How to Successfully Buy a House Remotely

By Scott Russell

Today, it’s amazing how much business we can conduct in the comfort of wherever we are. People can shop online, carry out banking activities, and work from home remotely. Things have gone a step further because you can now even buy a house remotely.

There are many reasons why someone would want to buy a house remotely. According to the New York Times, about 63% of buyers made an offer on a home they hadn’t seen in the months of November and December 2020. In addition, 75% of millennial homebuyers are now working remotely because of the pandemic, and 63% of this population admit that their home search is motivated by the fact they have become remote workers.

If you’re a buyer looking for your next home, this spells wonderful news in many ways, but of course, you need to be cautious throughout the process. The convenience of online transactions is often tempered by its risks, but it’s possible to secure a positive outcome if you do your due diligence and you have an experienced real estate agent assisting you.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know to buy a house remotely and successfully.

Partner With the Right Agent

The importance of finding the right agent can’t be overstated, and this is typically the first step if you want to ensure a successful home-buying experience. That’s because when you’re buying a house remotely, you still need an agent that can vet the place for you and give you the first-hand details you need to know. In a nutshell, here’s what you need to consider when choosing the best agent.

  • Local agent. The agent should be closely familiar with the neighborhood and the community, the available amenities, and other interesting tidbits. They can also help provide information about the best local lenders and home inspectors in the area.
  • Experience. The agent should have sufficient experience with the remote home buying process. This ensures that the agent will be able to walk you through the process and explain any technologies that may be needed to make the process smoother. Experienced real estate agents are more likely to find the most suitable properties and negotiate a better price for you.
  • Availability. Buying real estate remotely requires a lot of back and forth, so it’s essential that the agent should have enough time for out-of-town clients. The agent needs to be available both during business hours and after hours so that everything can move forward quickly.

communication with your RE agent and move manager is importantOnce you have established that the real estate agent will be available as your proxy during crucial times and they have the right experience and knowledge, be sure to communicate with your agent as much as possible. No matter how experienced your agent is, they won’t be able to find the perfect property for you unless you’re very specific about your preferences and what you’re looking for when you buy a house remotely.

Therefore, it’s important to sit down and come up with a detailed wish list. When you share this wish list with your agent, they should be able to narrow down the search using factors such as pricing, square footage, the style and age of the home, and location. Other details like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and whether or not the home has a basement also matter.

Be sure to also communicate about your deal-breakers so the agent doesn’t waste time chasing after the wrong listings. If your wish list changes at any point or you have any other concerns, don’t hesitate to let your agent know.

Find Out What Every Step Entails Before You Buy a House Remotely

While it’s true that an agent can be very helpful when you’re buying a home remotely, it still doesn’t hurt to do your own research. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • The offer. Be sure you understand the necessary offer terms for your state. You can review these with your agent so that when the time comes to make an offer, you’re already thinking about what to include in the offer. It’s very possible for negotiations to happen when the buyer and seller are long distance. Again, technology plays a crucial role and offers many communication channels, such as email, phone calls, and video conferencing.
  • Appraisal. Your lender will also need to do an appraisal to secure financing when you buy a house remotely. Fortunately, the appraisal process isn’t too complicated and can be done without your physical presence. Usually, the value of a property is determined by comparing it with similar properties in the area that have recently sold or are on the market.
  • Home Inspection. Your agent can schedule a home inspection without you being present. Be sure to ask the agent and inspector to call you at the end of the inspection to discuss any major findings. You can also review the inspector’s report to get a better understanding of all the physical aspects of the home.
  • Title review. You will also need to do a title review so you are aware of the property’s ownership history and any restrictions that apply.
  • Closing. This is the last step in the home buying process, and if you’re doing it remotely, you’ll be able to sign some paperwork online. The good news is your electronic signature is as legally binding as if you had signed the papers in person. Once your e-signature is in place, the documents are sent back to the other party. If a physical signature is required, such as in the case of notarized documents, the necessary documents will be FedExed. The most important part of the closing process is the wiring of funds to complete the transaction. From there, you will be ready for the move!

trus your RE agent to understand the local market place and choose wise for pack & unpackEven when all is said and done, be sure to do a final walkthrough – either yourself or through your agent’s camera – to confirm that the home is in good condition and everything is above board. Before you close on your home and after you make your offer, you’ll have time to do a final evaluation and be sure any agreed-upon repairs have been completed.

Some states allow an official due diligence period for home buyers. However, if your state doesn’t, you may have other contract contingencies that will protect you in the event you find a major issue with the house or the appraisal.. That way, you’re free to back out of the contract or renegotiate with the seller.

The good thing about this contingency period is that it allows you to review title documents, complete the financing process, and do other tasks before closing. You can also take this time to visit and view the property in person and conduct a thorough inspection before committing.

Learn the Tips and Tricks for Online House Hunting

To buy a house remotely in the past was unthinkable, but now it’s more than possible. Beyond the official steps you need to take, it’s also important to learn all the tips and tricks that help this process become a success. For instance, before you make your offer, your agent will give you a virtual tour of the property.

You need to be alert and vigilant during this process. Instead of trusting the photos, make sure the agent walks you through every part of the property during your video chat. Make notes so you can go over them later. Don’t be shy about asking your agent to go over a certain area again or open doors, check appliances, and test light switches.

Since nothing compares to an in-person inspection, you should also ask your agent to point out other details, such as musty odors and temperature details. Another thing you should do ahead of time is create a house hunting checklist so you don’t miss out on anything important in the process.

The Bottom Line

Buying a home remotely works well for out-of-state real estate investors, those who are buying a second home, and anyone buying a home on behalf of a loved one, such as in the case of senior relocation. Plus, when the home-buying process is over and ready to move in, you can hire organizing services and relocation specialists to help make your move go as smoothly as possible. Overall, finding the right real estate agent and learning all you can about the home-buying process is key to a successful deal.

About the Author

Scott Russell is the owner and broker-in-charge of Freestone Properties located in Asheville, NC. Freestone Properties has the ability to help you buy a beautiful mountain home in Asheville or Black Mountain remotely, so contact us today!

