Making A Move: How Seniors Can Keep The Stress Out Of Packing And Unpacking

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Many seniors these days are finding the need to downsize once they hit retirement age, and for some, a move to an assisted living facility is necessary. No matter the reason, a move is a big change that requires a lot of work and can trigger difficult emotions during the packing process, and seniors should make sure they have plenty of support from family members and friends.

It’s also important to make sure the moving process goes as smoothly and safely as possible, so a little planning and preparation are necessary. Here are some of the best tips on how to get everything done easily and with minimal stress.

Plan well

Everything starts with a good plan, so sit down with family members (or whoever might be able to help you) and work out dates, times, movers, and logistics of the packing and moving process. Finding the right mover is an important part, so do your research before hiring anyone. Make sure someone will be able to drive at least one car to the new place with your necessities and smaller boxes with breakables so those don’t have to be put on the moving truck.

Get organized

Organization is key with any big change, so have some things handy while you’re packing to make the entire process go smoothly: trash bags, a large marker, some note paper, and cleaning supplies. This way you can clean as you go and you’ll be able to make packing lists for each box, making it much easier to find items once you get into the new place. Have various sized boxes on hand as well; bulky but lightweight items, such as pillows and blankets, can go in larger boxes, while fragile items can be packed tightly into small boxes.

Pack necessities, such as medicine, toiletries, cleaning supplies, paper plates and napkins, trash bags, and any food from the refrigerator into boxes that stay separate from the others so you can easily grab these at the new house and unpack them first.

Stay safe

Once a box is packed, move it up against the wall to keep walkways free of clutter and trip hazards. Stack them two at a time, and don’t try to move anything more than twenty pounds by yourself. If there will be family members helping you and you have a pet at home, have someone be in charge of keeping your pet safe and out from underfoot during the packing and moving process, especially if there will be doors opening and closing often.

Don’t forget attics, garages, and crawlspaces

With so much on your mind before the move, it can be easy to forget about the things you don’t see everyday. If you have help, ask someone to assist you in cleaning out these often large spaces and create piles for the items you want to sell, the ones you want to keep, the ones you want to throw away, and the ones you want to donate.

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Cleaning Before Putting Your House on the Market

Prepping your house before going on the market is an extremely stressful process no matter how you slice it and one of the most anxiety-inducing parts, at least for some of my clients, is the cleaning. Of course, over the years you clean your home regularly but there are still long forgotten areas that sometimes even professional cleaners leave undone for long periods of time. However, cleaning all these areas in your house with a deep clean process can make a huge difference in what people think as they walk through your home during an open house. So, from my own experience, these are some of the most rejected areas of the home which need to be cleaned before you can really open up your home to the public:

  • The walls. If you are not repainting your walls on the interior of your home, they definitely need a solid wipe down and cleaning. Scrub off those scuff marks and wipe off all those hand prints or grease marks left by your kids sticky fingers.
  • Floor boards and crown molding. You need to wipe those down and sometimes scrub off some mold off the ones in the bathrooms and the rid the ones in the entryway of mud left my dirty shoes. These may do well with a good painting as well if you decide to repaint the walls.
  • Clean the insides of your coat closets and your pantries or linen closets, those have top shelves that almost always get overlooked. Make sure you get rid of all the dust that you can find in those hard to reach spaces and get rid of all the spiders!
  • Clean up the hard to reach places in the laundry room like behind the washer and dryer. Make sure there is no dryer fluff hanging around. I would advise that you even consider redoing the finishes on your washer and dryer or polishing the chrome surfaces!

Do you know of any other things that might be important to clean before you have an open house? Let me know in the comments below.

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12 Signs You Need to Move into a Bigger Place

You may have gotten used to living in a tiny space throughout your twenties but, perhaps, you have hit a time in your life where you no longer have the same capacity you used to have to live small. Over time and as you get older, you begin to accumulate more stuff that you don’t want to be rid of. At a certain point you need to upgrade and move into a larger home. Here are 12 signs from that perfectly encapsulate when you need to move on and move up:

