Friday, September 6, 2013

Relocating to a New City

English: A "Golden False Acacia" in ...

What kind of home will you buy? Where will your kids go to school? Will you be able to find a new job? These and many other questions need to be answered when you are relocating. Maybe you have decided you need a change of scenery or maybe you have to move due to a job transfer. I did quite recently, and Oregon has treated me quite nicely! Whatever you reason, relocating can be a fun and scary experience at the same time.

To make sure the moving process runs smoothly, let a relocation service take some of the hassle away.

Find a Service Near You

Relocation services will be one of the best contacts you make when managing a big move. You can have your relocation service help with as little or as much as you need. By contacting real estate agencies, you will find individuals who specialize in relocation services. An Internet search of real estate and city websites like my local Corvallis site will also direct you to services providing assistance in the city to which you are moving. Before deciding on a specialist, you should be familiar with the types of services offered, relocation policies and the quality of customer service.

What They Offer

One of the biggest benefits of working with a service is the knowledge these professionals have of the cities. Through a relocation service you can learn everything you need to know about your new location from crime rates to the nearest shopping center to lists of schools. They can also assist in the following areas:

  • Airfare, hotels and rental cars
  • Temporary housing
  • Selling your current home
  • Buying a new home
  • Moving and storage
  • Auto and pet transport

Some relocation services even handle such tasks as having mail delivered to your new address or getting your utilities set up. Occasionally they even offer discounts to local businesses.

Tips from an Insider

Certain information goes a long way during a major relocation. These suggestions of things not to do and things to make sure you do during a big move are key qualities to look for relocation services.
You should have complete information on the history and demographics of the area you are moving to. If you're moving to Corvallis Oregon, take a look at information from Oregon's government website. Read through any magazine articles on local Oregon towns to learn about each of them. Learn about community information by visiting real estate websites like this Corvallis community info page to learn more about local events and things going on in Corvallis. For example, how would you know about Da Vinci Days if it wasn't for the help of local community members informing you about such an awesome local event! All of this will help you to better understand your new city and help you get acclimated as quickly as possible.

If you have family making the move with you, take time to help them adjust. Your spouse may need to find a new job and children will need to make new friends.

Make sure you find ways to become involved in your new community. Continue with activities you enjoyed in the past or find new ones. Doing this will help you feel at home more quickly.

Remember relocating to a new city will affect different people in different ways. Children, students and senior adults all have special needs to consider when making a big move. Relocation services will help make the transition go smoothly for everyone involved.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Eight Inexpensive Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

Curb Appeal
(Photo Credit)
Making sure your home makes a good first impression to potential buyers is crucial. A home with an unappealing exterior starts showings off on the wrong foot. If a buyer thinks the exterior requires a lot of work, it may affect the way they view the interior of the home; even if it is stunning! Sprucing up the outside of your home is important prior to selling, but it’s not something you have to break the bank to do. Check out these low-cost and free ways to improve your home’s curb appeal:

1. Clean out the gutters

The condition of a home’s roof is one of the many things buyers take note of when determining to buy a home so they may notice if your gutters are full of leaves and debris, which can be unattractive.

2. Unclutter the Yard

Put away trash or recycling bins. Buyers may think there isn’t a good place to store them if you leave them out. Also roll up hoses and tidy up toys if necessary.

3. Paint the front door

A fresh coat of paint will give your home’s front entry way a clean look that welcomes potential buyers inside.

4. Add potted plants

Adding container plants or hanging plants to your porch will give your home an inviting look similar to landscaping, but without the large expense.

5. Trim bushes and trees

Cut wild bushes and trees that block the view of your home or driveway so buyers can see what they are actually interested in, instead of the overgrown

6. Improve outdoor lighting

Lining the path that leads to the entryway of your home with small landscape lights adds safety value to your home.

7. Update house numbers

Modernize your home by replacing old and outdated house numbers. Vinyl numbers are becoming a popular and inexpensive trend for house numbers.

