5 Warning Signs That Your Parents May Need Your Help

One unfortunate aspect of aging is that living independently can become more difficult. What are some of the warning signs that your mom and/or dad may need assistance?

1. BRUISING

Older skin bruises more easily and they may not be telling you that they are experiencing falls, bumping into things, or have become increasingly unsteady. A medical checkup and a cane or walker may be in order.

2. FOOD CRISIS

An unexplained weight loss that isn’t the result of a health issue may be an issue with food accessibility. Check the refrigerator and cabinets. Unkempt food storage areas with ruined food, or a noticeable lack of food, may flag trouble in self care. Parents may be unable to clean or shop like they once did. Getting help with household chores, shopping, or meal preparation may be in order to be sure that healthy, fresh food is available while extending their ability to safely age at home.

3. UNPAID BILLS

Your parents may not be able to tend to paperwork and bills as they once did. You may discover piles of unpaid bills, cutoff notices, or even cancelled services. Ensuring that vital services are uninterrupted is essential since even a short loss of utilities can have an immediate and life-threatening result for older individuals. Helping them set up automatic bill payments, assisting them with bill paying once a month or hiring a bill paying service will eliminate this concern.

4. ODOR

If the house has an unpleasant odor, it could be the result of rotting food, the inability to clean and dispose of trash, a difficulty with hygiene or health issues that have gone undiagnosed (like a urinary tract infection). Track down the cause of the odor to determine what steps need to be taken to keep things safe at home.

5. HOME IN DISARRAY

Everyone’s house is messy from time to time.

However, as it becomes more difficult to move around and do regular household chores, these messes may become bigger. They should never progress to the point of creating health or safety issues. Consider hiring a cleaning service or an organization expert before things become too overwhelming. Let your parents know that you don’t want to intrude, but you are genuinely concerned for their health and safety and want to help them find solutions that help them stay in their home longer and remain safe.

 

5 Ways To Simplify Home Sales Prep

It’s often more challenging to get a home market-ready. If your not up to the physical and mental challenges of decluttering, packing up, and renovating your home, several new services and tools may make life a bit easier.page5image1918481232

#1 – Innovative Decluttering Services

If you or your family doesn’t have the time, energy, or physical ability to sift through a lifetime
of accumulation, a professional decluttering and downsizing expert may be able to facilitate the process.  
Some specialize in helping seniors with downsizing or organizing a move. To learn more and identify potential resources, visit the National Association of Senior Move Managers (nasmm.org), Certified Relocation & Transition Specialists (crtscertification.com), and the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (napo.net).

Another option you may want to try is a virtual decluttering services. Some providers now meet with clients via live video chats, using apps like Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. As a bonus, virtual decluttering services usually cost less than on-site providers.

#2 – New Staging Options

If your house is empty and you want to prep it for sale look online for other alternatives using search terms like “rentals to stage houses for sale.” This will likely return options like Cort (cort.com) and Brook Furniture Rental (bfr.com), which cater to short-term rentals.

If you’re on a budget, partial staging may be an economical option. Consider staging the entrance area for those all-important first impressions on house tours. Then focus on the main living areas of the home: the kitchen, living room, dining area, and master bedroom.

#3 – Virtual Staging Services

According to NAR Research, 93 percent of buyers use an online website to search for homes.If your home is vacant or you are unable to clear out some items before the property is put on the market, virtual staging may be a way to help improve first impressions online.

Services like BoxBrownie.com and VirtualStagingSolutions.com can remove clutter from photos, add virtual furniture, enhance lighting, and more.

Also, consider the potential downside of inflating buyers’ expectations of a property. If the online photos look substantially better than the real thing, buyers may experience disappointment and frustration when viewing the home firsthand.  To avoid this potential problem, some agents opt to display two photos of each room—one empty and one staged—in their listing photos.

# 4 – Fresh Approaches to Storage

Although not available in all areas, companies like MakeSpace.com and Clutter.com will come and pack up belongings (boxes and packing materials are included in the price), move them into a storage unit, and deliver them back to you (or to the new home) when requested.

The contents are cataloged online or in a phone app, so owners can decide what comes back and when.  Consider this option if you’re thinking about renting a storage unit.

#5 – New Renovation Options

If you have most of your assets tied up in your home, it can be challenging to finance renovations that could improve the selling price. A new company, Curbio (curbio.com), calls itself the “Pre-sale Renovation Experts.” It completes updates before a home is put on the market, but doesn’t collect payment until the house is sold.4

Curbio won the Pitch Battle at NAR’s second annual Innovation, Opportunity & Investment (iOi) Summit in Seattle last August, competing against 13 other finalists, all considered among the best new technology startups in the real estate industry. Curbio is growing but still serves a limited market.  If Curbio isn’t in your area, be on the lookout for independent, local renovation companies that specialize in making smart upgrades that can maximize your sales price.  Or ask for approved contractor list.

To learn more about preparing your home to be sold and home staging contact us and ask for our free Room By Room review home staging booklet.  It’s a comprehensive check list for each room of the house.  

 

 

 

Is An Accessory Dwelling Unit Right For You?

As a homeowner, you may be considering adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to your property: either inside your current home, as an addition to your existing home, or as a free-standing building. ADUs are also know as granny-flats, mother-in-law-apartments and so on. How can you determine if this is the right move for you?

RESEARCH ADU REGULATIONS

Determine if your area is ADU-friendly by visiting your city’s planning and zoning website, or by calling or visiting the local office. Some areas encourage ADUs and others don’t. Even if your city’s regulations seem to discourage ADU construction, you may be able to secure a waiver to build one. Ask.

DO A COST EVALUATION

If you want an ADU to bring in rental income, be sure to look at the total cost for permits, construction, and the increase in annual property taxes. Compare this to the monthly income you expect to receive to determine how long it will take for the ADU to pay for itself before you realize any income.

CONSIDER YOUR LIFESTYLE AND NEEDS

Important considerations include:

Privacy vs. Company – If you are a private person, having a renter on your property may present difficulties. However, if you are looking for more social interaction, finding the right renter may be just what you need.

Assistance – If you have special needs, consider trading maintenance, cleaning, or personal services for part or all of the rent on your ADU. It may be an economical way to retain your independence, even with physical limitations.

Aging in Place – If you want to age in place, an ADU built with universal design concepts may help you stay on your property, while simultaneously improving your financial situation. You could rent out the house that is too large or unsuitable for aging in place, while staying in the neighborhood you know and love.

Adult Children – If you have adult children who have returned home to live with you, an ADU may be an economical way to keep your children (and possibly grandchildren) close, while maintaining privacy for you and for them.

TALK TO YOUR REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST

An accessory dwelling unit may be exactly what you need. For additional perspectives, talk to me to help you determine if this is a good option for you!