Four Steps to Pack and Move Efficiently

Packing is an unexciting undertaking even if you are looking forward to moving from one place to another. In fact, some people require as much as eight weeks of preparation when it comes to packing and even then, it still feels as though the packing process is incomplete. Did you know it is possible to plan, pack, and move within a month? More importantly, did you know that packing could be an easy and exciting process? Here are a few tips on how to pack and move efficiently.

• Assemble the Packing Supplies and Moving Boxes

Before moving, you have to ensure that you have some big boxes. You can get them from hospitals and supermarkets. Start collecting these boxes one month ahead of your scheduled moving date to avoid the last minute rush. In addition to boxes, ensure that you have wrappers, newspapers, scissors, padding supply, heavy-duty tape, labeling stickers, and markers.

• Create a Moving File

To avoid forgetting anything, you need paperwork that details all the things you need to do and pack. Some of this information should include details that you should include are the contacts of important people such as your realtor or the property owner, pet veterinarian records, your hotel reservation info, and any important paperwork that might help you in the packing and unpacking process. Creating a file with all the stuff will make it easy for you to tick every task achieved. Be sure to keep the file somewhere close so that you do not lose it.

• Start Packing the Suitcases for Each Family Member in Advance

Pack everything in a systematic fashion. Make sure that toothbrushes, bar soaps, towels, washcloths, razors if need be, and a change of clothes are easily accessible. Doing so will ensure convenience for you and your family during the moving period. Pack the suitcases in a safe place such as in the car or somewhere else where they will not mix with other stuff.

• Create Sufficient Packing Space in your Current Residence

You need enough working space where you can drag and drop the items you are packing. Ensure that you have all the packing materials with you. Once you are done packing each box, seal it and then label it accordingly. Numbering and labeling your boxes helps you know how many you have. It also lets you know if one of them is missing.

To save on the moving cost, you can use your old clothing as padding instead of buying bubble wraps. Using old clothes for padding not only saves you money but it also helps you pack those clothes as well. Remember, padding prevents the breakage of fragile items.

For more tips, check out this list from Good Housekeeping. Good luck with your move!

5 Tips on Maintaining Your Property

If you have made an investment in property, you are well aware how hard it pinches your pocket. But, the same property could be the source of earning major profits when sold off at a significant margin. However, you may fetch the desired amount and profit provided you maintain your property well. In the absence of the essential maintenance, you are bound to incur heavy costs and also lose out on the overall worth of the same. Below are five tips on how to maintain your property

1.Pay attention to the electrical system on your property. Any laxity on your part could lead to trouble with the functioning of the electrics, increasing the chances of short circuit and hence a fire breakout. Try to check the electrical fittings at least once a month. Better still; pick a fire insurance plan for your property.

2. The next in line thing that demands your attention in this context is the roof. You may end up spending a rediculous amount for the roof repairs if you let go minor roof issues unnoticed. Check if the roof is in need of whitewashing, plastering, and any such upkeep. Look for any loose or missing tiles and address the problem pronto.

Also, be certain that there’s no vegetation growth on the roof. Moss and several other types of vegetation may develop on your roof over a period. In case left untreated for a long time, this may damage the entire roof. So, make sure that you clear them off after every few months.

3. Another thing to look out for is leakages. Leakages in the pipe could cause seepage in walls. If left unchecked for long, it may destroy the texture and paint of wall, besides paving the way for undesired vegetation growth. Make sure to conduct a thorough inspection every month with the help of a plumber to look out for any potential leakages.

4. Make certain that the boiler in the house works suitably. If the boiler gives out, you are unable to sell the house without getting that replaced, not to mention in the meantime, you can’t live without it in this day and age! The boiler is a necessity for facilitating tasks like cleaning, washing clothes and bathing. Avoid bathing with boiling water if nursing body acne. For complete elimination of body acne, you could look at using efficient goods such as Clearpores Body System.

