Entries for 2013

Blog

Real Estate Resources For Mom & Dad

 Posted by David Van Houten on June 5, 2013 at 3:14 PM

by Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions

When it comes to choosing housing or buying and selling real estate, the needs of older adults and their families can be quite complex. Selling situations may be complicated by issues such as family dynamics, deteriorating health, personal loss and financial constraints. To provide consumers with dedicated support options, two of the nation’s most professional resources work in partnership.

Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estatblished their Senior Real Estate Specialist© (SRES©) program in 2007. Realtors who invest the time to earn their SRES credential cultivate a unique view of today’s market, including the sale of older homes, senior housing options and the logistics of relocation. They also understand the implications of common financial concerns, including financing options, reverse mortgage, tax laws, probate and estate planning. Today there are approximately 15,000 SRES Realtors nationwide. All SRES Realtors meet NAR industry requirements and are supported by the SRES Council.

Caring Transitions®:

As the nation’s largest professional resource for household relocation and liquidation, Caring Transitions, is uniquely qualified to serve in partnership with the SRES Realtor network.

With independently owned offices in every major market, Caring Transitions® supports families and business professionals as they downsize, sell, move, pack and unpack. With professional Estate Sale and state-of-the-art CT Online Auction capabilities, Caring Transitions® helps consumers with decluttering. They often assist clients by preparing homes for sale. Moving and storage costs may be offset by professional space planning and downsizing services which are typically delivered in advance of a major move.

Not sure where to start?

It is important for families to understand their options when it comes to secure, knowledgeable and qualified resources. Both SRES® and Caring Transitions® work with teams of professionals who assist with all facets of the home sale and relocation process. Both serve as advocates for their older adult clients.

If listing your home for sale is your immediate concern, contact an SRES® Realtor® today.  However, if you think it is best to begin the downsizing process before you list or if you are ready to move to your new home or clear an estate, contact this local Caring Transitions® office. Both groups of professionals will work in concert to support your needs and help you avoid costly and time consuming mistakes.

 

La Jolla Based Franchisee Highlighted In Press Release

 Posted by David Van Houten on May 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Caring Transitions La Jolla

Will and Suzy Fuller, owners of Caring Transitions La Jolla, were recently highlighted by a local news story in the Rancho Santa Fe Review. The couple, who graduated from their training class this winter, have hit the ground running and taken the local market by storm. With a background in customer service and marketing, connecting with clients and understanding their complicated issues came naturally to Will Fuller.

“Our focus is to minimize the stress and maximize the returns while helping clients through a difficult time,” commented Fuller.

One reason why the Fullers were interested in owning a Caring Transitions franchise are the demographic trends. According to statistics, 79 million baby boomers turned 65 in 2011 which translates to about 10,000 Americans gaining senior status each day.

“It’s a daunting thought that each of those families must face a major change at some point,” said Fuller. “But we have proven systems in place whereby we can remove a lot of the stress – and a lot of times the arguments – out of coping with these often overwhelming major life-changing transitions.”

To read more from this article, head to the Caring Transitions La Jolla website.

Caring Transitions Recognizes Exceptional Franchisees at National Conference

 Posted by David Van Houten on April 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Cincinnati, OH — Caring Transitions (CT), a national franchise specializing in senior moving, household liquidations and estate sales management, recently honored several outstanding franchisees at its annual conference, held at the Riverside Hotel in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

With nearly a hundred franchisees, vendors and home office staff in attendance, the awards were presented at Caring Transitions’ national meeting, during more than two days of informational sessions, networking opportunities, and roundtable meetings.

Sherri Gillette, Caring Transitions of Southern Arizona, received the “Franchise of the Year” award for her contributions to the Caring Transitions system. She and her team doubled their revenue during the past year, rising up to the second largest business in the system. Sherri was also instrumental in mentoring and hosting a number of new owners, serving as an Onsite Training Center.

