Ready to Downsize?

Downsizing to a Smaller Home or Assisted Living Facility? Here’s What You Can Do with Your Current Home 

Downsizing is often difficult for aging adults. Not only do you have to adjust to a much smaller living space, but you also must determine what to do with the home you are moving out of. Do you try to keep it in the family, turn it into a rental property, or sell it? As challenging as this process can be, it can also be a great opportunity to reduce stress and thrive in your golden years. This article will discuss the benefits of downsizing to a smaller home or assisted living facility and cover the three primary options you have when it comes to your current home.

The Benefits of Less   

If you’re like most aging adults, you’ve accumulated your fair share of stuff over the years. While there’s nothing wrong with having material items that improve your everyday life, there is a problem with having too many things. Not only can clutter increase the likelihood of trips and falls occurring, but it can also cause stress and make it harder to find things.

Getting rid of clutter can set you free. Of course, there may be some belongings that hold a certain sentimental or monetary value that you can’t take with you to your new home. In this case, you might consider asking family if they would be interested in keeping them. If this doesn’t work, you could donate them to a nonprofit organization or sell them. Remember that the clarity and reduced stress will make parting with these items well worth it.

Finding the Right Home

You’ve made the decision to downsize. Now you’ll need to find suitable new accommodations that allow you to live comfortably and safely. If you’re still able to handle the rigors of maintaining a home, then downsizing into a smaller living space is definitely an option. Look for senior-friendly features like no-step entryways, larger doorways, and non-slip flooring. If possible, find a one-floor home so you won’t have to navigate too many stairs.

If you need help with activities of daily living (ADLs), then assisted living may be your best choice. In these facilities, you can still mingle and socialize with other seniors, but you get some extra support like cleaning services, meal preparation, and medication management.

However, if you have a serious medical concern that requires constant monitoring, then a nursing home will be the safest place for you to reside. If you’re living in the Atlanta area, Senior Care shares reviews, features, pricing information, and payment options so you can find your preferred skilled nursing facility. 

Option 1: Family Property Transfer

Many older adults who are downsizing decide to keep their home in the family.

There are two primary methods of doing this:

  1. You add a family member to the deed, making them a joint owner of the property, meaning that they will receive full ownership after you pass away.
  2. You gift the property directly to a family member so that they own it in full now.

The most important thing to remember when determining the best course of action here is that there are tax implications. Researching and understanding these implications will help you come up with the most effective plan. Also, if you decide not to sell or rent out your property for income, it’s essential that you know what you can afford in terms of a new home or assisted living facility. If you’re downsizing to a smaller home, make sure you can afford the down payment and mortgage payment. If you’re moving to an assisted living facility, make sure you choose somewhere you can afford the monthly payments and any additional services.

Option 2: Renting Out the Property

Another option is to rent out your current home. If you approach it the right way, this method can earn your monthly income that you could save and/or put toward your new living situation. Here are some factors to consider when determining whether this is the right option for you:

  • The realistic cash flow you can expect after paying taxes, insurance, maintenance, and other operating expenses
  • What kind of ROI you can expect
  • What kind of value appreciation you can expect
  • Whether you want to be a landlord

Option 3: Selling the Property

Finally, you could sell your current home. If you can get the sale price you want from your home, this might be the best way to go. However, this depends heavily on what the local housing market is like. Will you actually be able to sell the property as is, or will you need to perform several major repairs or lower your price significantly in order to make the sale? The home selling process can be arduous and stressful, so consider that as well.

Downsizing is the best path to a fulfilling life for many aging adults. That said, it’s important that you consider all your options when determining what to do with your current home, and remember that there isn’t one right way for every situation. Most importantly, be open to any advice from loved ones and people who have been in your situation before.

Ready to downsize? Whether you’re in the market for a new home or selling your current one, the skilled real estate professionals at Preferred Realty Services can help! Call (770) 486-5242

Image via Unsplash

Memory Care in Georgia

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the state of Georgia and across the United States as a whole. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently more than 150,000 seniors in Georgia living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, and this figure is expected to increase by 26.7% by 2025. The CDC estimates that the number of seniors affected by Alzheimer’s and other memory-related diseases will double by 2060.

