Call Tom Now: (305) 588-1441 | tom@tombelcher.com

Real Estate News Articles

Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

There are Different Kinds of Community Associations

A large number of American homeowners now live in a community association. But do you know that there are several different kinds of community organizations, and each has a different set of laws, and different legal structures.

Oversimplified, the three main types of community associations are condominiums, cooperatives and homeowner associations. Although all three types may appear to be the same, in reality they are quite different. Before you buy into any association, you must read the operational documents carefully and ask your financial and legal advisors for guidance if you do not completely understand what you are buying.

Condominiums: most states have specific condominium legislation which spells out basic concepts. However, these laws generally do not get into the operations of the association -- the nitty-gritty of daily life. In a condominium, there are three operational documents which are probably as important -- if not more so -- than the state law. These are the Declaration, the Bylaws and the Rules and Regulations which are adopted by the Board of Directors of the Association. This Board is elected by the members, and has fairly broad authority to run and manage the day-to-day activities of the association. The Board also sets the budget of the Association, and has the authority to bring legal action against unit owners who do not pay their condominium fees.

In a condominium, there are three basic elements: 1 the unit, which is owned by the individual owner; 2 common elements -- which are the parts of the building not owned by individuals. Common elements include such areas as the elevators, the roof, the lobby and any laundry room or swimming pool in the complex; 3 limited common elements -- these are common elements which are accessible to less than the entire membership, such as patios or parking spaces -- and in some projects even mailboxes.

Cooperative Housing: Coops are a different breed of legal entity. The entire complex is owned by the Cooperative Housing Corporation; individual cooperative owners in reality do not own anything. Rather, they have a written documents -- called a "proprietary lease" or an "occupancy agreement" giving them the right to live in and use a particular apartment within the building. Real estate taxes are paid by the entire cooperative, and in most cases, each coop owner has the right to deduct his or her proportionate share of these taxes on their own individual tax return. Generally speaking, the Board of Directors in a cooperative have more authority -- and more flexibility -- than the Board of a Condominium.

However, cooperatives have legal documents, including Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, and if enough members get together, these documents can be amended.

Homeowner Associations: the main difference between a condo and a homeowner association HOA is that the HOA owner owns his/her house -- including the front and back lawn -- but there are covenants rules recorded in the land records which must be followed by each owner. Generally, condominiums are found in high-rise buildings, while HOAs are single family units or townhouses.

The covenants include such matters as architectural controls. This has been a hotly debated -- and often litigated -- topic. Some Boards of Directors insist on strict compliance with these covenants, and will take legal action to enforce the covenants, even when there are minor variations from the covenants. For example, some communities have stringent controls on the size of fences, the color of the windows, or the number of trees which can be planted in the front yard.

Books have been written about community associations, and it is not possible to give a full explanation in this short column. However, if you are interested in purchasing in a community association, there are two things you must do:

1. before you buy, read all of the legal documents. Make sure you fully understand the nature of community living, especially within the particular association you may want to live in. Talk to current residents and the managing agent before you sign a legal purchase contract.

2. if you become an owner in a community association, you must get involved. Ideally, you may want to consider running for a position on the Board of Directors. Short of this, however, you should attend as many Board meeting as possible, especially the annual meeting. Get on a committee and be active. Read your legal documents periodically, and review the written minutes for each Board meeting.

After all, this is your investment and you should be monitoring all of your investments carefully.
Full Story >


Ask the HOA Expert: What Is An Executive Session

Question: What is the definition of an "executive session"? Can a meeting begin as an executive session, and end as an open session, or vice versa?

Answer: There may be a state statute that defines "executive session". If so, you need to follow it. If there is not a statute, the board generally is permitted to hold an executive session to discuss litigation, employee or contractor issues, or collection matters involving specific individuals. The board should not abuse this by using it to discuss controversial topics normally discussed in regular board meetings. As a rule, executive sessions should be rare.

Executive sessions can be announced at a regular board meeting when a topic arises that warrants it. The board then goes into private chambers to discuss the matter and then returns to the public meeting. An executive session can also be scheduled in advance but should disclose the general nature of the meeting so the members understand why the meeting is not public.

Question: What can the homeowner association do with bank owned properties that go delinquent or let their tenants break the rules?

Answer: Bank owned properties can become common in HOAs when the real estate market is not moving homes quickly enough. Foreclosed homes can remain vacant for long periods, may have yards full of weeds, maintenance issues and HOA fees may go unpaid for months.

If your HOA is having such problems with bank owned properties, here are several good options for solving these problems:

  • Treat the bank like any other owner -- dont wait for a sale to get paid.
  • Use liens to ensure payment of assessments and correction of rule violations.
  • Aggressively pursue foreclosure if the bank refuses to pay. Since there is no longer a mortgage against a bank-owned property, any HOA lien will be in first position. This means it is extremely likely the HOA will be paid quickly after a foreclosure action begins. If the owner-bank does not pay in full and a foreclosure sale is completed, the HOA would end up owning the property free and clear

Question: Our HOA prohibits guests from using the pool unless accompanied by a resident. We have a resident who is challenging this rule because of an injury which prevents him from doing so.

Answer: Having residents accompany their guests is a standard that should be upheld. If its not in place, whats to stop a resident from inviting their friends over to swim any time they want? Hold the line on this one.

For more innovative homeowner association management strategies, subscribe to www.Regenesis.net


Full Story >


Ready to Talk About Real Estate?

Just the other day, it happened again.

I ended up face to face with a real estate myth I thought had been debunked out of existence in the last century.

And yet, there I was in a popular "resto," waiting for my lunch companion and half listening to the two articulate couples chatting at the table behind me, when I heard it.

Like so many of us today, the two couples were raising lots of questions about what was up in the real estate market and concerns they had regarding what to do next with their homes. Then, one of them said: "Id love to get the low-down on all of this from a realtor, but Im afraid theyd end up selling me something."

Mumbled agreement from the others ended their discussion.

Is that how you feel?

Do you shy away from asking a real estate professional about real estate because you think they may talk you into something you do not want to do?

If you dont ask real estate professionals about real estate, who are you going to ask? Your best friend? Your grocer? Google? Siri?

Ask anyone or any digital thing about real estate and youll get an answer.

Everyone has opinions. Every digital resource from search engines to artificial intelligence technology can always spit out links to matching keywords.

But the real question is, "Are you receiving answers you can >Real estate professionals are among the few professionals who do not usually charge for answering questions or explaining real estate issues or terminology. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to enlighten yourself and verify the >In the process of chatting with professionals, youll probably meet a few you trust to understand your situation. When youre ready to buy or sell, you will probably choose one of them to help.

