What is an SRES?

What is SRES? Thanks for asking. SRES stands for Senior Real Estate Specialist. The specialist doesn’t have to be a senior but does have to specialize in real estate for seniors.

It is all actually quite interesting because there really isn’t such a thing as Senior real estate. Older houses are sometimes called “Historic” but never “senior”

There is such a thing as senior housing. Usually, it is housing that people have to be 55 or older to buy or rent. With some housing, a person has to be 62 or better to buy or rent.

The Senior Specialist Designation is through the National Association of Realtors. It is an area of study. Once the course is taken as I recall there is a test.

I have had many clients over the years who are 70 or older. I think my oldest client was in her early 90’s.  There is no one size fits all housing solution for people who are over 55. It mostly depends upon what kind of a lifestyle the person has or wants.

Health and money weigh into the equation too.  I have worked with a few people who are blind or almost blind. Some seniors like to jog and others don’t want a house where there are stairs to climb.

Sometimes families need help with a house that they inherited from a loved one. I have experience with that both as a family member and as a Realtor.

Some of my older clients have downsized while others have purchased larger homes. Sometimes it takes a larger house to meet the needs of a few generations.

Listening is the most important skill for working with seniors. It is best not to make any assumptions about the size, and style of a house a person might want.

I just renewed my SRES membership for another year. Feel free to call or write with questions. Boardman Realty is woman-owned and operated and I suppose technically we are senior citizens too.

Downsizing can be a challenge but we have done that ourselves and have helped family members and clients do the same. In fact sometimes I think about writing a book on how to pack up a life and move away.

Certificate SRES


The pandemic and early retirement

Early retirements are way up because of the pandemic. On average, 2 million boomers have retired each year since 2011, according to an analysis by Pew 3.2


million people retired in 2020.

I know several people who retired early and in the last 18 months because of the pandemic. Some were already 70 or older and others were between the ages of 60 and 65 at retirement.

The homeownership rate among baby boomers is 74 to 82% depending upon the age of the boomer. Baby boomers are mostly hanging on to their real estate due to the lack of suitable or affordable housing. It is actually less expensive to live in a larger house than it is to buy a smaller house, at least for now.

Almost 38% of homeowners between the ages of 65 and 74 have mortgages which is way up from 1989 when it was closer to 21%. Almost 28% of homeowners who are over 75 have a mortgage.

Retirement will be easier without a mortgage. We used to worry about paying mortgages in old age but now that seems easy compared with paying for health care and or long-term care.

On the other hand without mortgage payments, there is more money for medical expenses. I have read a few articles that discourage borrowers from paying off their mortgage early. I don’t agree with most of the articles which are usually written by people in the mortgage industry.

My advice to anyone who is considering early retirement is to pay off the mortgage first unless of course, you have a lot of money and a large retirement fund.

Transfer on death deed (TODD)

If you are doing a little estate planning consider your real estate. It is probably your most valuable assiet.  A transfer-on-death deed (TODD) allows for the transfer of title of real property to a named beneficiary at the death of the owner, or the last to die


of multiple owners.

The person named on the deed doesn’t have any right to the property until the owner dies and it can be revoked. The new owner also inherits any liens against the property.

A TODD can be helpful for estates that don’t need estate tax planning and where the only asset subject to probate is the home.

We often work with families and attorneys to sell houses after the owners have died. It can get complicated and take a long time for the estate to go through probate. The house can be put on the market while in probate, but the sale can not close.

Talk to your attorney about the transfer on death deed. There are pros and cons and I can’t give legal advice because that would be illegal. 🙂

If you need help selling a house that is part of an estate please call or write.

One in 4 will be over 65 by 2030

Minnesota is growing old.

By 2030, there will be 20,000 fewer K-12 students and 455,000 more seniors.
At least 70% of the Minnesotans who turned 65 in 2017 are expected to use long-term care services at some point. Maybe robots will provide hands-on care?

By 2030 Minnesota’s overall population is projected to grow 8.6% over the next decade, its senior population will surge by 56%.

By 2030 70% of those over 65 will need some form of long-term care. [FaceagingMN.org]

Aging in place is going to be a popular option for seniors who own homes and who can afford to keep owning them and are not facing serious health problems.

The homeownership rate among those 65 and older is in the neighborhood of 76%. Vacancy rates in assisted living and independent living housing combined are at around 15%.

We need more housing for all ages and single-family homes are still the most popular option.

Senior housing and “resources”

My father ended up in the hospital at the age of 85 and it became apparent that my parents needed some help. My mother, also 85 was suffering from dementia. They had some in-home services and were getting meals through the meals o wheels program.

When I met with the hospital social worker it was the first time I was introduced to “resources” for seniors. The social worker printed 20 pages with names and web addresses for a variety of senior services and housing options.

None of the information was vetted and it could all be found on the internet. I was actually looking for recommendations and a little help.

If you are elderly or are caring for elderly parents or grandparents you will be offered “resources”. To be honest they are less than helpful. Sometimes people who are experts or counselors or social workers are also salespeople.

The salespeople do not identify themselves as salespeople but once I became familiar with the business models I understood why the free resources were not helpful.

There is one free resource that is actually a resource and that is the Senior Linkage Line. I have a link to the website on my right sidebar.  It is the go-to place for seniors who are interested in senior housing, particularly assisted living.

Linkage Line is a service through the Minnesota Board on Aging and is free. It usually doesn’t show up on lists of “resources”.

“The Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA) works to ensure that older Minnesotans and their families are effectively served by state and local policies and programs, so they can age well and live well. The MBA does this through its three major roles: administrator, advisor, and advocate.” [MBA mission statement]

Most of us don’t want to be sold to but sometimes we need advice or we need to know what our options are.

Your offer is my mulch


I don’t use a lot of paper these days but I still use some. There are actually people living among us who do not use the internet or have email accounts or even a smartphone.

That makes my job a little harder. Instead of using electronic signatures and email, I print paper documents deliver them for signature, and then scan the signed documents and email them to Realtors, title companies, and lenders.

After the documents have been scanned I need to dispose of the paper documents. There are people who keep paper records forever but I am not one of those people. For me everything is digital and everything is automatically backed up.

If you made it this far this is where the mulch happens. I run the paper documents through my paper shredder. The resulting pieces are small and the recyclers do not want them. I hate throwing anything that is reusable or recyclable in the trash which is why I use it as mulch. I have also experimented with composting it.

I don’t use it to mulch vegetables. I use a layer of it around ornamental plants and I add a layer of dead leaves on top.

If you have a neighbor or friend or loved one who doesn’t use the internet or have a cell phone or email or uses some technology but not much and if they live within the city limits of St Paul or nearby. I am happy to help and I can always use more mulch for my hostas.