We’re sure you’ve read about it: baby boomers aren’t moving and they’re wrecking the real estate market. They’ve decided to age in place, just when so many buyers want to buy a home.
To read real estate news about the baby boomer generation one would think the entire generation is passively-aggressively thumbing their nose at both home buyers and real estate agents.
However, that reporting may not be entirely accurate. After all, who was it that kept the housing market afloat during the recovery from the Great Recession?
And, while it’s true that Millennials have a large presence in the housing market (39 percent of homebuyers), the two older generations (anyone 55 and older) make up 37 percent of the home-buying pool.
If you haven’t bought or sold a home since the kids were in diapers, you’ll need to brush up on the basics if you plan to sell or buy. And we would love to help you.
1. Carefully reconsider aging in place
“Ageing in place.” It’s one of those buzz phrases the media came up with to describe older Americans who “stubbornly” refuse to move and plan to live out their lives in their current homes.
And, many of them do. But many haven’t thought through that process. As the knees start creaking, arthritis sets in and we become winded carrying groceries up a flight of stairs, reality sets in.
It turns out, that many boomers realize that aging in place doesn’t necessarily mean age in this place. According to a recent study by Home Instead Senior Care, one in four boomers is planning on selling their current home and buying a smaller, more age-appropriate one.
You know: one story, less square footage, and low maintenance, inside and out.
2. What will you do with your current home?
Your choices here are limited. You can sell the home (which much older, downsizing Americans plan to do) and use the equity you’ve built up for the new home. Or, you can rent it out and, if the home is paid off, enjoy the monthly income from your tenants.
Renting it out does come with drawbacks, however. Being a landlord, even if you do hire a management company, comes with many downsides. We always recommend that our boomer clients speak with their financial planners before making a decision.
3. Hiring the right real estate agent
Yes, this section does seem a bit self-serving. But, hiring the right real estate agent to help you out with selling and buying or selling and renting is critical.
I have many past clients who told me they were sick and tired of real estate agents speaking down to them as if they are children. Condescending, full of outdated stereotypes, and pushy is how many of my clients describe these agents.
We hope to be among the agents you interview to partner with you during this life transition. And, please, interview several. Don’t lower your expectations because you are in the driver’s seat.
We hope that you won’t entertain the thought of working with an agent who treats you as if you’re a doddering “senior citizen” and one that feels he or she knows best what is right for you.
Only you (and your financial planner) can and should make that decision.
High expectations for those you hire to assist you are good. Ensure that each agent you interview understands your expectations and listens, hears you, and lets you know how he or she will help.
Please reach out to us – we’re happy to help.