Gracious Moves - Senior Transition Specialists
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Assisted Living vs. Staying at Home

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 22 September 2013
 
Assisted Living vs. Staying at Home.
 
Are you considering the option of moving to an assisted living community or trying to stay at home?  Most people I consult with tell me they are trying to stay in their homes for as long as possible.  Here are some things to consider.
 
Assisted living adds a safety component to seniors living alone.  It can be the difference of life and death.  Falling is one of the most frequent accidents I see in the elderly, and falls can change your life in an instant.

Possession Paralysis - Do you feel trapped by stuff?

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 28 July 2012
 
Possession paralysis, surprisingly, is real.
 
David Ekerdt, a gerontologist with the University of Kansas, was in search of answers.  He and his team wanted to know whether the sheer volume of possessions that seniors acquire over decades become an obstacle to late-life downsizing.
 
Specializing in senior move management and real estate services, I know how physically and cognitively daunting the process can be for my clients.

Ditch the Lawn Mower! Is Condo Living for You?

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 21 July 2013

Ditch the Lawn Mower!  Is condo living for you? 

At this time of year, many of my neighbors are toiling under 98 degree heat, and above the hum of the lawn mower, I hear them swearing they want to move to a condo.   No more lawn mower…lots more golf!  

Sound familiar?  If the lure of a carefree, turnkey lifestyle appeals to you, then certainly a condo is a solution.  So, how does condo ownership differ from the home you just sold?

Working with Hoarders - Oh My! Part III

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 14 July 2013

Working with hoarders – oh my! Part III 

For the last two weeks, we have looked at various hoarding characteristics, levels of hoarding, and discussed the dilemma we find ourselves in when a hoarder must be moved to a downsized home or to assisted living. 

Most often, family members, estate attorneys or financial planners contact me to help them with cleaning out a home, moving the occupant and ultimately selling it.  Sometimes the elderly parent or occupant is still living there, but in dangerous and unsanitary surroundings.

Working with Hoarders - Oh my! Part II

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 7 July 2013

Working with hoarders – oh my! Part II 

Last week we cracked open a door on the subject of hoarding and I mentioned there are many types.  The toxic hoarders, requiring Hazmat suited professionals to do everything but tear the house down, are thankfully few and far between.  Today, we will explore problems associated with hoarding and the levels of hoarding that we face in the real estate and move management business.  

In the last 5 years, with foreclosures and short sales being a significant part of our real estate world, we Realtors® have experienced trashed or neglected homes, some with animals left behind, and many that require professional clean out.

Working with Hoarders - Oh My! Part I

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 30 June 2013

Working with hoarders – oh my! 

Hoarding has become a popular subject, written about in magazines and is even the focus of television reality shows.  This is the first of a two part series, as we explore hoarding from a real estate and move management perspective.   

It is often a source of embarrassment for the person who suffers from this disorder, and is always frustrating for the family members who spend their lives trying to “fix” the situation.

Embracing the Old - Go Retro!

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 23 June 2013

Embracing the old – go Retro! 

What if my home is hopelessly out of date?  Realtors frequently face the dilemma of helping a client sell their home that has not been updated since the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. 

When there is no budget for changing out counter tops and appliances, and major renovations are out of the question, then embrace it!  Going Retro has its own charm, and you can work with it instead of working against it.  And, believe it or not, the look is making a comeback!

Does your house pass the "Hotel Test"

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 16 June 2016

Does your house pass the “Hotel Test”? 

Staging your property, inside and out, can make the difference between selling your house or not.  But do you know the philosophy behind staging and why it works?  

Adopting the “Hotel Philosophy” is another way of looking at this concept.  In a hotel, you carry in a small bag of personal belongings.  Everything else you need is there and no unnecessary items are cluttering up the space.

Don't Skimp on the Repairs

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 2 June 2013

Last week we talked about visually expanding your space to create the illusion of larger rooms.  Space is luxurious!  It is a treasure, and buyers want more of it.   

So, now we will explore maintenance and repairs.  Boring?  Not really, because it can mean the difference between selling your house, or not.  

Buying a resale home is sort of like buying a used car…if a car is clean, smells fresh inside, and has all the maintenance records to prove it has been well kept, a person can reasonable conclude the car has been loved and appreciated.

"Visually" Expand Your Interior Spaces

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 26 May 2013

“Visually” expand your interior spaces. 

In real estate speak, “cozy” means small, and “spacious” means large.  So, how do you make “cozy” seem “spacious”, which appeals to more buyers?  Here are some tricks of the trade…  

Let there be light! Brighter interiors are more compelling, more spacious, more attractive.  Lighting dark corners expands a room and visually makes it look larger.  Add lamps or accent lighting to fix dark spaces or create visual drama.

Plan Before You Sell Your Home

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 21 April 2013
 
Plan for your next home before you sell.
 
The road map to a secure financial future, and knowing what you can afford to buy or rent after you sell your home, is all about planning.  Meeting with a financial planner is an important step in the process of knowing how long your retirement money will last and what you can afford to spend on your next home.
 
