Advice and insights – Parting with Family Heirlooms

Does anyone want my grandparents stuff?

Bucks County Home Downsizing

We are often contacted by people who, through the death of an elderly loved one, are now faced with trying to unload their familes home contents. If you have never gone through this process, it’s a real eye opener, especially for older members of the family tasked with this chore.

We all have fond memories of growing up and playing at grandmas house and the love and care that she put into the house, along with all the lovely things inside it. Unfortunately, the value of things has changed dramatically over the past few years. Things that were in high regard and value in the past are no longer sought after or even wanted today. Things like porcelin dolls, china, figureenes and such are just viewed as needless clutter today.

Most of the people who contact us, begin by telling us they have a variety of items ranging from kitchen sets, living room sets, bedroom sets, china cabinets filled with all kinds of things, and believe that buyers will want to flock to their home for a chance to buy their contents. Sadly, that’s just not reality today.

Things have really changed over the last few years. Items that people thought were valuable years ago, such as collectable figurines or china cabinets filled with plates and glassware are no longer in style. Furniture that is still functional but is 20 years old is just not in style or in demand today. We have found that 50 is the magic age. People over the age of 50 already have many of the things that people want to sell and do not want any more of it. People under age 50 simply do not have interest in many of the things that people want to sell. It all boils down to style, age, condition and desirability. We always tell people that it does not matter what you paid for it…something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

This is part of our 2021 best in class continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in home downsizing, content liquidation and full service discount real estate services. Personal Property Managers services clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. During this challenging time in the Corona Virus and COVID-19 era, we help families that are unable travel or tend to their property needs by providing a true one-stop resource. We are focused on making life just a little easier for families during often difficult times. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

During this challenging time in the Corona Virus and COVID-19 era, we help families that are unable travel or tend to their property needs by providing a true one-stop resource. We are focused on making life just a little easier for families during often difficult times. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

Caregivers and executors of estates quickly learn the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.

The Stuff of Nightmares

Many boomers and Gen X’ers charged with disposing the family heirlooms, it seems, are unprepared for the reality and unwilling to face it. Let’s face it, how many young people do you know that are picking out formal china patterns or want former collectable antiques anymore?

Joe Santoro, says that at least a half dozen times a week, families come to us and say: ‘What do we do with all this stuff?’” The answer: do you know of anyone who may want it, because there is little to no resale value in items such as furniture that is 20 plus years old; and good luck trying to get a charity or thrift store to take your 30 year old bedroom set, dining room set and couches.

Dining room tables and chairs, end tables and armoires have become furniture non grata. Antiques are antiquated. Old mahogany stuff from your great aunt’s house is basically worthless, says Nick Santoro.

What about all the stuff you see on TV shows? On PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, for example, prices for certain types of period furniture have dropped so much that some episode reruns note current, lower estimated appraisals.

And if you’re thinking your grown children will gladly accept your parents’ items, if only for sentimental reasons, you’re likely in for an unpleasant surprise.

Young couples starting out don’t want the same things people used to have according to Joe Santoro, and in fact, they often don’t want anything from grandma’s house. In fact, we have found that around age 50 is the dividing line. People over 50 already have lots of the same stuff that people now want to get rid off and don’t want anymore of it and would like to downsize themselves too. People under the age of 50 simple don’t want older stuff. We now live in the disposable age. Many things, like furniture are must less costly today, so younger people would just rather buy new things and then after about 7 or 8 years simply get rid of it and get newer items all over again, to keep up with changing styles and taste.

The Minimalist Generation

Joe points out that this is an Ikea and Target generation. They live minimally, much more so than the boomers. They don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did. They are more mobile. So they don’t want a lot of heavy stuff dragging down a move across country for a new opportunity.

Additionally, Nick points out that you can pretty much forget about interesting your grown kids in the books that lined their grandparents’ shelves for decades. If you’re lucky, you might find buyers for some books by having a garage sale, but be prepared to sell a whole box of books for $3.00. In fact, many local libraries will not even take books anymore and certainly not old encyclopedias.

Most antiques dealers (if you can even find one) and auction houses have little appetite for your parents’ stuff, either. That’s because their customers generally aren’t interested.

Even charities like Salvation Army and Goodwill frequently reject donations of home furnishings, we can sadly report from our own personal experience.

6 Tips for Home Unfurnishing

What else can you do to avoid finding yourself forlorn in your late parents’ home, broken up about the breakfront that’s going begging? Some suggestions:

1. Give yourself plenty of time to find takers, if you can. “We tell people: The longer you have to sell something, the more money you’re going to make, of course, this could mean cluttering up your basement, attic or living room with tables, lamps and the like until you finally locate interested parties. Additionally, this could take quite some time and effort to accomplish.

2. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ art, furniture, china or crystal.

3. Get the jewelry appraised. It’s possible that a necklace, ring or brooch has value and could be sold.

4. Look for a nearby consignment shop that might take some items. Again, this takes a lot of time and effort, and don’t forget about the cost and logistic of removing and transporting the contents. None of this is easy.

5. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. Giving stuff away may make you feel better, because trying to sell items takes patience and effort.

6. But perhaps the best advice is: Prepare for disappointment. “For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously,” says Joe Santoro, talking about the boomers’ parents and the boomers themselves.

The bottom line is that the younger adult generations simply want something different from their parents. They prefer newer, more contemporary styles and do not want lots of needless clutter.

The good news is that we can help clean-out your house, help downsize your family home and liquidate contents that are saleable and in demand. We offer on-site estate sale services if there is sufficient quantity and quality. We can remove contents and sell them via our array of proprietary resources, again, if they are in demand and of value. And, lastly we can remove and dispose of unwanted and unsaleable contents.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Avoid 5 Key Mistakes When Considering Flipping Homes – Podcast – 9 Minutes

Avoid 5 Key Mistakes When Considering Flipping Homes – Podcast – 9 Minutes

Learn how to avoid key mistakes when or if you are considering flipping a home

Are you considering investing in real estate in 2021? Are you interested in buying an investment property, fixing it up and selling it, often called flipping a property? House flipping in the real estate sector refers to where you invest in a property with the objective of making a nice profit on it, often in a relatively short period of time.

