Senior Living – what you should know

Senior Living - what you should know

Senior Living – what you should know

Senior Living – what you should know:

Baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964.  There are 76 million boomers in the United States alone and make up 29% of the our overall population. Those born before 1946 present even more challenges.  They are collectively known as seniors and are part of an ever increasing percentage of our population because of improved medical and surgical breakthroughs. 

Those that love and care for a senior face a multitude of challenges as this population ages.  One of the biggest challenges is recognizing issues and implementing the best plan for their care if they need it.

Whether you are a spouse, child, relative or friend, there are times when you recognize that a senior may need senior care either outside or inside of the home.  Often, the symptoms are minor but may progress and become more pronounced.  Paying special attention to various symptoms are the pathway to determining what is needed. 

Experts have identified specific clues that may help you.  Obviously, this is not an all inclusive list:

     Memory – probably one of the most difficult aspects of aging to accept, by both the senior and those who care for them, is memory loss.  These symptoms include forgetting previous conversations, forgetting things that occurred in the past, and frustration on the part of the individual as they slowly recognize that there losing their capacity to remember.  Seniors with memory loss may attempt to hide these symptoms initially as the symptoms progress. It is a degenerative condition which has no cure at this time.  

     Behavior – unexpected changes in a senior’s mood and reaction coupled with changes throughout the day especially when they are fatigued.  

     Cleanliness and upkeep – if the home is in disarray or personal hygiene is abandoned, the senior may need to get help bathing, shaving, cleaning their home and maintaining living conditions.

     Unpaid bills – forgetting to pay bills and mounting mail that goes untouched.  The consequences to the senior are shut off of electricity, water and other services.  Unpaid invoices to the mortgage company or credit card adversely effect their credit history and lead to foreclosure.

     Depression and loneliness – sadness, lack of interest in leaving the house, meeting old friends and staying active.  Are they interested in their environment and find joy as they had before.

     Food and Medicine – is the senior eating and are they taking their medication as prescribed 

     Senior Safety – do they seem on edge, are they wandering outside and seem to get lost.  Are they still driving and seem to get into more accidents. Is there environment safe and contained.  Is safety an issue.

     Senior response to solicitors – is the senior likely to invite people into their home for perceived maintenance from strangers knocking on their door.  Are they signing contracts without understanding the cost or what is being done and why.  Are they being taken advantage of by phone solicitation or being asked for their personal information.

     Are you, their caregiver, overwhelmed – are you feeling overwhelmed especially as you may have other responsibilities such as a job, children and other commitments. 

There are no single solution or easy answers because what is needed depends on too many variables.  Is the senior in your life someone who would benefit from an active living community that provides entertainment, activities and some services.  Is aging in place, (senior stays at home with help from a caregiver or outside assistance), the answer.  Aging in place is a great alternative as it provides consistency and a sense of independence. Then there are other options that provide continuous care and memory care. 

There are many options and re visiting the effectiveness of any one option is ongoing as seniors age and as conditions change.  What is best depends on your evaluation as well as seeking the expertise of those that specialize in senior care. 

I am a real estate broker who has also attained the SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation.  My role is to assist in providing resources specializing in helping seniors.  But most important is my understanding and empathy for seniors that have to sell their homes.  It’s not easy for seniors to give up everything they have worked for all their life.  Not easy to recognize that you are making a decision to leave your home.  Not easy to accept that this is probably one of the last places you will own.  Somewhere in your heart, that realization has to get you.  

As a real estate broker and SRES, it is my duty and privilege to sell the home for the most amount of money and as quickly as possible.  My fiduciary duty includes making sure that my client is informed and that they are protected.  Keeping their interests first and foremost is sacred.  But more important is understanding what they are contemplating and my role in earning their trust.

Please contact me if you have questions or if i can provide any information.  It’s a tough journey but getting expertise and a caring team helps.


Intermediary in a real estate transaction

what is an intermediary in a real estate transaction

Real Estate Intermediaries and Brokerage services

intermediary in a real estate transaction?

How does this impact your real estate transaction?

Brokers, in a real estate transaction, can act as dual agents or Intermediary (a term utilized by Texas Real Estate Commission). This information is specific to the State of Texas as each State has different laws.

The “Information About Brokerage Services” form, which must be initialed by seller, buyer, landlord or tenant prior to any substantive conversations with a client, sets out the meaning and responsibilities of Brokerage Services. 

The contract itself also defines what an intermediary in a real estate transaction. 

Several conditions must be met to act as intermediary inclusive of obtaining “written agreement of each party to the transaction” to act as intermediary;  the broker is required to treat both parties impartially and fairly; and broker may assign a different license holder to each party to provide opinion and advice to seller or buyer. Again, this is with your full understanding and consent from the client. 

What this means to you, the consumer? 

First, a definition – a Broker is responsible for all acts of sales agents that they sponsor.  Sales Agents (Realtors) are sponsored by a broker and work with the client on behalf of the broker. The Broker is the entity you actually have a contract with. The broker is ultimately responsible for the acts of an agent or Realtor.  

