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Considerations for Selling & Buying a Home

Selling your current home while also on the market for a new one is a common journey. In f act, about 71 percent of sellers are trying to buy and sell at the same time, and it can be a stressful process. Knowing which steps to take and in what order becomes even trickier once you factor in the fact that you’re also trying to buy at the same time. Keeping in mind that selling a home takes considerably longer than buying, thoughtful planning can help you save time in the long run. Educating yourself on the process from both a sellers’ perspective and a buyers’ perspective can help you navigate the process smoothly. Contact us for a free guide to selling and buying work books to help guide you step by step. 

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

How Much Does It Cost to Move?

The dollars and cents that go into moving vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Making the decision to move can be an exciting time, whether you’re moving across town or across the country. But it can also be a milestone surrounded by uncertainty: am I making the right decision? How will my kids adjust to a new school? Will I like my new neighborhood? According to the US Census, 11.2 percent of Americans moved in 2016, for reasons related to housing, family, and employment. And there’s one question pretty much everyone who is thinking about moving asks: How much will it cost to relocate?   There are all kinds of moving expenses to keep in mind, including changes in cost of living, balancing two mortgages (or a mortgage and rent) during the transition, and the cost of actually getting all your belongings from point A to point B. Here’s some information about average moving expenses to help you make sense of it all. Estimating moving costs Roughly half of all people who move use professional movers, whether they’re moving short or long distances. These are average costs for moving, according to HomeAdvisor. Of course, prices vary by region and by distance. Type of move Average charge Extra charges Local/intrastate (under 100 miles, including 2 movers + truck) $80-$100 per hour + $25-$50 extra per additional mover Interstate/cross-country (over 100 miles) $2,000-$5,000 per move + $0.50 per pound How much does it cost to move across town? Local moves make up the vast majority of people moving every year. According to Zillow research, 57 percent of home buyers who also sell a home move within the same city, and 86 percent move within the same state. For local moves, you’ll typically pay an hourly rate that includes a truck and the services of two movers. The bigger your home, the longer your move will take. Consider these estimates from HomeAdvisor.  Size of house Estimated time of move Average price range 1-bedroom apartment 3-5 hours $200-$500 2-bedroom apartment 5-7 hours $400-$700 3-bedroom house 7-10 hours $560-$1,000 4-bedroom house 10+ hours $800-$2,000+ How far in advance should I book local movers? Keep in mind that most people move between May and September, so you’ll want to book your movers at least four weeks ahead of time. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get the day and time that works best for you, and the more likely you are to get an experienced crew. The least expensive days to move are Monday-Thursday. In the off-season (October-April), you can often book movers with only one to two weeks’ notice. How much does it cost to move across the country? While local movers typically charge by the hour, for a cross-country move you’ll likely be charged based on two key variables: weight and distance. Weight Before the move, the empty truck is weighed, and your mover should provide you with an “empty weight” receipt. Then, once all your belongings are loaded, they’ll weigh your truck again to help them determine your moving cost. Have no idea how much your belongings weigh? Reputable movers will give you an estimate before you sign on the dotted line, using average weights for homes of your size (more on estimates later). For example, the goods inside a 1,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom apartment typically weigh about 5,000 pounds. A 2,800-square-foot, 4-bedroom home’s furnishings typically weigh in at around 20,500 pounds. Distance Simply put, the farther a moving company has to transport your belongings, the higher the bill will be. You’ll likely be charged a per-mile rate in addition to the weight-based charges. Make sure to ask if there are any additional transportation charges, like fuel or tolls. How far in advance should I book movers for a long-distance move? For an interstate or cross-country move, you’ll want to book your movers as early as possible — ideally six to eight weeks before your move. Moving costs vary depending on factors such as the number of belongings, the length of the move, and the services provided. Typical moving expenses Whatever kind of move you’re planning, the moving expenses you’ll incur will vary based on the level of service you’re looking for: Just a truck rental: The ultimate DIY move, in this scenario you’ll be doing the packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking on your own, with just the help of a rental truck. Flat per-day rates start at around $20 per day, depending on the size of the truck, plus charges for gas and mileage. Loading, transportation, and unloading: Save your back by doing all the packing and unpacking yourself, but have professional movers do the heavy lifting. For a local move, this service can range from $200 for a one-bedroom apartment to $2,000+ for a 4-bedroom house. Full-service moves: Leave everything to the pros, including wrapping and packing your belongings, loading them, transporting them to your new home, and unloading. You’ll just be responsible for unpacking your belongings and getting settled. This type of move is usually used for long-distance moves. Expect to pay roughly $2,000-$5,000 for the transportation, plus about 50 cents per pound, plus $25-$50 per hour, per mover for packing and unpacking help. Temporary storage: If your moving dates don’t line up exactly, you may find yourself needing to temporarily stash your things in a storage unit or moving container. Storage facility rates start at about $50 per month for a small unit, and go up to $300 or $400 for larger units. If you’d like the convenience of a portable storage unit that’s delivered to your home, loaded by you, and stored in a warehouse until you’re ready for re-delivery, expect to pay $150-$300 per month, plus delivery and re-delivery costs. Moving supplies: Instead of buying and then recycling boxes, you can go green and rent hard plastic boxes for your move. Prices start at about $50 per week for enough boxes to pack a 1-bedroom apartment, and up to $200 to pack a large house. Once you’re done, the rental service will pick up the boxes. To save money on cardboard boxes, check your local “buy nothing” group or moving truck rental company, which often have used boxes on hand.   Additional costs of moving When calculating your relocation budget, make sure to keep in mind these unexpected moving costs: A transportation surcharge if the moving company pays workers more for working in metropolitan areas, where labor costs are often higher. You may opt to purchase full value protection insurance. Released value protection is typically included by movers at no cost, but the protection is minimal — just 60 cents per pound per article lost or damaged. Charges for moving vehicles, including cars, boats, and motorcycles. Surcharges for moving large or fragile items — think swing sets, pianos, extra-large furniture, or riding lawn mowers. Additional charges if the movers have to walk more than 75 feet from door to truck, or if they need to use stairs or an elevator. Additional charges if your street is too narrow to accommodate a moving truck and they’ll need to shuttle your belongings with a smaller truck. You may find yourself paying unexpected moving costs if there’s a delay in the availability of your new home and the moving company has to put your items into storage. Moving cost agreements Any reputable moving company should provide you with a quote before your move, using the industry-standard rate book published by the Household Goods Carrier Bureau, called the Tariff 400-N. There are two main types of moving quotes: Non-binding estimates are the industry standard. They reflect the company’s best guess as to what your final bill will be, but they can often be inaccurate. Whenever possible, opt for not-to-exceed quote. Not-to-exceed estimates are quotes where the moving company commits to a maximum price. To avoid being surprised by high moving costs, ask your movers to provide a not-to-exceed estimate. Get moving When it comes to moving, the best way to limit your costs (and to keep your sanity) is to move quickly. The faster you’re out of your old home and into your new home, the less you’ll pay in movers, rented supplies, storage costs, and — most importantly — overlapping mortgage payments or rent. Looking to sell your house in a hurry? Check out Zillow Instant Offers – just answer a few questions about your home, and receive a cash offer in 2-3 days without ever listing. Related: Moving Day Horror Stories How to Avoid Unscrupulous Moving Companies Moving? Top 5 Tips for Packing Originally published July 2012; data updated March 2018. About the author Mary Boone Mary was a newspaper writer/editor for 13 years and worked as spokesperson for a Fortune 500 Company before becoming a freelance writer. She has authored more than two dozen books for young readers and writes for a handful of regional home and garden magazines.

