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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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Profiles of Today’s Homebuyers and Homesellers – 2018

Property Manager PA NJToday’s Homebuyer and Home Purchaser Profiles for 2018

Are you thinking about selling your home in 2018? If so, the market has shifted dramatically over the past several years. It is totally different than it was years ago. Today’s buyers are not apt to want to spend a lot to time and money to fix up and or rehab a house as they were in the past. Why? Because today’s home buyers are more in debt and are more time challenged than years ago. They are looking at things from a return on their investment of time and money. Today’s buyers are looking for homes that are in move-in condition. For today’s sellers this is important to understand. If a sellers home is not updated and in move in condition, then it needs to be priced commensurate with the upgrades that will be needed from a buyer perspective. In other words, the listed home selling price must be discounted to reflect the amount of time and money a home buyer will need to put into the house and also factor in that today’s buyers simply do not want to do the work that may be needed. Properly pricing a home to meet today’s buyer needs are desires is one of the most important considerations that a home seller should consider.

With this said, with the help of our friends at the National Association of Realtors, we’d like to share with you important profiles of today’s buyers. We are sharing this information with you with a keen eye on looking at things from various generational buyers perspective.

This is part of an on-going 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, senior transition services, property management and estate sales.

Home Buyer Profiles for 2018:

• The millennial generation is defined as those who are 36 years old and younger.
Generation X is 37 to 51
Younger Boomers are 52 to 61.
Older Boomers are 62 to 70
• the Silent Generation are aged 71 to 91.

Buyers 36 years old and younger made up the largest generation of homebuyers in 2016 at 34%.

Millennial buyers (age 36 years and younger) represent 66% or 2/3 of today’s buyers and were first-time buyers. Over one quarter or 28% of today’s buyers were Gen X buyers (age 37 to 51). So, 92% of today’s buyers were Millennials or Gen X’ers….

In 2016, the majority of recent homebuyers were married couples, and buyers 37 to 51 had the highest median household income at $106,600

Buyers 37 to 51 (Gen Xers), consists of 28% of recent homebuyers. They are consistent with their buying trends and demographics. Notably, they are also the most racially and ethnically diverse population of homebuyers, with 21% identifying they are a race other than White/Caucasian. Buyers 37 to 51 are in their peak earning years and thus their incomes are the highest among all generations of buyer types at $106,600. They are both the generation most likely to be married and most likely to have children under the age of 18 in their home. Their housing preferences are driven by these demographics. Buyers 37 to 51 have the highest median priced homes of all other buyers and buy the largest homes in median square footage and bedrooms. Their neighborhood choices are driven by their convenience to job, but also the quality and convenience of school districts.

Buyers 52 to 61 (Younger Baby Boomers) and buyers 62 to 70 (Older Baby Boomers) were broken into two separate categories as they have differing demographics and buying behaviors. Buyers 52 to 61 consist of 16% of recent buyers and buyers 62 to 70 consist of 14% of recent buyers. Buyers 52 to 61 have higher median household incomes and are more likely to have children under the age of 18 in their home. Buyers 52 to 61 are also more likely to buy a multi-generational home. As the sandwich generation, they are nearly equally likely to buy this type of home for both children over 18 living at home and caretaking for aging parents. Buyers 52 to 61 buy for an array of reasons such as a job-relocation, desire for a smaller home, and the desire to be closer to friends and family. Buyers 52 to 61 also project the length of time they will live in their home is the longest at 20 years. Buyers 62 to 70 are often moving due to retirement, desire to be closer to friends and family, and desire for a smaller home. Buyers 62 to 70 typically move the longest distance at a median of 25 miles and are least likely to make compromises on their home purchase.

Characteristics of Homes Purchased

Buyers of new homes made up 14% and buyers of previously owned homes made up 86%. For buyers 36 years and younger, 11% bought new homes again this year. New home purchased increased with age, 15% for buyers 37 to 51 years and 21% for those 71 to 91 years.

