Hilary, the Seniors Real Estate Specialist is on a mission to help get the word out to senior homeowners who are planning to sell or buy a home. She and her team have come across many older adults who have felt forced to sell their homes without the proper guidance to ensure a number of issues are addressed before and during the process. We do much more than work to sell the house. For example: constructing a short to long-term action plan for the transition, being sure they have their next home lined up in time, not leaving money on the table, protecting the equity received, ensuring medicare/medicaid is not affected, suggesting services to protect and manage their estate, insurance, the packing and the move – all of these to make moving easier as we remember…
“Real Estate is more than property – it’s about the people” ` Hilary Walker
The ‘SRES Mission 1,000’ is a project to raise awareness to 1,000+ adults, over the age of 50, about the services of a Seniors Real Estate Specialist who can provide a customized plan for their late in life real estate needs. Read more here…
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 770-278-7676.
*This article was featured, in part, in the July 2019 edition of About Boomers Magazine.
A SRES is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist – A Realtor® designated by the National Association of Realtors. As with anything important, you want to make sure you are working with a professional who is experienced in helping you meet your specific needs, such as a doctor for your health care, a vet for your pets, an attorney for your legal needs and a SRES Realtor for your real estate needs during your late life move.
Buying and selling a home is one of the most important decisions you will make.
When you are in your retirement years there are a number of factors that may be affected when you purchase or sell a home. A SRES – Seniors Real Estate Specialist is trained and experienced to understand a variety of issues that may arise when you are contemplating a late in life move. A SRES understands the pros and cons of how Medicare or Medicaid can be affected by profits from a home sale, the guidelines presented by the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), reverse mortgages and how to use it to buy a home, and finding suitable homes for older adults who are downsizing or considering an assisted living community.
Finding the right place to live that suits your need is always a priority for the SRES, in addition to walking you through each step of the process in order to reduce the confusion and stress that could arise during such an emotional time.
The most important qualities that a SRES can provide are sensitivity and patience.
Family dynamics can be a factor that impacts the sale of a house for anyone over the age of 50 and more so for older retirees – usually because there are adult children or grown grandchildren that play a big part in the life of the senior. If your family have a say in your life plans then a SRES may be the best Realtor to assist you. The SRES will consider the relationships and work towards helping you and your family through the details that are important to each of you.
A SRES is sensitive to the sometimes difficult and emotional journey that is involved when selling a family home that holds strong sentimental value to its owner(s). A SRES is mindful of the fear factors that may surround the homeowner as they make the transition.
If you are thinking of ‘aging-in-place‘, which many older adults are considering when purchasing a smaller home is not always affordable – a SRES may still be a good contact for you. A SRES is well versed on aging-in-place strategies and can assist with information about evaluating and modifying your home to make it more comfortable to remain there.
Choose a Realtor who has the mindset of ‘Service before Money’.
Most SRES have a passion for working with older adults. They understand that the circumstances surrounding the senior client may need a number of issues managed prior to the sale of the house and those are things that the SRES can help to resolve, sometimes by referring to other senior service providers, which can range from Senior Move Managers, Elder Law Attorneys, Assisted Living Communities to Financial Advisers or loan providers.
Hilary Walker, SRES, Realtor, Broker and SRES Instructor has a 10 step process when working with her clients and selling the house is number 7 on that list, which speaks to the detailed consultation and extended service that she and her team provide for her clients. Her motto is “Real Estate is more than property, it’s about the people”
Hilary is a Broker with The American Realty Professionals of GA and Director of American Realty Seniors Division. She is an instructor of the SRES Designation 2-day course for Realtors, and also offers seminars for Senior Provider teams (such as Home care providers, social workers, etc), older adult groups (such as church groups, active adult clubs, assisted living prospect group meetings and more). For more information call (678) 609-8019 or use our contact page here.
Is it time to move to a larger or smaller space? Whether choosing to move now or later, you should start asking the right questions today.
Here’s how to tell if you should move to a larger space:
You need to make room for aging parents or relatives who cannot afford to age in place or an elder care facility
You must make room for returning children
Your home is overflowing with furniture and miscellaneous items that have no place to go
You are running out of storage space
How to tell if you should move to a smaller space:
You or your partner has health complications that are not suited for the current layout of your residence
The thought of caring for your yard, multiple bedrooms, or general upkeep seems stressful
Moving could save you money in retirement
Your home has lots of space that is never used
A few other factors to consider before deciding to rightsize:
You’ve decided to move closer to children or grandchildren to make new memories with family
As your wants and wishes change, your neighborhood may no longer provide what you need
Your home no longer appeals to you and you are not in the position to nor desire to remodel
Selling your home could yield exponential financial benefits
Rightsizing can be new, exciting, and in some cases frightening. Considering the tips on this list can give you a great head start. Your next best option is to contact a Seniors Real Estate Specialist who will help you work out a plan of action and time frame best suited to your needs.
For Full Article of questions and video to help you when it comes to relocating Click Here Source: Lisa Haskell, Owner of Caring Transitions of Central Gwinnett Click here to contact them.
Aging Americans are struggling to pay for assisted living, home care and other forms of long term care. The mission of Paying For Senior Care is to solve this puzzle by providing tools, information and creative ideas which help families and caregivers discover the means to care for their elderly loved ones. I came across the site while in search of a service for one of my clients and wondered how many of you know about it. Whether you are an older adult yourself, if you are a care provider for a senior citizen or if you are a service provider like myself, this might be a very helpful source for you to save and return to as often as need.
Disclaimer: I do not endorse the website, nor do I know the validity of their sources. I may have some experience with one or more of the services mentioned, however, I am in no way benefiting from anything you choose to use on the site.
This information is provided as awareness to my clients and contacts as I often need services in my work as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist assisting older adults with their real estate needs.
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!
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!
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/
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…
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