Moving can be a stressful and difficult time for everybody, now matter how old you are.
For senior citizens who have lived in their homes for 40-60 years, it can be an even harder and more emotional experience.
Seabrook Village, a retirement community in Tinton Falls, is looking to ease the transition for seniors as they prepare to sell and leave their homes and move into Seabrook.
Seabrook Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Williamson helps get seniors on the right track and assists them with every aspect of the move including putting their homes on the market, downsizing, modernizing the home where necessary and making the actual move.
Seabrook Director of Sales Rick Kiernan says the free program, with the help of Williamson, has saved the seniors a lot of stress.
"Some of them have the fear of moving, and that is an overwhelming feeling," Kiernan said. "It's the fear of not knowing what to do. Laurie helps them navigate."
Williamson said she uses a "preferred network" of realtors, downsizers and painters in the program, which began in May, 2011.
"We want to make sure the are in good hands," Williamson said.
"It takes out the guess work, because it can be hard for them to make that decision," Kiernan said.
Williamson said she helps seniors from all over the country sell their homes, but that the highest concentration who move to Seabrook have family and are looking to be closer to them. Keirnan said others like to be closer to the beach or are just simply looking to move back to New Jersey.
"It's very gratifying to help people," Williamson said. "I wanted to use my experience as a realtor and concentrate on the senior population, and here is the perfect opportunity for that."
Williamson said about 50 percent of new Seabrook residents have taken advantage of the program and that she expects it to grow.
"It's still growing and we are offering more and more for them," Williamson said. "We need people to understand how beneficial it can be."
Kiernan said Williamson has been able to sell the seniors' homes at an average of 18 days. A feat helped by the fact that the Monmouth County is currently seeing a 23 percent increase in sales this year.
Williamson said the county average for the amount of time a home is on the market is 111 days.
"Without Laurie's help, there is no way they would be able to sell that quickly," Kiernan said.
Williamson said she has seen a change in the housing market this year.
"The market has been great and interest rates have been low," she said. "The market has stabilized and adjusted and it's slowly starting to balance itself out."
The upward swing in the market can be seen at Seabrook where the current occupancy rate is about 92 percent, which exceeds the national average of rental rate percentage for senior housing which currently sits at just over 88 percent.