Whether you, or your loved ones, have already made the decision to downsize, or you are looking for a way to ‘age-in-place' in your current home, I am the resource you are looking for to help guide you on the journey, to answer your questions, find you other connections and resources you need, and to make this a smoother and safer transition. With the right guidance, you can make this process much easier and help safeguard your health and financial future. Whether through my seminars, one-on-one consultations, or my "Senior Seller" literature, I can answer many of your immediate questions, and also help you to know what other important questions you should be asking.
Over my first 10-15 years as a Realtor, I found myself occasionally working with clients that were downsizing from a family home that they had been in for decades. This was often a pretty significant undertaking, particularly when the Sellers were elderly, or moving into a retirement community or assisted living. A move like this inevitably involved a lot more than just selling a house. It often times involved a more significant life transition. I found myself needing more than just my real estate skills and knowledge to effectively help my clients through these transitions. In the years since, and as my parents and their friends were approaching their 80's, it became even more personal for me.
That was when I went back for more real estate schooling to earn my Senior Real Estate Specialist and Realtor Senior Advisor designations. I learned everything I could about helping my clients evaluate the pros and cons of moving versus staying in their homes, and the true costs of each. I learned how these real estate decisions could affect my client's longterm health care coverage. I studied the in's and out's of reverse mortgages, and when they can be beneficial. I made a lot of new connections, and learned that there is a lot of help out there to answer questions and to find solutions to the obstacles that can pop up along the way.
Let me guide you and your family in this process to help look out for your interests and financial security, and to make this a more smooth and stress-free experience for you.
Key Points About Medicare:
- Doesn't pay for long-term care in assisted-living.
- It won't pay for a stay in a nursing home that doesn't follow a hospital stay of more than 3 days.
- Long-term care insurance may cover nursing home care.
Key Points About Medicaid:
- Medicaid is a needs-based public assistance program with stringent eligibility criteria.
- It won’t pay rent in assisted living, only for nursing home care.
- You are not eligible for Medicaid if you have liquid assets in excess of $2,000.
- You can transfer equity into your home, up to $500K -exempt if spouse, minor or disabled child resides in the home.
- Reverse mortgage doesn’t have to disqualify you.
- 5-year lookback period, so transferring home & assets to family won’t work.
- Feds are required to recover Medicaid expenses with lien on home. Cost recovery regulations vary widely from state to state.
- Very important to first speak to an Elder Care Attorney if you are planning to apply for Medical Assistance.
I highly recommend consulting an Elder Law Attorney prior to selling to discuss your goals, and to devise a plan and a path forward.
Given that HOW a person sells their home can affect their eligibility for medical assistance for a nursing home, you need expert advice before making plans.
Beyond that, two important real estate related legal issues to keep in mind include:
If you have decided to ‘age in place’, and you have heirs that you wish to pass your home to, it’s recommended that you put your home in a Trust or you can change your deed to a Transfer on Death Deed. Otherwise, the house would have to go through Probate before your heirs can take possession, or sell. If there is still a mortgage, this often isn’t enough time to pay off the bank before they will foreclose.
Where estates and/or competency and legal capacity issues are involved, there are many other things for families and heirs to keep in mind from a legal perspective when dealing with selling a home.
- Borrower’s home secures the mortgage.
- Homeowner retains title and lives in the home.
- Lender places a lien on property, but if borrower lives in and maintains the home, there is never any repayment obligation.
- Amortizes negatively – the payments the borrower receives add to the balance owed, along with the accrued interest.
- Borrower never owes more than the home is worth, nor can the lender seek access to other assets
- Borrower may pay off the loan through the sale of the property, or prepayment, at any time without penalty.
-Events that do trigger repayment include:
1) Change of permanent residence, or permanent absence of 12 months or more
2)Specified maturity date
3) Death of the last surviving homeowner
4) Sale of the property
5) Failure to pay taxes & insurance
6) Failure to make repairs
- Different types?
- Eligible properties, and people?
- Borrower’s obligations?
- Payout limits & options?
- Upfront costs & monthly fees?
When adapting a home for aging-in-place, the guideline followed is described with the following acronym:
S.A.F.E. – Safety, Access, Fits Needs, Ease of Use
Modifications should follow Universal Design Standards:
Equitable, Flexible, Simple & Intuitive, Perceptible Information, Tolerance for Error, Low Physical Effort, Size & Space for Approach and Use
Areas that will most benefit from modification include:
1) Modifying a Bathroom
2) Modifying Your Entry and Stairs
3) Modifying Your Kitchen
4) Home Design and Layout Modifications
5) Home Care/Upkeep Modifications & Assistance
** Text/call/email me for more details on modifications.
For 'aging in place' in a retirement community, evaluate the following attributes to make sure it serves your needs:
1) Medical Facilities
2) Housing Market
3) Senior and Aging Services
5) Cost of Living
6) Individual Property Features
7) State & Local Government
10) Community & Activities
12) Fitness Options
I can help you consider the pluses and minuses of your different independent living options, or provide information and resources to help you determine assisted living options for now, or in the future.
If you are looking for a change, but want to maintain maximum independence, the options are:
1) Single Family Home (bigger?, smaller?, closer?, further?...)
2) Condo/Townhouse (security, less maintenance, etc.)
3) Rental (max. flexibility)
If you prefer a community that is more geared toward people of retirement age:
1) Senior Co-op (55+)
2) Senior Apartments
3) Cohousing (Monterey in SLP)(Communal)
4) Active-Adult Communities (Florida, Arizona, etc.)
5) Age-Restricted Communities (55+ & 62+)
Assisted Living Options Include:
1) Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO)
2) Accessory Unit/Mother-In-Law Apt
3) Congregate Living
4) Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE)
5) Continuing Care Retirement Comm. (CCRC)
6) Assisted Living
7) Board & Care
8) Nursing Home
9) Memory Care
My many years as a Realtor, along with the special connections I have made as a Realtor Senior Advisor and Senior Real Estate Specialist, and my association with the Care Options Network have given me the skills and resources to help you plan your next move, connecting you with the right resources to help things go smoothly and to safeguard your interests.
I can provide:
1) Local Professional Resources (i.e. Elder Law Attorneys, Financial Planners, Tax Attorneys, Mortgage Professionals, Insurance Specialists, Elder Care Advisors, Geriatricians, Care Managers, Home Health Care Companies, Moving/Cleaning Coordinators, Contractors, etc.)
2) Aging In Place Information and Resources
2) Senior Housing Options
3) Reverse Mortgage Fact Sheet & Resources
4) Organizing, Declutter and Moving Resources
5) Moving & Packing Checklists
6) Resources for Evaluating Assisted Living & Continuing Care Retirement Facilities
7) Memory Care Resources
8) Book & Resource Materials on Aging
For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase
Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer
Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings
Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.
Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.
Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings