Ready For Aging?

Do you think getting old is hard?

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report showing that about 4 million U.S. households with an adult age 65 or older had difficulty living in or using some features of their home.

About 50 million, or 40 percent, of U.S. homes had what were considered to be the most basic, aging-ready features: a step-free entryway into the home and a bedroom and full bathroom on the first floor.

About 4 million or 11 percent of older households reported difficulty living in or using their home. The share increased to nearly 25 percent among households with a resident age 85 or older.

Older homeowners tended to be aware of their home’s accessibility shortcomings – they just don’t do anything about them. Most older households did not plan to renovate to make their home more aging accessible – only about 6 percent of homeowners with at least one person aged 65 or older had plans for home improvement projects to make their home more accessible for people with physical limitations. For the oldest households (one person over 85 years old), this proportion increased to 9.1 percent.

If you are going to make one last move, do it when you are younger/healthy and can handle it. We just spent the last two days helping my uncle go through his ‘stuff’, and it’s amazing how much accumulates over time!

Appreciating Life

We are going through this now in our family, and it’s probably happening to you or someone you know. It’s a reminder that if you’re a senior and have one move left, it’s so much better to move sooner, rather than later (trying to put a real estate spin on this touching video).

Boomer Liquidations In 2024?

During the Yahoo Finance Invest Conference, Meredith Whitney, who accurately predicted the 2008 financial crisis and became known as “the Oracle of Wall Street,” said that housing prices will fall in 2024 due to a “silver tsunami” of baby boomers who are expected to downsize in the coming years.

More than 30 million units of housing are expected to be brought onto the market as 51% of people over 50, who own more than 70% of U.S. homes, downsize to smaller homes.

It’s been a challenging time for hopeful homebuyers amid soaring prices and mortgage rates, but a little bit of good news might be around the corner.

Highlighting estimates from AARP, Whitney said that over 51% of individuals aged 50 and above, who own more than 70% of U.S. homes, are projected to move into smaller residences. This downsizing trend could result in over 30 million units of housing being brought onto the market.

Every year another expert rages on about the silver tsunami, mostly based on antiquated beliefs that seniors will all downsize – but it’s different now, especially around San Diego.

If seniors are downsizing, they need to leave town to make it worth moving. Here’s how the local populations have changed in a recent 2-year period – it’s hardly been an exodus, and it also suggests that there are new incoming residents who are filling the gap:

Home Too Big?

Houses are getting bigger overall, but that doesn’t mean a larger house is right for you.

“Fit is super important, and people get complacent and they don’t think about if their home is still fitting them,” says Marni Jameson Carey, a home and lifestyle expert, author of “Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go,” and president of Power to the Patients, a nonprofit organization.

Here are four signs your home may be bigger than you need or can handle.

  • There are rooms you haven’t spent time in for weeks.
  • You haven’t furnished the whole house.
  • The property taxes are too much for you.
  • Most of the stuff belongs to people who’ve moved away.

And here are four things you can do about it:

  • Reach out to a professional.
  • Stay in a short-term rental for a while.
  • Consider all your needs.
  • Don’t just downsize your home.

There Are Rooms You Haven’t Spent Time in for Weeks

A four-bedroom McMansion may have once been perfect for a house full of teenagers and hosting extended family for the holidays, but now all but your own bedroom is a guest room and you no longer host Thanksgiving for the family.

“You’re overheating spaces that don’t need to be heated at all because you’re not using them,” says Eric Stewart, CEO and associate broker of the Eric Stewart Group of Long & Foster Real Estate in the District of Columbia metro area. “I think it’s the slow realization that the house owns you more than you own the house.”

You Haven’t Furnished the Whole House

Whether you don’t need a room or can’t afford to put furniture in it yet, the fact that your furniture choices can’t match the house you bought may be a sign it’s not the right real estate fit.

“Plastic chairs on a patio on an $800,000 house, and you go, ‘What happened here?’” Carey says.

If you’ve lived in the house more than a few months and you’ve left entire rooms bare, ask if you’re ever going to take full advantage of the total square footage you own. If you see it as unlikely, consider “right-sizing” your property to fit with your lifestyle as well as your wallet.

The Property Taxes Are Too Much for You

You can deduct your state and local property taxes up to $10,000 from your itemized federal tax filing, but for many homeowners that still means they’ve got a few thousand dollars to pay without annual relief.

If the limit on property deductions isn’t enough and means you’re financially strapped, you should rethink the home you own. Consider whether the location outweighs your ability to pay other expenses, and look at alternative cities or neighborhoods that might be able to provide the life you desire without the excessive costs currently tied to it.