 

How to help a friend with a hoarding disorder move into a new place

OLd stuff can pile up in a home, but there comes a time that decluttering must begin

Every move is stressful and a challenge. For someone who hoards, it will be more difficult to manage the situation. Their home is probably filled with unnecessary things and even junk. However, someone with a hoarding disorder will find it difficult to part from almost any type of possession. Although many people consider moving a perfect time to declutter and get rid of the unwanted things that are always in the way, it’s not the same for hoarders. They have a strong attachment to their belongings and don’t want to throw or donate them. Therefore, if you want to help a friend with a hoarding disorder move, you will need a lot of understanding and organization.

What is hoarding?

First of all, let’s make sure you understand your friend’s situation. It is crucial to make the difference between chronic disorganization and the clinical definition of hoarding.

People with chronic disorganization can have clutter in their living space, but not the same way as hoarders do. Chronic disorganization can cause a mess in one’s home or office due to time-management issues rather than long-term planning. Additionally, chronic disorganization may result from ADHD, ADD, dementia, or some other health condition. 

To illustrate the difference a bit further, let’s look at how people with this condition are likely to behave.

  • They are always lagging;
  • Their homes or offices can be filled with clutter like paper, boxes, or bags;
  • They attempt to organize but lack the energy or time;
  • They don’t seem to focus on long-term planning, and they focus on minor issues that come up while not focusing on the big picture.

Ultimately, people who have chronic disorganization can be described by the following:

  • Persistence of severe disorganization over a long period of time;
  • A daily undermining of one’s quality of life by disorganization;
  • A history of failed self-help efforts.

On the other hand, people who have a hoarding disorder show chronic difficulty throwing things away. Hoarding is associated with the physical activity of bringing or purchasing unnecessary items into a home. They will cling to personal belongings and compulsively collect different kinds of things. At the same time, they have a strong perception that keeping those items is of vital importance.

People with a hoarding disorder may:

  • Purchase things compulsively;
  • They don’t seem to be able to prioritize the things in their house, which reflects in their life decisions;
  • Fear to lose an item or information, like a newspaper;
  • They see value in every object, even trash or in some specific type of item. 

SOmethings can be called collections, but they might just be things that need to be decluttered

Additionally, their collection of items can cause hazardous clutter and unhealthy living conditions. It’s also common for them to say they are collectors, but it’s essential to know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy collection. 

Tips to help a friend with a hoarding disorder relocate

Someone who hoards will certainly fear being judged once they need to start their moving process. They often don’t like having guests over and are pretty anxious when others are handling their possessions. Therefore, your role as a friend will be crucial to help them go through this kind of change.

Even though you might consider this a fresh start for your friend, moving to a smaller house or an apartment is no easy feat for a person struggling with hoarding. After all, remember that downsizing is a challenge for everyone. For example, it will be tough for someone with a hoarding disorder to declutter and choose what stays and what goes. Fortunately, we have created a list of ways to assist your friend with a hoarding disorder relocate to a new home to help you both along the way.

  • show understanding
  • stay positive and patient
  • set reasonable expectations
  • remove junk and clutter whenever possible
  • seek help from professionals

Show understanding

Educating yourself on hoarding disorder and understanding your friend’s problem will help you develop a better solution. 

If you prepare in advance that you will experience difficulty during the moving process and that it won’t progress all the time, it will be easier for you to be gentle and understanding.

Also, it’s better to be aware that it’s unrealistic to convince them to throw everything out. You can instead talk to them, show compassion, come up with compromising ways of how you can help, and discuss the best way to solve conflicts.

Stay positive and patient along the way.

Although an average person can think there is a simple solution to hoarding: throwing everything away can only worsen the problem. Their anxiety can reach very high levels, and you won’t go anywhere by trying to convince them to part from everything they firmly believe they need to keep. 

Alternatively, try being patient and supportive. Since hoarding is a psychological problem, bear in mind that throwing things without your friend’s consent can only lead to more significant hoarding issues in the future

You can help your friend out by sorting, packing, and making tough decisions about their belongings together. This way, you can help them make more reasonable decisions about their possessions while acknowledging their feelings. For example, your friend can determine which items are of the highest emotional value for them. This way, you will create a path for something to be thrown while leaving space for feeling contentment for keeping certain items. Additionally, you can relieve the stress of packing and relocating by dealing with some things later and not requiring your friend to make instant decisions. 

Set reasonable expectations to help a friend with a hoarding disorder move

Hoarding is a long and ongoing process that doesn’t just happen overnight. And neither will the recovery from it happen quickly. That is why you should set some reasonable goals with your friend and celebrate even the most minor victories to motivate them to keep going.

Declutter can take time and should not be rushed when there is also a hoarding issue

Help a friend with a hoarding disorder move by making careful decisions, one item at a time.

So, if you recognize change and celebrate even the slightest progress, be sure to mention it. It will help encourage more significant changes in the future.

Remove junk and clutter whenever an opportunity arises

This is a must-do part of every relocation. You need working space to pack and move successfully. Therefore, cleaning the place and removing the junk will enable your friend to control what stays and what goes. 

Caption: Remember to stay protected when clearing the junk and dirt from your friend’s house by wearing gloves and a mask.

Alt tag: A house with a large pile of junk in front of it as a way to help a friend with a hoarding disorder move

decluttering when there is a hoarding issue involved can take timeIt would be best to develop a system of sorting through belongings by having bins of what stays, what will be donated, and what is to be thrown away. Our advice is to work room by room and once you pack a particular bin or box, carry it out. This way, you will avoid possible changes in decisions. 

Seek help from professionals in the field

It’s not a bad thing if you are thinking of getting professional help. Even though you love your friend deeply, the whole process can be overwhelming for you too. 

You can consult your friend’s therapist and ask for possible ways to help them through distress. There are also professional organizers and consultants you can reach out to and seek a consultation.

The takeaway 

Hoarders are people that compulsively collect items and consider holding onto them of vital importance. It is not uncommon to see them living in unhealthy living conditions due to large amounts of clutter. Therefore, it’s essential to know your friend will find the downsizing process difficult and prepare accordingly. Be prepared and patient when you help a friend with a hoarding disorder move and live a happier life.

