REAL ESTATE FOR THE ‘OVER 50 CROWD’
Are you at a stage in your life when your home is no longer a good fit for your needs? It isn’t just that we are getting older – but our interest in and /or our ability to look after a large home, or do stairs, shovel snow, maintain lawns and gardens etc. changes over time. Perhaps we just long for a maintenance free lifestyle or the ability to walk away for a few months in warmer climates or – as much as we all love to see children having fun – perhaps we would now prefer a neighbourhood of older people – a built-in social life on the street.
I am a part of this “over 50 crowd” myself and I truly enjoy working with clients in this esteemed group. They usually know what they want, know what they like and don’t like, have a good handle on what they can afford, have had some experience in buying and selling homes and are genuinely looking forward to a new lifestyle.
I would be delighted to chat with you if a change is on your horizon! Read on and you may find some helpful information. The previous section on Downsizing might be a great place to start.
WHY IS SELLING SO EMOTIONAL?
Why is selling so emotional? Selling your home should be a simple business transaction, right? WRONG!
Most people don’t realize just how attached they are to their home until it is time to consider selling it. All of those special memories rise to the surface – perhaps your children grew up in this house…..maybe your daughter got married in this house……maybe you lost your spouse while living in this house.
Your stuff, too, has special meaning for you. How dare that Real Estate Agent refer to our family trinkets and photos as “clutter” !! What do you mean people won’t like our green carpet? Why should we have to remove the urn from the mantel?
Then, we get to the pricing aspect of selling. We all feel our homes are special. We all firmly believe that the right buyer will pay exactly what we feel our home is worth. The hard truth is that buyers aren’t likely to pay a penny more than the neighbourhood real estate market indicates they should pay.
The most difficult thing for sellers to do is to truly see their house through the eyes of potential buyers.
Trust your Real Estate Agent. We know the market. We know what sort of buyer is likely to be attracted to your home. We can be completely objective. We both have the same goal in mind – to sell your home for the best possible price in the least amount of time.
Whether you are planning a move or you have simply decided it is time to de-clutter, deciding what to keep, what to donate and what to toss is never an easy task. You know you have to deal with it – or your kids, family or friends will be left with the problem.
Many of us are wedded to our “stuff” coming up with all kinds of logical reasons to hang onto things: “I might need this some day”, “It belonged to Great Aunt Betsy”, “I use this when I entertain large groups”, “My kids would be upset if I got rid of this”, “I have the space, so what’s the problem?” and so on.
Methodically getting rid of things is actually a cleansing process – leaving you feeling extremely proud of yourself and “free”. It is, however, a daunting task to take on alone. Enlist a caring spouse, friend or family member – or even hire a professional organizer to help. Make sure your helper understands your feelings about your stuff and is someone who will gently guide you through the process without ridicule or criticism.
I have a process for successful decluttering and a list of helpful resources so if you would like to chat about how to get started, please feel free to call me.
ORGANIZING THE MOVE
You’ve made the decision to move, you’ve figured out how to give away or sell your unneeded things and now the move itself has to be arranged. There will be lots of “to-do’s” for you during this period between booking the move and move day.
I want my clients to be prepared for a move and I like to be able to look at their move as an exciting and joyous event. I have created a helpful checklist that can be used as a guide to take some of the stress and effort out of the process. If you would like a copy of this checklist, please give me a call at 613-291-6007 and I’ll get a copy to you as quickly as possible.
SHOULD YOU BUY OR SELL FIRST?
Should you buy or sell first? The answer is “it depends!”.
If you buy first:
- You can look for that perfect place at your leisure and feel completely happy with your decision before you put your home on the market.
- On the flip side, you won’t know exactly how much money you will have to work with should you be planning to buy a new home.
If you sell first:
- You will know exactly how much money you have for a new home
- There is no pressure to sell quickly so you are able to negotiate the deal on a new home from a position of strength.
- You eliminate the possibility of having to carry 2 homes.
- You will be free to make an offer on a new home that is not conditional on the sale of your current home.
