Moving? Downsizing? Top 4 Tips

How to begin downsizing your home – 4 quick tips

The vast majority of the clients who contact us are simply overwhelmed trying to tackle downsizing their home or the home of a loved one. It is physically and mentally draining. Often it entails going through possessions that have been in the house for 40 plus years. Where do you begin?.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into help you you’re your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Moving from your home of 20, 30 or 40 years is a daunting task. Often our client tell us it’s an …oh my gosh moment….where do I begin?.

Did you know that downsizing and moving ranks as one of life’s most difficult events, along with loss of a spouse, divorce and job change. People feel overwhelmed, and wonder; where do they even start?’
At Personal Property Managers, we understand the emotional toll downsizing and moving can take on our clients and their families. If you are moving from your home of many years into a senior care community or just relocating, our goal is to help you transition seamlessly to this exciting new chapter in life.

Nick Santoro says that of the many challenges of moving, downsizing is the most difficult. Nick says the reason for this is that you have to make decisions about every personal possession in your home. Personal Property Managers is at your side helping you every step of the way.

Santoro suggests viewing downsizing as a process. We suggest that you start with small goals, and plan on sorting for just a few hours at a time.

  1. Sorting through the easiest and obvious first. Choose a room where what needs to go or stay is the most obvious – like your bedroom or a room that’s rarely used.
  2. Using colored stickers, labels or Post-It notes to identify where items will go. More efficient than writing out a list, movers and family members can use the stickers as guidance on moving day.
  3. Assessing practicality and sentimentality. Items that are both practical and sentimental should move with you. Items that are neither should be left for family, sale or charity.
  4. Eliminating duplicate items or items that are the wrong size. Chances are, you only need three sets of towels, not six. If clothing doesn’t fit, don’t bring it with you.

Before the move, Santoro recommends creating a floor plan and determining the practicality of existing furniture. Nick says, “Don’t go out and buy new furniture. Instead, be open to using furniture in new ways.”

Taking measurements of available space is also important. Virginia, a recent client said, “We had large paintings that we really loved, but didn’t think we could bring with us. Nick had our floor plan and measurements and said, ‘Oh, yes we can. I know just where those paintings can go!’”

“It’s the sentimental items that make a house a home,” Nick reminds our clients. “Those are just as important as packing up your sensible shoes and kitchenware.”

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News StoriesTeam - small size

Help us to raise funds for Veterans with TBI

Raising funds to help wounded Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury

Personal Property Managers of Doylestown, Bucks County, as part of its continuing commitment to the community it serves is raising funds to help support our wounded Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Personal Property Managers Co-founder and Doylestown native son, Nick Santoro is a decorated Marine who served 3 tours in support of our nation’s freedom. During his last tour, Nick was badly wounded, and suffered TBI, and was awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds.

Personal Property Managers is an avid supporter of the Bob Woodruff / Remind Foundation, which focuses its support for injured Veterans with TBI. The Woodruff Foundation is hosting its annual Stand Up for Heroes fundraising event in New York City on November 10th.

Personal Property Managers will contribute funds to the Woodruff Foundation to help fellow Veterans like Nick, with TBI for each “Like Us” on its Facebook page.

Simply click here to “Like Us” and each “Like” will mean more support for our wounded Veteran heroes.

To view a brief video of Nick Santoro and the Woodruff Foundation, click here

Personal Property Managers (PPM) services all of Southeastern PA and NJ.  PPM  provides a one-stop solution for families in relocation and transition. It provides complete home downsizing and clean-out services; home content Estate Sales and Liquidation Services; full service Discount Real Estate Services and moving services.

Personal Property Managers also works with adult children and caregivers of elderly loved ones who need to transition from their home of many years into a senior community. It also works with families who are moving, relocating, divorcing, estate executors or people in need absentee home watch services and property management services.

With Personal Property Managers…one call does it all.

