Baby Boomers are aging, this is no longer a secret. Also, we don’t think we are getting old and we don’t think old! We are younger looking, healthier, travel more and generally have more fun than our parents did.
Even Real Estate news websites are beginning to talk about it: “Our current generation of boomers doesn’t want to do those for-old people things,” says Jana Lynott, senior policy adviser on livable communities for AARP. “We encourage [people to consider] neighborhoods where you can walk to a variety of services you access on a daily basis, like banks, public transportation, shopping, restaurants.”
This is also happening in Canada. Instead of migrating south en masse to retirement communities more and more baby boomers—a particularly urban-savvy group of Canadians —are moving back to the metro areas they abandoned when they began raising families. And in leaving their suburban homesteads, these empty nesters are redefining the urban centers they now call home.
My husband and I are examples of this.
Making the decision to leave our coastal home on the ocean was an incredibly hard thing to do. We loved the area but our home was becoming more of a burden than a joy to look after. Wanting a simpler home with less maintenance where we could enjoy our life became the utmost of importance to both my husband and me.
Real estate was on the upswing and our home was worth so much more after 30 years of being in the same area. We sold our character home to a lovely couple that moved from the city wanting a quieter life (the reverse of what we were about to do).
‘Well, the first thing you know we become millionaires… our kin folk said Jan & Glen move away from here… said the island is the place you want to be so we loaded up our trucks and instead moved to Burnaby! Hills that is… swimming pools, movie stars… (Music to the Beverly Hillbillies is playing in my head… )
We found another ‘character home‘ to begin our ‘Aging in Place – Resort Style‘ life. We consciously ‘right sized‘ our home and maintenance level and upped our lifestyle! We now had the added convenience of being within a 5-minutes drive from everything we used and walking distance to parks, stores, restaurants, and even a library!
So you want to ‘Age in Place – Resort Style’?
Let’s start with the ENTRANCE to your home. Here is a checklist that an accessible entrance NEEDS:
Smooth, ground level entrances without stairs
Surface textures that require low force to traverse on level, less than 5 pounds force per 120 pounds rolling force (for wheelchairs)
Surfaces that are stable, firm, and slip resistant per ASTM 2047
Now take your lifestyle up a notch with these ‘8’ AGE in PLACE – RESORT STYLE Features:
High curb appeal exterior design
Easy care driveway (non-slip stamped concrete, exposed aggregate, brick) with turn around
Remote opening with no post divider in the garage door
Low maintenance Exterior including stucco, brick, stone or smart board siding (no paint)
Easy sight line into home for security
Security System or ‘motion lights‘ – crooks don’t like bright lights
Low maintenance yard with underground sprinkler system
No threshold entrance or add transition ramp
Having a no threshold entrance way is optimal.
Or, have a beautiful a ramp added.
Or, have an elevator on the ground level accessed from the garage to all the rest of the floors.
They really aren’t as expensive as you think. In fact, for about the same price as a ‘Thermador Fridge,’ you can have a 4 x 6′ residential elevator installed.
This is similar to asking, “how much do cars cost?” There is a pretty wide range, depending on a number of factors. Generally speaking, in most parts of North America, two-stop home elevators start in the range of $20,000 installed. Typical installations cost between $19,000 and $39,000 .
Below is a contemporary home I designed for my ‘millennial’ clients that have aging relatives.
Due to the house to lot size restrictions, I designed the elevator in the center of the house with the staircase next to it.
Whatever you are able to do, ensure the floor area is non-slip and has a 60″ turning radius in the halls to allow for wheelchair access if needed.
The key to ensuring a universal entranceway is to think about ‘all users’ remember ‘grand babies’ need to grab onto handles and don’t like stairs and trip when the floor transitions change height.
Simply Me by Design,
Written by Jan Addams
(Designer, Author, Trainer)
President of IMAGE To INTERIOR Inc.