 

Photos used:
https://pixabay.com/photos/toilet-paper-background-sold-out-4958068/
https://pixabay.com/photos/shelf-old-stock-container-industry-3190116/
https://unsplash.com/photos/VSXT9AV19Is
https://www.pexels.com/photo/couple-going-down-the-stairs-with-box-of-books-and-plants-7218670/

 

How to hire the right Estate Clear-out Company

boxes packed for an estate clearing and move with unpacking after the move

When faced with the departure of a loved one, there is a period of acceptance. During this period, you want the transition to be less stressful and emotionally hard on the rest of the family. However, there are certain legal and financial matters you have to take care of. One of those matters is the obligation to clear the home of the deceased. In such a case, the less emotionally involved you are, the better. If you want to make this transition as painless as possible, opt for estate clearing services that can do the job professionally, with no strings attached. If you think this is the best choice for you but wonder how to hire the right estate clearing service, we can help with a few valuable tips.

Clearing house estates is a complex process

If you think about the number of things people acquire during a lifetime, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed having to clear the house of all those possessions. Before even deciding to hire professionals, you have to understand the process. Estate clearing should involve a whole team of people who are assigned to different tasks to do a successful job. Sorting through all the personal belongings, making home inventories, packing, transporting, and shipping items are a few of them. There has to be excellent communication between the estate clearing service provider and the client for a complete clear-out. The clients are the ones who ultimately decide on the level of involvement, and the professionals are there to make the process as straightforward as possible.

A proper estate cleaning service can ready a home for sales as part of the estate settlement

Before you can sell the house or apartment, you need to clear it from all personal belongings

Benefits of hiring estate clearing professionals

One of the advantages of choosing estate clearing services to assist you is to emotionally detach yourself from the situation. In most cases, people opt for clearing services after losing an elderly member of the family. Many choose not to get too emotionally involved with the personal belongings left after the person has passed. And with good reason. If you are emotionally involved, you might lose focus and make fewer objective decisions on what to keep, what to donate, and what to sell. As a result, you might find yourself taking not only the family albums and heirlooms but items that don’t even have a sentimental value.

a messy garage means that declutter is needed

Having professional assistance in clearing heavily cluttered rooms is essential

 

In all that clutter, you might feel more stressed than you expected. So, invest some time in finding ways to remove stress from household junk removal.  One of the ways is undoubtedly giving the job to trained professionals who don’t have an emotional bond with the things they need to clear. They will go through the possessions, sort unwanted items, items for donations, items for recycling, something to sell, and things to dispose of. If needed, they will consult with you on valuables and family heirlooms they find, but otherwise will do a quick and efficient home clearing operation, leaving you more time for healing and spending time with your loved ones.

Wondering how to hire the right Estate Clear-out Company is perfectly normal

You might be having trouble deciding on a particular Estate Clear-out Company to partner with, given all the emotional distress you are experiencing. The best way to look for the right people is through word of mouth. If some of your friends, colleagues, or neighbors had the assistance of a reliable and reputable team, be sure to ask them for a referral. You can also search the web for positive reviews and testimonials of satisfied clients. Reading personal stories from people who were once in your situation might seem like something you don’t want to do. However, it may prove to be helpful to get a clear picture of what to expect and what to seek from professional clearing services. After all, you will be hiring someone to take care of your loved one’s personal belongings, so investing some time in finding the right company for the job is something you ought to do.

Prepare before hiring estate clearers

To have a successful clearing estate experience, you have to prepare. A good starting point is to go through the documents first. Sort out any legal documents you need to keep and move along to valuable items and items that have sentimental value. When you have acquired all the belongings you deem useful and want to keep, look for a good storage provider where you will keep them. Then, you can locate things you would like to sell and set those aside as well. Pack some of the items you want to keep or sell and transport them to safe storage. Label each box and make sure all boxes are properly sealed. Once in storage, your belongings will be secure and easily reachable if and when you decide to act on your decision to sell or use.

After you have gone through things you want to keep or sell, you can call estate clearing services and acquire a quote. State the rooms you want to clear and give the Estate Clear-out Company precise instructions on what to do with the rest of the items. You don’t have to have all the answers. These trained professionals who deal with decluttering and organizing every day will undoubtedly suggest how to deal with electronics, recyclable items, unwanted furniture, and similar.

Time to make the decision

When you feel confident that you know how to hire the right estate clearing service, you should do it. Use the time to spend with your family and friends, and leave all the daunting tasks to trained specialists. Don’t hesitate to acquire the needed assistance because clearing another person’s house can be more than you can handle. However, if you still feel reluctant to let strangers in your loved one’s house, you can research ways to make the job less stressful for yourself.

 

Photos used:
https://www.pexels.com/photo/empty-apartment-with-packed-carton-boxes-before-moving-4246119/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-realtor-putting-up-a-sale-pending-signboard-8292779/
https://unsplash.com/photos/onnJOfF-okU
https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-man-taping-carrying-box-with-scotch-4246120/

Moving Management: Organizational Tips for Staging A Home to Sell

staging a home for sale is part of the tasks a clear path executes through is senior move management processIf selling your home is on the horizon, here are some moving management and organizational tips to help you stage for a quick and successful sale.

Moving can be a stressful process, particularly when it comes to selling a home. With summer on the horizon and so many looking for new homes across the country, staging has become more important than ever. When potential buyers enter a home or virtually tour photos on a real estate listing platform, they not only want to see a future there, but they also want to be sure that the space is clean and organized. A tidy home can make it sell for more money as well as attract more buyers. While hiring a moving manager or home organizing services can take some of the work off your plate, there are ways you can both organize and show off the space yourself, too. 

Organize the exterior 

The first impressions of most homes on the market come from the outside, which makes a neat, attractive exterior all the more important. Any red flags on the outside of the home can send a buyer in the other direction before even entering the house. That said, fresh landscaping, flowers, groomed trees, and any paint touch-ups can make a home look brand new. This will also hint to buyers how dedicated you’ve been in terms of maintenance, inside and out. Outdoor furniture, a freshly sealed driveway, or an updated porch can help the home sell faster and for more money. 

Highlight home office space

to help declutter a home office use the professionals at a clear pathIn this new age of remote work, home offices have become staples to everyday life for many. Creating a designated, productive workspace can help a buyer who works from home see their lifestyle fitting with the house. Keep in mind that professionals prefer certain aspects of a home office, like natural lighting, storage space, and distance from heavily trafficked areas of the house. You can also stage a multifunctional space that can serve as a home office, craft room, laundry room, or spare bedroom. 

