Moving With Elderly Parents (Part 1)

I once passed an advertising billboard while I was driving may years ago that read: “They’re The 10 Commandments, NOT The 10 Suggestions!”  The humor and the truth of that message made me laugh when I read it.  And the fact that I’ve never forgotten it is a testament to the effectiveness of that billboard.

Many of us learned The 10 Commandments in church or Sunday school. Did you know that the third commandment is all about honoring our parents? Though it’s hard to lara taylor real estate charlotte ncimagine how we’d ever repay our parents for all that they’ve done for us, those blessed to have parents that are living a long, good life have the opportunity to help and honor them as they grow older. Nearly one in four households now provides care to a parent or relative aged 50 or older and sometimes this care includes having their parents living with them.

If you’ll be including an elderly parent, relative, or friend as part of your inter-generational family move, here are Ten Suggestions (not commandments!) of things you can do that will help older adults experience an easier, happier, and smoother move.

Before You Move

1. Talk about the move openly and often. It is important to have clear, frank conversations about all aspects of the move and the new living situation, especially if it’s going to be to a smaller home or living space for your parents.

2. Start early. The sooner you start preparing an older person for their move, the better. This is particularly true if they’ll be downsizing to smaller living quarters. There will be many decisions for them to make. They probably don’t move as quickly (physically or mentally) as they used to. Giving them plenty of time will reduce frustration for everyone.

3. Scout out new resources ahead of time. Changing doctors, drug stores, grocery stores, and even hair dressers can be particularly stressful for the elderly. Do your homework and also find new social outlets, such as nearby senior centers for them.

4. Let them see the layout of your new home and their new living space. This will give them a chance to start preparing mentally as well as emotionally. It also will help them to begin thinking about what will fit (or not) and where and how.

5.Consider hiring a “Senior Move Manager.” These are professionals who specialize in assisting older adults and their families with the emotional and physical aspects of relocating. You can find more information about this option from the National Association of Senior Moving Managers

And you can find the next five suggestions in my next blog!


Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker


Twitter – @AskForLara


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Best Bets for Moving with Pets (Part 2)

Moving is stressful for any animal but it can be worse for household pets that never even venture outside. A move to a new home will effectively change their entire world! But taking a few of the following steps will help you help your pets through the move and transition them into their brave new world and home.Ask for lara taylor real estate charlotte nc

Planes, Trains…

If your move will involve air or rail travel, contact carriers AT LEAST one month in advance about their pet regulations.  Some airlines will allow pets in the cabin depending on the animal’s size, but you may need to purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. When making reservations choose a non-stop flight to avoid extra handling and minimize climate and air-pressure changes for your pets.

…And Automobiles!

If you’re moving by car, make a list of the items you’ll need for your “pet travel kit.” This should include the carrier, a leash, food, water, dishes, their favorite toy, and treats. To get your pet used to car travel, take them on a few short practice trips. Have a “clean-up kit” in the car too, in the case of any motion sickness or other accidents. And don’t forget to budget time for regular exercise, water, and bathroom breaks along the way during the BIG move.

For long distance moves that require an overnight stop, reserve motel rooms in advance and make sure that they will allow your pets to stay with you. Small pets like birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, reptiles, etc. can be easily transported via automobile. A good, simple way of keeping them calm and quiet is to cover their cages.

Save the Pets for Last

Animals may be intimidated by the presence of strange, burly moving men walking around in their personal space and territory. Keep them in their “Pet Room”, secluded from the chaos of packing and loading, until it’s time for them to go.

If one of your pets, such as a cat, is in the habit of hiding in a space that you cannot retrieve it from easily – such as the rafters of an attic or a crawl space – make sure that the hiding space is no longer accessible in advance so that it cannot go there.

Familiar Surroundings

Because you’re moving into a “new” home with new décor and perhaps new furnishings too, you may be tempted to replace your pets’ old familiar favorites as well. Don’t! It’s better to take your pets’ old food and water dishes, bedding, blankets and toys to make them feel “right at home” in THEIR new home too!

Upon your arrival at your new home pets may be frightened and confused by their new surroundings. Immediately set out all of those familiar and necessary things your pet will need to feel comfortable. Try to keep things in the same relative locations they were in your former home as well.

You Can’t Go Home Again

But your pets can!  Keep windows and doors closed when pets are left unsupervised, as your pet may be planning to find it’s way back to your old home. To be safe, leave the new owners of your old home a photo of your pets. Give them and your former neighbors your new phone number and ask them to contact you if any of your pets should return there.


Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker


Twitter – @AskForLara




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Best Bets for Moving with Pets

Moving can be both exciting and scary for most people. For pets however, moving may elicit only fear. Whether it’s your dog or cat, a bird or a ferret, moving will mean having to get used to an entirely different home filled with strange sights, new smells, and unusual sounds.

