Karin Torrice - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


As a senior citizen, selling a home and moving to a new location may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of packing up your belongings and getting settled into a new address.

Now, let's take a look at three essential moving tips for senior citizens.

1. Plan Ahead

Moving day can be long and stressful, particularly for seniors who don't plan ahead. If you start planning for your move today, you can increase the likelihood of a seamless transition from one address to another.

Think about your belongings and what you'd like to bring to your new address. If you have a wide assortment of items that you won't need at your new home, you can sell, donate or dispose of these items prior to moving day.

Also, if you need to hire a moving company, don't wait until the last minute to do so. Because the longer that you wait to hire a moving company, the less likely it becomes that this company will be available on the date of your move.

2. Secure Your Treasured Belongings

Although you've collected a large assortment of items over the years, you may be unable to bring all of these items to your new address. However, if you sort through your belongings, you can determine which items to keep.

Treasured belongings like antiques, artwork and jewelry generally are keepers. Pack and store these items properly to ensure they won't deteriorate before moving day.

Let's not forget about treasured belongings that have sentimental value, either. Photographs and other treasured possessions should be packed in a safe place and labeled correctly. That way, you'll have no trouble unpacking these precious belongings once you arrive at your new address.

3. Ask Friends and Family Members for Help

When it comes to getting ready for moving day, there is no need to work alone. Senior citizens who reach out to friends and family members for help can streamline the process of preparing for a move and enjoy a one-of-a-kind moving experience.

Friends and family members are loved ones who strive to help you in any way they can. Thus, if you contact friends and family members before moving day, you can work with loved ones to boost the chances of a fast, easy move.

Lastly, if you need extra assistance before you relocate, it never hurts to contact a real estate agent. This housing market professional understands the challenges associated with moving and is happy to help any senior citizen enjoy a stress-free move.

A real estate agent can put you in touch with local moving professionals. Plus, if you need help selling a house, a real estate agent can make it easy to list your residence, host home showings and much more.

Keep things simple as you get ready to move – use the aforementioned moving tips, and any senior can quickly and effortlessly prep for moving day.


Although your real estate agent will be doing all the "heavy lifting" when it comes to marketing your home, your frame of mind and attitude can have a surprising impact on the success of his or her efforts.

This is especially true in regard to sprucing up your home and keeping it in tip-top condition for showings.

Your agent will do their best to bring prospective buyers to your home and offer you suggestions for making the best impression on house hunters, but it's up to you to implement their ideas. Those recommendations could run the gamut from keeping your lawn looking impeccable to applying a fresh coat of (neutral color) paint to areas that need it. Admittedly, it can be difficult to keep your home looking immaculate for every real estate showing, but "near perfection" is a goal worth aiming for!

Staying positive and optimistic in the face of setbacks, fast-approaching deadlines, and missed target dates can be difficult, but it's essential for fueling your motivation. If you, as a home seller, begin to feel discouraged and pessimistic, you may begin to label priorities as "not that important" or put things off that really need to be addressed now.

If you've been updating and maintaining your home on a regular basis, your to-do list might be shorter than home sellers who have been saying "We'll take care of that next year!" Problems develop when "next year" never comes and projects keep getting bumped to the future. If you're determined to put your best foot forward in the real estate market, there's no time like the present!

Since preparing your house to be listed can feel overwhelming, the secret is to prepare a priority list and tackle one task at a time. It can also be helpful to get feedback from your real estate agent on what improvements and changes will produce the most impact. A seasoned agent will be able to quickly size up the condition and appearance of your home, and let you know what issues need to be addressed first. Their experience, objectivity, and trained eye will help you identify cost-effective solutions and be able to present your home in its best light.

Although a good real estate agent will leave no stone unturned when it comes to effectively marketing your home, they will appreciate and be energized by the fact that you have pride in the appearance of your house and property. There are a lot of ingredients that go into the successful staging and sale of a home, but you can help keep the momentum going by doing a little extra painting (where needed), cleaning, and clutter reduction.

"Accentuating the positive and minimizing the negative" should be your watch words from the day you decide to list your house until the moment the sale of your home has been signed, sealed, and delivered!


If you recently listed your home, you may expect many offers to purchase to come your way in the near future. However, the house selling journey can be difficult to navigate, and there are many signs that indicate offers to purchase your home may be unlikely to arrive any time soon. These signs include:

1. Homebuyers are not scheduling showings.

Homebuyers often set up showings to view residences. And if buyers like what they see during a showing, these individuals may request a second showing or submit an offer to purchase a house.

Comparatively, a seller who receives no home showing requests for many days, weeks or months after listing a residence may be in trouble. This seller may need to perform home upgrades to help his or her residence stand out from the competition. Or, the seller may need to lower his or her house's initial asking price.

2. Homebuyers are not attending open houses.

An open house event is designed to provide buyers with an enjoyable experience. The event allows buyers to walk through a residence at their own pace. And if a buyer likes a house, he or she may request a one-on-one showing or submit an offer to purchase.

On the other hand, if no buyers attend an open house, a seller may need to modify his or her property selling strategy. This individual should consider the buyer's perspective closely and think about why buyers may choose to avoid his or her residence. Then, the seller can tweak his or her house selling strategy accordingly.

