Senior Spotlight: Disaster Preparedness 101

handsPreparing for a natural disaster is much like buying insurance: you spend time, energy & money on something that you hope you NEVER need, but always HAVE to have. There is nothing worse than not having what you need, when you need it the most. Given the tragic, unfortunate abundance of recent, natural disasters around the world, and the approaching 28 year anniversary of the Loma Prieta Quake, we decided there is no better time like the present to prepare for the unknowns of the future. Here are three great resources for senior safety for unexpected surprises of all shapes and sizes.

The AARP Go Bag

If you had 60-seconds to get out of your home, could you grab everything you need for 3 days? Probably not… unless you have a ‘go’ bag. AARP defines a ‘go’ bag as: A packed case that you grab on your way out the door, and that will help keep you safe and comfortable in the coming hours and days. Stopping to hunt for your medications or other important needs can cost you critical seconds in an evacuation. Pack a separate go bag for yourself and every member of your household, and keep them stored in the same location. Click HERE to see what it looks like and what to pack!

The American Red Cross: Safety For Seniors By Seniors

Have you heard about a personal support network for emergencies? Do you wonder what senior safety tips would look like if they were actually written by seniors? THIS is the place that has it all! Don’t miss the 7 must-discuss items with your personal support network and find a booklet written by seniors, for seniors right HERE.

CA Department Of Aging: Tip Sheets For 7 Emergencies

Floods, fires, winter, hot weather, pets… know what you need for EVERY need by selecting the tip sheet you need for the problem you want to prepare for in the language you need (7 choices!) on this website!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read these resources and share with the loved, older adults in your life. There are very few times that I share information that I hope you never need – but this is one of them.

Stay safe, alert and prepared for anything! 

~ 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: Cold Weather Crackdown – What You Need To Do (Even In California!)

leavesFriday marks the change of seasons from summer to fall – and it is an ideal time to tackle your cold weather checklist. I know what you are thinking… we live In California, what’s the big deal?! While our change in temps may not rival the rest of the country, we have had our share of hot, cold, rain and drought and along with it all – the impact to home health and seasonal safety. Please take a moment to not only celebrate fall… but make your home a safe, healthy and happy place to be for each crisp, fresh day it brings!

Fall Home Checklist

Inspired by Realtor.com’s “Check Yourself: 7 Home Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle in September”. Note that the original article offers options for DIY and pro – so read it in full HERE.

#1: Fall means fall prevention. Fall is the time of year to raise awareness for fall prevention – so start at home by assessing for cracks, loose pavement and slippery spots. Concrete wears and tears and can be a major hazard – so make sure entries and exits are examined. Small repairs may require epoxy alone, while deeper damage may need professional repair.

#2: Don’t ignore drips and drops. Would you rather fix a leaky faucet now… or in the dead of winter… when pipes have the potential to be frozen? Solve a small problem now instead of dealing with a flood later…

#3: Watch window seals. Dual pane windows are famous for failed seals – which is apparent if your glass is often foggy between the panes. Always check your window warranty first – as many do cover faulty seals. Otherwise, professional window de-foggers can re-seal, making your home ready for any weather!

#4: Fireplace fails be gone. Never use your fireplace without a professional inspection and sweep first. Better yet, make every day a spare the air day by converting your fireplace to a form of decor – see Architectural Digest’s recent article on “Decorative Fireplace Ideas That Aren’t Candles”.

#5: Don’t forget filters & furnaces! Efficiency and safety is simple when you change your air filters (every month!) and have your furnace inspected every year. PG&E offers pilot re-lighting and safety inspections for FREE, while many contractors offer affordable tune-ups that will save you money and add peace of mind to those cold winter days and nights.

Last but not least… dig out your slippers and make your movie wish list! There is nothing better on a cold night than pajamas & Netflix  – hot cocoa included!

Cheers,

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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PODCAST RELEASE: Diving Deeper Into Offshore Real Estate Trends

home pricesYou know we love to travel – both physically and educationally as we take you around the world of real estate! This week we continue our trip into international real estate trends with an extension of our previous chat on the surge of foreign buyers entering the US. Since 10% of the dollar volume of existing home sales came from international buyers, we are taking you into deeper waters with the data and details and what they mean for you.

Tune into our podcast Friday as we discuss:

| The top four countries of origin of international investors

| The top 5 states that accounted for over half of residential home purchases  made by overseas parties

| International sellers of US property 

| US clients seeking overseas property ownership

| How to join our tour of the #1 island destination for Belize tourism and ownership opportunities there

| Where home price growth is HIGHER than the Bay Area

| And more! 

