Moving Mom Monday: How to Hire a Moving Company – Part Two

Two Seniors Holding Moving Boxes

In Part One of this series, we discovered three tips for hiring a moving company. Here are two more tips:

4. Review the estimate. This is your opportunity to get clarification and ask questions. Be sure to get any changes in writing. Verify how much the company will be moving, the distance it will be moved, the times your items will be picked up and delivered to your new home and the availability of additional services such as packing and supplies. This will reduce the chances of dealing with unexpected charges.

5. Get a written copy of the mover’s inventory list. Additionally, give the movers specific directions for getting to your home and exchange phone numbers in case you need to reach each other.

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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: How to Hire a Moving Company – Part One

Two Seniors Holding Moving Boxes

If you, or an aging loved one, are planning on moving, think about hiring movers to do the work for you. Moving companies reduce the stress of the moving process by transporting your belongings to your new place.  Some local movers specialize in ‘small moves’, great for seniors moving to senior living. Here are three tips for hiring a moving company:

1) Get referrals. If your family, friends or coworkers had a great experiene with a moving company, chances are you will, too. Ask around for names of two or three companies to consider. Be sure to get estimates for each.

2) Research online. Once you have your list of referred companies, research them online to make sure they are legitimate. Visit the American Moving Association’s website (moving.org) to see if the company is a member. Membership is voluntary and requires that members abide by the organization’s guidelines. Check review sites and social media to see what their customers say about them and if the companies have a history of customer complaints. Also, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website (fmcsa.dot.gov) and type in each company’s USDOT number to see if they are licensed and insured.

3) Get estimates in person. Many professionals may offer an estimate based on the number of rooms in a home; however, insist on an in-home estimate. Be sure to show them everything you want moved, including furniture, boxes and items that have not been packed yet so they can estimate the weight accurately.

If you’re moving to another state, ask for a written binding estimate or a binding not-to-exceed estimate, which will put a limit on what you will be expected to pay. If you’re moving within your state, the rules about estimates will vary by state. Visit your state’s website to learn more.

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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: Moving My Kicking-And-Screaming Elderly Parents 1,600 Miles To Be With Me

Elderly Couple Walking Along Beach

Arlene Nisson Lassin writes about her experience of moving her elderly parents 1600 miles to Houston, Texas…a trip her Mom and Dad did not want to make.  But first, a brief history:

“I moved 1,600 miles away from my parents to Houston as a young adult. As their generation aged, and our other relatives scattered, I became increasingly worried about them being there still, somewhat isolated, without a close family member looking after them. They lived in their aging home all by themselves and tried mightily to keep it up.

Fortunately, my dad was a robustly healthy, mentally sharp man into his mid-eighties and he still drove a car, managed his household, cared for his wife. Being a social guy and wanting something to do with his time, for many years he worked as a greeter and mascot for a local grocery store part time up until the past couple of months. It gave him a place to go, something to do, and pocket change.

When you live far away from your elderly parents, you are always walking on eggshells, dreading a phone call of illness or injury. I got that call this winter – having just turned 87 years old, my dad had taken a tumble down the stairs of his house. The strong ox that he used to be dissipated with this accident, and he felt frail, vulnerable, and shaky enough where he didn’t want to drive any more.”

Read more about the process Arlene experienced moving her elderly parents to Houston.

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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: What Important Documentation Do You Need?

Senior couple packing a miving box

Whether buying, selling, or leasing, every locale has its standard real estate sales and purchase contracts, disclosures, and professional documentation. Beyond the basics, however, it is recommended that families take time to create contingency plans and compile important documents when assisting older adults, particularly if they are frail, undergoing medical treatments, or experiencing elevated stress during the transition process.

1. General Power of Attorney (POA): Transfers the legal authority to act on one’s behalf to another party.

2. Durable Power of Attorney: Transfers the legal authority to act on one’s behalf for any legal task.

3. Special, Specific, or Limited Power of Attorney: Grants a designated agent the authority to conduct a specific, designated function. *

4. Death Certificate and/or a Will: Likely to be requested by the closing agent, regardless of the title held, if any of the property owners are deceased.

5. Trust documents: These vary widely in terms of the powers granted to trustees. You will need to provide pertinent trust documentation to one’s real estate professional or title representative/closing agent when requested.