5. Get your housing systems serviced such as AC units, water heaters, drainage systems, and boiler. We can’t stress the importance of boiler upkeep. It’s a good idea to do it during the summer months as you would need to pay less. You may also take into account upgrading your furnace. These days, there are a lot of boilers built on the concept of ‘go green.’ They use less energy and can decrease your bills by 30%. If you do need to replace an appliance or large item, be sure to compare options and prices using Consumer Reports.

Seek the help of the mentioned suggestions and maintaining your property would not be that difficult a task.

The Benefits of Real Estate Investing

There are many people who want to get into real estate investing. Although some people do make a hefty profit from it, it is important that a person knows what they are getting into. Below are some benefits of real estate investing:

Easy to run
It may seem hectic in the beginning since you will have to look for a great house that is in a demanding market. If you are building from scratch, it will be even more tedious as you will have to deal with contractors and make sure that things are moving well. Once you have the building, you will also have to look for tenants. However, once you’ve done all this, the rest is easy. In fact, you can opt to get a property manager to take care of any real estate you may own. This will relieve any pressure from, as you will only have to go pick up your checks.

Leveraging Power
Property investing offers high leverage. High leverage means that you will only have to raise a small amount of capital to purchase the property. Most banks will easily give you a mortgage loan to buy a house, especially if you have a good credit rating. What’s more, you can organize your payments to suit you as most banks will usually give you a maximum of 25 years to repay the loan. Alternatively, you could also use the money you receive from rent to pay back the loan.

Offers high returns
Property investing also offers high returns for its investors. Most people say that it is expensive to invest in real estate. Whereas this may be true, the higher the cost of the property the higher the returns. Consider a house that was being sold for $250,000. If the market is good, the value could rise by about 10 percent. This means that the investor has earned $25,000 in passive income. Millennials are gobbling up opportunities to get in on the housing market for this purpose.

Offers great tax benefits
People who are engaged in real estate investing are also provided with great tax benefits. All the expenses for the house or building are tax deductible. Furthermore, if you are unable to get tenants and your house was purchased on loan, meaning you have to make mortgage payments, your property won’t be taxed for that year. Also, if the value of repair and maintenance exceed the amount the property is bringing in, and then you are also exempt from paying taxes for that year.

In conclusion, investing in real estate can give you a lot of benefits if you get in the industry. If you’re willing and able, then you can seek more information about the industry and join it freely.

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Home Value

Whether you only want to improve your living space or increase your home value with the aim of getting a higher appraisal, carrying out a significant home improvement may be a daunting task. Your biggest challenge will be how to implement home improvements with a view of increasing the value of your property without having to go broke or commit to long-term building projects. I will discuss four valuable tips, which if you implement right away, will increase the value of your home and help to raise your home appraisal.

1. Put your money on improvements that pay off

Bathrooms and kitchens don’t just sell homes, remodeling these areas will add thousands of dollars to the value of your property, which is a great advantage if you are selling or refinancing. Of course, if you are scheduled to receive an appraiser in the next few days, there may not be much time for a complete bathroom or kitchen remodel. However, even minor renovations to these areas may help your property to appraise higher. For instance, you may fix new sinks, replace light fixtures and faucets. If there is enough time, be sure to update the areas with newer wooden floors appliances, a decorative backlash as well as brand new counter tops.

2. Create curb appeal

An appraiser is not going to spend a lot of time judging your property’s exterior; however, a good first impression adds quality. Cleaning up your flower beds and redoing mulch is cheap, low-effort ways to make the home more appealing. It is also one of the Ways to Increase Your Home Value Before an Appraisal.

3. The Power of Paint

Refresh paint and de-clutter. Painting your house is the fastest, easiest way to improve your chances of a higher appraisal, which may take many years off an old home. If your wall has crayon marks and the floor is full of clutter, a simple organization and a new layer of paint are all you need to make a good impression when the appraiser arrives.

