Why seniors need an SRES to buy or sell real estate.

Navigating the real estate market can be overwhelming. It’s even more daunting when you’re a senior with entirely different factors to consider from when you were younger.

A designated Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) is trained to manage the needs of older adults and guide them through every step of the real estate process.

Here’s why working with an SRES® like us here at Atlanta Seniors Real Estate makes a significant difference.

  1. Specialized Expertise: SRES® designees undergo special training to address the unique needs and challenges seniors face in real estate transactions.
  2. Customized Solutions: From creating a personalized marketing plan to ensuring your new home meets your current and, importantly, your future needs. A SRES® will tailor the approach to fit your situation and needs.
  3. Financial Guidance: SRES® designees are well-versed in the financial aspects of real estate transactions for seniors, including reverse mortgages, retirement accounts, and more. We’re able to help you make informed decisions that align with your financial goals.
  4. Extensive Network: An SRES® can connect you with trusted professionals in their network, including movers, attorneys, and home inspectors, to provide support throughout the process.

We’re pleased that here In Georgia, SRES Hilary Walker is widely recognized for her expertise and compassion in assisting seniors and their families with real estate transitions. Contact her to ask questions or take the next step towards a smooth and stress-free move.

How FANS Keeps Georgians Informed About Property Records

Are you a homeowner in Georgia?  Have you heard about scams where fake deeds are used to take over a property?

If so, check out the Filing Activity Notification System (FANS). Developed by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA), FANS is a valuable tool that helps residents keep track of important real estate and personal property records.

The GSCCCA was created in 1993 by an act of the Georgia General Assembly. Its focus is on acquiring, developing and distributing record management systems, information, services, supplies and materials that benefit both Superior Court Clerks and the citizens of Georgia. 

How can it help you?

  • FANS allows you to monitor any filings related to your property within the state of Georgia.
  • It’s a free, voluntary program that provides electronic notifications about filing activity.
  • By opting in, you’ll receive alerts whenever something is filed in your name or property address.

Why FANS Matters: Combatting Scams

  • Beware of companies that charge fees to monitor your property—they maybe a scam.
  • FANS empowers citizens to monitor their assets independently, without any cost.
  • It’s one way to stay ahead. If something did happen, you will know before it is too late!

User-Friendly and Flexible

  • FANS accommodates various ways people sign their names or are referred to.
  • You can input multiple names to cover all possibilities.
  • It’s designed to ensure ease of use. When we tested it with our own information, it took approximately 10 minutes (which included reading through their policy information).

Get Started with FANS:

  1. Visit FANS website: https://fans.gsccca.org/
  2. Follow the simple prompts to set up your notifications.

Questions or Concerns about FANS?

  • Reach out to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority customer support:

Stay informed, protect your property, and enjoy the peace of mind that FANS brings! 🌟🏡

Questions about Atlanta Seniors Real Estate? Contact us here.

Why people love Silver Summit Condominiums

Older adults looking to downsize and relocate to be closer to their adult children are finding
places like Silver Summit Condominiums in Conyers, GA very appealing. Having worked
within this active adult community since 2017 as the Seniors Real Estate Specialist for retirees, I have a good take on why it’s an excellent housing option.

