When you’re ready to find a new home or purchase your first home, you want to make sure that the person you are trusting to help you with the process has your best interests in mind. More often than not, it can be tricky trying to decipher whether or not the realtor you found has those qualities. During your search, keep these top qualities in mind when finding a good realtor.
Realtors with good track records tend to be the most experienced and the most successful in the real estate industry. Ty and find some reviews on their website or social media page, or even ask around to see what other home buyer’s experiences have been with the realtor your looking to use.
There’s nothing worse than taking the time to break down exactly what you want in a home, only for your realtor to not hear you and send you homes that don’t meet your needs. Realtors should have great listening skills to be able to research the best home’s that fit your needs and budget.
The real estate market is very fluid and you need an agent that is up-to-speed on all the trends in the industry, especially market value. Realtors that are on top of their game do not settle and are passionate about finding a home for you and negotiating the best price.
You want your realtor to be motivated to take action and strategic in being able to find you the best home at the best price. Additionally, your realtor should have strong negotiation skills and be able to offer little perks like a home warranty or cleaning service during the home buying process. If you find that your realtor is hesitant to negotiate, or simply says that the current listing is already fair, then you may want to find another realtor that is more motivated to get the best deal for your new home.
If you find a house you want to see or discuss with your agent, or if you have questions about the negotiation process or financing, you want your realtor to be easy to reach. Your realtor should also be willing to communicate in a way that best fits your needs, not vice versa. For example, if you try calling your realtor, and they don’t answer and instead send a text, make sure you are clear in how you best want to communicate. You are their client, after all. If it takes days to hear back from them, then you may want to find a different realtor.
Not all of us have perfect credit, but a great realtor will understand that and will be ready for any bumps in the road that comes with getting a mortgage. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you find your dream home, only to discover that you may not be able to get it due to circumstances you were unaware of. With a realtor being educated in the guidelines that come with getting a mortgage and being informed of your financial situation, they will be able to mitigate any issues that can arise further down the line.
By: Paige A. Mitchell
Buying the right home does not have to be a wildly stressful undertaking, contrary to popular belief. Fortunately, by taking a little time beforehand to establish a timeline, a lot of unnecessary headaches can be avoided. Not only will this early planning save you time in the long run, it will paint a clearer picture of what you want and highlight the resources you need to make everything come together.
Assuming you’ve already built up your credit score and set aside money for a down payment, it’s important to determine what you can afford. There are many online calculators that are simple to use and will help tremendously in figuring this out. In order to narrow your search for a new home and before you can even put in an offer, you’ll have to be pre-qualified for a certain amount of money. There’s no point in looking and falling in love with a house or blueprint that you can’t afford. This pre-qualification process should also help you find a lender.
Once the numbers have been crunched, you can move on to the next step: deciding what you need and want in a home – your home. Asking yourself the right thought-provoking questions will get the ball rolling.
Consider, too, that as a home-buyer, you are not limited to existing houses on the market. Many folks overlook the prospect of building a new home to suit their needs. Depending on your circumstances, this might be the best option. So, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the options available to you and allowing yourself to see the full scope of possibilities. It might not be a bad idea to weigh the pros and cons of both new and previously-owned home options.
The next step is to find the right team of people to help you. At the very least, you will need a realtor and a lender. There are a lot of them out there, and they all have different ideas as to how to best approach buying a home and saving you money. Your realtor is going to be your professional partner and guide as you navigate your home-buying adventure, so you want to make sure their values align with your own. If you’re in the market for new construction, make sure that your real estate agent is well-versed in the local area, builder’s contracts and the building process.
Your lender should be trustworthy, and you should feel comfortable turning to them with questions you have about mortgage or construction loan options, rates, etc. Setting time aside to read online reviews, asking friends and family for recommendations, and interviewing a few agents and lenders is a necessary and worthwhile investment of your time.
You are now ready to finance your purchase and launch the house hunt – congratulations! If you’ve followed the steps to this point, you’ve already determined where you want your ideal home located, what amenities you want in it, how much you can afford, and your team of experts has been selected and is ready to assist you. Going into house hunting with clear goals makes weeding out the undesirable houses infinitely easier.
