Senior Renters Are Attractive

As families migrate away from the high population concentrations of the northeastern cities, looking for more space, a lower cost of living, expanding employment opportunities, and lower taxes, they are likely to bring along their senior members who tend to retire close to family. These seniors will need housing, and despite the health crisis that has occurred in skilled nursing settings across the country during the pandemic, other senior living environments, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities can still claim that seniors are better off in their care versus at home (MHN article). Independent senior living is attractive because seniors can be protected from uncontrolled interaction with younger family members better in an apartment than in a single-family home where multiple generations live together.

Photo by Tristan Le on

For investors in and operators of senior living communities, seniors make attractive renters because they do not depend on employment income to pay their rent. According to a July 16, 2020 MHN article, rent collection in the senior living real estate sector has remained strong during the pandemic. For other commercial real estate multi-family sectors, federal unemployment benefits and loan and rent forbearance measures have bolstered rent collections for a few months, but the true rent collection and apartment occupancy picture in the long term will not begin emerging until after the end of July when government unemployment benefits expire. It is uncertain how many renters will be able to keep paying their rent, how many vacancies will be created, and how rental rates will be affected by the withdrawal of federal program support.

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 87.6 % of renters made full or partial rent payments by July 13. That is slightly down from a month ago and from the same period last year.

Marketing a senior living community may require appealing to the adult children of seniors as much as to the seniors themselves. According to Brett Gelsomino, Vice President of ZOM Senior Living some amenities to consider in new multifamily rental construction projects for seniors and in remodeling projects include amenities that ZOM is putting in its South Florida communities:  walkable locations nearby, pools, lounges, dining venues, library, and business centers, garage parking, valet service. He expects that there will be pent-up demand for senior living communities by mid-2022.

Demand for senior living communities could rise as soon as the covid-19 pandemic expends itself and people can move about again. Hopefully by 2021. Who knows? If you have the funds and the desire, building through low economic times is good for the economy and good for your mental wellbeing. If you need funding, apply now.

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I am working online with the rest of you.

Patrick St. Cin

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Laura Calugar, Multifamily Housing News. July 16, 2020.

IvyLee Rosario, Multifamily Housing News. July 19, 2020.

Fixing Up Houses for Seniors

The coronavirus pandemic has cast a shadow of mortal danger over senior community-living and assisted-living options, nursing home options, and the option of living fulltime on a cruise ship grazing the buffets and watching people, waves, and whales.  Instead of looking forward to being safe with others our own age, with staff to care for us, and convenient medical care, we find that living in community might expose us to a virus we have no immunity to and a particular susceptibility for.

Even if one eyes being sick alone with anxiety, aging in place, at home has become even more attractive in recent months, and it has also become more possible. Advances in electronic technology have given many seniors more tools to use to assist them in staying at home while they age. Online shopping and delivery of even groceries and the surge in telemedicine are a couple of the technologies that have taken off during the pandemic. According to the Wall Street Journal article by Peter Grant, Senior-Housing Communities Face Higher Vacancy Rates Amid Coronavirus, virtual “doctor visits through American Well, also known as Amwell, increased 1000% during a six-week period (1).”

While senior community investors are taking a beating right now, a fix-n-flip real estate investor might be able to turn a profit on small rundown houses by remodeling them into the perfect haven for a senior citizen who wants to avoid community living. The task will mean focusing on details that seniors would be looking for and then marketing those amenities when you sell the home. I’ve scoured several articles for ideas about what to remodel in a fix-n-flip for seniors.

The first Advice I found was “buy a single-story home.” (3)


Make a no-rise entry by adding a ramp instead of steps. (3)

Repair uneven or cracked walkways outside and add nonslip surfaces. (3)

If stairs must stay, add 1 ½-inch diameter rails on both sides. (3)

Add reflective strips to top and bottom of stairs. (3)

Create doorways that are wide enough for a wheelchair.

Add benches and hooks for packages both inside and outside an entrance. (3)

Make a cleanup station or mud room near the door so guests can wash hands, remove shoes, discard coats, and pick up a face mask at the entrance and not expose inhabitant to pathogens.

Put a roof over at least one entryway. (3)


Install appliances with easy-to-read controls and push buttons. (3)

Install a wall oven. (3)

Make a microwave drawer. (3)

Use lazy Susan’s, rollout drawers, glass doors, and open shelving in cabinets and pantries. (3)

Install a single lever kitchen faucet. (3)(4)


Removing small step ups and down between rooms and replacing them with ramps.