Cut back on furniture

Believe it or not, some of a home’s most valued furniture pieces may not be beneficial throughout the staging process. Extra end tables, coffee tables, or chairs can make the space look cluttered and claustrophobic. Remove these to open up the space. Avoid putting furniture in front of focal points like fireplaces or built-ins so they’re easily visible and accessible. When choosing which pieces to keep or stow away, think about buyers walking through the home and how easy the space is to tour. 

Coordinate closet space

Organized closet space is a high priority for many buyers. Before they tour the bedrooms, remove any unnecessary articles of clothing and other clutter to make the closet appear larger. Add shelving where necessary to maximize the space, and stage with storage bins or compartments that show visitors how it can be efficiently organized. Shoe racks, drawers, and over-the-door storage can also help buyers see how much of their belongings they can store in the closet. Don’t forget to keep the home well-ventilated for great air quality and a fresh aroma for in-person tours.

Deep clean

A tidy home isn’t as effective without a deep clean. A major factor that turns buyers away from homes for sale is cleanliness. It indicates how well you tend to the home, and is instrumental in the visitors’ experience. Cleaning every square inch of the home is vital before allowing a home to be photographed or toured in person. Dust or scrub every square inch from the floor to the ceiling so that buyers will have no critiques. Also remember that pets, their toys, or their furniture can store some unpleasant smells that a handful of buyers will disapprove of, so be sure to take those out of the house and eliminate any pesky pet odors.

De-personalize 

While staging, be sure to reduce the amount of personal items in the home. Family photos, mementos, art projects, personal hygiene items, andstaging a home is one of the task that can be handled by A Clear Path as an A+ accredited by NASMM senior move manager clothes can all add to a cluttered home. Not only that, but having these items visible can make it very difficult for buyers to imagine the home as their own and connect to the space. Instead, fill some of the space with neutral decor, books, plants, etc. Arrange any built-in storage, shelving, or wall space with items that illustrate how the space can be used, while leaving it a blank canvas for potential buyers.

Hire a professional

If you’re inexperienced when it comes to moving, thankfully, there are a number of moving and organization experts that can make the transition smoother every step of the way. To make the process easier, here are some examples of professional services you can use:

  • Packing and unpacking services: carefully packing items, trash removal, delivering packing boxes and materials, etc. 
  • Senior moving specialist: guiding your downsizing/transition while catering to the special needs of your senior loved one
  • Estate clearing: providing itemized lists of keepsakes, shipping items to family members, selling valuable pieces, etc.
  • Virtual organizers: online sessions with organization experts to tackle your home one room at a time

Conclusion

Selling your home doesn’t mean simply listing it on the market and hoping for the best. It takes a lot of thought and hard work throughout the staging process. Maintain an organized home, take advantage of experts, and consider some of these organizational tips for an efficient home sale.

How can we help you?

Photo Credits: Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash; Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash; Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

6 Easy Steps to Create a Home Inventory

Creating a home inventory will help when you move or strat a de-cluttering of your home

These tools and tips can help you recoup thousands of dollars when disaster strikes. 

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), over 50 per cent of Americans don’t have a home inventory of their belongings putting them at a risk for inadequate insurance coverage in case a disaster strikes.

What Is a Home Inventory?

In simple words, a home inventory is an up-to-date record of all your possessions. It’s created so that in case of a disaster, you can easily and quickly get your claims settled.

Creating and updating your inventory of personal possessions is an excellent way to make the most of your renters or homeowners insurance and makes filing a claim efficient and easy.

Creating a home inventory is simple and can help you save a lot of money (and headache) in the longer run. 

Why Should I Create a Home Inventory?

It’s important to create a home inventory as:

#1. It helps you purchase the right kind of insurance

An accurate list of your personal possessions will enable you to have a better conversation with the insurance personnel when making decisions about renters or homeowners insurance coverage. It’s one of the best ways to get the best of your insurance. 

#2. It makes filing a claim super easy

Most of us can’t remember what we had for dinner last night, let alone recall everything that we possess. Disasters are stressful and scary that makes creating a list of damaged property for claims more challenging. A handy list of your belongings will prove to be a huge relief in such times.

#3. Aids in financial assistance

Following a disaster, you can only qualify for disaster assistance or a tax break is if you can substantiate your losses. An organized home inventory will prove to be useful during such a process.

Fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes: disasters can strike any time. And when that happens, most of us aren’t in a position to recall everything that we owned. 

Unless a proper account of everything that we owned is provided to the insurance professionals, you’ll not be entitled to a proper claim. 

Therefore, the key is to have a detailed home inventory. Here are 6 easy steps to create a home inventory:

#1. Choose the Right Storage Method and a Software

  • Taking a few pictures or scribbling in a notebook is okay but not the best options to create a list.
  • Choose a software program designed to create home inventories such as What You Own that’ll make the entire process easier. 
  • You can also opt for free options by creating a DIY list using free templates from Canva or by creating a spreadsheet.
  • Do a little research to determine the best option for you before getting started.

#2. List your Personal Belongings

  • The best way to get started is by starting with an easy spot— like your handbag shelf or kitchen appliance cabinet. 
  • Write down the name and value of everything you own in that contained space before proceeding to the next area. 
  • If you want, you can also group items falling in the same category or of the same types such as books or kitchen utensils. 
  • Make small notes of the condition and model number of each item and staple the receipts next to the item if you have any.

#3. Take Help of Technology

  • If you’ve been using a pen and paper until now, it’s time for a little upgrade.
  • Take pictures, record videos or use an app that’ll help you create a room-by-room record of all your belongings.

#4. Finish the Paperwork

  • Replacing identification, reports, legal and financial documents can be a hassle.
  • Take steps to protect and preserve such documents.

#5. Create a Separate List of Valuable Items

Valuable items such as electronics, collectables and jewelry require separate insurance and therefore, it’s wise to create a separate list for them. Be extremely thorough when creating this list and include:

  • Multiple photos of each item
  • Purchase location and date
  • Serial number
  • Model
  • Make
  • Receipts (if you have any)

Follow the golden rule: if you paid more, then document more.

