David Ammons - HeadshotDavid Ammons

David Ammons is president of Retirement Living Associates, Inc. (RLA), a company which provides planning, development, marketing, and management services for new and existing retirement communities. He has worked in and with Senior Living Communities since his graduation from Wake Forest University in 1985. Contact David Ammons at david@rlainc.com or 919-783-0044 ext 21.

How the real estate market impacts seniors considering a move

This month I have decided to take on a mountain of a topic again (I get asked about this often) involving the decision many seniors may have to make at some point in their lives. The decision to buy or sell is determined or guided by many factors, some of which are personal, while others are business-related. I recognize that even the most highly experienced real estate agents don’t agree or really know when is the BEST time to buy and sell, so it comes down to an answer that one reaches when he/she asks, “Is NOW the time to make a move?”

When is the right time to sell?

The recession changed the level of apprehension for many seniors when they are considering a move. Many seniors facing the decision on whether to buy or sell realize, for the most part, the ability to fund a new home is often reliant on selling their existing one. The bottom line advice from many is to factor in timing, but don’t let timing change too much where and how you want to live.

Buying and selling tips for seniors

A senior thinking about selling needs to keep key aspects in mind. With the recession now way back in our housing cycle, and a still-improving real estate market, many new homebuilders have gotten back into the market. New homes generally provide benefits in the areas of energy efficiency, updated technology, lower maintenance costs, and more modern designs. These enticing features will make resales more challenging. Certainly specific neighborhoods and locations can overcome new home benefits, but in general, resales struggle when compared to the sale of new homes.

A strong point that many seniors benefit from is a steady and increasing interest from younger buyers for established neighborhoods, buying, remodeling, or more changes like a teardown are all very popular. Low interest rates available today continue to help the overall housing market. With rates low, new homebuilders have come back in full force.

My conclusion is that NOW is a good time to move!

On a final, personal note, I am sure we all agree that the economics and timing are crucial. However, after assisting thousands of seniors in relocation, most say that getting settled with the added freedom of our amenities, services, lifestyle, and security to protect them against future health changes is their number one priority!

Four final messages from seniors that have made a change

  • Make a plan BEFORE you are forced into a plan, which allows for better options
  • Move while you can manage, as getting older only makes a move more challenging
  • Move while you still can enjoy all the amenities that a new home or community offers. It will be fun!
  • Look forward to a new start!