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Senior Living at SearStone 101 / ABCs of CCRCs

August 21, 2017

We understand how navigating through the world of senior living can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re just starting the process.

Today, there are many senior living opportunities for you to choose from. While this is good news, the challenge is that it’s sometimes confusing to find the right option for you.

We’d like to help. We invite you to click here to download a free informational flyer that explains what the different types of Senior Living options are, including Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), with details on how they’re structured and what they offer.

At SearStone, we offer exceptional services and amenities as well as the countless advantages of living in Cary. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or if you would like to schedule a personal visit. We’re here to help!

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Tips to Help Senior Sell Their Belongings

June 1, 2017

As seniors prepare to move into smaller homes or retirement communities, many come to the realization that the number of belongings they have accumulated outweighs their need for them. Various “spring cleanings” may have lessened the load over the years, but a move often necessitates a thorough downsizing.

There may be some difficult decisions involved based on sentimental value, or whether or not to keep or sell your valuables.

The silver lining of committing significant time to going through your belongings is this — you might make some extra money off of these items. The question you may have, however, is where do I even begin?

Morgan Lamphere, marketing director at the SearStone retirement community in Cary, N.C., has worked with many seniors as they downsize and prepare to move. “Many items like antiques, art and high-end furniture may have significant value,” she said “Consider hiring a professional appraiser to assess your valuables. This will give you a better idea of how to price specific items.”

Here are some other tips for seniors on how to sell your belongings.

Yard Sales

Stage your own yard sale and advertise it in local community newspapers and calendars. If you don’t have enough items on your own, participating in a community yard sale might make sense. Oftentimes, your neighbors also want to clear out their clutter, so ask around and try to schedule a time and place for everyone to bring the belongings they wish to sell.

Consignment Stores

If you’ve never worked with a consignment store, you may find it quite easy. If they accept, display and sell your items, the store gets a cut of the profit. Some are general consignment stores while others specialize in clothing, furniture, etc. Ask around to find suitable consignment stores in your area.


If you are computer savvy, eBay (www.ebay.com) is another option. eBay allows you to post items on the Internet for interested purchasers to bid on. You have the advantage in this situation, as you can set the starting bid based on what you think is appropriate. Make sure to post photos of the item. There are basic tutorials on EBay’s website to get you started.

Craigslist & Community Bulletin Boards

Craigslist.com and similar sites like backpage.com are just community bulletin boards where you post free classified ads. Although many have deemed Craigslist to be their last option, this could be a successful method in selling your belongings if you proceed with caution. When meeting with a potential buyer, be sure to have a friend or companion stay with you during the transaction since you are meeting a stranger. CNN’s Gabriel Falcon suggests meeting in a neutral place, as there is no reason to carry out the transaction at your home or theirs.

Charitable Donation

If you deem some items unsellable, consider donating them to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or other nonprofits. That nicked and scratched dresser may not bring you any revenue, but it might help a family with limited funds to decorate their home. If you itemize your deductions, be sure to get a receipt so you can claim it on your tax return.

To schedule a Salvation Army pickup, visit http://satruck.org/search. Goodwill also makes house calls depending on the items, so visit http://www.goodwill.org/locator/?location to research contact information for your local store.

Even with all the preparations and plans, some items may not make the cut for sale or donation. One final option to consider is to responsibly recycle household items. Earth911 (www.earth911.com/recycling/), is a great resource for locating local recycling options.

Downsizing and selling your belongings may be a major undertaking, but it will prepare you for life in your new home with less clutter and with more money in your pockets.

The Importance of Curb Appeal

May 16, 2017

After the home has "passed" the initial first impression with the online photos, the prospective homebuyer will schedule a visit to see the property in person. The curb appeal – the view they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing will say a lot about your home.  It’s important to make sure the impression is not tarnished by weeds, dead grass or peeling paint. 

Lawn and Yard:

A well-kept lawn implies a well maintained home.  Once your home goes on the market, it might be a good idea to have a lawn service out weekly or every two weeks.  It will also be beneficial to trim trees and bushes and plant flowers.  Lawn equipment and other outdoor items should be stored so the prospective buyers can see the full potential of the lawn area.

Front Entrance:

Many times, homeowners enter through a door that is not the front.  Perhaps it is through the garage or a side door.  It is a good idea to take a look at what prospective buyers will see when they walk up to your front door.  The front should be warm and inviting.  Double check to make sure the light and doorbell are in working order and put out an inviting welcome mat and potted plant for the entry way.   

Roof, Windows and Siding:

It is a good idea to take a look at the outside structure of the home.  Are there miss-aligned shutters, bent gutters or loose shingles?  These are the types of things potential buyers will look at when first arriving at your home.  If you choose to paint the siding, neutral colors are the best choice for aluminum, wood or synthetic siding. 

Many prospective buyers will drive past at night to see how the home compares in the evening so it is a good idea to turn on outside lights to make the home appear welcoming.  The rear view of the home should be just as appealing as the front view so landscaping and storage of outdoor items should be top of mind.

Proper curb appeal can help buyers visualize living in your home and many buyers won’t be able to look at the inside of the home objectively if they are not impressed with the outside.


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