Friday, April 30, 2010

Making A Successful Move With Pets

Making the move to a new home and leaving your familiar surroundings can be a stressful on both you and your pet. It can be even more difficult for your beloved pets when moving because they have no idea why all the commotion! It is important to have a plan and take your pet's needs into consideration to have a smooth transition for everyone. Below are some tips to help you get started!

  • Take your time and plan ahead. Stretch out your packing over several weeks so you won't have to worry about any last minute crunch times. This will help to avoid panic in the last days, leaving moving day as relaxed as possible for you and your pets.
  • Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian a few weeks before your move for a check up. Be sure to attain your pet's veterinary records so that they can be forwarded to your new veterinarian. Certain localities may have stringent requirements or restrictions regarding pet ownership. You may need permits or registrations.
  • Don't change your pets' routines. Animals thrive on routines, if they know when to expect things such as feedings and walks, they will do much better. Changing these routines can cause animals to feel stressed and might cause illness or behavioral. Try to keep everything on the same level as normal.
  • When you arrive at your new home, designate a unused room with a door that is quiet and just for them. Provide them with fresh food and water and their bed or favorite toy, something that is familiar to them. This will keep them safe and calm while the move is going on.
  • If your pets are not micro-chipped be sure to get a new pet ID tag with your new address and contact phone numbers and if they are micro-chipped be sure to update the info with your microchip company.

    If you are moving a long distance and need to enlist the help of professional pet movers you have many choices. There are companies that specialize in air travel for moving pets and others that offer various methods of pet transportation that can transport your pets to the next state or around the world. As always do your research to find one that fits your needs and comes highly recommended.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Staging Tips To Help Sell Your Home Fast

In this difficult economy, selling your home can be a challenge. Sellers are looking for help to sell their home faster and for top dollar. Staging a home for sale is one of the best marketing strategies in residential real estate.

If you are not familair with staging, it is the process of showcasing your home in its absolute best light. By doing this, you draw buyers’ attention to your home’s most appealing features and helps to not draw attention to the features that are not as appealing.

By staging your home you can emphasize on your home’s positives. It’s part art, part science--and all marketing. It can involve everything from fresh paint to clever carpentry, new lighting to new window treatments. And don’t forget the borrowed (or rented) furniture to define and enhance each room!

To see staging in action, watch an episode or two of HGTV’s Designed To Sell for some amazing tips. Also see Top 10 Home-Staging Dos and Top 10 Home-Staging Don’ts by Designed To Sell’s Donna and Shannon Freeman.

Below are some tips that you can follow to help make your home shine:

* Clear it out. You have stuff--lots of stuff. And your house is overloaded with all that stuff. Go through each room and get rid of the clutter everywhere you see it. Your rooms will look bigger, more restful, and more inviting. And all you did was pick up!

* Clean it up. Make sure everything shines inside and out, from windows, floors and countertops inside to the deck, garage and yard outside. Pay particular attention to the kitchen and bath. A little well-applied elbow grease will go a long way in selling your home. And it’s free!

Do these two simple things, and you’re already ahead in the staging game.

But should you keep going and stage other aspects of your own home? That depends on whether you have the eye, the skill--and the objectivity. Can you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and see your home as the buyer will see it--positive points and negative points? Are you prepared to tackle those negatives? Do you have the “designer’s eye” for color and other design elements? Do you have the technical skills to complete improvements?

Staging can definitely help sell your house for more if it’s done right, whether you do it on your own or you hire a professional stager.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tips On Cutting Your Property Taxes

Every homeowner is required to pay property taxes, and on top of the other expenses that come along with owing a home, it can be a strain on the budget in these tough times. However, there are some ways you can cut your property tax bill, one top tip is having a propery reassessment.

Homeowner's property taxes are typically calculated based on an official assessment of the property. Because the value of many home's have dropped in the last few years, homeowners can challenge what the value of the home is currently valued at and thus reduce the tax bill by hundreds of dollars. Even before you seek an assessment, it is a good idea to check your records to make sure there are no mistakes. Simple typos and incorrect information can cause homeowners to be.

