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