For more information, please visit Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com, or call Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro at 215-485-9272

Personal Property Managers

www.personalpropertymanagers.com

 100_1018

Tips to stage your home to sell it quicker

10 home staging tips to help sell your home

Are you planning to sell your home? Want to get the most for your home? Is there competition in your neighborhood with respect to other homes similar to yours for sale? How do you differentiate your home from the others on the market? Have you lived in your home for a number of years and have it decorated to your takes but are not sure if your taste will be compatible with a potential buyers? Do you have a life time of possessions filled with memories? Where do you begin? This can be an exhausting and overwhelming process. Don’t worry. We can help. We get calls all the time from people just like you.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights to help you with your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales. We service Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

One of the areas you may want to focus on is a concept called home staging. This refers to how you have your home furnished and decorated and painted; the basic look and feel that your home presents itself to a potential buyer. It’s all about preparing your home to make it optimally ready for sale in today’s real estate marketplace.

Anything you can do to help buyers see your house in its best light will benefit you and shorten the selling cycle. Home staging is important and can raise the value of your home by as much as 5% to 15% according to various industry studies.

Here are 10 tips that you may want to consider for….

1. De-personalize your home; make it the buyers home
You want to prepare a home so that it invites a prospective buyer to see their family in it, not yours, so you want to de-personalize the home without making it cold. This means removing highly personal items like pictures and religious icons and bringing in things that are appealing to all humans, such as fresh flowers and attractive artwork.

2. Remove clutter from your home, make it look large
Today’s home buyers, particularly younger ones, don’t like clutter — they like clean, open spaces, which becomes particularly important for those selling older homes. The presence of clutter in the form of piles of old shoes, loads of personal pictures, or overloaded and jammed closets and cabinets and garages makes buyers feel like they’re invading the seller’s space and can also indicate to a buyer that the seller doesn’t want to or isn’t ready to move.

3. Neutralize your home
Paint colors should be more neutral to appeal to everyone so that the house feels expansive. You can bring in touches of color, but let the house be neutral and let each room have one focal point, such as the fireplace in the living room or the bed in the bedroom covered with a cream bedspread and red pillows so that it pops. White walls are safe in that they go well with everything and people won’t feel like they have to repaint right away, but they still prefer coffee-colored or another neutral-colored wall. Bright paint colors can turn people off, as can wallpaper, which buyers might see as a project to remove and which become items they start knocking off the selling price.

4. Go green with energy efficient appliances or windows
Today’s home buyers are more sensible and energy-conscious, which translates to a willingness to go smaller and/or renovate. They also have more of a respect and appreciation for energy-efficient and green design.

Make a great first impression in the foyer with a clean, open area and the use of mirrors, which bounce light back and make spaces look bigger. Hard wood floors today are more and more popular and desirable vs. carpeting of years ago

5. Don’t forget the outside of your home
Please remember that by the time a buyer views the inside of the home, they have already formed positive or negative opinions based on their experience outside. You don’t want to create negative impressions for buyers as they pull up to the house. Cracked driveways, broken trees, unclear mailbox numbers, or peeling paint can all detract from your homes value. You also want to maximize the front door experience by ensuring that buyers are met with good lighting, a working doorbell, attractive landscaping, and the absence of cobwebs. Curb appeal is king.

6. Smell check – sent matters
The scent of a home is important and you need to be able to smell your house. As silly as it may sound, do a ‘smell check’ or ask your realtor to do it for you, but pet odors, dampness in the basement, etc. need to be cleared.

7. Walk through with a fresh set of eyes
Sellers become blind to things in their home after 10 days such that they know where light switches are and how not to bump into furniture. When you’re staging, you need to see what your house looks like with fresh eyes — (or in) the eyes of a buyer.

8. Keep closets and storages areas clean
Buyers will open closets to see the storage space available, but it will also tell them a little about the homeowner. Cheap lighting or poor maintenance will tell them the extent to which sellers took care of, or invested in, the home and the seller mentality they might be dealing with.

9. Other areas to take a look at
Make sure that all beds are made, there are no dishes in the sink or clothes on the floor, areas are generally straightened up, and remove any traces of pets, such as dog toys or litter boxes.

10. Make the common sense staging investment
Don’t do more than the home value would justify, but we always tell sellers to consider investing one percent of the home’s asking price on staging activities such as painting a few rooms or staining the deck. These activities can add value to the home, make the highly emotional moving process easier for the seller, and help attract a new buyer who will love the home as much as the seller did.