The golden rule with making money on property is always to buy low and sell high, but there are risk factors that must be considered. Especially if you are a novice investor or renovator, you need to really do your homework and then some. Your ‘flip’ can quite easily turn into a ‘flop’ and a significant financial loss says Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers.

This is part of our 2021 best in class series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, property management and estate sales. These tips and insights are especially important and true in the environment we are in today, with the global economy turned upside down, massive job losses, and the need for extreme social distancing due to the Corona Virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. Additionally, during this challenging time in the Corona Virus and COVID-19 era, we help families that are unable travel or tend to their property needs by providing a true one-stop resource. We are focused on making life just a little easier for families during often difficult times. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

We suggest that home buyers, should buy with the view to creating security for themselves and their families. Real Estate does present the opportunity to not just grow your personal wealth, but make some nice profits, if you approach it in a careful way.

Some of the popular types of property that house-flippers tend to look for are fixer-uppers and quick sale or distressed properties.

Older, up and coming neighborhoods also tend to be good areas to consider if you want to profit from the property flipping trend. This means that buyers are able to invest in older properties, upgrade these and sell them for a profit.

If you are thinking about getting into the house-flipping trend and want to make it a profitable venture, then consider these 5 top tips:

1. Buy smart
Always do your homework and ensure you buy smart. Investing in property is a costly exercise, especially if your finances are tight. Even if you are flush with cash, you would still want to exercise caution and ensure you understand the area and market that you are investing in. Be sure that there is a demand for the type of upgrades or renovations that you are planning as it does not pay to overcapitalize.

2. Understand the market
It is important to have a good understanding of whether there is a demand for the type of remodeling or upgrading that you are planning. While a smart investor will create the need for his/her property, you are often unfortunately guided by what buyers want and what they are prepared to pay. This means that you need to research the area and market thoroughly and ensure that your plans, asking price and profit expectation match the current market.

3. Start with the end price in mind
Always start with the end price that you may be able to sell your property for in mind. That is, the price right now that you could get in the market given the economic and market cycle. Also be sure to price in line with what the market will pay. Often, investors will overspend on the upgrade of their investment property and then price it at the top end of the market. Top end buyers tend to be few and far between and can be quite discerning and will not pay an inflated price regardless of how fabulous the upgrades are.

4. Renovation costs
Most renovators will tell you that it is almost inevitable that your planned renovations or upgrades will turn out to cost more than initially anticipated. Nonetheless, there are many examples of well-budgeted and planned renovations that have turned older homes and complexes into trendy spaces that have not only attracted buyers, but contributed to upgrading the area.

5. Economic climate and property cycle
Generally, house flipping relies on a strong property market because you would want to get a good price and for this, you need willing buyers and some competition. The economy and property market are cyclical in nature and heavily sentiment driven. This is something that we see right now.

More information can be found on who we are and the importance of market comps via these brief video links

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.
For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

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How to Prepare to work with Aging Parents

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJOf all the fine lines we have to walk in our lifetime, one of the most challenging, yet most important, is how we deal with the challenges that inevitably crop up when working with our aging parents.

Everyone’s circumstances and family dynamics are different, of course, but there are certain commonalities. Chief among them is how to provide help, support and comfort while respecting our parents’ intellect and abilities. Even as the roles shift, they’re still our parents, and no matter how wise or experienced we are, to them, we’ll always be “the kids.” These tips and insights are especially important and true in the environment we are in today, with the global economy turned upside down, massive job losses, and the need for extreme social distancing due to the Corona Virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

We specialize in working with families and adult children who are managing the transition of thier elderly parents. We have learned a thing or two over the years and wanted to share these insights with you. We have put together list of the top 5 tips you may want to consider when working with your agents parents. These helpful tips are part of our 2021 best in class continuing series of articles by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales, real estate transition services, property management and content clean-out services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

As our parents age and need more and more help, it’s natural to want to lend a hand, but when you get involved, you need to make sure that you don’t become domineering.

Seniors who feel like their children are trying to take over their lives get resentful and angry – and as a result often disregard their help just to spite them or assert their independence.

This is why it’s important that as our parents age and do start to lose some of their abilities, we stay aware of how we’re communicating with them. Nothing presses our buttons more than family.

While this kind of behavior feels most inappropriate with our parents, being respectful and mindful of boundaries are actually the cornerstones of all healthy relationships.

Stepping Up vs. Overstepping Boundaries

So where exactly is the line between being “helpful” and turning into a bully? Sometimes when you do what you feel is needed – arrange a doctor appointment, suggest grab bars – your parents will resent your good advice. People have a fierce desire to remain independent, often even though they really do need assistance.

Add to that the difficulty of accepting the shifting reality of who is now caring for whom. This can be more difficult for our parents to accept because they often view it as “losing power” to their children.

A big part of striking the right balance has to do with how we speak and act. It’s imperative that we show respect, not attempt to force our will, and to make everything a negotiation (or at least offer options).

5 Things Adult Children and Parents Fight About

It boils down to this, if you think your parents can do something by themselves, let them. But if they – or someone else – could be harmed, don’t feel guilty about getting involved. Most seniors who are slipping a bit are lucid enough to recognize their new limitations. they’re looking for someone they trust to make things easier for them.

Here are five of the big issues that are likely to come up, plus suggestions for avoiding conflict.

1. Driving

Nothing gives people a greater sense of independence than driving. A car gets them where they want to go when they want to go. Yet in the hands of someone with physical or cognitive limitations, an automobile can become a lethal weapon.

