Smart Moves for Seniors

An Open Resource and Meetingplace for Seniors Thinking About Moving On With Their Lives and provided by Lois Patton, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson and Certified Buyer Representative with Albany Realty Group, Albany, New York. Also visit us at or call 518-459-4564.

Friday, June 30, 2006

A licensed realtor is required to maintain a schedule of classes which keep her or him up to date on current developments, law and practices in the field. Realtors must take a set number of hours of these classes every year or two. Ask your realtor what classes they have found most useful/helpful/important to know about. Just knowing the focus and theme of these classes can give you a sense of what the professionals in the field believe are the crucial issues in order to stay up to date with developments in the business.

A licensed realtor sometimes chooses to specialize in a type of sale, whether buyers or sellers or on a given area or a specific population, such as seniors, first time home buyers or professionals of a given type or kind. Ask your prospective realtor what he or she specializes in and why. Knowing more about the agent you are working with will give you a better sense of what they "bring to the table" in working for you.
I'd be glad to discuss my interest in focussing on Smart Moves for Seniors with you. Give me a call or drop a line.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Would you be interested in receiving a report including a comparative listing of houses in your neiborhood as well as listing/selling prices, square footage, dates of sale and a comparison of other amenities? It may be helpful to you as you consider whether and what to list your house for. We would be glad to meet with you and discuss this service and others we can provide as you prepare to make your next move. We can put you in touch with qualified buyers and help you to locate your next house, apartment, condo, or townhouse, whether in or out of state. We can do more than you think we can. Let us know how we can help you! Give us a call or send us a note.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Once you list your house you may be concerned that you haven't found a place to move to if it sells. You can make a condition of the purchase and sale of the house that the buyer's possession of the house is based on your finding a new house of your choosing. This way you do not have to have everything all "laid out" from the outset and you retain the right and ability to retain ownership of the house until you have established a new and acceptable situation. An agent can help you with this by making certain that this is a condition incorporated in the listing agreement and any information posted to the Multiple Listing Service, accessible to licensed sales agents. Discuss this with an agent if you need or want more details. You can retain control of your situation and an experienced realtor can help you to obtain and meet your housing requirements and needs.

We'd love to give you more insights. Give us a call or send us a note by email.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

When you finally decide to list your house for sale you may decide you do not want a sign posted in front. While signs are great advertising for those in the neighborhood or driving by who may be looking for a house, and they provide good information for how to find out more about the house, you may decide you do not want a sign. It really is up to you. By not having a sign you may miss out on buyers who are looking in your neighborhood, including neighbors who may have friends or relatives who may be interested. Folks have different reasons for not wanting to post signs. The reasons are as individual as the people involved.

A sign with the name, company and phone number of a real estate salesperson says that a state licensed agent is helping to offer and provide information on a house so that there doesn't need to be any direct contact or communication between seller and buyer. A salesperson should only show prequalified buyers to a house. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a sale fall through or a contract being voided and broken because a buyer cannot obtain a loan or mortgage for it. That's a real waste of time on the part of everyone and is much to be avoided.

An agent can provide other services which can be important and helpful in marketing your house. We would be pleased to tell you about them. Give us a call or send us an email. We're here to help.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 26, 2006

I have a 12 year old nephew who talks a good deal about being a millionaire some day. He has a great interest in owning property and discussing the options one has as a property owner/buyer who leases space. You may be surprised that your grandchildren or young children of friends are perhaps a great deal more "savvy" than children once were when it comes to financial interests. Children can also be great repositories of good ideas when it comes to getting a property ready to list or sell. You might consider asking a grandchild or young adult for their ideas as to what makes a house desireable. High-speed internet? An intercom system? You may be surprised that you can learn a great deal about the the interests and needs of the coming generations if you ask some serious questions and listen well to the answers. Give it a shot. Ask a child what they would like to see in a home they would want to live in.

Have a great day! Give us a call or send us a comment or email with your questions. We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, June 23, 2006

In order to draw attention to the advantages of buying and owning your house a realtor may suggest a "Brokers Open House" and invite agents in your area to come and do a "walk through" of your house. Generally these are held during the work week and agents working with buyers or prospective buyers take advantage of "brokers opens" to see what is on the market in order to be able to make suggestions to their buyers. A brokers open also allows a realtor to obtain feedback from other professional agents about the list price, condition of the house, location, and other issues or concerns which s/he may have not taken into full consideration. The conversation is informal but a good amount of information is shared at these meetings, so if your agent suggests a Brokers Open House it will be to your advantage to agree to it.