Does this mean more buyer competition? An uncertain end to skyrocketing home prices? A great time to sell? A change in where you want to retire and what your options are… listen in and find out!

We hope you’ll listen in this Friday on your favorite podcasting platform or Bobbi’s website!

All our best,

Bobbi, Buddy & Your Real Estate Radio LIVE Team

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Senior Spotlight: Healthy Aging Month (Handpicked Tips For Overall Wellness, Aging Eyes & fall Prevention!)

healthy aging monthThe fall season is approaching and often marked by many, many events and celebrations. Why not start a bit early with Healthy Aging Month… an annual observance each September,  “designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older” according to Carolyn Worthington, editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging® Magazine and executive director of Healthy Aging®. Worthington believes “it’s never too late to find a new career, a new sport, passion, or hobby” ~ and we could not agree more! While reinvigorating your life should be an ongoing goal, Healthy Aging Month is the ideal time to re-visit your well-being, since maintaining and monitoring your health is the baseline foundation for your best quality of life. Below we have hand-picked three great resources to make sure you are making the most of your body at your age today!

10 Tips For Reinventing Yourself | Healthy Aging Magazine 

I LOVE these tips from Healthy Aging Magazine… from walking your dog to smiling more to scheduling an annual physical, these are simple steps anyone can take that will make you feel better! Another favorite idea mentioned is to think of what your favorite age was – and act like it NOW. These inspirations for your body, mind and soul are a great way to kick off fall and start the New Year right. Read all 10 tips HERE.

Look Forward To The Future (Eye Health Education) | National Eye Institute

While this program is designed for those who work with the aging, I feel that the articles and message are vital for us all. While older adults are prone to vision changes, the bigger issues that lead to vision loss often have NO symptoms, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and more. With the population aged 65 and over expected to exceed 88 million by 2050, the number of people living with low vision is likely to triple! I encourage you to read the articles HERE and schedule an eye exam today!

Fall Prevention Awareness | National Council On Aging 

If you follow our blog, you know that we highlight Fall Prevention Awareness Day every year because it is the #1 way to stay vital, healthy and safe as we age! Fall Prevention Awareness Day always occurs on the first day of fall (easy to remember, right?!), and this year’s theme is “Standing Together To Prevent Falls”. Find the social media events plus tons of helpful tips right HERE.

For more on fall prevention, check out our previous blogs:

Happy Healthy Aging Month – celebrate BIG!

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: Do Stop Believing… These Pricing Myths

home pricesI know what you are thinking… I have nothing to worry about when pricing my home in the Bay Area; buyers will pay anything! While the good news is that home appreciation is reaching all-time highs while inventory remains near all-time lows – there are still strategies that can steal your thunder. There is nothing worse than a super-excited seller who feel completely drained and disappointed by the end of their transaction. Inspired by “7 Pricing Myths to Stop Believing If You Ever Hope to Sell Your House” (Realtor.com), here are some ways to keep it real and get it sold…RIGHT.

(Read the complete article HERE).

#1: Shoot For The Moon. Look, I am an optimist at heart and I am nearly always a fan of ‘go for it’ – but DO NOT over-price your home thinking it is ‘no big deal’ to lower it later. Not only does this strategy impact the days on market and the amount of people willing to view your home, it makes a potential buyer wonder what is really wrong with this place when you DO drop the price. There are several successful pricing strategies – but this is not one of them! An experienced agent can talk you through your local market comps, and what it means if you price a bit lower, a bit higher or spot on of what your home is ‘worth’ through the local lens.

#2: A $50,000 Kitchen = $50,000 ROI. While home improvements can add both actual and perceived value to your home – they are almost NEVER a dollar for dollar return on your investment. Let’s say you added $50,000 in kitchen and bath improvements and a $30,000 new roof. Does that mean you can add $80,000 to the asking price of your home?! In short…no. Realtor.com reports that on average, sellers can recoup about 60% of the return on their investment – but that depends on when the improvement was made, how it fits into the rest of the home and which renovation it was. (For example, outdoor kitchen are NOT as desirable & profitable as you think!@)

#3: THIS Appraisal Will Help. Let’s say you refinanced 3 years ago and you have that appraisal in hand. Or maybe you put your home on the market last year and have an appraisal on file from that attempted transaction. Are these in-hand tools as helpful as you hope? Unfortunately not. Your neighborhood comps, market conditions and economic drivers change faster than the ink the appraisal was printed with. In fact, lenders will only use appraisals that are 60 days new or less for a reason – today’s fair market value can vary drastically from yesterday’s. The very best resource for pricing your home today is an agent who is active and successful in your neighborhood.