#6. Keep Copies in Different Places

  • No matter how you chose to create a home inventory, always create a few copies away from home.
  • Don’t limit the storage of your list to a single place such as your computer or mobile or even a hardcopy in your house—they could all be destroyed in the disaster. 
  • Save your list in the cloud or send out a few physical copies to your friends and family for the sake of safekeeping. 

The Takeaway

  • Creating a home inventory can be daunting but not if you’re using our tools and tips. 
  • Easily verify losses for your insurance claim and income tax returns by creating a home inventory. 

Need help Starting your Home Inventory

Picture credits:
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/bAA06m4O7co
Shristi Patni is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes. She enjoys creating a List of Citrus Fruits or a list of “Things That Make Happy” or coming up with creative Food Blog Names. Formerly the Chief Content Officer at Raletta, she is currently working on her second cookbook. 
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Best Places to Retire on the West Coast

One place for seniors to move to is a Florida coastal city with waterfront houses and boats.

Finding the best place to retire and spend your golden years can be an exciting prospect. There are many options to choose from, and the American West offers a lot of diversity. You’ll have an easy time finding entertainment options and medical facilities, and the coast has great weather. In this article, we will look at some of the best places to retire on the West Coast.

Determine any special needs

To focus your search and narrow down the list of options, you can start by making a list of any special needs you may have. Perhaps you have a medical condition that requires specific care. See if the place you want to relocate to has the facilities you require.

Do you have hobbies or interests?

Perhaps you like to go swimming, or it may be required as part of physical therapy. In that case, you should pick a place that is close to the beach or has access to a pool. Also, think about what kinds of entertainment options appeal to you. If you like watching movies you can pick a place with a theater.

Elderly couple hiking in the woods in one of the best places to retire on the West Coast.

Pick comfort and functionality

Small cities usually have tightly knit communities, and you can get to know all of the neighbors. On the other hand, you can pick a tourist destination you like and become a local. That way, you’ll have easy access to recreational facilities and enjoy the benefits of a permanent vacation hotspot. Whatever you end up deciding on, you must practice self-care in every step of the move. Always keep your best interest in mind and unload as much work as you can to professionals.

How to organize a senior relocation

Like with any move, you are going to need to do a lot of planning. Here is what you’ll need to do before the move:

  • Downsize. Organizing the move will be a lot easier if you have fewer items you’ll take with you. Here is a list of resources that will help you clear your home before the move.
  • Go scouting. Before you decide for sure that you will move somewhere, you can go for a visit first. Try to organize a short trip to get to know the area you’ll move to better.
  • Find the right movers. Moving across state lines can be complicated. So, for instance, if you are relocating from Nevada, you will have to find the right interstate movers. It will be a lot easier to leave Nevada with some help from experienced and reliable movers. Some moving companies offer additional services like packing or storage, which can make the whole ordeal much smoother.
  • Make a checklist. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget something. Put everything down in writing. That way, you won’t mix up any dates or telephone numbers.
  • Hire a senior move manager. If you find that everything is a bit much, there is no need to panic. There are professionals who can help you and take care of everything.

Downsizing and getting rid of clutter can make the move easier.

Our picks of the best places to retire on the West Coast

Moving to the West Coast can be the perfect change you need. Relocating to a more desirable location is the best way to spend your retirement years. There are many cities located in the coastal states of California, Oregon, and Washington for you to choose from. Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Sequim, Washington. With a population of just under 7,000, Sequim is a fast-growing community that is popular with retirees. It boasts having very little annual rainfall, making it one of the driest places in Washington’s west.
  2. Indian Wells, California. Located in a desert oasis, Indian Wells offers plenty of outdoor activities and is home to the sixth-largest tennis tournament in the world. The city boasts affordable housing and plenty of untouched desert beauty.
  3. Astoria, Oregon. This small coastal town is the first American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Astoria has a population of 10,000 and has plenty of parks and recreational areas. A popular standout is the Oregon Film Museum which holds memorabilia from the many movies filmed in Astoria.
  4. Palm Desert, California. Located near Palm Springs, this city has a population of 52,000. With multiple golf courses and country clubs, it offers numerous recreational options. Palm Desert also has urgent care and medical facilities that might be necessary for some seniors.

 

Palm Desert is a small community located near Palm Springs and is a fine place to retire..

  1. South Whidbey Island, Washington. It is an island community located just 35 miles from Seattle. South Whidbey has two airports and a community-run hospital. Year-round festivals and celebrations will make you feel like you are living in a permanent vacation spot.
  2. Del Mar, California. A beach city located in San Diego County. The place is famous for the race track event that is held there every summer. There are also plenty of other activities like hot air balloon rides, and antique shows held several times a year.

Things you need to do after the move

After you have finally moved, there are a few more things you will need to take care of:

  • Unpack. You can hire an unpacking service to help you sort everything out. Professional packers can assemble the furniture for you and clean up when they are done. This will take a massive load off your shoulders.
  • Stay decluttered. It’s important that you stay organized and clutter-free. The move can be exhausting, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to let your new home fall into disarray.

In this article, we have given you a list of the best places to retire on the West Coast, as well as some tips to help you organize everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to hire professionals. There are numerous services that you can find online, which can save you a lot of stress. Allow yourself to be excited and reap only the positive benefits of the move.

Meta description: Do you need a place for your senior relocation? Here are the best places to retire on the West Coast and tips for organizing services that you can use.

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Here’s How a Senior Move Manager Can Simplify Your Move

When someone you love is going through a difficult transition in life, it’s only natural to want to help.

Older adults face complex challenges when it’s time to downsize and move. As mobility and health concerns create new limitations, many of them feel anxious and depressed. They may chafe at the idea that anything needs to change. All the while, however, the world around them becomes more difficult to navigate.

Aging can present real challenges to a person’s identity and sense of self. It’s not necessarily the case that they don’t see that anything needs to change. Rather, the scope of what needs to be done can become so huge, they feel overwhelmed. Admitting that they need help gets harder, but so does setting the situation right.

You want what’s best for your loved one. And you can see that the way things are is unsustainable.

The solution is expert help from a senior move manager.