Wikipedia States: “ Universal Design ( a close relation to inclusive design) refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities.
The term “universal design” was coined by the architect Ronald L. Maceto describe the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.
However, it was the work of Selwyn Goldsmith, author of Designing for the Disabled (1963), who really pioneered the concept of free access for people with disabilities. His most significant achievement was the creation of the dropped curb – now a standard feature of the built environment.
Universal design emerged from slightly earlier barrier-free concepts, the broader accessibility movement, and adaptive and assistive technology and also seeks to blend aesthetics into these core considerations. As life expectancy rises and modern medicine increases the survival rate of those with significant injuries, illnesses, and birth defects, there is a growing interest in universal design.
There are many industries in which universal design is having strong market penetration but there are many others in which it has not yet been adopted to any great extent. Universal design is also being applied to the design of technology, instruction, services, and other products and environments.
Curb cuts or sidewalk ramps, essential for people in wheelchairs but also used by all, are a common example. Color-contrast dishware with steep sides that assists those with visual or dexterity problems is another.
There are also cabinets with pull-out shelves, kitchen counters at several heights to accommodate different tasks and postures, and, amidst many of the world’s public transit systems, low-floor buses that “kneel” (bring their front end to ground level to eliminate gap) and/or are equipped with ramps rather than on-board lifts.”
Designing Spaces using Universal Design Principals
So… what has been done recently in the building and design world to bring this Universal Design concept to the average home whether it is a house, townhouse or apartment?
As a veteran Interior Designer, I am seeing more homes incorporating this concept. In fact, I have recently designed two very different ‘user-friendly‘ homes. For one owner, is in his late 60’s, I designed 2 elevators; plus several ADA compliant areas in the home by using side ramp into the main house, wider hallways and doorways with lever handles on the doors. I also designed a transitional/accessibility vanity (where the cabinet was 34″ high and could be pulled out to accommodate a wheel chair) I also created a transition free 7′ shower in the Master ensuite.
My other clients, in their late 30’s, had a keen awareness of wanting their home to be accessible to aging relatives. I designed their contemporary styled 2 story home with an open concept around a 3-floor access elevator, ADA compliant washroom on the main floor and a ground access ‘in-law‘ suite with ADA compliant bathroom, kitchen and bedroom areas with access to the main and upper floors.
As I too am aging, I am doing more and more research on this topic. However, I want to add another element = creating a Hotel or Resort feel to any home I design that has ‘designer looking’ products that are easy to understand and use; require low physical effort; spaces that have easy access to all areas of the home and are beautiful to behold and touch.
I know its been awhile since we last chatted. To be honest, I have been way too busy helping my interior design clients with their renovations or new builds and looking after my family. This included helping my loving mother-in-law with aging in place concepts until we ‘happily’ placed her in a wonderful care facility even though she constantly told us ‘I’ll take poison if you take me from my home‘ and then promptly forget what she said or was talking about. I honestly didn’t have enough time and energy for anyone including myself. I did however, learn alot in that process about Dementia and the mind; about security for our loved ones and accessibility design.
In the midst of all the above, my husband and I also went through the horrible process of de-cluttering, depersonalizing and ‘staging to sell‘ our home that we lovingly called ‘The Lodge’ filled with many happy memories. Though we loved our home and area, we could no longer keep living and working on it as it required younger bodies and large cash inlay to bring it up to date. However, we didn’t want to ‘downsize’ our lifestyle so it was important to find a place we could spend at least the next 10 years in, and a condo was not an option.
We made a long ‘wish’ list; short ‘need’ list and found ourselves another‘character’ home that was newer and required lower maintenance. It has many ‘universal design‘ components in it (no threshold entranceway; tile and hardwood flooring; easy access to the outdoor living space) that was perfect for us. We changed all the knobs to levers; bulbs from incandescent to LEDand have personalized our space (created an outdoor kitchen and new main kitchen). Our jobs now are doing enjoyable maintenance on our ‘little’ front and back garden area – awesome!
