My parents need to move! Why should I choose a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)?

When the time comes that the family home is no longer the right fit for a senior’s living situation, calling on the services of a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) will be a wise choice. 

 

A Seniors Real Estate Specialist is a Realtor who is uniquely qualified to assist seniors in selling or purchasing a home.   The SRES designation is awarded only to Realtors who have successfully completed a series of educational courses on how best to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions.

 

One size does not fit everyone’s needs or desires when the time comes to choosing the next place to live.   The SRES is knowledgeable in many types of senior housing options.   This could mean a condominium, an apartment, a 55+ golf course community or assisted living centers just to name a few.

 

It would be wise to interview a SRES in your local area.   This will be a good time to find out if he or she has the kind of experience that will be of most help to you and your parent.   Ask questions that are most important to you.   Do they have references that you can contact?  Do they have references for vendors who might need to be called in to help with the placement, the move or getting the house in shape before putting it on the market to sell?    How long have they been actively selling real estate in the local area?

 

Your SRES should always work with your best interest in mind. They should be available to answer any questions that might come up before, during and after the sale or purchase of your home.  

 

There will be many decisions to be made on the way to selling or buying a home so be sure to start right by choosing a Seniors Real Estate Specialist to help.

 

 

Lynn Mattecheck, SRES

www.LynnMattecheck.com

Low-Cost Options for Aging in Place

Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. Of course your ability to do this hinges on many factors, including the nature of the challenges you face in your current home. Major home renovations may be required, but there are also numerous inexpensive steps you can take to improve your living situation.

Safety Improvements:

  • Flooring: carpeting is preferable to area rugs because it reduces tripping hazards and can cushion falls. But if area rugs are used, make sure they’re secured to the floor.
  • Handrails: on stairways, add a second handrail along the opposite wall for improved stability.
  • Footwear: to prevent falls, non-slip shoes are preferable to slippers of socks.
  • Non-skid safety strips:adhered to the floor of a tub/shower, non-skid strips are preferable to removable in-shower bath mats.
  • Bathroom grab bars: ideally these should be anchored into the wall, but if that’s not possible opt for a safety rail clamped onto the side of the tub.
  • Quality step ladder: purchase a broad-based heavy-duty step ladder with a hand-hold bar across the top to safely reach items stored out of reach.
  • Lighting: whether it’s making a bathtub brighter or installing motion-activated night lights in the hallway, better lighting can help prevent falls and make hobbies, reading, etc. more enjoyable. Lighting improvements might be as simple as changing the bulbs (to higher wattages or to bulbs that mimic daylight instead of “yellow” soft lighting) or adding battery-operated units.

Convenience Factors:

  • Hand shower: convert a standard fixed shower head into a hand-held system with flexible hose.
  • Raised toilet seats: no need to buy a new toilet when a removable seat can be added to most standard toilets.
  • Mail catcher: mail delivered via a slot in the door may be easier to retrieve from a mail box, especially if a narrow basket is mounted below the door opening so the recipient doesn’t have to pick up mail off the floor.
  • Knobs: replace round door and/or faucet knobs with lever styles, which are easier to turn. likewise, loop pulls can make drawers easier to open.
  • Eating: specially-designed cups and eating utensils can minimize food spills, including weighted options that help counterbalance shake-prone hands.
  • Cooking utensils: lightweight and ergonomically-designed options are readily available now, many offering non-slip handles and bright, attractive colors.
  • Keep things handy: move often-used items to easy-to-access locations.
  • Eliminate excess “stuff”: having fewer items to store, sort, juggle, and handle can make aging in place an easier and more enjoyable proposition.

Lynn Mattecheck is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) with RE/MAX. You can count on her to guide you through the process of buying or selling your home. (503) 495-3258.

