Relocation Tips

Sometimes when one is moving, it is not because you want to move for the location, rather it’s for a job. How do you know if the stress of moving will be worth it? Here are some tips to keep in mind if you are considering relocating for a job.
One thing to look out for is if the employer will offer you temporary housing, as most times a job wants you there faster than your family can get there. Will the employer cover this temporary housing, or at least help you find somewhere to live until you can find a new home?

Once a job has been offered, make sure to ask about your family needs as well. Will your employer help with finding adequate childcare, or senior care if you have an elderly relative staying with you? What about your pets, who will help care for them in the meantime? It is also important to look at schools in the area as well as day care centers too.

Another important thing to consider is the commute to work. You may find a house you fall in love with, and then once you being to commute to work, find that the journey is unbearable. Make sure to ask your employer about various types of commutes you can take in order to get to work, and the traffic as well.

Find out if your employer will compensate you. Some people want to give their best candidates an incentive for moving out to their location. Find out if this particular employer will help you move and compensate your for your travels. Find out what relocation monetary assistance the employer offers and what this entails. It is important to see what they will help pay for such as temporary housing or moving costs. Some companies will have relocation specialists help work with you and find appropriate locations for you and your family to move too. A good employer will help make this gigantic move as stress-free as possible.

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Renting vs. Buying

Deciding whether to rent or buy is quite the major decision. This choice truly does affect your lifestyle and savings as time goes on, so it is very important to do your homework and be prepared when deciding. This post will talk about the pros and cons of each to make the decision a little easier for you.

Home ownership gives you a sense of stability, so if you are a person who gets restless easily or moves quite often, then this is most likely not a good choice for you. If you need to move frequently, and the housing market happens to be down, then it would be much harder to sell your home and you may actually loose money in the process. Now, if one were to rent in this same situation, you would be able to move without penalty every time your lease ends.

A very popular myth is that by renting, you are “throwing away” money each month. This is not true. Living somewhere will always cost money. The cost of a home sometimes can even be higher than the cost to rent. There are some expenses you can avoid if you rent that you cannot if you are buying such as property tax, water and sewer service, trash pickup and many more.

Renting is alot more predictable financially wise because you always know exactly how much you are going to spend per month. When you own, you may just pay your mortgage and bills, but then next month you may have to replace your roof unexpectedly. Renters would not have this unpredictably. Although, renters could have their rent increase without notice every time your lease is up for renewal.

Owning a home can be unpredictable at times over things you cannot control. The neighborhood you live in could decline, a major employer could move out of the area and the population could significantly decline. Tax deductions are not a reason to buy a home because in the end, the tax break decreases as your proportion of your mortgage payment decreases. Deciding which option is best for you goes beyond the money. It is also about comfort and your lifestyle.

Things to consider

Sometimes you may wonder to yourself if it is better to buy a house or just build one yourself. When considering this, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The most important thing to consider, is if you can afford it! Consider the construction costs of building a house. Take into consideration the lumber cost, if the land plot needs additional surveying and ensure you have wiggle room if need be. You can never predict everything that could happen.

Do you have time to wait for the house to be built? This process is a very lengthy one. This can take around 6 to even 18 months to build, depending on how complicated your house is. If this is too long, buying an already built house may be your best bet.

Can your relationship take the stress? Sometimes there are many decisions you must make with your partner in order to finish building the house. If you two don’t agree, this process will become even more stressful and long.

Is this a longtime place you will live? If you don’t plan on staying in the house for very long, it may not be worth it. After waiting so long for a house to be built, only to move shortly after may backfire. You may become emotionally attached to the house or just so exhausted you do not want to move anywhere else.

One more thing to take into consideration, what do you need for this house and what do you want? These are two very different things, and is something you must be able to make sacrifices for. Building a house can be expensive, so make sure you build what you can afford and need.

Top 3 Home Buying Mistakes

When buying a home, there are alot of different things to remember. If you keep these three things in mind, the home buying process should be a breeze!
One important thing to remember is to not buy a house if you plan on moving again soon. This can end up busting your budget. As frustrating as renting can be, it is better to rent than to buy if you are going to be moving often. Some people assume that they can just sell a house immediately or rent it out, but it does not always work out this way. Better to rent and buy when you are ready, then to go bankrupt.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to not bust your budget. It may be tempting to buy the house of your dreams, that has everything you can imagine. However, everything that you want in a house can add up quickly. Stretching your budget an extra $10,000 or $15,000 may seem worth it for something you want, but it’s not something you want to do. Remember how much you can afford monthly, and keep in mind that jobs can change, life expenses can increase anything could happen!