  1. Purpose-Designed Homes
    Silver Summit homes are thoughtfully designed for aging in place. Everything on one level,
    spacious and open for varying types of mobility, minimum of 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, lots of storage space and a two-car garage for the convenience of getting out of your car and entering your kitchen which most retirees love. The added bonus for most of the units in Silver Summit is the beautiful bright sunroom. Most units have modern features while some could use an upgrade from when most of them were built in 2006/7. There are 8 units that were built in 2018 that feature more update finishings, such as smart-tech for the HVAC controls, alarm system, and appliances. The accessible level counters, roll-in shower and stepless entrances are some of obvious universal design features.
  2. Well maintained Amenities
    Silver Summit offers a range of amenities that cater to an active lifestyle. A welcoming
    clubhouse space for homeowner meetings, socializing and community events. The pool is perfect for relaxation and staying fit or enjoying with the grandkids on their rare visits. There is also an exercise room kitted out with ellipticals, treadmill, weights and mats, ideal for maintaining physical health without having to leave the community. The community is designed around one street in and out, which has become the ideal walking track for some residents.
  3. Low Maintenance Living
    No more weekend chores unless you are tending to your patio plants! The exterior maintenance of homes in Silver Summit is handled by the HOA. No more mowing, painting, or roof repairs. Designed with older adults in mind, these single-story homes prioritize convenience and comfort, all you have to be concerned with is the interior of the home. The HOA fee will cover all exterior features and amenities as well as water, sewer, trash, termite and fire sprinkler maintenance.
  4. Lower Property Taxes
    Property taxes in active adult communities tend to be significantly lower than those in traditional neighborhoods but also due to the homestead exemption that is given to residents who qualify with age and other status that each county offers.
  5. Convenient Location
    The convenience of being able to walk to Shopping & Dining within 5-10 minutes attracts many who live at Silver Summit. A short drive allows for visits to the new Salem Gate shopping complex, or Ga 20 toward Publix and Target or just across the street for Kroger. Everything including clinics, hospital, gas stations and hotels are within easy reach.
  6. Safety and Security
    Active adult communities prioritize safety. Residents can feel secure in a well-maintained
    environment that has a camera monitor for the entrance of the community and sometimes sees our local police showing their presence. The sense of community fosters watchfulness and support among neighbors.
  7. Vibrant Social Life
    Silver Summit residents come together to encouraged socialization through organized trips, classes, and special interest groups. Regular newsletter updates invite all residents to engage and make friends with fellow residents who share similar life stages and interests.
  8. Health and Well-Being
    While there is not specific health care service affiliated to the community, the community’s
    amenities promote physical activity and engagement, and residents share information with each other about services that can benefit their well-being needs.

    Silver Summit Condominiums offer a blend of comfort, community, and
    convenience. Whether you’re a retiree seeking an active lifestyle or an adult child researching options for your parents, Silver Summit is a place to call home.

    Don’t Wait Until Retirement!

    If retirement is on the horizon, consider the benefits of active adult living now. I can’t tell you how many people wished they had made the move earlier. The stories from our clients are endless when it comes to how their lifestyle was enhanced by moving to an active adult
    community.

    For more information, visit the official website or contact Hilary Walker at 678.609.8019 or
    email hilary@atlantaseniorsrealestate.com. You can also use the button below to search for homes. Select Master on Main to narrow the search for active adult and senior living properties. You can contact us to discussion options and receive a unique link for your active adult home search in any area.

Your Relocation Checklist

With years under my belt as a real estate agent, one thing that I know for certain is that moving is exhausting. Clients often feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

One of the best tools to help manage those feelings is a checklist. It helps you stay focused and organized.

Smooth Mooove Senior Relocation Services shared a list with me recently that I’ll paste below. If you need assistance with moving, they’re a great resource and they offer a free estimate.

The Moooving Checklist

☐ First assignment: Decide what to keep, sell, or giveaway.

☐ Sort through your belongings: Give heirlooms to children and relatives who have room for them. Create donation bins.

☐ Decide whether to move yourself or hire professionals. Make reservations with a moving company or truck rental company.

☐ If hiring a mover, call three companies for estimates, ensuring they are licensed, bonded, insured, and DOT registered. Inquire about their employment status (W-2 employees, 1099 contractors, or day labor).

☐ Gather packing supplies: Boxes, packing material, tape, felt markers, and scissors.

☐ Make travel arrangements if moving a long distance: Airline, hotel, and rental car agency.

☐ Save all moving receipts for potential tax deductions. Check the current tax code for requirements.

☐ Place legal, medical, financial, and insurance records in a safe and accessible place. Scan documents so you always have a backup.

☐ Purchase replacement coverage for valuables to be moved.

☐ Have antiques, art pieces, and other valuables appraised for insurance purposes.

☐ Begin decluttering: Start with the basement, attic, garage, and other non-used areas.

☐ Use up foods and cleaning supplies that cannot be moved.

☐ Change your address on USPS.com.

This checklist is just a start. Companies like Smooth Mooove also provide moving supplies and other resources o just ask about things you’ll need to ensure yours is a smooth one.

Need other resources as you prepare to relocate? Just reach out to us at Atlanta Seniors Real Estate. We’re happy to help.

How technology is helping seniors age in place.

Studies show that 90 percent of adults over 65 prefer to age in place rather than relocate to a senior living community. The good news is that new technologies are making it easier to support independent living for seniors.

