Are you a senior looking to downsize now that all of your kids have moved out? Or maybe you’re thinking of buying a rental property to earn income during retirement? No matter what kind of real estate transaction you want to get into, you should work with a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).
A designation created by the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council in 1997, SRESs came into the picture to tackle the increasing housing needs of seniors. To obtain this designation, the National Association of Realtors offers a two-day training course that will enable Realtors to address the changing real estate needs of mature clients.
How can an SRES help you?
- Senior Real Estate Specialists can provide options that address your particular housing needs
As seniors, you have specific needs when it comes to real estate – and there’s more to it than just assisted living facilities or retirement homes. Like all homebuyers, you have your individual needs. You may want to live somewhere with plenty of entertainment and recreational options. Or, you may prefer a quieter and more peaceful community. What’s important is that you find a place where you can feel right at home.
Equipped with specialized skills and knowledge, an SRES is aware of all of this. You can count on them to find a home that is a perfect fit and addresses all of your present and future needs. These can include general home features such as one-story floor plans, senior-friendly bathrooms, and no-step entries.
SRESs are also well trained in the requirements of the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), so they know which housing developments and communities are designated specifically for seniors. This is knowledge that ordinary real estate agents don’t have, and a huge advantage you can benefit from by working with an SRES.
- Senior Real Estate Specialists understand the financial concerns of seniors
You’re bound to come across a few financial challenges when dealing with any kind of real estate. As a senior, you’re going to want someone who can help you understand these complexities so that you can make well-informed decisions from start to finish. An SRES is exactly the person you need for this. From choosing the perfect home that fits your budget to selling your current home for the right price, they cover all the bases to make sure you make the right moves.
- Real estate taxes
One of the biggest advantages SRES have is their knowledge of real estate taxes that apply to seniors. These include all of the California-wide property tax exemptions that can help you save thousands of dollars like Propositions 60 and 90, and parcel tax exemptions.
If you also want to earn income from rental property during retirement, you can also count on them to help you find the best investment properties. While owning rental property comes with taxes, having an SRES by your side to help you deal with them is a lifesaver.
- Pensions and retirement accounts
No real estate agent is as familiar with pensions and retirement accounts like an SRES. From IRAs to 401ks, senior specialists know how you can make full use of what the law provides when you buy real estate. SRES are also knowledgeable about the many mortgage options available to you, as well as loan schemes you would do well to avoid to keep your finances safe.
- Estate planning
According to a 2019 survey by Caring.com, 57% of American adults don’t have a will or estate plan. You don’t want to give your heirs a hard time, so it’s best to finalize your estate arrangements as soon as possible.
Being trained in estate planning, an SRES can help you craft a will and an estate plan for your family. These specialists also understand how Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security tie into your real estate and finances during retirement.
- Real estate taxes
Senior Real Estate Specialists have a wide network of connections
The real estate industry doesn’t just consist of agents and brokers. It’s a broad field that includes the likes of mortgage lenders, builders, and home designers. SRESs are normally connected with such professionals who can help you achieve your real estate goals.
More importantly, SRESs have an additional network of providers and professionals who specialize in the needs of seniors. For instance, Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS) help seniors live in their homes as safely as they can. Senior specialists can also refer you to reputable lenders and tax specialists who can attend to your specific financial needs.
Looking for the best options for senior housing in Los Angeles? I’m Senior Real Estate Specialist Toni Patillo, and I can help you find the right home to sit your changing needs. Call me at 310.482.2035 or send me an email at toni(at)ToniPatillo(dotted)com to get started.