We are free to make more happy memories in our newer ‘Resort Style Home’ in the city! Time is precious, sharing it with family and friends in a home you love that is a reflection of your personal lifestyle, I believe is the key to happiness.
If you are like me, a fellow baby boomer, you and/or your mate may be already, or are thinking of retirement which creates two-edged, happy / scary thoughts for most of us. We want more time to travel and enjoy the rewards of our hard work. Unfortunately, we also realise that health issues and being physically able to do all the things we want may not be possible.
So how do we ‘have our cake & eat it too?’
I am now turning my attention to sharing my 35 years of knowledge, experience and expertise in the field of Interior Design, Staging, Renovation and Building to helping those that are just embarking on these adventures and those, like myself that are now looking at ‘Aging in Place – Resort Style!’
1. Recognize that changes are necessary as our minds may still be young in attitude, but our bodies need a break!
2. Live a simpler, colourful, organized & inspiring life that has the ‘best’ of everything you can afford.
3. Surround yourself with your ‘happy colours’ & positive memory accessories.
4. Design your place with stylish & convenient accessibility products that are ensured to last 7 to 10 more years while you are enjoying your life.
Come along with me on my journey and learn from my experience to save you tons of money, sleepless nights, stress and frustration. I have the KEYS to prevent this. I have prepared4 FREE Training videosto help you. Let me know what you would like to find out more about and I will research and post my findings in upcoming emails.
Jan Addams (Fellow Baby Boomer)
Designer, Author, Trainer
The four views you will recieve upon subscribing will come like this:
Immediately Video 1:
‘What is Aging in Place – Resort Style‘? Learn about the rapidly GROWING Interior Design Trend!
Baby Boomers have, are in the process of, or are thinking of retiring and trying to decide what to do with their money, their home and the rest of their life.
3 Days later
The 8 KEY Deciding Factors
Should you stay in your home and Renovate, or Sell and Build? Jan asks all her clients to answer these 8 questions to help them make the best decision for their pocket book and life. Every decision requires thought & compromises.
5 Days later
. Video 3:
The ‘Space Options Survey‘
Jan shows how your Personality, Body Shape & Colouring transition into your Interior Design and teaches you how to fill out this survey to ensure your ‘renewed or new’ space is functional, beautiful & reflects your style.
7 Days later
. Video 4:
Introducing DESIGN DOMINOES I walk through the 8 Steps I use with my clients on every Renovation or New Build. This 8 module ONLINE training system comes with a custom Interior Project Binder to keep them on time & budget while having FUN! >
I am here to help you design a ‘Resort Style Life‘
Visit www.JanAddams.commy new ONLINE training site to get more info.
Testimonials for Interior Designer – Jan Addams LIIID, MIRM
Just a short note to thank you and let you know how very happy I am with the transformation you created for my (new to me) town home. The master bedroom is a dream with the gorgeous headboard and bedspread a perfect match together with the lamps & end tables from long ago. The carpet, wall colour and mill-work created around the window makes it a very warm & cosy room.
Your design skill in the living & garden rooms are amazing also! Everything from the wall and accent colours, to the mill-work around the fireplace, my new custom sofas & window coverings.
One word ‘PERFECT‘!
My home is now a cosy comfortable place I love to come home to. Thank You!!
Sincerely, Stina Nurmi
Pitt Meadows, BC
January 21, 2013
We have known Jan Addams for more than ten years starting when she lived in Calgary. Jan first helped us with a basement renovation which to this day we still love.
Most recently, we decided to renovate our 30 year old kitchen/family room and turned to Jan for her expertise. She has an outstanding knowledge of the planning and design of a room. From selecting kitchen cabinets, lighting and plumbing fixtures, wall colour, flooring and carpet, to window treatments and accessories. Jan has the wonderful ability to understand the goals and expectations of her clients and to deliver what is right for their lifestyle.
