Senior Spotlight: 6 Sun Safety Questions For Every Senior

Sunny DayWe love our seniors… and we love sunny weather too! But the two are not always a good mix! With age comes an increased risk to dehydration, skin cancer, heat stroke and other-heat related conditions. We’ve written several blogs about sunscreen selection, seasonal spring & summer safety & aging skin… so this week we are bring it all together with ease. If you don’t have time to read about everything you can do to maximize your warm weather health – take two minutes to ask yourself (or a senior in your life) these six questions.

6 Sun Safety Questions For Every Senior

#1: Are you increasing your water intake as the temperatures rise?

While we all know the answer should be YES, the ultimate consideration is HOW. Does keeping a large water bottle with you at all times increase your consumption? Can you commit to drinking two glasses of water per meal instead of one? Would a water delivery service help keep you motivated?

#2: What’s the expiration date on your sunscreen?

This question is a bit of a trick! You’ll have to find your sunscreen to verify the expiration date. Do not use past its prime… you’ll lose invaluable UV protection. 

*** If you are looking for a helpful sunscreen guide, be sure to check out the Environmental Working Group Guide To Sunscreens (updated annually!). CLICK HERE!

#3: What’s your plan to keep your home cool?

Many seniors have AC – but are afraid to use it too frequently due to increasing utility costs. Consumer Reports recommends starting your AC setting at 78 degrees – and lowering one degree at a time if you are still not comfortable. If you don’t have air conditioning… do you have fans in your living and sleeping areas? Are you aware of the closest cooling center in the event of a major heat wave?

#4: Have you asked your doctor about your medication interactions with the sun and heat?

Some medications make you more susceptible to dehydration, while others increase your skin sensitivity to burns. Both are dangerous – so be sure to ask your doctor if any ongoing medications or new prescriptions present increased risks. Knowledge is power.

#5: Who is your sun safety contact?

Let’s say you run out of water, begin to feel ill or find it too hot to get to the store. Be sure you have 2-3 sun safety contacts who can help you – and proactively check on you during those heat waves. It may feel silly – but let’s face it, you’d do the same for a loved one in a heartbeat – why not let them do it for you!

#6: What do you need to do next?

By now you may have identified a gap in your sun safety plan. Maybe you need to buy a new sunscreen, assign a loved one as your sun safety contact – or contact your local city services department to find out about cooling center locations & openings. Your health is far too important to ignore, so please take care and help the seniors in your life do the same.

All our best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®, Certified Real Estate Instructor, Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

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Designations Create Distinctions: Why Would A Seller Find Value In A Senior Real Estate Specialist?

July sres

SAVE The Date: July 11th & 12th… Can’t Wait To See You! 

Register Today! 

If you follow our blog – you probably know what SRES stands for (it’s not ‘Seniors Reading Excellent Stuff’ or ‘Solutions Really Easy & Simple’…though it could be), it’s …Senior Real Estate Specialist! And as an SRES® myself (for a very long time!), I am also a proud instructor of the SRES® course!

With my next session at SAMCAR next month, I consider this the ideal time to remind ourselves that our age does not define WHO we are, but it can certainly impact WHAT we need. So if you have ever wondered exactly why the needs of the 50+ population are so important when it comes to housing, here are 3 key ways that a SRES designee differs from the traditional real estate agent:

1.Pricing & Market Strategies. Many seniors have lived in their homes a long time, and have withstood varying economic climates and dynamic market changes. An agent with the SRES designation not only has expertise in the current market conditions, but has the education to evaluate your home’s condition, actual market value and desired features today…to determine how it measures up against the competition. The result is a comprehensive marketing strategy that aims for the best possible return on your investment.

2.Making The Move…Easier. Moving is never an easy task; moving a home with 30 years of memories and 20 years of raising kids, cats and dogs is even harder. SRES designees can assemble the team you need to make a move of any distance and size. With access to senior move managers, 1031 exchange specialists, home stagers, attorneys and lenders…you will feel surrounded with support every step of the way. Who doesn’t want life made easier during a move…?!

