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

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

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

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

Moving Mom Monday: How to Plan for 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:

Here’s how to start:

Step 1. Ask your loved one to name the six possessions that are dearest — not most needed or most valuable. Jewelry and anything smaller doesn’t count. Perhaps it’s the blanket your mom wrapped around her newborn babies, or the bureau handhewn by your dad’s grandfather. The chosen items are keepers.

Step 2. You’ll need six sticky-note pads in different colors, a marker and at least six boxes per room and per closet. Label them Move, Sell, Toss, Donate, Up for Grabs and Pass Along.

Step 3. Start with the least-used rooms — that’s where most of us stash the stuff we like the least.

– Before going in, try to agree to get rid of anything that is broken, cracked or worn out, unless it is an heirloom.

Read the rest of the steps 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

Moving Mom Monday: Moving a Parent to Assisted Living – More Strategies to Ease the Transition

Mother and Daughter at Assisted Living Facility

In the article Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition, author Liz O’Donnell writes that moving a parent, even a willing one, into assisted living, or any senior living facility, is fraught with emotion:

“Your parents may mourn the loss of their younger years, their independence, the home they built. They could be scared about aging, making new friends, finding their way in a new place.

You may be mourning all of those things too. You may second-guess your decision. Did we act too quickly? Overreact? Wait too long? And you will feel guilt. Guilt is inevitable. Know that all of these feelings are normal and don’t need to last forever.”

Here are strategies to keep in mind as you make the transition:

Allow yourself to feel discomfort. Speaking of home, know that when your parent says they want to go home, they may not necessarily mean their last address. It’s incredibly difficult to hear your parent say they want to go home. But know this: they may not be referring to their last address – especially if they have dementia; they may be referring to a childhood home. Home is both a place and a feeling. Sit with them in the discomfort of that statement and talk to them about what they miss. You can’t promise to change their situation, but you can hear them as they express their feelings. And that will help.

Acknowledge the difficult parts.Yes you want to paint the new move in a positive light, but don’t talk at your parents about all the wonderful new activities and people and opportunities. Listen to their fears and concerns and acknowledge them. Then help them get through it. They will be more likely to listen to what you have to say if they feel like you’ve listened to what they had to say.

Surround your parent with their personal belongings. Moving to assisted living usually means downsizing. The dining room table with two extension leaves and coordinating hutch may not fit in the new apartment. But what does fit, are photographs of family and friends, photo albums, favorite books, a familiar piece of artwork. If you need to downsize the bedroom set, you can still bring a familiar blanket and pillows. The kitchen may be new, but you can pack your mother’s favorite teacup. Leaving a home shouldn’t mean leaving behind the comforts of that home.

Limit new things. You may be tempted to furnish your parent’s new place with the latest and greatest in hopes they love their fancy new home. But limit new items. Moving into an assisted living facility is a major adjustment where everything is new – the people, the food, the routines. Don’t overwhelm your parents with a new phone or remote control for the television, or a fancy new coffee maker. Limit the amount of new things they need to learn.

Read more strategies at Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition.

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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: When Mom Moves In: Creating Boundaries and Expectations

Elderly Lady

In the article When Mom Moves In: Creating Boundaries and Expectations, author Elizabeth Pope suggests that combining households affects every member of today’s family: from toddlers to great-grandparents. Pre-planning, clear boundaries and open communication can help preserve harmony even under difficult circumstances. Here is some advice that can help:

Expectations and Communication. Moving a parent in with you changes the family dynamic and requires planning ahead and honest communication about ground rules and boundaries, says David Horgan, co-author of ‘When Your Parent Moves In’. ‘You can’t treat an elder like a house guest, always putting on ‘company manners’,’ Horgan says. ‘At the same time, you’ve got to preserve the core family’s unity while not making your parent feel useless or invisible. It’s a delicate balancing act, but have those hard conversations as soon as problems arise.’ Example: ‘Mom, sorry but we’re not having sit-down dinners every night.’

Horgan, whose late mother-in-law lived with his family for six years, says many adult children expect Grandma will be a live-in babysitter — only later realizing she needs care as her health declines. “If your parent has any medical or mental conditions, talk to doctors, visit local care facilities and find out everything you can about the prognosis of the disease,” he says. Before making the big move, consider moving in with your parent for a week or two to make sure you can manage his or her care on your own.