The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation is awarded by the SRES® Council, a subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). To learn more about SRES® and access various consumer resources, please visit SRES.org

The Spring Selling Season is in Full Bloom

The Portland housing market is in full bloom.  You have probably seen signs of this as For Sale signs pop up in your neighborhood one day and a Sale Pending sticker appears the next day.   This is a sign of more things to come as we continue to see more people moving into Portland for quality of life choices and jobs.     Our unemployment figures have been trending downward and we are now at 4.4%.

 

Supply and demand and low interest rates are pushing our prices upward.   New listings in March 2017 outpaced March 2016, however pending sales and closed sales lagged behind just slightly in March 2017.   The average price of homes being sold in the previous 12 months ending March 31, 2017 increased by 12% with the average sales price of $404,300.  This figure will differ by neighborhood.   With inventory in months at just 1.3 months, the 2017 Spring and Summer selling season will be brisk.

 

Once the house goes under contract, an appraisal is ordered by the lending institution.   If the home received multiple offers that pushed the sales price over the listed price, the appraisal might come in low.   At that time the sale could terminate, or the buyer and seller will need to renegotiate the terms of the sale that will be acceptable to the lender.

 

Buyers are paying top dollar for homes and expect properties to be in top condition.  Sellers are wise to spend some time and money to make sure their home will attract the right buyer.  A pre-inspection will inform a seller of the necessary repairs that a buyer might want done prior to closing.   The seller can disclose what they know about their home and how they remediated any of the repairs.

 

Making the home ready to show from the moment the buyer first steps through the door will help a seller obtain top dollar in this market.    Windows that sparkle, fresh paint and kitchens and bathrooms with recent updates will impress the buyer and reward the seller with a quick close.

 

© 2017 Lynn Mattecheck , Principal Broker and Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Re/Max Equity Group

Outside the box

When we think of downsizing or moving, one of the first images that usually come to mind is boxes, cardboard boxes, in many shapes and sizes. They are a huge part of any move. These boxes are great to put things in, but there is one box you need to break out of – your mind box.

What is a mind box? It is the boundaries and restrictions we apply in thinking about the things around us.  In this case, it refers to the patterns of how we relate to our possessions. We find ourselves thinking that certain things have to be stored in specific pieces of furniture, that a particular item was needed in the past so we will always need to have it, or that the lovely gift we received years ago is still our responsibility to keep. These are just a few of the walls that “box” in our thinking.

We need to think outside that box when downsizing or moving. We need to think about our possessions and the narratives that come with them from a different perspective. Continue reading

When You Have to Move

Planning for a Move

Change is hard. We all get into a rhythm in life, and disruption can throw us off balance and increase our stress. Seniors, young children, and those involved in an involuntary move may have a particularly difficult time with the transition. For them, relocation can feel not only like a change in living location but also like an upheaval of all aspects of life. Fortunately, there are some things that can be done to help decrease the stress of moving.

Involve everyone in the moving process- Well-meaning family members or parents may think that they are helping by stepping in and taking care of all the move details, but in fact they are really increasing the stress for those involved. Seniors, children or those being forced to move are often already struggling with the feeling that they don’t have control over the situation. Things are going to change, and they don’t have a say in the matter. The solution is to encourage them to be involved, even if it is in a small way. Include aging parents in planning the move, choosing the apartment or deciding how to layout the new space. Let children help gather toys to be packed, research their new town, and unpack their things when they arrive at the new home.

Strive to keep as many things consistent as possible- A move turns everyday life upside down and makes schedules hard to maintain. Try to restore the daily routine as soon as possible even if this means certain activities have to be deferred until everyone has adjusted to the move. Take time before introducing the local cuisine. Prepare regular meals so they can find comfort in the familiar.

Recreate familiar space-Set up the new space to resemble the old space as much as possible. Buying new furniture or decor to match the new house may be a good idea, but wait until all have had time to adjust to the change in location and space. The feel of a familiar blanket or the sight of a well-known picture arrangement on the wall will provide comfort and limit the amount of change that is happening at one time.
Moving can be overwhelming, but limiting the amount of change experienced and allowing participants to be involved in the process will help reduce relocation stress.