The work is not yet done, though. Once you’ve found the house you want to make your home, it’s time to make and negotiate an offer. During this time, it is extremely beneficial to discuss the inclusion of appliances and a home protection plan. This coverage can help with unexpected appliance repairs, electrical issues, and a wide variety of other potential hiccups that you might not be aware of at the time of move-in. And, if it’s a new house, a builder’s warranty can also be quite useful.
Once the terms have been agreed upon and the funding has been secured, the final steps include having the home inspected, appraised, surveyed, and actually closing on the house. While it may seem tedious, closing on a home is the most important step, as it ensures legally transferring the ownership of the home to you.
- Use an online calculator and get pre-qualified for a mortgage or construction loan
- Weigh the pros and cons to buying resale versus building a new house
- Find a real estate agent and lender you can trust
- Tour open houses and keep your must-haves versus nice-to-haves in mind
- Negotiate an offer that includes appliances (if they’re important to you) and a home or builder’s warranty
- Do your due diligence to ensure the house is in working order. You may have to request and agree upon some repairs from the sellers before closing.
Good luck on your journey!
By: Paige A. Mitchell
Getting your home ready to sell may seem like an exhausting process. Keep in mind, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Being able to resell your home can provide you the opportunity to make additional income from your property that could help you move into a new home. You may also find yourself needing to make a move across the country for a job that requires a quick sale. Instead of pricing your home too low in order to achieve a purchase quickly, simply make sure your home is ready to be sold at a price you deserve!
While getting your home ready for a selling requires some elbow grease and some home due diligence, it can prove to be a lot easier than you think. Before you let the stress of selling your home put you in a frenzy, follow these four simple steps to get your home ready to go on the market.
1. Boost That Curb Appeal
Make sure your home has some serious curb appeal to attract potential buyers in from the moment they pull up to your driveway. That means making sure all of your landscaping is perfectly manicured and inviting. You may also want to consider putting a fresh coat of paint on your home, updating the door, and pressure washing the siding of your home. Be sure all defects have been fixed on the outside of your home as well. If the fence is in disarray, your shrubbery is dying, or your windows need to be replaced, be sure to fix any issues that could cause a potential buyer to keep driving past your home. Don’t forget the welcome mat!
2. Perform All Necessary Repairs
Nothing makes a potential buyer pause faster than having to make repairs to a home they’re about to buy. Don’t burden your potential buyers with unnecessary repairs. Invest in a home warranty to fix any outlying repairs needed for your home, and even consider gifting a home warranty to potential buyers to help put their mind at ease when placing an offer on your home.
3. Declutter and Depersonalize
While staging your home is a great way to allow the potential buyer the opportunity to envision themselves living in your home, you want to make sure your home looks open and decluttered. You also want to make sure you remove any pictures of your family or knick knacks that can distract the buyer. Consider renting out a storage unit to hold any extra belongings until your home has been purchased. Be sure to also color your home is neutral colors. This will ensure your home appeals to a wide variety of buyers.
4. Make It Shine
Don’t leave your house dirty when a showing is about to happen. Make sure your home is perfectly clean. You want your home to appear open and inviting so that anyone can see themselves living in your home. This factor revolves around enticing all the senses. So be sure to remove any bad odors from the home, such as litter boxes and even the trash cans. From the ceiling fans to the floors, make sure your home is so clean it sparkles.
Guest Post By:Paige A. Mitchell
Many homeowners dream of “upgrading” their current residence to one that’s more in line with their ideal neighborhood and amenities. However, the process of selling one home and closing on another can be a particularly nerve-wracking one.
That’s especially true when the ability to close on your new home hinges upon the sale of your current home. Bay Area homes are most expensive, and you don’t have much time to waste in situations like this.
To streamline the process and prepare you for what’s to be expect during this transition, we’re going to look at some strategies you can employ to sell your home faster.
