Friday, September 8, 2017

"Shrinking Home Inventory Is Not Our Concern"

In the world of real estate, there is a concern about the dwindling supply of homes for sale in many markets. As such, it is deemed a "seller's market" where the person selling their residence has the upper hand in any proposed transaction. In many cases, buyers are willing to pay the full asking price or even bid against other potential buyers and actually pay more than the listed offering price for the home.

Many buyers are even paying cash to eliminate the possibility that what they are paying for the home won't stand up to an official appraisal. Rather than risk the home appraising for less than the asking price - and as it turns out the offer or sales amount - people are doing cash transactions to make sure they get the home that they feel is right for them.

Additionally, home builders are building new homes at a frenetic pace to keep up with the demand. It's no wonder prices are escalating - but for how long will this continue? This might be a long-term trend as the number of homes being placed on the market continue to be low, but how many builders are counting on people selling their present home before acquiring a new one?

In the aging in place market, are we really concerned about this aspect of the market - about people finding a relative shortage of available properties to review and purchase? Not really. We are not looking for a new home (new construction or a replacement home) so it doesn't matter if or how many of them are available on the market to purchase. We are not interested in which specific homes may or may not be available for purchase, which areas those homes might be located in, what features or floor plan layouts they have, or at what price they are offered.

We might have been at an earlier time, but not we already have the home we want so looking for another one just doesn't concern or interest us.

The whole premise of aging in place is keeping people where they are - not relocating them or helping them to find a more suitable dwelling. It's not finding a newer version of what they have, one possibly more accessible, or one of anything else. While their current home may need a little tweaking to make it more suitable to their needs, the home itself in terms of design, layout, location, features, and price make it ideal for them. Even if they do nothing to it, this home is still their choice to remain living in.

To make homes even more ideal for people who have selected their present home as their permanent, long-term, or forever home (different terms all describing the same concept of people remaining in their current home and not moving from it), we can help them adapt their current home to their present or perceived future needs - with or without any expansion of the current floor plan.

Aging in place is a dynamic concept that people are embracing because they want to stay where they are, The have tremendous equity in their current home - possibly having paid off the mortgage or certainly paid it down. They have memories of raising a family or spending the past several years in this home. They have many personal and keepsake items that they have collected over a lifetime that are stored in this home that would be difficult to relocate to another, and the thought of dealing with or attempting to sort through and reduce the amount retained is something many of them don't even want to consider.

Whether there are homes to choose from in the marketplace - new ones or existing ones - and how many of them there might be, from a few to an abundant amount, doesn't matter to us and our clients because we are helping them remain in place in the present homes.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Master Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.