Tips for Choosing the Perfect Home

Most buyers would look at dozens of properties during the house hunting process. But with so many properties available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the perfect home for you and your family. You may have prepared a list of features you want in a home, but a lot of buyers end up getting swept away by a stylish property.

In the hopes of making the selection process easier, we listed down some tips that will help you find the house of your dreams. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect home.

Location, location, location

Once you’ve settled on the idea that you want to buy a home, the first thing you need to do is to determine where you want to live. It is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a house.

You may fall in love with the house, but you may end up unhappy and unsatisfied later on if the neighborhood doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Be sure to consider your current needs and lifestyle when scouting out different neighborhoods. You want to make sure that the neighborhood has everything you need to live a comfortable life. That said, we suggest that you do some research about the neighborhood. If you have kids, research the school district and the crime level in the area.

Buy what you can afford

Now that you have decided where you want to live, it’s time to determine your budget. Buying a house is a big financial obligation. It is best to determine how much you can afford before you start looking at houses. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a house, only to find out later on that you can’t afford it.

Once you have figured out your budget, make sure that you stick to it. Never settle for a house that is out of your budget. If you do, you may find yourself in a deep financial crisis. Worse, you may end up losing your home.

Go for the long haul

In order to recoup your investment, you need to stay put for about 5 to 7 years. That said, you need to look for a house where you can see yourself living in for several years. Also, you need to consider the value of your home in the future. You should put some thought into how easy it would be for you to sell the house when it comes the time that you need to move.

Be patient

Buying a house is a big decision. You can’t rush into it. You want to make sure that you’re prepared both financially and emotionally on being a homeowner.

Finding the house of your dreams takes time. Since you’ll be staying in that house for a long period of time, you want to make sure that it suits your needs, lifestyle, and taste. There are a lot of houses out there. Go ahead and look at a few houses before making a decision. Never settle for the first house you see.

How to Save Money When You’re Moving House

Unless you’re a devout minimalist, moving to a new home can be exhausting and stress-inducing. It can be riddled with unexpected and chaotic twists and turns. Add to that, it can also be expensive. In fact, the American Moving and Storage Association revealed that the average cost of intrastate move is $2,300 while an interstate moving costs about $4,300.

How do you move all your possessions from your current home to your new place without spending a tone of money? Here are 4 ways to save money when you’re moving house.

Book moving services early

Book your moving services early. If possible, start your search as soon as you determine your moving date. This is important as it gives you more opportunity to find a moving company that will be able to cater to your needs and suits your budget. Also, moving companies get very busy. If you book a moving company at the last minutes, they are likely to charge more.

If you want to reduce your moving cost, we suggest that you plan moving house on a weekday. Moving companies charge more on weekends and holidays.

Compare quotes

There are a lot of moving companies out there. So before you hire one, we highly recommend that you get quotes from 3 to 5 companies. This way, you can compare their services and prices and get the best deal possible.

Do not base your decision on the price alone. You need to take into consideration the services they offer, so you can decide which company is the best fit for you and your budget.

Purge your possessions

Most moving companies would charge by weight and distance. That means, the overall weight of your shipment determines how much you’ll pay in the end.

Pack only the things you’ll use in the future. We recommend that you go over your stuff and get rid of those you do not wish to take with you. You can sell your unwanted items, give them to your family and friends or donate them.

Collect boxes

If you have a lot of stuff, chances are you’ll need a lot of boxes. Packaging materials like boxes and packaging tape are quite cheap, but the cost can add up. Start collecting boxes at least a month before your moving date. You can pick up boxes from local stores such as grocery stores or liquor stores. Most of these boxes are in good condition. The best part is, they’re free.

Top Tips for Downsizing Your Home

Top Tips for Downsizing Your Home

Moving from a large home to a smaller place can cause anxiety and stress. Whether you’re moving in with your significant other or to a downtown apartment, you will have to say goodbye to some of your personal belongings.