When you’re looking for a buyer, remember that your home is effectively the product you’re selling. When you shop for a used item, do you settle for one that’s falling apart?
Most of us are more likely to buy a home that looks as though its past owners have put some real love and care into it. San Francisco homes have history and character to them, but that charm can quickly fall into disarray without proper maintenance.
That means ensuring that your house clean and tidy, and that all appliances and systems are up and running. Don’t show your home with screens falling out of its windows or with a dented and scratched front door. Do your best to show potential buyer’s that the home is “gently used”.
Just like books, many buyers judge a home by its cover despite the story that awaits them inside. They make snap decisions, even if they don’t realize it. Your home might be comparable to those on the rest of the block in terms of interior upgrades, but what does its exterior look like?
Appearance plays a big role in whether or not someone is drawn to an item. This is as true in real estate as it is anywhere else. To that end, make sure that your home looks nice from the curb! Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door, landscaping the yard—even if it’s small—and fixing cracked walkways or broken steps. Taking the time to address these issues can help your home make a great impression from the very start.
Is your home in good working order? Your major appliances may seem to be working, but what about the electrical and plumbing systems that you can’t see? It’s important to understand the answer to that question before you put your home on the market.
Let’s say, for example, that your home looks nice but a home inspection reveals a laundry list of surprising repairs that need to be made. Every one of those repairs is going to negatively impact the value of your home.
Avoid the shock by having your own inspection done and address problems head-on before you list the property. Research the best home warranty companies in California to streamline the repair process and provide new buyers some priceless peace of mind.
Stage to sell
Finally, make sure that your buyer’s can envision themselves in your home. You can do this by decluttering the space and making each area as clean and neutral as possible. In other words, give buyers a clean slate upon which they can visualize their future in the home. The faster someone else can picture themselves living in your home, the quicker you’re likely to receive an offer. Note that this can also sometimes mean removing some belongings and sending them to storage.
Are you hoping to sell your Bay Area home? Follow the tips above and you’re sure to get there sooner rather than later!
A Realtor’s Guide to Closing Quickly
Paige A. Mitchell
San Francisco, a city like no other. Native San Franciscans love their city’s outdoor adventures, world class cuisine, mild climate, phenomenal arts scene, and booming tech industry. It’s no wonder that everyone wants to live here, except for the fact that the median cost of a home is over half a million dollars and the housing market is one of the most competitive in the nation. Competition will affect every stage of the home buying process, even through closing. Savvy real estate agents must be aware of how they can ensure the best close on a home sale that will leave everyone happy, especially the new homeowners.
Anticipate and prepare
While there are laws, requirements and procedures that govern all major real estate transactions, there are, of course, the inevitable unknowns—Murphy’s law and the “human” factor. Much of real estate happens on paper but it also involves critical face-to-face interactions between buyer and seller, attorneys, mortgage loan officers, title companies and real estate agents, as well as their various stakeholders, all of whom can derail a real estate transaction.
A 2015 survey by The National Association of Realtors revealed that nearly a third of closings are delayed, and 6% of those deals fall through completely. Given this alarming statistic, it is important to anticipate and prepare for the most common issues that arise in closing. Traditional wisdom suggests that 90% of success is preparation. Those real estate agents who are organized and prepared are often equipped to either prevent disaster at closing or can manage the “snafus” that arise with more aplomb.
The most common issues that can deter a quick close include financing problems, home inspection complications, issues with the contract, mistrust between buyer and seller, and security breaches. Makeitbetter.net states that problems in financing account for about 50% of the delays in real estate transactions and typically it’s due to a problem with the buyer’s mortgage. If your client is the buyer, it’s important that you help them stay on top of the mortgage process by keeping them abreast of deadlines, helping them gather and forward appropriate documentation to all relevant parties, and ensuring that all financial transactions prior to the closing clear the bank on time.
Another common reason for delay is the final walk-through. Parties may not have fully agreed on what stays in or goes in the house between the buyer and seller and problems with the house are sometimes not revealed until the final walk-through. If there’s damage that has been missed, the buyer can ask the seller to cover the costs of the repair before close.
