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5 Ways To Help Make Downsizing A Little Less Stressful

Getting ready to retire is a very bittersweet time in a persons life. This can mean moving to a different place, traveling, or simply staying put. But for many it means looking for a more affordable, smaller home that requires less maintenance, giving them more time to travel, spend time with family and care for themselves.

For so many, “downsizing” is an extremely daunting word. The accumulation of “things” we acquire over the years is hard place a tangible number on. In fact, an NBC news article in 2017 wrote that the average home contains 300,000 items. Let me say that number again…. 300,000!! So yes, the word downsize has every right to carry a daunting feeling along with it.  

But it doesn’t always have to feel this way. Of course leaving your home, whether that is the home you have been in for your entire life, or a home you moved into just a couple of years earlier, will always be an emotional rollercoaster. You have filled it with your love and unforgettable memories. At some point, the time comes to begin your next chapter.

To help make this step in life a bit easier, we have laid out 5 ways to make downsizing a little less stressful.

1. Start early… not all at once

Procrastination was cool back in high school, but definitely is not something you want to fall back into when moving. It’s important to start at least a month before moving to your new space. This will give you time to work slowly and efficiently so it’s not overwhelming. Once you begin to rush, everything becomes unorganized. This make it extremely difficult to find some of your most essential things for your first couple of days in your new home. Once you have a settlement date (or if you’re a planner… start earlier!), begin gathering boxes… it’s a perfect place to start.

Start tossing out old food in your pantry that has been hiding in the back corner for months or maybe even years (anyone else guilty of this besides me?…). Declutter your closet the next time you put your laundry away. Begin giving your expired medications to your doctors or pharmacists. All these “little” steps can be taken to prevent getting overwhelmed when the real packing begins.

2. Create a plan

Make. A. List. In fact, make multiple! The more organized you are, the better. That’s why it is so important to sit down and create a plan. First, decide which room you are going to tackle. It is easier to begin with the rooms that contain the most items. This may be the living room, family room or kitchen. Take on the large tasks in the beginning and the later tends to seem a little less intimidating. When going through your things, make four different piles: 1. keep, 2. give to family/friends, 3. donate, 4. sell. It can be hard when going through personal belongings to decide if you should keep or get rid of them. If you’re moving and you haven’t watched Marie Kondo’s, “Tidying Up”, on Netflix, grab that remote ASAP. Marie Kondo’s entire motto is, if it doesn’t spark joy, toss it. It’s a wonderful way to declutter your home and come to terms with what “things” actually hold meaning in your life. If it doesn’t “spark joy”, give it away, donate it, or sell it.

Unsure where is excepting donations? Here is a link that provides a list of places willing to take donations when you begin decluttering your home.

3. Set firm dates

Secure a settlement date. This will ensure that you know you have to be completely moved out by X day. If you have set dates in your head, it is more likely you will make a plan to get everything done on time. If you are using a moving company, call the movers and set a date and time. If you are having a yard sale, set a date and label each item so that you are ready ahead of time. Call the place you will be taking your donations to and tell them a day you will be bringing your items.

4. Complete a changing your address checklist

When you move, there are many things you tend to forget because the act of moving is an extremely time consuming and emotional process. Here is a list you can follow to make sure you complete everything!

  1. Notify the USPS of your change of address and set up mail forwarding
  2. Notify the IRS and state tax agency of your new address
  3. Let the SSA know you’re moving
  4. Transfer your gas and electric accounts
  5. Call your cable and internet companies to let them know of your new address
  6. Transfer home insurance
  7. Notify your employer
  8. Notify your bank and credit card company
  9. If you have any outstanding loans, make the loan company aware you moved
  10. Notify doctors, dentists, vets, etc.
  11. And of course.. last but not least, your family and friends!!

Here’s a checklist with helpful links to guide you!

5. Bring your style to your new space

It’s hard to think about leaving a space you’ve made your own. Maybe you painted the walls just the right color, found a sofa that fit perfectly in your living room. It can be hard to leave. To make your new space feel a little more comfortable, bring a similar style to life in your new home as was present in your old! Maybe you choose to use the same color scheme, or you find out your couch actually fits PERFECTLY in your fabulous living room! Everything when you move doesn’t have to be brand spanken new. Sometimes keeping a little bit of the old can bring comfort and happiness in your new beginning.

Downsizing and moving is a bittersweet and sometimes extremely stressful adventure. Make sure you start early and are organized throughout the process. Happy moving!  


Purchasing A New Home During A Pandemic: How Pine View Offers An Affordable Solution In A Heavy Sellers Market

The exciting and thrilling big city lifestyle is quickly deteriorating as people continue to flee these areas as the increasing effects of COVID-19 hits the population. Being so close to Philadelphia and New York City, we have seen this first hand. In fact, housing prices in New Jersey alone have increased to over 11%. Purchasing a new home during a pandemic has unveiled itself as being a very difficult task.

At the start of the pandemic, people were leaving their lives in or near cities or staying put to quarantine for what they thought would only be a short while. Boy, were they wrong.