Most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity at 34%. Buyers who purchased previously owned homes were most often considering a better price at 32%. For buyers 36 years and younger, 48% bought new homes to avoid renovations and problems compared to 18% of buyers 71 years and older. 35% of buyers 62 to 70 years bought previously owned homes to receive a better overall value.

The most common type of home purchased continues to be the detached single-family home, which made up 83% of all homes purchased compared to 87% of buyers 37 to 51 years and only 65% for buyers 71 years and older.

Senior-related housing increased slightly this year to 14% of buyers over the age of 50; that number was 7% for buyers 52 to 61 years and 24% for buyers 71 years and older.

The typical home that was recently purchased was 1,900 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1991. The size of homes purchased by buyers aged 37 to 51 years old was typically larger homes at 2,100 square feet, compared to buyers 36 years and younger, and for buyers aged 71 years and older, they purchased homes at a median of 1,800 square feet. For buyers 36 years and younger, the median home that was purchased was built in 1984; for ages 62 to 70, the median home that was purchased was built in 1998. For homebuyers over 71, the median home that was purchased was built in 1999.

Heating and cooling costs were the most important environmental features for recent home buyers, with 84% finding these features at least somewhat important.

For buyers 36 years and younger, commuting costs were more important that heating and cooling costs at 39% and 31% respectively. Compared to buyers 62 years through 70, commuting costs was listed as very important to only 12% whereas heating a cooling accounted for 34%.

Overall, buyers expect to live in their homes for a median of 12 years, while 18% say that they are never moving. For buyers 36 years and younger, the expected length of time is only 10 years compare to 20 years for buyers 52 to 61 years.

At Personal Property Managers, we use all this information and all these statistics to help our seller clients understand today’s market and whom they are marketing to, along with the taste that today’s buyers desire.

A cluttered home will have a negative appeal and will turn off today’s buyers.

A home that has not been updated or has dark colors, wallpaper, older kitchens and bathrooms will be a turn off to a whopping 92% of today’s buyers. This is very important to understand. Today’s sellers need to factor this into the selling price and adjust it accordingly.

The good news is that at Personal Property Managers, one call does it all. We can help with selling a home. Downsizing and de-cluttering it. Liquidating its contents and getting it market ready for sale. We have a strong following of interested buyers and can help our clients in many different home buying and selling avenues.

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.

Top 7 tips – help make your home ready to sell

Top 7 tips – Help Make Your Home Ready to Sell

Property Manager PA NJIf you’re thinking of selling your home over the next few months, then you will need to make sure it’s ready. Although you can put it up for sale at any time, it certainly pays – literally – to take some time and do some work in it before you commit to putting it on the market. A few hours and for a few dollars spent here and there, will give you a healthy return on your investment when it comes to selling.

This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, senior transition services, property management and estate sales.

Joe Santoro, co-founder of Personal Property Managers lists 7 quick tips for getting your home ready to sell:

1. Clean Your Windows
Your house could be the cleanest, most lovely, most perfect house in the world, and it could be a real bargain too, but if your windows are dirty (inside or outside) then prospective buyers could be put off before they even step through the door. It takes a lot to change someone’s first impression of a property, which is why you want to make sure it’s a good one for as many people as possible. Consider having your windows professionally cleaned or you can simply take a few hours to do it yourself. Make sure you don’t just focus on the glass, but that you clean the sills and facias too. Not only will washed windows look much nicer, but the effect inside your home is better too, as more natural light can be let in, showing off the rooms as they are meant to be.

2. Make the Outside Welcoming
There may be many elements to the outside of your home that you don’t really notice anymore because you’re so used to them. It’s time to step back, and go across the street if you can to appraise what you can see. If you need to invest in new outdoor lighting, a welcome mat, some flowers, or even a new front door itself (or just paint and maintain the current one) then do it. Making the outside of your house attractive will ensure that more people take a second glance at the realtor’s brochures, or on the webpage your house appears on.

