55 Plus Community...Are we doing it wrong?

Real Estate Agent with Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp. (c: 703.216.5635)

55 Plus Community...Are we doing it wrong?  This is just my opinion
and 2 cents, however, I welcome yours.  From my observation there are more and more people in this age group that do not want to reduce the size of their home but solely just the maintenance aspect of it. I believe this is one of the main reasons why they continue to hold onto their homes.  Take for an instance my mom, she will be 70 next year.  In excellent health, still works full time, owns her own home, and I don’t see her slowing down anytime soon.

I know many of you will say there is no way I would be working that late in age, however, be careful because you just never know. I don’t see why she should stop.  When she is ready to take a break or vacation it’s done. One of the joys she continuously tells me is her space...she just does not want to give it up.  Loves her neighborhood and also has acquired a particular taste.  As I watched her this
Mother’s Day caring for her lawn and
flowers, I saw it gave her a calm and peacefulness that only she will get by doing it herself. Something she enjoys doing all year round.

My point is when I mention downsizing, her belief is that I am asking her to trade in the Mercedes SUV to a van. This not only pertains to my parent but to other folks she knows and I have spoken to.  I understand that climbing stairs is a major avoidance for many, but some elders still have grown children that still reside with them which can be a benefit to them. How about adding an elevator instead? Making attic space or basements into bedrooms for when children do visit is a necessity.  Just because you are getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you want less choices and variety.
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Serving all areas of Prince William, Fairfax, Stafford, Alexandria, Arlington and Spotyslvania Counties. Guiding you through the process of purchasing or selling residential property.                 


 Cheryl Thomson, Realtor ® | 703.216.5635 | cheryl@buyercoach.com | Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp | 4004 Genesee Place, Suite 113, Woodbridge, VA  22192






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  1. Gene Riemenschneider 05/18/2012 10:44 AM
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John DL Arendsen
ON THE LEVEL General Contractor, Crest Homes Factory Built Housing Dealer & Developer & TAG Real Estate Sales & Inves... - Leucadia, CA
Contractor, RE Brk, Factory Built Home Dealer/Devl

I love this post! You're spot on about we ole F__ts! I tried to retire when I turned 65. I sold my business of 25 years to two of my 5 children and got so bored I got my RE brokers license and started buying and flipping/holding distressed properties. I've resigned myself to being one of those folks who will work and surf until I drop. But I love it. And would I ever think of selling our home of 32 years? Absolutely not!

May 15, 2012 08:32 AM #47
Jerry Newman
Green Home Realty, 210-789-4216,www.Selling-SanAntonioHomes.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Cheryl. There is a Del Webb Active Adult Community in my area, and they have many choices in the style of homes, and dozens of activities at their amenity center. I understand you mother's position clearly since my uncles and aunts who are up in age preferred to keep their same home, but make those necessary modifications, like adding that elevator to get up those stairs. The one thing about retiring is that you cannot take a vacation, since you are already on one. I will be working into my 70's too. It's a great way to stay active too.

May 15, 2012 08:40 AM #48
Cheryl Thomson, REALTOR, Retired (U.S. Army)
Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp. (c: 703.216.5635) - Woodbridge, VA
Real Estate in Northern Virginia

Hi John.  I feel your emotion...and funny too.. I just don't think a human being is meant to RETIRE as long as they are alive.  Like you said we should and can work for as long as we choose to.  Glad you enjoyed reading.

May 15, 2012 08:40 AM #49
Cheryl Thomson, REALTOR, Retired (U.S. Army)
Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp. (c: 703.216.5635) - Woodbridge, VA
Real Estate in Northern Virginia

Jerry. I'm sure I'll be working fulltime myself too for as long as I'm willing and able...I just think some 55+ communities need to understand that some people want more...just with some modifications.

May 15, 2012 08:44 AM #50
Joni Staples
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTORĀ®

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer.  Like Lou (#1) said... it's about lifestyle... just like your mom's choice of car... or the clothes that she wears. They do not make her a better person OR worse... it's just her style! ♥ 

May 15, 2012 08:54 AM #51
Georgia Perez
Windermere Real Estate / WSI - Seattle, WA
Broker, ABR, CNE, Seattle, WA 206-356-9872

Cheryl, I agree with you. In addition to the fact that many are still very mobile and active at 55+, there is also a movement towards "aging in place" that allows people to stay in their homes, while providing support services for things they can't do anymore around the house (at reasonable fees). I don't know what my own situation will be at 55+ (though I am not that far away from it!), but I'm glad there are options for me to choose from, that include staying right where I am!

May 15, 2012 09:18 AM #52
John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com - Albuquerque, NM
AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty


Look at you go girl!  Rockin' the Rain with a great Feature and look at all the comments!  Good job my friend.


