRES

Daily Money Managers Help Seniors Remain Independent

2 people working on their computers
Photo credit: Helloquence on Unsplash

 

 

If you are an older retiree and have been overwhelmed lately with managing your financial accounts, it might be time to consider hiring a Daily Money Manager (DMM). A DMM is a cost-effective way to help keep your financial life in order by hiring a professional to help you keep track of paying your bills on time, balancing your check book, handling insurance matters and providing tax documents to your accountant. Depending on where you live, costs can range between $75 to $150 an hour and some even charge a monthly retainer instead of an hourly fee.

Atlanta Seniors Real Estate caught up with Barbara Scurry, founder of Senior Partners. Barbara has been a DMM for 6 years and 10 years in geriatric health care/ marketing.

“I’ll share with you the story of Dorothy, a client of mine for almost four years. Dorothy was 79 years old when I started working with her. She never married, had no children, siblings, or other relatives with which she associated and she lived in an assisted-living facility (ALF).She was highly educated and detail-oriented but had stopped paying her bills and was showing early signs of cognitive decline. When I started working with Dorothy, I had great concern that she would run out of money within 12 to 18 months.”

Saving and finding money

Scurry said, “I began basic daily money management services, including opening and sorting her mail, making calls to outside vendors on her behalf, and organizing her files. But I got involved with her life issues as well and quickly realized she was not getting the care she needed (and was paying for) at the ALF where she was living. I helped her find a new ALF that saved her $2,500 per month in living expenses.”

Dorothy was also missing stock certificates that were about to be turned over to the state of Georgia, “one evening, as I was going through some old papers I finally found them! When we deposited those certificates, they ended up being worth more than $125,000! That money helped take care of her needs for the next three and a half years!”

Help with moving

Scurry even advised Dorothy on moving, a service perfectly aligned with the real estate transition services provided by Atlanta Seniors Real Estate Team.

“I referred her to a professional move management company and coordinated their services to get her packed, moved, and unpacked at her new location.”

If you need the services of a Daily Money Manager, a great place to learn more about this unique service and find a professional is with the American Association of Daily Money Managers.

If you or your senior parent(s) are ready to buy or sell real estate in Georgia, be sure to contact Atlanta Seniors Real Estate team of certified and personable Seniors Real Estate Specialists to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

 

Resources:

Senior Partners. Main page

AARP. Daily Money Manager Helps Control Finances

American Association of Daily Money Managers. Main page