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Compromise Common Among Millennial Homebuyers

So, what form are those compromises coming in? Forty-one percent of surveyed millennial homebuyers report having to settle for a smaller home than they wanted in order to stick within their budget. Given the continued increase of home prices in many markets, that’s not surprising. Forty percent report having to expand their search for a home beyond their target location, and 41 percent report having to sacrifice some desired features in order to make the buy, including air conditioning, fireplaces, or flooring options. Thirty-nine percent said their new homes came with less accompanying land than they would have liked.

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Credit Reporting Changes

Things in the credit report world are improving now that the three major credit reporting companies are utilizing records better they are now excluding all tax liens from credit reports. What does this mean? Basically, there are now new rules after problems were discovered with credit reporting and changes were recommended to help consumers. Since the biggest issue that is reported by consumers is incorrect information on a credit report, these reporting companies removed nearly civil judgment data and tax lien data from credit reports. Now that with this new change credit scores may go up by as much as 30 points overall.  Other industry groups have said these changes will have less of an impact. 

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Make the First Impression a Great One

First impressions are critical. Just like the view from the curb may prevent a buyer from getting out of the car, the view inside the house determines whether they make an offer. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, or perhaps more to the point, they need to envision your home as theirs. You can accomplish this by staging your home. Home staging is the process of preparing your home for sale to make its best impression on prospective buyers. It can be as simple as cleaning the house and putting out fresh flowers or as complicated as hiring a consultant to determine what furnishings and decorations best suit your home while itís on the market. Big budget or small, how you present your home to potential buyers can affect how quickly it sells. Cleaning and decluttering are essential. The whole house should sparkle,  especially kitchens and bathrooms. Clear off counters and organize cabinets and closets. Too much "stuff" is distracting and makes spaces feel cramped and small ñ definitely not a good impression. Remove furniture that blocks the natural traffic flow, being sure there is a clear walkway to all windows and that the windows and screens are clean. Visual cues help buyers process your homeís features. Keeping room decor simple makes it easy to ascertain a roomís purpose. A bed and a dresser in a room with a closet are all it takes to show that a room can be used as a bedroom. A table with chairs identify a dining area, formal or otherwise. Staging rooms for their traditional purpose helps buyers understand your home. Whether the final buyer decides to use rooms the way you show them doesnít matter. There is a lot you can do yourself to get your home looking its best. Consult with your real estate professional before you start any projects to be sure that the payoff is worth the investment. Remember, once you decide to sell your home, itís a good idea to behave as if it isn't your "home" anymore. Cutting the emotional ties makes it easier to get your 'house' sold fast.
 