Last of all, do not forget about the added costs! When buying a home, it is not just about replacing a rental payment for a mortgage payment. You need to keep in mind maintenance costs, utilities and property taxes. Most people tend to forget these extra payments and end up buying a house that they cannot possibly afford. Keep these things in mind when picking out a house, and you will be fine!

Home Equity Scams

In the world of real estate, you will find some very dishonest lenders that are willing to take advantage of your desire for cash and in the end scam you out of your equity. Here are some scans to look out for.

Equity stripping is when a lender can get you a home equity loan, even though your monthly income is not enough for the payments. These lenders encourage you to apply anyway, and should you default on payments, they get to foreclose and take your home and strip you of your equity.

Another one is loan scamming. This is when a lender encourages you to refinance your loan. When doing this, the lender charges high fees. The more you flip a loan, the more your debt increases and soon your can become in over your head and most likely loose your house.

Credit insurance packing is another scam. Once a home equity loan has been agreed on, a lender can give you papers to sign that include “charges” for credit insurance that you never asked for. The lender essentially hopes you will no notice and sign anyway. If you do notice, a lender could use scare tactics and tell you that should you not agree to these terms, the loan will have to be re-written and a delay in your application.

Deceptive loan servicing is a scam in which the loan service fails to provide you with an accurate or complete account statements and payoff figures. This makes is pretty much impossible to figure out how much you have paid off or still owe. The service may even tack on late fees or legal fees you don’t understand. This way you are confused, and have more to pay than you should.

Signing over the deed is one more scam. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, the lender can threaten to foreclose the house. The lender can offer you a new way to finance, and in the meantime really be asking for the deed to your property. Once the lender has the deed, he can treat it as his on property.

When to refinance your home

There are many reasons why homeowners decide to refinance. This is a new opportunity to obtain a lower interest rate, shorten their mortgage term or convert to a fixed rate mortgage. One of the best reasons to refinance is to lower your interest rate. This can help you save money and increases the rate at which you build equity in your home. This can also, and importantly, decrease the size of your monthly payment.

It is also a good idea to determine whether it is better to have an adjustable rate or fixed rate mortgage and convert between the two. Sometimes adjustments in fixed rate mortgages can occur and this results in rate increases that are higher than the rate available through a fixed mortgage. When this happens, it may be better to concert to a fixed mortgage so the interest rate will be lower. On the other hand, converting from a fixed rate loan to an adjustable rate can also be a food strategy especially in the falling interest rate environment. This is especially a good idea for homeowners who don’t plan on staying in their home for more than a few years.

It is important to do your homework and research when considering refinancing your home. If you are not careful, you can end up with never ending debt. Some people do this in order to cover bigger expenses such as home remodeling or a child’s college education. Another reason is that the interest on mortgages is tax deductible. Just keep in mind that increasing the number of years that you own on your mortgage s rarely a smart financial decision and neither is spending a dollar on interest to save 30 cents.

Many homeowners also refinance in order to consolidate their debt. Doing this does not automatically bring great savings. Many people who had high interest debt on credit cars or other purchases more than likely will just end up doing it again and be in the same situation as before.

Refinancing can be a great financial move as it can reduce your mortgage payments and shortens your loan term. However, it can quickly backfire if your are unprepared or not ready. Make sure you are serious and are ready to do your financial homework.

Things to do before moving in

Finally, after searching for so long, you have finally found the house you want have bought it! Now what? Moving in can be quite stressful, so follow the tips before and your move in should be as pain free as possible.

Make sure to connect your internet! Getting an appointment to do this can take up to three weeks, as service providers are very busy! It can be quite inconvenient to be without internet for so long, so plan accordingly! Make sure to connect your energy in your new home, but in your name! All you need to do is to call your energy provider, give them you information and they will switch the energy over to you. This will ensure that the previous tenants aren’t charged for your energy consumption.

If you are moving with children, pets or both, then you will need to make sure you have a plan for them on move in day. Have someone watch over them, so you can focus on organizing the house. Once moved in, you will need to make sure everyone knows your new address so people are able to get into contact with you. Make sure to notify your friends, family and relatives as well as any business that may need to know this new information as well. This should be done as soon as possible, because you cannot always rely on the new tenants of your old home to forward your mail. Make sure to let the post office know of your address change.

