William Raveis Real Estate and Home Services



Posted by Deborah Schilling on 5/23/2019

Moving is stressful at the best of times. But when youíre moving across the country rather than across town, it adds to the number of preparations youíll need to make.

In this article, weíll give you some tips on how to best prepare for your long-distance move, whether itís across the state, across the country, or to another country altogether.

Packing and moving

One of the biggest concerns youíll have during a long distance move is the condition of your belongings.

If youíre using a moving company, youíll want to make sure you trust them to handle your belongings with care. To ensure that theyíre responsible movers, read over their reviews online. Itís also a good idea to review their contracts and to make sure you have enough insurance to cover any costly damages or losses. Speaking of moving companies, be sure to shop around to find out which one offers the best prices and delivery windows.

When it comes to packing your items, air on the side of caution and start boxing items well in advance of your move. Not only is it a good idea to label your boxes by room, but you should put your name and contact information on your boxes if theyíre being shipped by a large moving company.

Remember that not everything needs to be in boxes. Soft items like clothing and towels can easily be packed in trash bags, suitcases, and duffel bags. Youíll be able to squeeze in more items and theyíll take up less space in the moving truck.

When filling the moving truck, be sure your fragile items arenít the top box on a stack of boxes. Similarly, you donít want fragile belongings underneath too many heavy boxes. Your movers likely have their own way of securing boxes, so be sure to indicate to them which boxes are the most fragile with labels.

Downsize your belongings

The month leading up to your move is a good time to sell or donate items you no longer use. It could save you space on the moving truck, and you could earn a few extra dollars before your big move.

Larger items should be your top priority. Bicycles, lawnmowers, and other big items that youíve been thinking of replacing can be sold now and you can buy new ones at your future home. However, donít discount the weight and size of things like DVD and book collections. Many people lug around bookcases from house to house and hardly ever touch the books on them. Furthermore, technology like Kindle and Netflix are making owning physical copies of your media less of a necessity.

Before you start packing the rest of your items into moving boxes, make sure you set aside a ďsurvival kitĒ filled with your daily use items. Things like cell phone chargers, glasses and contacts, and sanitary items should be in your vehicle or carry on, not in the moving truck.

Saving money

Moving is expensive, but there are a number of ways you can squeeze some savings out of the experience. First, take advantage of free boxes from local stores and restaurants. Then, ask for friends and family to help you pack rather than hiring professionals, offer them lunch in exchange for their help.

When it comes to getting to your new home, donít rule out flying as being the most expensive option. Hotels, gas, and eating out add up quickly if youíre making a road trip out of your move.

Finally, see if your move is tax-deductible. If youíre relocating for work, thereís a chance some of your moving expenses will be. If so, be sure to keep all of your receipts along the way.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 5/16/2019

You are ready to become a homeowner, and like most tenants, you probably dream of the day you will kiss (or maybe just text) your landlord goodbye. However, an end to the dreaded rent-due reminder is only one of many reasons you should seriously think about, and plan for home ownership. Here are more:

Pride of ownership

There is a sense of pride that will well up inside you as soon as youíre handed the keys to your new abode. Itís something like what you felt when you bought your first set of wheels, only more significant. Even if you reach the end of your rope, you have your own place to rest your head at night. You canít quite say this for a car, though you can sleep in it.

Securing your finances for the long haul

Besides reducing your monthly expenditure, owning your home makes for better financial planning. Rents may rise or fall depending on various factors, so not having to factor it into your budget makes your spending easier to predict. 

Furthermore, a house is one of the few assets that can increase in value with time. As long as human beings who need a roof over their heads are being born, housing will always be in demand. 

As you pay your mortgage month by month, you are putting money towards the ownership of an asset. With rent, you will just be temporarily addressing your need for shelter while enriching your landlord.

You get tax breaks

If you have joined the ranks of homeowners in the US, you will qualify for deductions in the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage. The amount of property tax you pay will also be subsidized. 

Lay a foundation

Being a tenant who may or may not be around next month demotivates most of them from growing roots where they stay. If you have invested in a home, you have also staked your future on the area it is situated. You will, therefore, be more interested in knowing your neighbors and building lasting relationships with them. You will also want to participate in projects that will better the area for the long-term. That satisfying sense of belonging will strengthen year by year.

