Tips & Advice
What is memory care?
Memory care is long-term skilled nursing geared toward those who suffer from Alzheimer's and other diseases that diminish memory. Many assisted living facilities offer memory care units on their premises. Memory care often involves activities and programs that are specifically designed to support and soothe those with memory problems. The monthly cost for this type of care tends to be higher than the average monthly cost associated with assisted living.
Assisted living facilities provide long-term housing for elderly or disabled people who need help with daily tasks such as meals, medication management, grooming, toileting, and transportation. These facilities offer a higher level of care than independent living facilities, and a lower level of care than nursing homes. Assisted living facilities are costlier than independent living communities, but less expensive than nursing homes.
What is independent living?
An independent living facility is geared toward meeting the needs of seniors who require only minor assistance with the activities of daily living. Independent living facilities offer amenities such as restaurant-style dining, housekeeping, transportation, and laundry services. They give residents the opportunity to socialize with other seniors and make new friends.
Are retirement communities required to be accredited?
Retirement communities aren't required to be accredited, but accreditation means that a particular retirement community has met certain standards. Accreditation is provided by organizations such as the Commission for Accreditation of Retirement Facilities (CARF) and the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC.
Accreditation involves a thorough internal and external review that can take up to a year to complete. Accredited retirement communities have met or exceeded the accrediting body's standards regarding resident life, resident health, financial resources, and overall administration.
What is a life care community?
A life care community is a retirement community that provides seniors with a full continuum of care throughout their lives. They are similar to continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), in that they provide facilities for independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care. However, these communities offer different payment and service terms from a CCRC.
With a CCRC, you can receive either a full or partial continuum of care over your lifetime, and your monthly fee will increase if you need to step up to a higher level of care. Life care communities require you to sign a life care agreement that locks you in to a full continuum of care. And life care communities charge a fixed monthly fee that stays the same even if you eventually need to access a higher level care than you started with when your stay began.
How much does it cost to live in a retirement community?
The cost of living in a retirement community will depend on the level of care provided and your geographic location. Monthly costs can range from $1,000-$6,000 or more, and many facilities also require you to pay a one-time entrance fee, move-in fee, community fee, or reservation deposit.
One type of retirement community is a continuing care retirement community, or CCRC. These communities offer everything from independent living facilities to nursing home care, and they typically charge a steep entrance fee that can total $100,000 or more. Many seniors cover this fee by selling their homes. With continuing care retirement communities, you'll also have a pay a monthly fee that can cost $1,000-$5,000 or more.
Some types of retirement communities focus solely on assisted living. On average, it costs $3,500 per month for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted-living facility. These facilities often require you to pay a one-time reservation deposit or community fee that is roughly equal to the monthly rate charged.
The least expensive type of retirement communities are those focused solely on independent living. These communities charge monthly rates that are comparable to the cost of renting an apartment in your area. They sometimes charge a move-in fee that's roughly equal to the monthly rate.
What is a CCRC community?
CCRC stands for continuing care retirement community, which offer varying levels of care for seniors with different needs. At a CCRC, independent living facilities are offered for seniors who are capable of living on their own, and assisted living facilities are offered for seniors who need help with things like grooming and housekeeping. A CCRC also provides nursing home care for those who need a higher level of medical assistance. A CCRC is designed to provide seniors with a community where they can remain for the rest of their lives, moving from one level of care to the next as needed.
What are the benefits of hiring a property management company?
Some of the key benefits of hiring a property management company include:
- Better tenants: The best property management companies are skilled at tenant screening. This can help you attract a higher caliber of tenants to your building. Effective tenant screening can bring in tenants who are more likely to pay their rent in a timely fashion, and who are more likely to remain long-term residents of the building. Screening can also provide you with tenants who are less likely to damage the rental property.
- Shorter vacancy cycles: If a tenant moves out, it can take awhile to find a qualified replacement. It's in your best interest to keep this vacancy cycle as short as possible, since you won't be earning any money from an empty unit. Skilled property managers can handle the process of finding a replacement tenant quickly and effectively. This results in shorter vacancy cycles.
- Freedom from the day-to-day responsibilities associated with property management: If you manage a property yourself, you'll have to deal with things like rent collection, tenant complaints, and maintenance and repair issues. These responsibilities can be bothersome and time-consuming. Hiring a property management company will help you avoid having to deal with these tasks on a daily basis.
- Reduced tenant turnover. Tenant turnover can impact the profitability of a rental unit. The best property management companies know how to keep their tenants happy, and happy tenants are a lot less likely to move out of the building and a lot more likely to take reasonable rent increases in stride.
How to find a property manager?
Use the following steps to find and hire a property manager:
- Get referrals, or conduct an online search: Start by getting referrals from sources you trust. Be sure to get referrals from multiple sources to avoid bias. You can also conduct an online search to find property management companies that are based in your area.
- Check for ratings, reviews, and complaints: Once you're built a list of candidates, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been lodged against any of the companies. It's also wise to visit third-party review sites to see what types of ratings and reviews each company has received.
- Look at each company's current work. After weeding out those companies with credible complaints and poor reviews, look at the current work of the companies that remain on your list. Evaluate the ads posted by these companies; you'll want to work with a company whose ads project professionalism. Visit buildings managed by these companies, and speak with the tenants. The best property management companies have tenants who are happy with the services they provide.
- Conduct interviews with the top candidates: Next, conduct interviews with the property managers who remain on your list. Look for a company with staff members who are responsive to your questions and open to hearing about your priorities and concerns.
- Check licensing: At this point, you should have a favorite or two. Before signing on the dotted line, verify that the company is licensed to manage property in your state. In most states, a real estate broker license is required, while a few states require a property management license.
- Carefully review the agreement: Once you've been presented with a property management agreement from the company you've chosen, check to make sure it explicitly includes all the duties and responsibilities you'd like the property management company to handle.
Does property management require a license?
In most states, property management requires a real estate broker license. To obtain this license, you need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, along with at least two or three years of real estate experience. Classes in real estate education are required, as well as passing a real estate broker's exam.
In a handful of states, a specific property management license is required before someone can legally manage property. This license is required in Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, and South Dakota.