One must be extremely sensitive when you come to the point where you insist that your parent hand over the keys. Consider trying initially to negotiate ways they can drive their car less frequently – perhaps only locally and in the daylight. Elderly people who have become nervous drivers and don’t feel they have to put up a fight often discover they actually prefer not being in the driver’s seat.

2. Finances

This is a very sensitive subject and is often met with great resistance. Unfortunatley there are many stories of financial abuse of our elderly loved ones.

The best way to approach this is to suggest that our elderly loved ones open their checkbooks and show us their credit card statements and all their bills. But if they’re unwilling and you try to force the issue, they might accuse you of meddling. When there’s no evidence of a problem, it’s better to just offer help – like balancing a checkbook. Keep your antennae up for hints of trouble.

If you suspect they are mismanaging their resources and they resist your involvement, tell them you need to call in a social worker. It might be easier for your parents to listen to a neutral third party, and a trained professional might have communication or coping strategies that you don’t.

3. Home Safety

People can be slow to accept their physical limitations. If they’ve always gotten in and out of the shower OK, why worry now? The answer is that we all have a problem projecting in the future, yet for people over 65, falls are the leading cause of injury and death. When a parent is having problems with gait or limb strength or has recently started using a walker or cane, it’s time to start the conversation.

So how should you handle this? Often scare tactics go a long way. The image of lying alone, in grave pain, injured (or possibly dying) alone in the living room might be enough to “put the fear of God” into a parent who perfers not to discuss such issues. Often times elderly loved ones wouldn’t wear their life-alert pendant until they hear about someone who fell and waited several hours for the ambulance to arrive.

Most people will accept minor fixes, like rug tape or bathtub no-slip strips, so if you start with the little things (and build up to the larger ones), you won’t come off as oppressive.

4. Doctors, Treatments and Medication

Seniors are not always forthcoming about their medical reports. Sometimes they haven’t completely understood what a doctor has said, or they could be deliberately withholding information they think will make them seem enfeebled or cause you to worry.

If your parent seems healthy you may want to consider backing off (but keep a watchful eye). If, however, you observe any symptoms or notice your parent is missing doctor appointments, getting confused with his medications and won’t let you help, call in a social worker or nurse. Tell your parent you are doing so. In a life-or-death matter, there’s no such thing as a bossy pants.

5. End-of-Life Planning

No one likes to think about this heaviest of all topics – and yet if people want their wishes heeded, important documents need to be in place: a power of attorney, a last will and testament, a living will, organ donation papers, funeral preferences and more.

How to handle You cannot force your parents to do any of these things or tell you where they keep the safety deposit box key.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Estate Executor – Home Downsizing, Content Liquidation and Real Estate Services

Are you the executor of an estate? If you are in charge of helping to liquidate and sell the contents of a loved ones home, or need to downsize and declutter the property to get it market ready for sale, then you know how physically, mentally and emotionally draining this can be. Do you need to conduct an estate content assessment to evaluate the value of an estates contents and have it photographed and documented? Do you feel overwhelmed and do not know where to begin? Are you looking for a one-stop resource to provide assistance? No problem. We can help. We specialize in providing a one stop, single source solution to help executors take care of all the work with home downsizing, decluttering, getting a home market ready for sale, providing full service discount real estate services, and in helping to liquidate the contents of a loved ones home. We service Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We provide estate executors with total peace of mind. We know the process of downsizing, moving, selling a loved ones home can be physically and mentally exhausting. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all. We handle all your loved ones home and property content downsizing, de-cluttering, content liquidation and real estate sale needs. Our goal is to help executors with our downsizing and decluttering to obtain the highest value for their loved ones home. We provide special 2021 best-in-class portfolio of services to assist families.

During this challenging time in the Corona Virus and COVID-19 era, we help families that are unable travel or tend to their property needs by providing a true one-stop resource. We are focused on making life just a little easier for families during often difficult times. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

We service Pennsylvania, and the counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester and the Main Line. In New Jersey, we service the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Burlington, Middlesex, Union, Ocean, Essex and Somerset.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.

We also offer discount real estate services via our association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Bucks County Home Downsizing
Bucks County Home Downsizing Services

Home Downsizing Services

How Our Process Works

We begin by meeting with you and your loved ones families personally. This allows us to understand your estates personal needs and for us to develop a tailored solution to meet your individual goals. We offer extreme cleaning and extreme home cleanout services, removing contents from hoarder homes to multi-million dollar homes.

As certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, we then conduct a comprehensive market analysis, which will help give you and the estate a better feel for the value of the home, its contents and their value. We then will evaluate the contents of the property with you and the estate to ascertain what you and the estate wish to keep, give to friends and family, donate, shed, discard or move to a new home. A full inventory is done at this time and is sorted based on your direction to us.

For items of value, we can facilitate an Estate Sale or help remove contents and liquidate them.

For items you or the estate wish to part with, we will arrange for the disposal of them or donate them to charitable organizations. For items you or the estate wish to keep, we can arrange for them to be packed and moved. We then work with you or the estate to determine a moving schedule.

Lastly, we can assist in a final cleaning of you loved ones estate as part of our home downsizing and de-cluttering process, which is all geared to help you and the estate sell the property at the maximum value.Estate Sale Services New Jersey (NJ)

Estate Sale and Content Liquidation Services

In addition to home downsizing and clean outs, we can help sell and liquidate all your estates household contents We work with you and the estate to identify which items you wish to sell, donate or dispose of. Together we develop realistic fair market value price points for all household contents. We even develop special website pages to market your estates contents.

As your estate asset liquidator, we have found that prospective buyers feel that there is a greater perceived value when a professional estate liquidation firm conducts your estates household estate sale.

