The Impact of COVID-19 on Senior Housing

It’s been demonstrated that senior citizens are a vulnerable group for COVID-19 and experience worse symptoms, with 73.6% of COVID-19 related deaths being those age 65 and over. It’s important to keep them safe and isolated. Senior living communities, on the other hand, are often multi-family. Even though they do frequently have health care workers on-site, that doesn’t negate the proximity to other people. This means fewer seniors are going to want to live in a senior living community if they can avoid it, instead living at home.

Those not yet at the normal retirement age have also had to change their plans. Some purposefully retired early in order to lessen their exposure to COVID-19. Others were unfortunately forced into early retirement, as a result of losing their job at an age when it’s near impossible to re-enter the workforce. These groups will also be living at home. They’ll be hoping to later sell, but in the meantime will suffer from reduced or no income and have no guarantee of getting a good price when they do eventually sell. This in turn impacts other age groups, as more homes are occupied and unavailable for purchase by first-time prospective buyers, especially with residential construction being inadequate.

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

More: https://journal.firsttuesday.us/is-covid-the-end-for-senior-housing/74433/

Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-living

Like any living situation, co-living has its pros and cons. An article from the July/August 2020 edition of NAR’s senior newsletter can help you understand what they are. NAR outlines the advantages and potential disadvantages as well as how to mitigate them.

First, the advantages. Sharing responsibilities in the home is sure to decrease the burden on everyone. It’s especially useful if residents have distinct strengths and weaknesses and can complement each other. Residents in a co-living situation also divide costs, whether it’s mortgages as a homeowner or rent as a renter. Another big plus is the social factor. Humans are inherently social, and our physical and mental well-being depends on a sense of community.

Conflict is bound to arise between any people living together. This is especially true when there are power dynamics or physical limitations at play. Homeowners and renters may battle for a sense of control. Differences in health and mobility may place an unexpected burden on some residents. Luckily, many conflicts can be avoided with written agreements and trial periods. Be sure to interview prospective residents and discuss with them matters of finance, cleaning, visitors and pets, scheduling, and private vs common areas and household items. Background checks and credit checks may also be advised.

Photo by Thanos Pal on Unsplash

Co-Living vs Co-Housing: What’s the difference?

Co-living and co-housing are two types of housing arrangements that may be confused. Both are types of “intentional communities” — that is, communities in which the residents share some or all of the space. There are important distinctions in how that space is shared, though, outlined in July/August 2020 edition of NAR’s SRES newsletter.

In a co-living arrangement, all residents share a single dwelling, and the residents are not relatives. Each resident will normally have a private bedroom and possibly a private bathroom. The rest of the rooms are communal, including the kitchen, dining room, living room, and laundry area. This will be familiar to college students living in dorms, but it’s also a potentially beneficial housing arrangement of seniors who may not be able to afford their own housing space or may need assistance.

Co-housing communities, on the other hand, are more private, and likely more expensive. Each party in a co-housing situation may or may not be a single individual; they could be couples or families as well. In any case, the living unit is not shared with other parties, and no room inside the dwelling is communal. Instead, the communal space all exists outside the dwelling, in the form of activity rooms, pools, meeting rooms, or similar such areas.

Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash

55+ Options in South Bay

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of 55+ housing choices, but a reference point for the more commonly known, age-restricted accommodations available in the Los Angeles South Bay. We welcome your input, but cannot guarantee inclusion.

Condominiums

Breakwater Village, 2750 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Courtyard Villas Estates, 3970 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505
Gables, 3550 Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503
Meridian, 2742 Cabrillo Ave, Torrance, CA 90501
Montecito, 2001 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
New Horizons, 22603-23047 Maple Ave and 22601-23071 Nadine Circle, Torrance, CA 90505
Pacific Village, 3120 Pacific Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505
Parkview Court, 2367 Jefferson St, Torrance, CA 90501
Rolling Hills Villas, 901 Deep Valley Dr, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
Sol y Mar, 5601 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Sunset Gardens, 24410 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505
Tradewinds, 2605 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505
Village Court, 21345 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