Donna and Jeff Rea, Caring Transitions of North Dallas Suburbs, received the “Rookie of the Year” award for their exponential growth and great cooperative effort in building a strong Caring Transitions presence in the DFW area.

Janet and Rick Parkinson, Caring Transitions of Upstate South Carolina, were awarded the “Trailblazer of the Year” award for their commitment in helping to develop the Caring Transitions Online Auction site, helping to refine the processes, assisting others by developing and training the CTO model, and making recommendations for software upgrades and improvements.

Also honored at the conference for finishing 2012 in the Top Ten in sales revenue were: Bruce Treadway, CT of Northern Illinois and the North Shore; Sherri Gillette, CT of Southern Arizona; Darcy Inge and Rebecca Cline, CT of Richmond; and Janet and Rick Parkinson, CT of Upstate South Carolina. Others honored for their growth and system involvement by being named to the “Rookie All-Star Team” were Erin Marcus, CT of Chicago and North Suburbs; Cindy and Steve Breck, CT of Las Vegas; and Sue and Mark Fadden, CT of Chicago Western Suburbs.

Chris Seman, President of Caring Transitions, reaffirmed the two main areas Caring Transitions will continue to focus on in 2013: unit revenues and unit profitability.

“Our company’s growth and success is totally dependent upon the interactions of everyone — home office, franchisees, and vendors, working together to build a strong, dynamic, and viable partnership. As each of our individual offices succeeds, so too will our group as a whole,”  - Chris Seman, CT President.

Conference attendees had a chance to share ideas and gain new insight into business practices. Keynote speaker, Jim Ryerson, President and CEO of SalesOctane, delivered the “Science of Selling” to the system and then worked with our franchisees during a breakout session to develop a Caring Transitions Sales Map, outlining behaviors needed to improve the sales process. Caring Transitions’ Ray Rofkar, Director of Operations, reaffirmed the operations team’s commitment to continuous improvement in assisting franchisee’s growth. Nan Hayes, National Marketing and Training Consultant, spoke about national accounts and the need for a strong, cohesive alliance between CT’s individual offices and the home office. Joel Roadruck, CT Operations Manager, led a panel in discussing how to incorporate multiple revenue streams. Joe Lewandowski, CT Operations Manager, led a panel discussion outlining the development of the CT Estimating Program to help franchisees increase profitability by properly pricing and managing each piece of business.

Nationwide, Caring Transitions fields more than 100 franchises serving hundreds of communities.

Founded in 2006, Caring Transitions has been a trusted and highly respected national company leading the way in senior moving, household liquidations and estate sales management in dozens of cities across the United States. Caring Transitions is part of the International Franchise Association, the Small Business Association’s Franchise Registry, VetFran and Minority Fran. For more information call 1-800-647-0766 or visit http://www.caringtransitions.com.

Home Market 2013 – Caring Transitions February Newsletter

 Posted by David Van Houten on February 4, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Home Market 2013

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions

In the past year, sales of existing homes rose by 11% or 4.75 million and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) expects sales to rise to nearly 5.1 million in 2013. Sales have increased across all regions and all price categories.

Despite the positive outlook and improvements in housing market indicators, many remain cautious and lack the complete confidence that consumer spending, employment and lending will fully recover.  The good news is most economists say the majority of these issues will be resolved by the second half of 2013, giving the housing market a chance to continue its positive trend.

Challenges for Buyers

Over the past few years, many potential sellers waited for the market to trend up before listing their homes and during that time much of the home inventory that was out there dried up. As we move into 2013, markets such as Chicago are seeing record lows in inventories. This inventory reduction provides encouraging news for sellers who stand to sell quickly, near or even above list price; however, a low inventory market isn’t so great for buyers, who will undoubtedly face stiff competition for available properties.