Please note that the market for pre-owned items is entirely based upon the style, age and condition of your clients contents. As a result, not all things are saleable. Additionally, there will always be two different sets of values to any items. There is the seller’s perceived value, which may have a high emotional and sentimental value, and then there is the potential buyer’s view of the contents value, which is generally very different. Please remember that something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. To learn more, please click here to view a short article we wrote on this subject or click on our Resource link page for a host of other insights into selling pre-owned items, home downsizing, home sales information and elder care.

For more information on our estate sale process, please click here.Estate Sale Services Pennsylvania (PA)

Why Choose Personal Property Managers

We are an award winning organization dedicated to providing personalized services and offering your clients solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

We tend to your estates property and its contents like it was our own. We know that often times a move, a home downsizing or sale can be overwhelming and physically demanding. We can handle everything for you and your estate. When you call us, you get us. We are on site at every job. You can rely on us and trust us. With Personal Property Managers…one call does it all. We are Estate Specialists, are licensed Realtors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and are certified Senior Real Estate Specialist via EveryHome Realty, RS308044 and 1326862. Please call us for a free consultation at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909.

Step-by-Step: Understanding the home buying or home selling process.

Insights into the Process of Buying or Selling a Home

Bucks County Home Downsizing

If you are interested in buying a home or if you are thinking about selling a home in today’s market, did you know there are certain steps that must be followed to complete any residential real estate transaction? You might be thinking wait, what do you mean by this? If you are a home seller, you may be thinking that this should be pretty simple and straight forward. You probably are thinking that all you need to do is just contact a Realtor and sign a listing agreement and that’s it, all your trouble are over; you do not need to do anything else. Right? If you are a home buyer, you may have thought that all you need to do is find a home to your liking, and put an offer in and away you go. Right? Wrong to both of these common assumptions.

In this article, we will share and demystify that steps that are needed to complete a residential real estate transaction. Some things will need to be done by the seller in advance of putting their house on the market. Some things will need to be done by the buyer in advance of wanting to purchase a home, and some things will need to be done simultaneously during the process while the house is under agreement.

This is part of an on-going 2021 best in class series of helpful real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, property management, estate sales and home watch services. These tips and insights are especially important in the economic environment we are in today, with the global economy turned upside down, and the need for extreme social distancing due to the Corona Virus. Additionally, during this challenging time in the Corona Virus and COVID-19 era, we help families that are unable travel or tend to their property needs by providing a true one-stop resource. We are focused on making life just a little easier for families during often difficult times. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.


Home Seller: Important items before you put your house on the market
If you are a home seller, there are certain important things that you need to do before you put your house on the market. They are:

  • Declutter your home. This is an important first step. First impressions are lasting impressions. You will want to get your home market ready so that it shows in the best possible light. Spruce up the outside of the house. Clean up and declutter the inside of the house. Fix little odds and ends that can turn off a buyer. Brighten up your home with lighting and window treatments. Paint where needed. More info on getting your home market ready, please click here.
  • Properly Price your home. One of the most important things you can do as a seller is to properly price your home for sale right from the beginning. A home priced too high in relation to other comparable homes will not sell. In addition, a home seller needs to factor in that for most buyers, they will need a mortgage. The mortgage company will come out to your house and do an appraisal. Even if a buyer and seller have an agreement of sale in place, the lender will not lend the buyer money to buy the house if the house is appraised or valued less than the agreed upon purchase price, so the deal at that point will fall through. So what should a seller do? If a seller is working with a Realtor, the Realtor should conduct a CMA or comparable market analysis. This will show the value of the house in relation to others of similar style, age, amenities, location and design. For more information on CMA’s please click here.
  • Seller – Certificate of Occupancy. Most sellers do not realize that they must meet certain local municipal safety standards. They just figure, great, they want to sell their house. They clean it up, figure out a good selling price, contact a Realtor and like magic everything is done and success is just around the corner. Wrong. Almost every township now has certain safety requirements that are non-negatable. A township will not authorize a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) or sometimes it’s called a Use and Occupancy or a Resale Certificate unless these safety related items are met. What are they? They are things like installing new smoke detectors; many now require 10-year battery operated detectors. They are combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors placed in designated locations like just outside bedrooms. They are now requiring fire extinguishers to be mounted in the kitchens. They are the installation of GFCI electrical wall outlets anywhere near water, such as in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms and even in the garage. They are making sure that there are handrails where there are steps. Each township has its own requirements. There is usually a fee that accompanies the C of O application, and then there is the scheduling of the township inspections. If a home seller successfully meets all the local requirements, they will be issued a township C of O. In some cases, townships will mandate that a home seller has no open permits for work that has been done on the home. Typical things like replacement of hot water heaters, furnaces, roofs and other remodeling worked are looked at. If permits were not issued, some municipalities will impose stiff fines. So, this is an important area that must be looked into. A buyer and seller cannot go to settlement without a clear Certificate of Occupancy.

Home Buyer: Important items to consider before house hunting
If you are a home buyer, there are certain important things that you need to do before you start looking for a new house. They are:

  • Mortgage pre-approval. For most buyers, the home purchase is financed with the help of a mortgage. Obtaining a buyer mortgage pre-approval is vital at this point. It just makes no sense to start looking for a home if you cannot afford one or if you have not been preapproved for mortgage financing. This is accomplished by going to your preferred lender and seeking a finance or mortgage preapproval. The lender will look at your employment, your income, your debts, credit history and credit score. From this, if approved, they will issue you a mortgage preapproval letter. This just says you are credit worthy to buy a property up to a certain limit. This is very important not only for the buyer to understand what they can and cannot afford, but also for a seller to understand if the buyer is prequalified and credit worthy enough to even buy a new home. There are a host of mortgage lenders from traditional banks to FHA mortgages, VA mortgage, Credit Unions and on and on. Each one has its own requirements, advantages and disadvantages.
  • Down payment. Buyers will need to figure out how much they can spend and how much they can put down on a house.
  • Contingencies. Buyers, and for that matter, home sellers will want to find out how the buyer will be able to afford to buy a new house. In other words, will the buyer need to sell their existing home in order to afford to buy a new home? This is called a buyer home sale contingency. In a hot real estate market, most sellers will not want to deal with or wait for a buyer to sell their home in order to buy their home. All purchases are also contingent upon the buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage.