  1. Empty wall space feels like an absolute luxury. Or perhaps another storage opportunity.
  2. You can’t open a drawer without something falling out. And you can’t close it again without careful maneuvering.
  3. You’re amazed to find some people’s closets have a purpose and a proper name. Like a pantry or a linen closet.
  4. You fantasize about finding an undiscovered empty cabinet somewhere.
  5. Your laundry basket is always full because your closet is too small to have all your clothes clean at the same time.
  6. All your furniture doubles as storage in some way or another. Like the oven slash shoe rack or the fridge turned make up holder.
  7. Your wardrobe is always in season because you don’t have room to hang up anything that isn’t.
  8. You consider ‘under the bed’ and ‘under the sofa’ to be legitimate storage units.
  9. Almost everything you own – from Christmas lights to frying pans – is on display in your home.
  10. You think that glass coffee tables are an absolute waste. There is no hidden storage = useless!
  11. Your ‘dinner table’ moonlights as a desk, mini bar, and a kitchen work station.
  12. Whether it’s a shoebox or a big soup pot, the odds are it it has a lid, it’s storing something inside it.


Check out the original link below:

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Southern California’s Housing Market Has Hit All-Time Highs

According to The LA Times, the median home price in Los Angeles County, has reached the same peak as it was right before the 2007 housing market crash. The rest of Southern California has followed, with San Diego County surpassing its previous all-time high. This marks a significant event in the housing market’s recovery, but not necessarily for affordability.

In the most recent report from April 2017, the median price for a home in San Diego County climbed 7.4 percent to $525,000.

This increase might sound like great news for homeowners as their houses’ equity is increasing again, but the prices also seem to be going up faster than incomes. So in a place where houses are already known to be expensive, buying a home is getting even pricier.

Henry Vega, a real estate broker with Redfin, told the Times, “There is a general feeling that prices are too high, [but] there is an urgency that if we don’t buy now, we are just not going to be able to buy in the next three or five years.”

But Chris Thornberg, a founding partner of Beacon Economics, reassures that the current market is expensive, but nothing major to panic about. He says that the steady growth of five to six percent that we see right now, instead of the double-digit growth that happened before the crash, tells us that the current market is stable. “It’s not a bubble,” Thornberg said, according to the Times. “It doesn’t smell like a bubble. It doesn’t walk like a bubble.”

Rather, Steven Thomas, an analyst with thinks it is just a matter of supply and demand. “The lower ranges do not have enough supply, and demand is through the roof. Buyers need to sharpen their pencils and write strong offers to purchase,” he said, according to the Orange County Register.

According to the article by the Times, instead of careless loans driving the upswing like in 2007, economists credit an improving job market, historically low mortgage rates and a shortage of homes for sale — in other words, a healthier rise due to mismatched supply and demand.

So, spring home buying (and selling!) season is looking especially hot this year with no end in sight. It’s a competitive market right now as newer, move-in ready homes are selling in as little as a week, sometimes well over the asking price as multiple offers come in. Open houses are packed. Buyers have to be on their A game.

This is exactly what Priscilla Rael-Albin, broker-owner of Re/Max Discovery in Anaheim Hills told the Orange County Register. She has this advice for buyers: “They have to have their ducks in a row. They have to be ready to win. “They have to have their finances in order. They have to have their down payment accessible. They have to be pre-approved (for a loan).”

This is also a current trend across the country. The Case-Shiller index, an important gauge of housing prices, shows that in March 2017, previously-owned houses sold at the fastest pace in over a decade.

Check out the original article from The LA Times:

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Disabled Veterans Receive New Homes

I hope each and every one of you had a lovely Memorial Day weekend and you were able to contemplate the meaning of the holiday and feel true gratitude for our veterans! I have a heart-warming story to share with you from about the amazing lengths that some folks have gone to in order to show their gratitude for our service men and women’s sacrifice. Army Sgt. Nicholas Mendes became partially paralyzed by an explosive device rigged to his vehicle. Living in his old rental home in Murrieta, California was extremely difficult. It was nearly impossible for him to navigate around all the halls and doorways so he was basically confined to two rooms. Bathing sometimes took over an hour since the tub was not designed for his particular handicap. But everything changed last May when Homes for Our Troops came into the picture!

Last May, Mendes was gifted an amazing four-bedroom home mortgage-free which has been built to work perfectly for all of his limitations, making life so much more enjoyable. He has control of the lights, the doors, and the windows. And with the upgrades to his bathroom, it only takes him 15 minutes to shower now.

Homes for Our Troops has built or remodeled 230 homes since it started in 2004 and currently has another 80 projects underway. Bill Ivey, the executive director and a retired U.S. Army infantryman, says, “We see ourselves as a vehicle for the American people to repay the debt we owe these young men and women who have sacrificed so much defending our freedom and independence.”