When preparing to talk real estate, clarify exactly what you want to know and why you want to know it. Here are Six Conversation Starting Points to adapt to your situation and the real estate conversations youd like to have:

1. Do you want to know specific facts about real estate?

If its factual information, like how listings or mortgages work, ask away and take notes. There is too much false or out-dated information online. Before savvy buyers and sellers act, they verify, with an experienced real estate expert or two, the accuracy of what has been discovered online.

2. Are you after details on your choices if you decide to sell or buy in the next six months versus next year?

Answers to queries like these would blend fact and opinion. Not even real estate professionals know exactly what will happen in six months, never mind next year. They can tell you what appears to lie ahead in the short term and what real estate forecasters project ahead. The key to understanding real estate is exploring how real estate market values are locally influenced >3. Do you want to know whats going to happen with interest rates?

Amazingly, real estate professionals do not know exactly what is going to happen to interest rates over the months and years ahead. They do understand the financial services industries and monitor economic patterns, so some may feel confident offering educated guesses in the short term. Many will explain what the current situation is, what the implications are for possible changes, and include other details which would provide you with background to form your own opinion >4. If youre not social media or tech savvy, dont shy away from talking to real estate professionals who are both.

They may be very useful in helping you understand the advantages and disadvantages of online real estate sources and using calculators and other digital tools, >5. If you dont know whether you can afford the next real estate step youd like to take, dont shy away from talking to real estate professionals.

Real estate professionals are not debt counselors, investment advisors, or estate planners, but they do understand how real estate and money fit together. Most are very good problem solvers and creative thinkers, who

have well-developed resource networks to call on. They will each have had different experiences with income-generation, co-ownership, and other real estate options. All this adds up to a lot of possibilities, so your persistence pays off.

6. If dont know exactly what you want to do next, dont shy away from talking to real estate professionals.

Most of them concentrate on specific neighborhoods and consumer life>Look for those who feed your curiosity with their own.

The vast majority of real estate professionals are honest, hardworking people who are eager to assist you. That said, and in view of the encouragement above, I add a note of caution: In every profession, there are wide ranges of professionalism, ethics, commitment to developing expertise, focus on staying current, and honesty. The real estate industry is no different.

Always act in your own best interest. Take notes or record conversations for future reference. Meet in the real estate brokerage, so you gain first-hand experience with the business supporting the real estate professional. Protect your personal information and privacy. When in doubt or if you feel uncomfortable, leave. These usually-short conversations should be enlightening and enjoyable.
Full Story >


No Such Thing As Real Estate Ethics?

A delightful little book by John Maxwell is provocatively titled, Theres No Such Thing as Business Ethics.Now some might simply think, "no kidding." But for the curious, or those inclined to disagree, Maxwells book makes an interesting argument. His point is not that all of business is unethical. Rather, he disagrees with the point of view that the operative ethical principles of business are somehow specialized and different from occasionally, contrary to the ethical principles that govern our everyday lives.

According to Maxwell, the test of what is ethically acceptable or unacceptable in the business context is exactly the same as that which applies in our everyday, non-work circumstances. For him, it is all summed up in one principle, The Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If you follow that, your behavior will be ethical; if you depart from it, it wont be. At work or at home, in the office or in the neighborhood.

I believe that Maxwell is correct that ethics in the context of business is simply an extension of ethics in general. There arent special exceptions for business. Its as wrong to lie to your competitor as it is to lie to your neighbor. All of us, of course, have encountered different attitudes. We have heard "But this is business" said as if it meant "Anything goes". Certainly, some people feel that way. People who would never cheat in a neighborhood card game can be perfectly content to deceive their customers or rip off their suppliers. But this doesnt show that such people are operating according to a special "business ethic"; rather, it simply reveals that, in the context of business, they have made the decision to be unethical.

If it is true that ethics in business and ethics in everyday life are the same, it is legitimate to ask, why are codes of professional ethics sometimes so complicated?

The National Association of REALTORSreg; is rightfully proud of its Code of Ethics, a document first formulated in 1913, and amended at more that 30 different national conventions since then. With 17 articles, supplemented by over 88 Standards of Practice and more than 154 official Case Interpretations, it presents a complex set of documents.

Nor is the NARreg; Code of Ethics a unique phenomenon. There are hundreds of professional and trade group codes of ethics. Physicians, lawyers, funeral directors, and wedding planners -- to name just a few -- all have professional codes of ethics. So also do many individual companies and corporations. They vary, of course, in range and complexity. How is it that professional codes can become so complicated? People need to understand that there are various purposes served by professional codes, although not every code serves them all.

They bring to our attention and provide direction with respect to issues that might not otherwise even have been identified as matters for an ethical concern. While ethical principles may remain the same, frequently the circumstances encountered in business are quite different than anything we experience in the non-business world. Most REALTORSreg;, for example, have probably never had to confront issues >1 In many situations they provide us with the wisdom and insight of those who have preceded us.Quite simply, they save us the trouble of reinventing the wheel.

2 Professional ethics codes sometimes also cover matters that are not so much ethical as they are issues of professional etiquette or proper procedure. They help to keep professionals "on the same page" when they are interacting with each other.

3 Professional ethical codes are also sometimes used for the purposes of "drawing lines" in order to remove any unclarity about what may be considered acceptable or unacceptable.They help to remove the "shades of grey" that can be found in so many situations.

Professional codes, such as that of the REALTORSreg;, are based on everyday ethical principles. Their value resides in the fact that they show us how those principles apply to specific business contexts that well may not be "everyday".
Full Story >


Trend Alert: Punch Up Your Home With Painted Doors And Trim

Your kitchen: White. Your walls: White. Your doors and trim: Hmm. Maybe its time for something a little different. We think nothing about painting our exterior door a standout color, but what about the interior doors? And then theres the trim, which often gets no love at all.

"Whether simple or ornate, interior trim is a finishing touch that often doesnt get much thought, frequently being left the color its always been without consideration of the multitude of beautiful alternatives," said Houzz.

Maybe its time to change that. A little attention to your interior doors and trim can freshen up your home, help individual spaces stand out, and create interest where there wasnt much.

Bold colors

Royal blue may not be on your mind when it comes to your homes interior, but look how it creates both drama and warmth on this Swedish homes pocket door and surrounding trim.

A bright pop of color in this home almost acts like art. "Since the door is a fairly small area, you can get away with a much bolder color than you could on a wall," said Apartment Therapy. "The fluorescent yellow door in this interior fromnbsp;Hernandez Greenenbsp;adds cheerful color without overwhelming the space."