With smart design strategies and careful planning, you can make the most of your small space. Here are some tips for downsizing your home.

Start thinning out your belongings

You can’t bring all your belongings to your new home. A couple of months before the move, we suggest that you take a moment to list down all of the things you can’t live without. These are the things you should bring with you to your new home.

For most people, the list includes medications and toiletries, kitchen and bathroom supplies, sentimental items, jewelries, collections, photographs, electronics, family heirlooms, important documents and personal belongings. Those that didn’t make the list can go. You have the option to sell, give out or donate the things you no longer need or use.

Get an early start

Don’t wait till the last minute to pack your things. If you do, you’ll end up stressed and exhausted. Start packing as soon as you decide to move out. Try to tackle one room at a time to make the packing process smoother and easier.

Think multi-purpose

If you’re considering getting new furnitures for your new home, make sure you choose multiple furniture pieces. Instead of trying to squeeze as much furniture in one space, think quality and multi-purpose. For instance, choose a side table that can double as a study table. Another option would be to get an ottoman that has storage space.

Create more storage space

Now that you have managed to trim down your possessions, your goal is to ensure that everything has its own place. Make use of all the available storage you can get your hands on – under-bed storage, wall-mounted shelving, ottomans with storage etc. Also, create more storage space by making use to the vertical space. Create shelves and cabinets to accommodate your belongings.

 

Land Your Dream Home While Everyone is on Holiday

Spring is considered as the busiest time of the year in real estate. During the summer, however, there seems to be a significant reduction in the number of buyers. School is out and everyone is on vacation mode.

If you are looking to buy a house, you may want to take this opportunity to shop for your new home. Who knows, you might be able to land your dream home.

Identify your budget

Before embarking on your search, know your numbers. This is one of the most important things you should do early on. Unless you have a huge sum of money in the bank, you’ll need financing for your home. It would be a lot easier to find your dream home if you know have a good idea how much you can afford.

Work with a good real estate agent

A house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, so you want to make sure that you do it right. That said, we highly recommend that you hire a real estate agent in your quest for your dream home. Don’t just settle for any agent, look for someone who is experienced and has enough knowledge about the neighborhood you’re interested in.

A good real estate agent will ask for the features you want in a house, your budget and other requirements. From here, the agent will show you some properties that suit your specifications. In addition, he/she will help you through the negotiation process all the way to the closing day. Work with a good real estate agent. You’ll certainly need one.

Timing is everything

For some sellers, especially those with school-aged children, summer is their last chance to sell their home. They want to make sure that they are settled in their new home before the school year starts. Buyers are also thinking the same. Some are even looking to buy a house early in summer so they can go on vacation before the school year starts.

The best time to buy a house is during the last week of July or the first half of August. During this time, most buyers have already bought a house, so there won’t be a lot of competition. Sellers, on the other hand, are desperate to sell their house. This gives you an upperhand in the negotiation.

 

Smart Tips to Make Moving a Breeze

Whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, there is so much to do in preparation to for your move. While everyone’s experience and needs vary, there is no denying that moving can be very stressful.

Here’s a look at our recommendations for an easier and more efficient move.

Lighten your load

When moving, most families would relocate nearly 100 boxes or 7,400 pounds of stuff. All these can lead to one massive undertaking. Considering that movers charge depending on the weight or volume of your stuff, packing all your things will definitely cost you thousands and thousands of dollars.

Moving is a great time to organize your belongings. Take time to sort your them and get rid of those you no longer need. You can give them to your friends, donate them to charity or hold a yard sale if you still have time. A lighter load makes packing, moving and unpacking a lot easier.

Switch your utilities

If you are moving to a previously vacant or a newly built property, it is important that you call the utility company and setup a service switch. Do this as soon as you have a closing date.  You want to make sure that the utilities are active when you move in to your new home.