Most of the Stuff Belongs to People Who’ve Moved Away

A classic empty nester problem is having all your kids’ belongings spanning from birth to college – and even beyond – with no real use for any of it. Trying to get your adult children to decide between keeping their macaroni art from first grade at their own house and letting you toss it can be tough for both sides, but keep in mind that your home shouldn’t be used as a storage unit.

Carey says, when given a certain amount of space, most people will naturally fill it up with belongings. In the case of empty nesters, that space is often filled with memorabilia that ultimately does not provide enough sentimental value to anyone to be kept. Put your foot down and have your kids come by to clean up and take what they would like to keep.

Even if you’d like to stay in your home in the long run, it’s important to regain control of the property when others stop living there. The worst-case scenario is realizing you need a smaller house or need to move to where you can get more care but feel overwhelmed by the task of clearing out the house. “Don’t be there as a default – be there by choice,” Carey says.

Cool-Down Period for Seniors?

There is no cool-down period now. Once a purchase contract is signed, the seller has to sell.

Katy Perry’s real estate history hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. The singer has been wrapped up in several legal battles with elderly homeowners in California, and the conflicts have even inspired a proposed law named the Katy PERRY Act—which not exactly a positive claim to fame. Ahead, take a look at everything we know about the potential law.

The Katy PERRY Act, also referred to as the PERRY Act, “addresses the risks of elder financial abuse, especially as it relates to property and real estate sales and transfers,” according to a website created by its supporters. “The Act establishes a 72-hour cool-down period during which either party involved in a contract for conveyance of a personal residence, in which one party is over the age of 75, can rescind the agreement without penalty.” The name is an obvious reference to the singer, but PERRY also stands for Protecting Elder Realty for Retirement Years Act.

While the PERRY Act has not gone through any legislative processes—and is an effort supported by Perry’s opponents in her current real estate court battle—the proposed act has bipartisan support. Among the signing legislators are state representatives, assemblymen, and senators with the majority from New Mexico and Texas. Others are from Arkansas, California, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

Katy Perry has been involved in several legal battles that the website dedicated to the act points to as examples of “predatory acquisition, unfair dealing, or elder financial fraud.” Her most recent high-profile case involves 84-year-old Carl Westcott, who filed a lawsuit to block the sale of his Santa Barbara, California, home to Perry and her fiancé Orlando Bloom. According to court documents, Westcott is alleging that he “lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature and probable consequences of the contract.”

Westcott—who was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease in 2015—purchased the home in May 2020 for $11.25 million with the intention to reside there for the rest of his life. Not long after, he was presented with a proposed contract to sell his home to Perry and Bloom. The contract is dated July 14, 2020, and the offer was for $15 million.

Before signing the contract, Westcott underwent a six-hour back surgery on July 10. When he entered the contract, the lawsuit claimed he was suffering from pain and post-surgical delirium from the surgery, “dementia and/or diminished mental cognitive functions” from Huntington’s, and he was under the influence of pain-killing opiates that his physicians instructed him to take. (If the name Westcott is familiar to you, it may be for one of two reasons: Carl is the founder of 1-800-FLOWERS and his daughter, Kameron Westcott, was a star of the now-cancelled Real Housewives of Dallas.)

Read full article here:

More on Boomer Housing

The author has been writing about housing for 3+ years, and has already identified the key topic. Even though the houses owned by boomers might be in superior locations, they are dated and in need of repairs and improvements. While she thinks fixers will become popular again, it will only be those that are appropriately discounted. During the frenzy, no discount was needed, now it’s around 10%, and soon it will be 20% or more as the group of two-story fixers grows faster. The market is dividing into four quadrants; one-story, two-story, creampuffs, and fixers.

The number of people 80 years of age or older is expected to more than double between 2022 and 2040, increasing from 13 million to 28 million. As the baby boomer generation ages into their 80s, starting slowly in the late 2020s and picking up speed in the 2030s, they will likely begin downsizing and selling their homes, putting more housing supply on the market.

However, many of the homes being sold by baby boomers will need some work. Approximately 942,000 single-family homes owned by a head of household that is over the age of 60 are considered “inadequate” dwellings, according to the 2021 American Housing Survey (AHS). The AHS definition for an “inadequate” dwelling includes units with severe defects such as a lack of electricity or hot water, insufficient heating during the winter, or water leaks. That still leaves approximately 32 million single-family homes considered “adequate” in 2021. Of those, approximately 11 million were in the top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas, including 1.5 million units in New York, 852,000 in Los Angeles, and 490,000 in Washington, D.C.

