Selling a house to your child

Selling a house to your child is a great way to keep a beloved home in a family for many years to come. Whatever your reason for wanting to sell — financial, retirement, estate planning, etc. — it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an easier process than selling to a stranger. In most cases, the process is essentially the same.

For example, it’s still beneficial for both parties to:

  • Have the home appraised and inspected.
  • Acquire financing through a bank or mortgage lender.
  • Transfer the deed to the property from the current to the future owner.
  • Hire a Realtor and attorney to help complete the complex transaction.

The list goes on and on.

Typically, financial issues are one of the biggest problems we see when selling a house to your child. While it may be tempting to offer financing to a family member, it’s usually better to have the financing handled through a traditional mortgage lender. Family financial situations can and do change over time, and if they do, it can put a tremendous strain on both your real estate transaction and your relationship.

Selling a home is a complex transaction with many twists and turns. Selling a house to your child is no exception. For more information and assistance, please contact The Olear Team today!

Let’s talk about the home buying process

Let’s talk about the home buying process

Is it time? Are you ready to purchase a home? If so, the home buying process can, admittedly, be a little difficult to navigate at times, but with the right Realtor at your side, it can actually be a fun and exciting adventure!

First, ask yourself a question: Is buying right for you, or would you be better off renting a home or apartment first? Each situation has its own set of pros and cons, so be sure to give it some time and thought before jumping in feet first.

Once you’ve made the decision to tackle the home buying process, don’t go it alone! Find a Realtor that you are comfortable working with who will continually look out for your best interests. Feel free to interview multiple real estate agents until you find the right match. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together — from completing mounds of paperwork to visiting open houses — so you want someone who is both friendly and experienced. Ask friends and family for recommendations.

Are your finances in order? Have you been saving money for a down payment? You’ll also want to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you’ll be considered a serious contender when making an offer on a home.

Select the style of home that best suits your personal taste, and then think about the neighborhood or neighborhoods you would like to target when house hunting. Do you need to be close to work, schools, entertainment, restaurants, medical facilities, family?

Next, select a lender after comparing mortgage rates and associated costs and fees. Your Realtor will likely be ready to offer recommendations.

And now, the fun begins! Go house shopping, both online and in-person. Most realty websites will offer multiple photos of the interior and exterior of homes currently for sale, and some might also feature a virtual tour of your dream home.

Once you’ve found something you really like and have had a chance to visit, it’s time to make an offer … and be prepared for the seller to come back with a counter-offer. Once your offer is officially accepted, you’ll have to think about things like a home inspection and scheduling your closing date, but those are topics for a different day!

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the home buying process, please contact the professionals at The Olear Team today!

Inheriting a house? Examine the pros and cons

Inheriting a house? Examine the pros and cons

In addition to the emotional impact, losing your parents or another family member may result in many new responsibilities and priorities for the bereaved, especially if you and/or your siblings will be inheriting a house. This situation can present a number of challenges, depending on your present living situation, relationship with your siblings and your financial standing.

Basically, inheriting a house will leave you with three options: Sell it, rent it or move into it. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons associated with each option.

Options when inheriting a house

  • If you decide to sell it, you’ll want to contact an experienced Realtor who knows the neighborhood, especially if you live in another city or state. With the Realtor or real estate agent, you’ll want to look at comparable properties to determine a reasonable asking price. Until the property sells, you’ll need to keep up with payments such as utilities and taxes. And what about the mortgage? Is the house paid off or was your parent still making payments?
  • If you already own a home, another option is to rent out the inherited property. This could be a way for you to generate income and keep the property in the family. On the other hand, there will also be additional expenses such as utilities, taxes, maintenance and repairs. If you decide to rent it, you may want to consider hiring a property manager to handle maintenance and repair work, assuming it makes financial sense.
  • The third option when inheriting a house is to move in. While that can be a great solution, it can also cause added pressure if you already own a home that you would then need to sell or rent.