The 2013 market may see a rapid increase in prices as an increased number of buyers compete over these low inventories and engage in bidding wars.  Buyers are on the rise in many markets and for many reasons. More buyers will enter the market as the economy recovers and hiring increases. High rental occupancy and rising rents are encouraging renters to move on to homeownership, creating even more buyers and as home prices increase, owners who were in negative equity situations will begin to sell their homes, but they will also become buyers searching for their next home. With so many people looking for properties during a time when home building and financing for builders remains at historical lows, the biggest question  for 2013 may be “Where are the homes?”

Distressed properties are still available in some markets, but even foreclosure filings are expected to dwindle throughout 2013.The number of inexpensive homes for sale  has dropped significantly over the past year. This resulted in an increased number of transactions in the mid to high price ranges and caused dramatic increase in the median home price in many areas.

Fifty cities experienced double-digit increases in home prices, led by Phoenix, with a gain of 28.4% where the properties had become severely undervalued.  Many of the cities that are showing the largest increases are those who suffered most at the beginning of the crisis. They are now on the leading edge of the recovery. Across the board market observers agree that home prices will keep rising in 2013, but they disagree by how much. Forecasters speculate anywhere from a 2% to a 5% increase.

According to Kiplinger’s Report, the following 12 cities report the largest percentage increases in home prices late 2012; Phoenix, AZ, Provo, UT, Ft. Meyers, Fl., Minneapolis, MN., Akron, OH., Youngstown, OH., Seattle, WA., Salt Lake City, UT., Boise, ID., San Jose, CA., Washington, D.C. and Tucson, AZ.

While  these markets experienced the largest percentage decreases in the same time frame; Louisville, KY., Columbia, S.C., Springfield, MA., Baton Rouge, LA., Scranton, PA., Greensboro, N.C., Memphis, TN., Omaha, NE., Knoxville, TN., Toledo, OH., Philadelphia, PA. and Portland, ME.

Challenges for Sellers

Based on the inventory situation, you would think home prices would be skyrocketing and sellers quickly jumping into the market. But it hasn’t really happened.  On one hand desirable homes that are priced well move fast, but on the other hand homes that are too cluttered, in need of serious repair or in poor locations may continue to languish.

And sellers are not yet as optimistic as one would think they’d be. Many sellers entering the market are selling their homes due to affordability problems such as inability to pay their mortgage or finding their investment in an “underwater” position. Others are suffering from job uncertainty, loss of household income or just choosing to move to a more affordable market. These owners’ reasons for selling reflect the hardships that many are experiencing and may explain why sellers are not very hopeful about the future of home prices. According to the Home Buyers Report, only about one in five sellers believe home prices will continue to increase.

Still, the shortage of preferred inventory in the market will still work to the advantage of some buyers, especially those who are well positioned, have a home in reasonably good condition, who seek out the right broker and list at the right price before everyone else jumps in the game.

Let us help you get your home ready for the 2013 selling season! Downsizing, decluttering, estate sale and online auctions from Caring Transitions!

About Caring Transitions

As life changes, it may become necessary to leave a familiar home and part with personal belongings in order to downsize and relocate to a smaller home or retirement community. At Caring Transitions, we help our clients understand the process, evaluate their options and make informed decisions that suit their best interests. We are committed to making each client’s experience positive by minimizing stress and maximizing results.

 

Ask An Expert – January 2013 Newsletter

 Posted by David Van Houten on January 7, 2013 at 10:05 AM

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions 

If you are over the age of 70, chances are your 2013 New Year’s resolutions may include items such as “Look into long term care insurance,” “Clean out the basement,” “Investigate housing options, ““Find a home care provider,” “Add grab bars in the bathroom,” or perhaps “Locate a qualified  home helper.”

 

All of these are good resolutions and things most of us should deal with sooner rather than later. The trick is finding the right resources to help you work through your “later lifestyle” list of resolutions. To help get you started, Caring Transitions has put together a short list of industry “experts” you can turn to for advice and support in 2013.