Neutrals

You can stay in the neutral zone and still get a punch from painted doors and trim. "Neutral" can mean anything from beige or cream, to olive green, to gray.

"When trim is dressed in a midtone neutral shade, it immediately gives it a certain sophisticated, stately appeal," said Houzz. "The trim becomes a feature, for sure, but in an understated way. Choose neutral if: You love a transitional look one that balances traditional and modern elements; You want an authentic heritage feel in an older home; or you want to highlight doors or windows for an architectural look without touching fresh white walls."

Black

Black definitely brings the drama while creating contrast. But because its a timeless color, you can trust you wont have to redo it when other bold color choices start to feel dated.

Black trim is definitely statement making, yet its timeless, so unlike with other bold colors, you dont have to worry that this dramatic choice will grow dated quickly. Black

"A trend that has grown in popularity of late is selecting dark colors for trim -- even black," said Sherwin-Williams. Dark trim gives a room more depth than white or light trim does, and very effectively frames views when used on window casings. In addition, dark trim contrasts nicely with some of todays trendiest room colors: soft aquas, powder blues, greens -- from lime to celadon -- and the gamut of grays."

Black beautifully frames windows and doors - a good reason to use it if you have windows and doors to show off, and perhaps a call to action if you dont.

Gray

"Over the last couple of years, veering off the traditional all white track and painting interior doors a non-white color has really surged," said The Creativity Exchange.nbsp;"If youre not quite ready to do a bold color or a dark black, a nice and safe compromise is gray."

A light gray can bring in a subtle look that creates dimension, while darker gray shades help to highlight architectural details.

Tone on tone

We tend to think of doors and trim as offering a contrast to the wall color, but painting everything the same color creates a unique lookmdash;and serves an important function. "Painting interior doors and trim in white or a contrastingnbsp;colornbsp;from the walls will make them stand out. However, painting them the same color as the walls will help them to blend in and almost disappear," said The Casa Collective. "This is a trick decorators and designers use in small rooms, narrow halls with lots of doors, and rooms with low ceilings. Anbsp;small roomnbsp;will visually seem more spacious because the white trim or doors arent there to stop your eye as you look around the room. As you look down a hallway with several doors, all the doors wont jump out at you if they blend in with the walls. And if you have a room with low ceilings, painting baseboards and crown molding will make the room seem taller."

Creating contrast

We may be somewhat conditioned to think that all the doors and trim need to be the same color, whether thats white, black, or something in between. But using an accent color, like Kylie M. Interiors yellowy-green door contrasted with the deep gray wall shows how you can use color to in new and exciting ways.


Full Story >


Easy Ways To Jazz Up Your Dorm On A Budget

Getting ready to move your college student into the dorm? Prepare yourself for the old and the ugly. Unless your child has the good fortune of moving into a brand-new dorm, you can expect their space to be seriously lacking in >Seating

The floor space will likely be limited in the dorm, but that doesnt mean you cant integrate some guest seating for your kids new friends. These saucer chairs are cute, comfy, and, the best part: Theyre foldable so your college student can slide them under or behind the bed, or in the closet if its not packed with clothes and shoes, when not in use. If your child is REALLY popular, they might want this larger foldable chair for two instead.

Storage

Speaking of closets, your child may be shocked to see how little space the dorm room offers for clothing and other storage. Some choose to loft the bed, which allows them to create a living area underneath. For others, raising it only high enough to accommodate storage underneath is more important. That way, they can store extra clothes and shoes, bedding, or any other items that cant fit behind a closet or cabinet door. The good news is that storage options are cute enough to actually pass as dcor today. This metal cart brings in a bit of an industrial look.

A storage ottoman or two is another great addition to a dorm room because it serves several purposes: As a place to hide socks, underwear, or items that just dont have a place to go; as a nightstand or side table; and as a footstool. And, it can add a bit of >Floors

"Since most dorm floors are linoleum or really thin carpet, a dorm rug is the perfect way to make your floor a little more comfortable," said Heavy. "Dorm rugs are also ideal for pulling all of your dorm decor together, as they can make a fun accent piece.

Our two cents: Go for darker colors and textures that resist stains becausecome on, do you really think your child is going to wash the rug?

Drapes

Use them to create separation around the "living area" under the bed. Hang them in front of your the closet doors or create a makeshift closet door in front of old shelving.

Wallpaper

Ugly cabinetry. Its the reality of many a dorm room. Think mid-tone faux oak, and wood "look" stickers that are peeling off of MDF surfaces. This will be your childs space for at least the next nine months or so, and that cringy cabinetry just cant remain as is. Peel-and-stick wallpaper is your answer. Lay it down over the surfaces of the dresser, desk, and wall cabinetry to totally change a space, easily and affordably. You can reposition until you get it perfect, and simply pull it off when its time for your child to move out.

Of course, peel-and-stick wallpaper is a natural answer for the dorm room walls. See how a couple of strips helped transform this bland and blah dorm, and dont miss their other 15 dorm room transformations.

Other wall dcor

There are some great ideas for DIY wall dcor here, but keep in mind that different dorms have different rules for what you can put on the walls; most insist you make no holes, which eliminates nails, screws, and even pushpins from the equation. Command Strips are your friend

Some dorms also restrict how high you can hang anything on the walls and wont allow anything to be hung from the ceiling. Twinkle lights may be allowed in some dorms, but, in some, theyre a no-no. Be sure to check first so you dont waste money on items that arent allowed.

Chair covers

If the school provides your child with a desk chair, you can bet on two things: Its going to be uncomfortable. And its going to be ugly. Old chairs arent going to provide tons of support, but, who, are we kidding? Theyre going to be sitting on their bed with their laptop or in Starbucks or a study lounge, so theres little need to concentrate on comfort at this point. What you can do is give the chair a little pizzazz with this DIY chair cover.

Headboard

A headboard dresses up any bedroom, but incorporating one into a dorm can be challenging because of the limitations on attaching it to the wall. This no-nail headboard offers an easy answer, as well as a tech-friendly bonus, for your student. "Featuring two three-prong plugs and a USB port, this clever headboard has room for all your devices and makes searching for the wall plug a thing of the past," said PB Teen."Plus, its super easy to hang with 3M adhesive tape."
Full Story >


The Logic Behind an Effective Logo: A Real Estate Professionals Greatest Asset

Competition within the real industry is keen. The contest to build awarenessto develop it with the same care as the construction of a residential building or a commercial propertyis essential. Nowhere is this effort more visible, and nowhere is what we see more impressionable, than it is within the world of marketing.