Independent/Assisted Living/Memory Care Facilities

Belmont Village, 5701 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275; 310-377-9977
Brookdale Senior Living, 5481 W Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503; 310-543-1174
Canterbury, 5801 West Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275; (877) 727-3213
Clearwater at South Bay, 3210 Sepulveda Blvd,Torrance, CA 90505; 424-250-8492; (previously Wellbrook)
Kensington, 320 Knob Hill Ave, Redondo Beach, 90277; (424) 210-8041
Manhattan Village Senior Villas, 1300 Parkview Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; (310) 546-4062
Silverado Senior Living, 514 N. Prospect Avenue, Redondo Beach, CA 90277; (310) 896-3100
Sunrise of Hermosa Beach, 1837 Pacific Coast Hwy Hermosa Beach CA 90254; 310-937-0959
Sunrise of Palos Verdes, 25535 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505; 408-215-9608


Independent Living Only

Casa De Los Amigos, 123 S Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277; 310 376 3457
Heritage Pointe Senior Apartments, 1801 Aviation Way, Redondo Beach, CA 90278; (844) 220-4169
Seasons at Redondo Beach, 109 S Francisca Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277; (310) 374-6664

Mobile Home Parks

Skyline, 2550 Pacific Coast Hwy, Torrance
South Bay Estates, 18801 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance
South Shores, 2275 25th St, San Pedro

Tips for seniors to find a housemate


More and more seniors are looking for a financially viable way to retain their independence as long as possible. Co-living is a promising solution, which means finding the right housemate for you. Here are a few tips to help, taken from an article in the July/August 2020 edition of NAR’s senior newsletter.

Don’t limit yourself to only looking for other seniors to be your housemate. College students are often looking for co-living situations as well, so such an arrangement could be mutually beneficial. You may look for other types of individuals that are not usually home, such as business professionals or frequent travellers. It’s okay if you and your housemate have differences. Learn to appreciate those differences and enjoy your time together.

Make sure they aren’t too different, though. Take the usual precautions to determine whether you and your housemate are compatible, such as shared interests, lifestyle, and privacy expectations. You and your housemate should complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Your safety is also important — meet first in a public place, have friends with you, get references and maybe even a background check or credit check.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Common Misconceptions About Senior Housing

The purpose of this article is to highlight some common misunderstandings among the general public, including some subdividers, regarding senior citizen housing developments (i.e., “55+” housing). Real estate licensees often come across one or more of these misunderstandings in connection with representation of a buyer or seller of a home in this type of an age-restricted (or senior) community.

By way of background, both federal and state laws generally prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of age and other distinguishing characteristics such as gender, race, and religion; this body of law in California is referred to as the Unruh Act. However, both federal and state laws do allow for the creation and marketing of homes exclusively for older persons in certain communities generally referred to as “senior housing” or “senior citizen housing developments.” (The marketing term that may be used by subdividers is “active-adult” or “lifestyle” communities [the use of the term “adult”in characterizing these developments is discouraged at the federal level]). In California, the law requires that at least one of the occupants of a home in these communities must be a“Qualifying Resident” or “Senior Citizen,” i.e., a person who is 55 years of age or older. However, there is more to the law than simply this and, as the law can be complex, the following misunderstandings may arise:

Myth #1
You must be at least 55 years old to buy a home in the community.

The law does not care who buys the home or who is on title. The law is only concerned with who resides in the home. This means that the children or grandchildren of a 55+ parent or grandparent can buy the home (and be solely listed on the recorded deed) as long as the 55+ parent or grandparent, or other age-qualified individual, is the actual person who resides in the home.

Myth #2
Every person who resides in the home must be at least 55 years old.

California law allows other persons to permanently reside in the home (other than mobile homes [see below]) who are younger than 55 years old; each of these younger persons is called a “Qualified Permanent Resident” or “QPR.” For example, the spouse or cohabitant of the 55+ Qualifying Resident can be younger than 55 years old. Also, a younger person who occupies a room in a home (such as a friend, other relative, or someone who is renting a room) can reside in the home as long as that younger person is at least 45 and at least one 55+ Qualifying Resident also resides there.

Myth #3
If the spouse or cohabitant is younger than 55 years old then they must be at least 45 years of age to reside in the home.

The spouse or cohabitant can be of any age. So the thirty-something-year-old who marries or cohabitates with the55+ Qualifying Resident can reside in the home without restriction as a QPR.