Have a great day! Let us know if you have questions you would like for us to address in future notes.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Market value of a house is determined by what buyers will actually pay for a house at the present time. You may have had a bank appraisal of your house and believe that is the actual price you can expect to receive, but the appraised price is a good faith estimate by the bank of what your home may be worth at a given point in time and it is based on the then current values of other houses in your area. There are so many variables involved in determining market value of a house, from square footage to style of the house, amenities and basics such as heating and plumbing sources that a set or projected price by a bank is not what you can count on as the price your house will sell for. Actual market value of a house is determined once a house sells in the current market and purchase by a qualified buyer is secured. Only then do you know the actual market value of your house.

A qualified and experienced real estate agent who knows your area can suggest the best understanding of the potential value and most competitive price range you might list your house for. With professional insight and guidance from an experienced agent you can determine the most appropriate list price for your house. An agent can answer questions and concerns which may come up in the process. We're here to help. Let us know how we can help you.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Today the builder who lives across the street said he planned to put his house on the market once he had finished the Brazilian Cherry staircase. He noted the increasing number of For Sale signs in the neighborhood and said it was making him a bit nervous, but added that a house a block away had sold in two weeks. Over the past year this fellow has had his front yard resodded and landscaped and he has added a brick two car garage. He's put his time and money into improving the appearance of his house over the long haul rather than just before he gets ready to list it.

If you are thinking about putting your house on the market, begin as soon as possible in making improvements which will attract a buyer's attention. Something beyond planting a few new shrubs will be necessary in a more competitive market. Buyers can recognize substantial additions to a house and so appreciate that sellers have taken good care of their properties and kept them as fresh and up to date as possible. When you do this you can also take some satisfaction that you have done as much as you could to maintain an attractive property which will bring the best market value and price. Begin as soon as you can and get your house in shape.

Looking to find someone to work with you in the process? We're ready to work with you to get your house in the best shape possible with comments and advice. We'd be delighted to hear from you. Give me a call at 518-459-4564.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Life moves on and so do we. Your needs change and so do your wishes. Its true--Nothing stays the same over the course of a life. Look at the size of new houses now compared with houses 30 years ago. Based on mounting fuel and electricity costs, forecasts are now that the sizes of houses will be shrinking again before long. It is more of an investment just to maintain and manage upkeep on a house than it was a year or two ago. Where will it be a year from now? The economy responds-- and so does the real estate market-- to demands and constraints upon it by the fluctuations of supply and demand. Hard to predict where things will be next year. You've learned a lot about that over the years.

A professional real estate agent also knows that change is inevitable when it comes to buying and selling. A buyer's market shifts to a seller's market and back again. Nothing stays the same. An agent keeps abreast the trends and turns in order to maintain his or her professional and competitive edge for sellers and buyers. Find an agent that is doing his or her research about current issues and tendencies in your area. Ask about the situation you are contemplating. You can learn a lot by listening and asking an agent important questions about the current market!

Have a great day!

Friday, June 16, 2006

The time is right for listing your home and making a move. Summer brings a wealth of new buyers to realtors. Often these people are moving into the area and beginning a new job. If they have children they are hoping to be settled in their new home to allow for some adjustment time before school begins. Companies move employees often as their needs change and these folks are eager and ready to look for and locate a new place for their families. By listing now you optimize the prospects for selling and obtaining the best price for your home. If you delay you will possibly have a smaller pool of buyers interested in your house. Give it some thought and give me a call at your convenience. I'll be glad to give you a comparative market analysis and an introduction, no cost summary of the kinds of things that can be done to optimize the sale of your house. I can also help you to locate a new place, whether in the same or another area within or out of state. Lets talk. I'll look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What can a realtor do for you? A great deal! Finding a realtor who appreciates and understands your needs and who will work for your best interests is important. When you have someone who listens well to what your concerns and wishes are and who will work to help you obtain your goals, you have found a professional who is committed to giving you the best service you could obtain. When interviewing a realtor ask the important questions which matter to you. Ask if the agent knows the type of housing you are looking for and the area/region in which you are looking. Ask why they have gone into real estate. Get to know this person who may be someone you hire to work as your agent in helping you to move on with your life. Don't be shy! Be open and forthright about your concerns and listen carefully to the agent's responses.

