John Callan has lots of experience with seniors’ issues. I am a former member of the Board of Directors of The Glebe Centre, a provincial long-term care facility in Ottawa. As a lawyer, I have frequently provided advice to clients on Powers of Attorney for both Property Management and Personal Care (Living Wills), Wills and Estate Planning.
As a result, I have developed an expertise in helping seniors make good, solid choices related to change that comes with retirement, including downsizing. As my client this is your Double Advantage. I understand each client’s needs and budget. I encourage close family members to assist with the downsizing process; with their support, good choices are assured for the individual or couple involved.
To start, the range of downsizing choices is sizeable and I am knowledgeable about them all whether it is renting or owning. Here are the possibilities; a smaller single family home, a townhouse, single level apartment style condominium, retirement residence or a long-term care facility. I can give you advice about all of them.
Hard questions need to be asked to identify the best possible type of home, it’s location and the most suitable neighbourhood. Choosing housing near the downtown core is more expensive, but that is where more services are available. What are the essential services that the senior client needs to have close by? Public transit, shopping, dental/medical services, recreation and cultural activities etc.
When a senior’s home is listed for sale, I want to ensure that my client gets the maximum value. To achieve this there are many options:
- staging the inside of a home to get it in good condition to maximize the listing and sale’s appeal in order to achieve the highest possible price. I have a list of excellent stagers!
- improving the home’s exterior (curb appeal).
- making minor repairs or improvements such as re-tiling a floor or updating the kitchen or bathroom. Many of these choices are cost effective and make the home more attractive and saleable in a competitive market.
Other issues come up with downsizing:
- Family members should identify family treasures that are to be packed and taken.
- Some family possessions may have value and require the services of appraisers such as art, jewelry, or antiques.
- The services of an e-Bay specialist may be needed to help with the sale of any special item.
- What do you do with the excess furniture and other belongings that have been acquired over the years? Options include gifting it to family members, donate items to various charities such as a women’s shelter (sometimes a tax receipt is provided) or have a giant garage sale.
It takes time and work to get a house ready for sale. If there is an estate involved or an owner has to move into a long-term care facility, I can help family members who may not all reside in Ottawa deal with some or all of these issues in order to assist with an orderly transition. I can also make arrangements for cleaners, storage de-clutterers, movers, painters and tradespeople.