What Is a Senior Move Manager?senior move managers are able to plan all the little details for a successful move and downsizing

Moving management is a growing field that helps thousands of people with their big moves every year. There is no one central body that governs the practice of moving management, so you want to be sure you choose a qualified senior move manager from an organization you can trust.

A senior move manager is more than just a “moving company.” In moving management, the goal is to foresee any kind of problem that could arise throughout the moving process. By recognizing issues and taking action before they start, a move manager smooths the path for seniors to make the right long-term choices.

On top of understanding moving as a process, your moving management team leader should have compassion and empathy for seniors. Physical, emotional, and psychological support are all indispensable to deliver a successful move without leaving a senior feeling like his or her life is spinning out of control.

Senior Moving Management with Compassion

Old items of clothing, end tables, mirrors, books, and keepsakes. These may not look like much at a glance. But items like this can have profound sentimental value to a senior. “Obvious” things like photographs are not the only belongings that need to be protected, especially if the older adult has lived in a home for many years.

Sometimes, especially if they feel emotionally isolated from others, elders can develop “pack rat” tendencies. Over time, this may grow into a problem. In a cluttered, chaotic environment, seniors are more likely to suffer physical injury. They might slip and fall or be struck by debris. While most people do try to maintain pathways from one room to another, these can be difficult to navigate and may be especially hazardous if there is a fire or other disaster.

Whatever the case, move management should start with an assessment of the environment and the senior’s needs. It is impossible – and cruel – to simply sweep through a home and destroy or dispose of everything in sight. The right items must be preserved in accordance with the senior’s desires and future living space.

Seven Key Parts of Moving Management for Older Adults

Helping a senior move can be an immense, complicated, and lonely undertaking. Your senior move manager is the ally who makes it easier. They will consistently move the project forward to completion while keeping you updated. You’ll always have the details you need to make informed decisions.

Comprehensive moving management should include all of the following:

1. Clutter Assessment

If a senior has had difficulty cleaning or organizing possessions from a long and eventful life, clutter assessment, is a necessary first step. This helps ensure that hazards are removed, paths are cleared, and important items are identified as early as possible. This also provides peace of mind throughout the rest of the process, since it will be easier to navigate the space while waiting for moving day to arrive.

2. Shredding

It’s not unusual to accumulate lots of paperwork over the years. Even outdated correspondence can pose a risk of identity theft for seniors. It’s never wise to simply throw such items out: They can easily be retrieved from the trash by unscrupulous characters who notice your moving preparations. A complete process of shredding can eliminate this risk. It also helps highlight the items you may wish to scan, copy, or put away safely.

3. Electronics

Many seniors have a fraught relationship with electronics. Moving management makes it easier by identifying items that are still useful and separating out the rest. Old electronics can be dangerous, containing toxic batteries and environmentally unfriendly materials with very specific rules surrounding their disposal. Your move manager should have all the resources on-site to make sure these are safely eliminated early on.

4. Packing

Packing looms large in any move, but it’s especially crucial in moving management for the older adult. Items must be packed carefully and in accordance with an unpacking plan. This ensures that any items needed right away become available within an hour after moving. Packing coincides with staging items on the premises so they can be moved based on their order of importance, with nothing damaged or misplaced along the way

5. Moving

It’s a big milestone when people and possessions are safely underway to their destination! Before departure, your moving management leader will perform another site assessment – this time at the new home. Any equipment that may be needed, like trash receptacles, are moved in. Depending on your needs, your moving team can start setting up the new home hours or days before your official arrival.

6. Unpacking

Unpacking is just as vital as packing, and it has to be done right. One way that unpacking differs in senior moving management is that it’s a step toward organizing, where everything is set up better than new. During the unpacking phase, all your carefully marked boxes are set up and unpacked in each room. Clothes can be placed in dressers or hung up, beds made, and many other services performed that average movers won’t do.

7. Organizing

Imagine a concierge service that leaves your living space immaculate, arranged in ways that are even more convenient than you could have thought up after the ordeal of moving. That’s the objective of the organizing phase, where seniors can settle into an environment that’s warm and welcoming. After organizing is done, everything in the new living space is better than new and it’s like the whole moving process never happened.

A Clear Path Makes the Impossible Possible for Your Most Important Move

We know what you might be thinking: This is a tall order!

It takes moving management professionals years of experience to learn all the ins and outs of helping a senior achieve a seamless and ultimately peaceful move. You want this to be the best move of your loved one’s life, but with everything else on your mind and the demands on your time and energy, you shouldn’t do it alone.

Contact A Clear Path for personalized advice. We look forward to helping you and your loved one soon.

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Clearing Chaos: Estate Sales

a beautiful estate should be handled carefully by a trusted fiduciary

As a professional fiduciary working on behalf of seniors or persons with mental or physical disabilities, you are legally and ethically bound to put your clients’ interest ahead of your own, with the duty to preserve trust and good faith.

Since the majority of your clients probably don’t have any family members to protect their money or healthcare needs before or after they pass on, you are ultimately responsible for the actions of anyone you hire to assist with managing their needs. And that’s where professional estate clearing services come in handy.

Benefits of Professional Estate Clearing Services for Fiduciaries

If anyone you hire improperly handles your client’s property, you can be surcharged by the court for losses. Fiduciaries are often faced with complicated family dynamics, and you must serve as an independent third-party entity to keep your clients safe and their assets protected.

If you often encounter challenges with estate sales amidst family conflict and stress, a professional estate clearing service provider can help ease the pressure. So, here are a few ways a moving company specializing in estate clearance can help you free up the property for sale while ensuring comfort and peace of mind for your clients.

1. Clearing Chaos

In most cases, you may need to move an elderly person or a person with a mental or physical disability from a home packed to the ceiling with a lifetime of mementos and valuable objects into a one-bedroom condo.

Estate clearing services help you with decluttering, chronic hoarding, and downsizing for seniors and their families. By allowing an experienced moving company to work on comfortably relocating your client, you’ll free up time to focus on your fiduciary duties of bettering the life of your client.

Whether it is an inherited family home that needs clearing or your client is downsizing to a new life, estate clearing services can save you the headache associated with moving seniors or persons with mental incapacitation.