I am so glad that organizations like Homes for Our Troops and Building Homes for Heroes exist to help the brave men and women who have given us so much!

To read the original story and see pictures from the newly remodeled homes, check out the link below:

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Thinking about Buying a Vacation Home?

Whether you’re a local or an out of towner, Encinitas would be a beautiful place to call your home away-from-home. Maybe you’re thinking about buying a vacation property here, or somewhere else entirely. Either way, a vacation home is a major decision and investment.

There are a lot of things to consider, and in this article, has them spot-on. This is what you should think about before buying a vacation home:

1.       How far?

If you want to be able to get away fast to your piece of paradise, you should consider properties that are affordable and quick to get to. Too far and you might not visit often, but too close and it might not feel like an escape. So what’s the perfect distance? According to the national average, that’s about 180 miles from your main residence. To decide, think about your schedule, your transportation, your sense of adventure and your patience.

2.       How often?

Will you be there every weekend? Once a month? Seasonally? The more often you’ll be there, the more a vacation home will be worth your investment. And, the more you use it, the more practical and comfortable you will want it to be. With more frequent use, you might want more conveniences like a dishwasher, A/C laundry, etc.

3.        How much?

Above all, pick a price range before you start seeing properties and stick to it. With these types of homes, spending a little extra can get especially tempting. A good real estate agent can help you with this.

If you’ll be financing your dream vacation home, keep in mind that most banks typically want 20 percent down; lenders also want to see that new debt added to your old debt doesn’t exceed 36 percent of your income.

Monthly costs on a vacation property are basically the same as any home: taxes, utilities, insurance and maintenance. Some might have additional resort fees and homeowner association dues. The point of a vacation home is to help you relax, not add to stress; so make sure it fits your budget.

4.       To rent or not to rent?

If you buy a property in a popular vacation or tourist destination (like Encinitas), you have the option to get some extra money and use out of your vacation house by renting it though for example, or to friends and family.



  • Rental incomes helps you cover the cost of your vacations
  • Renting out a vacation home for more than 14 days a year creates a tax shelter for deductions
  • Renting a vacation home that you eventually want to sell can help you wait out a bad market



  • Dealing with responsibilities of reservations, housekeeping and demands of guests
  • You’ll need to clean (or hire cleaners) after guests leave
  • Tax regulations are complicated, and the more you actually use your vacation home, the less of a tax shelter it becomes


Check out the original article on Zillow:

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Counting Down to Summer: Update Your Outdoor Spaces

Summer is almost here! Even though the season does not officially start until the second half of June, I have always thought of the season kicking off starting with Memorial Day. And I am fine with thinking about it that way because I am ready sooner and the season lasts longer that way. Since Memorial Day is next Monday, this week is the perfect time to start prepping all your outdoor spaces for the coming of summer and tons of outdoor entertaining. I can bet you that your outdoor spaces aren’t in tip top shape after winter time. If you clean and update your back yard now then you will be ready for all the barbeques, family gatherings, and relaxing evenings on the porch that you plan to have between June and August.

HGTV gathered up a great list of simple DIYs, hacks, and project ideas which can be used to prepare all your outdoor spaces for warm weather entertaining.

Freshen Up Interior and Exterior Spaces

Now is good time to clean up a little bit indoors as well. Get your guest room in order since summer is usually the time that it may be used! Additionally, wipe down all the outdoor furniture which likely desperately need a good scrubbing after all the rain we’ve had this year.

Mosquito Proof Your Yard

There are tons of ways to minimize the number of mosquitos that bother you on summer nights. Some include homemade or store bought citronella candles and certain plants or herbs like marigolds, lavender, lemon balm, and basil. For some more good ideas, check here: .

Add Fun Lighting

Adding string lights to your back yard is probably the easiest way to add a whole lot of charm and character to your outdoor entertaining spaces. Hanging some lights up also encourages guests to stay outside longer which is great if you aren’t as keen on entertaining indoors.


Check out the original link for even more great ideas:

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You Can Be a Real Estate Investor Too!

