Tag Archives: aging

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 (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.

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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We buy homes for Cash

We Buy Houses in ANY Situation

We Buy Houses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We have built a reputation for helping homeowners get rid of their properties quickly and easily. If you are looking to sell your house fast and want to avoid the hassles of working with demanding buyers or avoid agent fees, then Personal Property Managers is the solution you have been looking for.

We’re honest, fair and easy to work with. We focus on win-win deals. We’ll do our very best to help you in any way we can.

Investment Property Bookkeeping Accounting PA NJ

Are you:

We Buy Houses for Cash in PA NJ

  • An executor of an estate
  • A Power of Attorney caring for an elderly loved one who needs immediate funding for their long term care
  • Recently inheriting a property
  • Unable to sell your house dispite it being on the market for a long time
  • Stuck with the purchase of another property and still unable to you’re your old one
  • Behind on payments (or about to be)
  • In need of getting out from underneath your huge monthly mortgage payments
  • Facing foreclosure
  • Going through a divorce or separation
  • Moving or relocating
  • Facing bankruptcy
  • Tired of ownership or on-going landlord headaches
  • Just sick of property ownership and just want to sell your property… now

Don’t worry. We can help. We are the one-stop solution you’ve been looking for. We buy houses anywhere in Southeastern Pennsylvania in the counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester and the Main Line. In New Jersey we buy homes in the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Middlesex, Union, Ocean, Burlington, Essex and Somerset and more.

Let’s Get Started – How the Process Works

Step 1 to Buy House for Cash

Tell us about your PA or NJ property – Quick, Easy & Free!

Step 1 to Buy House for Cash

If it meets our buying criteria, we’ll contact you to set up a quick appointment to view the property.

Step 1 to Buy House for Cash

We’ll present you with a written, no-obligation offer.

Step 1 to Buy House for Cash

You choose the closing date! We close at a local closing attorney, and can close within a time period that is convenient for you.

Our goal is to help make your life easier and get you out from under the property that’s stressing you out… while still paying a fast, fair, and honest price for your house.

What Do You Have To Lose? Get Started Now… Or Give Us a Call Now at: 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909.

FAQ

How does your program work?
It’s not really a program. Each property is unique, each homeowner has different needs and challenges, and we provide customized solution to meet your individual situational needs. You let us know what your situation is, and we’ll fill in the details. It’s that simple!

How much do you charge?
We are free! We are fair and we are honest. We make our money by buying your property, investing in updating it, fixing needed repairs and then reselling it for a modest profit.

What types of properties do you work with?
We work with all types of properties, including:

  • Single Family Homes
  • Multi-Family Homes
  • Condos & Town homes
  • Rental Properties
  • Homes in need to updating or numerous repairs
  • Older homes or newer homes

What sets you apart from a real estate agent?
Great question! First of all, we are BUYING your property AS IS. No need for a thorough downsizing, cleaning it out and cleaning it up, or staging, or worrying about all the little details that a new homeowner would demand. And secondly, there are no listing fees.

What sets you apart from other homes for cash companies?
We have been in business for over a dozen years. We are an award winning service disabled veteran owned company and most of all we are fair and honest. There are no hidden fees. We let you know right up front what your options are. What the overall condition of your property is and the cost to repair or invest in upgrades and then based upon that, we provide you an honest / common sense all cash offer, that is hassle free which allows you to move on from an often overwhelming and challenging situation.

How long do I have to move out?
How long do you need? We can set our closing date as far out as needed. One of the benefits of working with us is that you can choose when you want to move out.

How fast can you close?
On average, we close between 30-90 days. Much of it depends upon evaluating the property, conducting market comps, assessing what may be needed to address repairs or updates and getting a clear title. BUT, if you need to close ASAP and the numbers work out, we have built a team that can close much faster.

What do you need to know in order to buy my house?
We can get started with just some basic information about your house. Like: Its address; How many bedrooms? How many bathrooms? Is there a garage? Is the basement finished? What is the overall condition of the property? What style of house it is: single family, townhouse, condo, etc.? Is there a mortgage on it and if so, how much? Who the deeded owner of the property is? Is there a clear title without liens?

How do we get the process started?
It is as simple as clicking on the contact us button on this page or calling us at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909.