2. Sorting, Organizing, and Categorizing Possessions

Many seniors, and persons with cognitive or mental health issues, often develop emotional attachments with their possessions. An experienced estate clearing agent will handle all your client’s possessions with respect and care, and assist with sorting, organizing, and categorizing items that your client wishes to keep from the stuff that needs to be donated, sold, or disposed of.

A trusted professional will go through every envelope, file, box, book, bag, and clothes to find treasurers, stocks and bonds, money, titles, checks, and insurance papers.

Depending on your preference and availability, an estate clearing agency can run an estate sale or set up a consignment shop or online auction for items too valuable to donate. Alternatively, estate clearing can help you arrange for pick-up of certain valuables by a charity of your choice.

find a sr. move manager for organizing and de-cluttering to complete a senior downsizing3. Preparation of a Home for Sale

Allow a professional estate clearing service provider to free you from the burden and stress of decluttering a home for sale, so you can function better, feel better, and enjoy life fully. The process often begins with a free assessment meeting to discuss your goals and establish a viable plan of action.

With your approval, the company will provide a written estimate and start the process. Full disclosure, honesty, and confidentiality are the cornerstones of a reliable estate moving company.

Ultimately, a clean, clutter-free house is relatively easier to sell. Estate clearing services can help you de-clutter, thoroughly clean, and re-arrange the furniture to enhance traffic flow. The shift in energy from dark, stagnant, and stuffy space to a bright, clean, and clear space will automatically attract buyers.

4. Relocation and Downsizing with a Touch of Love

Moving, especially for seniors and persons with disabilities, is one of the top three stress factors in life. Relocating from a home you have lived in for a lifetime can be traumatizing. Memories and emotions can keep you and your loved ones from making sound decisions. Whether your client is moving to a smaller home, hospice, retirement community, nursing care center, condo, or even another family member’s home, an estate clearing company can help.

Save yourself the stress, time, and money by hiring an estate clearing company to declutter and sell all the things your client no longer needs, so you can focus on your fiduciary responsibilities.

Contact A Clear Path for a One-call Process!

At A Clear Path, we take full responsibility for sorting, organizing, clearing, disposing, and selling all the property in your client’s home. We also offer services to address trash, e-waste, shredding, and even toxic waste.

If you need to sell tangible personal property, ask about our online Estate Sale Auctions. Our goal is to alleviate any stress associated with choosing the right vendor for such detailed and delicate tasks. We can also help you settle the estate expediently for clients who have either passed on or are in the midst of a transition from their regular homes into assisted living facilities.

We are able to roll our fees into Escrow to pack, organize, and unpack your client’s possessions and manage the entire moving process. Contact us today for more information about estate clearing services and how we can help you clear chaos as you focus on overseeing the health care or finances of your clients.

 

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7 Tips for Moving Cross Country in 2021

Most people cherish the warmth and coziness of their familiar homes. But sometimes, with a fantastic new job or a house offer on the horizon, one starts considering a long-distance relocation. Relocations are never easy, particularly the cross-country ones. There is a lot of emotional and physical tension to face. And, suddenly, everything seems strange and unfamiliar. The last year and the COVID-19 pandemic have brought us even more stress and anxiety. Most of us prefer either staying home or have resorted to relocating to more secluded places. With so many things going on, it’s no wonder that moving management has developed into a significant field over the years. Today it is nearly impossible to move without professional relocation, productivity, and organizing services. Keeping yourself informed is another paramount of today’s society, especially before significant life changes. So, here are our seven valuable tips for moving cross country in 2021.

Moving cross country should be coordinated with a senior move manager for the best success.

1. Make time your ally and not your enemy

Our lives are a constant race with time. But once you realize that the key is in making that a motivational factor and not a reason for despair, you will get a significant advantage. So how can you make the time work for you the best way?

  • Plan your cross country move well ahead.
  • Make a detailed plan with your and other’s responsibilities with at least rough dates and timings.
  • Stick to written timings as much as you can.
  • Always leave some buffer time for unforeseen circumstances.

By planning on time, you give yourself a significant advantage

tools for planning moving cross country in 2021- a watch, pens, and a planning document from a move manager 2. Proper planning and organization

More than half of your relocation is in proper planning and organization. Every move, including the cross country one, can be divided into several stages, tasks, and duties. If every one of them is executed according to a detailed plan, the outcome should be satisfactory. Hiring virtual organizing services can come in quite handy here. Some of the crucial stages of every move to consider and account for are:

  • Preparation stage– includes planning, calculations, supplies gathering, etc.
  • Downsizing stage– at this stage, you need to declutter and organize your rooms and your belongings. When moving across the country, no one can afford to bring every single item with them. Besides, starting life over means a lot of new things will come your way.
  • Packing stage– at this stage, you should decide which of the remaining items to pack and bring along and which to recycle and donate. The final priority lists are made, and careful packing and protection of your belongings take place.
  • The transportation stage– the stage when all your belongings are being transported to their new location. Professional moving personnel usually conducts it.
  • Unpacking stage– the final stage of your cross-country move in 2021. Once you unpack all your boxes, you have officially moved.

3. Make moving cross country in 2021 as easy as you can

The best way to do that is by hiring relocation specialists, of course. Luckily, nowadays, there are numerous moving services that various companies provide for your convenience. Some of them have even specialized the interstate and cross country moves. These can turn such a tiring undertaking, as a cross-country move is, into a breeze and are, therefore, your best option. Furthermore, their services are carefully categorized. Whether you are moving your home or office, they have the appropriate tools and strategies for you. So, why would you struggle with so much work and responsibilities when, for a reasonable price, you can save a lot of time and effort? Practice self-care during a move and ease the relocation on yourself whenever you can.

4. Prepare your future home

Your cross-country relocation will be more pleasant once you know that your new home is waiting for you perfectly prepared. So whether you hire professional cleaning and home organizing services, or you prefer making your new house feel more like home by yourself, it would be superb if all is ready before you move in. That way, not only can you relax upon arrival, but you will be better motivated along the way.

Additional health tip for a cross country move in 2021

Amid the pandemic, it is essential to keep hygiene in mind throughout the move. Thorough cleaning and disinfection of your new house, plus careful disinfection of all the boxes, before and after the transportation, should suffice. And don’t forget to wash your hands as often as possible.

a move manager will help pack and unpack better if they have space plans for the new residence.