The whole project turned out fabulous and with Jan’s help we have created a comfortable environment that we love. Jan is very easy to work with. She is knowledgeable, creative, competent and very professional. The most amazing thing is that we did the entire project remotely, through emails, phone calls and photos. On a recent visit to Calgary, Jan saw the finished project for the first time. We think she was impressed at how beautiful it turned out!
We would definitely have Jan work on any future projects and have enthusiastically recommended her services to others without reservation.
I’ve written this recommendation of your work to share with other Consumers & LinkedIn users.
Jan came highly recommended from a friend. She was the third of several designers we spoke to. Immediately we felt comfortable with Jan. We liked how she could quickly focus on the task at hand, how she helped us fill in the blanks, and how she could communicate the vision effectively back to us.
We engaged Jan for a kitchen, familyroom, powder room,living room and office make over. The results were wonderful – she provided us the just the right amount of assistance.
Later we had her back to stage the living room. Wow, she accomplished in 2 hours what we could never have done. To watch her move items we already owned and transform the space was amazing.”
Don & Mary Gamble
Year first hired: 2011
As Interior Designer / Style Strategist
Top Qualities: Great Results, Good Value, Creative
May 5, 2010
Jan Addams of Image To Interior Inc.
‘My Lucky Charm…’
“Jan was a lucky charm that I found at the beginning of my journey of building a new home with my husband! Jan had the patience and understanding about how I am not a visual person – without seeing in person or in 3D drawings, the concepts and ideas that she and my husband are clearly experts at doing. From the beginning, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me to work with Jan.
The personal style questionnaire sheets that we filled out at the beginning were quite an eye opener on facts that I thought I had a pretty good idea of what my likes and dislikes were. The Color Harmonics chart is amazingly correct. The ‘Design Dominoes’ technique works like a charm! It all coincides together and fits perfectly in the Contact To Completion Comunication binder we received and use every time we need to find information on our project. I cannot rave enough about the great service and vision that Jan has. She’s a beautifully artistic individual that is very gracious with her patience and assistance.
To our surprise, as an outsider she was very good at helping us put ideas and things into perspective when we didn’t agree. Amazingly though, my husband and I were pretty much on the same page! Jan did come to my rescue a few times and we even got more without asking for it! LOL! I strongly suggest everyone to read her book, DISCOVERING YOUR INNER STYLE! It definitely rings true on pretty much all the steps, ideas and themes!
I look forward to saluting Jan for all of her work when we have our grand open house to toast the new home! Thank you so much Jan for all you are and do! Even during a difficult time, you still were dedicated and professional!
Diana & Ed Simas
Simas Design & Development Ltd.
Burnaby, BC (Landscape Design) (Direct Buy Member)
To: Jan Addams of IMAGE To INTERIOR Inc.
Townhouse Complex Before // Townhouse Complex After
“Thank you for the fabulous colours you have chosen for the townhouse complex. The work is now finished and the complex looks fantastic.
Because of those colours the styling and charm of the architecture stands out noticeably. The colours have added thousands of dollars to the value of the complex.
Great work! We are thrilled with the results.”
April Marshall Standard Holdings
Our New Country Home 2007 – 2008
“Jan helped my husband and I have the courage to build our country dream house. Through her patience, humour and design expertise we were able to build a comfortable retirement home for us to share with our family, grand children and friends.
Jan took the mystique out of the process by helping my husband and I make our own choices. Her questionnaires and computer generated floor plans were practical and easy to understand.
Jan helped us visually walk through every aspect of the house as if we were living in it. With her guidance we were able to combine our personal styles to create a home that was unique and pleasing to both of us.
Jan’s good sense of humour, interpersonal skills and experience kept the process enjoyable. We called her our ‘design mediator’. When we got stuck on an idea or, our personal choices got in the way, Jan would help us work through the issue until we were both comfortable with the decision.
