Stockman Farrar Group's Blog
A moving checklist won't take all the stress out of moving, but it can relieve a lot of the pressure once you have everything accounted for. To give yourself a little extra sanity and peace of mind, we'll sketch out what a reasonable timeline should look like.
8 Weeks Before
Nearly two months before the move, you should begin going through each room and deciding what you're going to move and what you're going to throw away. You can start calling movers for quotes and ordering everything from bubble wrap to packaging tape.
It's important to keep the daily routine as-is, while still mentally preparing for the move. Start dropping off donation boxes of clothes or goods that won't be coming with you, and organize all of your correspondence in one place so it's easier to keep track of. We recommend having movers visit the home to give their quote as over-the-phone estimates may be unreliable.
4 Weeks Before
A month before the move is a good time to start packing up rarely used items, so they're ready to go when the time comes. This is also an opportunity to be even more ruthless with what you take versus what you leave behind. The more you get rid of now, the less you'll have to worry about organizing in the new home.
Start separating out valuables, measuring furniture, and filling out change-of-addresses with everyone from your credit card companies to the DMV. (Never assume a blanket change-of-address form will be valid for all organizations.) Store valuables in a safe, label boxes, and take a deep breath before the home stretch.
Last Few Days
Now is the time to get everything in a box besides the absolute necessities (e.g., toothbrushes, etc.) Refill any prescriptions so you aren't dependent on your new local pharmacy processing all of your paperwork immediately. Defrost the freezer now if you're taking it with you, and tune-up all vehicles so they're ready for the journey.
Create a manifest with everything you're taking and call the movers to confirm the final details. The final days are where things can really start to fall apart, and these are all preventative measures you can take so you're not dealing with a broken-down car filled with boxes on the side of the road.
Remember that moves rarely ever go according to plan. A moving schedule is dependent on everything from the weather to road conditions. This checklist is really just a way to curtail the possibilities of a major disaster. At the very least, it should help you feel more in control even during the most chaotic parts of the move.
When you list your home for sale, you will have people you don't know exploring the property -- and while real estate agents will supervise them, you will still have extra foot traffic in your home. You can work with your listing agent to ensure that visiting buyers are properly vetted (new listings often attract curious visitors that are not interested in buying, just touring the home). You can also take steps to protect your property during open houses and showings. A security system isn't beneficial -- because the people admitted to your home for a showing have permission to be there. Here's what to do before you list your home to protect your possessions from theft or harm. Most people are well-intentioned and the vast majority of showings are trouble-free but preparing to show your home can give you peace of mind and preserve your privacy and possessions, too.
Replace originals: If you have original works of art as focal points in some rooms, you may want to replace them with prints, reproductions or lesser works while your home is on the market. Consider having artwork professionally packed by an art historian or specialty mover before your home goes on the market and you won't have to worry about it being in an empty home. Note that even well-intentioned visitors could damage original art simply by touching it, so evaluate which pieces should stay on display when you show your home.
Remove small electronics: Your wall mounted flat screen is safe during showings since it is simply too awkward to remove and tote away, but smaller pieces could be at risk. Small electronics like phones, tablets and games should be removed or secured before a showing. These items may also contain your personal information and secure data, so putting them away can protect your privacy, too.
Secure or remove personal items: Jewelry and other small items should be removed from the home or placed in a safe or other secure location. Even if you don't have a conventional jewelry box or valet on display, consider removing especially valuable or sentimental items while your home is on on the market.
Most visitors are honest, authentic buyers. However, if you have concerns about theft or damage, sweep your home before you list it and secure or replace any important items.
When it comes to getting what you want in your home, the question comes down to whether you build it or look for the perfect house to buy.
For those who prefer new construction, the option of starting from scratch is very viable. Here are some vital factors to consider before getting started:
Building a new house from scratch may seem costly, but after an extensive breakdown and with proper management of resources, it may turn out to be less expensive than buying a home that you then must remodel to suit your taste. It is essential to do a total cost analysis to avoid slowdowns during the construction.
Flexibility is one factor that people who prefer to build new houses mention. They can modify the house to their taste without having to fit into a preset structure. If customization is a priority for you, this is a great place to start. You’ll have much more flexibility in the layout of your home and will be able to customize it to your liking.
Building your home requires many choices: finding the land and hiring a contractor to accompany you throughout your project are possibly top priority. From design to site monitoring, until the delivery of keys, it is essential to work with a professional with recognized expertise, who will respond carefully to your needs and expectations.
Finally, a new construction project offers you the opportunity to live in a house that is 100% personalized and scalable. This means that your property will be designed to adapt to the new configurations of your home, for years to come.
But not everyone enjoys the scouting and building process. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine how the home will look and work for you based on drawings alone. If the time frame gets interrupted, you may have to find temporary housing to wait out the weather, material supply issues, or other delays common to new construction. When developing raw land, you often must factor in roads, driveways, sidewalks, and streetlamps. Purchasing a preexisting home can either diminish or eliminate these issues all together.
Need help making the decision? Contact me! Whether it's a beautiful, preexisting home or a dream built from the ground up, I’d love to help you move into your dream house!
27 Prescott St, Somerville, MA 02143
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Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) may be a common term in home buying, but not every home buyer understands exactly what it will mean for their finances. This short guide will give you the basics, so there are fewer surprises down the line.
What Is PMI?
PMI is a type of insurance that lenders purchase in case the homeowner defaults on their loan. While the lender will take possession of the home if the owner can't pay their mortgage, they still have to cover the costs of a home sale (e.g., hiring a real estate agent, paying closing costs) as well as possible depreciation. It's the lender who takes out the PMI policy, but it's the homeowner who pays for it.
Who Needs PMI?
Lenders typically require homeowners to pay PMI if they're unable to put down at least 20% of the home's purchase price. So if the home is $100,000 and the buyer can only put down $10,000, they would need to pay for PMI. Because very few owners are able to come up with such large sums, PMI is a common part of home buying.
How Much Is PMI?
Like most insurance policies, PMI can range in terms of total costs. The standard amount is .3 to 1.5% the total cost of the home per year. Homeowners aren't expected to pay the insurance company directly. Instead, PMI payments are rolled into the house payments, and the lender uses the designated amount for PMI to pay the insurance company.
How Long Will a Homeowner Pay PMI?
Homeowners will continue paying PMI until they reach 20% equity in their home. This is just one of the many reasons why homeowners are encouraged to put as much money as possible into their initial payments. The sooner they start tackling the principal of the loan, the less they'll pay in interest and PMI. That per-year percentage can really add up over time — especially if your interest rates are on the higher side.
Why Is PMI Necessary?
PMI was designed as a way to prevent lenders from having to raise interest rates. If lenders had to absorb the losses from every default buyer without the help of PMI, they would have to spread the costs out to everyone. PMI is based on the premise that homeowners with less equity in their home (i.e., under 20%) are more likely to default. This way, not everyone has to shoulder the costs with higher rates spread out across the board.
If you want to know more about what PMI will mean for your finances and how you can mitigate its effects, contact me today to learn more about what you can do.