Thoroughly disinfect and prepare your new home before moving cross country in 2021

5. Prepare for the long road ahead, especially when moving cross country in 2021

And while your belongings are in safe hands, you should not forget about your well-being either. Keep in mind that the road is long, and packing an essentials bag is a must. It will prove invaluable during the trip. You should have the essentials with you at all times as they will help you have as comfortable a relocation as possible. A bottle of water, some energizing snacks, personal documentation, and some spare clothes are a must. Everything else is up to your preferences and needs.

6. Provide special care for special cases

If you are helping your senior family member relocate to a more peaceful town somewhere across the state, they will also need help handling such a stressful and demanding situation as this one. Senior moves and downsizing require special attention and care, so you need to make sure find the right movers that offer senior relocation services. Similarly, if your kid is moving out to go to university, you can research companies that provide assistance for this type of relocation. A team of specially trained, trustworthy, and kind movers can ease these specific relocations to a great extent.

a successful move is enhanced when using a certified move manager

Make your seniors happy and at peace by organizing professional senior relocation services for them.

7. Don’t underestimate the unpacking part

When thoroughly organizing moving cross country, people tend to underestimate the unpacking stage. However, the relocation does not end with your belongings transported to your new home. You still need to unwrap everything and find a suitable space for every piece. You certainly want your new home to be well organized and comfortable. Here too, you have two options. You can spend days unpacking and arranging your stuff, or you can hire unpacking services; it is entirely up to you.

Final words

Moving cross country in 2021 is not an easy task. On the other hand, it can be a memorable and enjoyable adventure with adequate strategies and help. So stop postponing it and embrace the experience instead. Remember, the sooner you start, the sooner you can enjoy your new home.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

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Moving Management: 6 Common Selling Mistakes

Deciding to sell your home is a significant decision requiring time, energy, and considerable financial preparation. When one decides to put their home on the market, there are many considerations and sometimes tough decisions to make but remember there are certain ways to make the selling process a bit more smooth. Here are a few moving management tips and common mistakes to avoid when listing and selling a home. 

1. Incorrectly pricing your home

Arguably the most important part of the sales process when selling your home is determining a price point. The price you set for your home can depend on a variety of different factors such as timing, location, neighborhood comps, and interest rates. Pricing your home too high is risky, even if you are selling in a favorable market. For example, pricing much higher than the true market value could lead to problems during the appraisal process or could send a red flag to buyers if it sits on the market too long. Conversely, you may consider pricing lower than market value to draw attention to your home or to start a bidding war. While this can work in some cases, remember that this strategy could end up backfiring if not done properly, so always do your research ahead of time to yield the best outcome.

2. Not having the correct paperwork in order

There is a significant amount of preparation involved when selling, so getting organized and preparing all necessary paperwork ahead of time can lead to a more smooth process when it comes time to sell. Here’s some paperwork to have prepared ahead of time:

  • Loan information 
  • The deed
  • Your original sales contract
  • The title report
  • Your homeowners’ insurance policy
  • Maintenance and repair records
  • Property tax information
  • Utility bills

Additionally, it could be helpful to have a copy of the survey, especially if you have a large piece of property or if you have fencing or obscure boundaries on your land. Also, if you are including appliances in the sale of your home, try to look for any warranties or user manuals to serve as a resource for potential buyers.

3. Being inadequately insured

When you are preparing to sell your home, don’t overlook the importance of carrying adequate insurance policies. Even though evaluating your current coverage might seem like a daunting task when you inevitably have a significant amount of other items on your to-do list, it is nonetheless an important piece in guaranteeing that you are adequately protected. For example, if you have made significant improvements to your home leading up to putting it on the market, look back into your homeowners’ coverage to ensure the policy is sufficient. For instance, if you installed a new gourmet kitchen to attract buyers but only have builder’s grade coverage in your current policy, consider updating this amount to reflect your home’s improved value while you are still an owner.

Whether you are downsizing or upgrading your home after you sell, it can be helpful to re-evaluate your financial situation to determine if your needs are going to be changing. For example, some may consider updating their life insurance coverage if selling their home will significantly change their new obligations. This is why it can be helpful to use a cost calculator to have a better understanding of how costs could change should you consider obtaining a new policy when entering this new chapter. Term life insurance tends to be a more affordable option and provides your chosen beneficiary with a lump sum of funds if you were to unexpectedly pass away. If you are moving to a home with a higher monthly mortgage payment, this could be an added consideration. 

4. Not budgeting for moving management costs

While you most likely have a grasp on the price point you are looking for in a new home and have a general idea of what you are hoping to sell your current home for, remember not to overlook some of the additional costs associated with moving. In addition to the standard costs of selling a home such as lawyer fees and realtor commissions, there are also additional fees to account for when selling your home. These could include the cost of using a reputable organizing company, cleaning fees, scheduling movers, and repairs that need to be made after the inspection. 

5. Not showcasing your home’s features

When you’re ready to put your home on the market, take some extra time to ensure that you are highlighting and displaying your home’s features. For example, making sure that you have quality pictures taken of your home can make a difference when attracting potential buyers. Depending on your situation, staging your home or virtually staging your home could also be a wise investment if you already have moved out all of your furniture. Having a staged home helps potential buyers take mental ownership during their showing because seeing furniture helps them picture what their life could be like living in your home. Additionally, consider making certain upgrades to your home such as painting the walls a neutral color or enhancing the curb appeal to appeal to a wide audience of buyers. 

6. Not having a moving management backup plan

When selling your home, having a backup plan is key to save you from any potential headaches during the process. In particular, buying and selling a home at the same time can be a challenge, so having a solid plan is critical. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • If you sell sooner than expected, where will you stay while you look for a new home for yourself? 
  • Is it possible to have a contingency in your potential deal to allow for time for you to find a new home? 
  • Are there short-term housing opportunities in your area and will you need a storage solution if you are in between housing? 

These are all things to think about when selling your home but also looking for a new residence as well. 

When selling your home, it can be helpful to prepare for the unexpected. Each situation is different, so being both mentally and financially equipped to handle any surprise situations that may come up can help you during this time.