February 21, 2020

Turning Multi-Family Property Into Senior Living Is an Opportunity for Investors

Providing quality senior living accommodations can be rewarding on multiple levels:

  • Multi-family property in Novi can be a handsome addition to your property investment portfolio
  • You get to provide a comfortable place to live for the most valued members of society.

To see these rewards from your Novi investment properties, it takes careful planning and forethought. Here are some of the more important advantages—and challenges—to keep in mind if you’re thinking of turning a multi-family property into a senior living community.

Elegant elderly couple sitting on a park bench

The Senior Living Opportunity

Turning a multi-family property into a senior living community sets you up for guaranteed rent when your tenants receive housing assistance. In this way, it’s similar to other legislation designed to help people find a good place to live, such as Section 8.

The government seeks to provide all residents of Novi with a place to call home—including those who may not have the funds to do it on their own. Many seniors, because they are no longer in the workforce, get this kind of aid.

This can be good news when you own a multi-family property in Novi because it means the government is subsidizing some or most of your income. Here are some of the agencies that can help pay the monthly rent of those in a senior living community:

  • Medicaid
  • State-financed, non-Medicaid programs
  • Veterans programs
  • Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage
  • Social Security.

In addition, you also have additional sources of funding for senior living, such as:

  • Reverse mortgages and HELOCs
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Assisted living loans
  • Life insurance benefits and conversions.

The key to tapping into these resources for your portfolio is to make sure that your multi-family property in Novi is set up in a way that fulfills the very specific needs of seniors.

Ensure Your Property Will Meet the Needs of Seniors

One of the biggest challenges when providing housing for seniors is making sure they have the facilities and amenities specific to the needs of the elderly renting population.

While many seniors live without the need for accommodation or additional care, some require special consideration. Here are some things you may want to keep in mind:

  • Accessibility: At least a portion of your units will have to be accessible to those who cannot climb stairs. Otherwise, the accommodations may be too inconvenient to house seniors.
  • Proximity to local conveniences: Seniors need to be close to grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that provide products and services they need on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Proximity to public transportation: Some seniors choose to stop driving once they either reach a certain age or are limited by their health. Before you add a senior living facility to your real estate investment portfolio, you may have to make sure future residents will be able to access public transportation easily.

Additionally, you will want to make sure the units are designed in a way that’s senior-friendly. For example, many older people may struggle with accessing cabinets and other storage that’s above their heads. Keeping the majority of storage at arm-level could make for a more comfortable living experience.

  • You should also take into consideration the design and layout of the bathrooms.
  • It should be easy for seniors to use the bathroom, shower, and bathe.
  • If the senior has a home health aide that assists with their care, the apartment should be set up to make it easier for the aide to do their job.

Some seniors in Novi use walkers to get around, so your walking and living spaces need to be appropriately designed as well. This may include considerations such as wider doorways.

Of course, if you're unsure exactly what changes or upgrades you might need to meet the needs of your senior tenants might be, you can turn to an expert property manager in Novi. As your partner, your Novi property manager can guide you through the process of prepping your multi-family property into a profitable pad for area seniors.

Young and old hand

Ways to Save During Conversion

While any renovation comes with expenses, you can offset some of these while turning your multi-family property into a senior living community.

Most seniors tend to live with their spouse or alone. Therefore, they may not need a two or three-bedroom rental. If your multi-family property currently has multiple-bedroom units, you may be able to turn some of these into two apartments, effectively doubling your occupancy for those units.

You can also save money by reconsidering the HVAC system. There are likely inefficiencies that, if remedied, can save you hundreds of dollars a month on utilities. An upfront investment in efficient HVAC components may pay for itself within a few years! This is particularly true in Novi, where the winters are cold, and the summers are surprisingly toasty.

Beyond what we've listed here, a property manager in Novi can provide you with additional details about where to save on expenses during a conversion—without risking quality. Having an inside edge on what senior tenants want and need in a property can keep you competitive!

Clear All Legal Hurdles

For your conversion to be approved, there are steps you need to take before and after you start work on your property. The best way to tie up any loose ends is to check with your local municipality for the laws and regulations that apply to where your Novi property is located.

If you need help getting started or want to get a jump on any potential issues, reach out to JMZ Management! As an expert property manager in Novi, We have years of experience managing portfolios of any size to profitability. We serve tenants across all demographics for our investors—so we know how to meet the needs of clients—young and old.

Let JMZ Management be your guide for any challenges—and turn obstacles into opportunities.

Multifamily Property Management

Topics: tenant tips, Multi-Family Property Investing, Renovations