One effective approach to enhancing livability is by incorporating universal design. It’s creating spaces that are accessible and functional for people of all ages and abilities. By adding features such as grab bars, widened doorways, and non-slip flooring, homes can be made safer and more accommodating for aging residents.

Technology plays a crucial role in facilitating aging in place. There are four main categories of technology that can help seniors remain in their homes longer:

  1. Communication and Engagement: Tools like video calling platforms and social media can help older adults stay connected with friends and family, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  2. Health and Wellness: From wearable fitness trackers to remote monitoring devices, technology can support seniors in managing their health and maintaining independence. Medication reminders and telehealth services are also valuable resources.
  3. Learning and Contribution: Online learning platforms and digital volunteering opportunities empower older adults to continue learning and making meaningful contributions to their communities.
  4. Safety and Security: Smart home devices, such as motion-sensor lights and smart locks, enhance home security and provide peace of mind for seniors and caregivers. And devices can contact emergency services when needed.

For caregivers supporting older adults, technology can streamline caregiving tasks and improve efficiency. From mobile apps for medication management to online resources for caregiver support, there are a variety of tools available to assist caregivers.

Explore technology that can help with a senior aging at home and, importantly, remain open to the signs that you or a loved one may need to relocate for health and safety reasons. There could be a need for additional care and attention or a living space that is more manageable and designed specifically for aging residents.

When it’s time to relocate, to sell a home and identify a new residence, reach out to a Senior Real Estate Specialist like Atlanta Seniors Real Estate to help guide you through the process.

>>Visit www.seniorliving.com to learn more about technology and senior care.

Georgia Real Estate Scam Warning

Stealing your property without your knowledge.

Georgia counties are warning property owners of real estate fraud. People are using forged documents and signatures to transfer the title of a home or other property without the owner’s approval. Worst of all, many property owners may have no idea their property has been stolen.

Gwinnett County warns of an incident where a resident had issues paying property taxes because the property had, without her knowledge, been transferred to another person. (Read more about the case here)

The fraudsters are using quitclaim deeds which were designed to be a way to transfer ownership between trusted individuals such as family members.

So, how do you check your own property? I recommend you first conduct a title search. You can also enroll in the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Filing Activity Information System. That will notify you if there is activity on your property such as a change to the deed, mortgage, or a lien is filed on the property.

A Georgia state legislator has filed a bill (House Bill 888 – the Georgia Not On My Deed Act) which would authorize Superior Court Clerks to require ID for anyone recording property deeds.

How to Prep Your Home for Selling

10 Things to do before you put the “for sale” sign in your yard.

Senior Real Estate

One of the first questions I get from clients is how to prepare their home to go on the market? It’s a topic that can overwhelm a homeowner who is making a real life change.

Here are ten quick tips I give clients to give them the best chance of getting top dollar for their home.

  1. Declutter and Depersonalize: Declutter and depersonalize the house. Remove personal items (yes, all the family photos), excessive furniture, and unnecessary belongings. A clean and clutter-free space helps the buyer see themselves in the home.
  2. Deep Clean: A clean home is a marketable home. It shows the homeowner cares about home maintenance. Clean vents, fans, baseboards, windows and carpets. If you can’t do it yourself, it’s worth bringing someone in for a cleaning before we start showing the home to buyers.
  3. Make Necessary Repairs: Address issues that might deter potential buyers such as leaky faucets, squeaky doors, and holes in the wall.
  4. Refresh Paint and Finishes: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in revitalizing your home’s appearance. Stick to neutral colors to appeal to a broader range of buyers and touch up areas that may have chipped paint.
  5. Enhance Curb Appeal: First impressions matter. Spruce up your home’s exterior by landscaping, mowing the lawn, and adding potted plants or flowers. Ensure that the front door and exterior are in top-notch condition to create a welcoming entryway.
  6. Stage Your Home: Arrange furniture to showcase the flow of each space and create a warm, inviting atmosphere. I often recommend a stager if that is what is needed to sell your home more quickly and at a higher price.
  7. Set the Right Price: I’ll research comparable home sales in the area to determine a competitive and realistic asking price. Overpricing your home can discourage potential buyers, while underpricing might leave money on the table.
  8. Create an Online Presence: I will also ensure my client’s home is advertised online and that there are photos to draw in prospective buyers.
  9. Gather Necessary Documents: Streamline the closing process by gathering important documents in advance. This includes property records, warranty information, and any relevant paperwork on recent improvements or repairs.
  10. Be Flexible and Open to Feedback: It’s also important that sellers be flexible with showings and listen to buyer feedback. Being adaptable can speed up the sale process.