Memory care facilities provide those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia with care that is tailored to their unique needs. Memory care can take place in its own facility, or as part of a designated wing of another residential care community. Staff members of memory care units or facilities undergo specialized training in caring for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This guide will cover the cost of memory care in Georgia, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Georgia.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Investing In and Managing Your First Rental Property

If you have a large sum of money saved for a down payment on an investment property and you’re comfortable fulfilling your many obligations as a landlord, you may be ready to begin the search for your first rental home, condo, or multi-unit property.

According to experts at BiggerPockets, investing in a condo, single-family home, or small multi-family property such as a quadplex or duplex is typically best for first-time real estate investors—as larger multifamily structures can be difficult to finance, manage, and sell later on. Multi-family properties have the potential to generate more cash each month, but the responsibilities of dealing with multiple tenants can be overwhelming for first-timers.

Before purchasing your first investment property, it’s important to explore all your different options—as this will help you select the right type of rental for you, and manage it in the best possible way. To explore the step-by-step process of buying, managing, and preparing your investment home for future tenants, read on!

To learn more about how Preferred Realty can aid the home-buying process, send a message online or call (770) 486-5242 today!

1. Making It Legal

Now that you’re ready to launch your new rental property business, it’s time to register it as a legal business entity with the state in which you’ll be operating. Business needs vary, but the top considerations for selecting the entity type typically are: (1) the protection it offers you as the business owner; (2) flexibility in how you run your business; and (3) ease of the registration process. An LLC often provides the best options for all three considerations, and it can be completed in about five steps, depending on your state.

2. Find the Right Investment Property

When looking for a rental home to invest in, it’s vital that you work with a talented and experienced real estate agent from Preferred Realty who can help you to find the right type of income property for you. You’ll also need to consider your budget and what you can afford. As you search for the right type of rental home to invest in, however, it’s also important to look for properties in profitable neighborhoods that are likely to attract prospective tenants. Typically, profitable neighborhoods feature:

  • Good schools and low rates of crime
  • Nearby amenities such as parks, restaurants, and movie theaters
  • Lower property taxes
  • Job growth

During this time, you’ll also need to secure financing for your big investment. Your mortgage lender will help you to explore your financing options, but several possibilities may include conventional mortgages, home equity loans, or private money loans.

3. Decide How You’re Going to Manage It

After you’ve purchased your first investment property, you’ll need to determine whether you’re going to pay for professional property management services—or manage the rental home on your own. As the owner and manager of a rental property, your responsibilities will range from tenant screening and rent collection to performing timely repairs and replacements when something breaks or stops working. However, a property management company can help to take some of the weight off your shoulders—especially if you don’t have a lot of spare time on your hands to maintain the home, screen tenants, collect rent, and check in with your renters.

4. Attract Prospective Tenants

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to manage your investment property, it’s time to make a few home upgrades that will help to attract potential tenants and increase the value of your property. To enhance the curb appeal of your rental property, for instance, you might choose to give its exterior a fresh coat of paint or change the color of the home altogether. Typical project costs average $2,500, but the cost of painting a home’s exterior will depend on the below factors:

  • How easily the paintable area can be accessed
  • The size of the home
  • The type of material that needs to be painted, as brick or stucco materials typically cost more than wood or vinyl

Moreover, several other great upgrades and improvements include painting the walls in the kitchen or bathroom, purchasing new window coverings, and replacing or painting the front door to the home. If necessary, you may choose to replace one or more of the appliances as well.

A Final Word

Purchasing and managing your first income property can be risky, challenging, time-consuming, and downright overwhelming at times, but it can also be financially rewarding—especially if you keep these tips in mind as you search for a home to invest in. From the tax benefits you could qualify for to the equity you’ll build over time, investing in a rental property could be a risk that’s well worth taking.