If you Sell first, and can’t find that perfect place or situation, you could end up having to put your belongings in storage and temporarily renting. You don’t want to feel pressured into settling for a house or situation that doesn’t really meet your requirements.
Beyond personal circumstances, local market conditions will be a strong consideration. In a sellers’ market, with low inventories of homes for sale, demand suggests one should buy first and then sell. In a buyers’ market, with a large inventory of homes for sale and a scarcity of buyers, it is likely best to sell first and buy later.
Don’t hesitate to call me if you have any concerns or questions relating to any aspect of the real estate market. I am here to help.
The last decade has seen a return to the multi-generational family living arrangements of days gone by, where children, parents, grandparents, sometimes even great-grandparents all live together. Private sleeping quarters, sometimes with separate entrances, allow families to coexist with multiple generations while still maintaining their own “space” and privacy. This new type of room addition or renovation is becoming known as the in-law suite.
For those facing the difficult decision of placing a parent in a retirement or nursing home, the in-law suite is an ideal alternative that allows the adult child to be nearby, yet still somewhat separate from their aging parent.
INSURANCE AND AN EMPTY HOUSE
You may simply be on an extended vacation, heading south for the winter – or you have moved and your previous home has not yet sold. If you plan to be out of your home for any reason – including renovation – you should carefully check your Homeowners insurance policy to make sure you still have coverage!!
A house is considered vacant when all occupants of the premises have moved out with no intention of returning and no new occupant has taken up residence. If the residents are only “temporarily away”, the house is considered “unoccupied” rather than “vacant”.
In unoccupied homes, there are rules that must be followed to ensure continued insurance coverage…..in winter, if the house is unoccupied for more than 4 consecutive days, your insurance will not cover water damage due to freezing in the plumbing, heating, sprinkler, c/a system or domestic appliance UNLESS you arrange for someone to visit your house daily to make sure the heat is maintained. Your only other option is to shut off the water supply and drain all pipes and appliances.
Before you leave your home – for whatever reason – check with your insurance agent.
WHY USE AN AGENT?
I think it’s time for me to outline how I can help when the time comes to sell your current home and find something that meets your new requirements.
The first step in the process would be to meet so that I can fully understand your requirements. At that meeting we will work together to set expectations and discuss the selling and possibly buying, process and time frames. Once I view your home, I will be in a better position to help you to determine the correct selling price and I will be able to outline the marketing strategy for selling your home for top dollar. We will also need to discuss your new desired living arrangements so that we can plan for a smooth transition.
In order to do this, I will provide you with a written report outlining my suggested listing price, what I would expect a buyer to pay for your home and an idea of how long the process will take. I will also make recommendations on preparing your home for sale, and if necessary, can bring in the appropriate resources in order to assist us in preparing your home. We will then view options for you to consider as your new home!
When you are ready to sell, or sell and buy, please let me be the Agent you go to for this most important and personal transaction.
From Kris' Blog
What a year it was! The total number of residential and condo units sold through the Board’s MLS® System throughout all of 2017 was 17,083 vs 15,526 in 2016, an increase of 10%. Residential sales volume was up 16% and the condo market up 22% increase in the number of units sold. Average 2017 residential sale price was $425,063, an increase of 6.8% over 2016, while the average condominium sale price was $269,903, an increase of 3.4% over 2016. For the month of December, members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 771 residential properties through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System compared with 711 in December 2016, an increase of 8.4%. The 5-year average for December sales is 687.The average sale price of a residential class property sold in December was $434,098, an increase of 3.4% over December 2016. The average sale price for a condominium class property was $255,335, a decrease of 3% from December 2016. December saw an increase of 8.4% in the number of units sold in residential sales and 25% in condo sales. This could very well be attributed to the changes in the mortgage qualification rules implemented January 1, 2018. Since every area is different, if you are thinking of buying or selling, please do give me a call. And – don’t forget those referrals – they are a huge contribution to the success of my business. Kris...