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Posted by RE/MAX Professional Associates on 11/18/2018

Your first week in your new home is an exciting time. It’s also a very busy one. There is just so much to do to get everything in order and settled in! Some things are more important to get done this first week than others. On the other hand, there are tasks you’ll be glad you completed your first week instead of putting them off.

Here’s your guide to your first week in your new home.

Start by opening new accounts for all of your utilities as soon as possible. These are the non-negotiables you simply can’t live without. These utilities include things like:

  • Electricity

  • Gas

  • Water

  • Sewer

  • Trash

  • Internet, phone and cable/satellite

You’ll want to rekey all of the locks of your new home. You never know who has a key to the current locks. While you are having the locks rekeyed be sure to have extras made as well. Give backups to friends and family that you trust and consider getting a safe box for a spare key should you lock yourself out.  

Plan to deep clean before you begin unpacking and settling in. Wipe down walls, mop floors, dust every cranny and hire a carpet cleaner. If you plan on repainting do it while the rooms are still (mostly) empty. You will only have to move furniture once and it will be easier to clean up afterward.  

Refer to your inspector report for maintenance tasks. Plan them out by making necessary arrangements. Hire professionals, schedule out weekend projects and purchase necessary supplies. If this is your first house you’ll want to purchase equipment to take care of your new yard. Especially items like a lawnmower, hose and gardening tools.

Change your address on important accounts such as bank accounts, credit cards, health insurance, memberships, subscriptions and workplace benefits. Hopefully, you’ve already put in your change of address with the post office. However, this is only for a few months which is why it’s important to make these changes now.

Locate all of your shut off valves in case of emergency. Know where the main shut off valves are as well as the minor ones. Familiarize yourself with your circuit breaker and make sure that it is appropriately labeled. Now is a great time to come up with an emergency plan and course of action for your family in case anything should happen.

The first week in a new home can feel very hectic. There is just so much to do in such a small amount of time! However, there are always tasks that need to take priority. Use this guide for your first week in your new home to get everything in order with the least amount of friction during the process.




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Posted by RE/MAX Professional Associates on 11/18/2018

If you want to buy your dream house in the near future, you likely will need to put together a competitive offer to purchase. That way, you can boost the likelihood of receiving an immediate "Yes" from a property seller after you submit your homebuying proposal.

Ultimately, it helps to know what differentiates a competitive homebuying proposal from a lowball one. If a homebuyer understands what to offer for a residence, he or she should have no trouble purchasing the right residence at the right price.

To better understand how to acquire your dream house at the lowest-possible price, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine what to offer for a residence.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

The housing market experiences ebbs and flows. Therefore, a real estate sector that favors homebuyers one day may favor home sellers the next. And if you fail to learn about the current state of the real estate market, you may struggle to put together a competitive offer to purchase your ideal residence.

Analyze the prices of available houses in your area, the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns and other housing market data. With this information in hand, you can find out whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market. Then, you can craft an offer to purchase your dream residence that accounts for the present state of the real estate market.

2. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Your Dream Home

No house is perfect, and even your dream home may have its fair share of flaws. Fortunately, a homebuyer who assesses the pros and cons of a house may be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

If you view a house multiple times, you can learn about all aspects of this home and assess any property damage. After you obtain these home insights, you can create a competitive offer to purchase that accounts for the house's current condition.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to purchasing a house at a price that matches your expectations, it generally is beneficial to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional will do everything possible to help you buy your dream home at a price that fits your budget.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the real estate sector and can help you map out a successful homebuying strategy. He or she first will offer insights into available homes in your preferred cities and towns. Next, when you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive homebuying proposal. And if your offer to purchase is accepted, a real estate agent will make it easy to navigate the final steps of the homebuying journey.

Ready to streamline your quest for your ideal house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can improve your chances of acquiring your dream home at a price that you can afford.




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Posted by RE/MAX Professional Associates on 11/18/2018

In times of rising temperatures and growing concerns of climate change, many of us are looking for small ways we can make a difference in our everyday lives. What better place to start than your own home?

It can be overwhelming to plan drastic eco-friendly changes to your home. That’s why we’ve broken these tips down room-by-room so that you can make changes in just one area and then build from there. Starting small will help you see your environmentally-minded project through to the finish.

Read on for tips for each room of your home to make your life more eco-friendly.

Bedroom

We’ll start with a small and easy one: the bedroom. Odds are your bedroom isn’t hogging too much power or creating a lot of waste. However, there are a few small changes you can make that will help you save some money while helping out the environment.

If your bedroom tends to get chilly at night, try using insulating curtains to help keep the cool air from slipping in through the windows. Similarly, on hot days close the curtains at peak sunlight hours to keep the bedroom cool. This small change could save you from having to turn up the heat or air conditioner when you enter your room each night.

The next time you clean out your closet, bring your items to a local thrift store or charity drop-off. You can even ask for a receipt which will make your donation tax-deductible. This way your clothes can extend their lives and stay out of a landfill a bit longer, and you’ll be helping out someone who could use the clothing.

Kitchen

Kitchen appliances offer a lot of opportunity for energy and water waste. When shopping for appliances, seek out appliances that meet Energy Star standards.

When it comes to water, forego the plastic bottles and buy a glass or metal refillable water bottle. Tap filters can greatly improve the taste, and you might find after a few days that you don’t even notice the water tasting differently.