Getting the Help You Need. Home health care aides can help relieve over-taxed caregivers, but some aging parents resist outside help, warns Jody Gastfriend, vice president of Care Management at Care.com and LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker). ‘Your mother may resist having a home health aide so you can go shopping’ she says. ‘Parents have the right to make bad decisions, but we don’t have to enable them. Be careful about sacrificing your own needs, because that often leads to resentment and burnout.” Family caregivers should also beware making a frail elder the focus of attention, ignoring a spouse or children.'”

Read more at When Mom Moves In: Creating Boundaries and Expectations.

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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

SURVEY: Bigger House vs. Bigger Yard

Elegant Backyard in northern CA

Here in beautiful Contra Costa County we enjoy glorious weather most of the year. Outdoor living is becoming just as important as the indoors, according to a recent Taylor Morrison survey. Survey results found home buyers crave green space and more than half say they’d be willing to sacrifice living s/f  for a bigger yard.

The most important exterior features is distance from existing neighbors. Buyers of all ages believe breathing room is key, even beating curb appeal elements such as driveway, paint color and roofing finishes. Features such as outdoor ‘living rooms,’ retractable floor to ceiling glass walls, matching tiled flooring are helping to create today’s more outdoor-oriented homes. Interest in the great outdoors is stronger among women. The survey also shows having more yard is a consistent desire among parents and non-parents alike, as well as across generations.

So, when remodeling, you will want to keep this in mind. The next owner will appreciate it and possibly pay more for your property!

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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: Is Independent Living Right for Your Parents?

Baby Boomer Couple

In the article Should Your Parents Consider Moving to Independent Living?, children of older parents learn the reasons why independent living is a good choice for active, healthy older adults who can get around on their own and don’t need help with activities of daily living:

“Most people living in independent living still drive, may be employed, have active lifestyles, and participate in the greater city community.

Seniors might consider independent living because they:

– Feel that maintaining their house is getting more and more difficult.

– Have shrinking social circles and are getting lonely.

– Have lost a spouse and feel that joining a community of people their own age would help them stay engaged in life and prevent loneliness.

– Want to move to be closer to their kids, but don’t want to live with them, don’t want the upkeep of a house, and do want to make new friends in their new city.”

Read more at Should Your Parents Consider Moving to Independent Living?.

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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: Moving Aging Parents Into Your Home

In the Consumer Reports article Moving aging parents into your home, adult children will find advice on how to handle renovations, taxes, and dealing with your sibs:

“As our parents get older, many of us consider letting them move in with us. But the financial ramifications–including remodeling costs, reduced income, and the tax consequences–are often greater than people anticipate, says Bradley Frigon, an estate-planning attorney in Englewood, Colo. Here are some factors to consider before you extend an invitation:

Home-remodeling needs

If your house or apartment is too small to accommodate a parent, one option is to add space. But the cost can be substantial: A master-suite addition costs $111,245 on average, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report. Even if a major renovation isn’t required, you might need to make changes. For example, doorways should be 36 inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. Widening them can cost $500 to $5,000, depending on construction needs, says Bill Owens, a builder in Columbus, Ohio, who is a certified aging-in-place specialist, a designation given by the National Association of Home Builders. Or you can install swing-clear hinges, which allow doors to open entirely out of the door frame. Each hinge costs about $20 to $100.

An occupational therapist can assess the way your parent does everyday tasks to recommend renovations that will increase his or her safety. Projects might include additional lighting and adding grab bars. Ask your physician for a referral to an occupational therapist in your area. The average hourly wage is about $38, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Smart adaptions will help an elderly parent live safely in your home, and allow you to remain there as you get older.

Possible reductions in income

If your parent is still healthy, she can help around the house and contribute financially. But if she needs daily assistance and you decide to provide the care yourself, that usually requires taking time from work. For female caregivers 50 and older, the average amount of lost income, Social Security, and pension payments totals about $324,000, according to a 2011 MetLife study. For male caregivers 50 and older, the loss is $284,000.

A home health aide can provide such services as cooking, cleaning, reminding your parent to take medications, and taking him to appointments. They make a median of $20 per hour, according to the 2014 Genworth Cost of Care survey. Your local Area Agency on Aging office can help you find an aide, in-home skilled nursing care, and more.”

Read the rest at Moving aging parents into your home.

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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