Posted October 29, 2009

Recently, I have been asked a lot about how business is going in this market.  I respond by noting that people are still moving to retirement communities and assisted living.  Actually the more need driven the move (ie:dementia, safety causing a need for assisted living) the more likely there will be a quick move in.

However in the area of independent living there has been some slowing.  Some of this is due to the fact that folks who want to make the move need to sell their house in order to afford to do so.  And as we know, homes are not selling as quickly as they used to. 

When you are considering a Continuum of Care Retirement Community where a hefty entrance fee is required, the sale of the home is even more important.  However, some communities have stepped up to the challenge and have started to offer "Deferred Entrance Fees."  It allows you to make a small deposit, and then go ahead and move into your new lifestyle (community) while real estate experts work to sell you home.  Many programs allow for a full year to sell it.  Professionals in my industry and the real estate industry also note that the home is often times easier to sell when the person has moved out.  That way updates can be made and staging can take place to make the home more attractive to buyers.

Some communities have also partnered with Senior Move Managers – and offer credits to use toward professional downsizing, packing and unpacking, floor plan design and other services designed to make the move easier.

Some of the purely rental communities we work with are offering move in incentives as well.  Some will offer rent freezes and others are offering free or discounted rent for the first few months if you actually move before winter.  (And who wants to move in the Chicago area at winter?)

While many communities make these offers known upfront, do not be afraid to ask them if they are running any specials.  The worst they can say is no, and the odds are the answer is going to save you some money.

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