Senior Living in Wilmington

Conventional and Internet surveys agree - the 57 and up population not only represents the largest segment of home ownership but are also the fastest growing age group using computers and the Internet. Your needs going forward require a specialized professional who can help you with answers to the following questions:

Are you facing an empty nest? 
Is your home too large for your current lifestyle? 
Are you thinking of downsizing? 
Should you sell your home or keep it as an investment? 
Should you purchase another home or consider alternatives? 
Should you relocate? 
Is living near your children a concern? 
Would you like to learn more about what resources and activities are available that meet your priorities? 
Do you need any assistance with estate or tax planning? 


We serve a distinguished clientele whose needs are similar to yours. If you are reading this page perhaps you or someone you know is ready to get professional advice on making this part of life the best it can be. Below are some resources to help better understand your options. Should you require any personal consultation, please feel free to contact me. 

Profile of a Senior

For today's senior citizen, the moniker itself conjures up tired men and women sitting on park benches feeding pigeons, a memory many hold dear as it invokes images of a previous generation. That is simply not a valid description any longer.

Though many of today's seniors began life before there was rock music, air conditioners, microwaves ovens, credit cards, SUV's and computers, they watched all these innovations come to birth and have embraced many of them. In fact, in a 2004 survey, Pew Research reported that nearly 50% of all seniors own computers and are on the Internet.

Today's seniors live active lives. Some are working on second or third careers because working isn't something they do just to earn money; it's a way of taking all their accumulated knowledge and applying it to projects they love and believe in.

Some are focusing on their equity portfolios not just to insure provision for their children, but to plan and prepare for their own future in regard to housing, mental and health issues.

Some are seeking to advance their education in all things from getting their doctorate in History to golfing and dancing.

Though today's seniors grew up during a time when cigarette smoking was considered fashionable, when Coke was a just a mixture of water, sugar and bubbles, when McDonald's only served a few hundred thousand, today's senior is filled with a wisdom drawn from a life lived during a time when music, art, fashion, space travel, technology and medical renaissances converged.

Today's senior is physically healthier than ever, having grown up doing jumping jacks with Jack LaLanne, Aerobics, Jazzercise and now Pilates. Today's seniors can rely on great medical advancements that make once life threatening events an outpatient treatment. And today's seniors are positively spirited as a result of enhanced physical and dietary regimens, and enriched medical wonders that include such things Viagra.

While today's seniors were born before there was touch tone dial, CD players and the Internet, it was members of today's senior population who invented these things. Many of you are still productive in the work force today, working hard and inventing our future.

When you think of today's seniors, you don't think of white haired old men and women with walkers. You think of Sean Connery, Barbara Walters, Johnny Carson, Michael Douglas, and the millions of amazing resilient men and women that make up the most distinguished members of our population.


Purchasing a Second Home

Picking The Right Property: 
The trend today is to locate property and areas where the pursuit of an active recreational lifestyle is abundant and where the property can also be shared by and with children, many of whom are young adults and or young, married and with rowing families. 

The critical lure to certain areas are driven by proximity of family and secondly by desired activities that rank in this descending order of needs:

  • Beach/Lake and or Water Sports
  • Boating
  • Hunting/Fishing
  • Golfing
  • Winter Recreation
  • Shopping
  • Exercising
  • Biking Hiking Horseback riding
  • Tennis

Purchasing a Second Home:

There's a growing trend among late baby boomers and young seniors who are experiencing empty nest to invest in second homes that serve as a getaway, an investment and as well as a possible new permanent residence down the road. 

Making An Investment: 
For many Americans, investing means real estate. For many late age boomers and young seniors, this includes purchasing A second home. This could be:

  • Vacation getaway
  • An income property
  • A second residence

Today, these options are increasingly becoming one in the same as they provide numerous opportunities for the owners to reap a multitude of benefits over time. 

With today's growing population of aging baby-boomers who are retiring with record levels of equity income, tax-free profits of up to a half million dollars from the sale of homes, poor performing stock investments, many homeowners aged 46 to 65 are seeking the security of reclusive retreats and viewing them as great investments as well as wise lifestyle choices. 

You are not Alone. The facts are:

  • Over half of all second-home owners consider their second home as a family retreat.
  • One in six second-home owners over 55 plan to make their second home their primary residence after retirement.

A great number of second home buyers do not move into the second home right away. They rent them for a number of years, drawing income, procuring tax benefits and building equity. 

As your real estate professional I can help you consider the benefits and help you better understanding the motivations behind purchasing second homes. For more information on Second Home Investments please contact me. 

Senior Living FAQ's 

I'm Looking to Start a New Chapter in my Life. What Should I be Doing? 
To begin, you must determine what your needs are. This would include such things as:

  • Have you just retired?
  • Are you divorced or widowed?
  • Do you currently own a home?
  • Do you want to sell the home?
  • What type of new living situation are you considering?
  • Do you have children?
  • Are you active?
  • Do you require any medical attention?

How Can I Prepare My Safety Net From a Position of Security? 
The truth is none of us can predict our personal future or that of a loved one. Early planning provides us ways to protect our property and maintain our well-being. It's better to prepare for your future from a position of health and security than to wait for a crisis and make decisions in grief or haste. 

What Issues Should I be Most Concerned With? 
There are many. A partial list includes: 

Be aware of your overall health, your problem areas, and your future risks. Take all necessary precautions, including physical and mental workout as well as diet. Secure a good physician and hospital that you trust with your personal health. Your physician will evaluate your diet and exercise needs as well as other influences on your health. It is never too late to begin an exercise program or to give up bad habits. Working with your trusted specialists can add years of active living. 

Do what you can to become educated on all matters concerning your finances. Some things to consider include:

  • Current assets
  • Future assets
  • Benefits
  • Various insurance coverages.