I remind sellers it’s important to detach from the home they’re selling and focus on what’s next for them. It’s tough especially for families who have lived in a home for decades, but it helps the process go more smoothly.

Have questions about selling your home and looking for your next one? Reach out to us at Atlanta Seniors Real Estate – we’re here to help.

2024 Changes Affecting Senior’s Finances

When families come to Atlanta Seniors Real Estate to discuss selling a home, buying a new home, or searching for a senior living or retirement community, one of the first discussions we have is about finances. That conversation will help guide decisions and illuminate the choices they have.

2024 has brought with it financial changes that retirees will want to be aware of — changes in Medicare, Social Security, taxes, retirement plan contributions and more.

AARP looks at some of the changes in a recent article which looks at the points below.

  1. Social Security – The cost-of-living adjustment will raise monthly payments by 3.2% and the average retirement benefit will climb nearly $60 a month. (read more about Social Security changes here)
  2. Medicare – Standard premiums for Medicare Part B are seeing a 6% increase to $174.70 a month and the annual deductible climbs to $240. (read more about Medicare changes here)
  3. Retirement Plans – The contribution limit went up $500 so seniors can now put up to $8,000 into an IRA for 2024 including a $1,000 catch-up contribution.
  4. Required Minimum Distributions – It used to be that Roth IRAs were not subject to the required yearly withdrawals while the owner is alive but now that exception will also apply to Roth 401(k) and 403(b) accounts. The age for RMDs went up to 73 last year.
  5. Standard Tax Deductions – If you or your spouse is 65 or older, he deduction for a single filer or head of household is up $1,000 from 2022 and up $200 for couples filing jointly.
  6. Full Retirement Age – The Social Security full retirement age has been gradually increasing and will reach 66 and 8 months later this year.

>>Click here to read the article in its entirety on AARP.org.

When do I get paid for the sale of my house?

Once a home sale is imminent, I’m always asked — “How soon will the money be in my bank account?” It sounds like an easy enough question, but there’s not always an easy answer.

The answer depends on several factors — not too surprising as a real estate transaction can be a complex process. A recent article on Realtor.com looked at the money from offer to closing and when a home seller can expect those transfers into their bank account.

  1. Earnest Money – Generally between 1-5% of the purchase price paid within 3 days of signing the purchase contract to demonstrate that the buyer is serious about the property. Some refer to it as a “good faith deposit.” If the buyer backs out and breaks the contract (and the seller is not at fault) the seller gets to keep the earnest money.
  2. Down Payment – A down payment shows the bank or lender that the buyer has the money to pay back the loan they’re getting and is made after the deal is approved by the bank.
  3. Wait – The lender will likely have a list of obligations to be met at this point — things like an appraisal, inspection, repairs, disclosures, contingencies and more. The contract will outline when these will take place. On average, the closing process takes 50 days.
  4. Closing Day – This is when the buyer gets the money. After the real estate transaction is closed and all fees/commissions are paid, escrow pays the seller. These days, that’s a wire transfer and happens quickly.

My best advice is to be patient and take it step by step. If you have any questions, reach out to Atlanta Seniors Real Estate. We’re happy to help.

>>Click here to read the full article on Realtor.com.

Finding the design style that will help sell your house.

When I meet with many families considering selling a home, they’re often wondering how best to spruce the place up to make it as appealing as possible to buyers. Many have been scrolling through social media looking for ideas and styles. They’re tracking trends on Instagram, looking at ideas on Houzz, or checking Pinterest Boards.

So, what styles really are the most appealing to buyers? Is it industrial, modern farmhouse, midcentury modern or, two of the newest trends, grandmillennial and coastal grandmillennial?

A recent article for the National Association of Realtors looks at the most popular trends on Instagram which are a great guide and provide inspiration when staging a home for sale. When listing homes representing some of the highly sought after styles, we can use hashtags of those designs in online listings to draw in prospective buyers who may have otherwise skipped over looking at a property.

>>Click here for the full article and a look at what styles are the most posted on Instagram.

Is it time to live like the Golden Girls?

As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, I not only help people purchase and sell homes but also advise families as they search for the perfect senior living arrangement. That may be aging in place, moving to 55+ communities or senior living facilities. These days, I recommend families not be afraid to think creatively.