At Personal Property Managers, we understand the emotional toll downsizing, moving or selling a home can take on our clients and their families. Our goal is to help you transition seamlessly to this exciting new chapter in life.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty.

How to prevent Caregiver Burnout

How to prevent Caregiver Burnout

We often work with families where adult children are caregivers of their aging parents. This is an extremely stressful time. In many cases it may require virtually 24 hour care. There is a huge role reversal and in many cases it is emotionally draining and overwhelming for the adult caregivers.

Keeping a balance and maintaining good mental health is extremely important during these difficult times. While we are not health care or medical professionals, we often work with adult children and caregivers and have developed keen insights and tips that you may find helpful.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean-out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sales as well as moving services.

Here are some helpful tips that will relieve stress and boost your health:

1. Take care of yourself by getting regular checkups and eating healthy.

2. Combine two things that are good for you: exercise and companionship. While someone else watches over Dad, go for a bike ride with a friend or play ball with your kids.

3. Get a good night’s sleep. If possible, share nighttime responsibilities with someone else so you can get yourself to bed at a decent hour.

4. Laughter helps relieve stress and release positive emotions.

5. Combine a stress reliever with care giving tasks such as listening to music or watching videos while cooking dinner for Mom, doing laundry or paying her bills.

Tips for preventing caregiver burnout:

1. Ask others to help. Don’t think you’re the only one capable of helping your loved one. Ask around for help. Find out if a friend, neighbor or relative will chip in on the chores.

2. Take time for yourself each day by indulging in a good book for a half hour or taking a short nap. Or do something special for yourself each week, like a movie or shopping with a friend, or taking a long walk.

3. Take advantage of the many formal or informal services you can find.

4. Set limits on how much time and effort you can physically and mentally devote to care giving.

5. Let it all out….share your feelings of sadness or grief with a good friend, family member, spiritual advisor, professional counselor or anyone you can trust.

Keep hassles and small details in perspective. If the carpet doesn’t get vacuumed today, dinner is served later than usual or the laundry waits until tomorrow, that’s OK. Need time for personal affairs, to get rest or to simply take a break?

Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for you and those you care for, so take it seriously.

For more information on helping seniors in transition or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services

How to plan for having an aging parent move in with you

Planning to have an aging parent move in with you

We often work with families where children are caregivers for their aging parents. Often time medical conditions and sometimes financial decisions necessitate change. This change may mean that your elderly loved one may need to move in to their children’s home.

This is a decision that adult children and caregivers should think though carefully. There’s so much that’s involved. If you move mom or dad in and don’t have discussions on ground rules and space then it’s going to be chaos. If you make a plan and if you have conversations up front and define your boundaries, it can be a very pleasant and very productive addition to your life.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sale and moving and services PA and NJ.

No matter how prepared you are to have an elderly loved one move in to your home and no matter how pleasant your relationship is, expect the unexpected. You need to be prepared for the role reversal. You need to be prepared for the things that are going to happen so that you don’t blow up so you don’t have an incident that you can’t take back. The only way that this new relationship works is if you find a way to have a real relationship with mom or dad and get rid of those old parent to child roles.

Lastly, if mom or dad are moving in, getting their finances together is the first and most important thing. In addition, plan in advance for absentee care giving when you go on vacation. Having ‘alone’ time with your spouse is important. There are services [and] people you can pay hourly, but the one thing a lot of people miss is that there may be members of your own family who are actually out looking for employment while you’re struggling trying to figure out who’s going to watch mom or dad. One thing that’s worked out very well is having family members come in and have them get compensated instead of paying an outside professional. You want to get creative with your solutions.

We have learned that these discussions [between parent and adult children] aren’t always easy, but they are extremely important at many levels.

For more information on helping seniors in transition or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services

Insights into caring for our Aging Population

Who will Care for our Aging loved ones in our new Society

The fact that we are all living much longer is no secret. With our extended longer life come new challenges. In years past, when lifestyles were less complicated, family units were more defined, and marriages and families with children dominated the landscape. Caring for our aging loved ones was easier with more defined roles by spouses and children.

