Moving Mom Monday: Best Moving Tips of All Time

Baby Boomer Couple with Moving Professionals

The article Top 50 Moving Hacks of All Time, contains 50 tips that can help you stay ahead of moving woes.

Try these:

1. For the 2-3 weeks leading up to your move, plan your meals around whatever frozen food, perishable items, or half open containers that you have around the kitchen.

2. Schedule your move for the middle of the month or the middle of the week to cut costs. It’s cheaper to move then!

3. To make picture frames more stable and protect your walls from scuffing, cut off pencil erasers and glue them to the back of the frame before hanging it up.

4. Wrap a rubber band around a hammer to prevent scuffing the wall when removing nails.

5. If you use plastic wrap, you can leave your items in whichever container or storage bin they’re in. For example, simply wrap your utensils organizer with plastic wrap instead of letting your forks and knives run loose in a box!

Read the rest of the tips at Top 50 Moving Hacks of All Time.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – 11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff

Cluttered Room

In the article 11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff, author Christina Tiplea shares a few huge benefits she’s discovered in owning less stuff:

You’ll spend less. Once you make the conscious decision to own less stuff, you automatically stop seeking out new stuff to bring into your home. It’s just a given. And by desiring to bring less stuff in, you will be spending less as well. A huge benefit!

You’ll have more time. You’ll be spending less time tidying up, organizing, and maintaining your things. This will leave you with more time to do the things you actually want to be doing. Sounds pretty great, right?

You’ll have more freedom. You’ll have a sense of freedom when you no longer feel like your stuff owns you (because let’s face it, to a certain extent it does). And also freedom from comparing your stuff to what others have. Simply because you just won’t care anymore!

You’ll have less stress. With less stuff, comes a lot less stress. I feel my stress lessening more and more as we continue to donate the unnecessary, and it really feels fantastic! I am someone who gets stressed out pretty easily, so this was a big benefit to me. I am not someone that can throw a box into a storage room and then completely forget about it. I feel uneasy where there are things in our home that we no longer use, typically accompanied by some guilt-induced stress knowing that we own things we aren’t even using. Especially when others could benefit from these things a lot more than we could.”

Read the rest of the reasons at: 11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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: Downsizing Baby Boomers – Is It Better to Rent or to Buy?

Baby Boomer Couple Talking with Financial Advisor

In the Washington Post article Downsizing baby boomers face a key decision: Is it better to rent or to buy?, author Michele Lerner writes that the rent-or-buy decision affects people nearing retirement:

“The rent-or-buy decision is more commonly thought of as a dilemma for young professionals establishing their households, not people approaching retirement. But whether it’s a financially savvy decision or simply the only solution when they can’t find a suitable place to buy, some baby boomers are choosing to rent an apartment downtown when they downsize.”

Some advice:

“Understand your goals. Many baby boomers who think they want to downsize into a city condo are surprised that it will cost them as much to buy a condo as they would pay for a house, says Ellen Sandler, a real estate agent with Evers & Co. Real Estate in Washington. ‘Some decide to rent to get the services and lifestyle they want, especially if they have enough assets to throw off enough income to pay the rent,’ Sandler says.

Investment options for renters. Tim Hewitt, a senior wealth adviser with the Wiley Group in Conshohocken, Pa., as well as a licensed real estate agent with United Real Estate in Wayne, Pa. says that 80 percent of his clients don’t want to rent because they don’t want to lose control over their home to a landlord and don’t want the possibility of paying higher rent in the future. ‘Those clients that choose to buy tend to make a large down payment or buy with cash from the equity from the sale of their home. and then try to cover their property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs with their Social Security or pension income,’ Hewitt says. ‘They can use their investment income for discretionary spending.'”

Read more at Downsizing baby boomers face a key decision: Is it better to rent or to buy?.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move

Cluttered RoomWhittling down a lifetime’s worth of belongings for a move into a smaller home can be a difficult and emotional task. How can you decide what to keep and what to toss?

In the Reader’s Digest article How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move, author Ian Landau offers tips you might not have considered when downsizing your possessions before you move:

Get an early start. If you wait until you’ve signed a contract on your new home, you’ll end up getting overwhelmed and tossing everything into boxes to take with you. So start going through your belongings as soon as you decide to move.

Work in concentric circles. Start in the rooms farthest from the heart of the home, such as the attic, basement, and storage rooms. That’s where there are more items that are simply being stored rather than used. Then move into the bedrooms, family room, and kitchen. Pack as you go through these rooms, and make separate piles of items you plan to sell, donate, and give to friends or relatives. Then get those items out of your home right away, so you won’t change your mind.