Fortunately, agents can take measures to prevent this ahead of time. First by ensuring that home inspections are thorough and scheduled early on in the process. This gives sellers time to make repairs. Agents should also educate themselves and their clients on what to look for each time they visit the house. This will help clients understand what stays and what doesn’t and what to expect in that final walk-through. Sellers can then sell the house without a bathroom mirror or appliance holding them up, and buyers won’t have to invest even more money after the purchase to make significant repairs.
That being said, it pays to help the seller get the home ready to sell. Homeowners should always consider that their property, often their most important and valuable asset, will most likely be sold at some point and ongoing maintenance, modernization, and beautification is necessary to helping the property hold its value, particularly in such a competitive market like San Francisco.
Agents can give a monthly home checklist to sellers to help them prepare their home for resale several months ahead of time. Additionally, encourage clients to include a home warranty in their offer. Home warranties are not only helpful in streamlining home repairs while a house is on the market, but they can also be excellent marketing tools. Offering a one-year home protection plan works wonders to ease the mind of anxious buyers while building trust and goodwill.
In our increasingly digital world—especially in Silicon Valley—cybersecurity threats have made their way to real estate. Emails are hacked, large sums of cash are tracked, and fake emails can be sent to buyers requesting that they wire their down payment. Real estate agents should work vociferously to educate their staff and their clients about the best practices for maintaining security, like sending financial information via email. Wire transfer information should be given in-person or over the phone if possible and cybersecurity measures should be implemented at all stages of the sale to protect both the buyer and the seller in the process.
No matter how well we prepare the paperwork and the property, nothing can stop a sale like human psychology. MoneySense states that it’s important to understand the ways in which realtors make sales and money off their clients, and furthermore, clients should choose a realtor who will use psychology effectively in negotiations without crossing ethical lines. A good realtor who does not want a difficult close will seek to create a constructive working relationship with goodwill and trust between the buyer and seller. Effective real estate agents should act as trusted advisors who put their clients’ interests before their own, they should listen closely, communicate regularly and be an active problem solver.
Every good realtor knows that each home sale is a complex transaction involving multiple stakeholders, many moving parts and a lot of human emotion. With effective preparation and organization, excellent communication, trust-building and negotiation skills, and a keen awareness of the common and potential pitfalls of real estate closings, realtors will successfully navigate any closing with success.
The Importance of Having a Good Credit Score to
Protect Yourself, Your Family, And Your Insurance Rates
This article was provided by Rentown.net
If you think that your credit score is used only to get a loan application approved or getting a job then think again. Credit score also holds great significance when it comes to insurance rates and keeping your financial condition strong.
Whether you’re getting an insurance for your vehicle, home or even your life, your credit score will be looked into.
The outcome is simple. People with a bad credit score are charged with a higher insurance fee than the ones who have a good credit score.
Why Insurance Companies Look Into The Credit Score Before Deciding The Charges?
Insurance providers are known to gather financial data of a person before giving them insurance rates. They do this so as to know the amount of risk they’re taking with the person by providing them with insurance.
They will look into your FICO score (which should be above 700 to lay a good impression) to determine how you have been dealing with your finances in the past.
If your credit score is good, they see it as a low risk, hence less price will be charged on you. In case your credit score is low then the insurance providers see it as a risk and will charge you a higher fee.
What Do They Look Into:
- Financial History.
- Driving Records.
- Employment history.
- Family’s information.
- Diseases you have.
- Smoker or not etc.
What they look into largely depends on the type of insurance you are applying for. For example, your health will be looked into if you apply for life insurance, but they will not care for it as much in case of phone insurance.
Other than this, they will look into your financial history to see how you have been dealing with your finances. If you have existing debts or had several in the past, they will take the amount of time it took for you to pay the debt.
If in case, you had failed to pay your debts then you’re looking at skyrocketing insurance rates because it gives an impression that you’re irresponsible when it comes to managing finances.