Myth #4
As long as 80 percent of the homes in the community are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older, then the remaining 20 percent of the homes in the development can be occupied by underage families with children.

There has been much debate regarding whether 20 percent of the homes can be a “set aside” for occupancy by underage families with children. When considering the applicable federal and state laws together, the answer to this question is an emphatic “no.” Federal law requires that to qualify as senior housing at least 80 percent of the homes must be occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older. Next, the preamble to the applicable federal regulations on senior housing states, “There is no requirement that the remaining 20 percent of the occupied units be occupied by persons under the age of 55, nor is there a requirement that those units be used only for persons where at least one member of the household is 55 years of age or older.”

Note that California law requires that certain underage persons be allowed to occupy homes in a senior citizen housing development (this does not include homes in mobile home communities [see below]). Further note that California law makes no reference to an 80 percent“minimum floor” or “safe harbor” at all. However, state law does provide for preemption by federal law in some cases. Accordingly, so as not to endanger the status of the community as a senior citizen housing development under California law, the 20 percent arising from the 80/20 provision in federal law should be regarded under state law as applying to those homes where the underage surviving spouse, cohabitant, or other individual who qualifies as a QPR remains in the home after the 55+ Qualifying Resident no longer permanently resides there rather than as a “set aside” for underage families with children. Moreover, if the percentage of non senior occupied homes approaches 20 percent, then the senior community may begin to deny occupancies to underage persons in order to maintain the federally-mandated 80 percent senior-occupancy requirement.

A failure to follow both federal and state laws could cause a senior community to lose its status as such under the law.

Please carefully note that mobile home communities are exempt from the Unruh Act provisions in state law concerning senior citizen housing developments, but they are subject to the senior housing provisions in federal law. Accordingly, the foregoing information relating to California law does not apply to a mobile home community unless it has expressly adopted the provisions for senior citizen housing developments as set forth in the Unruh Act.

Because the majority of senior communities today are 55+ housing, this article pertains to this type of housing only (as opposed to, for example, housing for persons who are 62 years of age or older). Also, this article is not intended to cover all provisions of the law applicable to 55+ housing including those provisions relating to temporary or permanent occupancy by disabled non seniors. Therefore, as always, legal counsel should be consulted to confirm those particular provisions of the law that apply to a specific senior community where you may be representing a buyer or seller.

Nearly Two Thirds of Homeowners Are Over 50

Currently, people age 50 or older account for 63% of homeowners nationwide. Three quarters of them live in single-family homes and 76% own their own homes. Increases in both population and longevity mean that the percent of homeowners in their 70s, 80s, and 90s is increasing. Trends among those over 65 reveal some of the problems with these growing statistics.

A support structure unprepared for these rising numbers of seniors begets homeowners unprepared for retirement and housing costs, as they are unable to manage both healthcare costs and housing costs without a steady income. And more of them over 65 still have a mortgage after retirement, a statistic which nearly doubled from 1989 to 2016. A similar statistic holds for loan-to-value ratios, doubling to 51% for those age 50-64 and tripling to 39% for those 65 and over. The average home equity amount was $143,500. These values originate from what were at the time low interest rates and recently popularized home equity loans.

Social Security is going to be an important factor in enabling seniors to acquire safe, accessible, and affordable housing, since it is a main source of income for many of them. In 2016, 9.7 million of those over 65, nearly a third, were spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs, and 4.9 million were spending over half.

More: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47396-harvard-the-average-homeowner-keeps-getting-older-and-thats-a-problem

55+ Options: Torrance

The city of Torrance offers the bulk of opportunities for senior housing in the South Bay. We’ve identified 10 distinct locations with homes exclusively for those 55 years of age and older. They cover a wide variety of living styles, building ages, community sizes, purchase prices and monthly costs.

The available homes change constantly, much faster than this summary of 55+ facilities is updated.  If you have an interest, contact us.  We’re more than happy to go over the differences between different facilities, and the differences between living in a 55+ project and an SFR.  More importantly, we can provide you with up to the minute information about what specific properties are available, and how the cost parameters fit with your personal needs.