The Agreement of Sale Process: for Buyers and Sellers
Now that we know what needs to be done in the pre-sell process and in the pre-buy process, now lets turn our attention to the Agreement of Sale process. These is the point when there is a meeting of the mind between a buyer and seller. This is where a formal document often called an Agreement of Sale is drafted, typically from the buyer agent / Realtor to the seller agent / Realtor of the seller. This document spells out what the buyer is offering to purchase the house for, the amount of money being used by the buyer as a down payment, the buyers mortgage amount, the proposed date of settlement and a variety of other things like home inspections and finance contingencies.

It is important to note that almost all things in real estate are dynamic and evolving between the buyer and the seller. Things like the purchase price, the settlement date, home inspections and contingencies have a lot of give and take from both sides. For a deal to work out successfully there needs to be give and take from both sides to ultimately achieve a win-win deal. It is not uncommon for agreements to go back for forth multiple times until there is ultimately agreement or not.

Elements beyond the Agreement of Sale:
Once the Agreement of Sale is in place and signed by both buyer and seller there are still more elements that happen simultaneously. This is a period of go, no-go where deals either move forward to fall apart. They are:

  • Attorney Review. In some states, such as New Jersey, it is common for an attorney review process, which is typically done during a 3-day period when the Agreement of Sale is signed. At this point, deals can move forward or fall apart based upon how amenable or adversarial buyer and seller attorneys are, and the terms and conditions entered into by buyers and seller in the agreement of sale. Often times a variety of changes are made here and addendums are drafted. If both sides are in agreement here the deal progresses. If things get bogged down here either side can walk away from the deal.
  • Home Inspections. Home inspections are generally conducted as part of the buying process and are included in the agreement of sale. The buyer will contract out to a third party to conduct a full review of the home. This often cost around $700 and a report ranging in size from 30 to 70 plus pages is generated. It is important to note that in general buyers want to know if there is anything major that they should be aware of. This is usually structural in nature like the roof or foundation, or water damage and or HVAC systems. Many smaller things can be discovered by the home inspector as in all houses new and old. Again, this is an area where deals can either move forward or fall apart very quickly. This all depends on how flexible the buyer or seller is. In addition to a home inspection, other things can be inspected at additional cost to the buyer such as septic systems and wells. All sellers complete a document called a Sellers Disclosure noting important information such as age of items, service of items and or housing issues / defects. This is compared to the home inspection and negotiations then take place with a go or no-go status at each point. Lastly, a buyer, depending upon the mortgage they choose such as an FHA or VA mortgage, which are government issues mortgages, and can be obtained with little to nothing down come with more stringent inspection criteria. Some sellers do not want to deal with FHA or VA mortgage because they require the seller to obtain incremental inspections which a seller must pay for such as chimney certifications, heater certifications, water certifications (if there is well water), septic inspections (if there is no public sewer service), radon testing and lead paint testing. More information on home inspection click here.
  • Mortgage Appraisal / Commitment. Buyers requiring a mortgage obtain a mortgage preapproval when initially shopping for a house. Now after an agreement is reached and inspections are made, the lender will come out to the house and conduct their own appraisal of the property. If the purchase price of the house is equal or lower than the lender appraisal, the deal progresses. If the appraisal of the house come out lower than the purchase price the lender may choose not to lend the buyer money. The lender feels that they may be lending out more money than the house is worth and may turn down the deal. At this point the deal may collapse. If all goes well here the lender will issue a mortgage commitment letter. This is then presented to the buyer title company for advancement to settlement.
  • Title Search. All home purchases are conducted with the buyer contracting out for a title search, to make sure there are no issues or encumbrances or liens on the property. In other words, a buyer wants a clean title to the property. The title company is generally the quarterback of the team at this point as the transaction moves to settlement. All information and documents are forwarded to the title company so that they may conduct a thorough investigation into the title search. They will then prepare a document often called a CD or Closing Disclosure document (formerly a HUD) which shows by line item everything that a buyer is spending to purchase the property and everything that a seller is getting from the proceeds of the sale.
  • Miscellaneous Items. Lastly, there are a variety of miscellaneous items that will need to be in place for both buyers and or sellers, such as switching utilities from one party to another, homeowners’ insurance for new home buyers, and taxes to be paid. If the seller is an executor of an estate, they will need to furnish such things as a death certificate, a will, documents from the county surrogates offices and a short certificate which shows that the court recognizes the seller as the legal heir and has the legal right to sell and or liquidate the assets of the estate. Finally, if a seller cannot be at settlement, the title company or an attorney can prepare a document called a deed package which the seller must get notarized and furnish sale proceed instructions (mail or wire transfer of funds).

We hope you found this information on the mechanics of the buying or selling of residential property insightful and helpful. More information can be found in the About us tab or by clicking on this tab to view our video of who we are .

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.
For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Do you know how much care for Seniors can be? What are your options?

The Cost of Senior Care and Your Options

Eye-opening information about the cost of caring for our seniors.

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJAre you the caregiver of a senior loved one? Have you ever wondered how expensive the cost of long term senior care is for your elderly loved? Do you have any idea how much the average cost is for a nursing home or an assisted living community or the cost of in-home care services?

This is part of our 2021 best in class continuing series of article and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. 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.

During this challenging time in the Corona Virus and COVID-19 era, we help families that are unable travel or tend to their property needs by providing a true one-stop resource. We are focused on making life just a little easier for families during often difficult times. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

We’d like to share with you some recent information conducted by Genworth Financial about the cost of caring for our seniors. We think this will not only be informative but a real eye opener.