8. Revamp the mailbox

A fresh coat of paint and new numbers will give your mailbox a quick and easy facelift or replace your old mailbox with a new one. Mailboxes can generally be found at a reasonable price.

This post provided was provided by a contributor from Carolina Lanterns, a company specializing in custom-made copper and brass lanterns. Click here to view their products.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Self Home Inspections

English: House at 1936 Maplewood Drive in the ...

You can learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs, fixings and installations before you buy. Home inspections will point out the positive aspects of home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and will be able to make a confident buying decision.

There’s a few things you can check for yourself when looking at a new property to make sure you don’t make a big purchase that may have underlying issues. following suggestions will help to get the home ready for the home inspection, and minimize the need for the home inspector to make a return trip to the home, which may cost an additional fee.

Be sure you ask the real estate agent or the property owner how the drainage systems function, and when the last time was that they were repaired. One of the most costly and devastating problems new home owners deal with is basement flooding, which can destroy stored items as well as lead to mold and mildew problems. Make sure drainage systems point away from the house, and won’t overflow into areas near the basement.

Are there overhanging trees on the property, or are there trees with the capability to overhang the home in the future? These can be a major liability for the home, and should be taken into account as a necessary repair at some point.

Some things like furniture and appliances won’t be covered by the previous home owner, and you might be strapped for cash when you first move in. Rely on a company like Central Texas Home Rebates to help give you some cash to finance those purchases. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Buying Homes in a Down Market

Beautiful Tenerife
There's quite a bit of talk about the real estate market getting better in the near future, but at the same time there is a great deal of uncertainty. Certain areas of the country have been doing well, and home buyers and investors have been eager to snatch up homes with the opportunity to sell them at a higher price down the road. This leads people to talk about the dreaded bubble word, which makes me and the rest of the world worried.

There are quite a few areas in the United States that are seeing a nice turnaround though. Washington D.C. is an example of an area that's shown significant signs of recovery, for an area that's struggled quite a bit in the last 30 years. Inventory of unsold homes is down to 39 in a neighborhood where last year at this time it stood at 78. Housing prices are again climbing, making home buyers more eager to sell their homes, and more real estate transactions occur as a result. Pockets of Arizona and Texas are also seeing ridiculous growth expansion, where homes are being sold at double the rate they were a year ago, with no decrease in home values. The question is if these gains can help carry the rest of the real estate industry out of its slump. There are no sure bets on the entire market returning to balance, let alone shifting back to a sellers market. Still, many experts say the bottom has been reached in some markets, and the only thing to fear is another housing bubble. Only time will tell if we can learn from our previous mistakes.

If you are looking to buy a vacation home abroad, or just move in to a new area, you may think to intensify your search before prices begin to climb again. Our advice however is to always make a vacation home purchase or new home purchase based on the area and the home itself, and on the fact that you believe you're getting a great bargain on the area. Home prices do in fact go up from down markets, and you always hear success stories while it addresses this subject about the general residential market, offers some useful homebuyer tips that apply whether you are hunting for a primary residence or a second home.

Of course, it's always a good idea to monitor home prices and real estate conditions in an area that you know you would one day like to live. Taking a look at Tenerife property for sale (one of the most beautiful areas of the world) you can find studios, apartments, villas, houses and businesses for sale that are all reasonably priced for an area that has quite a high demand. Now would be a good time to contact a real estate agent there about available property if you would like to move there in the near future. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Flipping Homes is Not Such a Bad Thing

Investors United (School of Real Estate Investing)
House flipping has been getting a lot of attention in the media lately, and most of it is definitely not kind. Many investors who took out multiple loans to purchase properties intending to flip them, ended up getting stuck when the market started to stall. Many of the properties purchased by these investors are now in default or have already been foreclosed on.