Creating a Smart Home: Your Introductory Guide

Smart home technology represents a sci-fi vision come to life. We’ve all spent decades imagining a world where we can ask our robot butler to turn out the lights or turn up the heat, and now that reality is here. Unfortunately, it’s also super intimidating. There’s a lot to learn about setting up a smart home, and somehow none of the old TV shows covered the nitty-gritty details like syncing your devices or setting up a secure network.

Never fear: Your smart home dreams are within reach. Once you’ve found the perfect home with Preferred Realty, you can use this guide to turn it into your perfect smart home. Here’s how to get started:

Make Safety a Foundation

If those sci-fi shows wanted to paint a narrative of “smart home gone wrong,” it usually boiled down to your devices growing sentient and, of course, evil along the way. The real dangers of smart home tech are far less exciting but honestly more disturbing.

The more devices in your home you have connected to the internet, the more points of vulnerability you introduce into your life. This means every app-connected washing machine or smart TV makes it that much easier for a bad actor to control your devices and get onto your network. The results of this can manifest as anything from prankster-like behavior (such as turning your TV on and off) to far more dangerous acts (such as hacking into your home surveillance to monitor the best time for a break-in).

We don’t say this to scare you — only to emphasize the importance of digital security. Simple security measures go a long way toward preventing these things. For starters, always secure your WiFi network with a truly random password. Use a password generator rather than coming up with something yourself — humans are very good at creating patterns and, therefore, shockingly bad at random password generation. You should also set up a hidden network for your smart devices. These aren’t completely inaccessible, but they’re much less vulnerable since they won’t show up in “available network” searches.

Start Simple

Many people’s first big mistake with smart home technology is doing too much, too fast. Not only will this put a massive project on your shoulders, but your initial ideas about what you want out of a smart home might be wrong. Starting small — for example, with a smart hub and one or two connected devices — is a better bet.

Pay attention to how you use your devices, and think critically before bringing new tech into your home. Smart home tech is expensive, after all, and you really want to be sure you’ll actually use a device before you bring it in. For example, a smart coffee maker might be a great fit for someone who wants to schedule coffee so it’s ready first thing in the morning, but a bad fit for the manual coffee enthusiast. Building up your smart home network gradually gives you the opportunity to think about these kinds of things.

Focus on Tech That Works For You

It’s easy to picture the fun stuff — blasting your favorite song via voice command, for example — when you imagine your smart home, but there are some extremely practical benefits to smart home tech. For example, you can use a smart thermostat to lower your heating and cooling costs. Smart laundry machines, which send you notifications when they’re done, are perfect for people who habitually forget to move the wash into the dryer.

While you’re outfitting your smart home, you’ll find that these practical features quickly become more valuable than the super exciting stuff that got you into smart home tech in the first place. Make no mistake — a finished to-do list and a manageable utility bill are thrilling in their own way. Good luck building up your smart network. That bright, shiny future is right in front of you.

Need to find the perfect home to smarten up? Get in touch with Preferred Realty to find an agent you can trust.

By Alex Robbins

Photo Credit: Pexels

Golf Cart Fire Safety Tips

Downsizing in your Golden Years

Steps for Downsizing and Finding the Perfect Home for Your Golden Years

Moving is an exciting time whether you’re looking for your first apartment or finding a home that you can enjoy throughout your golden years. When you move as a senior, you have to think about many of the same things as any other home buyer, such as location, price, and amenities. However, you may also want to think about downsizing so you can focus only on what truly matters in your new home. Below, find out what steps you’ll need to take to sell your old house, find a new one, and breeze through the moving process.

Selling Your Current Home

One of the first things you’ll want to do is assess your current home and figure out how much it’s worth. A good way to do this is to check the estimated market value of your home online. Using an appraisal calculator (you can find one of these at PennyMac Mortgage) to estimate the price per square foot can help you set a competitive asking price. A good estimate will also give you insight on other recent home sales in the area so you can get a sense of the market.


Keep in mind there are many home improvement projects that can boost the value of your home. Even low-cost upgrades can go a long way in wowing buyers and increasing your home’s appraisal value.


