Aging Boomers and the Real Estate Market

Even though Baby Boomers have more money than any other group and they are "younger" in terms of aging, on the whole, they aren't planning too well for their older years. A Canadian research project that examined the long-term housing needs for seniors conducted by the Atlantic Seniors Housing Research Alliance (ASHRA), suggested that communities are not preparing adequately for the large numbers of soon to be seniors.

Research Discloses Boomers' Position

Although the study is Canadian, the community impact is similar in the US and other countries with aging populations. Some of the findings of the research showed that seniors may opt to age in place, in other words, remain in their home - which is fine except that many of them can't afford to do so. Half of the respondents in the survey declared a yearly income of less than $30,000. It found that most seniors do not plan well for future housing needs and that what they can do as opposed to what they want to do are not always the same. Nevertheless, decisions are made based on the "want to do" rather than the "able to do".

The Need Arises

This information brings to light the need Baby Boomers will have for well trained, need-specific help when the time comes for them to decide concerning their living situations. David Pylyp an Accredited Senior Specialist with Re/Max of West Toronto discusses the role of real estate agents in this upcoming wave:

"This is a concern, in light of the fact that as Canadian baby boomers age, they are entering a stage in their lives when making housing decisions requires careful consideration, and the role of the Realtor will be even more important in their decision-making process. We will see the effect of population aging in terms of the location of residences, the design characteristics of new homes, and the range of financing options available to senior boomers. We will also see changes to the variety of services available enabling seniors to thrive independently and participate in their community for as long as possible..."

The Impact on Communities

There will be a big impact upon the real estate industry based upon how communities respond and prepare for their aging citizens. This is where Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRESs) come in. Their focus is on counseling, not selling - asking the right questions and being patient enough to work through the sometimes overwhelming issues a senior might have. The need is to handle the complex issues relating to the mature homeowner and buyer.

The fact of the matter is that the senior niche is something that is only going to grow - it isn't going to go away. The number of people 65 and older is expected to rise 137 percent to a staggering 82 million (in the US) by 2050, according to the US Census. That is why it is so important for people in the mature market to obtain the help of an SRES Realtor when it comes to any decisions regarding the sale of their home - or their decision to age in place.

Mistakes Seniors Make When Deciding Whether or Not to Sell

Some of the mistakes seniors make when they sell their homes end up costing them in many different ways. Along with not seeking the help of an SRES Realtor, not getting a competitive market analysis to help weigh the options regarding a sale is another mistake. A market analysis allows a person to estimate their net from the real estate closing which can determine post-sale arrangements.

Another big mistake seniors make when it comes to real estate is assuming they have to sell. After discussing the real issues and making assessments, an SRES may be able to show that there are options available that will make it easier for the person to stay in their own home and even make accommodating modifications.

The advancing population age demands the rise of Realtors who can usher this phase of growth into a healthy place, ensuring the real estate market remains solid and the mature person makes decisions that are in their best interest.