In a recent report covered by Abilene Reporter News, consultant Rick Hunsicker suggested retirement communities provide a variety of services and amenities, such as socialization, access to medical care and security, while an ordinary home provides only shelter.
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"In my opinion, most seniors should consider getting out of their house and getting into a senior living community," he said in an interview after the seminar.
Some of the reasons seniors hang onto that old home don't stand up well to analysis, he said.
To those wishing to leave something to their children, he advised that most children would rather get certificates of deposit or cash instead of an old house they'd have to fix up to sell.
Waiting for the housing market to turn upward and yield a better sale price may not pan out, either, he said.
Today's sales prices for existing homes may be less than desired, but the flip side is that buying into a retirement community may be a bargain today compared to future costs driven by rising demand, he said.
Residents of retirement communities can also rest easier about what kind of people the neighbors are, he said. The people next door will be very much like themselves, in income, lifestyle and age, he said.
A variety of services are becoming available to seniors who move from their longtime homes into retirement communities, he told his audience. These include home stagers and senior move managers.
Home stagers arrange a house placed on the market to shine in its best light, Hunsicker explained. Removing the clutter that makes a room seem smaller, and perhaps doing touchup tasks such as painting, can dramatically change the appearance, he said as he demonstrated with before-and-after slides.
Real estate brokers tell him that a staged home can sell for 10 percent to 15 percent more than one that's not staged, he said.
Senior move managers perform turnkey jobs that seniors prefer not to tackle themselves, and often can't get help from their children, he said.
The moving managers can do everything from shipping boxes of possessions to children or Goodwill and locating belongings the senior wants to retain according to a floor plan of the new residence, down to the rehanging of pictures on the wall, he said.
Hunsicker predicted a boom in the construction of senior living communities in three to five years, as more and more people choose this option. The growing demand takes a while to translate into new construction, and developers must move through the steps from concept to completion, he said.
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