We’re hearing about adult children building “Granny Pods” or tiny houses for their aging parents so they can be nearby. And increasingly, seniors are looking at shared living arrangements. Yes, roommates. Not only does it help alleviate the financial burden, but it also provides companionship and a support network.

One option is co-housing, where a group of individuals of similar age and interests come together to share a home or a community. Each person or couple has their own private living space, but there are also shared areas such as kitchens, living rooms, and gardens. Co-housing offers the best of both worlds: privacy when you need it and a supportive community right at your doorstep.

Another alternative is home-sharing, where two or more seniors with compatible lifestyles and preferences share a larger house. This arrangement allows you to split expenses, maintain your independence, and enjoy companionship with like-minded individuals. It’s a fantastic way to build lasting friendships while saving on living costs.

Moreover, many retirement communities and senior living facilities have recognized the growing interest in roommate options and have started to incorporate shared living arrangements into their offerings. These communities often provide a range of amenities and services, including social activities, housekeeping, and dining options, making it even more enticing for seniors looking to share their living space.

Kiplinger recently published an article about creative ways to save early in retirement which includes looking at roommates. Read the full article here and explore some of the ways they suggest retirees save or make a little extra money.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to ask. I’m here to assist you every step of the way! Contact Hilary Walker.

The Kitchen Updates Everyone Should Make Today

By far, the most popular blog we’ve had recently is about Universal Design – the process of making your home accessible for people of all ages and abilities. It creates an easier and safer environment for everyone and has the added benefit of allowing individuals to remain in their homes longer as they age.

I recommend everyone, regardless of age, consider incorporating Universal Design into your home. It’s helpful for your entire family and is a unique and highly desirable selling feature if/when you decide to sell your home. As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, it’s also something I look for when searching for homes for my clients to consider.

A recent AARP article recommends nine changes everyone should consider for the kitchen including:

  • Incorporate smart technology
  • Make it easier to hydrate
  • Making inaccessible cabinet space more accessible
  • A more hygienic trashcan
  • Consider an easier dish washer
  • Induction cooktops
  • Reconfiguring counter space
  • Improve lighting
  • Think about zones

>>Click here to read the full article from AARP and more about each of their recommendations above.

Consider aging in place with home modifications.

Real estate agents sell houses and help people find houses but, on occasion, I’ve advised clients that their best move may be no move at all. If you love a home and are able to age in place, that may be your best option. I’ll be here to facilitate a sale or purchase when the time comes, but I am committed to always doing what’s best for my clients.

Fortunately for all of us, there are a lot of wonderful organizations who are experts in helping families right-size and make adjustments needed so that seniors can safely age in place.

Senior relocation company Caring Transitions created a brief guide to “Bringing Rightsizing and Age in Place Modifications Together.”

(Posted with permission from Caring Transitions of Northeast Atlanta) As we age, it’s important to consider how our living space can support our changing needs. Aging in place home modifications can help seniors maintain their independence and stay in their homes for as long as possible. Combining these modifications with rightsizing, or downsizing to a more manageable living space, can create a safe and comfortable environment for seniors.

  1. Assess Your Home for Safety and Accessibility.
    Before making any modifications to your home, it’s important to assess your current living space for safety and accessibility. This includes identifying potential hazards such as loose rugs, uneven flooring, and narrow doorways. You should also consider the accessibility of your home, including the placement of light switches, electrical outlets, and other fixtures. By identifying potential safety and accessibility issues, you can create a plan for making the necessary modifications to your home to ensure a safe and comfortable living space for seniors.
  2. Prioritize Modifications Based on Needs and Budget.
    When it comes to combining rightsizing and aging in place home modifications, it’s important to prioritize modifications based on both needs and budget. Start by identifying the most critical modifications that need to be made to ensure safety and accessibility in the home. This may include installing grab bars in the bathroom, widening doorways, or adding a stairlift. Once these critical modifications have been made, you can then focus on making additional modifications that will enhance comfort and convenience. Remember to consider your budget when making modifications and look for cost-effective solutions that will still meet your needs.
  3. Consider Universal Design Principles.
    When combining rightsizing and aging in place home modifications, it’s important to consider universal design principles. Universal design is the concept of designing products and spaces that are accessible and usable by people of all ages and abilities. This means incorporating features like zero-step entrances, lever door handles, and adjustable height countertops. By incorporating universal design principles into your home modifications, you can create a space that is not only safe and comfortable for seniors, but also for visitors and family members of all ages and abilities.