4. Ensure everything in the house works

Your home may be spacious, full of modern features, but if even one switch is not functional on the day of appraisal, your property may appraise for less. Make sure you go through the home and see to it that every wall outlet, light switch, vent or fan is working correctly. Cracks in the wall and any other visible problems should be repaired before the appraiser comes.

A low appraisal is the last thing you want when planning to refinance a mortgage. Your lender may decide you do not have sufficient equity for a refinancing, at which time you may be forced to pay the difference out of your pocket so as to close the seal. The only way in which to prevent this situation is to present your property in the best possible light by implementing these types of advisories.

5 Tips For New Real Estate Agents

There are now millions of real estate agents that are working across the property industry. Needless to say, competition among such professionals is much more intense. All of them are logically intending to close property deals with as many buyers and sellers.

Becoming a successful new real estate agent could be a real challenge. It would take more than training, experience, and license to succeed in this industry. To be successful, any agent should be very familiar with the standard regulations and property laws within the market.

Here is some advice that could help new real estate agents to succeed in their profession:

Treat yourself as a business
The profession is a business. You could be working under a broker. But in general, you should remain independent, and your income depends on your commissions from sales. Property agents should run the practice as real businesses.

Set a definite and workable plan
A real estate agent is logically responsible for his own marketing expenses. Thus, you should develop a marketing plan within a strategic plan. A marketing plan is driven by information while strategic plan should identify specific action takers and time frame.

Have effective sales goals
As a new agent, you should expect your sales within the first six months in the business. However, that should not affect your sales targets. Such goals could make any professional more determined and driven.

Set a financial budget
In general, budgeting is important given the current volatility of the marketplace. The financial budget of every property agent should cover marketing costs and additional expenses like education, further training, and advertising. Consider the sales targets and the forecast income when setting the budget.

Prioritize self-management
Success comes to agents that can manage themselves better. Time management is essential in balancing personal and professional life. AS a new property agent, you should set your priorities. You should always find a chance to spend with your family, health, and social life to attain professional boost.

Find a good and reliable mentor or real estate coach
New agents should take note. A mentor could serve as a guide that would help an agent overcome professional obstacles and challenges. You should hire a mentor or a coach especially if you have the resources.

Being an incredible sales person is not an assurance that one could be an effective agent. Observing the right attitude and being adequately equipped to operate in the industry would be crucial. These tips could lead real estate agents to real and lasting success. For some extra reading on this subject, here is a good write up about becoming a successful Realtor.

6 Great Tips for Renting Out your Home

It’s that time of year again. The housing market tanked, you can’t find anyone to buy your home from you, and you’re completely in a pickle. The only real remaining option is to try to rent out your home, to at least attempt to pay off its mortgage.

If this person is you, you are likely about to become (or already are) one of the fabled ‘reluctant landlords.’ If you want to sell your property, either rent or lease, or if you want to protect your property while having it rented out, follow these six great tips.

1. Find a good tenant.
This rule is one of the most important guidelines to follow. Finding a good tenant is extremely essential because if you rent your house to someone who doesn’t care about it at all, you might find yourself with housing issues, noise complaints and other stolen or broken items with your property.

If you’re looking for a tenant, there are multiple ways to find them. First, you can advertise on billboards, Craigslist, other housing sites and also newspapers. Also, you can talk about it and spread the word to your friends, family, and coworkers.

2. Determine how much you should charge for rent.
Don’t wait to find the tenant to identify and barter on how much to charge for your house lease. It not only depends on the property, yard, features and other things but also how much money you need.

Do you need to pay off a mortgage or debt? An extra $100 a month isn’t enough to ward off any potential buyers, but can still rake in an additional solid $1200 a year.

Still, though, be realistic about the rent levels. The amount that you get per month after taxes still might not be enough to cover your debt or mortgage, but it doesn’t mean that you should charge so much as to scare away any potential renters or buyers.

3. Protect your house and your rights with a lease.
Having a written and legal contract can help both parties to understand their rights and obligations. A good lease that complies with the fair housing act and also with the rental, legal and tenant laws of your region can strengthen the trust between the two parties.

