Patty Connolly's Blog
Perhaps the ultimate test of your planning and organizational skills is moving to a new house. If you fail to plan ahead and make the necessary preparations, moving can be a stressful and frustrating experience.
On the other hand, if you approach it in a methodical, goal-oriented way, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how smooth the process will unfold.
That's not to say that there won't be a few bumps along the way, but staying focused on the details can help ensure that the experience won't feel like a roller coaster ride!
Depending on how many weeks you have before your actual move, you'll probably want to get rid of stuff you don't need, want, or have room for. Planning a garage sale and a donation truck pickup are often among the first orders of business for families on the move. If a lot of your excess belongings are of questionable value (to anyone), you may want to call a junk removal service. For some people, renting a dumpster is a convenient and affordable way to have household junk hauled away.
Since one person's junk is another man's treasure, you can also get rid of things you don't want by posting them on social networking and classified websites. If the items you want to pass along are even marginally useful, the word "free" will almost always generate a few emails and phone calls from interested people looking to save or make money.
It also helps to have plenty of packing supplies on hand. That would include an ample supply of cardboard boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, and cheap packing material. Although you may be able to get your moving company to "throw in" some wardrobe boxes and other containers into the price of their service, cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper are often free for the asking -- especially from friends, neighbors, relatives, coworkers, and sometimes retail stores.
One word of caution when it comes to cardboard boxes: Flimsy containers often have a way of tearing and falling apart at the most inopportune times! Another mistake people make is filling large boxes with too many heavy items. Not only are heavy boxes difficult to move, but it also increases the probability of dropping them or having the boxes tear while you're carrying them.
If you're hiring a professional moving company to transport your belongings to a new home, it usually pays to get two or three quotes. As is the case with other services and contractors, you can often save headaches and hundreds of dollars by comparing prices, terms, incentives, and online reviews.
Probably one of the most important methods of making sure things get done in a timely way is writing out your own detailed to-do list and revising it on a regular basis. Unless you commit goals, priorities, and tasks to paper (or a computer file), there's a good chance it will be forgotten about or left to the last minute.
Buying a new home is a joyous occasion, one that should be celebrated by family members and friends. However, telling people about a new home purchase sometimes can be tough, particularly for those who may be leaving roommates or others behind.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you alleviate the stress and worry commonly associated with telling family members or friends about a new home purchase.
Here are three tips to ensure you can remain calm, cool and confident as you inform your loved ones about your decision to buy a new home.
1. Prepare As Much As You Can
Purchasing a house is a life-changing decision, and as such, your loved ones may have concerns. Therefore, you should plan ahead for any questions that you could face about your new house.
Why did you decide to buy a home in a particular city or town? How much did you pay for a house? And what does your home purchase mean for your loved ones? These are just some of the questions that you should prepare to face when you share the news about your new home purchase with loved ones.
Also, it is important to realize that you and your loved ones won't always see eye to eye. And if a family member or friend disagrees with your home purchase, accept his or her opinion and move forward.
2. Take a Proactive Approach
When it comes to informing others about your home purchase, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, taking a proactive approach will ensure you can directly inform the most important people in your life about your home purchase.
Communication is key between family members and friends. With a proactive approach, you can inform your loved ones about your homebuying decision and minimize the risk that they will hear the news from a third-party.
Don't leave anything to chance as you determine who to tell about your home purchase. If you believe there is a risk that a loved one will be left in the dark about your new home, be sure to reach out to this individual directly.
3. Understand the Emotions Involved with a New Home Purchase
A new home purchase represents a new opportunity for you and your family. If some family members and friends feel left out of your upcoming move, many emotions may bubble to the surface.
Keep the lines of communication open with family members and friends – you'll be glad you did. That way, loved ones can share their thoughts and feelings about your new home purchase and understand you will allocate the time needed to hear them out.
