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moving with cats and dogs

How to Move if You Have Cats and Dogs

Most 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.

Things to Consider When Buying a Fixer Upper Home

House_for_rent_Denver_COIt’s hard not to be seduced by the charm and character of older homes. This is probably the reason why some people opt for a fixer upper. You’ll be able to purchase an old house with a great character and get it for way below market price. Isn’t that amazing? But sometimes, buying a fixer upper may entail a lot of work, which equates to thousands and thousands of dollars.

If you are considering buying a fixer upper, then this article is for you. Here are 4 things to consider when buying an older house.

Can you afford it?

A fixer upper may be a great way to get into a larger home without having to spend a huge sum of money. If the house is located in a great location, then that’s a bonus. But what people fail to realize is that fixer upper houses tend to be a money pit.

Before you make an offer, we suggest that you get the contractor into the house and do a walk-through. Ask for an estimate as to how much it would cost you to make the house liveable. This way, you can decide if it’s really worth your time and money.

Are you willing to give up your weekends?

Considering the amount of renovations these types of houses require, you may need to sacrifice your weekends and tackle the jobs during your free time.

In some cases, you may even need to live out of a suitcase and move from room to room until everything is done. Attempting a remodelling project may take longer than you think.

Have it inspected

Houses that need a complete makeover can cost more money and headache than buyers realize. Have the property inspected to prevent some serious stress and headaches down the road. Home inspectors will point out some issues that you may not have seen before. It is important that you know what you’re getting into before committing to buy the property.

 

Avoid These 5 Emotional Mistakes of Home Buyers

Hispanic family outside home with sold sign

Finding your first home is an emotional experience. It has been observed by real estate agents that buyers, particularly first-time home buyers get a little too emotionally involved when buying a house. It is important to realize that homes are investments. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.

Here are 5 emotional mistakes to avoid when buying a house.

Overpaying for the house

Every buyer wants a perfect home. As a result, they tend to get attracted to properties that were recently renovated by the seller. As expected, these types of houses are more expensive. Wanting to have a perfect a home, buyers end up stretching their budget, not realizing that they are actually overpaying for such features.

Love at first sight

Some buyers make the mistakes of falling in love with the first property they view. The problem is that love-struck buyers tend to jump on the first home they look at and overlook the value of the process itself. This often results in overpaying, buyer’s remorse and difficulty to sell later on.

Waiting for the perfect property

Some buyers let good deals pass them by, thinking there’s a better property just around the corner. There are plenty of homes that can be right for you. If you’re always wondering if a better home will come along right after you close, you won’t be able to buy in the end.

Indecisiveness

Buying a house involves a lot of decision-making – from deciding which area you want to live in to what your budget is. Sometimes, you just have to act like an adult and make up your mind.

Going for the cheapest property

We understand that you are on a strict budget, but that doesn’t mean that you should you should settle for the cheapest property you can find. Cheap properties often come with risks. For instance, the property may have signs of pest infestation, structural problems and other issues. Come to think of it. If it’s that good of a deal, why hasn’t anyone bought it before?

Common Mistakes When Buying a Condo

buying-a-condo-680x430

Getting your own place is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do in your life. But for those who don’t want to be burdened by several responsibilities associated with being a homeowner, investing in a condo unit may be a viable option.

Condo ownership can be an amazing experience. Unfortunately, a lot of buyers make the wrong decision when investing in a condo unit. Be sure to do your homework and educate yourself before putting money down on a condominium.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes buyers make when buying a condo. Go through these mistakes so that you can avoid them while on the hunt for your own condo unit.

Buying one of the first few units

It can be very exciting to know that you were one of the first few buyers. Sadly, there are consequences to this.

Several condo developments built hundreds of units. But the problem is, the number of units built vastly exceeded the demand. Because of that, owners are burdened by the responsibility of paying for HVAC, plumbing, landscaping and maintenance costs that should be handled by hundreds of households.

To avoid this problem, we suggest that you wait until the demand has already been established before getting a unit for yourself.

Having zero clue about rules and regulations

It is important to know whether or not you can abide by the rules and regulations created by the HOA. That said, you need to read and understand the CCRs (Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions) before making a purchase.

Trusting a real estate agent too much

Most buyers will seek the assistance of a real estate agent due to lack of knowledge and experience in buying a property. Sure, agents can guide you through the process but you should never decide just because your agent said so. Remember, the decision is still entirely up to you.

