The Downsizing Challenge: Tips to Help You Win the Battle

The Downsizing Challenge: Tips to Help You Win the Battle

If you’re a senior citizen, you may be reaching a time in your life when you’re feeling the urge to downsize. Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of your possessions and the level of upkeep on your home. Downsizing is challenging, but you may find letting go of some of your things and moving to a new, smaller home are worthwhile.


Letting Go

Letting go of your possessions isn’t easy. Many of them carry sentimental value or trigger memories. But if you want to downsize and move to a smaller home, you must get rid of some things. Begin with the easy stuff, things that you no longer use but that don’t have any particular meaning. Your closets are likely filled with such objects. Dig them out, and sort through them, putting aside items to keep and items to eliminate.


Next, move on to more difficult areas. Think carefully about which items you can fit into a smaller home. Consider passing sentimental or family history objects to interested family members. When you’ve finished sorting, you may want to donate some items to charity, hold a garage sale, or post items for sale online.


Preparing to Sell

When you decide the time has come to sell your current home in Allison Park, PA, prepare it carefully. Declutter the rooms so that potential buyers can see the home’s features clearly. Make any necessary repairs as well. Hire a real estate agent to help you manage your listing, offers, and closing.


Preparing to Buy

Part of downsizing is deciding whether you want to purchase or rent your new home. If you decide to buy, set your budget carefully. Go over your finances, and determine what you can afford to spend on your new place. Research mortgage options, including conventional mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and home equity loans, and consider only reputable lenders. Read plenty of reviews to whittle down your list of lenders. If you need to speak to professionals, get in touch with companies like PennyMac (Mon – Sat).


Alleviate some of the stress by asking your real estate agent to help you locate suitable homes. Check into various options for yourself, too, including patio homes. These popular options are similar to townhouses but have only one story.


Preparing to Rent

If you choose to rent an apartment, condo, or small house, a real estate agent can also help you find and secure something suitable. Be picky when you’re looking at potential rentals, and check for cleanliness, neighborhood issues, and any other problems. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Finally, read your lease carefully, and understand all the terms before you sign.



To move your possessions to your new home, you probably want to hire a full-service mover that takes care of packing, transporting, and setting everything up in your new home. Get quotes in writing from potential movers, and read reviews before you hire. Provide the mover with detailed and clear instructions, but then you can step aside and let the movers work.


Enjoying Your New Life

Downsizing, selling your home, and settling into a smaller place isn’t easy, but when you’ve finished, sit back and enjoy your new life. Visit Towne & Country Real Estate for help buying or selling your home in Allison Park, PA.

How to Easily and Accurately Keep Track of Your Rental Properties

How to Easily and Accurately Keep Track of Your Rental Properties

If you’re a real estate investor, you know how challenging it can be to keep track of your portfolio. There are the properties to upkeep, accounts to check, and expenses to track. It can be tempting to let the administrative tasks fall behind, as filing receipts and tracking expenses is certainly no glamorous task. But accurate rental tracking is a must to manage your portfolio like a well-oiled machine.


Want to learn how? Towne and Country Real Estate breaks it down.


Write Your Records


Having supporting documents for your property is critical for many reasons. Getting a high-value appraisal becomes more accessible, as does selling or leasing the property. The primary records you need to maintain are:

  •       A record of income and expense: This usually takes the form of a profit and loss statement and is helpful in tracking money coming in and going out to arrive at the net worth.
  •       Backup documents: You’ll also need supporting documents for your expense and income claims. This could be bank statements, receipts, bills, and more.


You may find yourself asking – just two kinds of documents? That’s easy! In actuality, these documents can be challenging to keep up with, especially if you’re renovating or incurring additional expenses that need tracking.


Time to Track


Bookkeeping is essential to this trade. To maximize your performance, you’ll want to ensure that you have a close eye on the ins and outs of expenses. One of our most important tips is to separate business finances from your own. This will ensure your costs aren’t confusing you down the line. You can also get more detailed and set up different accounts for each rental property. Thus, you’ll be able to keep the P&L statements separate, which will make it easier to file taxes. This tip also helps identify problem properties that may not be carrying their weight, allowing you to diversify your portfolio.