The vision before us is neither a billboard nor a barrage of TV and print advertisements, nor is it a collection of handbills and handouts. It is instead a real estate logo of memorable design, whose effect is to satisfy our desire to work with a specific professional. For that is what a logo should do: connect with the heart through the eyes.

Having reviewed a collection of real estate logo templates, I can attest to that assertion.

It should create an emotional connection, which encapsulates a series of valuesa set of feelings, from warmth and confidence to contentment and a wellspring of affectionfor a person or product to whom you are loyal and for whom your testimonials are grand.

The right logo can do that and more, provided you go beyond the generic and embrace greatness. Put another way, how can you stand apart from the competition when you do not stand out from any of your competitors? To ask the question is to answer it, because identity is the foundation of any successful brand; because an icona logois the expression of ones identity; because a logo is a property unto itself, whose worth increases with attention to detail and continual maintenance; because a logo is the most affordable means to affect positive change.

The more real estate agents adopt this strategy, the better we will all be. I say that because we often have to make quick decisions; and what we doin an emergency or in the course of our everyday livesis inseparable from what we see, be it something as simple as spotting the white-on-blue H symbol for a nearby hospital so doctors can help us, or passing a signpost that bears a real estate agents name and logo.

That logo should not be a passing memory. It should remind us to act or act as reminder that there is a professional who can represent us. There is an expert who can ease our sale or purchase of a house. There is someone of experience eager to assist us, period.

A logo that conveys those principles is powerful, indeed. It is, at a minimum, what any good communicator should have. It is also what transforms the good into something great.

I exaggerate not in the slightest. Not when so many spend so much time and money on marketing that yields so little benefit. Not when the best visual tool can verbalize more ideas than we can articulate. Not when the right logo has the right logic.

How real estate agents use this tool is up to them. That they have itthat they have no choice not to use itis up to us.

Let us ensure they use it well.

Lewis Fein: A writer and branding consultant, Lewis Fein covers the real estate industry, technology, and marketing, among other issues. A graduate of The Emory University School of Law, Lewis resides in Southern California. You may reach him at .
Full Story >


How To Get The Most Out Of Small Kitchens

Many people complain about small kitchens but tiny spaces arent always to be dreaded. If youre selling your home and your kitchen is, well, compact, know that you can find ways to achieve big appeal with a little creativity.

Bring in the light. Sometimes small kitchens can be dark, making them feel even smaller. But if you remove the curtains from any windows in your small kitchen, itll let light in and open up the area. Instead of curtains, you can use small blinds that are recessed inside the frame of the window. These are easy to clean and still provide some privacy even when the blinds are open.

De-Clutter the counter tops and the walls. Most people have a tendency to let kitchen clutter build up on the counter tops and walls. Removing items from the counters, kitchen table, and even off the walls will make the space feel bigger. Yes, I know these items on the counters are useful but when youre selling your home, a little inconvenience may help you receive a higher offer and youll probably agree, thats worth it Take the appliances and either store them in the kitchen cabinets or, if there isnt enough room, pack them up. Youre moving soon, anyway.

Clearing off photos and miscellaneous papers that are stuck on your refrigerator door or kitchen walls will also help make your kitchen look bigger. If youre tight for space, mounted storage units can be added to your kitchen walls to free up limited counter-top space. But again, too many storage units, even the decorative kind, will give people a feeling like the walls are closing in on them. The same goes for hanging pot racks from the ceiling. Be sure to leave some open wall space and to use storage units that arent completely solid. The open units, if the shelves arent stuffed, will give a less closed-in feeling.

Opt for lighter and brighter wall color. Going with lighter colors tends to open up a room. Light and bright colors are also very inviting and friendly, making them a perfect choice for the kitchen. You can use a darker accent trim to create some contrast. You can also use decorations including floral arrangements or even some colorful kitchen appliances to add spice to the kitchen.

Wall-mounted appliances and reduced counter-top depth. Wall-mounted or under-the-cabinets-mounted appliances can save valuable kitchen counter-top space. You might even have a way to wall-mount your kitchen faucet. In one small home design, the faucet was mounted to the wall, creating a very distinctive look. The counter-top was a standard 24 inches deep but elsewhere the counter-top was reduced just slightly down to 21 inchesndash;very subtle and hardly noticeable but it allowed more floor space in a tiny kitchen.

Small kitchens dont have to be an eyesore. Some even prefer less space because theres less to clean. If you know the audience youre marketing your home to, you can play up the homes best featuresndash;including, perhaps, a small, quaint, and simple kitchen.


Full Story >


Dont Let Your Home Search Break Your Heart

For those who are house-hunting, it can be a whirlwind romance thats hot from the minute you see the homes curb appeal. But dont let the seduction of a good-looking landscape make you want to tie the knot without a bit of courtship.

House-hunting for the "perfect" home in many ways is like looking for that perfect romance - very seldom does everything about your proposed mate match your desires. Things you love at first may later get on your nerves and become what you dont like so much later on. Does that mean the house is wrong for you? Not necessarily. It could be, but if you understand your tolerance levelndash;whats most important to you in a home, and what you cant deal with at all - you are less likely to want to buy the wrong home.

Keeping these terms clearly defined and always on your mind will help you make smart choices even when some areas of the home tug at your heartstrings and say "buy me".

House-hunting should be like dating. Take your time. Understand the critical must-haves, the not-so-important-but-I-kind-of-want-it, and the no-way, not-going-to-happen-in-this-lifetime.

One thing you can do to help streamline the process is to start making a list about the things you like about your current home. If youre renting, there may be features about the home, apartment, or planned-living development that you want to find again in the neighborhood where youre going to buy your home.

For instance, you might want a gated community or a townhouse that has certain luxury amenities. Moving to an isolated home that doesnt have the same type of amenities could be a real turn-off. Also, it might mean you have to pay more to get those same amenities that used to come with your rent. While this might not be a deal-breaker, it can certainly change the way youre used to living your life.

So, be sure to take it into consideration. Walking a short distance down the street to go to the gym, the pool, the steam room will be different from having to drive 20 minutes or more to go to a gym/spa that you also have to first pay an extra monthly membership.

Another thing to consider is how many times youve seen the home. Just like dating, you might have an instant attraction, but the more times you see your date, the more you discover. With a home, just like with a prospective mate you need to see it a few times and at different times of the day.

This way youll discover which rooms are dark and when or how loud the traffic is during rush hour. You might notice that theres a lot of commotion around the neighborhood because of nearby schools. Does this work with your life>

Just as you wrote down the things you like in your present residence, you should also make lists of things you want to avoid in the future and new things you hope to gain.

