Freedom Friday: How To Plan A Multi-Generational Family Vacation Without Losing Your Mind

multi-generational group on beachIt began with a group text. Author Lauren Cormier, her three sisters and mother, chatted about how fun it would be to get together for a big family vacation.

At first it was just talk, tossing around location ideas and what time of year would offer the nicest weather, but slowly the talk transformed to serious planning. Before she knew it, the five families (ten adults and ten children) were all together for a week-long vacation in Florida.

If you’ve considered going on a similar multi-generational vacation, you’re not alone. According to AARP, about 25% of trips that baby boomers anticipate taking are with extended family.

Read more to discover tips on how to plan a multi-generational vacation

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: 4 Tips to Start a Bidding War on Your Home

Chalk drawing of house and dollar sign on blackboardPrice low to sell high.

Listing on the high side and testing the market doesn’t work. Your home will sit on the market and you are helping the neighbor down the street to sell his home. Listing below market value will attract attention, increase traffic flow and generate showings in the first few days.

Set a deadline for offers: Yes, this is scary, as you may not get any offers. Yet, it can light a fire under the procrastinators. Agents and buyers like to know the expectation of when contracts will be reviewed. You can wait until the first weekend of open houses to determine if this is the best course of action for your property.

Spark interest ahead of time:

Announce your Coming Soon listing before placing the details on the multiple listing service. Using social media channels is a strategic way to begin creating a buzz. Mass emails to potential buyers and realtors is also key. You can also list the home on the MLS, but state no showings are allowed until the open house. People want what they cannot have.

Create a unique open house experience:

People want to come to a party. How about a neighborhood sneak-peek? I had a lovely property with a pool cabana and offered chair massage. Another, I hosted an art show. The next will offer interior design tips from my stager extraordinaire. Stand out, be different and entice people to come see the home and experience it for themselves.

Wellness Wednesday – 8 Healthy, White Foods

bowl of yogurtYes, even a few carbs made the list!

Colorful fruits and vegetables might get all the love, but some white foods have terrific health benefits, too. Thanks to the folks at AARP, here are a few white foods to add to your shopping cart.

Find out more about the 8 healthy white foods

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – Downsizing with Estate Sales – Part One

estate sale shopping cart signDid you know that most estate sales occur when the homeowner is downsizing?

In this two-part series, you will learn the important things to know when considering using an estate company to conduct your downsizing sale.

What do these companies do for me? Estate sale companies evaluate and set up your items to sell, price them accordingly, monitor the sales and the flow of traffic, and provide security and extra personnel to deter theft during the sale. They will arrange for appropriate permits and advertise your sale in advance, to ensure a high flow of traffic.

What goes and what stays? Estate sale companies will ask you to leave everything you want sold in the estate sale exactly where it is, allowing you to focus on packing and removing just the items you want and need – no sorting, organizing or arranging items you no longer want. For instance, simply leave that 45-piece china set in the cabinet and the estate sale company will clean it and ensure it’s attractively displayed. Lastly, estate sale companies also recommend that you do not discard any items – allow them to be the judge of what should be thrown away, taking the guesswork out of the equation for you.

How are my belongings priced? Estate sale companies are experienced in pricing items based on current market value. Although to you, your great grandmother’s old and tarnished teapot may appear worthless, an expert might recognize its real market value. These companies’ personnel are often trained in antiques and appraisals – their expertise in pricing your belongings at appropriate market value will help you maximize the results of your sale or auction.

Why not just have a garage sale? You can request the estate sale company set a “reserve” on any item. If it does not sell for the minimum amount you set, you can keep it instead of selling it for less.

Next Toss It Tuesday – Downsizing with Estate Sales – Part Two

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Questions to Ask Aging Parents When Planning a Move – Part Three

Helping your aging parents simplify their lives includes a plan for preparing for a physical move.

In Part One of this four-part series, published on this blog every Monday, we started a list of questions to ask your parents concerning their current lifestyle…and how they see it changing in the future.

In Part Two, we discussed the questions to ask that can help determine where your parents stand financially.

In Part Three, here are the questions to ask when planning your parents’ move to a new location:

1. WHAT TO DO WITH POSSESSIONS: Which items do they want to keep and take with them, give to family and friends, liquidate or store?

2. MOVE ASSISTANCE: Who will assist your parents with the details of the move? List professionals, family and friends.

3. TIMING: What date or time of the year would your parents prefer to make the move?

4. PREPARATION: What will your parents need to do to prepare their house for sale?

5. EXPERIENCE: What can your parents learn from other people who have been through this type of downsizing move?

6. MEDICAL: Will your parents need to consult with their physicians regarding health care needs as they move?

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Questions to Ask Aging Parents When Planning a Move – Part Two

Helping your aging parents simplify their lives includes establishing where they stand financially.

Finances are a key component when planning a parental move, affecting how and where your parents will live. Managing your parents’ finances are not like managing your own, especially if you don’t have all the information you need.

Again, it all starts with a plan.

In Part One of this four-part series, published on this blog every Monday, we started a list of questions to ask your parents concerning their current lifestyle…and how they see it changing in the future.

In Part Two, here are questions to ask that can help determine where your parents stand financially:

1. MONTHLY INCOME: What is your parents’ monthly income today? Is it expected to change in the future? If so, what will be the difference in monthly income?

2. SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS: Determine how much your parents have in savings and through investments. What investments do they have? Where are those investments held? Who are the contacts for the investments? How are these investments titled (joint accounts, individual, etc.)? Is there a financial adviser in the picture? Also ask about IRAs (individual retirement accounts), credit union accounts, bank accounts and insurance policies.

3. HOME EQUITY: How much equity can your parents expect to receive from the sale of their home?

4. ESTATE SALE: How much can your parents expect to earn from an estate sale?

5. MONTHLY EXPENSES: What are your parents’ monthly/annual expenses? How will these expenses change when your parents sell their home?

6. MOVING EXPENSES: Will any family members be contributing to your parents’ moving and/or living expenses? If so, who will be participating? How much will each person be contributing? Will these contributions be one-time payments or payments that continue on a monthly basis?

7. OTHER BENEFITS: What types of benefits do your parents have that can offset their housing expense? Is either parent a military veteran?

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

It’s About Time! 4 NEW TIPS for Home Sellers

If you live in Contra Costa County, you know it’s been a Seller’s Market for awhile now. Values are up, inventory is down and interest rates are still around 4%. Even so, it takes more than plopping a sign in the front yard to successfully close an escrow. Since the time is right to sell for top dollar, here are 4 things to get homeowners up to speed on this fast and furious market:

#4 Price it Right: What is the average amount of days on the market now? Answer: 18 days. If your home is still sitting on the market over a month, will buyers assume something is wrong with your house? Today’s buyers are well informed and savvy and know when a home is overpriced. Your agent will help you determine the right price, the market price, what makes sense.  Statistically, if you ask 10% over fair market value, you just lost 30% of potential buyers who would have looked at your property. And, you will be required to drop your price when new, lower priced listings pop on to the scene.

#3 Pay to Stage: Bare rooms look sad and well, empty and unappealing. Staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more. (2015 Profile of Home Staging Survey) Cannot afford $2,500. – $5,000? At least consider staging the public rooms and master bedroom, as the kitchen, living and master bedrooms are considered most important to buyers. You should get a substantial return in this upfront investment.

#2 Market for Maximum Exposure: Professional photography is a must, and now videography is also the norm. It allows buyers to virtually walk through your home before getting in their car. I’ve heard 1 in 5 buyers purchase their homes sight unseen! We also make use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other forms of social media. You’ll want to spread the word to your social media ‘friends’ as well. Our team also has access to over 600+ real estate-related websites so your listing will be seen across the nation and the world.

#1 Prepare for Multiple Offers: You and your agent should have a strategy for how you wish to respond to more than 1 or 2 offers. It’s really what is important to you. Have you already moved out, or do you need to rent it back? Sometimes the highest offer isn’t the best offer. There are a multitude of ‘terms’ that are also negotiable between buyer and seller. Contingencies, closing date and the type of financing, etc. all can play a part in how a seller decides to respond.

Let’s sit down together and discuss your personal situation and your options. You know why you need to move; I just want to help you get there faster.

Transition Thursday – Tips for Prepping Your Home for Sale

A house in the suburbsWith the high inventory of homes on the market today, home buyers can afford to be choosy. Buyers are looking for the best, so a home for sale can easily slip through the cracks if it’s not in pristine condition. Use these 10 tips to whip your home into shape and wow potential buyers. >> http://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/10-ways-to-prep-your-home-for-sale

====

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – Tips for Staying Healthy as You Age

The Importance of Mobility for Aging Well

As quoted in an April 15 Washington Post article by Steven Petrow, Miriam C. Morey, professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine and senior fellow in its Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development has advice for seniors who want to maintain their mobility as they age:

“As you get into the older age bracket, you need to reset your thinking in terms of whatever you’ve been doing and what you want to do in the future. We need to transition into thinking about mobility, how to augment or enhance it.

From an exercise point, ask: Are my legs strong enough? Can I get out of my chair without using my hand to help?

Do a simple test: Put your arms across your chest and see if you can get out of the chair without using your arms.

Also, what is my balance like, because once you reach this age [many] start to lose their balance. Can you stand on one leg? Start practicing.

You should think about your strength because that’s one of the most important thing about maintaining your independence. Do less cardio and do more things for strength — lower- and upper-body.”

Read the rest of the article

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – Tips for Getting Rid of All That Stuff You Don’t Need

Simplifying your aging parents’ life can be complicated and stressful…especially when downsizing their belongings before a move to a more manageable living space.

TIP: When in Doubt…Sort It Out!

Use these categories to sort your parents’ belongings:

1) Necessities – What are the most commonly used items in your parents’ everyday living? Furniture, personal toiletry items, kitchen and eating utensils, clothing, and more. You want to make sure these items are moved to your parents’ new location.

2) Family Heirlooms – Jewelry, furniture, china and more.

3) Sentimental Items or Keepsakes – Gifts, photos, souvenirs

4) Disposables – so sentimental value and not useful at new location

5) Charitable Contributions – unwanted musical instruments, craft supplies, books

6) Trash – all items that can be thrown out

7) Valuables – items that can be sold

PROCESS: Use three different colors of Post-It notes to classify the items in Categories 1 (Necessities), 2 (Family Heirlooms) & 3 (Sentimental Items) that will go with your parents to their new location. This will make it easier for you to figure out what needs to go where as you sort through your parents’ possessions.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582