6. Abstract: A complete record of all matters of public record that affect ownership rights to a particular piece of real property.

7. Home repair history: Accuracy is important when completing property condition disclosures legally required when selling most residential property. By simply compiling receipts for recent major improvements or repairs in advance, the completion of otherwise lengthy forms can be expedited, relieving any unnecessary stress and frustration for already overwhelmed senior homeowners or family members.

* NOTE: Having a general or durable power of attorney may be sufficient for signing listing documents or negotiating sales contracts. However, some title insurance companies and closing agents require specific powers of attorney when deed transfers are involved. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable real estate professional with access to legal counsel or a trusted real estate attorney regarding the laws governing real estate conveyances in your area.

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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: 6 Tips for Touring Skilled Nursing Communities

Registered nurse comforts elderly woman patient

Skilled nursing communities (also referred to as “long-term care communities”) attract residents who are no longer able to live independently and need consistent medical assistance.

If you have a parent who needs this type of care, here are some suggestions that can help you appraise a skilled nursing community:

1. Visit the community on different days and at various times, including mealtimes. Take note of staff morale, resident activities and nursing staff levels.

2. Talk to members of the nursing staff about how long they have worked there.

3. Ask the nursing community administrators about staff-to-resident levels.

4. Obtain a copy of the most recent state survey to learn whether the community has been cited for deficiencies.

5. Ask if they have a plan of care for each resident, and if it is revised continually. Ask to see a sample copy of such plans.

6. Contact the local ombudsman organization and ask about the specific long-term care communities in the area.

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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: Housing Needs Checklist

Helping your aging parents simplify their lives?

Here are the questions to ask when planning your parents’ housing needs:

1. Do they need an apartment on a ground floor?

2. Do they need special accommodations for accessibility?

3. Do they need assistance with daily living activities? (Bathing, dressing, medications, toileting?)

4. Do they need help with meal preparation? Do they need some meals provided?

5. Do they need a place for their car(s)?

6. Will they be bringing pets to their new location?

7. Do they need a place that offers social activities?

8. Do they need housekeeping help?

9. Do they need a yard, patio or porch?

10. Do they need to be close to their current neighborhood?

11. Do they need to own?

12. Do they need to rent?

13. If buying, how much can they afford for monthly house payments?

14. If renting, how much can they afford for monthly rental payments?

15. What other factors are important to your parents when considering a move?

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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?

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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?

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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 One

Helping your aging parents simplify their lives can feel daunting and stressful.

While adult children may have their parents’ best interests at heart and think they have all the answers, they don’t always know what’s best for their parents. One of the biggest mistakes? Waiting until a crisis occurs to have the conversation about housing and care options is the number one mistake we see in most families.

So, how does one help Mom and Dad go about selling a home they’ve lived in for decades and one that is full of a life’s worth of ‘stuff!?’

It all starts with a plan.

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

1. HEALTH CARE OR NUTRITION: Are you tired of planning and cooking dinners every night? How would you describe your diet? Do you need assistance with grocery shopping and food preparation? How would you describe how you feel physically and emotionally? How many doctor appointments do you have scheduled per month? Will that change in the future?

2. TRANSPORTATION: Are you still driving? What are the options in your area if you need to stop driving at some point? Do you drive yourself to your doctor appointments now? Do you find yourself depending on rides from family/friends more these days? Do you ever use public transportation? Will you depend more on public transportation in the future?

3. LIVING INDEPENDENTLY: How long do you think you can live independently? What household tasks seem more difficult to accomplish now? What household tasks (lawn care, housekeeping, etc.) can you still handle? Which tasks do you need help with? Do you know who is available — volunteer or professional — to give you assistance?

4. CURRENT LOCATION: Do you want to stay close to your current neighborhood or move to another area? How important is it to you to have your family nearby? Will that change in the future?

5. FAMILY: How involved are your children and other close family members in your every day life? If so, how would you want that to change, if at all?

6. FRIENDS: Who do you consider your close friends? Do they live nearby? Will that change in the future?

7. TYPES OF ACTIVITIES: What activities do you participate in now? How important is it to you that you continue to participate in these activities?

8. LIVING SITUATION: If you were to move out of your current home, what type of living situation would appeal to you? An apartment? Senior living community? A smaller private residence? Could you rent or do you need to own?

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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