I Got the Call to Be Here in 90 DaysNow What?!?

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Realty One Group

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Feb 22, 2024

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Pennsylvania - South Central PA

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You’ve been on a waiting list for a senior living facility for years.   In the meantime, your “dream cruise” is planned and that family reunion is around the corner...then you get “the call." If you’re like many downsizing Seniors the question echoing in your mind is; “What do I do about the house?”  Here is a quick guide that can give you the confidence and structure that you need.

 

First, take a breath…you can do this!  Next, identify a trusted Realtor who has genuine experience helping Seniors.  Start by looking for Realtors that have the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation.  Seniors and their families need a Realtor to help navigate the maze of financial, legal, and emotional issues accompanying the sale of your memory filled home.   I’m a longtime SRES and still depend on this special training to help Seniors through the process.  It may sound old school, but a Realtor who listens deeply and communicates with a smile, handshake, and a visit is a must.  Skills like patience, planning, and guiding are critical.

 

Invite your Realtor in as early as possible to walk through the home to learn its unique character and story!  Look for a Realtor who can translate the story into a plan to market that “uniqueness”.  Part of their role will be to help you understand how to prepare your home for the market…what projects to tackle, which ones to ignore, and how to not go “overboard” as you prepare to sell.  Like all top Realtors, we have a handy list of trusted resources to help tackle agreed upon projects.  

 

Pricing should be based on reality and facts, not hopes and dreams.  Location, size, and amenities are part of the equation as are market activity, market trends, and area competition.  Over the years, we’ve developed a very customized, yet simple, tool to accurately forecast list and sale prices.  All top Realtors will have something similar in their tool belt.  Be comfortable asking questions…working with a Realtor should be a collaboration, not a dictatorship.

 

Using a professional stager and photographer is another “must do” in today’s market.  Digital marketing demands high quality, properly lit, compelling photos of an expertly staged homed so that it shines and tells its story clearly.  Every Realtor handles this differently, but we believe in this concept so strongly that we provide both a stager and photographer at no cost to our listing clients…it is just too important to skip. 

 

These are the steps that lead to the “For Sale” sign…and hopefully the ability to breathe a bit easier.


This article was written by Mike Julian, Managing Broker, Realty One Group Unlimited.  

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Springtime Nutrition: Fresh And Healthy Eating For Seniors