Label the boxes properly

When packing, it is best to pack your things by room. This will make packing quicker and the unpacking process easier and more manageable. Don’t forget to label the boxes properly. In addition to labeling what room they’re going to be in, have a corresponding list of what’s in each box.

Place the labels on the side of the box, not on the top. So, it would be easier to see the labels, even if they’re stacked.

Pack an overnight bag that contains your essentials

Set aside basic supplies like toiletries, clothes, and pajamas for the next two days. This is especially important if you need to go back to work the next day.

Moving can be stressful and exhausting. Chances are, you’ll be too tired to unpack your things by the end of the day. By packing an overnight bag, you’ll have your essentials ready and within easy access. Now, you can take a rest and worry about unpacking in the next few days.

Tips for Buyers Attending an Open House

Each weekend across the country, homebuyers visit dozens of houses in the hopes of finding a property they would be happy to live in for several years.

Because real estate can be a complicated business, first time homebuyers may be confused about how to approach an open house.

Here are some tips help make your open house productive.

Plan your route

If you are viewing multiple homes in a single day, make sure that you plan your route to make the most productive use of your time. Before you leave, determine the times of showings and plot out the address of where the open houses are located. Use a map to plan out an effective open house tour.

Take down notes

It can be difficult to remember all the details, especially if you are viewing about a dozen of properties in one day. Notes will help you remember which house has ample storage space, which had rooms filled with natural light and which house has a large kitchen.

While you are viewing the house, take as many notes as possible. We also encourage you to take photos, if possible. Be sure to ask permission from the realtor before you bring out your camera. Remember, it is still a private residence.

Pay attention to its condition

When viewing properties, most buyers would head to the master’s bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen to see how it looks like. But you shouldn’t just focus on the room’s appearance. Rather, you want to see if the house is in good condition. Take a walk around the house and look at the condition of things. Don’t forget to check the exterior of the house as well.

Ask questions

This isn’t a social hour, so go ahead and get down to business after greeting the host. The agent knows a lot of things about the property and the seller. He/she is the direct line to the seller, so if there is anything you want to know, ask the agent questions.

Tips for Moving with Pets

MovingWithPetsMost pets are not big fans of change. They easily get anxious when they are introduced to a new environment or when there’s unexpected activity in their home. If they have a choice, they would stay in a place where they are already settled in. But once their pet parents decide to relocate, they have no choice but to move with them.

Whether you’re moving across the country or just across town, here are some tips to make moving with your pets as smooth and as stress-free as possible.

Introduce a crate

Most pets do not spend much time in crates. To make moving day a lot more comfortable for your four-legged friend, make sure they get acclimated to their crates in the weeks or months leading up the big trip. You can also provide treats to help your pet develop a positive association with the crate.

Attach an ID tag

It’s a good idea for your pet to wear a collar and an ID tag. If your pet is microchipped, make sure it is updated with your new address and is working properly.

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian

If you are travelling by air, you may need to secure a health certificate from the vet. Be sure to get a copy of this a month before your moving day.

If you are moving across the country, then you’ll need to find a new vet once you have settled into your home. Ask your vet if he/she can suggest a good vet in your new hometown. It is also a good idea to get your pet’s health record from the veterinarian. This way, the new vet can provide the best care for your pet.

Be consistent

Pets feel stressed when they are placed in new surroundings. That said, you want to help them adjust quickly. Once you have moved in to your new house, be sure to keep your feeding, exercise and bedtime schedule consistent. If your cat is used to outdoor time, arrange for that. If your dog is accustomed to using a doggy door, set one up in your new place.

Common Moving Day Nightmares and How to Avoid Them

movingSpring and summer is the busiest time of the year for real estate. If you do drive around your neighborhood, you may notice some big trucks, moving vans and small U-hauls. People want to move and settle into their new house before the school year starts.

