Long-Distance House Hunting Tips

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 1st, 2018

Long-Distance House Hunting Tips

Hunting for a house is stressful enough even if you are moving to another part of town. However, when you are searching for a house from afar, it can make the task of finding the right home for your needs seem almost impossible. 

Fortunately, in today’s high-tech world, you have an array of tools available right at your fingertips that can make it easy to find the perfect house for your needs. So, even if you are looking for a home thousands of miles away, you can do so quickly and with minimal fuss.

Partner With The Right Real Estate Agent 

The first thing that you should do when looking for a house in an area that you are unfamiliar with is to find a local agent. Find someone who has the expertise of the local market and buying process. The information that you garner from choosing a local agent can be invaluable. They know the market intimately.

Additionally, a local agent knows the community as they likely live there as well. They know which schools and neighborhoods are best. They can get to know what you are looking for in an area and help you find the right community for your particular needs. They might also have information on local gems that are not yet showing up on online listings.  

Do Your Research 

After you find a home or two that you are interested in, thoroughly research the area. Search for information about local schools, churches, shopping centers and more. You want to make sure that the neighborhood will meet your needs. Research crime rates in the area.

Also, determine how long your commute from work to home will be each day. Even if you don’t have children, research local school rankings. The rating and quality of local schools is paramount when it comes to the resale value of your home.

Visit In Person 

There is just no amount of research that can substitute for an in-person visit to a potential home. If you are planning to hunt for a house from a distance, be prepared for the travel. Make sure that you have the money and time to visit. It is best to prepare for longer house-hunting trips so that you can take your time when walking through each showing.

Also, make it a point to pay a visit to local restaurants, parks, and businesses to get a feel for the local community. 

Your trusted real estate agent will be your best asset when searching for properties at a distance. Be sure to provide your must-have list and start searching for your new home today.

 

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4 Quick Tips To Help You Compare Movers

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 8th, 2018

4 Quick Tips To Help You Compare MoversChoosing The Right Movers Can Save You Time And Money

It can be overwhelming to choose a moving company if you are buying or selling your home. There are usually numerous ads for movers offline and online. Determining which company is the best fit can be tricky.

Fortunately, doing a little research can help you find the right mover. If you are looking to compare movers, you have come to the right place. Here are some tips to get started. 

Are They Licensed? 

When you hire a mover, you are entrusting your most valuable possessions to that company. The first thing to determine is whether or not they are licensed. If you are moving to another part of the country, then ensure that the moving company you use is licensed by the federal government.

Every state in the U.S. has its own laws regarding local moves. Check to see what the requirements are in your state. Make sure that the mover and that you choose has the proper licenses. Selecting an unlicensed mover is just asking for trouble.

Do They Have A Solid Reputation? 

Another way to compare movers is to look at each company’s reputation. Comb through online reviews of each mover that you are considering hiring. It is impossible to make everyone happy. Therefore, there will be negative reviews from time-to-time.

If there were problems, how did the moving company handle it? Did the mover reach out to the customer to try to address the problem? Did they ignore the review — or worse yet — disparage the reviewer? Steer clear of companies that ignore, criticize or attack their customers online. 

Do They Belong To Moving Associations? 

Membership in moving associations and other industry recognitions are signs of a trustworthy moving company. Are they a certified ProMover? The American Moving & Storage Association provide this designation. It indicates that the mover is a high-quality professional who follows industry standards. Choosing a ProMover can help you weed out con artists and other shady movers who are only out to take advantage of people. 

How Long Have They Been In Business? 

Try to stick with moving companies that have been in business for a long time. There is a higher chance that they provide excellent service if they have been in business for many years. Some “fly-by-the-night” movers hire unemployable workers who can’t pass background checks. Most movers who have been in business a long time avoid this practice. After All, they must be doing something right to have remained in business for so long. 

Your trusted real estate agent will likely have referrals for movers in your area.  These professionals are well-versed in moving. Ask!

 

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7 Things You Should Do As Soon As You Move Into Your New Home To Slash Your Electricity Bill

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 4th, 2014

7 Things You Should Do as Soon as You Move Into Your New Home to Slash Your Electricity BillMoving into your home is an exciting time, and you shouldn’t allow higher than expected electricity bills to dampen your spirits. Every day, households around the world waste large amounts of energy.

If your home uses more energy than it needs to, you are the one that is paying the price. Luckily, there are many ways to make sure your home is running as efficiently as possible. Save yourself from ‘utility shock’ by taking these seven steps.

Make Energy Efficiency Your Electric Company’s Business

When you first move into your home, have your appliances inspected by an authorized technician. You could call your appliance’s manufacturer or the electric company to find someone to inspect your appliances.

If you do find yourself on the phone with the electric company, ask them if they have peak and off-peak hours. Often, there are times throughout the day where usage is at a premium, and the cost is higher than it would be at other times.

You should also ask if they have any tips or resources pertaining to your home’s electrical usage. Electrical companies will often send you literature or an energy saving kit that can help make your home run more energy efficiently.

Get Fresh Furnace Filters And Examine Your Central Air System

When you move into a new home, it’s difficult to know what kind of upkeep the previous owners performed on the furnace. Upon moving into your new home, you should have the filter on your furnace changed and your ducts examined and cleaned.

Do the same for any central cooling systems in the home. This way you’ll feel confident that they are operating properly and producing the best air quality possible.

Wrap And Warm Your Hot Water Tank

The hot water tank is another area where you can save a significant amount of money. Set your hot water tank to a warm setting, instead of a hot one (this makes little difference in the water temperature at your tap, but it will save you money).

You could also purchase an insulating cover for the tank, and wrap the hot water pipes in the home. Insulation for your hot water tank and pipes is a cost-effective solution, and you can find plastic or foam pipe insulators at your local hardware store.

Evaluate The Situation From Windows To Insulation

Check the windows and doors of the home to make sure they are properly insulated. Fresh weather stripping and caulking will keep drafts out in the winter, and cool air in during the summer.

Another way to regulate your home’s temperature is to replace the insulation in your attic. You could also install an attic fan to improve airflow.

A Bright Energy Saving Idea

Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. The cost is only slightly higher, and fluorescent bulbs last over five times as long as incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs give off a softer light, but are bright enough to light your home and will save a significant amount of electricity.

Get Your Windows Working With The Weather

Replace thin curtains with heavier weight window coverings. You can use the sunlight when you need it, and block it out when you don’t. Heavy drapes are also great at keeping warm and cool air in your home. Having high quality window treatments may mean you use your thermostat and light switches less.

Properly Power Down Your Electronics

A surprising amount of the energy our electronics use is wasted while devices are powered down. Electronics that are off but are still plugged directly into an outlet do indeed burn energy. When you set up the electronics in your home, use power strips where you can. Flicking the bar off when electronics are not needed will lead to savings on your electric bill.

Once you have taken these steps, you can feel good knowing you are saving money and being environmentally responsible. Energy efficient handy work and home improvements also qualify for significant tax credits.

Make sure you keep your receipts and invoices, as they could mean cash back in your pocket come tax season. If you decide to take your savings and move up and out, contact a local real estate professional for assistance in finding the perfect place to call home.

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