3.Transition Task Mastering. Whether you are moving down the street to a smaller home, relocating to a dream home in another city or entering a senior community – SRES designees are familiar with the processes of downsizing, de-cluttering and detailing the steps of each type of move. From helping you create a feasible timeline, to helping you define where and how to get started…your SRES designee is a ready, willing and able transition task master! It’s a bit like choosing a caterer for your wedding; would you opt for the corporate caterer who serves 3 companies, or the one whose catered 50+ weddings at 50+ different locations? Trust us, experience and flexibility are the perfect mix when a transition is upon you!

If you have any questions about how working with a SRES designee can benefit you or someone you know, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

If you are an agent who is committed to the future of real estate and serving our growing, aging population with the highest levels of care and expertise, please join me to earn your certification on July 11th & 12th!

REGISTER BY JUNE 24TH:

Secure your spot AND pay the lowest registration fee! 

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

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Monday Market Update: Outdoor Improvement, Summer-Style!

image2When you could be headed to the beach, lounging poolside or enjoying the kids sans homework, you probably do NOT have huge home improvement projects on your mind.

We get it – but we also know you love your home, and since that is where your heart is, you might appreciate a simple idea or two to freshen it up so you can enjoy it even MORE this season.

Here are our top 3 summer projects that you can do in the great outdoors.

#1 – The Front Door Facelift. Fresh paint and a little elbow grease can go a long way in a little time, and the kids can even help!

#2 – Stain The Wooden Picnic or Patio Table. Why buy a new set when you can bring your old one back to life? Keep all the old memories and add a new tint; next thing you know you’ll be dining al fresco in style!

#3 – Plant An Herb Garden. Fresh summer recipes often call for fresh herbs. Enlist your handy helpers who are out of school here too. They can help you plant now and pick later!

Find the supplies and steps needed for these projects and more at ‘7 Outdoor Improvement Projects You Can Start—and Finish—This Weekend‘ (courtesy of Realtor.com).

And… speaking of the great outdoors, check out this stunning sampling of seasons in Carmel Valley, from fall colors to stunning sunsets (and YES, it’s for sale!). With 10 gated, secure acres, rolling vistas and a 3,000 +/- sq. ft. villa, the potential is endless (indoors & out!).

Please contact bobbi@bobbidecker.com or call 650.346.5352.

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Photo BWBobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

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Senior Spotlight: Our Parents Want More Than Weather & Amenities

multi-generation

As you know, we are committed to helping seniors live the happiest, healthiest, highest quality lives that they can within the circumstances they are in. The good news is that the senior housing industry is following suit… and focusing on not just the amenities that seniors what to have, but who they want to be near!

In decades past, senior living trends were focused on weather. Warm climates meant less impact on aging joints and arthritis, not shoveling snow and getting to be active and outdoors as much as possible. You have also seen us explore the more recent movement toward ‘not your grandma’s retirement community’, as we have reported on the residence types and desired amenities that are truly attractive to today’s active, aging population.

Now, the New York Times reports that there is a seismic shift in seniors living in areas with greater population density – because that is where their adult children are! In an article titled “The New Retirement: Near The Kids”, the New York Times reports that more senior housing communities (of all types ranging from independent living to continuous care) are being built in cities where there are robust economic booms: such as New York, Denver, Chicago & Atlanta. This is a HUGE shift from the traditional retirement cities within Florida & Arizona where weather was the main draw. Seniors want more than sunny days and lots to do – they want you! Now they can follow you as more senior housing is created where the jobs are and where their adult children are working.

This is a very positive movement in not only allowing working, adult children to assist their aging parents over time – but also in battling the isolation that many seniors face. With the National Council on Aging estimating that 8 million adults over age 50 are affected by isolation, the effects on mental and physical health are real and life-altering.

