Solano Real Estate Scene: Help seniors choose best option
My parents made a mistake in 1995 when they retired and sold their San Francisco three-story Sunset District home to my two brothers.
They purchased a two-story home with a small swimming pool in Coffey Park in Santa Rosa. My mom loved the home and the idea of a pool for her 15 grandkids and great-grandkids.
My dad was strong and healthy, and my mom was somewhat healthy. My mom had a brain tumor partially removed from the back of her head in 1992, but they couldn’t get it all because it was wrapped around some nerves. The surgery caused some nerve damage that affected her eyesight in one eye along with face and arm pain.
The house became unmanageable 18 years later when my dad was 83 and my mom was 77 because of the stairs and the maintenance. They could have bought a one-story home in Oakmont, the over-55 Santa Rosa community, but my mom hated the idea of not having lots of kids in the neighborhood.
They should have bought a one-story, low-maintenance home in 1995, because ultimately, they had to sell the house in 2013 in a buyers’ market and move to a one-story rental home in Oakmont, which was sad and a big, painful job for them and their six kids.
Luckily, this move turned out to be a blessing because they never fell down the stairs and they were not sleeping when the fires destroyed their home and their neighborhood in 2017.
Moving down, moving up, moving out, refinancing the house, doing a home equity conversion mortgage reverse line of credit, creating a living trust, combining assets and income with adult kids and moving into a family compound with two homes on one lot or maybe a home with two master bedrooms if two cooks in the kitchen can be tolerated, are all things seniors should consider now rather than later.
No one is getting any younger, but women are now living to 92 and men 89 because so many quit smoking in the 1980s and ’90s and became healthy.
One of my sisters is a nurse, my brother is a CPA and I have been helping seniors make financial decisions since Jimmy Carter was in office. We should have convinced my parents to buy a nice one-story home in 1995 since their goal was for this to be their last move.
We should have worked together as a family.