Work with a Professional to Ensure Quality and Safety.
When it comes to combining rightsizing and aging in place home modifications, it’s important to work with a professional to ensure that the modifications are done safely and effectively. A professional can help you assess your home and determine which modifications are necessary to create a safe and comfortable living space for seniors. They can also ensure that the modifications are done in compliance with local building codes and regulations. Additionally, a professional can help you select the right products and materials to ensure that the modifications are of high quality and will last for years to come.

As seniors age in place, it’s important to make modifications to their homes to ensure safety and comfort. Design for aging in place includes home modifications such as grab bars, non-slip flooring, and wider doorways. These modifications can help seniors maintain their independence and reduce the risk of falls.

In addition to home modifications, age in place home care can provide assistance with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and transportation. Rightsizing and aging in place together can also be beneficial, as it allows seniors to declutter and downsize their living space while still maintaining their independence. Caring Transitions offers professional guidance and support for these transitions, as well as assistance with estate planning and other services. By incorporating these strategies and seeking professional help when needed, seniors can age in place with peace of mind and improved quality of life.

If you are interested in Caring Transitions for relocation or estate liquidation services, contact Mike DeLeon.

When a realtor tells a senior NOT to relocate.

As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), many of my consultations with older adults who are thinking about downsizing and relocating, (a good 10-15% of them) will lead to a discussion about aging in place.

Aging in place can also be about helping clients find a forever home to move to in a new location, which is conducive to the needs of the person and may even help them stretch their finances, depending on how they chose to finance the next place. In some cases though, I consult about staying put… Many wonder why I would do that instead of finding them another home to move to.

Well, the answer is simple… because sometimes the home is already their forever home, IF, and only if, they consider a few changes to ensure the home is better suited to their current needs. My goal is never to move someone who doesn’t need (or want) to move.

Here’s a case study as an example: I visited a lady who had a 2-story home with a guest bedroom and small bathroom on the main floor, and 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, which included the owner’s suite. The space was open and spacious on the main level. She had recently become a widow and had paid off the mortgage as instructed by her late husband’s final wish. She loved the community she has lived in for 20+ years but thought it would be best to move to a smaller house. As we talked and did the research, we concluded that the equity in her house would not quite cover the purchase of a forever home and she was not willing to go back to having a mortgage payment of any amount.

The plan of action I suggested was to:

  1. Get quotes to remodel the guest bathroom on the main floor allowing that to become a true main level owner’s suite, accessible for her to live in as opposed to having to go up and down stairs every day.
  2. Get quotes to update the entrances to the home adding accessible features including universal design touch-ups that would allow her to age in place in the current home and not have to experience moving from a place and location she loved and could afford to keep. 
  3. Revisit after getting quotes to discuss the options again and consider if she would need additional information to fund the renovations or if moving would be back on the table as an option and how to do that without costing her too much in monthly expenses.

    My role as an SRES Realtor was simply to advise and refer contractors or remodeling companies that would incorporate the ADA/universal design features, as well as staying in touch to provide additional information until the homeowner had made their decisions.

We sometimes provide services without financial gain.

We always say real estate is more than property, it’s about the people!

We are available to answer questions you or someone you know has about aging in place or finding your next home. Contact us any time.

Additional Resources: AARP article on stylish updates for aging in place.

Factors seniors consider when relocating.

Today’s retirees are on the move. Crime, traffic and more and sending many of them away from the cities they’ve lived in for decades but how do they decide where to move next?

A great article called “Politics and Pickleball” looks at some active seniors who searched for their next home but looked at much more than the real estate. The article says that while they consider proximity to family, recreational opportunities, cultural events, and climate, the surprising factor increasingly cited by retirees is — politics.

Some want a state with politics more in line with their own perspectives while others were interested in the opportunities created by being in a place where their own politics may not be the majority.

Read the full article on NextAvenue.org.

Moving? Use a Senior Real Estate Specialist.

If you’re planning to buy or sell real estate, it’s a good idea to consider working with a senior real estate specialist or SRES like Atlanta Seniors Real Estate.