Your credit history will also be looked into to see how you are with utilizing credits. If you have gone bankrupt in the past by using too much credit or have made late payments then you are seen as a risky person.
Your driving history will also be dug up and looked into your driving track record in case you’re going for vehicle insurance. For instance, how many speeding tickets you’ve got so far. How’s your driving record etc. How many accidents you’ve been into. All these things will pose a threat to the insurance provider and will make them charge a higher insurance rate on you.
They will learn about your employment history and determine your employment risk for your current job.
Other than that, they’ll look into your payment schedules to see if you pay your dues in time and how much in debt you are currently or had been in the past.
They’ll learn about you and your family’s medical condition as well. Also, if you had paid medical bills on time or not.
Since some of these factors can be judged just by looking at your credit score, it is important to pay attention to it. In case you have a low credit score, your insurance provider will most probably see you as an insurance liability and will charge a lot more than what they’ll do to a person with a good credit score.
How To Get The Lowest Insurance Fee?
It’s possible to get insurance for you and your family in the lowest possible fee if you have a good credit score.
A good credit score implies having a good credit history, no bankruptcy, no debts, no late payments etc.
All in all, getting charged at a low insurance fee depends upon how good your credit score is.
Sadly, a lot of Americans do not have a good credit score. But, worry not. There are ways to improve it. Let’s have a look:
How Can You Improve Your Credit Score?
- Paying your bills on time.
- Having no more than one or two credit cards (more credit cards can be difficult to manage).
- Disassociate accounts in case of a joint account.
- Watch out for credit card balances and keep them low.
While all these tricks work, but if your score is really very low, you will have to look for professionals. There is help available in the form of credit repair companies.
Such companies do not only help improve your credit score, but can also help you find a reliable insurance provider so that you can get a good rate on your insurance.
All in all, a bad credit score is risky not only for you but your entire family. Hence, make sure you have a credit score before you apply for insurance.
By: Paige A Mitchell
The end of each year is a time of reflection for all of us. We promise ourselves that, starting in the new year, we will be and do better. We will get our lives back on track, we will be productive, and we will make this year our year.
Well, the new year is here. In addition to our get-fit-fast goals and our target toward a better work-life balance, we should also look to our homes for areas of improvement. After all, we spend 90% of our time indoors, so we might as well make it the most enjoyable environment we can. Here’s home improvement broken down into 12 attainable monthly goals.
January—Organize and prioritize
Start small by going through a planning phase. List the home improvement projects you want to get done this year and prioritize them. Consider whether you’ll DIY or hire a professional. Planning ahead will help you budget for the bigger projects you have coming up. Contact local service providers for a quote or follow up on your home warranty coverage.
So, you decided to be more environmentally friendly this year. A good start to hitting your green living goals is by switching to the most energy-efficient light bulbs. Go a step further by installing motion-sensor exterior lights and smart interior light switches. These bright ideas can save you money on your energy bill, but it can also help you get through the final dark hours before Daylight Savings begins in March.
March marks the beginning of spring. Warm up your winter neutrals by adding some color back into your life. This could be anything from a vibrant area rug to leafy green houseplant. If you want something fresh and fun, try Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019 is living coral.
Most homeowners get another burst of motivation this time of year. Take April to do some well overdue deep cleaning. Washing windows, clearing gutters, replacing HVAC filters, spraying for insects, and power-washing siding are just some ideas.
May—Tend to garden
April showers bring May flowers, which means it’s time to get in the garden if you haven’t already. Cosmos and marigolds are pretty summer flowers to plant in May, according to SFGate. Gardeners should also do their due diligence by weeding, pruning, and inspecting for slugs and snails.
Summer is the best time to give your house a fresh coat of paint. Collegiate Painters explains that we can’t rely on consistently dry and warmer weather until June. If your home’s exterior doesn’t need new paint, you might still find value in changing up the look of the front door or staining the deck.