3. Paint It Up
If you’ve lived in a house for a while, there will be signs of life’s wear and tear. There might be scuff marks on the walls, or greasy fingerprints. There could be marks where pictures were hanging, and the sun has bleached around the frames. A freshly painted home (not costing a lot of money) can restore your home’s beauty. Fix everything up for you so that it looks well-kept. This can help you score you points with today’s buyers, and add thousands to the selling price of your property. It’s a job that needs doing, and if you do it rather than the new owners, they will pay for that thoughtfulness.

4. Lighting
When you’re showing prospective buyers around your home, lighting can be key. Change your bright white bulbs for something that is much softer and inviting. A more flattering wattage that gives your home a cozy feel and welcomes people into each room will go a long way to helping people make a decision.

5. Stage the Rooms
If you have rooms that aren’t really used for what they were originally designed (a spare bedroom currently being used as a junk room, a dining room being used as a study and so on), when you put your house on the market, turn those rooms back into what they are supposed to be. It’s easier for prospective buyers to see themselves in a property if you dress it right. It may inconvenience you for a short while as you try to sell, but if you make the house look great, that sale shouldn’t be too long in coming. Dress that spare bedroom as a bedroom – you can simply use a cheap bed frame (or borrow from a friend) with an inflatable mattress on, but be sure to dress it with complementing bed linens. Make your home have a dining room by tidying up your paperwork and renting a dining set – or, again, borrowing a table and chairs from someone. It will be worth the effort.

6. Use Smells
We’ve all heard of the idea that baking bread or cookies, or brewing up a pot of coffee before someone comes to view the property as a sure way to promote how homely and cozy the place is. The thing is, it’s not a myth. The sense of smell is the sense that is most closely related to memory and feelings. If you can evoke the feeling of comfort, a memory of childhood or happy times, then the potential buyer will automatically feel right at home, which is exactly the kind of thing that will lead them to buy it. If you’re not a baker, don’t worry; using scented candles can do the same trick.

7. Make the House Appear Bigger
You obviously can’t make your house bigger physically, but you can make it feel that way. You can, for example, lay down a striped rug, which will give the impression of a longer room. You can hang floor to ceiling drapes, which will give the illusion of a room with high ceilings. You can clear away clutter to show more floor space. In the yard, make sure there are no huge toys such as trampolines which take up a lot of space. These can be stored somewhere for the duration of the sale, or just until you have secured an offer. Above all…de-clutter your home. Clean out closets, basements, garages. We know this can be a challenge, especially if you have lived in your home for many years, but this is important, and we can help you with any of your downsizing needs.

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 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.

Top 5 Reasons to Buy a House in the Fall and Winter

Top 5 Reasons to Buy a House in the Fall and Winter

Take advantage of buying opportunities. True Bargains exist in the Fall and Winter.

Home Selling Tips PA NJWe are often asked if the fall or winter is the right time of year to buy a house or should a buyer just wait around till the springtime. We have outlined 5 reasons that now is a great time to buy.

This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com )who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, property management and estate sales.

Fall is here and the days are getting shorter; however, the benefits of buying a home continue to grow. The real estate market reflects the seasons – when the flowers and sunshine appear in the spring, the market starts hopping; and when the days get cooler and leaves start to change, the market starts to slow. A slower market is good for buyers, and here are five reasons why.

1. Price reductions from leftover spring inventory.
Spring is a common time for homes to go on the market. Sellers often list their homes too high to start, which results in a series of price reductions over the next few months. Generally, after Labor Day, sellers’ chances of capturing spring buyers begins to diminish. However, in the fall, buyers are likely to find sellers who are more motivated to sell, which may result in reduced prices, which may be below spring market value.

2. Less is better. There are fewer buyers on the market.
The coming of fall means back to school, sports and extracurricular activities. Families who are in the market for a new home usually aim to be settled by the beginning of the school season, which means they may remove themselves from the market in the fall and winter months. Fewer buyers competing against one another with means more opportunities for bargain buyers.

3. Tax advantages of closing before the end of the year.
A home is a major investment. Therefore, it has tax consequences. If homeowners want take advantage of capital gains or losses during this tax year, they will be motivated to sell. When shopping around, buyers should ask sellers if they are willing to make a deal if closing is before December 31st. Buyers will likely find many sellers eager to do so to get those tax benefits.