In short… the criteria for where and how seniors want to age has changed. Instead of assuming they want a quiet life in a hot climate, be sure to keep the conversation open about maintaining warm connections in any weather. 😉

If I can help you talk through the best retirement living situation to meet your needs AND be near your children and grandchildren, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Resources Used:

New York Times:The New Retirement: Near the Kids

BisNow: More Senior Communities Are Getting Built In Nontraditional Places: Where The Kids Live

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Living Longer, Living Better, Senior Spotlight | Leave a comment

Designations Create Distinctions: Welcome Students!

“No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.”

Margaret E. Sangster

Some days I feel more than lucky – I get to do TWO things that I love, work in real estate and teach about it! This week I am thrilled to teach a course that I am more than passionate about, since I believe that loyalty is the most important aspect of any business relationship.

On Wednesday & Thursday of this week (June 13th-14th) I’ll be back at SAMCAR University; I’m looking forward to meeting my next set of amazing agents who are prepared to receive their Accredited Buyer’s Representative® (ABR) designation.   As the industry standard known as the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation, I also consider it the gold standard of service AND the absolute platform for loyalty. You can read our past ABR® specific blogs in our ‘Designations Create Distinctions’ series HERE – but for now I would just like to say WELCOME to all my new ABR® students this week! Thank you truly for your time, your commitment, your trust and your commitment to buyers. 

Here is a snapshot or two of my past students (various course types)… furry ones too, LOL! 😉

Welcome

If you have not signed-up yet, it’s NOT too late. Please click HERE today!

All my best, Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Designations Create Distinctions, Designations Create Distinctions, Designations Create Distinctions | Leave a comment

Monday Market Update: Bay Area = Fastest Selling Homes Nationwide

NotThe San Francisco Bay Area housing market has once again made the news – and NOT for sky-high housing prices this time. Both San Jose and San Francisco (tied with Seattle) ranked #1 for the lowest median closing time in the nation, at 36 days. Oakland median closing time hovers close behind at just 38 days… making the Bay Area home to the fastest turnaround times in real estate.

Many agents (ourselves included!) see even shorter closing windows, with 11-21 days being the common figure we have seen in the last few months. Cash is still ‘king’ in terms of speed, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

Even more interesting is the link between low inventory and short closings. Quick turnaround, high home prices and low inventory are all changing the way that purchase behavior is unfolding. Buyers are not waiting to make an offer, and many do their house shopping sight unseen as you have seen us talk about before. Many homes receive offers prior to their first open house, and many sellers set offer deadlines within 5 days or less of being on the market.

For sellers, this news means that many qualified, ready, willing and even desperate buyers are waiting to swoop in. In addition to maximizing the return on your investment, you may be able to negotiate a rent back or other advantageous terms in order to secure the next step on your journey.

For buyers, it means be prepared with a strong pre-qualification and be considerate of the sellers’ needs if you want to stand out – in addition to of course making your strongest and most aggressive offer.

RESOURCE USED: “San Francisco Bay Area homes sell faster than anywhere else in the country” (San Francisco Business Times) 

Cheers to a great week; may your summer days linger longer than the homes in our local market! 😉

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Monday Market Updates | Leave a comment

Senior Spotlight: Making New Friends In A New Home

senior selfieThere is a word that always seems to be missing when we talk about retirement communities, and that word is home. As we age and change our living situations to better meet our needs, we often forget that we are NOT leaving the sacred comforts of home behind, we are recreating them. When many seniors choose to join a new community whether it’s assisted living, independent living or anything in between – one of the main benefits is of course the company! The potential to meet others who are also retired, who may have some of the same hobbies and who may only live a few doors away is SO close you can see it, but do you know to take that first step?!