Install flooring that is nonslip even when wet in bath and kitchen. (2) (3) (4)

Install outlets where they will be most useful, such as on walls where a flat screen would be used so cords don’t show and a little above desk height on walls and in the corners for charging devices or plugging in computers.


Install u-shaped and vertical grab bars in the shower and near the bathtub (2) (3) and add back bracing to the walls in these areas. (3)

A walk-in tub.

Install a curb-less entrance to the shower. (4)

Give shower floors a non-slip coating. (4)

Install shower seating, some are fold down. (2) (3)

Install adjustable handheld shower sprayers. (2) (3) (4)

Add extra lightening to shower area. (3) (4)

Install tall or comfort-height toilets and bars to grip when one is lowering and lifting themselves off the toilet. (4)

Add lever faucets to bathroom sinks. (3) (4)


Install new decks with handrails and no splinters.

Add Raised garden beds to the landscaping.

I can have private funding for your project. Let’s get our economy going again.

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How to Stay Afloat Buying a Mall

Mispriced and Overly Negative

As online shopping puts brick and mortar retail stores into a tight spot, causing retailers to downsize or go out of business, some might think that buying a mall or a shopping center is not such a great idea. However, not all malls are in difficulty and according to WSJ writer Esther Fung, some private investors see the market as “mispriced” and “overly negative” on mall assets, “creating a buying opportunity.”

In August Fung reported that CBRE Global Investors was buying stakes in three malls from Brookfield Property Partners, which will retain an interest. Brookfield Properties Retail Group is an American real estate investment trust headquartered in Chicago and a subsidiary of Brookfield Property Partners. Its portfolio, according to its website includes 162 retail properties in the United States, comprising 146,000,000 feet of gross leasable area.The_parking_deck_at_The_Parks_At_Arlington


The Parks Mall, Arlington, TX  by Smarty9108 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons

The Parks Mall in Arlington

One of those retail properties is The Parks Mall in Arlington, Texas. The Parks Mall opened in 1988 at 3811 Cooper Street and Interstate 20 in South Arlington, between Fort Worth and Dallas (Wikipedia). According to the Brookfield Properties website, The Parks Mall is in a” highly visible location,” in the “heart of a growing market,” and hosts 22 million visitors annually.

It is clear that despite competition from online shopping, retail sales have continued to grow. Esther Fung’s WSJ article quotes a research note by Green Street Advisors, a real-estate research firm, “The spur in consumer spending has driven better-than-expected tenant sales (not just online), which should continue through 2018.”

Malls for the Future

This WSJ article has spurred me to do a little research and think about what might make a mall continue to be a profitable investment in the future. So I looked at to get some ideas about what The Parks Mall is doing to survive and thrive as a commercial entity in the future. Its strategies include:

  • Make the mall a community with opportunities for parties and skating.
  • Expand out of shopping into fun experiences, “learning, playing, and exploring” with activities like Camp Gladiator Fitness Camp that meets in the upper level parking garage.
  • Create Santa’s Toy Factory, where you can test and design online toys in Santa’s Workshop on Level 1 in Center Court.
  • Offer picture taking opportunities with special days like
    • Ugly Sweater Days, November 16 through December 13,
    • Holiday Pajama night, that special night when you dress up your whole family in their favorite holiday pajamas and come down to the Mall for pictures, November 30 -December 6.
    • Grandparent Day, November 29th; and
    • Pet Night every Monday from 5-8 pm.

dachshund dog wearing a red sweater

Photo by Studio 7042 on

  • Offer Food. Food and more Food. Although you can have food delivered and eat just about anything in front of your computer screen, eating out is still a treat and cannot be done online. The Parks Mall offers Share, Sip, and Dip with snacks, coffee, and full meals to indulge in.
  • Offer care of your person with hair and skin boutiques. You can’t get that personal care for your nails, hair, and skin online.
  • Keep the movie theatre hopping with snacks, drinks, and the latest films.

Whether you are looking at a large mall or small neighborhood mall, malls still have a role in American community life; and with imagination and marketing, they might just be a low-priced buy for investors interested in remodeling and re-enlivening commercial property in the downtown or suburbs.


Fung, Esther. CBRE Global Investors Buys Stake in Three GGP Malls. The Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2018. Accessed November 27, 2018.

Wikipedia. The Parks Mall at Arlington. Available online at Accessed November 27, 2018.

Brookfield Properties. website Accessed November 27, 2018.