4. It’s a hassle for sellers to show a home during the Holidays.
The holidays bring gift giving, cooking, cleaning and entertaining. The last thing sellers want to worry about during this busy time of year is selling their homes and keeping it spotless for possible spur of the moment buyers. If homes are still sitting on the market come November, the homeowners are likely very motivated to sell before the hustle and bustle of the holidays begins.

5. Buyers will see a home’s true colors.
Once a homes pretty landscaping fades in the winter and fall, and the rain and snow set in, a home is truly exposed. Fall and winter are the best times for property inspections, as the weather reveals home flaws. It’s better to see these flaws before making an offer instead of getting unwanted surprises months after closing.

Please contact us for more helpful insights into the real estate market; buying or selling a property, home downsizing, estate sales and property management, please give us a call.

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.

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 a continuing series of articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com ), 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.

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.

Top 4 tips – How to Add Value to Your Home

Top 4 tips – How to Add Value to Your Home

Property Manager PA NJThe housing market is ever changing. Things that were important for buyers a few years ago may not be today. Sellers are always asking us what they can do to add value to their house. This is an interesting question, because keeping a clean house and keeping it updated are very important things but we advise people to be careful with what they buy and what they spend. Sellers will want to get the greatest return on their update value. With this said, we have put together the top 4 things that you can do to boost the value of your home without breaking the bank.

This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, property management and estate sales.

As a homeowner, you should focus on making your home appealing and more valuable. The more work you put into upgrading your home, the easier you will find it to turn a profit when the time comes to sell. The money and time invested into making these upgrades will more than pay off in the long run. Studies show that most homeowners will spend more on materials and upgrades in the first six months of homeownership than they will for the rest of the time they own the home. While that is understandable as you move into a home, it is equally important to constantly keep updating your home at a more moderate rate to keep the value of your home and work on increasing its value as time goes on.

Our 4 key tips for you to consider for increasing the value of your home are;

1. Paint. Keep it clean and fresh looking
The most affordable way to boost the value and appeal of your home is by having it painted. As time goes by, the paint on and in your home will begin to look a bit dull and worn. Rather than letting this dull paint reduce the appeal of your home, you need to get it fixed. If you are trying to sell your home, a fresh coat of paint can help to make it look new. Painting is probably the least expensive thing that you can do to help maintain the value of your home.

2. Kitchens are the focal point of any home
One of the most used rooms in a home is the kitchen. Making sure that your kitchen is both eye-catching and functional should be something you are passionate about. Over time, your kitchen may start to look dated and remodeling it is a great idea. When remodeling a kitchen, you will be able to update things like countertops and fixtures. Taking time to figure out which materials to use for this project is essential. Using granite on your countertops can raise the value of your home substantially. If you are unsure about what you want to change in your existing kitchen, then working with remodeling professionals is essential. These professionals will be able to inspect your existing kitchen and then offer suggestions regarding how to make it better.

3. An Energy Efficient home is Important to buyers
By boosting the level of energy efficiency, you can also add value. Hiring professionals to perform an energy audit is a great way to see where changes will need to be made. In many areas your local utility company will conduct an energy efficiency audit for free. Doing things like upgrading the doors, windows and HVAC unit in your home can provide you with far more energy efficiency. This will help to save you a lot of money on energy bills and can be a great way to reel in a buyer when you are selling your home.

4. Get New Flooring
Another way to boost the value of your home is by investing in new flooring. If the home you live in has carpet flooring, you should replace them with hardwoods. The hardwood flooring is both more appealing and will usually last a lot longer than carpeting. There are tons of different types of hardwood floors on the market, which is why you will need to do some research before making a decision. In fact, there is now engineered hardwood that cost about half of traditional hardwood and looks great. Years ago, everyone had carpeting. Today, the trend is hardwood flooring. It often gives a very comfortable feel to a room and is very much in demand to today’s buyers. It is one of the ‘must have’ for buyers today. Keeping up with current trends is very important now only for your own enjoyment but when it’s time to sell your home will stand out from your competition.

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.