What is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist®?
A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) is a REALTOR® who is uniquely qualified to assist seniors in housing sales and purchases. The SRES® designation is awarded only to REALTORS® who have additional education to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions.
What qualities make an SRES® different from any other real estate agent?
• They have knowledge, experience, and compassion in dealing with senior issues
• They can suggest housing alternatives, including ones that may allow an aging parent to remain in the home instead of selling it
• They take a no-pressure approach to the transaction and have a strong service orientation
• They will take the time needed to make a client feel comfortable throughout the selling process
• They understand the emotional demands a sale can take on a senior and try to minimize them
• They tailor the marketing of a home to the needs of an older client
• They can interact easily with all generations, including seniors, adult children, and caretakers
• They are knowledgeable about local senior housing options and elder support services
• They have a wide network of other senior-focused professionals who can assist in tax counseling, financial and estate planning, and other aspects of the sale and move
What is an SRES® Professional Network?
Selling a senior’s most valued and valuable asset, their home, and the subsequent move, often requires unique expertise on a number of different fronts. One compelling reason to choose an SRES® is that you’ll gain access to their network of related service professionals. For seniors, that includes specialists across a wide array of financial, legal, property and personal services, from estate planning, to downsizing.
An SRES® maintains a professional network that includes individuals who can help with various steps of the sale and move, offering assistance on these and other matters:
• The decision to sell: reverse mortgage counsellors that can look at ways to use the home’s equity to allow a senior to remain in their home, if preferred
• Prior to listing: tax specialists and financial planners to examine ways to protect assets
• Preparing the home for showing: handymen, landscapers and clutter reduction specialists
• Legal considerations: real estate attorneys to help with estate planning or closing
• Moving: downsizing experts, senior moving specialists, estate sale planners, and storage facilities
An SRES® also has ties throughout the local senior community. Many agents actively participate in a variety of senior and community service organizations. They can provide referrals to resources such as public benefit offices, transitional services coaches, grief counsellors, and other services, as needed.
If you’d like more information and to learn more about active adult living centres in your neighbourhood, go to www.DownsizingRealtor.ca.
There's yet another reason to pick that walkable community you've been thinking about for your next home. Walking is good for brain health and could contribute to keeping seniors more cognitively fit.
That's according to new research by the BRAIN Lab at Colorado State University. It shows that aerobic exercise, particularly walking, positively affects – refreshes – the brain’s white matter. "White matter deterioration is associated with cognitive impairment in healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease," says the study.
Even if you've been inactive during the pandemic, putting on your walking shoes could improve your health. And living somewhere that allows for regular strolls and running errands on foot makes daily walks all the easier. Walkable communities also improve satisfaction, according to a pair of studies, the “Community and Transportation Preference Surveys,” conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® earlier this year.
Respondents who strongly agree that there are "lots of places to walk nearby" show an 8% increase in quality of life, for example. And older generations – Gen X and beyond – and those with higher incomes showed an increased interest in walkability.
So, when you're scoping out a new neighbourhood, keep an eye out for the elements that make for a walkable community.
According to Walkscore, they are:
-A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
-People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
-Mixed-income, mixed-use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
-Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
-Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street and parking lots are relegated to the back.
-Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
-Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.
In 2021, Walkscore ranked Canada's most walkable cities out of 100 and the top five are:
1. Vancouver (79.8)
2. Montreal (65.4)
3. Toronto (61.0)
4. Burnaby (60.1)
5. Longueuil (54.4)
Learn more about walkable communities, how to incorporate walking into your day-to-day life, and where to find walking groups. Having read all that, there's only one question: Where will you walk today?
It’s cold and icy outside. A stroll around the block or even the few steps to a waiting car is now hazardous for seniors. A sunny park bench across the street might look tempting, but a fall between here and there would be catastrophic. So what other options are there to keep your aging loved one moving and stimulated this winter?
If they live in a senior’s residence:
Other winter activities that don’t require exertion but prove good for health and wellbeing:
Blog Post from:
Harmony Court Estate
7197 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V5E 4A6
From wills to insurance to probate: it’s all about protecting your assets and the ones you love.
Draw Up a Will
It’s an obvious first step, but many people don’t even bother to draw up a will. In fact, a 2014 Rocket Lawyer survey of 2,048 adults found 64 percent of Americans don’t have a will. What’s more, 17 percent said they didn’t think they needed one.
However, without a will, your estate must be divided in probate court, a process that could leave your beneficiaries footing a big bill. “If your estate is not properly constructed, the only person that wins is the attorney,” says Sean P. Lee, co-founder of the financial education organization Retirement Elevated.
Check Your Beneficiaries
Not all assets are disbursed through a will. Some accounts, such as retirement funds and life insurance policies, let owners name beneficiaries for that particular asset.
“You’d be surprised how many people have no beneficiary or a previous spouse listed,” Lee says. Without a named beneficiary, an account will need to go to probate court, where a judge will decide who gets the money.
It’s a good idea to review beneficiary information after every major life change, including the birth of children, marriage or divorce. “You want your money to go where you want it to go.