Remember, courtship doesnt have to last forever. Just as with romance, "the good ones will be gone if you wait too long" So put a ring on... or rather, put an offer on that house


Full Story >


Understanding Your Appraisal

What did you just pay for your new house? 250,000? That should be the value of the home, right? Thatrsquo;s what the lender will say your home is worth as your loan moves through the approval process, correct? Not really, no. While your sales contract states 250,000 it is generally considered to be the current market value of your property. Your real estate agent put together an offer with a combination of reviewing the prices of similar homes in the area along with the highest price you should pay. Thatrsquo;s market value. But a lender takes a slightly different approach. The lender uses the value of an appraisal, not your sales contract.

When you visit a neighborhood yoursquo;ll see that while the homes there are similar, theyrsquo;re not all exactly alike. Some may have matured trees. The home next to it does not, but is two stories instead of one. The next home has a swimming pool, while the next has four bedrooms instead of three. These homes are similar, but not the same. Itrsquo;s the appraiserrsquo;s job to pore through recent sales data of homes in this neighborhood to arrive at a final market value.

The appraiser will take a copy of your sales contract and do some homework, looking for recent sales. Most loan programs ask that all properties used to compare your property be within a one-mile radius. Such sales, called ldquo;comps,rdquo; should also be within a certain time frame, typically within 90 days but if there are no such sales, the timeline can be extended up to six months. There should be at least three such sales listed in the appraisal.

The appraiser will note the sales price of the comps and make note of any measurable differences between those properties and yours. If, for example, you have a fireplace and the others do not, then the value of your property can be adjusted upward. A newly remodeled kitchen can also affect value. Of course, square footage of the property is a factor and so is the size of the lot. There are other adjustments that can be made and those adjustments will be listed in your appraisal.

One final note, you pay for the appraisal but itrsquo;s the lenderrsquo;s name that will appear on the front of the appraisal, not yours. However, you have a right to receive a copy of that appraisal within three business days of completion, whether or not the sale ultimately closes.


Full Story >


Our Wish List Now That HGTV Has Bought The Brady Bunch House

In a move perhaps few predicted but nearly everyone seems to love, the "Brady Bunch" house has been purchased by HGTV, who plans to restore the Studio City, CA residence "to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can." Commence giddiness.

"One of our projects for HGTV will speak to those Brady Bunch fans," said Discovery CEO David Zaslav during a second-quarter earnings call this week," per CNBC. Discovery Communications Inc. acquirednbsp;Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., owner of HGTV, Animal Planet, TLC, and the Discovery Channel, earlier this year. "You may have heard that the house from the iconic series was recently on the market in California. Im excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder. More detail to come over the next few months but well bring all the resources to bear to tell safe, fun stories about this beloved piece of American TV history."

As expected, the house received multiple offers, most notably from a "heartbroken" Lance Bass. The famed member of N Sync expressed his sorrow at missing out on the house, having believed he made the winning offer reported to be just under 3 million, well above the sub-2 million asking price and even remarking that he felt he was "used" to drive up the price; Zaslav did not reveal the value of the accepted offer. Bass stance softened, however, once he learned who the buyer was.

"HGTV?? Aw man. Id be pretty upset if it were anyone else, but how can you be mad at HGTV?? My television is stuck on that channel," said Bass in a Twitter post. "Kudos HGTV, I know you will do the right thing with the house. That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again."


Photo courtesy of Anthony Barcelo via Ernie Carswell amp; Partners

More specifics about what HGTV has in mind for the restoration have not been >

Excellent. We cant wait. But, also, we have ideas. On behalf of Brady Bunch and HGTV fans everywhere, here are 10 things we hope to see from this match made in TV heaven.

1. A multi-part show. Please, PLEASE, HGTV, let this be a series. We would gladly watch a one-off, but showing a seasons worth of design meetings and exhaustive searches for just the right color stain for the panels high up on the living room wall and watching the reno itself as a home that is, admittedly, somewhat stuck in the 70s already transforms into Brady World would be even better.

2. A rotating crew of HGTV designers. Why have one when you can have a dozen? Maybe they each do a room. Perhaps they go the cross-pollination, collaborative route. Either way, seeing the channels famous faces dive in to such a significant project would be spectacular. Side Note: How much do you want to see Drew and Jonathan Scott on a field trip in search of avocado green appliances or overseeing the production of orange laminate countertops?

3. Astroturf. While the actual home features "lush backyard gardens," the TV show backyard featured a faux grass yard. What better way to say, "Were eco-friendly" in 2018


Photo courtesy of Anthony Barcelo via Ernie Carswell amp; Partners

4. Brady guest stars. Sadly, the actors playing Carol, Mike, and Alice, plus Tiger the family dog, didnt live long enough to see this day. However, Cindy, Bobby, Jan, Peter, Marsha and Gregs real-life counterparts are all still alive. Are you not picturing Maureen McCormicks Marsha giving us a tour of the girls bedroom, complete with first-person accounts and intimate backstory?

5. Real Bradys. We wouldnt mind seeing Wayne Brady show up just for yuks, or Tom Brady making a guest appearance. Were picturing him diagramming the scene in which Peter overthrows Bobby in the backyard and hits Marcia in the nose with a football

6. Paneling. The boys bedroom was famously covered in dark brown vertical planks, a clear precursor to todays shiplap obsession. Paging Joanna Gaines The designers will get a head start in the paneled living room of the existing home, which also features a stone fireplace reminiscent of the one in the TV home.


Photo courtesy of Anthony Barcelo via Ernie Carswell amp; Partners

7. Gregs teenage attic room. When HGTV says theyre going to renovate the home back to its lsquo;70s splendor, does it include this space that appeared via the magic of TV? "Greg wanted to move to the attic in Season 2, but Mike said the ceilings were only 3prime; high," said Hooked on Houses. "A couple seasons later, the ceilings had magically grown. So Greg got his own teen hang-out space after all."

8. That wall mounted phone.nbsp;Its worth it just for the funny factor. See what we mean here with this video of millennials trying to use a rotary phone.

9. Some bunk beds. Theyre a given, right? I mean, how else do you get three boys into one bedroom? There are much more modern options for both beds and bedding, but we love the boys blue bunks and coverlets. The nautical wallpaperhellip;not so much, but were still on board for authenticitys sake.

And speaking of authenticity, were guessing the pink toile in the existing master bedroom may be replaced with something a bit more muted to match Mike and Carols master.


Photo courtesy of Anthony Barcelo via Ernie Carswell amp; Partners

10. That iconic open staircase. Its one of few items in the home that would still look somewhat current and also be a standout today.

And one bonus that tops our wish list: Lance bass as host. I mean, how can you not?