3. Comparable houses in your area continue to sell.

If a seller finds his or her residence lingers on the real estate market while similar houses sell quickly, there may be one or many problems with this individual's house. Although a seller may wonder why his or her house fails to stir up interest from buyers, a real estate agent can offer expert support. In fact, a seller can work with a real estate agent to determine the best course of action to promote his or her house to the right buyers.

Typically, a real estate agent meets with a house seller and helps this individual craft a property selling strategy. A real estate agent and home seller work hand-in-hand to figure out how to list a house, showcase it to buyers and maximize the residence's value. And when a real estate agent and home seller put a home selling plan into action, the results can be significant.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides once a seller receives an offer to purchase, either. At this point, a home seller may be uncertain about what to do. But a real estate agent will help a home seller review all possible options and make an informed decision.

Simplify the house selling cycle – hire a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to generate interest in your home as soon as it becomes available.


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Common-interest housing includes individually owned spaces and common areas shared by all owners. The common areas can include clubhouses, landscaping, parking lots or pools. Multistory buildings share lobbies, stairwells, and elevators. Any community that shares property including single-family free-standing homes in developments, falls into the common-interest category. 

The two most familiar types of common-interest housing terms are condominiums (or condos) and townhomes (or townhouses). Although both belong in the category of common-interest housing, condos and townhouses may mean different things depending on regional or legal definitions.

The Difference

A condo is a shared building or group of buildings and common spaces in which housing units are owned individually. This could be a single unit within a tower building or a conjoined home having its own ground floor with exterior entry. Other homes in the condominium category include single-family cottages or even modular homes inside planned communities. When you purchase a condo, you own the unit itself while you are a co-owner of the common areas.

A townhome is a style of house that is connected to another structure on at least one side. It may be solely owned by an individual as part of a CID, part of a multi-family apartment dwelling, or individually owned without property in common. A true townhome is built with independent sidewalls that stand alone even if they touch the walls of another townhome. When you purchase a townhouse, you own the unit itself and whatever yard area is affiliated with it as you would with a detached single-family house.

While condominium units might incorporate elements like private outdoor spaces, individual ground-floor entry options or design elements that resemble those of a townhome, it is ownership that truly defines them. 

Homeowners’ Association 

All CID properties have a homeowners’ association (HOA) of some sort. While some are mainly hands-off with regard to individual units, others have specific regulations regarding renting, remodeling, and exterior décor. 

If you are trying to decide between purchasing a condominium or a townhouse, have your agent explain the differences in common ownership between them, and make certain to factor in the HOA fees to your monthly budget.


Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay

When you’re self-employed, it’s difficult to decide whether you are ready to buy a house. After all, your income might come in spurts instead of having a regular check every week or two. Being prepared for the mortgage process increases the chance that your application will be approved. Self-employed people have more hurdles to jump because of the nature of their income, even those that make six or more figures.>

Difficulties in Qualifying for a Mortgage

Since you’ve probably done a ton of research on mortgages and finding your dream home, you already know the basics—make sure your credit is good, how much down payment you’ll need and what you are able to afford. You may have a pretty good idea of what documents you need to provide and already have them ready. However, those pesky tax returns might come back to bite you.

Tax Returns

The biggest problem in qualifying for a mortgage when you’re self-employed is your tax returns. Most business people take every deduction allowed. However, while that’s great for your pocket since you pay less tax, it’s bad for applying for a mortgage.

Part of your self-employment tax returns is your expenses. You probably claim things like utilities, cell phones, business meals and travel and have a ton of depreciation. When a lender looks at the tax returns, it doesn’t add those things back in—except for depreciation. While you might make $300,000, your adjusted gross income on your tax return is going to be the number the lender looks at. If it’s $10,000, you’re not going to qualify for that loan.

Alternative Methods

You could amend your taxes or you could wait for two years and not claim anything on your taxes. However, that means you will be paying heavily to the IRS. Or, you could find a lender who does non-conforming loans. Some lenders are sympathetic to self-employed people and will use other methods of verifying income. Some banks may look at your deposits for a year instead. They’ll still ask for your tax returns, but will not use them to qualify your income.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your tax returns help lenders figure your debt-to-income ratio. While lenders are supposed to use your gross income, that does not hold true with self-employed borrowers. Lenders look at the adjusted gross income on your tax returns. That number is often lower than net income because of the expenses you deduct.

A lender adds up your debts and divides that number by your adjusted gross income. If you have a proposed mortgage payment of $1,200, a car payment of $650 and other credit lines, including credit cards of $500, you have $2,350 in debt. If your self-employed monthly income is $8,000, your debt-to-income ratio should be about 29 percent. But wait a second. That’s not the number on your tax returns.

If the adjusted gross income on the last two years of tax returns is $4,000 and $2,500 respectively, then your average monthly income is going to be $3,250 (add the two together, then divide by 2). That means your debt-to-income is actually 72 percent. The highest a lender will “give” you is 43 percent, though most will only consider your application if your debt-to-income is 39 percent not including your new mortgage and 33 percent including your new mortgage. In this example, a lender who uses deposits instead of tax returns will show a debt-to-income ratio of 29 percent.

If you are ready to purchase a house and want to learn more about qualifying for a loan, feel free to reach out. Together, we'll be able to get you into the home of your dreams, despite the hurdles.




Loading