The stay at home orders, turned into weeks which then turned into months. It would be easy to assume that people were fleeing large cities by the thousands due to fear of large crowded areas. Interestingly enough, there has not been a widespread migration to less populated areas due to COVID-19. Among those who decided to make the move, 37% said they did so because they could no longer afford the areas they currently were living in due to pay cuts or job loss, not because of fear of the virus.

People are looking for more affordable living options more so than ever before. Which is a true testament of how the pandemic has affected the real estate market. And, with mortgage rates dropping to or below 3.12% average for a 30 year and at or below 2.5% average for a 15 year, it seems like a great time to buy. But, skyrocketing home costs in the NJ suburbs aren’t exactly enticing buyers.

Here’s where we come in.

Our motto has always been affordability. We market ourselves as an affordable community for the 55 and older community in New Jersey. This is exactly what we have been since 1963 and exactly what we continue to be today. Our homes rarely breach the $169,000 mark ($185,000 being the most expensive home we have ever sold in the community – and it contained all the bells and whistles a home could have), and our land lease is one of the least expensive in the state, at $525/month.  

virtual tours are available on our website at

The prices of our homes have not increased, nor do we plan on increasing our prices. While homes outside of our community have skyrocketed and the inventory is low. Our prices have stayed low and we continue to increase our inventory. And, although our inventory currently is low, we do have six new homes coming in between December and March.

Another issue for many people right now is physically going and touring homes. With COVID cases on the rise, scheduling a tour to see a home is risky, especially for the 55 and older population. For that reason, we have virtual tours on our website, which is a great way to walk around and explore our homes in the comfort of your own home!

If you decide you do want to make that visit out to us, we have taken precautions in order to create a safe experience for our visitors. You may call us to make an appointment or you can visit at your leisure during our normal business hours, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm! When you arrive, stay in your car and call our office. There is a sign hung on our front porch with our phone number written on it for your convenience!

Please make sure to bring a mask, and follow us in your own car to the homes. Business is a little different, but it hasn’t stopped us and we hope you will come out and visit!

Trailer Vs. Manufactured Home - here's an example that shows how much nicer a manufactured home can be, at NJ's best place to retire - Pine View Terrace

Trailer vs. Manufactured Home: The Difference Between Them and Why “Trailer” is No Longer an Acceptable Term

Trailer vs. manufactured home – is there really a difference? The only thing that makes us cringe more than nails on a chalkboard is when someone refers to one of our homes as a “trailer”.

The word “trailer” originated prior to June, 1976 before HUD code went into effect. HUD stands for, Housing and Urban Development, and prior to the code going into effect in 1976 dwellings did not need to be built to suffice any particular building standard.

After HUD code was established, the building standard of these mobile homes (interchangeably known as “trailers”) went up. The code mandates a licensed HUD engineer to inspect each home prior to someone moving in. These inspectors are up-to-date with all licenses they need to make sure each and every home complies with the state’s housing code. Today, all homes are built according to code and are referred to as Manufactured Homes. They are carefully crafted in controlled environments and built to the same standards as stick built homes.

The only difference between a manufactured home and a stick built home is where they are built and the foundation they sit on. All of our manufactured homes at Pine View sit on a 6-inch concrete slab and are secured with tie downs and set by a professional set crew. They are all single level and extremely low maintenance, making these homes a great option for 55 and over adults looking to downsize.

trailer vs. manufactured home . In this 55+ retirement village, living in a manufactured home comes with a lot of amenities.
Trailer vs. Manufactured Home: Monthly Fee

Living in a manufactured home is becoming a very popular and affordable way to live. In fact, today 22 million people live in manufactured homes across the country.

At Pine View, buying a manufactured home with us is extremely easy! We own the land and you own the home. What this means is that after the purchase of your home you pay a land lease fee of $525/month, making it one of the most affordable places to retire in New Jersey.

Check out our chart to see the many amenities this fee includes!

In addition to the monthly fee, you are responsible for your gas, electric, and maintaining your own yard. Don’t fret – we have resident’s in the community that cut grass, landscape and pick up leaves for a small fee!

Many community owners like ourselves have tried to steer away from the word “trailer” for years because of the negative connotation it brings to the world of manufactured homes. The standard at which our homes are built today has completely changed since the 1970’s and we are proud and happy to provide an affordable and safe housing option for the 55 and over community.

When driving through our community, you’ll notice a few homes that look like the quintessential “trailer home”. Well, that’s because we were founded in 1963 by my grandfather, Verdon Skipper, and are in the process of removing all of the empty older homes and replacing them with new.

When it comes to trailer vs. manufactured home, there really is no contest, so in our community we prohibit the resale of homes that do not meet the HUD code standard. This is the reason our community looks the way it does. Pine View Terrace is our pride and joy, and we make sure that we continue to fill Pine View with safe, HUD inspected homes, that our residents can live in for years to come!

Interested in learning more about one of the best places to retire in New Jersey? Visit our website or contact us here!