July—Reclaim the garage
There’s nothing quite like a hardworking garage. This room should store all or most of a homeowner’s tools, workout and sports equipment, and at least one vehicle. However, the reality is that the garage gets cluttered so quickly that many of us are forced to park in the driveway. Use a series of Saturdays to chip away at the mess that is, but will no longer be, your garage.
Remodeling can sound intimidating and expensive, but it’s only as involved as you want it to be. You don’t have to gut your entire bathroom or kitchen to transform the space. To do so, focus on function rather than aesthetics. Start by replacing old fixtures and faucets. Try tiling or regrouting. Then, if there’s room in the budget, splurge on a new dishwasher or vanity.
There’s no better time to decorate than fall. Year after year, craft and home decor stores go above and beyond by stocking their shelves with the coziest accents. Buy some candles while they’re on sale, rotate in new throw pillows, and don your door with a pretty fall wreath.
October—Stock the guest room
Be prepared for overnight guests this upcoming holiday season. Clean out the guest bedroom if you have one. Buy a big plastic tote where you can keep spare bedding and linens fresh. Add extra toiletries to your grocery list too.
As the temperatures drop, it’s worthwhile to inspect your doors and windows for drafts. If you feel cold air coming through closed entrances, seal them with weatherstripping. This will help lower your heating bills and make your home more comfortable overall.
You might have moved furniture to accommodate a Christmas tree or holiday guest. Or, as you were hosting, you might have discovered that your living room layout just isn’t working. Shake things up a bit going into the new year by angling armchairs toward each other, as to promote conversation, or letting the kids switch rooms.
By Hannah West
If you think the days of chatting over fences and bringing housewarming gifts to new neighbors have been replaced by staring at a screen and ignoring everyone around you, you’re only half right. A new private social networking app called Nextdoor aims to connect people who live in the same neighborhood, bringing back the days of borrowing rakes and leaving your kids at the house down the street. The Nextdoor app is basically a community meeting right on your phone. Through the connections you make on the app, you can find a family to carpool with, post about your lost dog, gain traction for a garage sale or local fundraiser, and find someone to babysit your kids.
But the app that was created to help neighbors become the smiling faces next door does a little more than that. In addition to connecting people who live on nearby blocks, it keeps each small community informed about crime and suspicious activity. One of its most helpful assets is the interaction with local law enforcement, who post alerts when criminal activity has occurred in your area, as well as photos of the suspects. Fire departments in many cities are also involved, letting people know about emergencies like fires and earthquakes in real time. These governmental bodies can send messages targeted to specific neighborhoods, and even specific streets. In so many ways, the app that was created for lending sugar has ended up helping people receive immediate information and assistance during emergencies.
However, though it can create safer communities, the app may have a marked downside that many Nextdoor users have noticed. The ability of participators to report about suspicious persons has led to instances of racial profiling. A post describing an unsavory or “sketchy” character is, in many cases, as offensive as it is trying to be helpful. Fortunately, other users have the ability to flag offensive posts and comment as to why they are offensive, and Nextdoor steps in once something has been flagged. And, unlike so many social networking tools, Nextdoor all but requires users to use their real names and addresses, which can tend to keep things friendlier than when anonymity is prevalent and unfiltered comments are the name of the game.
As long as residents can promote awareness, the Nextdoor app is capable of transforming communities for the better. It’s up to each and every small community to make participation in the Nextdoor app a positive experience. It’s a great way to recommend the great new bakery around the corner, raise funds for a cause you care about, or even just get someone to watch your dog for the weekend. Get ready to go back to the good old days.
To learn more and to find more ideas and inspiration for you next home project, head to Modernize.com.
In investing a real estate property, location is one of the many factors you have to consider. However, that does not stand alone; in fact, you need to know the type of real estate you have to invest on. When you consider a purchase of a certain real estate, you must look at whether it is a residential, commercial, office, or retail property. Each one of them is usually influenced by certain drivers that would dictate their own respective performances in the investment scheme. One type of property is different from the other, and it can also be said on how they perform and how good they are as an investment.
There are two types of investments in real estate and these are:
- Income-producing; and
- Non-income producing.