This year’s annual cost-of-care survey shows that the national, median annual cost for care in an assisted-living facility is about $42,000.

The average cost of an assisted-living facility nationwide has increased 4.29% annually over the past five years, according to the study.

Nationwide, the cost for a private nursing home room rose about 4.2% annually over the past five years to $87,600.

This is part of an 11 year study surveying about 15,000 providers of long-term care services nationwide.

About 70% of people older than 65 will need some form of long-term care services, but costs for those services have been rising for years. The average length of a long-term care claim is about three years.

The median cost of a private bedroom in an assisted living facility now stands at about $47,880. The cost of a private room in a nursing home has increased 3 percent to $84,315.

Costs for adult day care and home care have grown at slower pace of about 1 percent to 2 percent. The median cost for in-home health aide services now runs about $43,472 a year, while the cost of adult day care services cost about $15,860.

Nationally, the 2014 median hourly cost for the services of a homemaker or in-home health aide hired from a home care agency is $19 and $19.75, respectively.

The real challenge is how to pay for the long term care of our elderly.

There are several options. One is to secure a long term care insurance policy. However, the cost for this type of insurance is often very expensive and will depend on the age of the client. The older the client is the more costly it is on an annualized basis.

Often times families are forced to pay for the cost of their loved ones long term care by liquidating their assets. This means selling the home of their loved one and liquidating their financial assets such as stocks and bonds and other holdings. Then depending upon the state you live in, Medicaid will step in, but they use a 5 year look back to determine eligibility and need. In other words, virtually all assets must be exhausted before the state Medicaid system will step in…again, this depends upon the state in which you live in.

At Personal Property Managers, we can help pay for a loved ones long term care. How? We take care of everything relating to a loved ones home and their contents. We help liquidate the contents of a loved ones home. Then we get a home market ready for sale and then can help sell the property to help free up funds to pay for a loved ones long term care. This can be a exhausting and emotional process. We help move the process along with our one stop services.

Personal Property Managers, LLC (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) can help you in the process of asset liquidation and moving. At Personal Property Managers we specialize in downsizing, content removal and liquidation, Real Estate / property sales and moving. With one call, Personal Property Managers does it all.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Advice and insights – Parting with Family Heirlooms

Does anyone want my grandparents stuff?

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Home Downsizing Tips PA NJWe are often contacted by people who, through the death of an elderly loved one, are now faced with trying to unload their familes home contents. If you have never gone through this process, it’s a real eye opener, especially for older members of the family tasked with this chore.

We all have fond memories of growing up and playing at grandmas house and the love and care that she put into the house, along with all the lovely things inside it. Unfortunately, the value of things has changed dramatically over the past few years. Things that were in high regard and value in the past are no longer sought after or even wanted today. Things like porcelin dolls, china, figureenes and such are just viewed as needless clutter today.

Most of the people who contact us, begin by telling us they have a variety of items ranging from kitchen sets, living room sets, bedroom sets, china cabinets filled with all kinds of things, and believe that buyers will want to flock to their home for a chance to buy their contents. Sadly, that’s just not reality today.

Things have really changed over the last few years. Items that people thought were valuable years ago, such as collectable figurines or china cabinets filled with plates and glassware are no longer in style. Furniture that is still functional but is 20 years old is just not in style or in demand today. We have found that 50 is the magic age. People over the age of 50 already have many of the things that people want to sell and do not want any more of it. People under age 50 simply do not have interest in many of the things that people want to sell. It all boils down to style, age, condition and desirability. We always tell people that it does not matter what you paid for it…something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

This is part of our 2021 best in class continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in home downsizing, content liquidation and full service discount real estate services. Personal Property Managers services clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. During this challenging time in the Corona Virus and COVID-19 era, we help families that are unable travel or tend to their property needs by providing a true one-stop resource. We are focused on making life just a little easier for families during often difficult times. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

During this challenging time in the Corona Virus and COVID-19 era, we help families that are unable travel or tend to their property needs by providing a true one-stop resource. We are focused on making life just a little easier for families during often difficult times. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

Caregivers and executors of estates quickly learn the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.

The Stuff of Nightmares

Many boomers and Gen X’ers charged with disposing the family heirlooms, it seems, are unprepared for the reality and unwilling to face it. Let’s face it, how many young people do you know that are picking out formal china patterns or want former collectable antiques anymore?

Joe Santoro, says that at least a half dozen times a week, families come to us and say: ‘What do we do with all this stuff?’” The answer: do you know of anyone who may want it, because there is little to no resale value in items such as furniture that is 20 plus years old; and good luck trying to get a charity or thrift store to take your 30 year old bedroom set, dining room set and couches.

Dining room tables and chairs, end tables and armoires have become furniture non grata. Antiques are antiquated. Old mahogany stuff from your great aunt’s house is basically worthless, says Nick Santoro.

What about all the stuff you see on TV shows? On PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, for example, prices for certain types of period furniture have dropped so much that some episode reruns note current, lower estimated appraisals.

And if you’re thinking your grown children will gladly accept your parents’ items, if only for sentimental reasons, you’re likely in for an unpleasant surprise.

Young couples starting out don’t want the same things people used to have according to Joe Santoro, and in fact, they often don’t want anything from grandma’s house. In fact, we have found that around age 50 is the dividing line. People over 50 already have lots of the same stuff that people now want to get rid off and don’t want anymore of it and would like to downsize themselves too. People under the age of 50 simple don’t want older stuff. We now live in the disposable age. Many things, like furniture are must less costly today, so younger people would just rather buy new things and then after about 7 or 8 years simply get rid of it and get newer items all over again, to keep up with changing styles and taste.

The Minimalist Generation

Joe points out that this is an Ikea and Target generation. They live minimally, much more so than the boomers. They don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did. They are more mobile. So they don’t want a lot of heavy stuff dragging down a move across country for a new opportunity.

