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?
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 »
Here are some options if haven’t sold your current home and you’ve found a new one.
The perfect house – you’ve found it! It’s got the features you want in the location you desire and at the right price. Isn’t this the happy ending every home-buyer wants? Not if you still have a house to SELL. What can you do when you’ve found a new house to buy, but haven’t yet sold your current home? You do have a few options, some better than others.
Ultimately it comes down to your financial situation. If money is no object, you have all the freedom to buy that home without any worries. For the rest of us, here are some options.
Buy the house: This clearly holds the greatest risk, as lenders are quite cautious these day about lending a second mortgage to a buyer. And because there is no clear idea on just how long you might have to carry 2 mortgages, it’s a stressful jump for the homebuyer as well. Can you carry these 2 mortgages for 6-9 months? A year or longer?
Buy but rent: If you are able to secure financing and decide to purchase your new home, an option is to move into your new place and rent out the home you intend to sell to help offset your expenses. Some will do this and take their home off the market for a year or longer, depending on the real estate market. Some might attempt to sell it with renters in it, but that can be difficult as well, since renters don’t always understand the concept of keeping a home ‘show-ready’.Read More »
These room updates will give you the most enjoyment for your effort.
If money was no object, we would love to remodel our entire home, but many of us have to pick and choose which remodeling projects we tackle. Certain rooms are used more often and can greatly effect your home price.
The following rooms and spaces are the most important to update for many reasons. Either they are used a lot or they can greatly affect the price of your home and its ability to sell quickly.
KITCHEN: This room is the heart of the home and from an investment standpoint, it’s the most important room to do and one that potentially can recoup a chunk of the costs. A major overhaul (new cabinets, floors, counters and appliances) may get you back about 68 percent of your investment, but if your space needs just a minor remodel (refinishing cabinets, paint and counters), expect about a 72 percent return on your investment. Kitchens need to be updated if you have plans to sell.
BATHROOM: It’s a potentially expensive room to repair, but it’s another one that is important to have updated and in great condition. Kitchens and bathrooms are what buyers want, if you are considering placing your house on the market in the near future.Read More »
Buy your first home on time.
There is no magic formula for first time home buyers. There are, however, some general guidelines on how the process should go. Of course all these things can change or vary depending on the type of housing market you’re looking in. An active market might compress your timeline (act a bit faster) but in a slower market, you may be able to take a bit more time. Regardless, here is a basic timeline for first time home buyers.
3-4 months prior to preferred move date
At this beginning stage of the home search, you should be doing some serious background work:
- Make a checklist of your wants and needs for a home, including location and features.
- Mortgage pre-approval process is imperative. The sooner you get your finances in order the better! You’ll have a clear idea of what your budget is and be in a better position to make an offer and close in a timely fashion.
- Finding an agent important at this stage of your search. Find a Realtor you can trust and communicate well with. Make sure they know the market you’re interested in living in someday. Ask friends for referrals or visit open houses to meet agents in the area.
- The fun starts with house shopping! This is when you quickly figure out favorite neighborhoods, styles of homes and things you are willing to compromise on…and things you’re aren’t.
2-3 months out
- You’re still shopping at this point, but soon you’ll be finding a home you’re interested in purchasing. With the advice of your licensed Realtor, write up an offer and begin negotiations.
- Once you have a negotiated price, get an inspection by a qualified home inspector and make any repair arrangements with the homeowners to finalize the contract.
- Make your closing arrangements.
- Give your moving notice (if necessary) at your current residence.
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You have to choose between two great homes. Now what?
After weeks of searching, you’ve fallen in love with that perfect house. But you’re not feeling at all settled. What’s wrong with finding the perfect house? Nothing, unless you’ve actually found 2 perfect houses. Maybe you love the houses equally or you and your spouse each love a different house. Now what do you do? Here are some things to consider when having to choose between 2 houses you love.
The first rule of thumb it to keep emotions out of the equation – you need to approach this rationally! Many people resort to the good old’ pros and cons list. It’s a concrete list and usually one house will prevail as the ‘better’ house to buy. The list should start with your budget and your ‘must haves’ for the home. If there is no clear winner, dig a little deeper and include…
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What should you consider when shopping for your first home?
The first time through a home-buying experience can be both exciting and stressful. Before you let your high hopes, sticker shock and long wish-list blurr your vision, familiarize yourself with common home buyers mistakes here. But how exactly do you make sure that first home purchase is the right one for you? Here are a few things to consider when shopping for your first home.
Work with a licensed Realtor
The first time through, you need a professional to help you navigate the journey. A Realtor can help you save time by fine-tuning your search. They can save you money with their knowledge of the market values and by being your chief negotiator. Learn the difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent in this blog.
Determine your neighborhood
You’ve heard the saying ‘location, location, location’ – so know the area that you want to live and concentrate your search there.
List the must-haves
What are those things you must have in your home? Is it a certain amount of bedrooms or bathrooms? Perhaps finishes are important to you? Or a fenced yard? Does it need to be near public transportation? Whatever those necessities are, make a concise list of them.
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A townhome, twin-home or condo could be perfect for you.
Many people want to own their own place, but don’t necessarily want the responsibility or expense of taking care of the yard or exterior of the home. What are their options? Typically, people turn to townhomes, twin-homes or condos. Aren’t they just about the same? Not really. What is the difference between a townhome, twin-home and condo?
Generally a row of identical or mirror image houses sharing side walls (except for the end units who have just one common wall). They are owned separately and are allowed to maintain their small yard that is in the front or back of their home, but they also pay association dues, which usually cover the costs of shared property (common space, roof and exterior) and snow removal for the common driveways. Townhomes pretty much look just alike.
A twin-home is basically 2 homes that share a common wall, with 2 separate owners and two yards. The property line runs down the center of the home. You can do what you want with your side of the house and yard…they can have different roofs and be different colors and have different landscape designs.
Condos are in multi-level buildings and not only share walls, but they have units above and below them, as well. They own their own unit and patio or balcony, but don’t own really any land. They pay association dues which covers all the maintenance of the lawn and grounds, parking lot or garage, as well as any recreational areas like workout facilities, tennis courts or a pool.
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