Consider composting kitchen scraps in a composting bin. You can later use this for fertilizing plants in your yard and garden. And, finally, be sure you’re recycling all of your empty food and beverage containers.

Living Room

Is your living room your entertainment center? If so, many of your devices, like cable boxes and streaming media devices, might continue running on “standby mode” wasting electricity. To prevent this, simply plug all of your devices into a power strip and turn it off at night.

Bathroom

Start by using refillable hand soap containers rather than buying a new one each time you run out. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and save you trips to the store as well.

If your hot water takes a long time to heat up and you find yourself running the tap often, consider installing a recirculating water pump in your bathroom.

House-wide improvements

To save on electricity throughout the house, make sure you’re using compact fluorescent bulbs and only keeping the lights on when you’re in the room.

When cleaning, try using non-toxic cleaners or making your own from solutions of water, vinegar, and citrus essentials. 





Posted by RE/MAX Professional Associates on 11/18/2018

Many property owners at some point consider renting out their house. Whether it’s a property they inherited, a summer home they rarely use, or they're just trying their hand at property management.

 It's a common misconception that renting out a house is passive income. You'll have to do a lot of work if you plan on keeping your tenants around and paying their rent.

 In this article, we’ll discuss some of the things you should consider if you're planning on renting out a house or property you own.

The rental process

Some landlords take shortcuts during the rental process to save time or money. However, doing so could cost you big time in the long run. If you don't utilize a real estate agent, draw up the proper contracts and agreements, or fail to do due diligence with walkthroughs, you could easily end up losing money on your investment.

The safest approach to finding reliable tenants and renting your property securely is to use a property manager who knows the practical and legal aspects of renting so you don't have to worry about making any beginner mistakes.

DIY property management

If you decide you want to save money and manage the property yourself, there are a few things you should keep in mind when looking for tenants.

First, use background checks and credit checks to ensure your future tenants are in good financial standing.

Next, ask for references on your application, preferably from former landlords. Most landlords will happily let you know if their tenants were good about making on-time payments or were difficult in other ways.

When it comes to your lease, don't try to write it from scratch. There are several templates available online. Try to find one that covers most applicable laws in your area, then hire a lawyer to read over your lease and make any pertinent changes. 

Finally, be sure to collect a security deposit or first and last month’s rent. This will give you some protection if your tenant stops paying or causes costly damages in the building.  

Know your legal limits

If you've ever rented before, odds are there were a few things you wish your landlord did differently. Before beginning this endeavor of becoming a landlord, make sure you're doing it by the book.

Find the laws for your state and city regarding landlord/tenant requirements. Know when you can enter the apartment and how long of an advanced notice is required to do any work in the apartment.

Before sending any complaints or notices to your tenant, make sure you are in the right, legally speaking and can back up your claims with evidence. To do so, you'll need to practice rigorous bookkeeping. Document and keep copies of each payment you receive and all of the money you spend on repairs and maintenance. These records can help you should you ever need to prove yourself in a court of law.

Finally, be respectful and courteous with your tenants. Going out of your way to be helpful will often save you headaches in the long run. However, know when your leniency is being taken advantage of by tenants who are avoiding paying rent or abusing your property.





Posted by RE/MAX Professional Associates on 11/18/2018

Finding the ideal moving company to help you transport your belongings from Point A to Point B should be simple. However, no two moving companies are identical. And if you select an inferior moving company, you may encounter many problems when moving day arrives.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding the perfect moving company.

Now, let's take a look at three red flags to consider when you evaluate moving companies.

1. Lack of Experience

Search for moving companies that boast many years of experience – you'll be happy you did.

Moving companies that possess comprehensive industry experience understand the ins and outs of moving day and may be better equipped than rivals to deliver the best results.

Typically, a moving company that has extensive industry experience will employ friendly, knowledgeable professionals. This business also will provide fair prices and personalized support, ensuring you can get the assistance you need to seamlessly and effortlessly get your personal belongings to your new address.

2. No Licensure or Insurance

Regardless of whether you're moving within the same state or out of state, it is paramount to employ a licensed, insured moving company. By doing so, you can minimize risk of damage or destruction of your personal belongings.

Remember, a moving company will be responsible for transporting your appliances, electronics, furniture and other items to a new location. And if you fail to employ a licensed, insured moving company, you might struggle to protect your belongings in the event of an accident during transport.

Ask moving companies for verification of licensure and insurance. This will enable you to work with a moving company that will do everything possible to safeguard your belongings on moving day.

3. Poor Customer Reviews

What are past customers saying about a moving company? Take a look at customer reviews, and you can gain a better understanding of what it's like to work with a moving company.

In many instances, an online search of a moving company will allow you to learn how this business stacks up against the competition. Or, a moving company may even provide customer reviews on its website.

Of course, don't hesitate to reach out to a moving company to ask for client referrals, either. This will enable you to obtain first-hand insights from previous customers so you can select a moving company that will meet or surpass your expectations.

For recent homebuyers or home sellers, your real estate agent may be able to help you identify moving company red flags as well.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with moving day. As such, he or she may be able to help you find a top-notch moving company and ensure you are fully prepared for your upcoming move.

When it comes to finding a moving company, there is no need to worry. Consider the aforementioned warning signs, and you should have no trouble choosing a first-rate moving company to help you out on moving day.




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