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Q: When Should Seniors Sell Their Homes?

Short answer: Now.

Longer answer: You’d have to work incredibly hard to not realize what the housing market is doing these days. It’s not just hot – it’s skyrocketing, especially in the Miami-Dade region. You can partly thank the pandemic for this turbo-charged rush to purchase homes that align with buyers’ lifestyles, wants and dreams. Homes were a hot commodity in the first half of the year, and as we enter the second half, they’re expected to be even more in demand.

That’s great news for seniors in the Southern Florida area, says Mary Scott Russell, Director of Community Relations of East Ridge at Cutler Bay, Miami-Dade County’s only true Life Plan Community.

“Personally, I’ve never seen a market like this,” she says. “Homes are selling almost immediately, sometimes before they even are listed. And the rate at which housing prices are growing are astronomical. I’ve heard of homes going for $100,000 or more over the listing price, which is almost unreal to think about.”

Unlike in 2000–2010, this demand isn’t being driven by condo purchases for investors or second-homers. Today, the demand is coming from a real need. “Florida is a very attractive state for many because of its tax system, and Miami is very attractive because of its quality of life and great school system,” Mary says. “Thanks to COVID-19, our state saw an influx of people migrating to our area to get away from overcrowded cities in the northern states. Because of so many companies becoming remote-friendly, we’re seeing even more people head to this area so they can live a lifestyle they want without having to sacrifice their careers.”

Mary says that, for seniors and retirees in the region, there’s never been a more perfect time to move into a senior living community like East Ridge at Cutler Bay. “There’s no telling if or when this hot housing market will suddenly cool, and besides, moving into a senior living community is always a good idea to do before you necessarily need it,” she explains. “Not only is a Life Plan Community like East Ridge at Cutler Bay a form of insurance and security against rising health care costs in the future, it’s also a place where you can live a maintenance-free lifestyle that helps you enjoy your retirement to the fullest. With a full continuum of care available on campus, and a focus on whole-person wellness that enables you to age well and live well throughout your golden years, it’s an excellent place for seniors and retirees to live. And with today’s booming housing market, there’s no better time to make that happen!”

The Miami-Dade County Housing Market: By the Numbers

  • Miami-Dade County consists of 76 cities
  • As of May 2021, there were 17,597 homes for sale
  • The median listing price of homes was $435,000, trending up 15.5% from last year
  • Cutler Bay is a seller’s market – meaning that there are more people looking to buy than homes available

What’s Causing the Hot Housing Market?

 High demand and low supply.

When you have a low supply but high demand, you’ll naturally have prices that skyrocket. Sales of so-called “starter homes” (usually described as any home $450,000 or under) are incredibly high because builders simply can’t build homes at that price point anymore due to rising costs of labor and materials. No wonder they’re being snatched up as soon as they become available.

Historically low interest rates.

Gone are the days of 13% mortgage interest rates. Today, even 4% can seem rather high. Although rates still fluctuate up and down, they’re still at historically low levels, meaning that homebuyers are able to buy more home for their buck. Since the Federal Reserve announced they won’t be raising interest rates anytime soon, the situation is very attractive for homebuyers.

The Millennials have arrived.

The former “youth” generation has come into their own, and they’re ready to own their own part of the American dream. Millennials, who are in the 20ish–30ish age range, are ready to buy a home and move on to the next stage of their lives … that is, if they can find a home amongst the rising prices and hot bidding wars.

An increase in remote work.

“Pandemic untethering” has led to urban flight, sending workers from overcrowded and overpriced areas to more attractive venues and locales. Many people are now looking for the “perfect place” to live – something they wouldn’t have been able to do in the past due to the fact that they had to live where they worked.

Home-Selling Tips for Seniors
Unlike years past, this hot seller’s market means that you won’t necessarily have to make expensive renovations in order to get buyers competing for your home. Still, there are a few things you should do in order to get the most money from your home and make your move to senior living that much easier

Downsize and declutter. The first thing a real estate agent will tell you is to remove the “personal” touch from your home so that buyers can imagine themselves in your space. This means downsizing and decluttering. Since this is something you’ll have to do anyway when you move to a senior living community, why not get a jump start on it before you put your house on the market? 

Do the necessary touch-ups. While some buyers may be willing to overlook chipped paint and outdated finishes, your home will probably sell faster and more smoothly if you give everything a little facelift. Check for little things you can do to make the home as turnkey-ready as possible – and, of course, don’t forget to do a deep clean. Clean homes sell faster and for more money than dirty ones. 

Go picture-perfect. For your online listing photographs, that is. These days, online listings are where everyone goes to get their first look at a house, and the more attractive you make your house look online, the more tours you’ll schedule. You may want to consider hiring a professional photographer to get perfect close-ups for your home’s debut.

Make a timeline. Having a plan makes your journey that much easier. Determine when you’d like to move into your chosen senior living community, and then determine everything from that point. You may want to move into the community before you put your house on the market, or you might not. It all depends on your personal situation.

Whether it’s a new idea or you’ve been considering it for a while, there’s never been a better time to sell your home and make the move to the retirement lifestyle you deserve. With rising housing prices and anxious buyers, today’s housing market makes it easy for seniors to sell their homes, say goodbye to chores and home worries and start a new chapter of their lives in style.

About East Ridge at Cutler Bay

East Ridge at Cutler Bay is Miami-Dade County’s only true Life Plan Community. The nonprofit community draws from the neighborhood charm of suburban Cutler Bay and the vibrancy of Miami in a lush tropical setting of 76 acres, located at 19301 SW 87th Avenue. The community offers a continuum of care including independent living, assisted living and memory support residences in a neighborhood setting; respite care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation are available within Three Palms Health Center.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please call 305-256-3564.