March is celebrated as National Nutrition Month, a period dedicated to emphasizing the importance of healthy eating and making nutritious food choices. For those caring for elderly family members, providing meals that are both nutritionally balanced and tailored to meet the unique dietary requirements of seniors is of utmost importance. As we observe this significant month, lets explore healthy habits and senior-friendly recipes designed to not only provide essential nourishment but also to please the palates of our older loved ones.Embracing Healthy Habits Seniors and CaregiversRecipe Ideas for Balanced MealsBreakfast: a nutritious start to the dayLunch: light and nourishing midday mealsDinner: comforting and wholesome evening fareSnack ideas for between mealsNutritional drinks for seniorsEmbracing Healthy Habits Seniors and CaregiversMaintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes increasingly important as we age. For seniors and their caregivers, adopting healthy habits can significantly enhance quality of life and overall well-being.  Here are some practical tips to help seniors start on the path to healthier living:Plan mealsTaking time each week to plan meals that cover all five food groups is essential. This not only ensures your loved one enjoys a nutritionally balanced diet but also makes grocery shopping more straightforward, as your meal plan doubles as an effective shopping list.Make informed choicesWhile shopping for groceries, pay close attention to the Nutrition Facts labels on food packaging. This step is key in choosing products that are higher in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber but lower in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars, meeting the specific nutritional needs of seniors.Understand calorie labelingWhen dining out or ordering food, look for calorie information on menus. This can help you make healthier choices for your senior, enabling you to manage their calorie intake effectively, which is critical for maintaining their overall health.Monitor Intake and PortionsMonitoring how much and what your senior eats is vital in maintaining their health. Use the Nutrition Facts label as a guide to control portion sizes and calorie intake, ensuring they receive the nutrients they need without unnecessary excesses.Recipe Ideas for Balanced MealsBreakfast: a nutritious start to the dayBreakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for a good reason. It sets the tone for energy levels and nutritional intake. For seniors, starting the day with a meal thats both nutritious and easy to eat can help maintain energy levels, support cognitive function, and promote heart health. Our breakfast ideas focus on combining simple, wholesome ingredients like whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to create meals that are both satisfying and senior-friendly.1. Creamy avocado and egg toastIngredients: Soft whole-grain bread, ripe avocado, poached or scrambled eggs, sprinkle of paprika.Benefits: Avocado offers a creamy texture loaded with healthy fats and fiber, ideal for senior digestion and heart health. Eggs contribute high-quality protein and choline, enhancing brain function. This combination on soft whole-grain bread provides a balanced, nutrient-rich start to the day thats also easy on the palate.Instructions: Begin by toasting the soft whole-grain bread to your desired level of crispness. Mash the ripe avocado in a bowl and spread it evenly on the toast. Prepare the eggs to your likingeither poached or scrambledand place them on top of the mashed avocado. Sprinkle a bit of paprika over the eggs for added flavor. This dish combines textures and nutrients beneficial for seniors, making breakfast both enjoyable and health-supportive.2. Berry and yogurt smoothieIngredients: Mixed berries (fresh or frozen), plain Greek yogurt, a splash of almond milk, and a teaspoon of honey for sweetness.Benefits: Berries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, supporting immune health and providing natural sweetness. Greek yogurt is a fantastic source of protein and probiotics, aiding in digestion and bone health. The almond milk adds a smooth consistency and a dose of vitamin E, while honey brings natural sweetness and energy.Instructions: Combine the mixed berries, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add a little more almond milk to reach your desired consistency. This smoothie is not only nutritious but also easy to consume, making it a perfect breakfast option for seniors who may have difficulty with solid food early in the morning.3. Oatmeal with bananas and cinnamonIngredients: Rolled oats, sliced bananas, cinnamon, and milk (or a milk alternative).Benefits: Oatmeal is a heart-healthy grain that provides a good source of fiber, aiding in digestion and keeping cholesterol levels in check. Bananas add natural sweetness and potassium, which is vital for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Cinnamon not only adds flavor but also has anti-inflammatory properties.Instructions: Cook the rolled oats in milk or a milk alternative according to package instructions until they are soft and creamy. Slice a banana and stir it into the cooked oatmeal. Sprinkle cinnamon on top for flavor. This warm and comforting meal is easy to prepare, gentle on the stomach, and packed with nutrients, making it an ideal breakfast for seniors.Lunch: light and nourishing midday mealsLunch offers an excellent opportunity to incorporate a variety of nutrients into a seniors diet, helping to sustain energy throughout the afternoon. Our lunch recipes are designed to be both light and nourishing, providing a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. These meals are not only easy to prepare but also gentle on the digestive system, making them perfect for a midday boost.1. Smooth sweet potato soupIngredients: Roasted sweet potatoes blended into a smooth soup, low-sodium vegetable broth, a touch of cream for richness, and mild spices according to taste.Benefits: Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, vitamins, and fiber. This soup is warming, easy to digest, and can be made creamy to suit different dietary needs.Instructions: Begin by roasting sweet potatoes in the oven until they are soft and tender. Once cooled, blend the sweet potatoes with low-sodium vegetable broth in a blender until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a pot, and heat over medium. Stir in a touch of cream for richness and add mild spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger according to your taste preferences. Continue to heat the soup, stirring occasionally, until it is warm throughout. Serve the soup with a dollop of cream or a sprinkle of herbs on top for garnish.2. Chickpea salad sandwichIngredients: Canned chickpeas, mayonnaise or a healthier alternative like avocado, Dijon mustard, celery, red onion, salt, pepper, and whole-grain bread.Benefits: Chickpeas are a fantastic source of protein and fiber, contributing to muscle maintenance and digestive health. The addition of celery and red onion provides a crunch as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Using whole-grain bread adds another layer of fiber and nutrients, making this a balanced, nutritious lunch option.Instructions: Drain and rinse the chickpeas before mashing them in a bowl. Mix in mayonnaise (or mashed avocado for a healthier fat option), Dijon mustard, finely chopped celery, and red onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the chickpea mixture onto slices of whole-grain bread and close to make a sandwich. This sandwich is not only nutritious but also soft and easy to chew, making it a senior-friendly lunch option.3. Tuna and white bean saladIngredients: Canned tuna (in water), canned white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper.Benefits: Tuna is a lean