Agents obtain a great deal of training in the process of becoming a real estate salesperson. Ask your prospective agent about it. A stringent set of classes and exams must be attended and passed. You have a great deal to gain by working with an agent who is a committed professional who knows his or her business and commits to make certain you get the best service possible. We'd love to hear from you about your concerns and questions.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Are you looking to downsize and make your life simpler? If you are tired of mowing the lawn and handling all of the maintenance on your home yourself you may want to consider buying a condominium or townhouse. Townhouses or condominiums often come as part of a homeowner's cooperative where, for a monthly fee, an amount of maintenance or other services are taken care of and included in the purchase price of the home. There are advantages and disadvantages to these units, but often the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for those seeking to reduce the responsibility for managing your property solely by yourself.

Friends moved to a townhouse about a year ago and they are pleased with the reduced level of responsibility and work but they also must comply with the regulations of the governing board with regard to types of plants or lawn and yard decor they are permitted to have. So, before you get too serious about this kind of housing make sure you read the fine print which delineates what the monthly owner's fees cover and what an owner's restrictions on the property will be.

A realtor can provide a good amount of guidance and insight when it comes to various housing options,including townhouses and condominiums. Give me a call (518-859-5759)and let me know what your questions and concerns are. No obligation for the conversation or call. I would love to help you clarify your goals, needs and wishes and provide some insight in this regard. Alternatively, drop me a line here and let me know your concerns.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Know someone struggling with a decision about his or her next move? Sometimes we dig ourselves in so deeply with a decision that we tie ourselves in knots and don't take any action. Its always easier to give others advice than it is for us to make a difficult decision, of course. We have a better perspective when we have less personal investment in a situation.

Why not tell this person to take a look at our blog and send us a question or a comment? Others struggling with similar situations will benefit from knowing that they are not alone in the situation and they will have an opportunity to comment and give some advice which may be helpful. This is a forum for sharing concerns and questions and it is open and available for you to use. You are welcome to join us in the journey. Have a great day!

Monday, June 12, 2006

The other day I spoke with an elderly woman who lives alone in her own home. Her washer and dryer are currently in her basement, and her adult children who live out of town are concerned about her going up and down the stairs. She has a first floor bedroom with a large closet outside the bedroom and next to a bathroom. A friend told her it would be easy to convert that closet to a laundry room with a stackable washer and dryer. She wouldn't, though, she feared, if that were done, have a place to hang her clothes. Looking at the bedroom it became clear that just moving a few pieces of furniture would allow space for a new closet to be constructed inside the bedroom. Later that day, she talked with the friend who said he could arrange for the renovations--which would not be that difficult to accomplish-- and she told me with delight that she was going to have the work done. In this case the pressure from her children didn't make any difference, but solving a practical problem--where to put her clothes--did. Once she saw that she could have a space for a closet she was ready to make a change in her space which would allow her present home to serve her and her needs for the foreseeable future.

Is there an easy solution to your situation that you are overlooking? Just having a different perspective on it can give you the key to solving the puzzle you are working on, whether its a change in your present home or a move to a new one. Let us know if we can help! Have a great day!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Finding yourself using the word "should" a lot these days? You hear people talking about the great deals they have made in selling or buying a home and you think "I should do something about that myself." Should you? You hear the market is "hot" or that interest rates will be raised soon and you think about your own prospects. So does everyone. Reacting to developments based on heresay or even the experience of colleagues, family or friends may be impetuous. Better to take some time to consider the situation you are in and the one you would like to improve and then set about laying out an achieveable plan for moving toward your goals rather than reacting to what you have heard from others. A better word and way of moving forward is "responding" rather than "reacting." In responding you bring more thoughtful planning and processing of your own needs into the circumstances. You maintain more control when you respond rather than when you react. You think things through more carefully and as a result you make a better set of decisions.