 

Housing Choices

With so many care options, amenities and fee structures, it is sometime tough to narrow down your housing choices. Free referral services are available both online through comprehensive directories such as Retirement Homes.com or you can contact a hands-on expert, such as those working at your local Assisted Transitions office.

Online: www.retirementhomes.com or www.assistedtransition.com

Other resources: www.aplaceformom.com, www.seniorhousingnet.com

 

Financial Planning

While not specific to senior adults, the Certified Financial Professional (CFP) designation is awarded to those individuals who meet the CFP Board’s experience and exam requirement for financial planning, risk management, insurance planning and more.

Online: www.cfp.net

Other resources: http://www.aarp.org/money/

 

Home Care

Finding qualified home care is often a matter of referral by medical professional, friends or family. However, more and more websites offer free search options, such as at Care.com and Years Ahead.  Don’t hesitate to ask a potential caregiver for their rates, qualifications and referrals in order to understand if they are right for you!

Online: www.yearsahead.com, www.care.com

Other resources: www.alz.org/carefinder

 

Benefits

Whether you are looking for help to pay for prescription drugs, health care, rent, utilities, and other needs or seeking information about your veteran’s benefits, resources are available to you day and night.

Online: www.benefitscheckup.org and www.ebenefits.va.gov/

Other resources: http://www.aadmm.com

 

Home Sale

The National Association of Realtors developed the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) Program in 2006. Realtors who carry the SRES® designation after their name have been trained to understand the needs of their senior clients including housing options, financing and issues facing a later life move from family home.

Online: http://www.seniorsrealestate.com/find_an_sres.cfm

Other resources: www.moveseniors.com

 

Legal Matters

A great many resources on elder law may be found at the government’s National Legal resource center. Also, The National Association for Elder Law Attorneys maintains a list of both accredited (CELA-Certified Elder Law Attorneys) and experience qualified attorneys who specifically serve senior clients and their families.

Online: www.naela.org

Other resources: http://nlrc.aoa.gov/nlrc/Legal_Issues/Index.aspx

 

Downsizing, decluttering, estate sale

Caring Transitions® is the only national network of certified home transition and estate sale professionals with offices in over 100 major markets. We also support the CT Online web-based auction site. The Certified Transition Specialist (CRTS®) designation is awarded to those who specialize in downsizing and managing transitions for older adults, including local and long distance relocation to Senior Living Communities.

Online: www.caringtransitions.com, http://ctonlineauctions.com/

Other resources, www.crtscertification.com, www.napo.net

 

Moving

In conjunction with government agencies, the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) launched their Pro Mover program in 2009 to help the consumer identify and steer clear of moving imposters, known within the industry as “rogue operators,” by giving consumers an easy way to separate reputable, professional movers from con artists out to make a quick buck at their expense. Individuals can locate an interstate Pro Mover by looking for the Pro Mover logo, which is only issued to those companies that meet AMSA standards.  Many state movers’ associations have their own local programs to help qualify local movers. For more information contact your local mover’s association.

Online: www.moving.org

Other resources: http://www.moving.org/promovers_az.asp

 

No Computer?

No problem! You can call the Eldercare Locator at 1.800.677.1116 or use your phone book to contact your local Senior Center or Area Agency on Aging for a list of qualified providers and their contact information.

Our Resolutions

All Caring Transitions We feel it is important to stay abreast of the current issues and trends so we may thoroughly understand how our society is changing with the “graying of America. It is evident that as the Baby Boomers and their parents grow older, we have a real responsibility to specialize our services to meet our client’s varying needs. All Caring Transitions agents have passed rigorous examination and are CRTS® Certified. Many also carry the CSA professional designation. Our 2013 resolution is to help you carry out your resolutions for the year. We will continue to maintain our high standard of excellence and working in tandem with qualified professionals such as SRES Realtors and Pro Movers in order to provide the best possible service experience for our clients.

Caring Transitions does not endorse or guarantee the services of any of the providers above.