But house flipping has been around for longer than the current boom-bust cycle. People have been buying fixer-uppers cheap, fixing them, and then reselling them for decades. It was looked on as an honest way to make a living. You’d find a nice neighborhood that had one or two properties that were run-down and often vacant (many times the owners had passed away and the heirs didn't really want anything to do with the property). They were considered eyesores by others in the neighborhood. You’d track down the owner, make them an offer, and purchase the home at a good price. Then you’d go in and remodel the place to meet the needs of the current market. Then you’d sell the home for a nice profit, maybe $10,000 or so. The neighborhood came out a winner because it got rid of the eyesore and increased everyone’s property values.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Three Possible Ways to Keep your Second Home Insurance Reasonable

Insurance for second homes are increasingly more scrutinized by underwriters, and as a result, second home insurance costs are rising, if not being denied, because of perceived unacceptable risks (by insurance companies).
However, there are a few things second home owners can do to mitigate their insurance costs. Among them are:
  • Choose an area for your second home that is not located in the flood zone (see FEMA maps for identification of these areas), or is not susceptible to frequent/regular hurricanes and/or tornados;
  • Consider the security that a ‘gated’ community would offer, with the associated warning to stay out of known high crime areas;
  • Rethink your plans to rent your second home for part of the year, which puts you in a sometimes higher risk category with the insurance company…with the associated thought of having a property manager that might help to lessen the perceived risk.

Not to mention more insurance when trying to make your current policy less expensive, but you might want to consider an ‘umbrella’ policy which is designed to offer you greater liability/accident coverage than what you have in your home owner’s policy. Many more people are begining to consider real estate options in other countries to avoid high insurance costs on their second homes. A popular market is Okversilia real estate which is located in a beautiful spot in Italy, and is quite friendly for international home seekers. Use the site to look up homes for sale in Italy, search for land in Mexico, and buy Red Sea property.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Enforcer

Français : Clint Eastwood au Festival de Canne...
Yesterday, I took Tod-lar and In-fant to the park.  Tod-lar had a fabulous time showing off his newly acquired climbing skills. In-fant squealed with delight as she watched him.
When it was time to leave, I gave Tod-lar his standard 2-minute warning. “You have two minutes to play.  Then we’re leaving.  What fun thing are you going to do for two minutes?” 
“Great idea!”  I then began gathering our things and loading them into In-fant’s stroller.  Tod-lar went down the slide several times.  Once everything was packed up, I called out to him. 
“Okay!  It’s time to go!”
“No.  I have two minutes,” he said shaking his head. 
Usually, when I tell him it's time to go after the two minutes, he just leaves. This was the first time he’d ever responded this way.  I was momentarily stunned. 
“We’re going home.  It’s time for dinner,” I said.
“No eat dinner home.  Eat dinner pahk.”
I’d heard about this from other people.  In fact, one woman I know who considers her son a genius is always talking about what a master negotiator he is.  In fact, he’s so good at it, she couldn't possibly have another child since his superior negotiation skills at age two required so much attention (he’s now four).  Frankly, I’m not interested in Tod-lar being that smart. Hell, there are times when I wish he’d regress to the age when distraction still worked.  With all this talking, no wonder I’m so thirsty for a glass of merlot at night (that’s right – I drink merlot). 
So, there we were – staring each other down.  The log siding wood chips started to kick-up around us.  The sun’s reflection off the slide forced me to close my left eye.  Tod-lar squinted back at me, still as a rock.  My teeth clenched down on my coffee’s straw.  Tod-lar wiped the sweat from his upper lip.  My hands hovered above the stroller’s handle, ready to move on a second’s notice. All the while, my mind raced.  Was this good, bad, or just plain ugly? 
After a moment, I decided it was time to bring out my .44 magnum.  It’s a weapon that always sends the if-you-don’t-do-what-I-ask-then-I-will-do-it-for-you message. 
“One . . . two . . . three . . .”
He had until “five,” but he surrendered early.  Tod-lar came toward me whimpering, hand extended.  I grabbed it.  He quieted, and we calmly walked to car.
Now he knows.  In these scenes, I ALWAYS get to play Clint Eastwood.