Additionally, Nick points out that you can pretty much forget about interesting your grown kids in the books that lined their grandparents’ shelves for decades. If you’re lucky, you might find buyers for some books by having a garage sale, but be prepared to sell a whole box of books for $3.00. In fact, many local libraries will not even take books anymore and certainly not old encyclopedias.

Most antiques dealers (if you can even find one) and auction houses have little appetite for your parents’ stuff, either. That’s because their customers generally aren’t interested.

Even charities like Salvation Army and Goodwill frequently reject donations of home furnishings, we can sadly report from our own personal experience.

6 Tips for Home Unfurnishing

What else can you do to avoid finding yourself forlorn in your late parents’ home, broken up about the breakfront that’s going begging? Some suggestions:

1. Give yourself plenty of time to find takers, if you can. “We tell people: The longer you have to sell something, the more money you’re going to make, of course, this could mean cluttering up your basement, attic or living room with tables, lamps and the like until you finally locate interested parties. Additionally, this could take quite some time and effort to accomplish.

2. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ art, furniture, china or crystal.

3. Get the jewelry appraised. It’s possible that a necklace, ring or brooch has value and could be sold.

4. Look for a nearby consignment shop that might take some items. Again, this takes a lot of time and effort, and don’t forget about the cost and logistic of removing and transporting the contents. None of this is easy.

5. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. Giving stuff away may make you feel better, because trying to sell items takes patience and effort.

6. But perhaps the best advice is: Prepare for disappointment. “For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously,” says Joe Santoro, talking about the boomers’ parents and the boomers themselves.

The bottom line is that the younger adult generations simply want something different from their parents. They prefer newer, more contemporary styles and do not want lots of needless clutter.

The good news is that we can help clean-out your house, help downsize your family home and liquidate contents that are saleable and in demand. We offer on-site estate sale services if there is sufficient quantity and quality. We can remove contents and sell them via our array of proprietary resources, again, if they are in demand and of value. And, lastly we can remove and dispose of unwanted and unsaleable contents.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Home Selling Tips for Pet Owners

Home Selling Tips for Pet Owners

If you are selling your home it is very important that you understand how important it is to make your home pet neutral.

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Home Selling Tips PA NJIf Home selling tips for pet owners: Removing signs of pets can help a home sell faster and for more money

News flash…although you may love your pet and feel that it’s a part of the family, not everyone may feel the same way, especially prospective home buyers who may be turned off by pet odors, worn yards and scratches on floors and walls. So, what is a home seller with pets to do?

We are sharing insights to pet owners who are trying to sell your home. In fact, we advise animal-owning sellers to rid their home of any evidence of pet damage or animal scents before opening their doors to potential buyers.

Appealing to buyers who may not love pets as much as you do can boost your chances of getting top dollar for your house.

This is part of our 2021 best in class continuing series of articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers, who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, property management, home content downsizing and estate sale services.

Addressing Outside Pet Needs
While a spacious backyard is a plus in the eyes of most buyers, pet-related landmines and holes typically aren’t on a buyer’s list of wants. To get your yard visitor-ready, we recommend filling in any doggy-dug holes and scooping the poop.

Additionally, be sure to check your fencing, deck, and porch for any marks from scratching or chewing. Most pet-related scratches and damage can be easily repaired with a little sandpaper and stain.

Addressing Inside Pet Needs
First impressions are everything, but dog toys and pet odors don’t exactly enhance a home’s initial appeal. Get your home ready by ousting any evidence of pets, including:
• Pet belongings. Collect toys, bowls, beds, crates, cat trees, and litter boxes and keep them out of sight. We even recommend hiding pet photos.
 Scents. Get rid of potentially off-putting animal scents by lighting candles, opening windows, or hiring a professional carpet cleaning crew to deodorize your domicile.
• Scratches. If your hardwood floors have a few battle scars to show for their years of being trodden upon by pets, consider having them resurfaced.
• Remove Your Pet(s). Leaving your pet in the house during showings isn’t the best idea. They could dart out an open door or pose a liability issue if they behave in a less-than-friendly manner toward strangers. If you can’t take your pets with you, let a friend or relative care for them or board them at a kennel.

Please remember that you only have one time to make a good first impression, be that a buyer or with other realtors, so please keep this in mind if you are a home seller with pets. You do not want to sabotage your chances of success by not being mindful of other people’s opinions of pets.

More information can be found on who we are and look through the eyes of the buyer via these brief video links.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Downsizing? Where do you begin?

How to Begin Downsizing Your Home

4 Quick Tips

Home Staging Tips PA NJThe 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 our 2021 best in class continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into helping you move forward and sell your home and clean out your contents by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. 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. These tips and insights are especially important and true in the environment we are in today, with the global economy turned upside down, massive job losses, and the need for extreme social distancing due to the Corona Virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

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? This is where we can help you.

Did you know that downsizing and moving ranks as one of lifes 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 does not fit, do not bring it with you.

Before the move, Santoro recommends creating a floor plan and determining the practicality of existing furniture. Nick says, do not 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 did not 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.”

What about selling some of your home contents?

As you approach the downsizing process, many of our clients contact us about wanting to sell their household items.

Most of the people who call, begin by telling us they have a variety of items ranging from kitchen sets, living room sets, bedroom sets, china cabinets filled with all kinds of things and believe that buyers will want to flock to their home for a chance to buy their contents.
Let’s face it, we all think the things that we have accumulated over the years are beautiful and everyone will them…right? Wrong.