source of protein and provides omega-3 fatty acids, essential for heart and brain health. White beans are high in fiber and protein as well, supporting muscle health and digestion. Olive oil adds healthy fats, and lemon juice provides a boost of vitamin C.Instructions: Drain and flake the tuna into a bowl. Rinse and drain the white beans and add them to the tuna. Dress the mixture with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in chopped parsley for a fresh flavor. Serve this salad on its own, over a bed of lettuce, or with whole-grain crackers for a crunchy texture. This salad is easy to prepare, nutritious, and provides a refreshing, light lunch option for seniors.Dinner: comforting and wholesome evening fareDinner is a time for relaxation and enjoyment, a moment to savor flavors and unwind. For seniors, its also an opportunity to ensure theyre receiving all the necessary nutrients to support their health through the night. Our dinner ideas focus on easy-to-digest foods that are rich in nutrients necessary for muscle maintenance, bone health, and good sleep. These comforting and wholesome recipes are designed to be the perfect end to the day, providing both nutrition and pleasure in every bite.1. Oven-baked chicken with soft vegetablesIngredients: Tender chicken breast, olive oil, and a variety of vegetables such as carrots, squash, and green beans, all baked to soft perfection.Benefits: Chicken provides lean protein, while the vegetables offer vitamins and minerals essential for senior health. Baking the ingredients together makes them softer and easier to chew.Instructions: To prepare Oven-Baked Chicken with Soft Vegetables, start by preheating your oven to 375F (190C). Toss tender chicken breasts and bite-sized pieces of your favorite vegetableslike carrots, squash, and green beanswith olive oil, salt, pepper, and optional herbs for flavor. Spread them in a single layer in a baking dish, ensuring vegetables are around the chicken for even cooking. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the vegetables are tender. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving to ensure the chicken remains moist and flavorful. 2. Soft-cooked vegetable pastaIngredients: Whole-grain pasta, olive oil, garlic, a variety of vegetables (e.g., spinach, tomatoes, zucchini), grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.Benefits: Whole-grain pasta provides a good source of fiber, which is important for digestive health. The vegetables add vitamins and minerals, supporting overall well-being, while olive oil and Parmesan cheese offer healthy fats and calcium, respectively.Instructions: Start by cooking the pasta according to the package instructions until it is soft. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and saut garlic until fragrant. Add the chopped vegetables and cook until they are soft and tender. Mix the cooked vegetables with the drained pasta, and toss everything together with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top. This dish is not only nutritious but also easy to chew and swallow, making it a senior-friendly meal option.3. Quiche with spinach and mushroomsIngredients: Eggs, milk, grated cheese (such as cheddar or Gruyere), fresh spinach, mushrooms, a pre-made pie crust, salt, and pepper.Benefits: Eggs and milk provide high-quality protein and calcium, crucial for bone health. Spinach and mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants, supporting immune health and providing dietary fiber for digestion.Instructions: Preheat your oven to 375F (190C). In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and milk together, then stir in the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Saut spinach and mushrooms in a pan until theyre soft and then spread them evenly over the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This quiche is not only nutritious but also soft and easy to eat, making it a perfect dinner option for seniors.Snack ideas for between mealsKeeping hunger at bay between meals is crucial for maintaining energy levels and preventing overeating at meal times. Here are a couple of nutritious snack ideas for seniors, focusing on nutrition, ease of eating, and taste:Baked apple slices with cinnamon: Fiber-rich, naturally sweetened with a hint of cinnamon for flavor.Vegetable sticks with hummus: Crunchy vegetables with protein-packed hummus.Soft cheese and whole-grain crackers: Creamy cheese with fiber-rich crackers for a gentle crunch.Oatmeal and raisin cookies: Chewy cookies with fiber from oats and sweetness from raisins.Avocado chocolate mousse: Rich in healthy fats and antioxidants, sweetened naturally.Peach and cottage cheese bowl: Juicy peaches over protein-rich cottage cheese.Soft pearled barley salad with vegetables: Fiber-full barley with soft roasted veggies.Pumpkin seeds and cranberry trail mix: Magnesium-rich pumpkin seeds with sweet cranberries.Rice cake with ricotta and berries: Light rice cakes topped with creamy ricotta and fresh berries.Chia seed pudding: A pudding made from chia seeds, milk (or a milk alternative), and a touch of honey or maple syrup, optionally topped with soft fruits.Nutritional drinks for seniorsNutritional drinks can play a crucial role in the diet of seniors, especially for those who may find it challenging to meet their nutritional needs through solid foods alone. These beverages are designed to provide a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, protein, and other nutrients essential for maintaining health and vitality in older adults. Heres a closer look at how nutritional drinks can benefit seniors and some options to consider incorporating into their daily regimen. Types of nutritional drinksComplete nutritional shakes: These are all-in-one solutions designed to meet a significant portion of a seniors daily nutritional requirements, including vitamins, minerals, protein, and dietary fiber.Protein shakes: Specifically formulated with high levels of protein, these shakes are beneficial for muscle maintenance and repair, especially important for seniors engaged in physical therapy or exercise programs.Homemade smoothies: Customizable and made with fresh ingredients, homemade smoothies can be tailored to meet specific nutritional needs or preferences, incorporating fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or protein powder.Meal replacement drinks: Intended to replace a meal, these drinks provide balanced nutrition with a specific calorie count and are often used for weight management or to ensure dietary needs are met when a meal isnt possible. Tips for choosing nutritional drinksCheck nutritional content: Look for drinks that offer a balance of nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, tailored to the specific health needs of the senior.Consider dietary restrictions: Choose drinks that comply with any dietary restrictions, such as low-sodium for heart health or gluten-free for those with celiac disease.Taste preferences: Since seniors will be more likely to consume drinks that taste good to them, consider taste preferences and potentially try out different flavors to find the most appealing options.Consult healthcare providers: Before adding nutritional drinks to a seniors diet, consult with a healthcare provider or a dietitian to ensure theyre appropriate for their health status and nutritional needs.Celebrating National Nutrition Month by preparing senior-friendly recipes is a wonderful way to show love and care for the elderly in our lives. These recipes not only meet their nutritional needs but also provide the comfort and joy that come from a delicious meal. As family caregivers, our role in nurturing through nutrition is a testament to our dedication and affection for our elderly loved ones. Lets make this month a memorable one by exploring new recipes and creating healthy, tasty meals together. 