NEW HORIZONS
Nadine Circle – Maple Ave, Torrance, CA 90505

Built in 1963-64, New Horizons has ~600 units, some in two story apartment style buildings, with a handful of bungalow style in four unit groups. The recreational facilities include a club house with lounge, billiard room, ballroom with a large kitchen, 9 hole golf course, and pool. Additional amenities include the sports facility, with a modern gym, his & her saunas, Jacuzzi, a second pool, lighted tennis court, both ceramic & wood shops plus a ping pong room.

 

 

THE MERIDIAN
2742 Cabrillo, Torrance, CA 90501

Built in 2006 around a central courtyard, the Meridian features forty-four luxury condominiums. Ten are two bedroom / two bath units, with the remainder being one bed / one bath. The complex offers a gated subterranean garage with one parking space per bedroom. Other amenities include bubbling fountains, a community room with fireplace, kitchen, big screen TV and lots of room to relax. To keep your senior body in good shape there’s a modern, upscale fitness center. All levels of the building are accessible by elevator.

 

 

 

 

PARKVIEW COURT
2367 Jefferson, Torrance, CA 90501

Parkview Court is another of the newer senior condo communities. Located in Torrance adjacent to Wilson Park, it was built in 2007-2008. Fifty-nine tastefully appointed residences, with 29 being two bedroom / two bath and the balance being one bedroom / one bath. This gated community features a large courtyard with a recreation center and fitness center.

 

 

 

THE GABLES
3550 Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

The Gables was built in 2006-2007 and offers 38 newer one bedroom units, and 22 studios. In-unit amenities include washer/dryer hookups, A/C and comtemporary styling. The complex also has a community room, with a large screen TV, free internet access, library facilities and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VILLAGE COURT
21345 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

Built in 2006, Village Court is five stories high, with parking on the first floor and residences on the top four floors.  There are a total of 112 units: 12 – 3 bed / 2 bath, 68 – 2 bed / 2 bath, and 32 – 1 bed / 1 bath.  Residents enjoy an inviting outside pool, spa and BBQ area. Amenities include an exercise room, large recreation room with kitchen, TV, pool table and reading area. Shopping, restaurants and movie theatres abound, or drive only 1.5 miles to the ocean.

So far this year one 2 bed / 2 bath unit has sold for $540K.  Two more units are currently in escrow.  One is a 2 bed / 2 bath unit, and the other a 1 bed / 1 bath with a den.  Purchase prices will be available after close of escrow.

At publication time, 2 bed / 2 bath units were renting for approximately $2600 per month.

TRADE WINDS
2605 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

Built in 2003, the Trade Winds community in Torrance is four stories high, with parking on the first floor and residences on the top three floors.  With a total of 91 units, Trade Winds has 75 – 2 bed / 2 bath units and 16 – 1 bed / 2 bath units.  The facility offers great amenities: pool, spa, fitness center, clubhouse with full kitchen, TV, library, and billiards table. Resort living close to dining, shopping, parks, freeways and of course the beach!

To date in 2018, 2 – 2 bed / 2 bath units have sold at $525K and $550K.  One 2 bed / 2 bath unit is currently in escrow.  The sold price will be available after close of escrow.  There are also 2 – 2 bed / 2 bath units currently available.  Please call for asking prices.

At publication time, 2 bed / 2 bath units were renting for approximately $2300 per month.

 

 

COURTYARD VILLA ESTATES
3970 Sepulveda, Torrance,  CA 90505


Built in 2007, The Courtyard Villa Estates is located just west of Hawthorne Blvd in southwest Torrance.  The complex features upscale comfort, secured entry, and is close to restaurants and shopping. Four stories high, with subterranean parking, the complex includes 42 units;  a central courtyard, lush landscaping, recreation facilities with a pool table, game table and kitchen as well as a gym/exercise room.

Each unit is located on one level with no stairs. There’s a private laundry room inside each unit. Most units have a two bedrooms, while a few are set up with a den as an alternative configuration.  All have two bathrooms, outfitted with natural travertine counters and flooring.  Kitchens are extra large with center islands, granite counters and travertine flooring.

Since the first of the year, one penthouse unit has sold at $720K.  No units are currently available.

 

SUNSET GARDENS
24410 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

Built in 1987, Sunset Gardens is located across from the Crossroads Shopping Center in South Torrance.  The complex includes 88 units; 2 – 3 bed / 2 bath, 29 – 2 bed / 2 bath; and 57 – 1 bed / 1 bath.  Amenities feature indoor heated pool, outdoor spa, large recreation room, putting green, shuffle board, elevator, exercise room, game room, community rooms, a roof top deck and BBQ grill area.

