Downsizing Woes – How to Help Your Senior One Part Ways and Move Forward

Like parting ways with an old, memory-filled car, there will eventually come a time when your loved one needs to consider downsizing to a smaller home. Perhaps there is too much house to maintain or the stairs to get the bedroom have become a safety hazard as well as a tiresome pain. Letting go is hard to do, and for your loved one, downsizing their home equates to downsizing their items, which can prove to be painful, sad, and overwhelming.

If you are currently helping a loved one downsize, we’ve listed helpful tips below to make the process as easy as possible (for more advice, see Closetbox.com’s 6 tips for downsizing here):

Take It Slow

When it comes to downsizing for a move, people often cling to items, even if they haven’t used them in 20 years, as a way to deal with the stress and fear of moving. In order to make downsizing less stressful, take it nice and slow.

Rather than charge full steam ahead, tackle the home room by room to avoid stressing your senior loved one both emotionally and physically. Preparing for a move should be thought of in terms of months. Spend a few hours each week going room by room, and frame decisions in a yes-no format, as open-ended questions create uncertainty and doubt.

The key to successful sorting and purging is organization. As you sort through items, avoid the insistence from your loved one to have a “maybe” pile. Instead, follow the OHIO rule: Only handle it once. Replace the “maybe” pile with the following three piles: keep, donate, and sell.

The most-used items should be kept, but if your loved one’s response to whether or not they use the item is that they want to keep it “just in case,” this is a sure sign that they’ll likely never use it and someone else could benefit from it. For items you wish to donate, make sure they are in good condition and only gently used.

Check with local charities to see which items they take and are in need of, and keep the receipt to use for potential tax deductions. If you wish to sell items, ask your loved one whether or not they feel comfortable being present. It may be too painful for them to watch, but some may feel better being able to tell the story behind the item someone is purchasing.

Get Creative

You may find that as you are downsizing, your loved one finds items that don’t fit a particular category. For example, they may come across an item from their past, such as an antique china doll, that holds value and memories but they no longer have the space or use for. Encourage your loved one to use this as a time to re-home items to family and friends.

Your loved one may feel better knowing that a particular item or piece will live on and be given the care and attention it deserves. Have your loved make a list of items they would like to gift and the person it should go to. Arrange for the items to be picked up as soon as possible, as seeing them go will surely be bitter sweet.

If your loved one is really struggling to part with a particular item but it can’t be kept, offer to make a scrapbook with pictures of their treasured items. You can even write the accompanying description of the item, as well as the story and memories attached to it.

While you are going digital, go ahead and digitize important documents, CDs, DVDs, videos, and pictures. Not only will this protect against inevitable wear and tear, but it will come in handy when relatives request copies of family photos.

Downsizing doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful as long as you have patience and take things slowly. Understand that any life transition is a huge change, and it is no different for your senior loved one. Be there for them during this change to help the process go as smoothly as possible.

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Do You Need a Closer? What you NEED to Know When Closing on Your Home!

You have submitted your offer and it has been accepted, now what?

There are many things that go on behind the scenes as you patiently wait for your loan to go through underwriting and for the paperwork to get settled for you to close on your new home. In all real estate transactions the title company will run a title search and examine public records to look for past deeds, wills, trusts, divorce decrees, bankruptcy filings, court judgments and tax records that may be faulty or outstanding.

It’s imperative that the title company you are working with is ahead of schedule, as any title issues that come up must be cleared up before the transfer of ownership happens. Knowing what some of the most common issues to look out for can be a huge help, really stressing the importance of using a realtor.

So what should you look out for when the title company gives you the preliminary title report? If you aren’t sure how to read it make sure you see your title agent for explanation on each item.

Items that may come up on the initial title search

Unknown Liens

This is the assurance that the contractor has when doing work on a home or property. The contractor would place a lien on the property before starting the work to ensure payment once the work is completed. Usually the problem comes up when the contractor fails to file a “satisfaction” of the lien and it remains on the properties title.