Times have certainly changed. Studies indicate that people over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care help. Genworth, a leading US company that studies our aging population says that 66% of people over 65 will need extra care. In fact, they say that 70% of this age group will need some form of long-term care for at least three years. It the past, most aging loved ones relied on a family member, a spouse or a partner for help. But what happens today with family and demographic changes, when an individual has none of the above? Who can they count on for help in an emergency or when they get sick?

This is part of a continuing series of articles and tips into elder care and how to address topics such as downsizing, estate sale, content removal, home clean-out, property sale, moving and other real estate transition insights by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com). Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Many aging Americans who have children don’t want to be a burden to them, but at least they are lucky enough to have a choice. They may not want to, but older adults rely on family caregivers most of their help. Today, there are over 43 million family members providing some form of elder care for a person 50+ years of age.  The 2010 U.S. Census reported that 11 million people over the age of 65 live alone, and that number will likely increase. Even more alarming is that 11.6% of women (ages 80 to 84) are childless, so who will care for them?

Today, society has a totally different view of people without children verses 25 years ago. Many of today’s adults no longer believe that those without children lead empty lives. Recent surveys found that children are less significant to a thriving marriage. In 2007, a Pew Research survey unveiled 41% of adults said that having children was crucial for a successful marriage. This is a huge decline from 65% who said so in 1990.

Since the supply of family caregivers diminish as families get smaller or without children, it’s important to get organized around ones long-term care preferences.

PPM Insights into Elder Care  

We are Personal Property Managers, often work within the Senior Community and with Adult Care Givers. We specialize in senior transition services, helping our elderly loved ones transition from their home of many years into senior care communities or to move in with caregivers or other family members. We have learned that there are significant facts about aging care that every person should know. First, what we have learned is that it’s more expensive than you think. And most of the costs of long-term care come out of your pocket. To help you plan for senior care later on, you should understand the details about the services that are and are not covered.

  1. Medicare (controlled by each state) does not pay for long-term custodial care services. This is the kind that help you with everyday activities of living needs. Medicare only pays for the medically necessary care like acute medical care, doctor visits, drugs, and a hospital stay.
  2. Medicaid is a combined program offered by the federal and state governments. It helps individuals living with low income and assets, and it pays for some of the health care expenses. Medicaid has stringent regulations on who are eligible for the benefits and the services covered.
  3. Paying for long-term care out-of-pocket is your option if you have enough money and savings.
  4. Health insurance covers the restricted and particular types of long-term care. Disability insurance replaces income and does not include long-term care services and supports.
  5. Long-term care insurance pays for long-term supports and services. But before you buy a policy, know the daily amount it will pay to assist you with the activities of daily living requirements.

While we are certainly not insurance agents or elder care attorneys, we do, a large portion of our business assisting adult caregivers in the transition of their elderly loved ones from their home of many years into a senior care communities via our home downsizing, cleanouts, estate sales, and full service discount real estate services. We would like to share with you some tips that we have learned along the way that may help you in your long term care plan. They are:

  • Draw up legal documents: a will, a living will, a healthcare proxy and a power of attorney.
  • Share a home with like-minded friends and siblings. Create a “share the care” approach that serves each resident equally. Draw up legal papers outlining each person’s responsibilities; one that makes each party accountable.
  • Live nearby mass transportation if you don’t drive.
  • Choose a walk-able neighborhood.
  • Find a trustworthy person or family you can depend on for support and care. Work out a payment strategy and put it in writing. Get legal advice prior to implementing a plan. An elder law attorney can steer you in the right direction.
  • Hire a chronic care advocate if you live with a prolonged medical condition, preferably an attorney specializing in elder law.
  • Make friends with the supportive type.
  • Eat fresh, healthy foods.
  • Stay fit.
  • Keep your brain sharp by getting involved.
  • Volunteer and help those in need.
  • Take up hobbies that fulfill your curiosity.

We hope these insights into elder care were of some help to you. For more information on how we can assist you with home downsizing and discount real estate services, please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com  or call us at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909.  Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We also offer full service real estate services via our association with Every Home Realty and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services.http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com/caring_for_our_aging_population.htm