Jan always looked for innovative and cost effective ways to produce a high quality interior look within our budget. She saw potential costly problems before they came up and made changes when necessary. She provided us with a variety of products and colours all within our price range and showed us how colour and design made the difference in the overall look and feel of the house.
When the house was complete, Jan continued to help us. She was available to talk to when we need her expert opinion. Jan showed us how to incorporate some of our sentimental treasures with new furniture and accessories for our home. This worked out beautifully and our home feels like it has a history while being fresh and new and, our grand children feel like we have always lived in this home!”
Judy & Erwin Karst
TESTIMONIALS From BUILDERS for STAGING & Model Home Merchandising
These styles may be here for a couple of years as Trends are defined as something that last for over two years…
Wikipedia says:Long-term forecasting is the process of analysing and evaluating trends that can be identified by scanning a variety of sources for information. It is a fashion which lasts over two years.When scanning the market and the consumers, fashion forecasters must follow demographics of certain areas, both urban and suburban, as well as examine the impact on retail and its consumers due to the economy, political system, environment, and culture. Long-term forecasting seeks to identify: major changes in international and domestic demographics, shifts in the fashion industry along with market structures, consumer expectations, values, and impulsion to buy, new developments in technology and science, and shifts in the economic, political, and cultural alliances between certain countries. There are many specialized marketing consultants that focus on long-term forecasting and attend trade shows and other events that notify the industry on what is to come.
Here’s a quick list for 2016 Style Strategy:
Clothing Styles for 2016 says Harpers Bazzar look like this – Spring 2016 – (hint ‘flared jeans’ and iconic purses are back!)
Decorating Styles for 2016 are mix-matched kitchen cabinet, black stainless steel appliances, formal dining rooms, (are the 50’s are coming back?)
Finally! I personally believe that your 2016Style Strategy should be to follow your own ‘Unique G.U.R.U. Style‘ and incorporate some of the ‘trends‘ to update your look ONLY if they enhance your personal style, interiordesign and business brand and organizing style.
When you know your core inner desires, love and know how to enhance your body shape, wear your ‘power colours‘ to feel young and vibrant and transition all these factors into your living space – now that is your 2016 stylestrategy which will continue to grow more elegant through the years…
Take the IMAGE TO INTERIOR – Fill-in Mini Style Report (on side bar >>) to find out what ‘Your Uniquely You Style Is’. Post your comments below or on our FB page – love to hear how you are going to incorporate the 2016 trends into your style and space!
There are common denominators that stay with us throughout our life, and aspects of our personality that change with experience and maturity. By first knowing how you act, react and evolve (infinite), you then have a basis for understanding and getting along with others.
There are 4 Basic Personality Traits:
PLANNER – organizer
DOER – action-oriented
MEDIATOR – relates more to people
COMMUNICATOR – initiates ideas
This is the first part of the infinite side of us. Our inner character carries an essence of structure within that continues to change and evolve with education, experience and maturity.
The universe as we know it follows an expected degree of organization to function properly. We have all seen what happens when this goes awry as in hurricanes and earthquakes. We expect the sun to rise everyday giving us light and warmth and allowing us to differentiate between day and night. We look to our moon as it continues its journey non-stop around the earth, pushing and pulling the tides to create our days and seasons, pleasantly lighting our way in the darkness of the evening.
Structure can be very good, but structure without knowledge and flexibility can also be very destructive. By being too focused within ourselves, our belief structures can sometimes cause us to make costly errors.
Have you ever watched ants that have discovered a honey pot? Notice how the small lookout team runs back to announce their find and within minutes a steady stream of insects arrive on the ‘sweet scene’. They have mastered the art of pick-up and delivery to their lady queen who feeds and gives birth to more little troopers that will continue their lineage. OK, some would say that this structure or system isn’t very intelligent. All one would have to do is follow the lines of ants back to their nest and poison the lot of them!