Whatever you ultimately decide to do, there will be countless other questions along the way. For example:

  • What happens to all the belongings that currently fill the house? Will you keep these items, sell them or give them away?
  • If the house was left to more than one child, make sure that everything is talked out and agreed upon to avoid any hard feelings down the road.
  • There are tax implications related to all three scenarios (sell, rent or move in). Be sure to consult a tax professional before making a final decision regarding what to do with the property.
  • How much work needs to be done in the house? Is it in good shape, or does it look like you just stepped out of a time machine and into an earlier decade?

When inheriting a house, one thing is certain: Don’t act too quickly! Allow yourself time to transition through the grieving process so you’re thinking clearly when it is time to evaluate all the pros and cons and make a final decision. If you have any questions, please contact the professional at The Olear Team today.

House-sharing could be a golden opportunity to age in place

Back in the mid 1980s, American television viewers were introduced to The Golden Girls, four fun-loving and aging women — still young at heart — who shared a home in Miami and, of course, got themselves into hilarious situations episode after episode. While the ladies would often get on each other’s nerves, their living situation did have several advantages, perhaps the biggest plus being companionship.

In today’s non-TV world, more and more people are looking for housing alternatives as they age, and the house-sharing arrangement like the one portrayed on The Golden Girls is becoming increasingly popular. Leave it to the Baby Boomers to make house-sharing a national trend!

By definition, shared housing is an arrangement between two or more unrelated people who choose to live together to take advantage of the mutual benefits the situation offers. It allows individuals to age in place, yet not alone. In addition to companionship, the house-sharing trend offers several other advantages. For example, those household chores that never seem to get any easier can now be split between two or more people. And, there can be a considerable cost savings for all involved. Just think about it — typical household expenses such as utilities and maintenance can be equally divided and shared! Additionally, there is peace of mind and a feeling of security that comes with having other people living in the home and keeping an eye out for one another.

Of course, house-sharing isn’t always the ideal situation. Finding a roommate, or roommates, who are compatible and trustworthy might not be easy. And what happens when one of the individuals is late paying their portion of the shared expenses? What about rules on pets, smoking and room temperature? While you might like the temperature set at 68 degrees, one of your housemates might prefer 72 and another might like it at 75. Those are all things to consider before moving in together. And perhaps the biggest potential problem of them all: What happens if one of the roommates eventually needs additional care that his or her companions cannot provide?

In the absence of a formal screening process, aging professionals agree that if a house-sharing situation is in your future, it’s probably best to move in with someone who has been a good friend for years, or at the very least the friend of a good friend who comes with a strong recommendation. But, you’ll never know if it’s truly going to work until you put the plan into action.

For more information on independent housing alternatives for seniors, please visit the Erie County Senior Services website at www.erie.gov/seniorservices

Michael Olear is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with MJ Peterson Real Estate – www.olear.wpengine.com

This article originally appeared in The Buffalo News Homefinder on January 6, 2018 and is reprinted with permission

Olear Team seminar: Michael Olear of MJ Peterson partners with Brookdale Kenmore to offer seminars for older adults and caregivers

Michael Olear, a licensed real estate broker and member of the Olear Team at MJ Peterson Real Estate, will present informational seminars at Brookdale Kenmore at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6 and 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. Brookdale Kenmore is located at 2971 Delaware Ave., Kenmore.

This Olear Team seminar, titled “The Four-Step Moving Plan,” is open to the community and focuses on real estate topics relevant to older adults and their caregivers, including right-sizing and simplifying a living situation, preparing for a move, and available resources and tools related to these matters. The presentation will include the opportunity for attendees to ask questions. To register, please call the Olear Team at (716) 880-4442.

Olear is a licensed real estate broker with 30 years of experience. He has specialized in helping older adults with their real estate needs since 1999. The Olear Realty Group, Inc. is organized as a sub chapter S corporation and supports the Olear Team/MJ Peterson Corporation in the sale of residential real estate throughout Erie and Niagara County. Visit olear.wpengine.com to learn more about the Olear Team’s work assisting older adults and their families, and future Olear Team seminar offerings.

Brookdale Kenmore is an enhanced assisted living residence designed for older adults to age in place. Parent company Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The company is committed to providing senior living solutions primarily within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Currently, Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, with nearly 1,150 communities in 46 states and the ability to serve over 111,000 residents. Through its ancillary services program, the company also offers a range of outpatient therapy, home health, personalized living and hospice services.