joanne johnson

Our Senior Real Estate Specialist

Jo-Anne Johnson

To Move or Not to Move – The 21st Century Question for the 50 and Over Crowd


Jo-Anne Johnson and her partners on the Boomers Plus senior real estate specialist team are committed to helping people over 50 understand their options and the important factors for consideration when making the best to move or not to move decision.

Jo-Anne and teammates Ton Vu and Alyce Davis collectively have more than 45 years of combined real estate experience. And their passion is the 50-plus demographic. Each earned the Senior Real Estate Specialist ® designation. The SRES certification is awarded by the SRES ® Council to realtors who have successfully completed coursework on the real estate needs of home buyers age 50 and who is selling, buying and relocating.

What’s more, when it comes to working with clients, their goal is to provide the best information and the most customized service in the industry. In keeping with that goal, the team offers extensive personalized services whether a decision is made to age-in-place or leave their long-time homes.

There is so much for clients and their families to consider. Financial, physical/health and emotional factors dictate the recommended options for a transition. And specific questions arise. Does an individual need physical care or companionship? What will be required to place a client in closer proximity to family? Does the sale property require staging or preparation?

In each of these cases, the Boomers Plus team is sensitive to the emotions of clients and their family members while ensuring every detail of the sales process is executed flawlessly. For example, if the family is out of area, the team handles everything from the market analysis to the preparation for sale, communicating with all parties every step of the way.

In other instances, adult children who have lost a parent contact the team because the family must sell the home before the estate can be settled. “Our work can include coordinating contractors and stagers to enhance the sales appeal of the property with the objective of netting the highest price in the shortest amount of time.”

Bottom line, the priority is to work in the client’s best interests. “We have learned that people don’t care what you know until they know you care,” says Jo-Anne. We live this adage every day.”

A huge benefit of being part of the LTLA is the opportunity to connect families with a multitude of resources, says Jo-Anne. Sometimes the decision to move can be delayed or worked around permanently. “By the end of our conversation, for example, I can put them in touch with our specialist who can offer mobility options that enable them to age-in-place. Or, if income is a concern, our retirement income advisor can assist them with strategy, planning and investments.”

Then there’s also the personal touch. “We are proud of the concierge-level service our team offers, whether it is being present when a home is shown, arranging pet-sitting for the homeowner or taking a homeowner to an appointment—even just having a cup of tea.

“Our goal is to eliminate as much anxiety as possible,” says Jo-Anne. “We are not only consultants to our clients. We are also partners who walk their journey with them.”

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Here’s How to Get Smart About Selling Your Loved One’s Home

Understanding the unique lifestyle, budget and related needs is crucial to determining if and when your aging parent or loved one should downsize and move from his or her current home. Francesca Lavin explains the imperatives that must be considered and evaluated when making this important decision.

FAQs

Is it time for me to downsize?

The answer is unique to each client. The most important skill we offer is to listen intently to understand both the emotional and the practical aspects of this life transition decision. We ask questions to learn about a person or family’s personal situation. Among these questions: Have the children left the “nest” and are now on their own, leaving excessive unused square footage in the family home? Has the maintenance (lawn care in the summer and snow in the winter) become a burden or is it a welcome activity?

How will my decision affect my children?

The decision will include knowing whether you feel your children will move back home at some point or have they truly left you “empty- nested.” We encourage clients to include their children in the discussions. The children typically want what is in the best interest of their parents.

What should we consider in a home to be sure our future needs are met?

Assessing your needs and lifestyle preferences are the main considerations. One-floor living is the most ideal but this may not be the ultimate answer for everyone. Are social interactions and activities important to you? Is easy access to medical care and transportation concerns?

Does community living make sense for me?

Community Living is the right choice for many seniors. More than just homeowners’ associations taking care of the lawn and common ground, community living offers a sense of community with social activities and interaction that can counteract loneliness. For those that prefer more privacy, there are many other options.

What are these other options available to me?

Choosing the appropriate an over-50 living arrangement can be challenging, because it is both an emotional as well as a practical decision that includes several considerations: cost, location, services and amenities. Independent Living, Active Adult communities, Assisted Living, Continuing Care and many other types of communities are among the options available. Independent living options include walkable communities located near hospitals and offering transportation, dining, culture and community resources.

How will I thrive in my new surroundings?

This is a very common concern when moving to a new community. Thriving in a community is mostly dependent upon living in the right social setting. Our team’s priority is to assure your social and all other needs are met when choosing the best place to call home.

How can I ensure my transportation needs are met?

We assess every client’s transportation needs and make sure they will be met in the communities we recommend. Many communities offer services ranging from bus transportation to the local mall and markets to private transportation to medical appointments. We take all these factors into consideration when assessing your needs and helping you choose your new home.

How can I be sure my current and future health needs will be addressed?

This is always a main concern, and a very understandable one. Please rest assured, it is our concern, too. Every community offers a different level of onsite medical services and the proximity to medical services outside the community varies, too. We only recommend places that will accommodate your medical needs. In addition, if your concern is also your future medical needs, we ensure that the appropriate level of care is accessible.

How will selling my home affect my family’s inheritance?

We carefully review the client’s financial goals and needs and engage members of the LTLA’s financial advisor team to discuss the best placement of current assets to ensure the client will enjoy the income he or she wants and needs in retirement as well as ongoing investment strategy and desired disposition of assets to heirs.

It it’s not the right time for me to move, what are my other options?

The LTLA has an array of services and professionals who can help you with this decision. We offer a complimentary analysis of your home and your needs and evaluate the retrofit that would be required for you to age in place; retirement and income planning that includes future projections and information on a reverse mortgage option to name a few of our services. We lend our combined expertise to ensure the best outcome for your future.

Life Resource Plan

What is the best course of action for you and your loved one? Find out by talking to a consultant and creating a Life Resource Plan.

Life Resource Plan