In real estate, you are meeting people at a crossroads in their lives. Job changes, marriage, births, death, divorce, illness, empty nests and retirement/final destination. Well, before the final, FINAL destination. I do not sell burial plots. Although it seems like, as Realtors, we should— it is earth. Emotional times and huge life shifts require more than just a real estate agent to get them into or out of a home.
I have an interest in the lives of older adults. I like the experience, stories and history seniors can share with us. Unfortunately, being “older” is usually not valued in the United States. Instead, youth is where we place our standards of beauty and hope for the future. I get that, but elders have walked the path and have a lot to offer us youngins.
So, if you’re a bit on the “seasoned” side of life or have aging parents and are looking at your options for housing, here are some things to consider:
- Do you want to downsize into a smaller home? Kids are gone, finally. Where you decide to move will be dependent on what’s important to you: access to healthcare, grocery stores, public transportation, cultural or recreational opportunities or being near family. Maybe you are tired of paying higher taxes in a town where you don’t have kids in school anymore. Or, maybe a 55+ community is something to consider.
- Perhaps you don’t want to leave your home and need to consider all the options for aging-in-place. Here’s a great website to check out: RL Mace Universal Design Institute: The Costs of Aging in Place. And here’s another great local resource: Accessible Places, certified aging-in-place specialists. I have worked and volunteered for the Chatham County Council on Aging since 2013 and I am well-versed on what you need to stay in your home. The Council on Aging is a non-profit dedicated to providing programs and services to keep seniors active, healthy and aging-in-place when possible, like Meals on Wheels and in-home personal care. And, starting in 2020, I will donate 5% of my Chatham County closing commissions to support their work. Check out one of their programs here: The Council on Aging’s Minor Home Repair Volunteer Program.
There is much to consider when aging-in-place, and I would be happy to discuss what services and options are available to you, like making your home safer and more accessible with grab bars, ramps, etc. Also, the National Association of Home Builders has an Aging-in-Place checklist to consider. And, another charitable organization to look to for help repairing your home is ReBuilding Together of the Triangle. I can also discuss the options for in-home help with personal care, housekeeping, meal preparation and transportation.
- Maybe you are financially fortunate and you want to move into a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC. CCRCs, otherwise known as Life Plan Communities, offer independent and assisted living, as well as end-of-life care as a package of options under this model. This is the most expensive option. Communities like Carolina Meadows and Galloway Ridge are located in Chatham County. I can escort you on an introductory tour if you like!
- Assisted living communities are available to those who are not able to manage their “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs). ADLs are the things we normally do in daily living including any daily activity we perform for self-care, such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure. These residential communities offer rooms, daily activities, meal programs, nursing assistance, memory care, and social opportunities at a cost of $7K+ a month. Check out the North Carolina Assisted Living Association’s website. (Personal note, I took the NCALA Administrator coursework but did not pursue certification— that’s another whole blog post.)
- How about a senior apartment? Maybe you need some rent control. These are of limited supply in Chatham County. But there are a few communities with waiting lists you can join. I will be following up on this topic in another blog.
- How about a small house? Do you want the maintenance? Maybe a condo is more up your alley. Check out what the NC Real Estate Commission has to say about Homeowners Associations. Do you want access to tennis courts, pools, golf…? Explore Fearrington Village located in Chatham County (sorry, no golf at Fearrington)
There is a lot to consider when making a housing change in your silver and golden years. I want to be your consultant to figure out the best fit for you personally and financially (no, I’m not a certified accountant, too). Not everyone needs to sell their home and use an agent. I’m not afraid to help you stay home. But if you are ready to sell, check out what my Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation means and feel free to contact me.