While the above news might be disappointing, it’s intended to be a reality check to make sure you have the best experience with the best results that you can achieve! And there is even better news… according to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey results in August, more homeowners than ever think it’s a great time to sell!  If I can help you weigh the advantages, options and strategies that are best for you and your home in the current market – please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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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Senior Spotlight: 8 Things To Know About The 85+ Population

senior selfieYou often hear us talk about the population of individuals aged 50+, 60+ and 65+…but today we are NOT stopping there. With the population of individuals aged 85 and up expected to quadruple in 14 states by the year 2060… here are 8 things to know about those 85+ and what it means to our greater community:

#1: People age 85-plus are the group most likely to need long-term services; they not only have higher rates of disability than younger people, but they are also more likely to be living alone, without a spouse or other family member to provide them with assistance.

#2: The year 2031 is a turning point for the population aged 85+, as Baby Boomers turn 85 and cause a spike in the 85+ population for the next two decades.

#3: From 2010 to 2060, California’s population of those aged 85 and over will grow 322%!

#4: Data released about the aging population means that public policy solutions for seniors should not be short-term plans but long-term protections that account for the drastic growth in older adults and their changing needs over the next 40 years.

#5: Find out how your state measures up by checking out AARP’s “Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard” HERE.

#6: See California’s rankings on long-term support services and caregiver support HERE.

#7: The needs of the 85+ population will have a major impact on our health care systems, local and national economy and public policies – so stay alert, aware and active in advocacy for senior support services.

#8: In 1900, only 100,000 Americans lived to be 85+. By 2050, that number will reach 19 MILLION. Age is a gift we have today that didn’t always exist… let’s look forward to the present and plan to make it the best that we can!

Learn more at:

The Skyrocketing of the Age 85+: AARP Data Explorer Provides Long-Term Services and Supports Data for Policy Solutions

Institute On Aging: Living Longer 

***All data above courtesy of these two sources as well. Thank you AARP & IOA!

Don’t forget to tune into our NEW podcast releasing Friday, 9/8/17 on California’s Focus On Older Adults!

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

PODCAST RELEASE: The Golden State’s Focus On The Golden Years

lllbIt’s the second Friday of the month and that means it’s time to turn our attention to a topic that impacts us all – Living Longer & Living Better! You’ve seen us bring this series to the television waves on Penn TV, to our local print and online media and to Real Estate Radio LIVE. Look, aging may be inevitable – but we believe that enjoying it is too – and that’s why we devote so much time and energy to aging and loving it.

This week, our NEW podcast will reveal insights based on our research into ‘California’s Focus On Older Adults’. Given that we reside in one of the fastest growing states in the nation and that by the year 2020, our population aged 60+ is expected to increase 112% – we’ll cover the impact to our local, regional and statewide planning with regards to support services. Much of the data is derived from our blog post published on August 17, 2017, so click here to follow along if you wish!

Listen in THIS Friday to Real Estate Radio LIVE on iTunes or streaming online as we explore:

| Culturally competent care options

| Self-care strategies & caregiver support

| Healthcare workforce needs

| Family structures (how they are changing & what it means!)

| SRES® perspectives & real-life stories

Please listen in this Friday to gain valuable insights and add more resources to your personal toolbox on building a better retirement. Our state is making big moves to help our biggest growing population – and this is where you can hear what they are and how they can benefit you!

To find all of our Senior Spotlight blog posts (new content published weekly!), click HERE

All our best,

Bobbi, Buddy & Your Real Estate Radio LIVE Team

 

Posted in Living Longer, Living Better, Real Estate Radio LIVE, Senior Spotlight | Leave a comment

Happy Labor Day 2017

It’s Labor Day… a time to celebrate, reflect and pay tribute to American workers and their many contributions!

labor day

The United States Department of Labor calls this day  a “yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.” No doubt your efforts have not only fortified our national, local and community foundations, but created the life you love and continue to work so hard for.

Whether you work each day with a passion for what you do, a purpose that grows each day, a way to provide and protect those you love or all of the above – I hope you take a little time to rest and reflect on all that you have achieved. Buying a home (or two), building a career, recovering from life’s unexpected obstacles, raising children and getting up each day and doing it all again are BIG wins that you probably don’t give yourself enough credit for. Change that today and know that I appreciate all that you do!

Happy Labor Day from the Bobbi Decker Real Estate Team!

~ Bobbi

Bobbi Buddy Big Numbers

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PODCAST RELEASE: Insurance ‘Good, Bad & Ugly’ Part II

The hazards of the wild, wild west and of home ownership have 3 things in common: the good, the bad and the ugly! If you tuned in last week, you know that we started our discussion on homeowner’s insurance with Kelly Corwell Cansler on the downright deal-breakers of insurance in escrow. But the matters of getting insured and staying PROPERLY insured can be two very different stories!