Finding New Joy: Overcoming Challenges in Senior Romance

We live longer, healthier lives than ever before, which has upended many stereotypes about what it means to be over 60. More seniors are engaged and active well into their 80s and beyond. With so many more years ahead of us, its no surprise that dating among the senior set has also increased. Whether you have already dipped a toe into the senior dating scene or are curious about getting started, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind on your journey. Be ConfidentSocial norms are always changing. Today, its perfectly acceptable for you to make the first move and ask someone on a date, regardless of your background or gender. Whether you are using a smartphone dating app or website- LinkOpens in New Tab or chatting up a neighbor, having confidence in yourself is key. Keep an Open MindDont be too quick to judge, keep an open mind, and be an attentive listener. Ask questions. Be present in each conversation. This will make your date more engaging and enjoyable. Remember that those you are dating, like you, will have lived full lives of love, loss, hard work, and joy. This can all seem overwhelming, but it doesnt have to be. It can be truly thrilling to discover more about another person with a rich, full life.   Be Upfront With Your ExpectationsWhat are you looking to get out of a new relationship? Are there certain things that are absolutely off the table? Maybe you are seeking long-term commitment over a more casual situation. While you dont want to rule out a potential partner right away, it can be helpful to have these conversations early on to avoid hurt feelings.Dont Dwell on the PastWhile it can be fun to reminisce about certain moments in time, try not to dwell too much on the past- LinkOpens in New Tab on your first couple of dates. This should be time spent getting to know each other and your likes and interests. While your past informs who you are today, its not all that there is to enjoy. Dont fail to mention your current hobbies and interests. Sharing them can be a lot of fun!Be Respectful and KindMost first dates can be pleasant if you approach someone with kindness and respect. Youll no doubt be nervous, but dont forget the power of a positive attitude and a cheerful smile. Pay attention to your date and how they react to the way a conversation is going. Dont take offense if they dont respond how you might expect them to. A little bit of kindness can go a long way, whether you are seeking friendship or romance.Explore New Connections at Friendship VillageFriendship Village of South Hills, a senior living community in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh), is an exceptional place to pursue your passions and make new connections. Join a club, sign up for a group exercise class, or socialize over a nice meal or glass of wine. Here, every day is full of opportunity and the excitement of new adventure awaits around every corner.Contact us to learn more! 

How Do I Know How Much Renters Insurance to Buy?

