Tens of millions of U.S. residents have a problem. There aren’t enough homes for the elderly and disabled population. One in four of us — more than 60 million people — have a disability. And our older adult population is rapidly growing.
As a general matter, the United States needs something between 3 million and 6 million homes, according to Republican Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, who sits on the Senate’s aging committee. Bob Casey, the U.S. Senator and former governor of Pennsylvania, notes how disabled home seekers are doubly disadvantaged in this market. They need homes they can afford and homes they can navigate safely, despite their disabilities.
Casey, who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging, recently proposed a federal bill. It would require the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program to fund homes with accessibility features.
Will Casey’s proposal get support? Will other laws be proposed? We’ll have to see. We’re certainly expecting a heightened interest in this issue nationwide.
For some seniors and people with disabilities, property taxes can feel like the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back.
On the other hand, local governments need funding. They tax their residents to fund resources like emergency response departments, schools, and libraries.
How much will you owe in property taxes? It depends on what your state and local governments decide. If you’re a senior or have a disability, most states offer reductions. To offset the pain of inflation, some states have raised income thresholds this year, making tax breaks available to more seniors.
Read on, as we look at some highlights. We start with New Jersey, which taxes its homeowners more than any other state in the nation.
Transferring the deed to your home is a simple matter. Generally, you just have to find the current deed to your home, then get the right deed form to write up your new deed to convey to another party, and take the document to a notary. Then your signature can be notarized and the deed can be filed.
But it’s best not to rush in. Some homeowners later regret signing over their deeds.
Let’s look at reasons not to transfer deeds too quickly — and how best to proceed when you do.
Taxes keep going up, following property values. But some homeowners — and buyers — can tap into county or state property tax breaks.
Some states exempt seniors from property tax. Some states let eligible homeowners put off paying property taxes — in many areas, for as long as they own the home. An exemption doesn’t have to be paid back. A tax deferral does.
Plans are being expanded in some locations, so it’s always worth it to check in with your government’s revenue department if you think you might be eligible.
A 91-year-old Floridian recently sent a payment to his insurer. Then the agent called to say the company wouldn’t be able to renew the homeowner’s policy. The deed had been transferred. The home was now legally owned by another person.
Some days later, from his bedroom, this shocked and disoriented senior heard three people come into the home. It seems the perpetrator was trying to sell the house. Fort Lauderdale police are investigating.
The swindled senior paid off the mortgage 15 years ago. Maybe that’s part of the issue. If there were a mortgage lien on the home, the mortgage company would have been alerted to the transfer. Plenty of elders live in homes with paid-off mortgages in Florida, and plenty of fraudulent schemes are targeting their increasingly valuable homes.
On October 1st, Tesla revealed a model of its Tesla humanoid robot, Optimus. Some viewers think it might have retail potential, as a robotic home assistant. Tesla seems serious about the project. The company even sidelined the creation of an affordable ($25K) electric car to focus its expertise on robot technology. But Optimus is still years away from viability, and the predicted cost of the Tesla robot is about $20K.
For that much, some senior homeowners could pay off their remaining mortgage debt. In any case, they could certainly buy quite a few of the tech options discussed below. These items focus on assisting with tasks and chores, safety and security, and all-around ease for homeowners “getting up there” in years.
Retirees and seniors are active in the U.S. real estate market — and everything else! Turning 65 once meant retiring on a pension. Today, for many, it means financial independence, self-actualization, and enjoying life for a few more decades.
How does this impact an older adult’s real estate plans? Is it better to rent or buy? And if buying is better, what type of home makes sense?