Let’s face it – making new friends feels intimidating whether you are 5 or 85! We all face a little fear of rejection and lot of discomfort when we step into something new. To make sure you feel right at home in your NEW home, here are a few ways to create connections that will have you singing “… won’t you be my neighbor’ before you can get your cardigan on!

Based On: How to Make Friends in a Retirement Community (AARP)

#1: Acknowledge The Leap of Faith. Did you ever take a risk, big or small, and it really paid off?! It’s time to admit that proactively making new friends is a risk that has the potential for great reward. Accept that even though it might feel silly to ‘make’ friends, not doing so could cost you years of amazing companionship during one of the most enjoyable and memorable times of your life.

#2: Join An Activity. Starting with a familiar activity before you start something new can help you feel more at ease. If you have always loved cards, start by dropping into the afternoon card club on a regular basis. The game will be familiar and pretty soon the faces will be too! Common activities are a great common ground for new friends.

#3: Keep An Eye Out For Events. Holiday and seasonal celebrations are often a time when retirement communities host special gatherings. Make NEW traditions by celebrating with new friends; things may be different but they do NOT have to be boring.

#4: Smile. It’s common to approach groups with fear and unease, assuming you’ll be unwelcome. Start with a smile – it’s not only contagious, but will give you the internal feeling of warmth. Assume you are accepted, mind over matter is the real deal. 😉

#5: Reach Out To Community Staff. Get to know the staff on-site, once they know your story they can introduce you to others who have a similar one! Many retirement communities also encourage the more outgoing residents to greet the new ones, take every introduction as an opportunity to get to know your neighbors.

Let me know if you’d like to chat with a past client who has successfully transitioned to a retirement community! I’d be happy to help you meet someone who has been there, done that… and who is excited to tell about it!

A house becomes a home when you are happy, healthy and thriving. The people who surround you are a critical part of that, just as you are to them. It’s like we always say, we are better when we are together.

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information,

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/
 

 

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Monday Market Update: 2 CA Metros Where Home Prices Are Falling

delays smallWhen I came across an article on Realtor.com about the areas in the nations where home prices are dropping the most – I never thought I would see any California markets on the list. And then when I did – it made me really sad… here’s why.

Both Santa Maria-Santa Maria (17.7% price drop) & Napa (6.7% price drop) metros made the list of areas where home prices are falling the most, on account of the natural disasters that have plagued the areas. The Montecito mudslides caused more than $400 million in damages in January 2018, while the wildfires of July 2017 burned nearly 50,000 acres and destroyed 20 homes. Buyers and sellers in the Santa Barbara metro have literally had their lives placed on hold as uncertainty stalled the market. Napa lost over 8,000 homes in the 2017 wildfires, creating huge stumbling blocks in their local market and scaring insurers away.

When you look at the number of lives impacted by the devastating effects of natural disasters, and you look at these renowned parts of our state where you never think home values would fall and stall – it’s a reminder that anything can happen at anytime. Other cities on the list are experiencing falling prices on account of “overbuilding in a boom market; mass layoffs or company closings amid oil-related economic downturns”, as reported by Realtor.com.

I share this information not to scare you by any means, but to help you look at the big picture. Have you contacted your insurance agent and talked through an annual review of your homeowners policy? Do you have an emergency preparedness kit and evacuation plan in the event of a natural disaster? Are you thinking now might be a good time to sell but holding out for even ‘more’ money later on?

There are no guarantees in life, and my best advice is for you to think safety first – and then do the right thing for you today.

Recommended Resources:

*For a fantastic, knowledgeable insurance agent that can help make sure you and your home are protected in all the ways that count – I encourage you to contact Kelly Corwell Cansler. 

*For tips on emergency preparedness and evacuation plans, start by visiting Be Prepared California

*For questions on buying, selling & market timing – you know where to find me! 😉

All my best and please send thoughts of comfort and renewal to those who are struggling to rebuild after devastating disasters.