Think about your options… then consider Personal Property Managers

Estate Sale Services Pennsylvania (PA)You can get rid of the headache of that property fast and avoid paying on-going utility bills, tax bills, insurance bills, mortgage payments and more. You get the drill. If you list your house and wait 90+ days to close… you have to figure in all of the costs of holding that property during the time you have that property listed and are waiting for the property to close.

Don’t worry about fixing anything up or cleaning your house again and again for buyer after buyer We do not care how dirty your house is (we’ve seen worse!) or how many repairs are needed. This saves you time and money that you can keep in your pocket.

Because we are a full-service professional homebuyer in PA and NJ, we make it easy for you. What we offer you is what you get (of course minus any mortgage payoff or other encumbrances on the property and related closing cost).

So when you add up the time you could save by working with Personal Property Managers, the no-hassle experience, and the money you’ll save on commissions, fees, and holding costs while you wait to sell the traditional route… for many area home owners selling to Personal Property Managers may the best viable option.

Repairs, Renovations, Updating and Clutter:

We Buy Houses for Cash, Pennsylvania & New JerseyIs Your Property In Need Of A Renovation?
We often help people who tell us: “I need to sell my home but it needs so much work and I don’t have the money or time to deal with it.” A house requires constant upkeep and maintenance to keep it in top condition. This isn’t an easy task with your busy life.

Typical Household Repairs
Houses that haven’t been updated in years often need lots of work. Most of the homes we buy require renovations that cost $50,000 to $100,000. This is what you can expect to spend on the most common repair items. The prices below are the mid point of a range that depends on the size of your home and the extent of the renovations needed. What does it cost to renovate a house in PA or NJ?

Average Repair Items and related costs:

  • New roof: $10,000 to $18,000
  • Update kitchen: $15,000 to $40,000
  • Update bathrooms: $15,000 to $30,000
  • Paint interior: $10,000 to $20,000
  • Paint exterior: $5,000 to $10,000
  • New HVAC system: $10,000 to $15,000
  • Flooring – hard wood or carpeting: $7,500 to $12,500
  • Landscaping: $3,000 to $10,000

We believe in honesty and in full transparency. At Personal Property Managers, after we conduct an evaluation of your property, and look at its overall condition, along with the work that will be necessary to meet local code repairs and upgrades, plus assess market comps, we will make you a fair and reasonable offer to purchase your property. We think that you will agree that this is simple, fair and just makes common sense. However, we offer other benefits that going the traditional house sale route cannot offer. So,if you need a quick and hassle-free solution then Personal Property Managers is the one-stop solution you have been looking for. Call today to put your worries behind you

Home Downsizing Services

Home Downsizing Services

We are Home Downsizing and Home Cleanout Service Experts servicing Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you are a property owner or the executor of an estate and need to move, sell your home, clean out your house or have an estate sale we can help. We provide you a one-stop solution. If you are located out of state or out of the area where you home is located you know how overwhelming, exhausting and physically demanding this process can be. We can help. Our single source solution provides you with total peace of mind. As licensed realtors and certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, we can help you sell and maximize the value of your home and can handle everything relating to your move. We handle all your home and property content downsizing, de-cluttering, content liquidation and estate sale needs. We can donate, move or help sell your home contents. Our goal is to help you obtain the highest value of your home. We provide special 2017 best-in-class portfolio of services to assist you.

We proudly 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, Middlesex, Union, Ocean, Burlington, Essex and Somerset.

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

  • Full Service discount Real Estate sales
  • Home Downsizing, de-cluttering, and cleanout services
  • Estate sale and content liquidation services
  • Property repairs and maintenance services
  • Absentee home watch services
  • Home rental services.

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 Cleanout Services
Home Downsizing Services

How Our Process Works

We begin by meeting with you personally. This allows us to understand your personal needs and for us to develop a tailored solution to meet your individual goals.

As certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, we then conduct a comprehensive market analysis, which will help give you a feel for the value of your home, your contents and their value. We then will evaluate the contents of the property with you to ascertain what you wish to keep, give to friends and family, donate, shed, discard or move to your 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.

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

We can assist in creating a floor plan for items going into your new home and help you move, unpack and organize. Lastly, we can assist in a final cleaning of your property as part of our home downsizing and de-cluttering process, which is all geared to help you sell your 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 household contents We work with you 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 contents.