So in this day and age of the Corona Virus, you have to ask yourself would you want to go to a strangers home and buy pre-owned furniture? Probably not. Then on top of that, what most sellers never think of is the logistics and cost of simply moving an item from a seller’s home to a buyer’s home? Who pays for that? This has to be factored into the selling price, if there is even a demand or interest in today’s environment.So, does this mean you cannot sell your pre-owned home contents? No. Absolutely not. You may be able to sell your older unwanted items, but understand that today’s buyers tend to want more updated and contemporary items reflective of today’s styles. Additionally, todays home owners tend to want a more simplified look and feel and not want many items that were popular years ago. So be realistic.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Insights, Challenges and Tips on working with Aging Parents

How to Work with Your Aging Parents – 5 Insights

Dealing with challenges involved with our aging parents.

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJOf all the fine lines we have to walk in our lifetime, one of the most challenging, yet most important, is how we deal with the challenges that inevitably crop up when working with our aging parents.

Everyone’s circumstances and family dynamics are different, of course, but there are certain commonalities. Chief among them is how to provide help, support and comfort while respecting our parents’ intellect and abilities. Even as the roles shift, they’re still our parents, and no matter how wise or experienced we are, to them, we’ll always be “the kids.” These tips and insights are especially important and true in the environment we are in today, with the global economy turned upside down, massive job losses, and the need for extreme social distancing due to the Corona Virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

We specialize in working with families and adult children who are managing the transition of thier elderly parents. We have learned a thing or two over the years and wanted to share these insights with you. We have put together list of the top 5 tips you may want to consider when working with your agents parents. These helpful tips are part of our 2021 best in class continuing series of articles by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales, real estate transition services, property management and content clean-out services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

As our parents age and need more and more help, it’s natural to want to lend a hand, but when you get involved, you need to make sure that you don’t become domineering.

Seniors who feel like their children are trying to take over their lives get resentful and angry – and as a result often disregard their help just to spite them or assert their independence.

This is why it’s important that as our parents age and do start to lose some of their abilities, we stay aware of how we’re communicating with them. Nothing presses our buttons more than family.

While this kind of behavior feels most inappropriate with our parents, being respectful and mindful of boundaries are actually the cornerstones of all healthy relationships.

Stepping Up vs. Overstepping Boundaries

So where exactly is the line between being “helpful” and turning into a bully? Sometimes when you do what you feel is needed – arrange a doctor appointment, suggest grab bars – your parents will resent your good advice. People have a fierce desire to remain independent, often even though they really do need assistance.

Add to that the difficulty of accepting the shifting reality of who is now caring for whom. This can be more difficult for our parents to accept because they often view it as “losing power” to their children.

A big part of striking the right balance has to do with how we speak and act. It’s imperative that we show respect, not attempt to force our will, and to make everything a negotiation (or at least offer options).

5 Things Adult Children and Parents Fight About

It boils down to this, if you think your parents can do something by themselves, let them. But if they – or someone else – could be harmed, don’t feel guilty about getting involved. Most seniors who are slipping a bit are lucid enough to recognize their new limitations. they’re looking for someone they trust to make things easier for them.

Here are five of the big issues that are likely to come up, plus suggestions for avoiding conflict.

1. Driving

Nothing gives people a greater sense of independence than driving. A car gets them where they want to go when they want to go. Yet in the hands of someone with physical or cognitive limitations, an automobile can become a lethal weapon.

One must be extremely sensitive when you come to the point where you insist that your parent hand over the keys. Consider trying initially to negotiate ways they can drive their car less frequently – perhaps only locally and in the daylight. Elderly people who have become nervous drivers and don’t feel they have to put up a fight often discover they actually prefer not being in the driver’s seat.

2. Finances

This is a very sensitive subject and is often met with great resistance. Unfortunatley there are many stories of financial abuse of our elderly loved ones.

The best way to approach this is to suggest that our elderly loved ones open their checkbooks and show us their credit card statements and all their bills. But if they’re unwilling and you try to force the issue, they might accuse you of meddling. When there’s no evidence of a problem, it’s better to just offer help – like balancing a checkbook. Keep your antennae up for hints of trouble.

If you suspect they are mismanaging their resources and they resist your involvement, tell them you need to call in a social worker. It might be easier for your parents to listen to a neutral third party, and a trained professional might have communication or coping strategies that you don’t.

3. Home Safety

People can be slow to accept their physical limitations. If they’ve always gotten in and out of the shower OK, why worry now? The answer is that we all have a problem projecting in the future, yet for people over 65, falls are the leading cause of injury and death. When a parent is having problems with gait or limb strength or has recently started using a walker or cane, it’s time to start the conversation.

So how should you handle this? Often scare tactics go a long way. The image of lying alone, in grave pain, injured (or possibly dying) alone in the living room might be enough to “put the fear of God” into a parent who perfers not to discuss such issues. Often times elderly loved ones wouldn’t wear their life-alert pendant until they hear about someone who fell and waited several hours for the ambulance to arrive.

Most people will accept minor fixes, like rug tape or bathtub no-slip strips, so if you start with the little things (and build up to the larger ones), you won’t come off as oppressive.

4. Doctors, Treatments and Medication

Seniors are not always forthcoming about their medical reports. Sometimes they haven’t completely understood what a doctor has said, or they could be deliberately withholding information they think will make them seem enfeebled or cause you to worry.

If your parent seems healthy you may want to consider backing off (but keep a watchful eye). If, however, you observe any symptoms or notice your parent is missing doctor appointments, getting confused with his medications and won’t let you help, call in a social worker or nurse. Tell your parent you are doing so. In a life-or-death matter, there’s no such thing as a bossy pants.

5. End-of-Life Planning

No one likes to think about this heaviest of all topics – and yet if people want their wishes heeded, important documents need to be in place: a power of attorney, a last will and testament, a living will, organ donation papers, funeral preferences and more.

How to handle You cannot force your parents to do any of these things or tell you where they keep the safety deposit box key.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

We offer 6 primary services to help families or executors. They are:

Additional info can be found on this brief 90 second video or a full array of great tips and insights and video by clicking on our resource page.For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers 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 EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.