Moving into a new house can be exciting and stress-inducing at the same time. When people were asked to identify one stressful event in their life, moving was included in the top 10. Yes, it can be stressful and exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

In the hopes of helping your move go smoothly , we have listed down some of the most common moving nightmares people face, along with some suggestions on what to do if you find yourself in these situations.

It’s raining on moving day

So you wake up on moving and realize that it’s raining hard. Not only does it make moving large boxes difficult, it can also be hazardous. As a safety precaution, be sure to wear shoes with good grip like sneaker or gum boots. Also, protect your belongings by wrapping loose items in garbage bags, shopping bags or cling wrap.

Your fragile items broke

There is nothing more frustrating than knowing that your things got lost, damaged or broken. While professional movers try to handle your boxes with utmost care, accidents can happen during transit. When packing your things, make sure they are secured and protected. Also, look for a moving company that offers insurance.

You got sick on moving day

Moving involves a long list of tasks. But it’s hard to be productive when you’re sick. We understand that you want to accomplish as much as you can, but please don’t overdo it. Rest whenever necessary.

If you have hired a moving company, then let them take care of all the heavy lifting and loading. Trust that your movers will take good care of your stuff. Just sit back and let them do their thing.

 

How to Deal with the Emotional Stress of Moving

moving_3.8Now that you finally have the keys to your new home, you’re probably imagining how your furniture, pictures and other belongings will look like when placed in your brand new home. You’re starting a new adventure and making new memories in a new environment.

Moving can be exciting, but it can also be stress-inducing especially for kids. It isn’t easy to pack all your things, say goodbye to the house your kids grew up in and all the wonderful memories you’ve had in that house. With a little preparation, you can dial down the drama and make the relocation process a lot easier for everyone.

Here’s how to cope with the emotional stress of moving.

Make sure you’re ready to sell

Selling your house can be difficult emotionally. Like many people, you probably have a deep emotional connection to your home. If you’re planning to sell your home, make sure you see it as a product that needs to be marketed and sold. If you can’t imagine other people living in your house, then you’re not yet emotionally prepared to sell. Wait until you’re ready before putting it on the market.

Delegate

Relocating your family involves a long list of tasks – from packing your stuff, finding new school for the kids, notifying family, friends and others about your new address etc. If you feel like these tasks are too much for you to handle, then get family members and friends involved in the moving process. If you can afford it, hire a moving company to help you haul your stuff to your new place.

Get closure

Goodbyes are often a heart-wrenching matter. For children, moving can mean saying goodbye to friends, familiar places and activities. A going-away party may help ease the anxiety. Take this opportunity to celebrate with family and friends before you move. Also, try to spend time at a favorite hangout or stroll around the neighborhood each day.

 

Simple Ways to Reduce Your Moving Cost

DPG2According to a report by Worldwide ERC, an organization that tracks mobility cost, the average professional household move costs a whopping $12,230. With this amount, we’re guessing that your moving cost is one of your biggest concerns.

While some expenses are unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to reduce your moving cost. Here are some of them.

Purge

A lot of people don’t realize it, but the more household items you have, the more money you’re going to spend. Reducing your load will drastically reduce your moving bill. Give away or sell things you no longer need or use. You can use the amount you raised to buy new items for your new home.

Recruit help to load and unload

It may cost you thousands of dollars to hire professional movers that consist of 3-4 crews to move your belongings. If you’re no willing to shell out that much money, consider asking help from a few friends. A few cases of beer, pizza and a little begging can go a long way.

Collect packing materials

With a little searching, everything you need to pack your stuff can be retrieved for free – with the exception of the tape, of course. Most stores just crush their boxes. Try to drop by your local grocery stores or liquor stores. They’ll be more than willing to give you some of their boxes if you ask.

Pack your own boxes

Hiring a full service moving company will let you rest easy since they’ll take care of every single aspect of the move, but it can also be expensive. If you really want to reduce your moving expenses, consider packing your own boxes. If you do so, you’ll be able to save the amount of money your move would have charged you for packing your stuff.