If both parties utilize the same agent (broker does not assign different agents to represent seller and buyer separately) in a transaction; then neither party can be privy to opinion or advice.  The agent provides only factual information to both parties and must remain impartial to both sides.  The value of representation by a brokerage firm may then be diminished substantially by taking this action. There are times when this makes sense especially for investors who have had experience with the process.  It may also make sense in the case where a reduction in fees can be realized having both sides represented by the same agent.

Notably, most brokerages advise against and will not allow their agents to work for both sides because every transaction is different and complexity changes as the file progresses.  The fact that neither side can depend on opinion and receive advice does present problems.  Often one or both sides of the transaction feel that the other side is getting an advantage.  

It is recommended that prior to accepting Intermediary Representation, that the consumer be aware of the pitfalls in doing so.  


Texas divorce & division of property

Texas divorce & division of property

Texas divorce & division of property – how does the State of Texas divide property after a petition for divorce?

No one plans to get a divorce when they get married.  Despite our best intentions, divorce does happen.  When it does, even under the best of circumstances, your life is turned upside down.     

Texas is a “community Property” state as respects marital property division after a petition for divorce. 

The law defines community property.  “Community property consists of the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.”  This can be found under Texas Family Code 3.002.  What this means is that property you had before marriage is yours; but there are exceptions.  A divorce attorney can help explain the exceptions and how they relate to your case.     

In Texas, the court has wide latitude in dividing community property.  All that is required is that it’s actions are “just and right”.  Unfortunately, there is no standard or definition for “Just and right”.   When there are no specific definitions then rulings can be very different depending on the presiding judge and even by the  county where the divorce petition is filed.  Once, a decision is made by the judge, it is binding and can only be changed by appeal of the order.  Both of you can appeal the divorce court’s order but it is expensive and can be tough on both of you.   

Keep in mind that in a divorce, neither side is a winner.   It is a difficult time.  

It is possible for couples to prevent the courts from dividing marital assets by performing Asset Protection Planning.  

It is highly recommended that both parties seek and engage their own divorce attorneys and that they  cooperatively work to settle issues with the end goal of minimizing attorney expenses and the emotional cost of these proceedings. 

I am a Real Estate Broker and Certified Mediator but i am not an attorney and I cannot provide advice, opinion or direction.

My job is to work with you to get the most amount of money when selling your home; finding a suitable home for you to buy or a rental if that works better for you.  My job is to keep you informed about your options; negotiate in your best interest, and explain the contracts and what you should expect.   My goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible given the many issues already facing you during this very difficult time.  

Contact me at your convenience.  Let’s talk with no obligation.  My only goal is to earn your trust and help you navigate through the process knowing that your interests are first and foremost.  


wire transfer fraud – protect yourself

Wire Transfer Fraud – the number of these wire transfer fraud cases is on the rise. There are horror stories about people forwarding money via wire to hackers. Once this happens, your closing is delayed with a good possibility that your money is lost.

So what should you do? The following are some of the instructions that i give to my clients about wire transfer fraud:

     – Never accept e mail wire instructions

     – Use only secure portals

     – Make a phone call to the title company to make sure that the instructions you received came from them.  If in doubt, e mail a copy of the instructions to the title company for confirmation.

     – Call the title company or recipient after you make the transfer to make sure that it was received.  Otherwise, alert your bank immediately.

     – If funds are being requested more than 24 hours before closing date, contact your title company.  It is likely to be fraud.

     – If wire instructions request that you forward money to anyone other than your title company – do not forward payment.  Contact title company immediately with questions.

     – Never ever ever, call the phone number provided on the wire instructions.  These are manned to receive your call to assure you that they are legitimate.  Instead, contact your Realtor and get the phone number for the title company and call that number. Prevent wire transfer fraud.

Wire Fraud

Work with experienced Realtors and Brokers.  Look at it this way, if you need an operation, would you trust a newly licensed doctor to perform the surgery? So why would you trust just anyone to handle one of the most important decisions you will ever make?  Experience, as in anything else provides value.  Knowledge is power.  It isn’t just about showing you a house and doing the paperwork. Do  they  have  a website?  Is  it  professional?   

Note:  these are only some of the ways to protect yourself.  Always engage with your Broker and Title Company for additional input and advice.

Let Alexa answer your Real Estate Questions

voice technology and Alexa
Real Estate Questions and Alexa

Real Estate Questions and Alexa

Have basic questions about Real Estate?  Curious as to the process?  Want to know more? Let Alexa answer your Real Estate Questions

Well, obviously the best way to get complete information is to speak to a Real Estate Professional but guess what? – folks that have access to Amazon’s Alexa Technology for music and the weather, can now ask Alexa to offer responses to over 250 questions. Just say “Ask a Realtor”

The National Association of Realtors is adding additional questions and answers monthly.  You can also listen to their weekly real estate radio show.

I am a Real Estate Broker that is well positioned to answer your questions and continue to provide information through the process.  My goal is for you to know all that you need to know to make informed decisions.

This is the one of the most important decisions that my client makes and i would be honored to help make the process run smoothly and seamlessly – So let’s make some time for a brief conversation.   

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