Please don’t get me wrong, we need to understand and live within our structure and its limitations. But, we also need to continue to evolve. This is done through education and experience which transforms us into becoming well rounded human beings (I am not talking about physical girth here!). Imagine that this process is like walking up a long and winding slope with many twists and turns. Finally you reach the top, look down and feel a renewed awareness and appreciation for the abundant life in the meadow below. At that moment you come to the realization that beauty comes from four things:colour, consistency, diversity and continuous change.
1. I like to work by myself. My pace is slow and methodical. I love to handle details. Some think that I border on being a perfectionist. Who am I?
____ A. The DOER
____ B. The MEDIATOR
____ C. The PLANNER
____ D. The COMMUNICATOR
2. I don’t like pushy, aggressive types. I enjoy warm, close relationships, and I am a good team player. Who am I?
____ A. The DOER
____ B. The MEDIATOR
____ C. The PLANNER
____ D. The COMMUNICATOR
3. I don’t like to waste time. I enjoy challenges, taking control and solving problems. Who am I?
____ A. The DOER
____ B. The MEDIATOR
____ C. The PLANNER
____ D. The COMMUNICATOR
4. I love to be the center of attention. I like to be involved with people. I do not like to work alone, and detailed work bores me to tears. I love to work with ideas, rather than data. Who am I?
____ A. The DOER
____ B. The MEDIATOR
____ C. The PLANNER
____ D. The COMMUNICATOR
After answering these questions, how does it fit with this analysis of yourself. Does it confirm your initial personality type? Knowing your personality type and the personality type of others will make a big difference in how you get along with others. I would venture to say that after you have completed this section, you won’t look at yourself or others, in the same way again.
If you would like to learn more about understanding your ‘Diamond in the Rough‘ Personality CLICK HERE for the FREE Mini Style Report.
In January, my husband and I downsized from a 3700 sqft. home on a half-acre to a low maintenance 2500 sqft home in the city with virtually no storage. A month later after a horrific move (we thought we had downsized – apparently not enough…) we are now nestling into our new home.
Rather than bemoan the fact that we have no space, we have embraced the challenge and have called it ‘Resort Style Living‘. When we are on holidays, we typically stay in an apartment style room with a beautifully decorated living room, bedroom(s), bathroom, and a mini kitchen with an eating area plus a laundry closet. There is internet, a TV and everything we else we need with nothing extra: 4 sets of cutlery, dishes, coffee maker, toaster oven, microwave, pots and pans, utensils as well items we need to cook with. There are also 2 sets sheets, towels; pillows, blankets… you get the idea. If we need anything, we call the management and it is taken care of. We are there to have fun by exploring and enjoying our vacation destination.
We took that concept and are creating a ‘Resort Style Life‘. We have thrown or given away items that no longer has a place in our home and have made room for things of enjoyment in our retirement years, such as a fun car, pool table, TV room and other areas (inside and out) to entertain family and friends. When we get back from our next holiday we won’t be sad to come home because we are living a Resort Style Life.
4 TIPS for Resort Style Living:
Identify your true passions (hobbies, collections, entertainment, sports etc). Keep the items you will use and sell or give away the rest. (I collect all things ‘Mermaid’ and of the sea.)
Create a uniquely you spot in your home for each member of the family. (We have our own personalized office areas that is congruent with the theme of our home’s colours and style).
Keep only items that give you the most joy and good memories. Take pictures of everything else as a digital memory. (I took pictures of photos fading away in old albums and placed them on an expandable memory card in my digital frame continuously playing in my office.)
Create a vacation themed home with furniture and accessories, colours, scents, and sounds that transitions your home (no matter its size or location) with your favourite vacation spot. (My husband and I are water babies that love the ocean; we are in the process of creating a tropical resort theme in our new home – now we can’t wait to get back from our Hawaiian vacation to our own little Mediterranean Resort.)