May 15, 2012 10:12 AM #53
Tammie White
Benchmark Realty, LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.TWRealtyGroup.net - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN, South of Nashville
Cheryl, this is a major bone of contention for me. My mom is 73. My dad passed away 9 years ago. My mom was left with a 20 acre parcel of land that requires lots of attention. I was fine with my mom staying in that home for a few years. Her health was good but I did tell her that could change at anytime. Guess what? It changed. She is having major back issues. Probably caused by the physical wear and tear from caring for her home and land. I am in favor of her owning a small, single-family home just not this monstrosity. Unfortunately, she's not heeding my advice. What is a daughter to do?
May 15, 2012 10:19 AM #54
Cheryl Thomson, REALTOR, Retired (U.S. Army)
Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp. (c: 703.216.5635) - Woodbridge, VA
Real Estate in Northern Virginia

Hi Joni.  I got it..its about lifestyle..

Hi Georgia well thank you..I can't say what I wont do, but I'm like you, for now staying in a home you love with modifications seems the best route for me.

Awww...my dear friend in the rain, John...thanks...trying to keep up with you:)

May 15, 2012 10:22 AM #55
Bill Fields
Bill Fields Learning Systems - Treasure Island, FL

Cheryl, you're right it's about lifestyle choices and enjoying life. Great post.

May 15, 2012 10:26 AM #56
Tina Gleisner
Home Tips for Women - Portsmouth, NH
Home Tips for Women

Cheryl, You make some good points and maybe the imbalance is because there are people marketing 55+ communities ... and noone marketing "saty-in-place" solutions for people like your Mom.

May 15, 2012 10:38 AM #57
Rebecca Gaujot, the GO TO REALTOR
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Cheryl, we could not get my Dad to downsize....he loved his home and was very happy there.  Some people want to downsize especially the snowbirds wanting a place in Florida and in their home state.

May 15, 2012 10:45 AM #58
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330 - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

As a 60 year old, with parents in mid 80's and a 91 year old "eccentric, but lively" aunt, I personally don't want a "Village type" of atmosphere, but see how many would. I prefer more COMPLETE Independence for as long as my health holds. Judging from the above mentioned genes, it should be awhile!!

As one mentioned "70 is the new 55".

PLUS, no 55+ Communities nearby anyway.

May 15, 2012 11:28 AM #59
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Everybody is different.  Some people want to maintain their big house and big yard.  Some people have grown weary of that and want to make things much simpler so they can concentrate on enjoying life without those extra burdens. 

May 15, 2012 12:06 PM #60
Cheryl Thomson, REALTOR, Retired (U.S. Army)
Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp. (c: 703.216.5635) - Woodbridge, VA
Real Estate in Northern Virginia

Hi Tammie...I don't know, what we can do, you want to respect their wishes, on the other hand you know its time they come to the realization that they can't do things by themselves anymore.  This is tough, basically we telling them their independence is lost

Bill..Yes indeed it is, thanks for your comment and thank you

Tina.. I agree, there is like no inbetween

Rebecca..I probably will run into the same thing when its really needed...I would just like to do it now if allowed so I'm more at peace..always planning ahead..and Rebecca what is a snowbird?

You know what Travis, that would be the proper name for it...and yes COMPLETE independence is what she wants right now and probably later on

Hi Rob..This is true, thanks for your comment


May 15, 2012 02:21 PM #61
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, RealtorsĀ®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

We have a few areas that are 55+, but I don't see a lot of people clamoring to get to them. Seems like people are staying in their homes instead of down sizing.

May 15, 2012 03:56 PM #62
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

We have some very large homes in our 55+ communities around here.  People join for the lifestyle, not the homes.

May 15, 2012 08:41 PM #63
Stephanie/Bob The Ruiz/Miller Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Cheryl, great post and excellent points.  I work a lot of 55+ communities and agree with you!

May 16, 2012 03:12 AM #64
Cheryl Thomson, REALTOR, Retired (U.S. Army)
Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp. (c: 703.216.5635) - Woodbridge, VA
Real Estate in Northern Virginia

Hi Eric..Yes, many people are deciding to hold on to their homes instead of moving into these communities. Thanks for you comment

Yes Gene I understand, however, there are many others who feel there are others needs that need to be addressed other than just the lifestyle

Thank you Bob.

May 16, 2012 06:00 AM #65
Dan Brudnok
Keller Williams RE- Exton - PA License Number #RS225179L - Downingtown, PA


I agree with the search for a lifestyle more then size of the home as a final decision.

May 30, 2012 08:40 AM #66
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Cheryl Thomson, REALTOR, Retired (U.S. Army)

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