If we can help by discussing your situation with you we would be glad to help. Give us a call. Respond to our email address if you like, or give us a call at 518-459-4564. Have a great day!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Reading the news about the real estate market you can be persuaded that it is "falling" or "gaining", depending on where you live and who you want to believe. You have to do a good amount of research to discove who you can place your confidence in when it comes to the current market. Who really can predict the market? Like Bears and Bulls there are those who are optimistic and others who are pessimistic about the future of real estate values. Regardless, a home is, for many, still the most important and substantial investment to be made, and there always is a need for housing whether the market is "up" or "down." A realtor who specializes in residential sales in your region and perhaps neighborhood can give you the best sense and appreciation for how sales are in your area. There is no charge or cost for inquiring about the current market in your area or in an area where you are considering moving. There is no obligation in asking for information from a professional salesperson, so if you find yourself puzzled about how sales are "holding up" in your area, call a realtor and ask some important questions.
We're here to help. Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hesitant to begin thinking about the possibilities regarding your next move? You are not alone. Its a big decision and deserves a commitment of time and energy. Still, putting the process off doesn't move you ahead in any way. The old saying that "no decision is a decision" still holds true. At least be aware that as you put the decision-making process off you are making a decision not to decide for whatever reason. There is a lot to be gained by just taking a good hard look at where you are at this point with regard to your present and future needs. No time like the present to begin. They often say that the first step is the hardest. Once you make a decision to move ahead with your thinking, you have opened the door to resolving your situation and creating a better life for yourself and your family.

Envision your future. Take five minutes each day and envision yourself one, five, or ten years from now. Where are you living? What are the best parts of that situation? How can you move toward that situation? You are not alone in the decision-making process. We'd love to hear from you and would be glad to help you clarify your goals, needs and desires. Make a smart move forward in your thinking. Let us know how we can help.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sometimes the decision about making a move is between remodeling and improving your current home so that it is more liveable and to your liking, or opting for something entirely different and beginning to search for a place you would rather be. How do you decide which makes more sense? There are many aspects to that issue and question including financial, personal, social, and even spiritual areas which all need attention and consideration before you become clear on what best suits you. Why not talk to a number of friends or colleagues who have opted for remodeling or moving and find out how they made their decision. Ask them if they are happy about their decision, and how time-consuming, expensive and demanding it was to enact it. Looking for something to talk about at parties, or other social events? You may gather a good amount of insight and appreciation for the complexities of your question and issue just by asking others about their experience. In the process, you may find some new friends or even business partners. Ask questions and listen carefully, thoughtfully and well. You have no doubt done so in many areas of your work and life already, so just take this as a friendly reminder to use this skill and resource in order to gather and gain important insight about your decision and issue.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Possibility thinking can take you further toward where you want to go than so-called realistic thinking. Is this pie in the sky thinking? No, not if you want to develop a new plan or vision of what you want. Realistic thinking can actually be negative thinking or self-defeating thinking at times. Spending a brief period of time every day and devoting yourself to possibility thinking can be an opportunity to really get in touch with your true self and your authentic needs and desires. So many of us become "realistic" too soon in life and some of us never regain the ability to imagine our lives in a different way. Give it a try. Entertain some new possibilities.

Don't let it stop there. Check out your possibilities with professionals who know something about the kinds of issues and concerns which will be necessary to make your possibilities realities. Financial consultants and real estate agents can give you a good understanding of the issues you may face if and when you begin to put your plan into motion. Smart moves involve internal and external conversations. Don't neglect either! Have a great day!

Friday, June 02, 2006

What are your needs vs. your wants? Your needs are the "must haves" and the things you cannot do without, whereas your wants are the optional things you would like to have, but which you do not really have to have, or perhaps you could delay in getting them. For example, you may know that you "must have" a Ranch style house, and that it must have a large or small yard, depending on your interests. You may want a pool or a deck, but you really could do without either or could delay having one or the other. Its important to sort each of your concerns out so that you are clear on whether they are real needs or just wishes which you do not absolutely have to have at the moment.

It takes a bit of thought to really sort out the needs from the wants. Give youself some space and time to think each area through so that you become clear on which is which. Once you are clear on your needs and your wishes or wants, you will be in a much better position to move ahead with your thinking. Sometimes it helps to talk with a trusted friend about this, and they can give you some good insights and perspectives as well. We here also can help by asking key questions that may help to clarify your needs or wants and we would be glad to hear from you with any questions you may have.

Have a good day!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Summer Market has arrived, and you may be thinking that now is the time, if you are going to list and try to sell your house. Real estate is a major investment in your life, and you don't want to rush into anything, but you also have the sense that you had better make a decision soon if you want to "catch the wave" of housing sales. Too much to think about? Regardless of the sense of urgency you may be feeling, you have to give yourself the time and space to make some more important considerations and decisions about what your plans and options are. It sounds easy, but just beginning to think through the process and taking some basic steps in terms of your priorities can be a challenge. Writing some of those priorities down and listing your needs and wants is a beginning. Give it a shot! Just something as basic as taking time to clarify your own desires and constraints can move your on down the road. Go for it! We're here to help whenever and in whatever way we can. Have a great day!