Here are a few reasons why an SRES will be beneficial:

  1. Experience: A senior real estate specialist has extensive experience working with clients who are 50 years of age or older. This means they understand the unique needs and concerns of seniors when it comes to real estate transactions.
  2. Knowledge: SRES designees have received specialized training in senior real estate, including topics like reverse mortgages, age-restricted communities, and estate planning. They are equipped to provide expert advice and guidance on these topics.
  3. Connections: Senior real estate specialists often have strong connections with other professionals who work with seniors, such as estate planning attorneys, financial planners, and senior living communities. They can help you build a network of resources to assist you in making informed decisions.
  4. Advocacy: A senior real estate specialist can serve as your advocate throughout the real estate transaction, ensuring that your interests are protected and your needs are met.

Overall, working with a senior real estate specialist can help ensure a smoother and more successful real estate transaction, especially if you or a loved one is a senior.

A Guide to Senior Housing Options

It’s time for a move — perhaps it’s downsizing or moving into housing that offers a level of care that you or a loved one needs. There have never been more options for senior living than now, but with so many choices can come quite a bit of confusion.

The list includes:

RETIREMENT LIVING

  • Retirement/Active Adult Communities
  • Senior Apartments
  • Senior Cohousing

LONG TERM CARE

  • Assisted Living
  • In-Home Senior Care
  • Active Senior Housing
  • Independent Living
  • Continuing Care Communities
  • Congregational Retirement Communities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Specialized Care
  • Hospice

How do you know which type is right for you? Do you know the questions to ask? SeniorLiving.org is out with an update to its Senior Living Guide. They do a great job of explaining the differences between different options. Then, when it’s time to sell your home and relocate, contact a Senior Real Estate Specialists like Atlanta Senior Real Estate to help you with options in your own community.

>>Check out the Guide and look for options in your area.

What home sellers can expect for 2023

Is it the right time to buy and sell in Atlanta?

Seniors toying with the idea of selling a home, downsizing or simply looking to move closer to family found themselves a bit confused with the crazy real estate activity of 2022. While it may have been a great time to sell a home, it was challenging to find another one — especially in the Atlanta area which has been named one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.

So, is 2023 going to be a better year to sell and move into another home? While buyers are returning to the market looking for more reasonable home prices without competing against a dozen other buyers, it really depends on interest rates and, most importantly, homes being priced appropriately.

A recent NBC News article said, “prices will have to be attractive for homebuyers to take on interest rates that remain elevated. Home sellers have already resorted to mortgage buydowns — a type of deal allowing buyers to secure lower rates, at least in the first few years of homeownership — or concessions like new appliances to persuade buyers to sign on the dotted line.”

To navigate this challenging time in real estate, contact a Senior Real Estate Specialist who has the resources available to guide you to a successful and less-stressful transaction. Contact Atlanta Seniors Real Estate to learn more.

>>Read the full article from NBC News here.

3 Reasons to use a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

Real estate transactions for seniors are unique. There are factors to consider that don’t affect younger buyers and you may not have thought about.

Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) are trained to evaluate and help you understand implications for seniors including the points below (from RetirementLiving.com):

  • How using pensions and other retirement accounts in real estate transactions work.
  • The positive sides and the potential downsides of using reverse mortgages.
  • SRES agents are trained to spot mortgage and other loan schemes that are designed to trick and scam seniors out of their finances or even their homes.
  • SRES agents will help you understand estate planning and how Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security affect your property and finances as you age.
  • There are unknown pitfalls of Medicaid, such as their right to recover costs spent on your care even after you die in some situations. An SRES can walk you through scenarios that include your rights and what can happen should you have liens or unpaid medical expenses, most notably through Medicaid Estate Recovery.”

RetirementLiving’s 3 primary benefits of using an SRES:

  1. An SRES understands senior housing options and what they have to offer including Universal Design and other accommodations.
  2. An SRES prepares you for the financial consequences of senior real estate transactions such as how pensions and retirement works in real estate transactions.
  3. An SRES has a wealth of resources to assist you with your relocation including senior relocation companies, senior housing advisors, financial and legal organizations specializing in working with seniors etc.

>>Read more.

>>Contact SRES Atlanta Seniors Real Estate for a complimentary consultation.

The 2023 Real Estate Market

What do real estate professionals think is in the housing forecast for this year?

Insider talked to real estate and real estate technology professionals about what they anticipate for 2023 when it comes to both commercial and residential real estate transactions and development. Among comments – big growth expected in the southeast, more emphasis on housing affordability, and watching to see how inflation impacts buyers and sellers.