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Is Your Sliding Door too Hard to Slide?

Recently has it felt like you need super human strength to open your sliding door? Chances are, debris has jammed the wheels. This might just be your quick fix.  Remove the operable door by turning the adjustment screws at the bottom, then clean the wheels and tracks, and spray with silicone lubricant. See if that helps it glide a little smoother just in time to be out on your patio this summer. 

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Stripes Can Add Fun to Any Room

A fun and easy way to add interest to a room can be with stripes to any wall. When it comes to painting stripes, anything goes – large or small, horizontal or vertical, they all look fantastic, and are a great way to not have to be  limited to just 1 paint color. If you’re not hiring a professional to do the painting, just remember to use a level and painters tape when making your lines, because no one likes a crooked stripe.

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Hidden Costs of Selling

The average homeowner spends $18,342 in extra or “hidden” costs associated with selling a home. The biggest “hidden” expenses are closing costs, which total $13,357 for the median-valued U.S. home. Getting your house ready for staging and selling can add more costs too. For sellers who hire professional help, they spend $4,985, on average, covering basic projects: Painting, staging, house and carpet cleaning, lawn care and gardening, and local moving costs.  Since real estate transfer tax rates and home values vary so much across the country, closing costs vary considerably market-to-market and city to city.  As part of these closing costs, sellers typically pay real estate agent commissions of 6 percent (shared between the sellers’ and buyers’ agents). 

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Loan Pre-Qualification

If you are like most, you know that it would be beneficial to just have money handed over your way.  You work hard at what you do and are financially stable.  You know that it is time for you to move into a new place and want to make sure that you have the best opportunities available for you.  The first investigation to make in order to step forward is through a loan pre-qualification.   Loan pre-qualifications will determine if you have the financial ability to invest in real estate in the beginning.  By having the right pre-qualification, you can be guaranteed a specific amount of money and will have the ability to move into the home of your dreams.   The first thing that is determined with loan pre-qualification is how much you make each year from your job.  By finding this, it will allow for lenders to know how much you will be able to put into a loan in relation to other expenses that you may have.  Things such as personal debt and car loans, as well as credit card expenses will be calculated in this figure to show the first step to finding the right loan.   After these specific points have been added up, the time frame in which you will pay your loans will be factored in.  This will give the companies an idea of how much you can pay and how this will relate to the debt and finances that you have coming in and out of your pocket.  This will be defined by using formulas that will relate how much money you are making in relation to how much you can pay to balance out your loan.  Usually, pre-qualification formulas will divide things by factoring in ratios for standards of living.   If you want to make sure that you have the right loan, then becoming pre-qualified is the first step that you will need to take.  This will enable you to move forward with what you want and need for your loan.  By knowing what to expect, you can prepare for the process of getting a loan and can move into the property that you want.

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Don't Over Renovate for Your Neighborhood

Renovating is not just satisfying but it is also quite beneficial to the value of your home.  Even though it is great watching these house flipping shows on HGTV that max out budgets and create masterpieces in these homes over doing the renovations might not be as "worth it" as you'd like.   Depending on the real estate market, your neighborhood and what buyers are looking for you might want to think about these three things before you start knocking walls down.  1. Understand what your local market is doing because depending on if it is a seller's or buyer's market it can determine whether or not making big renovations will sell or not. Just remember that in a seller's market you can get away with selling a house with less upgrades for more.  You'll want to stick with more practical upgrades like new counters or a new coat of paint.  2.  Don't  price yourself out of your neighborhood's worth.  In older neighborhoods, you don’t want to renovate your house so much that it looks out of place or becomes a target for theft. You want to find a nice balance.  A good rule of thumb: Don’t raise your home’s value any higher than 10 percent of the average cost of homes in your neighborhood. 3.  Where do you start the renovation? Pick renovation projects that give your home the features buyers are looking for most. A lot of buyers look for updated kitchens, master bedrooms and bathrooms. These three spaces alone can sell your home, so consider investing extra money in these areas. Don't forget to make sure you make decisions base on your areas real estate market, your neighborhood and features that appeal to buyers.  If you stay informed, research, and follow the trends, you’ll end up with a beautifully renovated home that will appeal to a large range of buyers.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

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