In 2010, my wife Linda and I, discarded the chains of a 3500 square foot home and embraced the practicality of downsizing. For us, the decision wasn’t easy as we were still young and vibrant (well, maybe not as vibrant as we’d like), and had plans for future moves. Nine years later, we’re still here.
I mention this because many of you have not taken the SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) course. It is in that course where the concept of Aging in Place is discussed. Had Linda and I had a proactive, forward thinking agent (we had me), Aging in Place might have been a part of the conversation.
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aging in place is “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level”.
If Steven Covey had discussed Aging in Place, he might have likened it to “beginning with the end in mind.” There are two distinct situations where homebuyers would benefit from their agent engaging in this discussion.
1) Downsizing. This is the situation where you could/should have had the conversation with me. When a baby boomer is downsizing, it is entirely possible that they are considering the purchase as their final one. “I want to live out my days in this house,” a 68 year old buyer once told me. If that was, indeed, the case, I should have launched into explaining Aging in Place. If my 68 year old buyer expects to be in a home as he ages, he needs to think about how the home he is buying will work for him when he is 78, or 88, or older. This should considerably change the way he looks at potential dwellings. Obviously, it is much easier to pick the right home up front, than be forced to modify a home fifteen years later.
2) Vacation to Retirement. While the economy is good, many people choose to buy second/vacation homes. Here is another scenario where you might bring up Aging in Place considerations. Let’s say I have you helping me find a getaway/vacation place. Chances are that my goal is to use it periodically, and rent it occasionally (by the way, when I mention that, you should be informing me that I might want to discuss the investment/rental part of the home with my tax advisor). IF, however, I allude to the possibility of retiring in the home or somehow making it my personal residence, BINGO, it’s Aging in Place discussion time. What I might put up with in a house when I’m using it occasionally or renting it might be considerably different that if I am actually going to live in it. You need to help me find THAT house up front.
The Aging in Place conversation is one way we can truly help our buyers think ahead. It is also a way to differentiate ourselves from all of the other agents who either have no idea what Aging in Place is or neglect to see the relevancy.
Questions? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.