Too often I meet with senior customers who want to list and sell their home, but don’t have a clear picture as to what comes next.

Moving Mom...Finding the Perfect "Last" Home

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 10 March 2013
 
Finding the Perfect “Last” Home
 
Whether you are looking for a vacation home that will become your retirement dream come true, or you want to downsize to simplify your life, or you have a large family that wants to visit all at the same time, there are things to consider when choosing your “last” home. 
 
Last week we began to discuss certain structural qualities to look for when buying a last home.  A home where you can age-in-place should include wide doorways, clear space for wheelchair mobility, barrier free entrances, with provisions that can be made for features to be adapted as needed.

Moving Mom...Finding the Right 2nd Home for Retirement

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 3 March 2013
 
Finding the Right 2nd Home for Retirement
 
The Azaleas are already blooming in the south, and the snow is still flying in the north.  Dreams of warmer weather and vacations homes are invading the sleep of the snow bound…and many northerners have escaped to our area to find their next, and possibly, “last” home.  With the market improving, downsizing makes sense, so are you thinking about a change?
 
The good news is, sellers are now more realistic in their pricing, and homes are selling again.

Moving Mom...When is the Right Time to Move?

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 20 January 2013
 
When is the Right Time to Move? 
 
Frequently, I consult with folks that are thinking about moving, but can’t quite take the plunge.  “I’m not ready” is a common comment heard by the retirement communities, and yet the same seniors are calling me to discuss the transition.  Surprisingly, the seniors that finally bite the bullet and make the move are grateful they finally did it.
 
My heart breaks when I watch seniors become lonely and reclusive, watching their friends move away to be with family or simply into a smaller maintenance-free home or retirement community.

Moving Mom...Should You Update Before Selling?

 
As published in the Savannah Morning News - 13 January 2013
 
To update...or not? 
That is theThis is the common question among seniors and their children when making a move.  Many seniors have owned their home for years, and often without updates.  What are your options when you have an “original” that must be sold?  I am not referring to historical treasures…a 70’s ranch is more of what I have in mind.
 
My advice is unless you have the energy to go through it, don’t.

Moving Mom...Good Gosh, Gertie, This is Hard!

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 6 January 2013
 
MOVING MY MOM...I GET IT!!!
 
Brooke and Mom, movingIn December, I movedmyMom.  Wow, I have a new empathy for Baby Boomers who are facing this passage in life.  Even though I help families sell their homes and move into new ones, moving my own mother was a whole different ball game!  So, I will share our story, but first, I would like to introduce you to my mother, Mary.  I have enclosed a photo of us taken this Christmas.
 
I love my Mom, and we are very close, so I don’t want you to take this the wrong way.

Moving Mom...Listing the Home for Sale

As published in the Savannah Morning News - 7 October 2012
 
Listing the Home for Sale
 
Real estate, movingWe have come a long way in preparing the house for sale!  In this Moving Mom series, we have discussed getting the house ready, and now it’s time to put it on the market.  Today we will discuss choosing your Realtor® and how to prepare for your meeting.
 
How do you know which Realtor® is right for you, and do you really need one?  Well, I am one, so don’t take this the wrong way…there is a quagmire of steps to go through and knowledge you must have to sell a home in today’s market.

Moving Mom...Part II

As published in the Savannah Morning News - September 30, 2012
 
Let's Step Inside
 
Last week we talked about curb appeal and enticing a potential buyer to want to come inside to see more.  It’s show time, and a buyer is going to open every door, looking for adequate storage space, functional kitchens with updated appliances, spacious closets and open, light rooms.  They will peek in places that you have not even considered…under the sinks, the attic, and in all the nooks and crannies.

Moving Mom...Preparing the House for Sale

As published in the Savannah Morning News - September 23, 2012
 
Preparing the House for Sale
 
Real estateLast week we discussed the big move, and I have many clients who downsize prior to the sale of their home.  Some stay at home until the house is sold, but either way, the preparation is the same if you want to sell your home at top dollar.  There are things that you need to considerprior to listing it for sale.  What will make your house “stand-out” in a market still glutted by homes for sale?

Moving Mom...Let's Move!

As published in the Savannah Morning News - September 16, 2012
 
Let's Move!
 
Dog in box, movingIn this 7 edition of our Moving Mom series, we address the next challenge: finding a mover you can trust. Here, word of mouth goes a long way.  Check movers out with the Better Business Bureau, and do an on-line search to make sure they are legitimate.  Ask for their website address, and be concerned if they do not have one.  Do they have a physical address or are they a fly-by-night company…here today and gone tomorrow?

Moving Mom...Getting Rid of Stuff!

As published in the Savannah Morning News - September 9, 2012
 
Getting Rid of Stuff!
 
Yard Sale, movingEvery time my clients decide to discard something, or donate it to charity, I cheer!  I know it sounds strange, but there is so much stuff that accumulates over time, it’s a reason to celebrate!  In Senior Move Management, our job is to help the Senior choose what will move, and what will not.  When Staging their next residence, we have determined what furnishings will fit in the new home, but what about the rest?
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