Kelly Cromwell

Don’t miss our discussion on:

| Prior losses (especially water damage!)

| Fuse boxes vs. circuit breakers

| Wild fires, floods & earthquakes

| The over-abundance of those who are under-insured

A HUGE thank you to Agent Kelly Corwell Cansler for her energy & expertise!

Listen in FRIDAY on iTunes, Real Estate Radio LIVE or Bobbi’s website!

Posted in Bay Area Market Updates, Friday Real Estate Radio LIVE, Fun Fact Friday, Real Estate Radio LIVE | Leave a comment

Senior Spotlight: Beating The Heat – Weather Watch

With triple  digits and record highs sweeping the Bay Area this weekend, let’s not forget that summer is STILL here and that you need a sizzling safety strategy – whether you are a senior or not!

Please find below some resources for beating the heat, as well as a re-print of our Summer 2016 blog on “Summer Safety For Seniors“.

| Cooling Centers: Visit the PG&E Cooling Center Locator or call 1-877-474-3266 to find a place where you can stay cool and comfortable! The Mercury News also posted a recent article with links to cooling centers in Santa Clara, Contra Cost & Alameda County.

| Discover The Difference Between An Excessive Heat Warning & Heat Advisory HERE.

| Heat Wave Coverage: Stay on top of the temps by bookmarking this Bay Area weather map with hourly updates. Get somewhere safe BEFORE temps hit highs.

While to focus of this article is summer safety tips for seniors, please take into account that hydrating well, wearing sunscreen and talking to your doctor about your personal heat related risks are critical reminders for us all at ANY age.

As I always like to do, I checked around and read a few of my favorite sources to compile a starting point of considerations for how to best care for those around you (and yourself!) as the golden years meet a golden season: 

#1: Drink Water. Did you know that we lose our ability to conserve water as we age? So no matter how much you needed water in your youth, or thought you did, you need more now than ever. Think 6-8 glasses of water – minimum. And for every cup of coffee or wine/beer you consume – drink at least two glasses of water to follow. Dehydration is the #1 reason for senior hospital visits during the summer.

#2: Stay Cool. Our bodies gauge internal body temperature with less accuracy as we age, thus you often hear seniors report feeling cold. Being cool and feeling cool may be two different things. Plus, medications may impair your natural ability in your body to react to rising temperatures. Be sure your home is set to no higher than 76 degrees, and do not hesitate to use fans, air conditioning or visit well-regulated places (such as malls, libraries, movie theaters, etc.).

#3: Protect Yourself. Try to avoid direct sun exposure between the hours of 10am and 3pm. Seek shade any time you are outdoors. Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, slip on those shades and wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing. Use bug sprays as needed. These extra steps may take a few extra minutes, but they are worth their weight in golden rays as you are preventing skin cancer, maintaining a consistent and cool body temperature and staying safe from insect-borne disease.

#4: Keep In Touch. Taking a walk in the heat? Going for a drive to the grocery store, in a hot car? Gardening in the backyard for a bit…or even hiding inside from the sun? We all need someone to look out for us, especially if you are a senior in the summer. Signs of heat stroke and dehydration may come on quickly. You may feel tired, you may not even know or expect it to hit. But if you have a neighbor who knows how long you’ve been pruning those roses, or a relative who is aware of when you left for the movies, you have an extra layer of support to make sure you are okay when you get back.

#5: Know That Summer Can Be Slippery! We often think that the rainy season is more dangerous than summer…and that is not always the case! Flip flops can be a worse tripping hazard than those clunky rain boots. Towels left on the ground after an afternoon by the pool are as easy to trip on as that annoying bathroom rug. Sidewalks may be damp when you grab that morning paper from overnight watering, and sand is a mighty sneaky little thing. Watch your step…no matter what the season!

Honey - Beach 2These are just a few critical safety issues to consider as summer approaches. I know that some of them may seem a bit intrusive, or even a little silly. But your safety should always come first, and many of these tips will ultimately enhance and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, contributing to your well-being far more than limiting it. Always check with your doctor, any specialists you have, your pharmacist and your loved ones to make sure that you cover all your bases, just as thoroughly as you cover up with that sunscreen before hitting the beach!

Additional Resources:

12 Summer Safety Tips for the Elderly

Ten Summer Health Tips for Seniors to Beat the Heat

Checklist For A Safe And Healthy Summer (An oldie but goodie!) 

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