Don’t forget to set up your business structure to protect you and your properties from litigation. The best way to do this is through a limited liability company or LLC  for your investment business. Keep in mind that using a formation service to form your LLC is significantly cheaper than hiring a lawyer, and click here for help filing the annual report required for most LLCs.


Supplement With Software


Once you have a basic idea of how to keep things running smoothly, you’ll be able to implement the use of software too. The whole idea here is, work smarter, not harder. Using technology helps automate tasks that take you lots of time and effort, not to mention, it’s easier to reference past items without keeping a physical backlog. Here are some of our favorite rental expense tracking resources:

  •       Landlord Studio: This app is designed to let you track rent payments and deposits, screen tenants, set reminders, and organize finances for tax time.
  •       Personal Capital: Another great one, this app manages the cash flow by tracking incoming and outgoing expenses and net worth. Bonus: it is integrated with Zillow for a more synchronous experience.
  •       Rentec Direct: This web-based tool helps with accounting, maintenance, records, and tenant management. Its ledger tool also lets you calculate future expected finances with ease.


Are you looking for a more basic system? This Excel spreadsheet from Zillow has come in super handy for many landlords and investors.


Dropping the ball in expense tracking can have serious consequences. You could lose income, clients, and worst of all – you won’t see any of it coming. We hope these tips make you breeze through your property expense management. Happy tracking!


Looking to buy or sell? Reach out to the Towne and Country Real Estate for all your real estate needs. Knowledgeable, trustworthy, and efficient, the Towne and Country team works overtime to ensure your property goals become a reality. Reach out at 412-487-5010 today!

Key Reasons to Hire a Senior Move Manager

Key Reasons to Hire a Senior Move Manager

Moving can be daunting, especially for seniors, but it could also be an opportunity to provide support when your loved one needs it. Seniors may need additional assistance when downsizing, planning, and executing the move itself. 


Seniors may have health and safety requirements that can complicate the moving process, so a professional senior move manager can make the whole process easier. Many organizations offer services specialized in assisting seniors who want to move. 


These are some of the reasons you should work with a senior move manager when planning a move. 



Senior relocations can involve many people. Most of these are family members who are available to care for the well-being of their loved one. Working with a senior move manager will help your loved ones understand how things should be done. A manager can help an apprehensive senior regain control throughout the moving process. Sometimes, the experience of moving can lead to the trauma of relocation, so it’s important to have someone equipped to handle these stresses.


Effective Planning

Step one of relocating to a new home is planning. A senior move manager can work with family members and other service providers to create a timeline, plus a strategy for transition. The idea is to ensure everything that needs to be done is done perfectly to allow the senior to settle in a new home with ease. Senior moving companies ensure everything is done at your pace, and they walk you through the steps to ensure a successful move. 


Downsizing and liquidating your current home is just the beginning. It’s wise to also work with an experienced local real estate professional in this phase. The Towne & Country Real Estate and Appraisals can ensure that you get the best possible yields for your property. 


Senior moving experts also offer assistance in helping seniors settle in the new home. You can work with them to customize your interior for ease of mobility or familiarity. 



As people age, they usually accumulate a lot of things, so an important step is parting with a large number of collected possessions. This is one of the most emotional highlights of moving for seniors as it involves sorting possessions to choose what to keep or discard. 


Family members and the senior move manager need to collaborate to retain the fondest keepsakes and decide which items can make the move or stay in the family. The manager guides everyone in making realistic decisions. A good manager will place the senior and their family in the driver’s seat, ensuring full control over what to sell, donate, or keep.


