Category Archives: seniors

8 Steps to begin the Home Downsizing Process – Podcast Episode 13

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This podcast will share 8 useful tips and steps that you can use to begin the home downsizing and clean out process and how Personal Property Managers can help you. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at

When and How to Downsize your Home – Podcast Episode 9

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This podcast will share insights and tips into how to downsize your home and its contents, with examples, ideas and a step by step process. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at


Home modifications for elderly loved ones moving in with you – Podcast Episode 7

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This podcast will share insights into home modifications needed to accommodate an elderly loved one moving in with a caregiver. We will share room by room modification and safety suggestions. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at


Selling your home to millennial and Gen X buyers – Podcast Episode 6

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92% of all homes purchased in 2019 will be made by millennials and Gen X buyers.  As a home seller, do you understand this trend and how to successfully appeal to them? This podcast will help you understand this new dynamic; why it’s important and how to be successful as home seller or realtor in this market.  For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at

How to begin the home Downsizing process – Podcast Episode 2

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This brief 10 minute podcast will focus on helping homeowners begin the downsizing and home de-cluttering process. Learn 4 key downsizing process tips. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at


Parting with Family Heirlooms

Advice and insights – Parting with Family Heirlooms

Does anyone want my grandparents stuff?

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 porcelain dolls, china, figurines 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 a 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.

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.

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.

How to Financially plan for your aging Parents

How to Financially plan for your aging Parents

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJHow to be financially prepared when your parent needs long term care

Are 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?

What about financially preparing for the care of an elderly loved one. How about documents? Do you even know what documents you will need when the time comes? Do you know what sources of income your elderly loved ones have?

This is part of a 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.

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.

Coordinating Alzheimer’s and long terms care for your parents or an elderly loved one is difficult, and the last thing you want is to have to deal with a financial hardship. Elder care is expensive.

Examine their financial situation

Assets and income: As precisely as possible, estimate your parent or parents’ net wealth and income. This means considering the total value of their home, their bank accounts, investment funds or individual investments they own, and income they receive from jobs, annuities, or other sources. It also requires that you calculate the value of their debts and current expenses, and subtract these values from their assets and income, respectively. Not only does this tell you how much you can afford to pay for their care, but it also will let you know whether your parent qualifies for benefit programs, such as Medicaid.

Power of attorney: If they haven’t done so already, your parent must assign power of attorney for finances, or the right to make financial decisions on their behalf. This does not necessarily need to be you, but it should be someone whom they trust, who is familiar with their finances, and who is good at managing multiple assets. You should also have a backup person to exercise power of attorney if their first choice cannot.

A living will: Your parent may want to earmark some of their assets for specific purposes other than elder care. If this is the case, they should do so ahead of time in a living will. Otherwise, you may end up selling such assets and spending the money on their care.

These financial preparations go hand-in-hand with other aspects of elder care planning. You should assign financial power of attorney, for example, at the same time that you assign power of attorney for healthcare. The better you coordinate all these activities, the easier it is to develop a clear, realistic plan for your parent’s care.

Identify sources of income

Once you have a detailed picture of your parent’s finances and desires, the next step is to make up any difference between their money and the likely cost of their care. There are many different income sources available for senior care expenses, including:

• Long-term insurance: If your parent has an insurance policy that specifically provides benefits for long-term care, you may be able to use it to pay for their housing or other elder care costs. Most such policies have strict daily, monthly or lifetime caps on spending, however, so this likely won’t cover your parent’s care by itself.

• Medicaid: Medicaid will cover some of the largest expenses involved in Alzheimer’s care, including custodial care, or care that involves helping your parent bathe, dress, and eat. To qualify, your parent must have less than $2,000 total in assets that can be counted. The only exception is if they receive such care from their spouse in their own home, in which case they can own up to $115,920 along with the home itself, a car, and wealth stored in certain trusts.

• Life insurance withdrawals: If your parent owns a life insurance policy, they can withdraw the base value of premiums they paid without paying taxes on it. You can then spend this on elder care.

• Veteran’s benefits: If your parent served in the military and was discharged honorably, they likely qualify for benefits from the VA. They can use these benefits in any of the 1,300 facilities across the country that the VA recognizes.

• Tax savings: If you take over a significant portion of your parent’s care, you can claim them as a dependent. Depending on your income, this will likely save you thousands of dollars, which you can put toward that care.

Most importantly, don’t wait. Trying to make the best financial decisions when coordinating care is challenging and waiting can be costly to your family.
Personal Property Managers, LLC ( ) 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.

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.