The lease should include these essential things:
– List of tenants
– Security deposit, usually a month’s worth of rent up front
– Length of the lease term
– Rental due date
– Maintenance responsibilities
– Repair legalities
– Pet policies and other related pet rules
– Noise standards and smoking, noise levels
– Insurance
– Terms of Eviction

4. Be sure to protect your property with insurance
Protecting your property or house with different levels of protection is essential to the health and integrity of your property. What if one of the tenants has a gas leak? It shouldn’t be their problem, as stated in the contract, to fix it. Not to mention that if you don’t have the money, or quite obviously don’t want to pay for it, you’re left in the dark.

Insuring your property, finding a good tenant and charging the appropriate amount of rent are essential guidelines to renting out your property. Good luck renting, and be careful!

Five Ways to Spruce up Your Yard

Elegance is something that everybody would love to dress his/her yard. In fact, you might be fantasizing about this every day and may have only been hesitant about initiating the process due to lack of ideas or fear of doing something that will turn out to be tasteless.

Beautifying your yard and bringing it up to date starts with learning the different ways that can be used to give it the much needed better face. That is why the following list of the five ways to spruce up your yard has been prepared. Each of the ways listed below is cheap and can easily be implemented.

1. Use nicely painted furniture
Your yard needs to be a part of your home, where people can relax and enjoy the freshness of the air outside. Let everybody feel calm and comfortable while at the yard. Using nicely painted furniture that rhymes with the surrounding environment gives your yard a good taste that welcomes everybody. The furniture does not necessarily have to be new for it to be attractive enough. Beefing up your old patio chairs and table with a beautiful paint is a good way of reviving your backyard.

2. Let the flowers do the talking
Flowers should not be missed at your yard. They should be planted in a unique way that gives the yard a livelier look. Making some flower beds and positioning several flower pots around is a good way of bringing life to the yard. Using differently colored flowers is also important, but should be done with creativity.

3. Make a cute pathway
The pathway to your yard does not necessarily have to be done using an expensive material for it to be attractive enough. You can easily make it by creatively laying out some simple stones or bricks, and then preparing a cute flower bed alongside it. This will turn out to be a beautiful pathway that preserves the real taste of a backyard while bringing in some taste of refinement.

4. Light up the yard
Your yard should be accessible at all times. That is why you should bring in some lights. The lights should go all along the pathway and end up around the resting area. Paper lanterns are good lightings that come with differently colored cover papers, for irresistible stylishness. Hanging paper lanterns around your yard is a good way of bringing a day and night elegance to it.

5. Properly maintain the yard
Maintenance should be done to preserve the good taste of your yard. The weeds in the flower beds should be uprooted every time they shoot. The long flower stems should be pruned, and the flowers themselves should be leveled every now and then. You should not forget to clean the yard every time the need arises.

We’ve included a video for you if you’re thinking about adding a patio. Here are some great ideas.

Do These 5 Things Before Selling Your Home

When you are preparing to put your house up for sale, it certainly is difficult to know where or when to begin, especially if this is your first house, and you’ve never put one up for sale before.

However, by following these six tips, you can put a lot of that stress and at ease; not only this, but you may make a few extra dollars for selling your old home sweet home.

With that having been said, here are six critical must do’s before listing your home for sale.

1. Repaint and treat the floors and walls
When listing a house for sale, you can never be too careful, especially if you’re looking to sell the house quickly and for a decent price. In all of my years of Real Estate service, I have never once found a home that wouldn’t benefit from a fresh rug cleaning or re-touching of the paint on the walls, doors, and a relaxing of the floors.

2. Declutter your house and get rid of unnecessary items
Do you want to make your house look more expansive than it is? If the answer is yes, and it should be, you need to start by removing at least a third or up to half of your stuff.