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

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 you solutions that are tailored to your specific needs.

We tend to your 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. 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.

Senior Hoarding – Signs and Game Plan

Senior Hoarding – Game Plan

Recognizing its signs and developing a game plan to address it

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJWe wanted to share with you an often confounding yet common situation when dealing with transitioning an elderly loved one from their home of many years into a senior care community, or perhaps your home or even settling their estate. We are specifically referring to senior hoarding. This is real and the condition is known as Diogenes syndrome, and it is more common than most people realize.

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.

Our senior loved ones are certainly part of the ‘greatest generation’ for sure. They have sacrificed for our nation, fought our wars, defended our freedom, were hard working Americans who put in long hours at work, saved and accumulated things over their lifetime. Now, as their caregiver, you may be faced with dealing with the task of trying to clean-up or sort through what they have accumulated over their lifetime. In many cases, the mass accumulation of things turns out to be senior hoarding. We often find homes with 4 or 5 blenders, toasters, lawnmowers, ladders, boxes of things that have never been opened or things never used and the list goes on and on…

Times have changed. Items that were valuable years ago are no longer desirable. Family members often have no use or desire to bring Grandma’s things to their home. Change can be hard, and sorting through a lifetime accumulation of possessions can be overwhelming to a senior who is already struggling with a loss of independence and to family members who are stressed out.

It is perfectly normal for an individual who has lived for many years in one location to acquire a lot of stuff, and for some individuals, letting go of the things they no longer need can be extremely difficult. Experts say seniors are prone to cluttering for a variety of reasons, including fear of loss, anxiety, and depression. Research also suggests that pre-Alzheimer’s personalities may trigger hoarding behavior, further complicating the issue for those already pre-disposed to this obsessive habit.

For families dealing with loved ones and parents who have slipped into a pattern of hoarding, it can be difficult to develop strategies for the kind of downsizing that is necessary to accommodate a move to senior housing. The individual may be ashamed of their living conditions, and reluctant to accept the help they need. They also may be fearful of being forced to let go of the items to which they have become attached and resist their family’s attempts at getting the clutter under control.

Of course, securing the homeowner’s consent and cooperation is only half the battle. Once you have the go-ahead to begin sorting through the collection, it is important to have a strategy for completing the task at hand. Here are a few suggestions for getting through the cleanup:

Call a professional. At Personal Property Managers, we specialize in helping families take stock of what they have, what is valuable or not and how to declutter. Often, going through an entire household after years of accumulation is simply too much for one person to undertake. Far better to work as a team with a common goal.

Set a date to start the project. Block off a section of your calendar when you can truly focus on the task at hand. Determine how long you will work, and then stick to the plan. You may not make it through the process entirely, but knowing you have a starting time, and a plan to wrap up the day’s work at a specific time, can help keep you on track.

Do it in chunks. Work room by room. Although you may have an entire house to wade through, you will do your best work by focusing on one room at a time. Besides, any large project is easier to complete if you divide it into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Use a system. Focus on the most used items. As you go through each room, set aside a place for each of the following: donations, keepsakes, items to be organized and put away, and trash. At the end of each workday, take time to put away the items you have chosen to keep. Be selective. Remember that you are downsizing, so make your selections carefully. You may actually need to go through this process twice as it is often difficult to make emotional decisions the first pass through.

Think about digitizing boxes and boxes of photos and photo albums.

Have donations and trash picked up promptly to prevent second guessing your selections. The sooner you have temptation removed, the better.

Once the cleanup is complete, check in often to make sure that day-to-day clutter is not getting out of control. Staying on top of the problem is far easier than wading through a year’s worth of accumulation, and maintaining a tidy living space will relieve stress for you and your loved one, as well as make the home safer for its inhabitants.

The good news is that we can help clean-out your house, help downsize family’s homes and liquidate your contents for items that are saleable and in demand. We offer on-site estate sale services and can remove contents and sell them via our array of proprietary resources. With Personal Property Managers…one call 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.

Downsizing? Why doesn’t anyone want my stuff?

Moving? Downsizing? Why can’t I sell my home contents? Who wants my stuff?

Insights and Tips on the home content re-sale market

Home Downsizing Tips PA NJAs home cleanout and content liquidation specialists, we are contacted multiple times each day from people who are either moving, downsizing, settling an estate or handling the affairs of an elderly loved and want to clean out their house and sell their home contents. 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 our home is worth a million bucks and the things that we have accumulated over the years are beautiful and everyone will surely want to buy them…right? Wrong.