Reduced Stress

Moving is not only a physically involving experience, it’s an emotional one and can involve a lot of stress, especially for a senior citizen. A senior move manager can help you contain a lot of the stress of moving because they have completed the process many times and understand the challenges involved. They can efficiently prepare for the hiccups, solving unforeseen problems. Moving people is a job a senior move manager does every day, so they can offer suggestions you might not think about. While your family is busy with their daily routine, the manager ensures the new home really accommodates you. They take all the stress involved in the move.


Unpacking and Resettling

A senior moving company works with you every step of the way, so they ensure your possessions are handled with care. If you want the new place to look like your old home, they will replicate that emotional connection. Throughout the process, you don’t need to lift anything. The manager will oversee all the work and ensure your furniture and other possessions are placed in the correct places.


When you arrive at the new home, it’s important to consider security. The move manager can arrange for a locksmith to rekey your doors for optimum security. If this is something you’d prefer to do yourself, do a search using a keyword like ‘best locksmith near me’ or ask for referrals from people you may know in the area. If you’re searching online, ensure the locksmith has good reviews and they should be insured. Set aside $50 to $150 for the work but get estimates from different providers as this can vary depending on the work that needs to be done.


Relocating a senior is not something that happens every day. It requires planning and proper execution to ensure your loved one does not endure the stress of the moving process. With the involvement of a senior move manager, you can make the moving process smooth. And with the help of Towne & Country Real Estate and Appraisals, you are guaranteed a quick and lucrative home sale and maybe even find the perfect new home for your needs. Call 412-487-5010 today.

How to Buy a Home and Launch a Business Simultaneously

How to Buy a Home and Launch a Business Simultaneously

If you want to become an entrepreneur but your home just isn’t suitable for running a business, you may be thinking about moving. Buying a home and launching a small business at the same time is no easy feat! Both are incredibly time-consuming projects that will require your undivided attention. That said, there are several steps you can take to make the process easier, including working with the team from Towne & Country Real Estate. From forming your business to selling your home, this quick guide will help you stay organized throughout the process.


Establishing Your Home-Based Business

A lot of work goes into starting a business. While you may be tempted to rush through the boring stuff, it’s important to develop a business plan, evaluate your financial footing, and complete your legal paperwork. If you’re trying to gain a foothold in a highly specialized field like IT, earning certifications and even a masters’ degree can do you a solid. The point is, take the time to lay the legal groundwork for your budding business. Doing everything right from the start will maximize the potential for your business to grow unhindered by regulations and legal issues and take on the competition! 


Buying a New Home

Once you get the ball rolling on your new business, you can start looking around for a home that will better suit your personal and professional needs. Begin by creating a list of essential features that your new home must have. For example, if you plan on welcoming clients to your home, you may be looking for a property with a detached garage that you can convert into a client-friendly home office. 


Of course, you will also need to consider costs when hunting for your new home. Determine how much home you can afford before you start shopping around — there’s no sense wasting time touring properties over your budget! This is also a good opportunity to check your credit score and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Also, get to know the local housing market so you have a better handle on what to expect. Once you understand your affordability, get in touch with Naples Listed to get the search started!


If you can’t find a home that fits your needs, it may be worthwhile to consider a custom-built home. Just plan this project carefully. Working with an experienced custom home builder is essential, so be sure to check their reputation and visit other homes they’ve built in your area.


Selling Your Current Home

When you’ve finally found the perfect home, it’s time to get your current home ready for sale. Clean, declutter, and take great listing photos to post online. Selling a house is a complicated process, no matter how prepared you are. If you’re juggling a new business at the same time, it’s best to hand off this task to a professional.



A great real estate agent will help you set an effective listing price for your home so you can maximize your chances of a quick sale. Beyond this, your real estate agent will take a lot of the work out of selling your home so that you have more time to focus on building your new business! 


As you navigate the steps involved in buying a home and launching a business, be careful not to neglect the small details. Register your business properly, get pre-approved for a mortgage, and work with Towne & Country. Take it one step at a time and you’ll be able to move on to the fun parts before you know it! Reach out to the Towne & Country team today! Call 412-487-5010.

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