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Blog: Confronting a Housing Transition Later in Life

For many senior residents, giving up their family home is emotionally difficult. But the transition can be smoother if you seek out a real estate agent who understands these challenges.

A real estate transaction is more than a business deal, especially for the seniors in our community. For many seniors, giving up their family home is emotionally difficult. Imagine spending most of your life in a home, raising your children there and watching them go out into the world to live their own lives. Now, suddenly, you must confront the idea of leaving that house and all the memories it represents to you because of health or safety concerns.

It’s not an easy decision for our senior residents or their families. It can be unsettling to consider a future in a new and strange place.

But the transition can be smoother if you seek out a real estate agent who understands these challenges. I recommend working with a senior real estate specialist (I am certified for this kind of work, but not all real estate agents are, so be sure to ask when choosing an agent).

A senior real estate agent will be sensitive to your concerns and work to ease the transition to a new housing solution. That includes taking the time to discuss all the options – from modifying an existing property to finding a new living arrangement in San Marino or a nearby community. The goal is help you find the best solution to fit your needs.

First, you’ll need to consider your options.

If a senior resident must leave his or her home, there are many housing solutions available: condos, independent living, assisted-living centers and more. A senior real estate specialist will be prepared with the information you need to find the best living situation for you. Read more about your options.

Next, you’ll need to know your opportunities.

You may not be aware of it, but there are some incentives for seniors when transferring real estate.  If you decide to transfer property to a child or grandchild, there are two propositions that make it easier to keep your real estate in your family.

Proposition 58 and 193 collectively ensure that these transfers from parents to children or grandparents to grandchildren may be excluded from reassessment. Also in Los Angeles County, Propositions 60 and 90 offer tax initiatives for senior citizens to transfer the trended base value of their current home to a replacement property for substantial tax savings.

There are a number of requirements that must be met, however, so it’s best to read the propositions in detail, or visit with a senior real estate specialist who can explain the guidelines to you.

Third, you’ll need professional help selling your family home.

If you’ve owned your home for many years, chances are you’ll need to make some updates or improvements to sell it.  A real estate agent can use their expertise to provide an assessment of your home and to make suggestions for how best to market it.

There’s no need for you to be overwhelmed by the task ahead. The best agents will offer to assemble a team to help with landscaping, improvements or even just staging the home for showings. The important thing for you is to approach this transition with optimism rather than fear.

For more helpful information, check out my Seniors Real Estate Resource Guide.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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