Homework and PaperworkAsk For Lara Taylor Real Estate Charlotte

Your pets should have a veterinary check-up prior to moving.  Be sure to obtain your pet’s records to give to your new veterinarian.

Don’t forget to get new ID tags with your new address and phone numbers and put them on your pets! Pets are more likely to “run away” from, or be unable to find their way back to, an unfamiliar location. If your pet has an ID implant, update that information as well.

For out-of-state moves contact the State Department of Animal Husbandry or the State Veterinarian about entry regulations for your pets. Almost every state has entry laws for most animals except tropical fish. Hawaii, for example, requires a 120-day quarantine for dogs and cats that have just moved from another state. Certain municipalities have stringent requirements or restrictions regarding pet ownership. You may need permits or registrations in your new town.

No Need for Petrified Animals

The very process of moving can mean long hours in transit either surrounded by strangers or in unfamiliar surroundings, and perhaps both. This can be very traumatic for any animal.  But there are some things that you can do to minimize any sense of terror in your Terrier, anxious feelings in your feline, or fear in your ferret.

Although moves are disruptive, stick to your pets’ routine as much as possible by maintaining a regular sleeping, feeding, exercise, and play schedule.

A few days before moving, choose a small room in the house to be your “pet room.” Tape a sign to the door that says “Pets: Do Not Open.”  Make sure the sign is loud and clear enough to be easily seen and read by all friends, relatives, and movers coming in and out of your house. Move all pet bedding, litter boxes, food, water bowls, favorite objects and toys into this room. Also introduce the carriers that will be used to transport your pets. Leave the carrier doors open so pets can adapt to them before travel day.

As an alternative, ask a neighboring friend to house your pets during the last few days or consider boarding dogs and cats at a local kennel until moving day.



Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker


Twitter – @AskForLara



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Helping Your Kids Spell Sweet Success in Their New Home

What do move and love have in common — three letters and the fact that one makes the other SO much easier.  A loving, understanding approach to moving can help your children arrive at their new home in a way that’s peaceful and positive, rather than rambunctious and raucous. Here are a few helpful hints for the days leading up to moving day as well as those shortly thereafter…

Keep Packing Light!Lara Taylor Real Estate Charlotte NC
For younger children, make a game out of it. Get out that trusty kitchen timer and have a race to see who can pack a box or sort stuff faster.  They’ll love to win and they’ll also be proud to help.  Give little ones a “special” marker to write their names on their own boxes, and you can even let them help you label your boxes too!

Older kids and teens can take on the responsibility for packing up their own things too.  Let them decide what to take and what to donate to Goodwill or another appropriate organization. Maybe they can help the little ones organize a mini-yard sale and use the money to buy something new for their new rooms.

That Special Day
On moving day, be sure each child has a bag with his or her “special” things that they’ll want or need on that first night in their new home — the teddy bear that helps your daughter sleep or your teenage sons favorite handheld video game. Let them pack those bags and bring them along, but be sure to check that they’re not forgotten.

Once you’re there, treat moving day like it’s your wedding day — cross the threshold with meaning and intention. Now is the perfect time to create a wonderful family memory.  Meet your new house by posing for a picture right away, plant a new tree in the yard that will grow with you from this first day forward, or take a moment to decide as a family where a special possession (a bird feeder, swing, fountain, or other prized item) will be placed in your new home or yard.

Go to Your Room!
And once the boxes are brought in, let your children have some say in how their rooms are arranged and decorated. Resist the impulse to dive into design, and remember that while a new room may be an opportunity for you to unleash your HGTV design chops, it’s a challenge to your child.

Let them settle in and make some of the choices along the way.  They’ll grow out of that bedspread you can’t stand, but they’ll never forget how you made moving fun and that the first thing you brought into the new house wasn’t that which makes it a home — love.

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Moving Isn’t Child’s Play, But It Can Be!

Every real estate agent appreciates those clients who are willing to open their minds (and their wallets) to ready their homes for sale.  So, here’s a big “Thank you!” to those of you who have taken my not-always-easy advice on how to make your home as marketable as possible.  But moving isn’t all about the money.  It’s an experience that can be fraught with emotion — especially when children are involved — and it’s my responsibility to help you through that too.

So, let’s step away from the steps and the staging and walkways and windows and walls and talk a little bit about the little people who are affected by moves in a very big way — your children.

Talk Before to Win the WarLara Taylor Real Estate Charlotte

I count even count the number of families I’ve helped relocate. But I can tell you that the ones who did it best, took their time. I don’t mean they moved slowly to buy or sell.  I mean that they talked with their children from the outset and gave them time to think and feel and process the move.