With the current economic crisis, many counties are raising property taxes in an attempt to balance their fiscal budgets and reduce their deficits. According to a survey by the National Association of Counties, a group that represents county taxes, about 18% of counties whose fiscal year begins between January and June increased property taxes to address revenue shortfalls.

Whether you are planning to sell your home in the near future or are planning to stay for a few more years, it is worth trying to get a reassessment. Keep in mind that if you can reduce your taxes, it will be a great selling tool.

Friday, April 09, 2010

When Looking At Homes Watch For These Red Flags

Once you begin the househunting process in your search for a new home, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and overlook potential problems. It is of course vital to always have a professional home inspection before signing any contracts. However, it is important to be on the look out for some potential issues before you start the process of purchasing the home. Below are some red flags to look for when you begin searching for your home.

•Be on the lookout for strange odors. Pet smells, musty odors and even cigarette smells can be red flags as they can be hard to get rid of and may signal a deeper problem. Keep in mind if the home smells like heavy cleaning products the seller might be trying to hide a problem.
•Watch out for wiring issues. While an electrician is the only one to accurately diagnose wiring problems there are some things you can be on the look out for. Make sure all the switches and outlets in the house function properly. Any lights that flicker or don't work as well as hot outlets are all symptoms of wiring problems.
•Problems With Windows. You can tell a foggy window problem right away just by looking at them but also be sure to check out all the windows to make sure they are fully functional. Some older windows maybe warped or painted shut and if you do see foggy windows that is a sign that the seal is broken.
•Look up for ceiling stains. Some buyers don' think about looking up at the ceiling but if you see stains then its obvious..something’s leaking. It might be a simple repair or it might be quite costly. Most roof leaks result from neglected flashing that seals “valleys” in the roof or around a chimney or vents, roof leaks mean mean it’s time to replace shingles. If the leak is under a bathroom it might be shower or even the toilet that is causing problems.
•Look closely for insects and rodents. Keep a close eye out for signs of rodents and bugs. Be on the lookout for hidden mouse traps, rodent droppings, roach motels or other signs that there may be a problem. If you do locate a home that you are ready to purchase, absolutely get a termite inspection as they can only be detected by a professional inspection.

Of course these are just some things to look for and while they may not present a serious problem and may be a mior fix it is important to be aware of potential issues and headaches downt the road.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Preventing Home Theft

  • Taking steps to prevent theft can reduce your insurance premiums and save you from the heartbreak of losing items that are worth more to you than money. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates, in 2007 alone, there were nearly 2.2 million burglaries in the United States. There are steps that homeowners can take to make their properties less vulnerable to intruders and precautions to prevent becoming a victim of theft. Consider the following safety tips to protect your home and family

  • Make it difficult for an intruder to hide; trim bushes and trees to allow maximum exposure of windows and doorways.
  • Install a home security system. According to the FBI, homes equipped with centrally monitored alarm systems are 15 times less likely to be targets of break-ins.
  • Install motion-detection lights on all sides of the house. This will help to make your home less inviting to burglars.
  • Take part in the neighborhood watch and get to know your neighbors. Neighbors can play a key role in preventing home thefts. Homeowners who interact with their neighbors are less likely to be victimized by other members of their community. At the same time, closely knit neighbors are more likely to call the police if they see someone suspicious poking around your property.
  • When you aren't home, use a timer set to turn interior lights on and off at varying intervals as though your home was still occupied.
  • Use solid core or metal clad entrance doors with solid door frames firmly attached to your home. Many intruders enter residences by physically destroying lightweight hollow core doors and flimsy door frames.

Taking these preventive measures can reduce the chances of your home being broken into and your possessions stolen. It is a good idea to review your insurance policy to make sure it provides all the protection you need. It is recommended that you videotape your valuables and note any serial numbers in case of theft.