Involve your family. Items hold different meanings for various family members. You don’t want to save and store that box of toys from your daughter’s childhood only to find out later she doesn’t want them. You also don’t want to toss your son’s old baseball gear if it holds great sentimental value to him.

Be kind to yourself. You don’t have to get rid of everything you hold dear. If you’re really attached to an item and it would break your heart to let it go, keep it!”

Read more at: How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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: How Mom Can Get In On the Home-Sharing Economy

Elderly Lady with Nurse at Assisted Living Facility

In the Next Avenue article How You Can Get In On the Home-Sharing Economy, author Chris Farrell gives us a peek at the cottage industry, plus one man’s home-sharing story:

“Survey after survey shows that Americans want to remain in their own homes as they get older; it’s called ‘aging in place.’ Failing that, they’d like to live in someone else’s home – just not an institutional nursing home. Turns out, you may be able to make some money from this wish by launching a home-sharing operation or just renting out part of your own home.

Here’s the basic idea. Home-sharing programs — often managed by nonprofits — match older homeowners (sometimes empty nesters) who could use extra income with older local people looking for a reduced rent, usually in exchange for helping around the house. For instance, monthly apartment rents in Ann Arbor, Mich. average $1,300 to $1,400 a month, while the average home-share rent is $400 to $500, says Kim McKitrick-Thompson, head of the Housing Bureau for Seniors HomeShare Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.”

What is it like to share your home?

“Earl Roy, 81, lives in Ann Arbor, Mich. and has shared his home with several housemates over the past five years or so. ‘It has worked out for me,’ he says.

Roy, a former civil engineer who spent most of his career building and maintaining supermarkets, wanted to stay in his home. His wife didn’t. So they separated and she moved into a small condo complex in town. But Roy couldn’t afford to keep his place without extra cash to pay for it. He turned to the area’s Seniors HomeShare Program to match him up with renters.

‘I needed the income,’ he says. ‘And I don’t really like living by myself.’

Read more of Earl’s story at How You Can Get In On the Home-Sharing Economy.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – More Ways to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind

Donation Box Full of Household GoodsIn the Realtor.com article Moving? Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind, author Jamie Wiebe offers tips you might not have considered when downsizing your possessions before you move:

Sort, sort, sort. Go through each room of your house, from least-used to most-trafficked, and sort each and every item you see. Divide them into three piles: keepdonate, and toss. Having trouble choosing the correct designation? Take a cue from Marie Kondo and ask yourself, ‘Does it bring me joy?’ If the answer is a true, honest-to-God yes, add it to the keep pile. Otherwise, it’s time to say goodbye. ‘We would never recommend throwing out everything unless you have the means to completely outfit your new home, but getting rid of those items will make your new house a happier space,’ says Michelle Hale, the co-owner of New York City’s home organization service Henry & Higby. Once you have the donate and toss piles in order, deal with them immediately. The longer they sit, the more likely you are to put junk into your moving boxes. You’ve already said adios once—don’t force yourself to say it again.

Ditch the duplicates. Unless you’re holding onto something for sentimental reasons, now’s the time to get rid of doubles. Two wine holders? Multiple printers? Six table lamps when you need only three? Choose your favorites and downsize the rest.”

Read more at: Moving? Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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: How to Reduce Stress When Planning a Manageable Move

Baby Boomer Couple with Moving Professionals

According to the advice in the AARP article How to Plan for a Manageable Move, the first step is to decide what to take and what to leave. The process can be stressful and exhausting for everyone involved.

Here are some tips on how to make the process a bit easier:

Tips for Minimizing Stress

  • Parting with beloved items can be easier when they’re given to a beloved family member.
  • Note to recipient: Even if you don’t want the china, take the china. For your loved one, thinking that you will use and love the china is a comfort at a time when comfort is needed. Say thank you. Put it aside for six months. If no one in the family wants it, quietly consign or donate.
  • Phrases like “You don’t need that! It’s junk!” are not helpful. When the to-go pile swells, offer a gentle “This-one-or-that-one?” choice.
  • Sketch a to-scale map of the floor plan in your loved one’s new home. Cut to-scale rectangles, squares and circles to represent furniture. Your loved one can see what will and won’t fit without being told.
  • Focus on the upside. “What are you going to do with the money you make from selling the patio furniture?”
  • If your loved one is going to a community for the aging and he or she has a sturdy outdoor bench or birdbath, ask if it could be used on the grounds.
  • Take hourly breaks.
  • When your loved one has finished deciding what to jettison, urge a short rest. Use the time to bag donations.

