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Tag Archives: seniors

Seniors Could Migrate To Small Towns and Bring Them To Life

I am excited about bringing the community aspects of seniors condominium living to small towns. Create a net migration of seniors fleeing the large urban communities to nest in smaller municipalities, and with that, lower the cost of their housing and make a comfortable retirement accessible.

With housing and health care costs rising significantly for seniors as the demand swells – literally as the baby boom bump hits this care phase and more people compete for limited living assisted care or seniors only living – we need new solutions.

One would be to build such housing in rural towns. As stated below, we can realize a lower cost of residency for the seniors in smaller communities.

But better, if done right, the communities will be the ultimate benefactors – the focus being health care.

It’s a chicken/egg problem. Seniors don’t inhabit small towns due to a lack of easily accessible medical treatment. Small towns have problems growing because they lack a variety of services including, importantly, medical care.

We can break this chicken/egg problem by building assisted care communities. These communities hire trained and certified nursing and medical staffing. Done right, and working with the regional health care boards, these professionals could have split time jobs – part-time for the assisted care facility, and part-time for the health care region. Indeed, balanced correctly, this could be a way to subsidize the cost of nursing and trained medical receptionists for the always overworked, underappreciated, and often difficult to find rural general practitioner. We could work on using a seniors complex to incentivise doctors to practice in rural communities by sharing costs with the housing facility.

Perhaps the hosing facility has a medical clinic as part of the building, with an outside/separate entrance for the public use.

And if a small community can attract some accessible medical treatment, which is one of the most significant hurdles to overcome in growing the town, everybody wins.

6k Special Assessment On Units Priced Between 12-19k

When things go bad, they go bad – we have a 40 years old seniors complex (55+) Inlet House in Fort Pierce Florida that has been foreclosing on units that haven’t paid the special assessment of 6,000 (USD) to do a major replacement of plumbing. This repair is also requires the vacation of the units during some of the repairs.

What I found interesting was looking at realty listings for the complex; they average $30.50/sq. foot. Please sir, can I have 12 of them! 726sq. feet for $11,900 – list. A little negotiation and I’m sure you can get it for less.

It comes back to the issue that sometimes a “small” special assessment (6k in this case) is still beyond the keen of the owner to pay – especially in this case where the building is a senior’s residence and many are likely on fixed income. That also means they have less flexibility or ability to absorb the costs of vacating their unit for the repair. It also represents 1/3 of the unit’s equity.

What also has me concerned is the tv report which indicates that Florida is looking at making it harder for corporations to foreclose on deadbeat unit owners. Giving unit owners the ability to pass on paying the costs of their common area and corporate bills is always a bad thing.

Special Assessments Do Not Need to be 10s of Thousands to be Unaffordable

As we hear of 87 to 187k special assessments that are being levied to some condo owners in Calgary, I read another story that reminds me that smaller assessments may be completely unaffordable.

96 year of Sarah Eisenber has lived in her Fort Lauderdale condo for 12 years, and the building (legally, there’s nothing nefarious here) is assessing a $6500 special assessment for storm window work (there’s big storms a coming!).

For many people, even young and first time purchasers, $6500 could be financed or borrowed against. But for a person who gets $1500/month in Social Security at the age or 96 – there is absolutely no recourse, no expected revenue to borrow against, and no savings.

For her, she had been budgeting on a predictable condominium contribution that she had been paying regularly – and never in default with. But a special assessment, even a smaller one will force her out of her home as the condominium legally forecloses the unit for the monies.

I guess there are two things to walk away from this story with.

One that the cost of livening in a condominium will always be monthly contribution and additional costs as determined. That’s the way it works. To budget without the special assessment possibility will put you behind on payments. That is simply the nature of condominium, and Sarah was in essence living in a house that was too expensive.

Two, that a well-run corporation should be able to predict and forecast this need (especially something like window/storm protection) – building a reserve over several years and having minimum impact on residents with a compromised ability to meet special assessments. As a board member, there is a responsibility to realize that not everyone had fiscal flexibility, and a good board tries to protect against additional unscheduled cash calls.

At 96, this is a tragic situation for Sarah. No ifs ands or butts. But it is a story that needs to be communicated to owners so they realize that the contribution alone may never be sufficient in meeting their fiscal responsibility to the condominium.