Congrats to our clients who sold their parents home in Kings Park! The single family home, has four bedrooms, formal living and dining room, spacious back yard, screened in porch, and large basement ( rec room) with a built in bar. This property was part of an estate sale, was clean, but not updated compared to higher priced homes in the neighborhood. This home had 1590 square feet on the main and upper level and an additional 248 sq ft on the lower level. This “Queen” model home is one of the sought after floor plans in Kings Park.
Sales in Kings Park ranged from $350K-$659K, depending on size, lot and upgrades in the property. The lowest sale was damaged by fire, and sold in “As Is”Condition. The highest sale was $659K and completely renovated top to bottom. This property sold for $462K, with $15,500 in closing cost help.
Their are specific details to consider when selling an estate, to include all the heirs, execute of a will, any power of attorneys and any necessary updates to get the house ready for sale. The process of selling an estate can be overwhelming, but we can help you streamline the process and handle all the details, whether you are local or out of state!
Contact us for any selling or estate specific questions!
Not long ago I was searching for a retirement community in the metro DC area for a family member. I was stunned at the amazing array of choices in community types, amenities, and costs. I hadn’t realized there there were several different financial models (e.g., renting, owning, or a ‘buy in’ fee). As I began to visit communities and research the options, I found that each one had their sales pitch, and they quickly all began to sound the same. I developed this interview guide to help me take notes and begin to distinguish the different types of communities and features, and wanted to share it with anyone out there who might also be searching for a retirement community.
- Is the community for profit or not for profit?
- Is there a buy in fee? Is it refundable? Does it go into a trust? If the company managing that ‘fund’ goes bankrupt or runs into financial difficulties, what happens to that balance? At what rate does it amortize if we move out?
- Is this a fee-for-service community or a continuing care for the same price model? If fee for service does the buy in fee entitle one to a discounted rate at Assisted Living or nursing care levels?
- Monthly fee – what is it currently and what are the projected annual increases (what have they been historically)?
- What happens if someone’s financial resources run out? Are there foundations that step in? Is the institution Medicaid eligible?
- What are the various assistance levels available and cost for each? Pay special attention to the cost jump for assisted living, leading to the next question…
- Is there in-unit care that is available by the hour if the resident falls somewhere in between ‘independent’ and ‘assisted’? Is it an in house service or is there a preferred provider or do we find someone on our own? What are the fees for that?
- What is the percentage of independent living vs assisted living vs nursing care? (You’ll find some communities even though they have all levels have really limited options in one or more levels.) What happens if there isn’t room in the level when we need it? Does assisted living require a move to a different building or is the care brought to the unit?
- Is assisted living regulated by the state? Is there somewhere (online) I can go to review reports on inspections?
- Is there onsite healthcare/doctors hours? Which types of physicians and how often? What insurance do you take?
- Is there a shuttle bus and where does it go? What private transportation options exist?
- What sorts of activities (they will usually give a calendar) are there for residents? What other amenities (salon, bank/ATM, convenience stores, gyms, theatres, etc) are on site? Keep in mind that at some point the resident will likely have to give up driving, so these features may become very important down the road.
- What sorts of ‘orientation’ activities exist to make sure someone gets integrated into the community quickly?
- What services are included in the service fee/rent? Specifically, how many meals per day? Which utilities are included? Housekeeping? Linen service?
The process of choosing a new home can be overwhelming in the beginning. I hope these questions are enough to get you started on the path to choosing a great home for you or your family member. If you have other suggestions or comments please post them in the comments below!
If you or a senior you know is looking to sell a home in the Washington, DC, area I’d be happy to help you. And if you reside outside the area, I’d be happy to help you identify a local real estate agent who can be sensitive to the needs or seniors during your transition.
“Retirement homes” have come a long way, baby.
Navigating the world of senior communities–from independent “active” communities, to assisted livings, to continuing care communities, to nursing homes–can be daunting. I know. I just spent an amazing amount of time researching and touring communities in our area. If you think it’s hard finding a place for yourself, try finding a place for your mom! And I’m in the business!
The resources out there to help are, surprisingly, not very substantive. There are ‘referral’ services that I found to be shallow and not very good listeners and so were a complete waste of time. There is a very good magazine that served as a starting point: the Sourcebook from Retirement Living. Though it’s primarily a big book of ads, at least it’s a list of communities to start with and their charts are a great way to quickly cull the communities that will work for your situation. It’s worth an in person visit to a few different places, and make sure that you come armed with an interview guide you have thought through in advance. (I’ll work on another post with mine, but if you need one feel free to email directly and I’m happy to share.) They all have their pitch and are very good at the tours so you may forget to ask about some of the items that are particularly important to your situation.
There are many excellent communities in our area, but you may be surprised to know that there are widely different financial models for different types of communities. Some are pay-as-you-go, similar to a rental apartment. Others have a ‘buy in’ fee up front, which can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some are refundable, some partially, some not at all. And yet others are ‘life contract’ communities where the fee is steep, but it ‘guarantees’ you a stable and consistent fee regardless of the level of care you need, which can be a huge benefit to someone on a fixed income like most retirees. Obviously financial and estate planning will play a huge role in your decision, so start pulling together a list of assets as well as a detailed monthly budget early in the process.
Most communities are not real estate ‘sales’ that go through a traditional real estate agent (though there are a few notable exceptions in our area, like Leisure World and the Jefferson at Ballston). However, having just gone through the process, I’m more than happy to share with you my ‘lessons learned’ so far. I would love to ‘pay it forward’ and give anyone a head start on the process. It’s hard enough juggling our own lives every day, and throwing in such a huge research project on top of daily living can seem overwhelming at first. Just shoot me an email and I’ll see if I can help.
And if you know a senior looking to buy or sell in the DC area, I’d be happy to help with that too