Full Story >


Defining Who Owns What Is Critical

Question. Its almost fall. I am on the Board of Directors of our homeowner association, and know that we will start getting calls from owners to make repairs to such things as the streets, our tot lot, and the community recreational facility. However, we often get requests to repair or replace such other areas as roofs, ice-damaged bushes, and the like. How do we know what is in our area of responsibility and what areas are under the control of the homeowners?

Answer. In every community association -- whether a condominium or a homeowner association HOA -- there are two basic elements of ownership: common elements called "common areas" in an HOA, and units referred to as "lots" in an HOA. Additionally, in a condominium association, there are limited common elements LCE.

Lets take a minute to define these three concepts:

1. Common elements areas are those areas which are under the control of the association. In reality, the association does not own the condominium common elements, but rather each owner owns his/her percentage interest in those elements.

Only the Board of Directors can make the decision as to whether to repair or replace common elements; however, some association documents put restrictions on the amount of money that a Board can spend to replace -- not repair -- and you must look at your documents each and every time you are planning to spend association funds.

2. Units are the apartments or houses that are owned in fee simple by the members of your association. Your documents -- and the recorded plats and plans -- will define these units. Generally speaking, maintenance, repair and replacement of units is in the exclusive control of the unit home owner. In addition, with homeowner associations, the owner is responsible for his or her "Lot," which is shown on the subdivision plats.

A limited common element LCE is defined by law as "those common elements identified in the declaration or on the condominium plan as reserved for the exclusive use of one or more but not less than all of the unit owners." A balcony or a patio is often an LCE since not all members of the association have access to those areas.

Whenever you have a question as to who owns what, you must refer to your association legal documents and the plats. And that leads to a very important question: do you have a current set of the actual recorded documents and plats?

In our practice of law, we have encountered too many situations where the Board of Directors is functioning without the correct documents. Indeed, on a couple of occasions, I have witnessed Board members having different sets of materials.

How does this happen? Very simply: the developer hands out the required disclosure documents to prospective purchasers, including the then-current set of documents. However, before the first unit is sold, the developer makes changes to these documents -- either because a lender or a governmental authority insists on such change, or because the developer wants to improve sales within the complex.

However, all too often these changes amendments are not furnished to all unit owners. They then become Board members, and begin to function with the wrong set of legal documents.

What should you do? Your management company should be instructed to obtain -- either from the County or from private organizations such as Community Paperworks -- a complete set of the actual recorded association documents, including the plats and plans.

Each Board member must have complete copy for his/her use. Keep it handy and read it thoroughly at least once a year while you are on the Board.

These documents should give you the answer as to who owns what. Unfortunately, all too often the language is written in legalese, and you may have to ask the association attorney for guidance.

Thus, when a unit or homeowner ask the Board to make certain repairs, check your documents and plats first. Is this really within your responsibility? Is the homeowner trying to pass the cost of the repairs onto the association? Or is the area in question owned by the association or the County -- such as the streets or the storm water management systems.

Speaking of streets, I recently read a case which will be of interest to our readers. A Missouri homeowner association consisting of 44 homes had a provision covenant in its legal documents prohibiting pick-up trucks weighing more than one-half ton from parking on association parking spaces or streets. The association brought legal action against a homeowner who was admittedly violating the covenants. The homeowners sole defense was that the association lacked authority to enforce the covenants, because the streets had been dedicated to the city in which the association was located.

The Missouri Court of Appeals dismissed the homeowners arguments, and upheld the authority of the Board. According to the Court, the covenant was a contract between the owner and the association; when the homeowner purchased a house in that association, he became a party to that contract. Accordingly, the Court upheld the authority of the association to obtain an injunction against the owner.

Who owns what is perhaps the most asked question. The answer will be found in your own documents and plats. Read them carefully -- and often.


Full Story >


Keep Rodents Away In Your HOA

Few pests evoke stronger revulsion than rodents. While the manager of an industrial facility may tolerate an occasional rat, not so with homeowner associations. The demand for action is immediate...Get rid of them and I mean Now

Most people believe that rodents have limited value. Norway rats, roof rats and common house mice live off humans and offer the potential for spreading serious diseases like The Plague by way of fleas and ticks. They consume or contaminate about 20 of the worlds food supply. They also like to gnaw on things, causing expensive structural damage and electrical fires.

Rodents are predictable so a control expert can detect clues pointing to suitable control techniques and when to use them. A successful rodent control program features four key elements:

1 Inspection. This determines the cause of the problem, the species and conditions contributing to the infestation.

2 Proper Sanitation. Trash should be kept in tightly closed containers. Debris and possible nesting materials should be swept up and food items stored in rodent proof containers. Weeds and brush should be trimmed back from buildings.

3 Rodent Proofing The best way to keep buildings rodent free is to prevent them from getting inside. Rodents fit through tiny openings and gnaw through wood, lead, aluminum, copper, cinder block and even concrete. Broken screens around foundation walls are common entry sites as well as damaged siding, chimney caps, open fireplace flues and broken windows.

4 Population Reduction. Where allowed, rodenticides provide the most cost effective rodent control. Modern applications provide a lethal dose in a single days feeding. Correct bait placement is key to protection for children, pets and non-target animals.

Effective rodent control should be part of an integrated pest management program. Maintaining high sanitation and an exclusion program are the keys to success.

For more innovative homeowner association management strategies, subscribe to www.Regenesis.net
Full Story >


High Balance Conforming Explained

There are two basic loan types, conforming and jumbo, and are labeled as such based upon loan limits. Conforming loans, those underwritten to either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines, follow certain specifications both lay out in order to qualify for sale in the secondary market. Today, the conforming loan limit is 453,100 in most parts of the country. Each fall, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, reviews the national median home values and compares that amount to the previous year. If therersquo;s an increase, conforming loan limits will be adjusted accordingly for the following year. This review repeats itself in October and new limits are >

Any loan above the conforming limit is then considered a jumbo. Jumbo loans are processed and approved in much the same manner as conforming loans as it >

But therersquo;s a third category that falls in between a conforming and jumbo amount, and itrsquo;s referred to as a ldquo;high balance conforming.rdquo; Such loans are offered in areas that are deemed ldquo;high costrdquo; as home values are much higher than in most other parts of the country. High balance conforming loans can then be sold in the secondary market just like a conforming loan. This loan limit will vary based upon location, but the maximum high balance loan limit currently is 679,650. All such limits are for single family homes; 2-4 units will have higher conforming loan limits. High balance loan guidelines are similar to conforming guidelines with the exception of the loan amount.