You cannot rely on Medicare to cover all payments, despite the revisions made in the area of health care coverage. The cost of nursing homes, long term care, assisted living or private nursing care must be considered and planned for. Opportunities available through retirement plans, insurance riders, and state programs should be obtained and studied with a trusted financial advisor. 

Legal issues 
These should be attended to when you are of sound mind and in full control of your possessions. Protecting your personal property and finances is imperative so that they are available for your care when needed. When you are not competent due to ill health, you may not be able to initiate the legal documents necessary to allow a friend or family member to handle your affairs. Now is the time to explore who will have your power of attorney to execute decisions on your behalf when you are incapable of doing so. You should also consider the implications of a living will. 

Determine what housing alternatives would be acceptable and available to you should your independence be threatened by illness, disability, or loss of income. Visit locations in your community and make your plans known to your family. Safety, security, cost of upkeep, accessibility, types of residents who share the facility, and even geographic location are important considerations. Assuming that someone else will make a decision to your liking when the time comes is unfair to that "someone", and risky to your future peace of mind. Being informed about deposits, waiting lists, nursing standards and eligibility requirements will lead to a good feeling of control over difficult decisions. 

Activities and Lifestyle 
As studies have shown, one of the secrets to longevity and health is a peace of mind found through renewed or continued interest in the world and its activities. Whatever your passions or hobbies, seek out furthering your education, get involved in artistic endeavors, correspond with a pen pal, or start a new business. 

Support Systems 
This is a general term for surrounding yourself with friends, relatives, and resource persons that will serve to inspire you, keep you vital, entertain you, and who will be available when help is needed. This is an area often neglected by seniors, especially after the passing of a spouse. Making plans for your future in later years deserves the same attention, excitement and positive outlook you gave to choosing a college, planning for children, and your career. A safety net of information about health, finances and legalities while continuing to develop personal interests and friendships will support and sustain you through times of difficult decision making. 

Reverse Mortgage 

A Reverse Mortgage Defined 
A reverse mortgage is a special type of loan used by senior homeowners to convert part of the equity in their home into cash or tax-free income without having to sell the home, give up title, or take on a new monthly mortgage payment. The money from a reverse mortgage can provide seniors with the financial security they need to enjoy their retirement years to the fullest. 

The reverse mortgage is aptly named because the payment stream is "reversed." Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, as with a regular first mortgage or home equity loan, a lender makes payments to you. 

While a reverse mortgage loan is outstanding, you continue to own the home. 

You Will Never Be Forced Out of Your Home 
Borrowers will never, under any circumstance resulting from the reverse mortgage, be forced to leave their homes providing they pay their real estate property tax and insurance premiums. 

Borrowers can choose to receive the reverse mortgage funds as a lump sum, monthly income (for up to life), or a line of credit, or as a combination of monthly income and line of credit. No mortgage payments are due during the life of the loan. Borrowers can use the funds anyway they wish. Borrowers make no monthly payments on a reverse mortgage during its term. The loan becomes repayable when the borrower sells the home or permanently moves out. In addition, the repayment amount can't exceed the value of the home. 

What can the Money Be Used For? 
The money from a reverse mortgage can be used for ANYTHING, including the following:

  • Daily living expenses
  • Home repairs and home modifications
  • Medical bills and prescription drugs
  • Pay-off of existing debts
  • Continuing education
  • Travel
  • Long-term health care
  • Prevention of foreclosure, and other needs

If your home needs physical repairs (mandatory repairs) in order to qualify for a reverse mortgage, a portion of the proceeds will be set aside for this purpose. 

To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must be at least 62 years old and own your own home. There are no income or medical requirements to qualify. You may be eligible for a reverse mortgage even if you still owe money on a first or second mortgage. In fact, many seniors get a reverse mortgage to pay off a first mortgage. 

Options on How to Receive Money from a Reverse Mortgage.

  • All at once (lump sum)
  • Fixed monthly payments (for up to life)
  • A line of credit
  • A combination of these
  • The most popular option - chosen by more than 60% of borrowers - is the line of credit, which allows you to draw on the loan proceeds at any time

The size of the reverse mortgage you can receive depends on:

  • Your age at the time you apply for the loan
  • The type of reverse mortgage you choose
  • The value of your home
  • Current interest rates
  • And - sometimes - where you live.

In general, the older you are and the more valuable your home (and the less you owe on your home), the larger the reverse mortgage can be 

What Costs are Associated With a Reverse Mortgage? 
They include the origination fee (which can be financed as part of the mortgage), an appraisal fee, and other charges similar to those for regular mortgages. 

The money provided to you from a reverse mortgage is tax-free, and does not affect regular Social Security or Medicare benefits. However, the funds received from a reverse mortgage may affect your eligibility for certain kinds of government assistance, such as Medicaid or state assistance programs. So, you should check into this before getting a reverse mortgage. To do this, you may wish to consult with your local Area Agency on Aging (to locate, call 1-800-677-1116, or visit, a reverse mortgage lender, or a tax attorney. 

How Do I Begin the Process? 
Before applying for a reverse mortgage, you must first meet with a reverse mortgage counselor. You may, however, first approach a reverse mortgage lender, who can provide you with the names of approved counseling agencies in your area. A list of approved counseling agencies nationwide is posted on the Internet by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

The counselor will educate you about reverse mortgages, and inform you of other alternative options given your situation, as well as assist you in determining which particular reverse mortgage product best fits your needs. 

No payments are due on a reverse mortgage while it is outstanding. The loan becomes due and payable when you cease to occupy your home as a principal residence. This can occur if you (the last remaining spouse, in cases of couples) pass away, sell the home, or permanently move out.