Income-producing real estate is often classified into four, and these are offices, retail, industrial, and residential areas that are leased for renters. In other words, such real estate is usually rented for other people’s usage, and that the income is usually generated by them. On the other hand, non-income-producing ones are the usual properties, such as houses, vacation properties, and commercial buildings for vacancy.
One of the most recognized forms of investment in the income-producing realm of real estate is office property. With the high level of office properties in urban areas such as cities and suburbs in terms of amount and necessity, there’s no way investors can profit from these. Indeed, office space is a growing need, especially for start-ups and those transferring from one office space to the next.=
The same goes with properties for those selling retail products, such as shopping malls and buildings that tenants can rent beside pedestrian zones. Investors often take into account not only location, but also its visibility and the population density of the supposed retail establishment.
Of course, regardless of the type of real property investment, there are those that cater to vacationers and families alike. As it is, residential properties often provide the most stable returns. For income-producing residential areas, investors can get profit out of it because there are tenancy rates that they can impose on potential tenants.
Likewise, for non-income-producing residential areas, investors can still obtain stable returns through capital appreciation. Also, investing on debt secured by such type of real estate should be based on the borrower’s ability to cover the mortgage payments because there is no income that can be obtained from tenancy.
Despite the fact that the housing market, and for that matter the economy, is not what it once was, people everywhere still are moving more than ever before. According to the US Census Bureau, 1 in 6 Americans move each year, and these lifestyle changes are usually the primary reasons: marriage, better job, graduation, job transfer, new baby and retirement.
Change of residency can be an exciting or traumatic time for any person or family; there is no doubt that various emotions will be generated, depending on your specific circumstances. If you are thinking about calling some new place home for any reason, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that things go as smooth as possible.
What to do first
What most people don’t realize is that renting a self-storage unit should be the very first thing on your moving agenda. Despite the stereotype associated with storage, these facilities are not only for hoarders with too much junk. Renting storage units is actually an incredibly convenient way to keep your belongings safe and organized while you search for and move into a new home.
Searching for the right unit
Thankfully, most storage facilities will allow you to rent month-to-month, eliminating the need for you to rush through this already stressful process. However, you do want to make sure that you select the perfect unit to fit your needs, so here are a few pointers on how to do just that.
- If you already know the general area or neighborhood of where you would like to move, start by looking at units near there.
- Do however, weigh cost versus convenience; the cheapest unit may not be anywhere close to where you want to live. If you plan on making multiple trips to your unit, it may be worth the extra cost of convenience to save all that money on gas.
- Know what you plan on storing so you know what size unit you are going to need. It doesn’t do any good looking for unit prices if you don’t know what size you will need.
- Look for security amenities. Most facilities should offer high-tech security systems, but make sure you check with them to ensure that your items are safe.
- Compare self-storage units online. Instead of calling facility owners one by one or driving around searching for them, use a service like SpareFoot to find great deals online.
Now that you have found the right location to store your belongings, it is time to think about how you are going to properly pack all of those items. Below are some tips that should help you stay organized throughout this change of lifestyle.
- Make sure everything is clean and in good condition before moving it. For example, one thing you don’t want is after you are all settled in, pulling out your gardening tools only to find that a permanent layer of mud/dirt has accumulated all over them.
- Buy top quality moving supplies designed specifically for moving. Some items you should consider are boxes or plastic storage containers, bubble wrap, and even blankets (to cover furniture with). Check to see if your moving/storage company provides any of these things, most will at a discounted price.
- Investigate your storage size. Picture your belongings as they will be once they are disassembled and stored, not as they are in your home, that way you have a better idea of what will be able to fit.
- Finally, think about temperature. There are things that need to be kept at a certain temperature, so keep that in mind while in transit and especially in the storage unit (consider renting a climate-controlled unit if this is an issue).
This article was written by Matt Schexnayder. Matt is on the SpareFoot marketing team and writes for the SpareFoot blog. SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage that offers consumers the most complete comparison shopping experience in the storage industry.