How do I know how much renters insurance to buy? Tips to help choose accurate, appropriate limits for your personal property and liability coverage. You've followed your rental guide and it's time to move in! Your furniture is in place, the utilities are hooked up and your rental unit is starting to look like a home. And now you might be asking yourself do I need renters insurance? It is estimated that 56% of renters do not have renters insurance. A renters policy is more important, accessible and affordable than you might think, and in some cases, renters insurance is required by landlords. But renters are often unclear about what renters insurance is, what it covers and how much they need. What does renters insurance cover? In short, renters insurance covers what you own. Most landlord's insurance covers only the building and damages due to negligence. Getting coverage for some of the most common causes of property damage and loss such as theft, vandalism and fire is entirely up to you. Without renters insurance, you may have to bear the financial burden of a loss on your own, including the cost of a hotel stay if you cannot live in your apartment while repairs are made. Want to protect your stuff? Most renters' belongings cost more than they think. The average person has $30,000 worth of belongings that are probably not covered by a landlord's policy. Take a moment to add up the approximate cost of your computer, television, stereo, furniture, jewelry and clothing. If a fire gutted your apartment tomorrow, would you have the cash to replace it all? Renters insurance also covers much more than just your personal property. The average policy can include up to $100,000 in liability coverage. That means in the event of a covered loss, your insurer will help cover the costs if you're held responsible for injuring another person or damaging another person's property. Moreover, this coverage applies whether the incident occurred within your residence or elsewhere. Be sure you have coverage against the unexpected with renters insurance. Get a free quote now. How much renters insurance do I need?Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive. According to NerdWallet, the average renters policy costs about $15 per month for up to $30,000 in personal property coverage. That's solid coverage for less than the cost of a few cups of coffee a week. Here are some tips to help you determine your insurance needs. Complete an inventory of your possessions. Personal property coverage is probably the main reason most purchase a renters policy. The coverage will reimburse you for covered loss, damage or theft of your personal possessions up to a certain dollar amount. Completing a home inventory is a good way to determine how much property coverage you need. This inventory lists your personal possessions, along with details about their age, purchase price or current value and other identifying information. While youre at it, take pictures or a video of your property. Check with your insurance agent about discounts. Many insurers offer significant discounts if you buy more than one policy with their company. For renters, this usually means purchasing auto insurance with a renters policy. But life, business and other plans may also qualify. Choose the right deductible. A deductible is the amount of a covered loss that you pay out of your own pocket. In other words, it's the amount "deducted" from any payout by your insurer. For example, if a fire causes $1,500 in insured damage to your personal property and your deductible is $500, then your insurer will pay you $1,000. Your renters insurance premiums will reflect the deductibles you agree to pay. Lower deductibles mean higher premiums; higher deductibles mean lower premiums. Keep in mind that an insurer will not reimburse you for a loss amount that is lower than the deductible. This means if your deductible is $2,000 and you suffer $1,750 in losses, then you are entirely responsible for those costs, even if the cause of the loss is covered by your policy. When choosing a deductible, think carefully about the out-of-pocket costs that you are willing, and able, to pay. A disciplined saver may be able to offset the greater risk of a high deductible with cash reserves. Others, however, will have to balance the benefit of a higher deductible against the risk of greater out-of-pocket expenses. Assess your liability. Your renters policy's liability coverage may protect you if someone injures themselves in your home. It may also protect you in case you cause damage to others' property. Some policies will pay for defense and court costs in addition to settlement costs. The typical renters insurance policy offers $100,000 in liability coverage. For renters, this amount is often sufficient. However, if you entertain company frequently at your home or if your assets exceed your limit, you should consider a coverage amount equal to at least the total value of your assets.Supplement coverage if necessary. Keep in mind that your policy will exclude certain perils (such as earthquake and flood losses), limit coverage on some items (such as computers, firearms and silverware) and might not cover a business in your home. If you have special insurance needs, talk to your agent about extending limits or adding separate policies. And finally, where your apartment is located will play an important role in determining your renters insurance rates. Prices will vary based on your state, city and neighborhood. Safer locations might mean lower rates, so renting in a low-crime area near a fire station might save you money. Your rates will also reflect the safety of the rental property itself. For example, an older, unrenovated building might have a higher risk of electrical and plumbing issues, and that can mean higher rates. Fortunately, steps as simple as installing smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your apartment may mean real savings, even if you do rent an older property. This article was contributed by Laurel Flowers State Farm Insurance Agent located in Saraland, Alabama.  You can contact Laurel Flowers State Farm team for a renters insurance quote.  Call 251-675-4736.  

Local Services By This Author

Realty One Group

Downsizing and Relocation 415 N Prince St, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17603

We want to help you! CertainSale will allow you quick access to a percentage of your homes equity to cover transition costs and we'll assume the financial responsibility for the home until it has sold. When the home closes, your equity advance will be paid back and CertainSale will recoup any funds expended to carry the home. While similar to our New Construction program, there are a few difference in the program design, with seniors in mind.

Realty One Group

Certain Sale Retirement 415 N Prince St, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17603

We want to help you! CertainSale will allow you quick access to a percentage of your homes equity to cover transition costs and we'll assume the financial responsibility for the home until it has sold. When the home closes, your equity advance will be paid back and CertainSale will recoup any funds expended to carry the home. While similar to our New Construction program, there are a few difference in the program design, with seniors in mind

Realty One Group

Real Estate 415 N Prince St, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17603

We want to help you! CertainSale will allow you quick access to a percentage of your homes equity to cover transition costs and we'll assume the financial responsibility for the home until it has sold. When the home closes, your equity advance will be paid back and CertainSale will recoup any funds expended to carry the home. While similar to our New Construction program, there are a few difference in the program design, with seniors in mind.