So many people believe that it is incredibly difficult to become a legitimate real estate investor but it is actually an extremely feasible task if you choose the right things to focus on when you first get started. You won’t be a tycoon overnight and, yes, there is some risk but there is never reward without risk and there is certainly reward even in the minor real estate investments. Than Merrill, the CEO of San Diego’s FortuneBuilders and CT Homes, has said “real estate is one of the few investments where your upside is truly unlimited. With the right property in the right location, you can make 15% to even 30% on your money.” laid out three great ways to get started in the world of real estate investing for the average person. I will pass onto you the ways they suggest getting going in widening your financial portfolio through real estate.


First Savvy Investment: Renting

Without a doubt, people will always need to rent houses, apartments, or condos so becoming a landlord can provide quite a bit of return and create a steady income very month. It always pays for itself over time and can lead to profits that can be used to pay for your children’s college tuition.

Second Savvy Investment: House Flipping

This particular real estate investment can prove to be extremely lucrative; however, it requires quite a lot of work. You need to be very specific when picking a market and a house. Then it’s required that you pay acute attention to detail in what needs to be redone before flipping it and you usually need a good amount of experience in the industry.

Third Savvy Investment: Real Estate Investment Trust

This is possibly the easiest way to get involved in real estate investment since you can increase the amount of real estate in your portfolio without actually needing to buy any property. With this option, you are purchasing stock in large scale properties and, therefore, automatically diversifying your investments. This is called an armchair investment since you don’t have to do very much like the previous two.


Check out the original link below:

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New Listing at 555 Crest Drive

I have another listing that just hit the market which you might already know if you follow my activity on Facebook. On Friday, I posted about this new listing since we had our first open house for it this past weekend. If you weren’t able to make it to the open house on Sunday, don’t worry since we will likely have another for this great property soon. Until then I will fill you in on all the great amenities that this listing has to offer. Located at 555 Crest Drive in the Crestview Estates neighborhood in South Encinitas. This is a warm and charming cul-de-sac family home with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. One of the bedrooms and one of the bathrooms are located downstairs for great ease of access. This home is designed perfecting for entertaining and outdoor entertaining in particular with a huge and grassy South facing back yard. The outdoor area also features a built-in barbeque, large deck areas, and a gorgeous lush landscape.

The interior is just as lovely as the exterior with tall ceilings and an abundant amount of natural light. The house features tons of charm with striking walnut random plank hardwood floors with travertine inlays. It also features a drop dead gorgeous kitchen with hand crafted custom cabinetry. The property has been outfitted with a lot of recent improvements including a brand-new A/C HVAC system. The neighborhood is home to tons of families and has award winning schools.

The current price is at $1,185,000. Check out some of the gorgeous photos below to hold you off until the next open house is scheduled.

Here is the view from the driveway which features a three-car garage:

The dining room is filled with natural light and features large windows:

Vaulted ceilings in the living area:

Luscious landscaping in the back yard:

Large master bedroom and bathroom:

Check out the listing link below:




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Great Events Coming Up in Encinitas

Now that the summer season is really starting to get going, there will be exceedingly more events going on in downtown Encinitas and the surrounding areas. This week and weekend is scheduled to be pretty exciting in Encinitas and the general vicinity with several fun events including the Classic Car Night, the San Dieguito Heritage Museum Deep Pit BBQ, and the Great Strides Moonlight Beach.


Classic Car Night

Thursday, May 18th 5:30 to 7:30

South Coast Highway 101 – D Street to K Street

Admission is free for this traditional Classic Night series which will be ongoing every third Thursday of every summer month until September. Get ready to see hundreds of hot rods, Woodies, and other classic and vintage vehicles. This car show has a great family friendly atmosphere with live music at several venues along the highway and an awards ceremony at 7:15pm.


San Dieguito Heritage Museum Deep Pit BBQ – 29th Annual

Saturday, May 20th 12:00 to 3:00

450 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas

Otherwise known as the “Q & Brew”, this barbeque is a great time with live entertainment, craft beer tasting, kids’ games, a petting zoo, costumes, props, and photo ops. Admission is 25 dollars for adults ($30 at the door), 15 dollars for teens (13-17), 7 dollars for kids (5-12).


Great Strides Moonlight Beach

Sunday, May 21st 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM

800 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas

Three miles

“Join us on Sunday, May 21, 2017 for Great Strides Moonlight Beach at San Dieguito Academy! That’s right, due to construction of the Moonlight Beach Lifebuard tower we will be holding our Moonlight Beach walk right up the road on the track & field at San Dieguito Academy. While the event location will be changed for this year, we are dedicated to bring you a very fun and festive walk day experience!” – Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Foundation


Learn more at the following links:

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