If you expect your ultimate loan amount will be slightly higher than the conforming limit and you want to avoid getting jumbo rates, there are other options such as an 80-10-10 loan. This structure keeps the first mortgage at 80 percent of the sales price, thus avoiding PMI, and a second mortgage at 10 percent of the sales price. At the same time, the first mortgage then dips below the conforming loan limit. If yoursquo;re not in a high cost area and the high balance conforming loan isnrsquo;t available, work with your loan officer to see if there are other options that might work.


Full Story >


Be Careful What You Wish For: Did Canadas Housing Policies Go Too Far?

After years of low interest rates that led to record home buying and price appreciation in Toronto and Vancouver, new mortgage qualification rules were introduced this year to slow down the market and rein in consumer debt. But with interest rates on the rise and high prices creating affordability issues for buyers, critics in the mortgage and real estate industries say the measures have gone too far.

A new report by economist Will Dunning for Mortgage Professionals Canada says "100,000 Canadians have actually been prevented from buying a home as a result of stress testing now required by the federal government even though they could have afforded to buy based on their actual circumstances."

He says while higher interest rates have contributed to a slowdown in the housing market, it "has been more severe than we should have expected. The primary cause is government policies that are making it much more difficult for Canadians to achieve their reasonable housing goals."

His report concludes that "by about the end of 2021, employment in Canada will be about 200,000 lower than it would otherwise have been, as the result of the mortgage stress tests. The economic impacts will differ across the country."

The stress test requires buyers to qualify for a mortgage at federally regulated financial institutions at two percentage points more than contracted rate. The rule was introduced by Jeremy Rudin, head of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions OSFI, and was instituted on Jan. 1, 2018.

"We clearly see the potential risks caused by high household indebtedness across Canada, and by high real estate prices in some markets," said Rudin before the regulations were finalized. "We are not waiting to see those risks crystallize in rising arrears and defaults. Rather, we are adapting our standards to new developments."

Sherry Cooper, chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres, says the Canadian economys mix of growth "has shifted from housing and consumption to exports and business investment -- the desired result of the many tightening moves introduced by the government, the central bank and the regulators to slow the rise in household debt."

Even before the stress test rules came into effect, home sales were dropping. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. CMHC says there were 234,000 new mortgage loans opened in the fourth quarter of 2017, a drop of 7.7 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2016.

"Rising interest rates coupled with decreasing home sales contributed to the decline in new mortgage originations, slowing the growth of total mortgage debt in Canada," says Maxim Armstrong, CMHCs manager, socio-economic analysis. Mortgage delinquencies have been falling for several years, and this trend continued. Maxim says, "Overall, given the lower delinquency rates and the falling share of consumers having experienced a credit degrade, vulnerabilities >

Not surprisingly, Dunning and Mortgage Professionals Canada were unhappy when the stress test regulations were introduced.

Dunning says in Toronto and Vancouver, the weakened real estate market "has been seen as a welcome change, though elsewhere in the country it has proven to be more unstable, where conditions were already soft and price stability is being replaced by price erosion.

"The effect of these policies is especially concerning in areas that are already dealing with economic instability, notably Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, which are struggling to recover from the oil price shock," he says. "The worsening divide between housing supply and housing demand is further degrading the confidence consumers have in the economy and in housing."

Dunning says, "In a modern economy, one of the most dangerous incidents that can happen is falling house prices."

This is because the loss of home equity will prompt consumers to stop spending in other sectors and will cause slower economic growth and job creation.

"There is an important way in which housing markets appear to behave contrary to theory: while we normally expect falling prices will cause demand to increase, a drop for house prices is more likely to cause reduced demand, because potential buyers will hesitate to buy if they fear prices will fall further. This set of factors can result in a downward spiral, in which soft conditions in the housing market can turn into an economic crisis," Dunning says.

Gregory Klump, chief economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association, says the OSFIs mandate is to protect Canadas financial system from risk. "It pays absolutely no mind to how tighter mortgage regulations may affect home sales activity or prices," he says.

Home buyers can avoid the stress test by using lenders that are not federally regulated, such as credit unions or private lenders, but they will be charged higher lending rates, Klump says.

He adds that although the idea behind the stress test is to reduce the likelihood of a credit crunch if Canada is subjected to an economic shock, "Its well understood that international financial markets are highly integrated. An unexpected jump in Canadian interest rates due to an increase in international interest rates would spell bad economic times for Canada. The inability of more prospective mortgage applicants to qualify for financing due to the stress test would make a bad economic time that much worse."


Full Story >


7 Paint Colors, 7 Reasons To Redo Your Front Door

We all know the importance of curb appeal, and while that may make you think exclusively about your yard, it can be a mistake to ignore your front door. "If youre looking to add some interest to yourcurb-appeal, changing your front door color is an easy update," said Southern Living."Front doorcolors can say a lot about your personality as well as your personal >Theres more to choosing a color than liking the way it looks. Certain colors can help create the right feng shui, and some may even be able to boost your home value and make it easier to sell.

Here are five to consider.

Black

No, black doesnt give off a "Go away" vibe. On the contrary, "It may soundemo, but painting your front door black is actually a tried-and-true way of increasing home value," said TIME: Money."According to Realtor.com, a black door gives buyers the impression that your house is a serious, stately and safe choice. Its so popular that two of Sherwin-Williamstop 50 paint colorsfit the bill: Peppercorn and Tricorn Black." That can translate to as much as 6,271 more for your house, according to an analysis of more than 135,000 houses for sale.

Soft yellow

A soft yellow door "welcomes guests in a cheery fashion," said HomeBNC. "When you choose a yellow door, you are letting guests and passersby know that you have a sense of fun and a lively decorating >Royal blue

There are countless shades of blue you can choose to freshen up your home, but we love a midrange, super vivid royal blue. "Looking forvisitors? Try painting your front door abright blue, which is linked to calmness and trust," said Realtor.com.

Stone Gray

Gray may have been the hot color for everything from living room walls to kitchen cabinets for the last several years, but, on your front door, "This timeless shade not only softens the intensity of an exclusively contemporary design aesthetic, it also extends a hint of modern elegance to the front door," said Domino.

All-American Red

"A shot of this happy hue brings to mind: Coca-Cola the original, not the diet version, the American Flag, a great picnic-table gingham, and other All-American notions," said Exit Home Key Realty. "If you want to be known as the house with the best barbecues - this is your best bet. It looks best against a crisp white and avoid pairing with bits of navy - lest you want to be known as the flag house."

Metallic Gold

If you havent thought about painting your front door metallic gold, you will after seeing this exquisite option. "This metallic gold door shines bright to welcome guests to L.A.s Hotel Covell," said Dwell. "Against a backdrop of more textural, aged elements like brick walls, its a chic, smooth, glam touch."

