Tips for Moving Before Purchasing a House

How to move when you’re in between homes.

In an ideal selling/buying scenario, you’d be able to schedule your closings for both houses so that a move occurs with ease in terms of timing and with minimal upheaval. Many times, however, an owner finds themselves needing interim housing. Perhaps they just haven’t found a house yet to buy, but have to move out…or maybe they are building a new home and it’s running behind schedule, or perhaps the closing dates are ‘off’ by a month or so. Regardless the reason, what are some tips for moving before your new home is ready for you?

The shorter the distance and the fewer the furnishings, the easier things will be. But all of these tips are applicable for anyone needing interim housing, near or far.living between homes

Rent Back

Perhaps the buyers of your home have the flexibility that allows you to rent the home from them after closing and you can stay put. This could be for a few days or a few weeks, but just until your new place is ready for you. The benefits for this is having the security to stay in a familiar place, same schools and you don’t have to move more than once.

Move out and find alternate housing

Sometimes renting back isn’t an option, or perhaps you’re moving far away so you need to rent an interim apartment or house for a month or so. What are some options for rentals?

  • Extended stay hotel ~ if you can tolerate hotel living, these hotels have small kitchens and housekeeping. Be prepared to travel VERY light.
  • Rentals ~ It is possible to find apartments, houses, rooms for rent, townhouses, and mobile homes, for short-medium or long-term leases. Find rentals that work for you, unfurnished, furnished, and even pet friendly. If you have a longer gap between homes, this might be your best choice.
  • Vacant homes ~ perhaps you know someone who needs a house-sitter for a few weeks or the home is sitting vacant and could use some furnishings in it for a season. These arrangements usually come by knowing someone, who knows someone.
  • Family or friends ~ depending on how long you’re looking at, you can always bum some space in the basement of family or friends, and sleep on the couch.

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How to Improve Your Credit Score

Improve your credit score with these tips.

Credit Scores affect people in so many ways – it impacts either positively or negatively their approval for car loans, credit cards and mortgages, AND at what interest rate/terms they’ll get on that loan. If you are considering buying a home, you know this. Most credit scores fall in the 300-900 range, with higher numbers being the better credit score. Over the course of time, poor credit scores can cost thousands of dollars in fees and interest — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out the following tips to help improve your credit score.Realtors improve your credit score

Know your score

Regularly check your credit score and make sure it’s accurate. Any discrepancies on your report should be disputed with the credit bureau and reporting agency. You don’t want to let errors remain on your credit report!

Don’t be late

Late payments are one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score. Set up a payment reminder system or use an auto-pay option to make sure your bills get paid on time. Always pay something and always be on time!Read More »

What You Need to Know about Appraisal Companies

Choosing a home appraisal company.

Whether you’re buying a house or refinancing, an appraisal is part of your future. In a nutshell, appraisal companies look at your home, compare it to similar homes in the area to determine the market value of your place. Appraisals are safeguards against spending more on a house than it’s worth. What do you need to know about appraisals and appraisal companies?Minnesota Home Appraisal

Appraisal companies have appraisers who visit homes to determine its value. The appraiser will look at the following key things:

  • Square footage of your home
  • Damage that is visible on the interior and exterior of the home that might affect its value
  • Verify any upgrades that have occurred
  • Verify types of heating and cooling systems; and appliances
  • Document the number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Determine property size
  • Note the condition of the basement

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Characteristics of a Quality Home Inspector

What to look for in a quality home inspector.

Once you’ve found your next home and have a signed purchase agreement, you will need to have that new place properly inspected for structural issues or necessary repairs prior to closing. How do you know who to select for this important job? Here are some characteristics of a quality home inspector:Home Inspector

Contractor Expertise

Not just any handy-man will do! You want to hire someone with an extensive background in building materials, mechanical and electrical systems and modifications, energy efficiency issues and repair processes. Having someone who understands both new and old products and their pros/cons as well as maintenance and repair needs is also beneficial. This person needs to know it all – from driveways and foundations to windows and appliances.

Communicator

Contractor expertise on its own is not enough. You need your inspector to be clear and concise in their assessment of your property – which might mean delivering difficult news. They need to be able to translate sometimes complicated or technical subject matter in a way that you can understand and process. Both in writing and orally, this inspector needs to communicate very effectively the concerns of your new home and their recommendations prior to closing on the home.Read More »

How to Research School Districts

Finding the right school district can make moving easier.

Your family has a move in its future and it includes changing schools. As if finding a new place and managing a move isn’t enough stress, but adding in a school change can be a challenge for the entire family. So how do you go about finding a home you love with a strong school system? Here are a few tips for researching school districts:FInd the rights school district

General Information:

When you are starting your home search be sure to use a reputable REALTOR, as they are knowledgeable on neighborhoods and school districts. Many times, listings have links to the affiliated schools so you can easily find information about the system in that neighborhood.

More Specific:

The MN Department of Education (education.state.mn.us) has a website that includes a section called “MN Report Card” (find it under the Data Center tab) where you can find all sorts of district or school specific information on public schools. It’s easy to use – you can select from any district in the state or a specific grade school, middle school or high school and you’ll have all sorts of information at your disposal. Information on test scores, demographics and general school and district wide information are available via this site.Read More »

Why it Pays to Hire a REALTOR

Hiring a REALTOR instead of doing it yourself can save you stress and time.

It may seem that homes are selling really fast in your neighborhood these days. So fast, in fact, that you are tempted to just stick a “FOR SALE” sign in your yard and handle the selling of your home yourself. Before you go ahead and do that, consider why it pays to hire a REALTOR vs doing it yourself. You just might be surprised how much time and work it takes to sell a home.

Education and Experience

Real estate agents have the background necessary to price, market and sell your home in a timely fashion. If they are part of the National Association of REALTORS , they also have extra education to meet the association’s high standards and code of ethics. This education and training means you have a highly skilled professional working on your behalf to get your house sold.Hire a Realtor vs doing it yourself

Market Pros

Not only do REALTORS understand the current market climate, they also understand the nuances from one neighborhood to the next and how that might affect price, competition and time on the market.

Networking

Agents know people who know people…who might be in the market for a house just like yours. They also have access to new house listings days before they hit the MLS. Those precious days can mean a jump start in finding or selling a home.Read More »

Benefits of Hiring a Moving Company

Hiring a moving company can save you a lot of hassle.

Your house is sold and plans are falling into place for the move to your new home. But what is the best plan for your move? If you’re moving from a dorm room back home, that is simple. Pack it into the back of a truck and drive yourself. Or if you’re moving out of your parent’s basement to your first apartment, you might be able to get away with buying pizza and beer for your friends to help. But if you’re moving your family of five from one home to another that is across town or across the country, you may want to consider hiring a moving company. What are the benefits of hiring a moving company?Hire a Moving Company

When deciding whether or not to hire a moving company, first consider what it would take to do it yourself: your time, proper packing materials (boxes, tape, packing peanuts or bubble wrap), at least one truck, gas $ and plans for childcare and pet-care while you work your tail off.   Can you manage all that? Do you want to do all that?

Or for a modest investment, you can instead hire out the move and have a very different experience. Hiring a moving company has the following benefits:

Time: Selling a home and moving takes over your life – do you have the time to spend wrapping and packing every last knick-knack in your home? Every framed photo, every pot and pan, toy and candle and book? It’s possible, but it requires an enormous amount of time. Hiring a moving company will save you tons of time and free you up to work on other important details involved with a move, like registering for new schools, requesting address changes and finding new doctors and orthodontists.Read More »