It’s imperative for the title company to make sure that the lien was filed properly and recorded in the public records. A mechanic’s lien can usually be resolved without much problem but it can be time consuming and could delay your closing.

Bankruptcies or Child Support

This is another source of title issues. One common occurrence is when a seller buys a property while single but then gets married to someone who has recently filed for bankruptcy. The title company must make sure that the spouse has signed off on the deed, and if not it, would be required to petition the court to release the property.

Another problem arises when a divorced parent does not remove a lien for child support. If the child in turn inherits the father or mothers property, a lien placed by the opposing parent could show up in the title search and it could potentially prevent a sale. The child would have to get the surviving parent to sign off that the debt has been paid in full in order to have a clear and transferable title.

Errors in Public Records or Forgeries 

When clerical errors affect your home ownership rights, it could be devastating. Errors such as an improper address or incorrect square footage could cause issues when running title searches. In this day and age we don’t live in a completely honest world. It’s important for the Title Company to run title searches to make sure there are no forged or fabricated documents that could potentially affect the ownership of the property

Boundary and Unknown Easements

This is a critical portion of the title and lien search. If you don’t know there are certain easements that could prohibit you from using your future land and or home it could cause serious consequences. Having the most up to date survey is also crucial for the home buyer as prior surveys could give neighbors or other parties the ability to claim ownership to part of your property.

What can you do to prevent issues in the future? The best thing you can do is to get title insurance, which will protect against any title problems that may come up after you close your real estate transaction. To get a quote on the cost of the policy speak to your title and closing agent. The cost for a policy is a one-time fee and the policy remains in effect as long as you own the property.

If you have any further questions about closing your transaction or issues that could come up please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Call Albin Hubscher at 407-404-4041.

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Advantages of working with a Licensed Realtor®

Central Florida Rental Market

Are you getting frustrated with the limited rental inventory? Like most people you are probably relying on Zillow, Hotpads, and Realtor.com to help you find a rental property. In today’s market you have to give yourself the advantage of working with a Realtor. There are numerous advantages of working with a licensed Realtor® that you may not have even thought about. Lets see if I can convince you to pick up the phone and call me (Albin Hubscher) to help you find your next rental property.

Advantages of working with a Licensed Realtor®

-Your agent can access the property without you being there and take extra photos while being able to Facetime with you if you aren’t able to make the showing.

-By Facetiming or having extra photos you may be more comfortable putting in an application before actually seeing the property.

-Your agent can walk you through the application process and answer any questions you may have about the application.

-Before spending your money on an application fee talk to your Realtor® to see if you are a qualified applicant for the property.

 Here are a few things to consider before paying that application fee.

-Do you make at least 3X the amount of the rent payment? (For example if your current gross income on a monthly basis is $6,000 a month you can qualify for a monthly rental of $2,000 a month.)

-Do you have background issues that would prevent you from qualifying for the property?

-How is your credit score? If you are unsure what your credit score is sign up to get a free credit score report. You can also contact your bank to have them run your credit score.

-Do you have pets? If so make sure that the property allows pets.

Now that you have filled out the application what is next?

Once you have filled out the proper application and paid the required application fee the waiting period begins. If the unit is being rented through a property management company it could take longer to get an approval. If the landlord is managing the rental your response to your application could come back much quicker. If you are approved the next step in the process is to agree on the terms and sign the lease.  If you are uncomfortable reviewing the lease you can contact your attorney to review any of the terms and stipulations on the lease.

Moving into your new rental

Now that you have signed the required lease it is time to move into your new rental. If you are needing a mover or any other help before you move in make sure to contact your Realtor® for any vendors they may recommend to make the transition as smooth as possible.

The best part about using a licensed Realtor®

In this ever changing real estate market it is very important to give yourself the competitive edge when looking for a rental property. The best part about using a Licensed Realtor® is that you there is no out of pocket fee. It is entirely free to use a Realtor when looking for rental property. Have I convinced you yet?

Pick up the phone and call me – 407-404-4041 when looking for your next rental property.

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