It’s good information and interesting perspective about what lies ahead for all of us whether we are in the real estate business or you’re a home buyer or owner.

>>Click here to read the full article from Insider.

Hot housing markets for 2023

Realtor.com is out with its real estate predictions for 2023 and one Georgia city makes its top ten list of housing markets positioned for growth. Augusta, GA ranks sixth on the list. The article recognizes that remote work is allowing families to seek out affordable housing in cities with strong economies as alternatives to larger and more expensive locations.

(Excerpt from Realtor.com)

The move toward affordability will continue in 2023, as high prices and mortgage rates drive buyers to find lower-priced homes. The top markets expected to perform well next year offer a solid mix of local economic conditions, proximity to larger employment centers, and critically, more affordable housing. Even in an environment where families are finding that their dollars no longer stretch as far as they did just a few months ago, cities like Hartford, El Paso, Louisville, or Chattanooga offer a larger share of affordable homes for a median income.

In the Top 10 metros for 2023, about 23% of housing inventory is affordable at the median income level, a noticeable improvement from all the other markets. When considering all other markets and excluding the Top 10, only 17% of available homes for sale are affordable to a household earning the median income. And that affordability picture worsens considerably in the 10 metros where sales and price growth is expected to be weakest in 2023. In these areas less than 4% of inventory is financially attainable to a family earning the local median income. 

>>Click here to read the article including its Top 10 Housing Markets Positioned for Growth in 2023

Is now the time to buy a home?

I read an article recently and it sums up my entire feeling about the real estate market right now and actually the type of response I have given to customers who ask… Is now a good time to buy a home? 

Yes, it is. In fact, winter and spring 2023 will likely be the best window homebuyers will have for the next several years.

Here is what’s really going on in the housing market – and why now is the time to buy if you’re qualified.

Interest rates are better than you think

The historically low interest rates seen in 2020 and 2021 were remarkable. Rates in the 2% range are almost unheard of for a mortgage. But the COVID-19 pandemic was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. It was inevitable that rates would increase again in time, which they have.

Some homebuyers may wonder whether they missed the boat or whether they should wait for rates to drop again. Rates aren’t going to go back down to the 2% and 3% range, so if you weren’t able to buy then, you have to take your lumps and move on. But 7% is actually a pretty good rate for a home. And if rates drop again, you can refinance your mortgage to take advantage of it. If they increase, however, you’ll be glad you locked in your loan at 7%.

Either way, the sooner you buy, the more time you have to build equity in the home. That’s significant because home equity is a cornerstone of wealth-building in the U.S.

Housing prices aren’t going to crash

Like interest rates, housing prices were unprecedented during the COVID-19 pandemic. They soared in many places across the country, leading some people to believe that prices would ultimately crash. That’s unlikely, however. Price increases have slowed, but home values increase over time …home sale prices in the U.S. have consistently trended upward since the 1960s.

Rather than waiting for a price crash, take advantage of the fact that this is a buyer’s market and that sellers are more likely than they have been in years to negotiate on price and other concessions.

source: Fairway Independent Mortgage

6 Foods Seniors Should Avoid

If you’re over 50, it’s time to change up your diet. There are some foods from your younger years that you now need to avoid. AARP is out with the list of foods that should have you taking the hard pass.

Yes, they’re foods you probably loved at one point in your life but, after 50, at least cut back in the name of better health. Think foods like sugary drinks, fried foods, processed and packaged foods, those with high sodium and alcohol. AARP tells you how these foods affect your body and suggests some alternatives.

>>Click here to read the full article

Active Adults are Shopping for a Lifestyle

Today, seniors are different from previous generations. They’re living longer, healthier lives than ever before. And they’re different when it comes to real estate and downsizing. Real estate professionals have found that many seniors and active adults are really shopping for a lifestyle rather than the building itself.

It was the top of discussion at an investment conference in Washington DC recently — how seniors are driving changes in the senior housing market. While they’re active and want to be around other active adults, many are also seeking housing that will allow them to age in place, so they don’t have to keep relocating.

They found the pandemic had an effect on how 55+ individuals want to live moving forward – they want to be around other active adults, not isolated, and investors are responding to the need for that type of housing community.

>>Read more about the conference findings at rebusiness.com