 

Top Mistakes New Homebuyers Make

1745_large1Buying a home is not an everyday activity. Because of the complex process homebuyers have to go through, it is not uncommon to make some mistakes along the way. But with financial stakes so high, one wrong move can end up costing you a lot of money.

In the hopes of helping you navigate the home buying process without falling for some of the common pitfalls, we have put together some of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make, with advice on how to avoid making them.

They don’t bother with an inspection

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, 10% of homebuyers choose to forego home inspection. We understand that most buyers are trying to cut cost, but hiring a professional home inspector can actually save you thousands of dollars down the road.

Falling in love at first sight

It’s easy to fall in love right away when looking at properties, but please resist the urge to take a leap on the first or second house you see. Buyers who are in a rush to make an offer are more likely to overlook some important details and may end up overpaying; thus resulting in buyer’s remorse.

Failing to consider additional expenses

Aside from monthly mortgage payments, you’ll be responsible for insuring your home against disasters, paying property taxes, making repairs the house needs and maintaining the lawn. All these expenses are a part of being a homeowner. So if you are planning to buy a home, be sure to factor in these costs in your budget.

Always looking for a better deal

Every market has its ups and downs. We cannot predict what will happen tomorrow or even next month. While it’s true that mortgage rate may decline and home prices could drop, it’s not a good idea to postpone buying a house thinking that there’s a better deal just around the corner.

The best thing you can do is to research the market, know the value of the home you are buying and choose a house that matches your needs.

Steps to Take Before Buying a house

Becoming a homeowner can be a daunting process.  Aside from the financial responsibilities, buying a home also comes with a number of responsibilities. That said, you have to prepare yourself financially, emotionally and physically.

According to a survey that was conducted by the National Association of Realtors, most homebuyers take about 2 months to actually shop for a home. Since this is such a big purchase, you shouldn’t rush through the process. If possible, your prep work should start well ahead of 2 months.

Buying a house requires a lot of time and effort. Follow these steps to make the best decision possible and make the home buying process more manageable.

Determine how much you can afford

Just because you have been pre-approved for a certain amount, doesn’t mean that you should use all of that money for the home purchase. Aside from the down payment, there are also a number of expenses you have to prepare for – closing costs, property taxes, moving costs, taxes, insurance and the list goes on and on. Always keep these expenses in mind when shopping for a home.

Get your credit in shape

Get a copy of your credit report from any of the 3 credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You are entitled to request a copy of your credit report once a year, free of charge. Carefully review it for errors. If in case you spot some errors, request a correction from that specific creditor.

The earlier you get your hands on your credit report, the more time you will have to resolve issues and correct any mistakes.

Make sure you plan to stay a long time

If you are serious about being a homeowner, consider looking at houses in a city where you really want to live. Since real estate purchases and sales have some of the highest transaction fees, make sure you intend to stay in that house for at least 7 years. Otherwise, you might not be able to recoup your investment.

4 Things Every Homebuyer Should Know

everyhome buyer shoudl know

If you think you are ready to take the home buying plunge, then it’s time to get informed and make educated decisions.

Buying a house requires a lot of preparation and research. So before you jump head first into a house search, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some advice to help you sail smoothly through the home buying process.

Be sure you’re financially and emotionally ready

Purchasing a house is a serious financial commitment. If you are getting a mortgage, then this means that you’ll be tied up to this house for at least 15 years. That said, you have to be sure you know what exactly you’re getting into before you decide to buy a house. Also, take a moment to determine whether or not you’re financially and emotionally ready to handle the responsibilities that come with homeownership.

Know what you need

When buying a home, it is important to decide what is important to you. Start by sitting down with your partner and create a list of things you need and want in a house.

If you settle on this in advance, it would be easier for you to weed out homes that do not meet your needs and focus in finding your dream home.

Location is everything

Some houses look magnificent with a vast closet, upgraded kitchen and spacious lot but if it’s not located in a good school district, it’s far from restaurants and coffee shops and the street is busy during rush hour, it might not be the perfect house for you.

When searching for your first home, it is important to do your research on what a new location means for you and your family. Buying a house in a good location will also help increase your property’s value overtime.

Home inspection is a must

This is something you don’t want to skimp on. Some buyers believe that they can save money by just inspecting the house themselves or asking a few friends to do so. Sounds like a clever idea, right? Not necessarily. By not hiring a home inspector, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss out on something. This could cost you thousands of dollars in the long run.