Even so, many of the structures considered adequate would still likely need updating and remodeling to be brought up to date and be attractive to potential buyers. Given the highly sought-after locations of these housing units, there will likely be buyers willing to spend the money needed for updating and remodeling. Somewhat by default, the fixer-upper will be popular again.

The demographics for home buying will remain very favorable in the coming years. Today, the housing market suffers from a shortage of housing inventory—a deficit of approximately 2 million housing units in early 2023—due to a combination of decade-long underbuilding and a demographic wave of demand from millennial home buyers. However, the generation behind the millennials, Generation Z, is smaller in size and will likely require fewer housing units. Over the next decade, as baby boomers age out of homeownership, the housing shortage may narrow and eventually disappear. Demographic trends dictate long-run demand and supply in the housing market and, though they may move slowly, they are hard to outrun.

Baby Boomers – When to Move

For virtually everyone – and especially for the long-time homeowners – moving is a life-changing event.

People are already having a life-changing event, and that’s what is causing them to move. Just getting older is life-changing! Selling the house and moving is the SECOND life-changing event, and the double whammy is a lot to digest for those who have settled into their comfortable lifestyle for the last 10, 20, or 30+ years.

Things to Handle (all of which can be a monster by themselves):

  • Leaving the comfort of home and move to a new neighborhood….and maybe a new state.
  • Having to go through “the stuff”.
  • Getting comfortable with the huge numbers.
  • Surrendering to paying six-figures in capital-gains taxes.
  • Finding a realtor who adds value.
  • Finding a suitable house.

If you already live in a house that will be suitable for the rest of your life (i.e., one-story in a good area that doesn’t need much work), then enjoy! But if you know you have another move to make, don’t wait too long.

Moving is mentally, emotionally, and physically demanding…..and you want to do it when you still have your wits about you. Generally-speaking, you want to be settled by the time you are 75 years old. Because it could take years to handle the six things above, you want to get started by the time you are 70 years old.

It means that if you were born in 1953 or before, and you know you have another move coming, then you should call me today and we’ll get started! Let’s do it!

Don’t wait too long!

Need To Move Out-Of-State

Unless you are among the very affluent, you need to move out-of-state to make it worth selling your home in San Diego. If that looks inevitable, do it while you are younger and can handle the challenge! Start by going through your stuff – your kids don’t want it and will dump most everything you leave behind.

While the median distance moved in the 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was 50 miles, one-quarter of buyers traveled over 470 miles to find their new home. Traditionally, buyers have stayed close to their past homes. From 1989 to 2021, the median distance moved was just 10 to 15 miles.

Based on this generational trend, it is not surprising that those who moved more than 470 miles from their past residence were more likely to be repeat home buyers. Just 11% were first-time buyers. This dispels one potential myth that has abounded in the last year: that first-time buyers are the ones making the move to find their first property far from their rental unit. It does happen, but it is more likely a repeat buyer who is making the distance move.

Silver Glacier

They calculated that baby boomers provided 4.41 million of the 7.74 million homes for sale in 2019 (57%). Now that younger homeowners are locked into their forever home, it’s likely that the percentage of estate sales will rise dramatically – but only because there will be so few sales from other categories. 

Complicating the flow is the amount of surviving spouses that stay in the home. The red band in the graph above looks like it’s around 1/3 of the total number of deaths of homeowners, which means we really need to wait until BOTH boomers die before seeing those homes get into the supply of homes for sale.

This is going to take decades to sort out!


The baby boomers will be riding into the sunset in the next few decades, leaving behind a surplus of houses.

But a study by the Mortgage Bankers Association predicted the impact of the “Silver Tsunami” will be more glacial and easily absorbed by the market.

Edward Seiler, the institute’s executive director and the MBA’s assistant vice president for housing economics, said the study shows a detailed picture of America’s aging population and its effect on the housing market.

“The impact from baby boomers exiting their homes is not insignificant but will happen over a few decades without significantly disrupting the housing market,” Seiler said.

Findings from the report included:

  • “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, boomer homeowners numbered 32 million and represented almost 41% of all homeowners.”
  • “The baby boomers eventually will die. Their housing will become available for others or other uses.”
  • “Some estimates suggest that one-quarter of current owner-occupied homes will come on the market by 2040, as older Americans transition out of owner-occupied housing and eventually die.”
  • “Projected deaths rise steadily as the baby boomers age and eventually die, then plateau around 2045. By 2060, the tail end of the baby boom will be 95 or older.”
  • “Overall, housing supply and demand shifts from changing demographics are slow moving and highly predictable, which suggests that there will not be measurable effects on house price growth from population aging and mortality.”
  • “Over the next decade … most of the adjustment to aging and mortality will be through a reduction in the growth of new housing and some softness in the rental market.”
Link to MBA Report

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