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.

Our clients are often shocked to find out that no one in their family wants their china or old dining room set, but they still believe that someone else will certainly want it. Doesn’t it tell you something when your own family or friends don’t want your stuff?

Millennials and Gen Xers are resistant to the influx of furniture, kitchenware, and general stuff that comes with their parents’ downsizing.

Parents are often frustrated that they cannot even donate it. Then there is the challenge of content disposal and the transportation of it. When folks tell us their stuff is 20 or 30 years old, we have to tell them that there is little to no value to it. They often then get frustrated and don’t want to pay for the transportation costs associated with loading, driving and unloading their stuff just to get rid of it.

What about antiques? Unfortunately, the antique market has dropped off dramatically for all the same reasons. The younger generation just does not have the interest that there was some 15 to 20 years ago with antiques. So what is hot? Its furniture and items that are more contemporary in style and age. Items that are 3 – 7 years old and in great condition still have a market. This is typically called transitional furniture. We always ask people, how much would you pay for a 20 year old couch? If the answer is, I would not…or maybe $20…well then you really have your answer…don’t you?

It’s not all that surprising when you think about it. For one thing, younger generations might not have the space to store table service for 12. The average age of homeownership has been pushed back, and the number of millennials who own homes is at a record low.

Experts say it’s partly economic — 20- and 30-somethings buckling under student-loan debt and having trouble securing work right out of school don’t have the disposable income for many of the traditional life markers, like buying a home or getting married — but these grown kids may also have different value systems. On top of this 40 and 50-year-old parents are struggling with trying to figure out how to pay for their kids’ college and are nervous with today’s ever changing job market.

Consider some of the movements of the past few years:

Tiny houses. Tiny houses are less costly and have extremely limited storage. But that’s not deterring the people flocking to more-limited living space.
Scaled down capsule wardrobes. One of the hottest trends in the fashion blogosphere in the past few years is the capsule wardrobe, in which you wear only a fraction of the clothes you own, ultimately aiming to isolate those you no longer need.

Early retirement. The way people retire is changing, and some people are doing it earlier than ever through a combination of aggressive frugality and extreme saving.

Renting everything. Many younger adults see the appeal of renting everything, including homes phones and cars; and companies are happy to help them do it.
Experiences over things. Psychological research has repeatedly found that spending money on experiences rather than tangible things makes people happier, a concept embraced by 20- and 30-somethings, some of whom even cast aside traditional jobs and lifestyles to travel the world.

Large expenses – College bills and Credit card debt. Both parents and younger adults do not have the disposable income that was available years ago due to large college loans and ever-growing credit card debt

Low cost new furniture. The market place is flooded with new and lower priced furniture that is more in line with today’s style and preferences. It may not last as long as the well-made furniture of the past, but today’s buyers get bored with their furniture after 7 to 10 years and would rather buy new furniture and change the look of their home more frequently.

The younger adult generations simply want something different from their parents.

The good news is that we can help clean-out your house, help downsize family’s homes and liquidate your contents for items that are saleable and in demand. We offer on-site estate sale services and can remove contents and sell them via our array of proprietary resources.

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 begin your home downsizing project and cleanout

How to Begin Downsizing Your Home

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 a 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.

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.”

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 Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Top 9 secrets to selling your home

Top 9 Secrets to Selling your Home

Get the best possible price in the shortest amount of time.

If you are serious about selling your home at the best possible price and in the shortest possible time on market, then you’ll want to pay close attention to our top 9 secrets to helping sell your home.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into helping you sell and market your home 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.

#1: The first impressions are lasting… and are the only that matter
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You often use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

#2: Always be ready to show… you just never know…
Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

#3: The kitchen comes first… it’s often the first place people look
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

#4: Take the home out of your house… de-personalize your home
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

#5: Don’t over-upgrade… but keep it clean
Quick fixes before selling always pay off, however expensive makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

#6: Conceal your pets… not everyone likes pets
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

#7: Light it up… the more light the better
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

#8: Half-empty closets… clean them out
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

#9: Pricing it right… be grounded in reality
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 5 to 10 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids – even in the worst markets – and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

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 Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.