 

 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Suitable Place to Live

choosing a place to liveThe old adage goes that the 3 most important things that you should consider when buying a house are location, location and location. When it comes to buying a house, choosing a location is the most important decision you’ll have to make. Get it wrong and you’ll either be facing the cost of moving again or be unhappy where you live.

Before you make a decision as to where in the world you’d like to settle in and call your new home, here are a few things you should take into consideration.

Affordability

When you think about moving to a new location, affordability should be one of your primary concerns. You first have to analyze the cost of living, housing expenses, utility services, taxes and prices of consumable goods in the new state or city.

Your new job may pay more as compared to your current job, but that does not necessarily mean that you can live more comfortably and afford a higher lifestyle.

Crime rates and statistics

For most people, living in safe place is a top priority. Of course, no one would want to live in a high-crime area, but try not to be too idealistic and expect to find a place with zero crime rates.

If you have already decided where you want to live, you can go online to do some research about the crime rates and statistics or stop by the local police station to discuss any concerns you have about your new neighborhood.

Education system

With school league tables now in force, most parents consider this as their top concern. In fact, some parents even move to a different town or city just so their kids can go to better schools.

Job opportunities

Job opportunities vary from state to state. So, before you decide to move, it would be a good idea to spend some time researching the job markets and career fields in different parts of the country.

If you are single, living in a bustling city might be the ideal place for your new home.

Tips To Sell Your Home to Younger Buyers

young home buyersWhen you put your home on the market, you should expect that the next owner of your house will be someone who is younger than you are. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 31% of the recent buyers were from Generation X, those who were born between 1965 and 1979. They are closely followed by the Generation Y, those who were born between 1980 and 2000, at 28%.

If you want your house to appeal to younger buyers, you may need to take some extra steps. Here are a few tips to help you sell your home to younger buyers.

Stick with warm, neutral colors

If young professionals or young families are your target demographic, you might want to stick with warm, neutral colors like off-white, pale gray or beige. This allows potential buyers to envision bringing in clean-lined furnishings and contemporary colors to make it their own.

Lighten and brighten the room

Younger buyers are attracted to homes with plenty of natural light. Unfortunately, older houses come with smaller and darker windows.

In order to brighten up the room, we suggest cleaning the glass and removing the heavy window treatments. Also, it would be a good idea to update your light fixtures and use brighter light bulbs.

Highlight neighborhood amenities

Since you are selling your house to younger buyers, you have to think about what they’re most interested in and market your home accordingly.

Your marketing materials should include things that would appeal to young couples and families like swimming pools, gym, tennis courts, nearby shops and restaurants, or schools. Younger buyers are often interested in houses that are located near a school, even if they don’t have kids yet.

Pre-inspect your home

A lot of buyers are leery of buying a house that would require a lot of repairs and maintenance. So, before putting your home on the market, it would be a good idea to schedule a home inspection so you can provide the buyer with a reassuring report that your house is in great condition or that you have already addressed the issues.

Simplifying the Home Buying Process

Buying a property can be a time-consuming and an intimidating endeavor. With different terms and acronyms, it seems like it has its own language. Additionally, it involves one of the biggest outlays of cash you’ll probably make in your lifetime.

In an attempt to make the home buying process less complicated, we have divided it into 4 smaller stages. Read on and make the most out of your home buying experience.

Gather and prepare

Before you start visiting open houses or perusing real estate websites, it would be best to find a real estate agent that you can trust. Feel free to get recommendations from your family and friends. Once you found the right agent, you should meet up with him/her to discuss your wants and needs.

You’d also want to shop for the best possible lender and get pre-approved. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford.

Find

By now, you should have a clear picture of the type and size of home that you are after. Create a list of the features that are most important to you and use it as a guide when looking at properties. Start searching online. This will help you eliminate properties that do not fit your specifications and turn you to the right direction.

Buy

Once you’ve found your dream house, your agent will then prepare your offer to purchase. After making an offer, the seller will most likely make a counteroffer until you agree on a certain price. You can now make an earnest money deposit.

You can also arrange for a home inspection in order to check if there’s something that needs to be fixed and check the property for signs of damage. Both the buyer and the seller shall receive a copy of the findings.

If the inspection reveals significant material damage, you are free to withdraw your offer or withdraw it without penalty.

Close

Your agent will help you set a closing date that is amenable to both parties. Also, make sure to talk to your agent and lender so as to give you a clear understanding of all the costs associated with closing like inspection fees, attorney fees, survey fees, appraisal fees, title fees,  and escrow deposit.

Once the deal is closed and the papers have been signed, then it’s time to move in.