Marketing Your Home to the 55+

The baby boomers are retiring and many of the 77 million people that make up this demographic are going to be thinking about changing their residence. What are you doing to attract them to your property? Aiming at an older demographic can pay off in a quick home sale at a good price.

The first thing to remember that, while there still are those who prefer to sit out on the porch and knit, many of these boomers have been accustomed to leading active lives and are not planning to give that up. They are not looking for the rocking chair on the veranda just yet. This is why homes and communities geared towards the 55 and over are gaining such a foothold in the country. The soon-to-be senior are not going to be content to stay at home; they want to be out swimming, walking, running, dancing and engaging in social events. Most of them have no children to care for and have a lot of time to fill.

A home near educational opportunities, coffee shops, gyms and shopping is also desirable to this generation. This is the demographic that first popularized the fitness centre. Play up any amenities, like swimming pools and saunas, that will appeal to the active retiree. Today’s seniors are more interested in broadening their horizons with classes, social events and volunteering, so any local institutions that offer these activities are going to be a plus.

A walkable neighborhood is something you should advertise at every opportunity. Seniors today are more aware of health issues than previous generations and a home that is close to amenities and is attractive and safe to walk in will be a definite attraction. Walk around the home yourself and note any interesting features or convenient shops that would be of interest. Parks are also a popular strolling destination.

A safe neighborhood is on the list for just about everybody, but especially people who feel they can’t defend themselves as well as in former years. Play up any crime statistics that prove your neighborhood is low on crime.

The ideal home for many seniors is one that will accommodate them as they grow older. Wider doorways, few steps, and handrails in the bathrooms are a few attractive features that will encourage someone to buy with an eye to future retirement. Sometimes a relatively inexpensive renovation can mean that your home catches the eye of people looking for a place to spend their retirement years.

Above all, never assume anything about your senior prospective buyer. Treat them like you would any other prospective buyer and use the information they drop to guide them towards the sterling qualities of your home that will suit them.

Inspecting Older Homes Requires a Different Skill Set

A different set of standards is usually required when performing a home inspection on older houses as opposed to new construction. Risks that do not apply to newer structures are often found lurking around older properties. Changes over time can result in many threats to the integrity of the property that cannot be recognized except by a trained professional.

There may be small mounds of earth or exceptionally green areas of the lawn that represent the menace of abandoned wells and septic tanks. These can still sometimes be found on properties that were long ago hooked up to central water and sewer systems. A quick look at an electrical circuit breaker box and wiring might lead one to believe that everything is in order. Only a trained professional knows to look for aluminum wiring or a faulty design of circuit breakers banned from use several decades ago. On the surface, none of these hazards are obvious.

Yet they represent exactly the sort of structural risk that professional inspections catch. Nobody other than a highly-competent professional is expected to know that certain brands of siding and roofing were recalled long ago or that some models of smoke detectors are useless. Comprehensive inspections are not about checking the boxes on a form but about uncovering the risks hidden deep inside even the most solid-seeming structure. Thirty years of remodeling may disguise the original lead-based paint on the walls. There is no way of knowing just by looking at the current layer of latex paint, or even the five layers of latex paint underneath it. Few people even know how to begin looking for such a health risk.

This is not to say that every older home represents a lurking catastrophe. Many of them represent finer examples of enduring craftsmanship than newer models. The point is that a well-done inspection can save money on costly future repairs as well as ensure a family’s safety in their new home. Catching problems before closing on a house means that the previous owner gets to fix things that the new owners will then enjoy for years to come. In this regard, the services of a good home inspector more than pay for themselves, while the services of an unqualified one are simply a waste of money. In fact, a poor inspector is worse than useless, since they engender a false sense of security. Here is a quick checklist of things you need in a home inspector:

  • Someone who is not in a hurry or afraid to get dirty. Most of the problems a home inspector needs to find are not in clean, easy-to-access parts of the house.
  • Someone who is fully vetted on the hidden risks of housing construction. Many products that were used in good faith in the past have since been proven to be failures at their intended purposes.
  • Someone who will fight for you. A good inspector is like a good umpire in baseball. He must call them like he sees them, regardless of how the realtors or loan companies want the home inspection to turn out.

The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Inc. (InterNACHI) has resources that can be invaluable to a home owner. Inspectors who are members of the InterNACHI and other associations must meet strict membership requirements and qualifications, including experience, training, professional affiliations and compliance with their state’s regulations. Starting with associations like InterNACHI is a great idea for home owners, and can assure that the home owner can hire the right Home Inspector and know the general principles, processes and requirements of a professional home inspection.

Saving Your Home – Do You Need a Foreclosure Attorney?

Once you miss a payment on your home, catching up is vital. As you miss more and more payments, the bank begins calling and they won’t accept what you have to offer. They want the delinquent amount plus the new monthly payment. This makes it almost impossible to make any steps forward. You begin to feel defeated and you may even begin digging your hole deeper. It is best to try at this step to save your home only if you can afford to keep up on monthly payments. If you can’t it’s best to let the bank know you need to explore other options. A foreclosure attorney can help you work with the bank and protect your personal interest.

Loan re modification can halt the process and buy you more time. You will need to fill out all proper documents and be sure the mortgage company receives them. If you have applied for re modification and were denied, you can ask for a review of your denial. You can begin the steps to saving your home if you review your budget and file all the proper paperwork with your mortgage company. You will want to send in a complete budget that is realistic and demonstrates your ability to pay a modified amount. You will also want to include a hardship letter. A letter that is brief, but explains why you hit hard times and why delinquency is not projected to continue.

Most people feel overwhelmed when the letters start pouring in reminding them of the debt they defaulted on. At any point it is okay to contact a foreclosure attorney. You may feel that you can handle the first step of asking for re modification, but sometimes when a lawyer who knows the process gets involved things are more successful. If you tried and were denied you will need to hire someone if you truly feel you can continue to make payments and want to save your home.

A lawyer will begin looking into things like documentation to be sure the mortgage servicer can produce all of it. They may ask for a copy of the mortgage note and all endorsements and assignments. It is possible that they don’t have everything they need and this could stop the process. They may also call into question the notary book. A notary has to follow certain procedures when signing. If your lawyer can prove something was overlooked you may have a more cooperative lender on your hands.

Consider hiring a foreclosure attorney to protect your interest. A lender will push you around because they know what they are doing. You may read up on the internet about tips and tricks, but true judicial knowledge comes from devotion and time spent. You may begin devoting time now, and you may learn a lot in this process, but protecting your home is key.