Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Seniors in "hot areas" often get offers for old homes, by developers wanting to do tear-downs

Annys Shin has a front page story in the Sunday, April 21 Washington Post, “Seniors’ homes are often hot properties”, titled online “In the hunt for tear-down properties, elderly homeowners often get offers”, link here
The practice is particularly common in north Arlington, VA, where there are few vacant lots, but some older post-WWII homes on lots large enough for much larger homes or condo developments.  Often the land is worth more than the cost of demolishing and building a new home.  In fact, real estate tax records in Arlington often show land that is worth several times the cost of the structure itself.  Homeowners sat that their taxes support increasingly comfortable wild animals (like the fox population) rather than people.
Seniors may benefit from the offers, but they need enough money for a cash purchase of a modern high rise condo, with income to pay the taxes and maintenance fees.  Entry into continuing care communities (some of which are condo-ized and some of which are all rental) tends to be very expensive, because of the flexibility to start assisted living if needed, and also because of enhanced security and very robust building construction. 
My own mother was very attached to “The House”  (Drohega) in her last years, but had considered the idea of purchasing a unit in The Jefferson (in Ballston) as far back as 1991. 

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