A good idea to do in a new home is to have an “un-packing” box. This box should contain keys, tools to construct furniture, any loose screws from your furniture from your old home, scissors, tape and anything else you think you may need. You will definitely want to make sure to contact your insurance provider to ensure you are covered for the duration of your move. This way you can make sure that while you are in between houses, and don’t really live at either one, you are still covered during this time. As soon as you have the keys to your new home, make spares!! Moving days can be stressful and so it would be very easy to loose the one key you have that would give you access to the house. By following these rules, move in day can be just a little less stressful!

Tornado Preparation

So we’ve learned how to help protect your home as best as possible from earthquakes and hurricanes, but what about tornadoes? Well fear not! If you live in the center of the US, the last two natural disasters may not effect you, but tornadoes may!

The first thing you will want to consider are how strong are your doors really? You will want to make sure the doors in your house can withstand strong winds. This way when you come back, your house will still have doors, and also a door won’t fly off and become a potential hazard to others. In such strong winds, a flying door can become very dangerous very fast. You will also want to strengthen your garage door as well. This door may very well be the weakest link in your home. Once this door has been blown off, then the house is lost as well as it is wide and open for the tornado to hit.

During a tornado, you are mostly likely hoping that when you return, the roof on your house is still there. In order to help put your mind at ease, make sure to re-enforce your roofing to make this a reality. When a tornado hits, the winds exert an inward pressure against the windward wall, outward pressure against the sidewalls and leeward wall and upward pressure against the roof. Keep this in mind when re-enforcing the roof. If the roof blows away, then your house becomes extremely vulnerable.

Just like in a hurricane, make sure to cover and protect your windows! If a window is left open, or smashed, then this just becomes essentially a hole for all the debris to come into. Make sure that the foundation of your home is also held down. This way your house literally does not fly away.

These are some simple, but essential tips when it comes to preparing your home for a tornado. If you follow these steps, then hopefully your house will still be standing, and will have faced only minimal damage.

Earthquake tips

If you are living in the United States, then chances are you may have to face a few natural disasters in your life time. This type of disaster can differ depending on where in the U.S. you live. The East coast faces many hurricanes, but what if your live on the West coast? Here are a few tips to help earthquake proof your home!

The first main thing to do is ensure your water heater is strapped, meaning it cannot fall down. If this falls then this can create water damage to your home as well as possibly mixing with electronics in your house that could cause disastrous effects. Also, make sure to install an earthquake gas shut off valve for your gas meter. This can ensure that there are no gas leaks should a pipeline rupture.

You will want to also install something called positive connectors at the joints where posts meet beams and footings in your home. Connect the wood frame of your house to the foundation. These precautions can help your house to still be standing when you come back after an earthquake, which of course is the ideal situation. If your home happens to have a post and pier, masonry block, stone or brick foundation, then it is best to consult with a contractor about options. You will want to make sure you do everything you can to help strengthen your home. A good option is install a redundant post and beam system that is adjacent to the humble foundation. This can be a back up support in case the old foundation should fail.

All this may not completely prevent damages to your home, but it will help to protect it and make the damage less catastrophic. At least this way, you can relax knowing you did all you could to prepare for an earthquake and that you will have the least amount of damage to your home possible.

Hurricane Preparation

Hurricane season has already begun, and it is very important that you are prepared and so is your home! There are a few things you should definitely do in order to best prepare for a potential hurricane.

One thing to ensure that you do is to check your insurance coverage and make sure if reflects your current home. You may want to add flood insurance if you haven’t already! Take the time to do a home inventory, this way should you have to file a claim, the whole process will be alot easier. Document your home items with a camera and keep receipts for valuable items.

You may also want to install a few items such as hurricane shutters. Also put head and foot bolts on the doors, as well as hurricane straps or clips to help hold the roof to the walls of your home. A safe room may also be a good idea as well. Landscaping is also very important. If you are not on top of this, then you may have alot more flying debris and tree branches flying around your home.

Make sure your home is supplied with an emergency supply kit. You will want to have at least a two week supply of water and non-perishable food for everyone in the family, including your pets! Most importantly, you will want to already have made an evacuation plan for your family. This way, you can keep as calm as you can during the actual event. Do not take risks during an emergency like this. Do not run back into your home to grab items during the storm, or refuse to evacuate. Just try your best to prepare your home before such an event, and hopefully your home will have little damage when you return.