You can do this by putting stuff on the curb, giving it to friends or family or setting up Craiglist ads. This will not only make your home appear cleaner, tidier, more responsibly kept and more expansive, but will get rid of unnecessary items and give you some extra cash on the side, which is always a good thing.

If you don’t feel like cleaning out of half or your possessions, then at least focus on these three main areas; the countertops, the kitchen, and the master bedroom closets, as well as the bedroom itself.

3. Make sure to clean it very well!
Your house should be pristine, and as clean and compact as you can make it. This is very important, as it makes a sticking impression on potential buyers the first time that they see it.

You should clean it as much as you can. Nobody wants to move into someone else’s dirty house, especially if it’s a smelly room. Seriously, don’t sell a smelly house.

When you take pictures, they are going to go viewed on many websites. So get the house clean, cleared of clutter, so when you promote it, you are putting your house in the best light possible. Local search engine marketing companies, like Oxbow, that pick up your site will use the original photos it’s find in the MLS and copy them. Once the photos are copied, you no longer have control over them, so there is no way to update them. Again, clean twice, photograph once.

4. Have it professionally inspected.
While inspection of a new house is something left to the potential buyer, you should have it done anyway, before the listing. Make sure that you also receive a real estate statement from the inspector.

When it is time to sell, having this done is critical to the speed at which you can list and sell the house; it is one less thing you have to pay for, get done and wait on when trying to cash out as quick as possible.

5. Consider a little bit of staging.
If you really want to make the house pop and appeal to someone, you should spend a few hundred dollars on a professional designer and inspector. They can make some suggestions and hook you up with some discounted furniture, wallpaper or upholstery that is relative to the design, layout, and color scheme of your home.

This can and will make a lasting impression on any potential buyers, so if you decide to follow through with it, make sure it’s done well.

That’s it! You should be ready to go with listing and to sell your house now. Remember; upholster, research, clean, refurbish and stage. Those are the five critical things you need to do before listing your house to increase the interest and long term sustainable buyer, whether you are planning on selling or renting the house.

Good luck!

Buying Affordable Homes From Auctions

A house comes to auction when the owner of it, may be an individual or a builder, has become unable to sell it or when it may be taken back by the mortgage lender. Once the lender has got the authority to take the money from the sale of the property, it comes to auction. As everyone knows if a person buys property with the help of bankers, the deeds of the property will remain with them. In other words, the house technically belongs to them though it is in the name of the person who buys it.

How do the houses come for auction?
The lenders will find the auction as a method to reclaim the money that they have given to the owner of the property. It comes to auction when the party is unable to pay the debts to the lender. Usually, in the United States and the UK, the mortgage lender will move to the court if the borrower is unable to pay the money back. The court will assess the situation and will attend to see if the borrower can make the payments before making any harsh decisions. If the borrower is unable to make the repayments, then the magistrate will issue a “possession order, ” and with the order, the lender has had the right to reclaim it; it is referred to as foreclosure.

Who can buy homes from an auction?
The mortgage lender will be given over it to a specialist property auctioneer who values the property in the current state. Anyone who is interested in the property can attend the auction, and he should be able to pay the price of the property, and if you are using the service of a lender, you need to put the documents of the finance in place. Before making your bidding, you can see the property and assess the value of it.

Tips for a bidder
At times the whole process of auctioning will take only minutes and sometimes a nodding of heads and a waving of hands may be misguiding. You can register yourself with the auctioneers who in turn will inform you of the auctions. It is advisable to have an awareness of the price of the location and to visit the property before making the bids. Alternatively, you can seek the advice of financial advisors and experts who can say something authentic about the property.

Is auction the right choice?
The question whether to buy homes from auctions is subjective. But considering the nature of the property that comes for auctions, one can say that this would be a great opportunity to get a home at a comparatively cheap rate. This is mainly because the mortgage lenders are more interested in getting their money back than to wait for the times when the prices go up.

There are many options available to a person who wants to be a bidder in an auction. The chances of getting a quality home at a comparatively low price are almost certain; for better results make some quality thinking.