Read more at How to Plan for a Manageable Move.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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

Savvy Seniors Living Seminars – Rightsizing 101 – Part 2

View this Rightsizing 101 video (Part 2 of a 9-part series) to discover the stories of how top downsizing professionals serving seniors in the Bay Area have helped their clients. Hear real-life experiences from Katherine Fogelman of Senior Sorters and Estate Liquidators, Tammy Jo Borosky of Clear Organizing, Karl Anderson of Anderson Bros. Movers, and Mary Lynne Murray of It’s About Time Organizing. This Rightsizing 101 seminar is part of the Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series hosted by Dayna Wilson, Senior Real Estate Specialist with Keller Williams Realty-East Bay. These 90-minute monthly educational seminars are presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend the free seminars to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. See the full seminar schedule at http://savvyseniorsliving.com/schedule/

3 Things You Should Know About the Recent Tax Cuts & How it Affects YOU

Tax forms calculator and pen

1. Mortgage Interest. Today borrowers can deduct interest paid on a mortgage amount up to $1 million. The bill limits the amount of interest paid on a mortgage amount up to $750,000 for loans after December 15, 2017. So how does this play out mathematically?

For example, if you have a $500,000 30-year fixed mortgage with a 3.75% interest rate, you’re paying about $18,750 per year in interest, and you could subtract the $18,750 from your taxable income and pay tax on the new lower amount of income.

Alternatively, if you were to obtain a new $850,000 30-year fixed mortgage with a 3.75% interest rate, you’re paying about $31,875 per year in interest. With the new bill, you could only subtract $28,125, since that would be the amount of interest you’d pay for the same loan, but maxed at the new cap of $750,000.

In higher cost areas where larger loan amounts are more common, this may change a taxpayer’s decision to itemize or not. With the standard deduction increasing to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for heads of households, and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly, many homeowners may find it is more beneficial to use the standard deduction as opposed to itemizing line after line.

2. Property Taxes. Today homeowners get to deduct all property taxes they pay when filing their taxes each year. The bill caps this deduction at $10,000. Let’s pretend you put 20% down when you got the $500,000 loan in the example above. This means you bought the home for $625,000, making your estimated annual taxes about $7,812. In this scenario, you’d still get to deduct the full $7,812 (since it’s less than $10,000). For homes in higher priced markets, the cap of $10,000 will remain, so if you’re concerned about what this means if you buy a home, I can help you analyze your options.

3. Capital Gains. Today homeowners are exempt from paying capital gains taxes on gains up to $250,000 (or up to $500,000 for married couples) when selling a primary residence. If you lived in the home two of the last five years, this means you’d pocket home appreciation up to $250,000 (or up to $500,000 if you’re married) tax free when you sold your home and then pay capital gains taxes on any appreciation above this amount—the calculation is a bit more complex, but this is the gist. Earlier tax reform proposals would have increased the threshold, but this bill keeps the two year minimum so many homeowners who may want to sell can still receive this benefit. (Source: LendUs 1/2018)

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REGISTER NOW: The Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series consists of 90-minute monthly educational seminars presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette, CA. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. This series of candid conversations and expert panel discussions about the unique and often complex issues facing long-time homeowners is moderated by Dayna Wilson, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® [SRES]® of Keller Williams Realty-East Bay, who has a team that provides comprehensive “senior friendly” transition services related to downsizing, late-life relocation, and (55+) senior living solutions. To view the complete 2018 Savvy Seniors Living Seminars Schedule and to register, visit http://savvyseniorsliving.com/

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READ: 5 Things That Affect Home Values You May Not Have Considered

Front Door Painted BrownSome of the features that increase property values are obvious: a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. Here are a few features you may not have realized can affect property values:

1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations, painting their home an less-than-desirable color or neglecting to care for their home or yard. Homes in or adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.

2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.

3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Plus, the shade they offer can add to energy efficiency in the summer. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.

4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in denser cities or in communities with town homes or condos can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.

5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers—many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.

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REGISTER NOW: The Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series consists of 90-minute monthly educational seminars presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette, CA. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. This series of candid conversations and expert panel discussions about the unique and often complex issues facing long-time homeowners is moderated by Dayna Wilson, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® [SRES]® of Keller Williams Realty-East Bay, who has a team that provides comprehensive “senior friendly” transition services related to downsizing, late-life relocation, and (55+) senior living solutions. To view the complete 2018 Savvy Seniors Living Seminars Schedule and to register, visit http://savvyseniorsliving.com/

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