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

 

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Senior Spotlight: 10 Million Millennials Are Caregving Each Day

CareThe ‘m’ word makes the news a lot these days! Quite often you hear about millennials with regards to their desire for experiences, their struggles with housing affordability or their mounds of student loans. But the latest studies and headlines reveal that millions of millennials hold a far more important job than any of us discuss – and that is caregiving.

AARP released a new study, titled: ‘Millennials: The Emerging Generation of Family Caregivers’, which shines some long, unacknowledged light on the 25% of the 40 million Americans who are unpaid, family caregivers AND part of the millennial generation. The study notes that…

| Millennial caregivers spend an average of 21 hours per week on caregiving duties, and 75% of them do this while employed

| More than 1 in 5 millennial caregivers provides care for more than 40 hours per week

| Only 19% of millennial caregivers discuss their responsibilities with a co-worker, and less than half of millennial caregivers make their situation known to a supervisor

| The average millennial caregiver spends $6,800 per year on food, supplies and home modifications for their loved ones (out of their own personal funds)

| 1 in 3 millennial caregivers supports someone with a mental health condition

| Millennials are more likely than caregivers in other generations to be fully employed AND they provide greater financial support on average than other generations

Even more important than the understanding and recognition that millennial caregivers deserve is what it all means for public policy.  With the population aged 65 and over set to double over the next generation – caregiving is going to become an even more important topic for families, businesses, legislators and communities. Caregiving leave policies, respite care, the process of navigating multiple health care systems, greater financial support – these are all critical issues that are daily life for millions of familial caregivers. While we can all hope that caring for loved ones is never a lost art – we can pay more attention to legislation and employer policies that provide greater flexibility and protections for those who are doing some of the most important and unpaid work in our country.

For those of us who may be closer to needing care than providing it, we can do our best to set our families up for success as we age. While it is never easy to think about or act upon, the greatest gift we can give our family members is often peace of mind. Considering our own potential to care for ourselves, to create a lifelong home or move to one, to financially plan for the care we may need and to compile resources in addition to our loved one are tasks that should never be underestimated. Taking care of what we can while we can is often the biggest way to take care the generations that follow. 

Read more about millennial caregiving trends & challenges at the resources below:

Millennials and Caregiving? Yes, It’s a Thing

This is What the Challenging Life of a Millennial Caregiver Looks Like

Millennials: The Emerging Generation of Family Caregivers

Millennials Struggling to Care for Aging Baby Boomer Parents Call for Better Paid Leave

All my best,

Bobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/

Posted in Living Longer, Living Better, Senior Spotlight | Leave a comment

Monday Market Update: Rates & Your Bottom Line

“Yeah, yeah… rates are going up.” Both sellers and buyers are getting accustomed to the idea that the era of historic low rates is drawing to a close, and that multiple rate hikes per year are not only the future – but likely the long-term norm.

While it’s no secret that interest rates make money MORE expensive to borrow, it does not just mean you need a bigger down payment since you’ll be borrowing less. As you can see from the infographic below, rising interest rates impact TWO key variables in a lending transaction:

#1: Your Monthly Mortgage Payment

#2: Your Minimum Qualifying Income 

While the examples below are based on a 20% down payment and a median home price of $550,900 – you can count on the fact that Silicon Valley figures are higher on every level. Buyers: This means you need a GREAT lender, a dedicated & committed Buyer’s Representative and a working idea of what you can afford as rates change. Sellers: This means your buyer pool is being impacted in a HUGE way and likely able to afford less. The longer you wait – the fewer potential buyers you may have.

***Data courtesy of the California Association of REALTORS® Housing Affordability Index

Interest-Rate-Impact-hi-res

Just a little food for thought as you consider what the changes in the market mean for you.

All my best,

Bobbi Photo BWBobbi

Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
e. bobbi@bobbidecker.com
p. 650.346.5352
w. www.bobbidecker.com

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/
 

Posted in Monday Market Updates | Leave a comment