If you need extra help as you get ready to tell loved ones about a new home purchase, don't be afraid to ask your real estate agent for assistance, either. This real estate professional understands the intricacies of purchasing a home and can provide expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey.
Major corporations can change nearly everything about their surrounding areas and their effect on residential real estate can be truly substantial. The concentration of wealth in areas like Silicon Valley and Seattle has influenced even the most basic properties, causing otherwise unremarkable homes to be worth over a million dollars based on their location alone. We'll look at the patterns of residential real estate from the past and the predictions of the future.
The Boom & Cool
Much like the stock market, there's a flurry of activity in the real estate market when anticipation is in the air. Just the announcements that Amazon's HQ2 would be in Long Island City caused a major influx in properties both in and around the area. But the long-term effects for real estate aren't quite as extreme.
Once Amazon switched their allegiance to Arlington, the value of the Long Island City cooled back down to its original levels. Even in the D.C. area, the effects have been moderate. After a year, Arlington saw some increases in value for homes near the future campus, but its mid-2030s arrival is causing some degree of hesitation for owners and developers.
The Steady Rise
The areas that see a steady climb are typically those that bring in a stream of businesses. These cities and towns attract diverse populations who contribute their talents and create a personality that others want to be a part of. Los Angeles made headlines for becoming its own haven for tech talent, creating the so-called Silicon Beach that spans through Santa Monica, Hermosa and Venice.
Google, YouTube, Snap, Inc. and Hulu are just a few corporations with offices in Silicon Beach. With San Francisco pricing even successful companies out of the market, the demand for luxury real estate in the LA area has increased due to the influx of well-paid engineers, developers and leaders.
A single industry, such as oil or tech, can quickly raise the average salary to epic proportions. In Gillette, WY, a city dominated by fossil fuels, the average cost of a home increased from $236,978 to $272,100 over the course of just 7 years. So while Arlington may not have seen the immediate jump they were looking for, it may only be a matter of time.
You can see prices being pushed up all over the country due to corporate investment. From Boston to Miami, it starts with the areas directly surrounding the area of the business before being pushed out to the suburbs and beyond.
Older windows can end up costing you more on your heating and cooling bills. These windows can be drafty in winter and let in too much heat during summer. According to the Department of Energy, windows can account for up to 30 percent of energy usage in homes due to heat loss and gain. Replacing older windows with newer ones can help you save considerably on your energy usage. Use these tips to help you choose energy-efficient windows for your home.
Look for Labels
No matter what kind of windows you’re thinking about getting in terms of the frame type or glass type, look for Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) labels. Windows that meet the requirements for energy efficiency have the Energy Star label. NFRC labels provide you with an easy way to compare different aspects of a window’s performance.
Know Your U-Factor
U-factors on windows let you know how effective they are at stopping heat from escaping your home. Lower U-factors mean that windows do a better job of trapping heat in your home, which results in lower energy bills during winter. The U-factor that works best for your home depends on the climate you’re in. For example, you should look for a lower U-factor if you live in a colder climate. This helps ensure that heated air stays inside your home.
Learn About Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) tells you how effective windows are at stopping heat gain from outside. A lower number means that windows are better at preventing hot outdoor air from getting inside, which is what you want during summer. If you live in a hotter climate, you should look for a lower SHGC number to help you save on the costs of cooling your home.
Consider Low-e Coatings
Low-e or low-emissivity coatings help prevent indoor heat from escaping your home, resulting in reduced energy usage and lower heating bills. This insulated glazing can lower energy loss from heat transfer by up to 50 percent, according to the Department of Energy. While windows with this coating tend to cost more, you’ll save in the long run with reduced energy bills.
Reduce Air Leakage
The type of window you choose can affect how much air is able to leak out. Lower air leakage rates help reduce your energy usage. Certain types of windows, such as awnings, hinged windows and casement windows, tend to have lower air leakage rates. Sliding windows, single-hung windows and double-hung windows typically have higher air leakage rates.