What type of Resort Style Living home do you want to make? Share your thoughts below and let’s brainstorm ways to create it (uniquely and on a budget).
Written by Jan Addams (Designer, Author, Trainer) DAT Girl
If you ever have had your home up for sale, you understand the stress it can cause. Especially if you have been in your home a long time and are now downsizing. (I speak from personal experience!)
There are so many challenges to face both physically and emotionally. There is the uncertainty on pricing; the decluttering and depersonalizing your home to attract the right purchaser who will hopefully offer a fair price; the continued upkeep and hours of cleaning your home before ‘showings‘ that last 15 – 60min. (I recommend that you are not home during showings as people will be looking at your house with critical eyes and not have the same happy memories that your home has provided for your family over the years.)
Here are a 8 ways to alleviate the stress:
Know why you are really selling. IE: downsizing, upgrading, relocating etc.
Do research online to understand the pricing of other homes both in your area and the area you want to live in.
Select the style of home you want to live in and story board images of the exterior and interior on places like Pinterest and Houzz.
Walk thru your home and look at it from a purchaser’s eyes. If this is difficult, have a home stager come in and offer an unbiased 3rd party opinion.
Declutter and depersonalize your home to make it appear larger and more appealing to a new owner. (It is hard to view a home as your own when you see family photos, very personalized art pieces and/or religious artifacts.)
If you aren’t in a pressure situation, have a bottom dollar amount in mind so that emotions can stay out of the purchase process.
Keep positive and understand that this ‘for sale‘ process will last for only a short time (relatively speaking – even if it feels like years!)
When an offer comes in, deep breathe, and remember why you are selling and envision your new home as a new exciting chapter in your life.
Written by Jan Addams
(DAT Girl) Designer, Author, Trainer
You have read the ‘8 Key Deciding Factors‘ (if not goHERE) and have decided that your home no longer meets your family’s needs regardless of renovating. Now what?
Most people realise that they need help to sell their home so hire a Realtor to do it for them. This decision has many variables to consider.
Here are a few:
Many ‘full service’ Real Estate Companies charge5 – 7% on the 1st $100,000.00 and 1.5 – 3.5% on the balance. This can add up really quickly and needs to be considered when you put your home up for sale.
For eg: A $600,000.00 sale price = $100,000.00 = $7000.00 + 17,500.00 equals $24,500.00 in commissions. If your house is in Vancouver, BC the average house is over 1 Million! So… a house that is $1,600,000.00 = $7000.00 + 2.5% =37,500.00 equals $44,500.00 to 3.5% of the balance = $52,500.00 + $7,000.00 equals $59,000.00 in Real Estate Fees!
Times have changed on how people view, sell and buy houses. Thirty years ago, a Realtor received the daily MLS hotsheet of new listings and once a week the local MLS book. Realtors went on weekly tours to all their office’s new listings so they would be well informed of the properties their company had to offer. As a seller you called up a few different Realtors to give you a comparative market analysis of what your home could potentially sell for based on sold houses that were similar to your home. You listed your home with the Realtor you felt would give you the best service, pricing and fee structure. As a prospective buyer, when you wanted to view a home you had to call the Listing Realtor and book an appointment.
Today the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is online. Digital photos of homes as well as virtual tours make the process of purchasing a home much easier. The services of a Realtor has changed as well. Savvy consumers do their shopping online and are more knowledgeable about homes in general. They are also asking the hard ‘why should I give my hard earned money‘ to a Realtor? Some Real Estate companies have changed their fee structure to combat this. One Percent Realty; Flat Fee Service;FSBO.comare a few companies that have come on the scene in recent years.
Regardless of which company and agent you choose, make sure you read ‘the fine print‘ to avoid any possible misunderstandings. Good and honest communication is always the best policy!
PS: Also, remember that there are several other factors to also consider when you sell such as your house tax adjustment; title transfer fees; moving fees etc. More about these in an upcoming post.