All units are single level, enjoy central A/C and heating, a laundry area inside unit, and subterranean secured parking.  (Two and three bedroom units have two spaces, while one bedroom units have one space.)

At publication time there were three units available, including 1 – 1 bed / 1 bath unit at $270K, and 2 – 2 bed / 2 bath units at $380K & $390K.  One 1 bed / 1 bath unit is currently in escrow.  The sold price will be available after close of escrow.  Since January 1, two units have sold: 1 – 1 bed / 1 bath unit at $300K, and 1 – 2 bed / 2 bath units at $400K.

SOUTH BAY ESTATES
18801 Hawthorne, Torrance CA 90504

Established in 1960, South Bay Estates is a seniors only (55+) mobile home park with 99 spaces.  The homes parked in those spaces are seldom replaced, and almost exclusively are sold to new occupants much as a condominium or SFR would be. The ages, sizes and configurations vary considerably, with the majority being 2 bed / 2 bath in the range of 650-1000 square feet.

The facility offers a comunity pool, a clubhouse with kitchen facilities, a recreation room with pool table, a laundry room and carwash.  As of this writing, space rents are approximately $900 per month.  All residents require approval by the park manager.

Since the beginning of 2018, one unit has sold.  It was a 1967 built double wide with 2 beds / 1 bath and inside laundry.  The sale price was $70K.  None are currently available on the MLS.  It should be noted that mobile homes are sold off-MLS more often than permanently situated homes.

 

PACIFIC VILLAGE
3120 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance CA 90505

Built in 2002, Pacific Village is four stories of living space plus adjacent parking.  There are a total of 61 units: 23 – 1 bed / 1 bath and 38 – 2 bed / 2 bath units.  Located across from Madrona Marsh, the complex offers: free community laundry, pool & spa, secure access, a community room with kitchen, elevators and guest parking on site.

Each unit is on a single level with no stairs, has its own heating and cooling, granite, travertine and tile finishes, balcony/patio and breakfast bar.

At publication time there was one 2 bed / 2 bath unit available and one 2 bed / 2 bath unit in escrow.  Since the first of the year, there have been four units sold.  One was a 1 bed / 1 bath which closed escrow at $270K.  Also, 3 – 2 bed / 2 bath units sold, at prices ranging from $355K to $425K.

 

 

 

Who Are the Homebuyers of Today?

Recent data shows changing trends in homebuyer demographics. A report from Veritas Urbis Economics compares 2017 data to the previous generation of buyers, those in 1981. The percent of women buying homes shot up from 18.9% in 1981 to 46.4% in 2017. Specifically, the number for single women is over double, from 9.1% to 18.9%, an all-time high. Older generations and single-owners are also a larger share, with 55+ buyers increasing from 16.1% to 27.8% and single-owners from 15.3% to 21.2%. By contrast, the categories that have dropped are homebuyers under 35 and homebuyers with children. The former decreased from an all-time high of 52 to an all-time low of 33.7%. The latter was also at an all-time low of 40.7% in 2017, down from 51.4% in 1981.

More: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/43199-who-are-todays-homebuyers

Cash-out Refis Highest Since 2008

A cash-out refi is a type of mortgage refinancing in which one borrows more than the remaining balance on their current mortgage, with the difference as cash. With interest rates as high as they are right now, refinancing for a better rate — the most frequent incentive to refinance — isn’t going to happen. That means a greater percentage of refis are of the cash-out type.

It’s uncertain whether the number of cash-out refis is increasing; their percent share is going up mainly due to fewer rate refis. There are other reasons to see an increase in cash-out refis, though. One is that retirees, whose numbers are presently on the rise, are wanting to invest money in repairing or remodelling their homes, and are using the cash from a refi to do so. In addition, two other options for cash, home equity loans and lines of credit, are no longer tax-deductible to the extent they were previously.

If you’re considering a refi, give us a call.  We don’t handle loans, but have over 25 years of experience with lenders in LAs South Bay, and can help you select from the best.

More: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cash-out-mortgage-refis-are-back-will-homes-become-atms-again-2018-03-30?dist=realestate