Miriam Keri's Blog
You've got a new job in another part of the country, or have sold your current home to move to a better neighborhood. If you've completely settled it in your mind that getting professional help to move your stuff is better than dealing with that headache yourself, you have one crucial other decision to make. Who do you give the job?
You want to give it to professionals who care and treat your stuff like their own — a company which will make the entire process as quick and as painless as possible. While the amount of money you have for the exercise will determine which movers you'll go with, it shouldn't be the deal-breaker. Take the following points into account before you hand over your precious belongings.
The right estimate
A good mover will not give you a cost estimate off the top of their head. They will come to your place and take a complete inventory of your stuff. The base quote they give you on the size and weight of your belongings. When they send you the quote, take time to understand how they arrived at their final costing. Ask questions if anything is unclear. If they are cagey with the answers, that should raise a red flag against that company.
Get as many moving quotes as you can before you settle on a mover. Note that you should base your decision on the perceived value they offer. Don't just pick the mover with the lowest quote. Do they wrap your furniture? Is their vehicle padded? Will they ship your items exclusively or with someone else's?
Talk to friends or relatives you know who have moved house recently and find out what their experiences were with the company they used. If you can't get any from your loved ones, contact the movers directly and ask them to refer you to some of their past customers. Try to get honest feedback from those among that list of customers you can contact.
While your belongings are in transit, the mover is responsible for them. In case anything happens to your items at that point, they are to be held liable. But there are different levels of coverage for items in transit, and there is a cost attached to each. If you opt for Full Value Protection, you will be compensated for the full value of any item damaged or lost while in transit. Either that or they will fix it for you, or get you a replacement. The other kind of liability has no cost to it but only holds the mover liable for 60 cents per pound, per article.
Visit the website of the American Moving and Storage Association for a list of credible movers.
13 Beech Street, Bedford, NH 03110
You know you want to make your homeownership dream come true sooner rather than later. At the same time, you still have no idea about how you'll acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Navigating the housing market can be tricky, especially for those who are operating with limited finances at their disposal. Lucky for you, we're here to take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey and ensure you can discover a wonderful residence at a price that won't break your budget.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you buy your dream house at the lowest-possible price.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
The real estate market may seem complicated at first. Fortunately, homebuyers who collect and review housing market data can become real estate experts in no time at all.
Ultimately, homebuyers who know the ins and outs of the real estate market may be better equipped than others to get the best price on a house. These buyers can identify patterns and trends within housing market data and determine whether they're operating in a buyer's or seller's market. Then, once a buyer finds his or her dream house, this individual can submit a competitive offer to purchase that meets the needs of all parties involved in a home sale.
2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing
Getting pre-approved for home financing allows you to enter the real estate market with a good idea about how much you can spend on a residence. Thus, you'll be able to determine exactly how much you can afford to pay for a residence – and avoid overspending on a house – if you obtain pre-approval for a mortgage.
To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. That way, you can get the information you need to make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Hiring a real estate agent is essential for a homebuyer who wants to purchase his or her dream house at the right price. In fact, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you can avoid paying too much for your ideal residence.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. He or she next will craft a personalized homebuying strategy, one that allows you to quickly and effortlessly discover a high-quality and affordable residence. After you find your ideal house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase too. And if a seller accepts your homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will guide you along the final stages of the property buying journey.
Ready to make your homeownership dream a reality? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can find a top-notch house at a price that matches your budget.
Packing your entire house is a daunting task to say the least. We are always left wondering how did we end up with so much stuff?
A quick Google search will bring up “ultimate lists” of all of the “packing hacks” you could ever humanly think of. Making the process feel even more daunting.
Here’s your guide to packing tips you’ll actually be glad to know - and none of what you won’t.
Start by decluttering as much as possible.
Get rid of what you no longer need or use. The more you get rid of now the less you have to pack up, carry or even pay to have moved to the new house. Depending on your timeline try to give yourself at least one week where you go through each room one day at a time. However, if you have even more time available you can tackle this project by sections of each room. That smaller you can break down any task the easier and more manageable it becomes.