Purple

We know what youre thinking. Purple? Its so... purple. And so bold. And different. And rich. All of which are great reasons to slather this unconventional shade on your front door.

"After the announcement ofPantones Color of the Year - Ultra Violet - front doors are all about being bold and making a statement in 2018, according to composite door company,Truedor, said Country Living. Joining forces with their ambassador, property expert and TV presenterGeorge Clarke, the door specialists have
Full Story >


Federal Sentencing Guidelines Contain Insights For Broker Ethics Programs

Chapter 8 of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual deals with the sentencing of organizations. Its discussion of potentially mitigating factors contains useful food for thought for real estate brokerages. This is not because brokerages are particularly liable to be facing federal sentencing. Rather, it is because the Guidelines provide a structural outline for "the existence of an effective compliance and ethics program". This is of interest to anyone who wishes to promote, in the words of the Guidelines, "an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct."

We note here some of the features of an ethics program, as described in the Guidelines.

  • The governing authority of the organization shall be knowledgeable about the content and operation of the program, and shall exercise reasonable oversight with respect to its implementation.
  • High-level personnel of the organization shall ensure that the organization has an effective program, and specific high-level personnel shall be assigned overall responsibility for the program.
  • Specific individuals within the organization shall be delegated day-to-day operational responsibility for the program.

The Guidelines recognizes that not every organization is so large as to have the layers of management personnel implied by these provisions. Small organizations may meet the requirements "with less formality and

fewer resources than would be expected of large organizations." Small organizations might use "available personnel, rather than employing separate staff" to carry out the ethics program.

Further provisions stipulate that:

  • The organization shall conduct training programs and otherwise "take reasonable steps to communicate periodically and in a practical manner its standards and procedures."
  • The organization will take steps to monitor and evaluate its programs.
  • The organization will have and publicize a system "which may include mechanisms that allow for anonymity or confidentiality, whereby employees and agents may report or seek guidance without fear of retaliation."

Its hard to find a real estate firm that does not claim that ethics is its highest priority. Major firms in all regions of the country proclaim their commitment to ethical conduct. And yet none -- that I know of, at least -- have any sort of program like the one described in the Guidelines. Why?

A number of possible answers present themselves, but there is one that deserves special consideration. That is, real estate firms dont conduct their own ethics programs because they believe it is the job of the Realtorreg; organizations to teach and promote ethical conduct.

This is understandable. For years the national, state, and local Realtorreg; organizations have represented themselves both to their members and to the public as, so to speak, the guardians of professional morality for the real estate industry. They have, with great sincerity, taken on the tasks of defining, teaching, and enforcing rules of professional ethics for real estate practitioners.

Perhaps this worked once. But it doesnt work now. For one thing, it is a plain, albeit regrettable, fact that the activities and priorities of the Realtorreg; organizations are far removed from the consciousness of most agents. Second, the mandatory ethical training required by the National Association of REALTORSreg; is simply too infrequent an occurrence to have a real impact on most members. Currently, it calls for two and one-half hours of training every two years. Finally, and of the greatest importance, questions of ethics are widely perceived to be "the Realtorreg; Boards issues", not those of the agents firm.

The lesson is clear, and the federal guidelines are right on target. If a company really wants to promote "an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct", it needs to institute and implement its own ethics program. Certainly, the Realtorreg; associations may be able to help in this regard. Chapter 8 of the sentencing guidelines provides some excellent structural suggestions for an ethics program, but it does not deal with content. That is where the national, state, and local Realtorreg; associations could provide useful resources.

The Realtorreg; organizations can help individual firms to institute ethics programs that will have an impact on their agents; but they cant do it for them.
Full Story >


Moving? Avoid Making These Mistakes

Whether moving across town or across the country, packing up and moving can be stressful, costly and full of surprises. From shady movers and inaccurate price quotes, to overpacking or not allowing enough time to get the move set up, every step of a move has the potential for mistakes that can make a move a nightmare.

These tips will help anyone preparing for a move, whether they currently live in a house, an apartment, a dorm, with friends or with mom and dad.

1. Hiring a shady mover.

Weve all heard horror stories about moving scams, and perhaps maybe youve been the victim of a moving scam yourself. You can steer clear of a less-than-upstanding mover by doing your homework. The Better Business Bureau, Angies List, your state transportation regulator and the U.S. Department of Transportation -- and even your >If youve done your research and still arent confident in the movers youve come across, you always can go the DIY route -- just be sure youre up for the task.

2. Messing up the quotes.

If you hire a mover, you should be able to have someone from that company come to your place for an in-home moving estimate. If a moving company wont do an in-home estimate, you should think about shopping around for another mover.

Along those lines, dont >3. Packing too much stuff.

Do you really need those old boxes of baby clothes that you havent laid eyes on since your 6-year-old was in diapers? Before you move, you need to "edit" your belongings. Think about whether you can trash some of your possessions, donate them to charity, or give them away to friends and >4. Failing to schedule your move well in advance.

During the summer months, good moving companies are booked up quickly. Rather than waiting till the last minute, make sure your move is scheduled weeks -- or, better yet, months -- in advance. You dont want to be scrambling to find a mover the day before youre supposed to head out. Moving already is stressful enough without adding that frustration.

5. Ignoring the need to pack ahead of time.

Youll find very few people wholl say that packing is fun. In fact, a survey commissioned by SpareFoot found that people whod moved in the past year identified packing and unpacking as the biggest hassle in the process.

You can lessen the load by beginning to pack well before moving day comes along. Start by boxing up stuff that you wont need right away -- for instance, if youre moving in the summer, pack up your winter clothes so that theyre out of the way. Also, be sure to carve out time in your schedule to check items off your packing to-do list.

If you get down to the wire and need help with packing, enlist friends, neighbors, >Need help finding that perfect storage unit? Click Here
Full Story >




Copyright©2018 Realty Times®.All Rights Reserved

2655 Collins Ave #1003 2655 Collins Ave #1003Spectacular 1Bd/1.5Ba + Den/2nd Bedroom. Ocean views! Fully renovated by top interior designer from...
Condominiums - All Areas
International Advantage Interactive Map Rentals Commercial Testimonials Client Login Visit My Mobile Site Interactive Map Contact Tom Belcher
Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

There are Different Kinds of C...
A large number of American homeowners now live in a community association. But do you know t...

Ask the HOA Expert: What Is An...
Question: What is the definition of an "executive session"“ Can a meeting begin...

More Real estate News
Copyright ©2018 - Realty Times®
All Rights Reserved.