Do I really need a real estate agent?
A true, professional Realtor® can make the complex task of marketing a home much easier for you.  As an expert in the real estate market, a Realtor® will educate and advise you throughout the entire process.  A Realtor® is a central point of communication between buyers and sellers, inspectors, lenders and escrow companies and is fully able to address questions and issues from all parties.  Working with a Realtor® will also give you an edge in the negotiation process and protect you from unnecessary liability. 
Are condos really a good investment?
Condos have been a very strong and steadily growing segment of the real estate market for years.  Whether you are considering a condo in an assisted living community or a townhouse of your choice, they are all excellent investments.
My home is paid for, but I require an alternative living arrangement.  How can I afford what appears to be a more expensive housing option?
This is a great question for your accountant or financial planner.  You may be surprised by what you can actually afford once your current expenses are analyzed and the costs associated with the living arrangment that is best suited to your needs are considered.
What is the best time of year to sell my home?
Typically, there are more buyers in the real estate market during the first quarter of the year than in the fourth.  Timing is key in real estate, but reaching a decision to make a lifestyle change is often a long and arduous process.  No matter what time of year you decide to make a move, as your Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®), I will help you get the best sale price for your home and help you find an alternative best suited to your lifestyle.
How long will it take to sell my home?
Buyers today are very knowledgeable and they typically view 8 - 10 homes before making their buying decision.  If your home is priced competitively then it will most likely sell quickly.  To set the price of your home, I will prepare a market analysis to show you what your home is worth based on current homes for sale and those recently sold within your neighborhood.
Why is my sale or next purchase different from others?
As a senior citizen, your priorities are different.  Your next move is significant as it will take many factors into consideration - your health, proximity to family, your level of independence, your future needs, etc.  Whereas young families are interested in purchasing a home based on great schools, libraries and accessibility to parks, you are looking to make a choice that will ensure your security, comfort and happiness.
What should I do to locate a quality senior housing facility?
After determining which type of housing is most appropriate to meet your needs, you should research several facilities thoroughly.  Perform a review of the services, operations and finances of the establishment, including a review of their audited financial statements.  You can seek the advice of an attorney and/or financial advisor to ensure the establishment is appropriate for your lifestyle and financial situation.  There is also a referral service licensed through the California Department of Human Services that will help identify and evaluate facilities for you (www.calregistry.com).  Compare establishments and in the end make sure you are completely comfortable with your decision.
What should I know about private insurance policies?
Some insurance companies offer private insurance policies specifically for long-term care.  These policies vary widely in coverage - some may cover only nursing home care and others may include coverage for a whole range of services like adult day care, assisted living, medical equipment and formal and informal home care.  Therefore, it is very important to understand the kind of policy you are purchasing.  You should consult with a trusted financial advisor or insurance agent to learn what options are best for you. 

Fran Papapietro - Office 408.335.1423 - Cell 408.623.4155 - E-mail fran@serenogroup.com

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