You might think that telling your children too far in advance will just give them more time to worry. But the opposite is true. Just like you, kids need time to get used to the idea of moving. So, don’t delay the news and do welcome their questions. Questions will help you gauge how they feel about moving and what their concerns are.

What to Say to Whom?

What and how you tell your children about moving largely will depend upon their ages. Small children (under 10) have different concerns about moving than older children so.

Little ones are likely to be worried about things like getting lost or left behind, whether their swing set will make the move too, if they get to bring their toys, will family pets be coming along.  Things you might think have obvious answers are often troubling and confusing to small children who have little knowledge about how the world works.  They know how their house works, and that’s changing.  Hear them out, anticipate these issues, and put their minds at rest by providing clear answers in words they can understand.

For older children, you might want to indulge in a little marketing. Friendships — relationships outside of the household — are what’s most important to them, and moving means leaving friends behind. Be prepared for an emotional response and be ready with the facts about the reasons for the move and the benefits of the new neighborhood.  Maybe they’ll be getting a bigger room, perhaps the community your moving to has a swimming pool. Whatever you do, don’t minimize their need to grieve friendships and be in the know about what will happen next.  Allow them their emotions and prepare them for every step of the transition.

And no matter who you’re talking to, set a good example.  Your children will look to you for cues on how to feel about and respond to the move.  Be positive and upbeat.  Look on the bright side.  And look to my next blog for more about how to help your kids during and after the move.


Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker


Twitter – @AskForLara



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You Don’t Need A Green Thumb to Garden

You’ve been scoping the competition and you’ve see the photographs — pretty-as-a-picture planting beds, lovely landscaping, fountains and flowers. It sure is easy on the eyes, but you suspect easy stops there. Maybe gardening just isn’t your thing or you don’t have the time or hiring a landscaper isn’t in your budet…or all of the above.

You’ve Got POTential!

Well, here’s a little secret: It is possible, practical, and affordable to add a garden to your lara taylor real estate charlotte ncproperty without breaking ground — or your budget. The secret ingredient — POTS!

Pots — or other containers, like decorative buckets and wooden boxes and hanging baskets — provide a cost-effective, EASY alternative to traditional gardening. You can buy ready-made containers from home and garden centers
or you can make your own.

Thinking INSIDE The Box

Need a little inspiration?  Here’s a link to a container garden photo gallery ( where you can see pint-sized potted paradises filled with everything from radishes to roses.

Container gardens are limited by nothing but your imagination. Greenery, flowers, herbs, even vegetables will thrive in a wide variety of receptacles and settings. Best of all, if your plans aren’t liking the light in one spot, you don’t have to dig them and up and replant them, you just have to give them a lift to a sunnier or shadier spot.

POT-able, Portable

So, when you’re thinking big about beautifying your yard, entryway, or deck, don’t forget to think small. Lilliputian lilies, tiny tomatoes, half-pint herbs, a smidgen of strawberries — they’re small but mighty allies to a home seller, and best of all, once your home scores a sold sign, you can even take them with you.


Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker


Twitter – @AskForLara



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Little Things That Mean A Lot

You’ve heard the expression “The Devil is in the details.”  According to that great online know-it-all, Wikipedia, the phrase expresses “the idea that whatever one does should be done thoroughly; i.e. details are important.”

So, since we’re talking about curb appeal, let’s think small — the little things that will mean, but not cost, a lot.  lara taylor real estate charlotte nc

What’s Your Number?

Your house number that is. For far less then your monthly morning coffee budget you could make an addition to your home for sale that could pay off big time. Take a look at your house number. Is it easy to find?  Proudly displayed?  Bright and shiny?  It should be — all three!

So, go play the numbers.  Think oiled bronze for a more traditional home, brushed nickel for houses that are more modern. House numbers are easy to find, inexpensive, and almost certainly something you can do yourself in no time at all.

Knock Three Times

Why stop at digits?  Why not freshen all of the hardware leading up to and into your home?  Make sure it all matches and consider the following elements:

  • door knocker
  • entry door lockset
  • wall-mounted mailbox
  • mail slot
  • lighting fixtures

You’ll have potential buyers banging down the door to get in!

Mailbox Matters

Lastly, be sure to consider your mailbox. You can turn an often overlooked feature into a selling point with a small investment in a new mailbox and a little landscaping.

There are many styles from which to choose. I advise selecting a mailbox that is in keeping with the style of your home. And though you may be tempted to buy one of those funny fish mailboxes or an adorable faux cottage, I say skip it in favor of something neat, sleek, and upscale — three words that you can apply to almost any home improvement project.


Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker


Twitter – @AskForLara



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