Hiring the experts at Preferred Realty Services is another step you’ll likely want to take. Real estate agents can help you navigate everything that goes into selling your home, such as taking photos, listing your home, communicating with buyers, and arranging showings. An agent will also know how to handle situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly affected the way people tour and buy homes.

Looking for a New Home

Whether you want to move to a smaller home in town or retire in an entirely new destination, you’ll want to start by researching the local housing market. This allows you to gauge how affordable an area is, while also determining your options.


Doing your research online also gives you a leg up because it can reveal how fast homes are selling. In Peachtree City, for example, the average sales price is currently $362K, and homes go pending for 26 days on average. With this information, you’ll know how quickly to act, and you’ll have an idea of what you may spend in your preferred area.

Downsizing and Decluttering

If you’re like most seniors, you will probably be focusing your search on smaller homes that are easier to maintain. With this in mind, you’ll likely want to let go of a few possessions so everything fits well in your new home. Senior Safety Advice explains that decluttering can also make your home safer because it gives you clear walkways and reduces tripping hazards. It’s also beneficial for your mental health, as clutter can cause anxiety and stress, according to Psychology Today.


Even if it’s beneficial, getting rid of items is often a difficult process. However, moving provides the perfect motivation. If you’re struggling, you may find it helps to hire a professional organizer to guide you through the process. Enlisting the help of your friends or family can make the task more bearable, too.

Moving Advice for Seniors

Moving is stressful for most people, but planning ahead will make the process easier. Booking professional movers will also streamline the process and remove stress. If you plan on using a moving service, make sure you start your search early so you have time to check reviews and schedule your appointment. Following a moving timeline for packing and settling into your new place will also help you stay on top of things.


Moving into a new home marks a new chapter in your life. As a senior, you may find that buying a smaller house allows you to lead the lifestyle you’re looking for. Downsizing can be challenging, but it also lets you focus on what matters to you most. By researching market trends, decluttering, and planning ahead for your move, it will be easier to find your new dream home.


By Mike Longsdon


Your Questions and Concerns as a Tenant During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For most of us, self-isolation was a foreign concept just a few months ago. However, a lot has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our communities, and with those changes, self-isolation has become the new norm. But even as we all start to adjust, people are still scared and confused about how this pandemic will impact their everyday lives. Your personal situation will look different from what someone else is going through, but there are few things that renters have in common during this crisis. These resources for tenants will help answer your questions, and hopefully, you’ll find some useful tools for staying healthy and maintaining a positive outlook while going through self-isolation.


Dealing with COVID-19 as a Tenant


Some of these tips are universal, like cleaning and laundry tips to keep your home healthy. Others are especially important for tenants, like what you need to know about potential exposure in common areas.


What You Need to Know About Apartment Living During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Renters: How to Get COVID-19 Rent Relief

12 Tips for Being a Great Tenant That Landlords Love for Apartments

9 Tips for Being a Good Dorm or Apartment Neighbor

Your Most Pressing Coronavirus Questions, Answered by Health and Cleaning Professionals

6 Laundry Tips an Expert Thinks You Should Know During the Coronavirus Outbreak


Life in Self-Isolation or Quarantine

For those who are currently out of work, the financial hit of losing your income is an obvious challenge. Besides the financial issues, we’re having to adjust emotionally too, all while finding ways to stay healthy and happy.


Quarantine is a Challenge When You Live Alone. Here Are 5 Ways I’m Coping

For Roommates Under Coronavirus Lockdown, There Are a Lot of New Rules

How Do I Self-Quarantine? Can I Walk My Dog?

What Exercise Equipment Do You Need to Workout at Home?

Ideas to Help You Stay Fit and Healthy While Social Distancing and Self-Isolating

What Some People Are Doing to Fill the Social Distancing Space


Adjusting to life in self-isolation isn’t easy, but one positive thing is that we can learn from each other as we go. Have you found joy in a new hobby? Or, maybe you’ve nailed the perfect at-home workout. Let’s use the connections we have to share our wins, and we’ll all come through this as a community that’s stronger than ever.


Photo credit: Pixabay