Schedule your move date.
Schedule your move day with movers at least a month ahead of time to guarantee your perfect time slot. Planning ahead in this way also leaves plenty of room to negotiate with your moving company to find the cheapest time of the month to move. If you have a flexible schedule or able to put in for the time off ahead of time you’ll open up even more possibility for snagging a great deal.
In fact, schedule everything.
Make a schedule and to do list for the moving process. Add it to your calendar, whether that be physical, digital or both! Know your disconnect times will be and when you need to bring back items like cable boxes. Call in for help at least a few weeks out so friends and family are able to make room in their own schedules to help you out.
Pack a little bit each day starting with the least essential items you can easily live without. Save money on boxes by asking your local stores, like the grocery or liquor store, for free boxes. Keep thick blankets out to wrap fragile items like your television in if your moving company doesn’t offer them or you’re moving on your own. Buy different colored packing tape to color code boxes by room. Assign one room to each color and label each box well by including its contents to make unpacking a snap.
Be prepared on moving day.
Find the fastest and shortest route from your old house to the new one. While researching be on the lookout for potential tie-ups like construction or a large town event. Have extra packing tape, light bulbs, and extension cords on hand for moving day. Before unplugging all of your electronics take pictures of your cord setup to take the guesswork out of setup at the new house. Defrost and clean out your fridge at least the day before move day. You’ll avoid messy leaks and can look forward to a like-new fridge on move-in day. Keep a cleaning kit on hand and at the ready, you never know what accidents might pop up during the moving process.
That kitchen sink faucet needed replacing for a while, but between the cost of the new faucet and the cost of paying the hourly rate of the plumber and his helper, it is still the same old faucet. It works—sort-of—at least water comes out. Then, while watching one of those shows (that is either remodeling a house to live in or to flip and make some money), you see them change out the kitchen faucet, and you say to yourself, "I can do that.”
So, the adventure begins.
On the surface, changing out a faucet does not seem like such a challenging project. However, if you are not doing plumbing on a regular basis, it can get more complicated. The first step is that you have to buy the faucet you want that will look good. That seems simple enough, but there are holes already drilled in the sink or the countertop, so you must get a faucet that will fit those. There are two ways to size the holes: either remove the old fixture or get under the sink to measure the distance between the holes. (This is particularly important if this is an older home.)
Now to do the work.
Removing the faucet requires crawling under the sink.
- First, remove all of that stuff stored under there.
- Turn off the hot and cold water. If there are no valves under the sink, you need to find the master valve for the house. (If this is the situation, you might decide to install valves while you’re at it, but remember, you are not a plumber, so that might be biting off more than you can chew.)
- Now you find that the drain pipes are in your way of trying to get under the sink to reach the backside. So, you decide to remove them to get around under there. Seems logical right? Unfortunately, you find that someone else that is not a plumber replaced those drain lines and did not put them back correctly so now you are going to have to replace those.
- Back to the faucet you finally get the water lines removed and the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. (They're corroded—apparently, there had been a leak at some point).
Following the instructions that came with the faucet, you get it attached to the sink, and it looks GREAT! Unfortunately, you go to connect the waterlines, and the ends do not match the faucet. So, you remove the waterlines from the inlet valve and head to the DIY store to find new lines that will fit. You also remember to take all of that drain pipe with you because you are going to need to replace it and make it fit correctly.
Wrap it up!
Now you have the new parts you can get the water attached and the drain pipes reconnected. The drain pipes look a lot different, but they work, and they do not leak. Congratulations to you!
You have finally replaced that old faucet. It looks good, but bummer it took you all Saturday morning and then some. Maybe you should have paid that plumber for an hour. You could have done something more fun. Plumbing is one of those DIY things that when you do not do it all of the time, you NEVER have the correct pieces and you end up making several trips to the store. You are not alone.
The choice is yours: spend money or spend time. DIY can be satisfying or frustrating, so remember to start a project with your eyes open to what could be involved. Good luck!
For a referral to a qualified plumber, check with your real estate professional.