Take the first step towards home owning your very own home by asking your local bank what it takes to get a mortgage.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 5/9/2019

You don't need to be a home selling expert to counter a buyer's offer to purchase your house. In fact, sellers who know what factors to consider as they evaluate a homebuying proposal may be better equipped than others to submit a successful counter-offer.

Now, let's take a look at three factors a seller should consider before countering a buyer's offer to purchase his or her home.

1. Your Home Selling Goals

If an initial offer to purchase your home falls shy of your property selling expectations, there is no need to stress. By countering this proposal, you and a buyer may be able to find common ground. And as a result, both parties may be able to come to an agreement on a house sale.

Analyze your home selling goals closely. And if you find a buyer's offer to purchase comes close to helping you achieve your goals, you may want to submit a counter-proposal.

2. Your Home's Condition

The condition of your home may have far-flung effects on your house selling experience. If your home is in need of assorted upgrades, a buyer may be more inclined than ever before to account for these repairs in his or her offer to purchase. Meanwhile, as a home seller, you need to consider your residence's condition as you assess an offer to purchase and proceed accordingly.

If you feel a buyer's initial offer to purchase your home is low based on your residence's condition, you may want to counter the proposal. However, if you account for the costs of potential home repairs in your counter-proposal, you may be able to come to terms with a buyer on a home selling agreement.

3. Your Home's Price

Although you may have allocated significant time and resources to price your home appropriately based on the current real estate market's conditions, you may receive an offer to purchase that falls short of your expectations. Fortunately, if you submit a counter-proposal, you can make it clear about what price you are willing to accept for your residence. And if you provide a counter-offer to an initial homebuying proposal, you can show a buyer exactly how much he or she will need to pay to purchase your house.

As you analyze an offer to purchase your home, keep in mind that you can always collaborate with a real estate agent too. If you work with a real estate agent, you may be able to gain the insights you need to make an informed property selling decision.

Typically, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of accepting, rejecting or countering an offer to purchase your house. If you are looking for in-depth home selling recommendations and suggestions, a real estate agent is happy to provide them to you at your convenience.

Assess an offer to purchase your home carefully Ė you'll be glad you did. If you feel you may be able to reach an agreement with a buyer, you may want to counter his or her homebuying proposal.





Posted by Deborah Schilling on 5/2/2019

It's no news that termites and white ants cause severe damages to the home. They might attack your house in no time. Hence, termite control has become one of the necessities to prevent the termites from invading your house. Some people control termites by using chemicals in residential areas or working places, where they can survive and breathe.

Important things to know about termites

  • Termites generally lay their eggs in the spring season. They give eggs in the moist soil and then enter the house to provide some nourishment to them. Therefore, it is better to control termites before the beginning of spring season. However, be careful as termites can attack in any season.
  • Two places to look for termites are the kitchen and the bathroom because in these two areas there is maximum use of water. Regularly check the pipes and taps for leakage. If you own a house or farm made of wood, then controlling termite infestation should be your top most priority. It is one of the crucial issues or problems faced by homeowners.

Primarily, start with termite prevention. If you do not have termites, it does not mean that you cannot have them. So, stop them from invading your crops or properties. To prevent the termites, you have to make your home an unfavorable hideout for termites. Following are some ways of preventing termites from invading your house:

  1. Trim all dense greenery, bushes, and shrubs away from your property's foundation.
  2. Never leave ?rewood around your house; it works as a magnet for attracting termites. If you have to keep ?rewood outside your home during the winter season, then keep it at some height off the ground.
  3. Remove all loose woods, tree stumps and lumber from the boundary of your home.
  4. Keep downspouts and gutters free of accumulated debris and leaves. As termites cannot survive on wood only, keeping these areas clean will prevent termites from invading your house. Obstructions and clogs attract termites.
  5. Seal all holes and any cracks in the foundation of your home. Termite prevention is possible only if you keep your house ventilated, particularly the attics of the house. Your rooms should be spacious enough to have the right circulation of air, as moisture attracts termites. Never allow water to be stored anywhere around your house as it may lead to severe house damage.

It is always better to opt for termite prevention before the construction of your property. If you plan to construct a house entirely from wood, then ensure to use treated wood. Borate is one of the most common treated woods that prevent the termite from invading them as their food. Do not allow the wood to have any contact with the earth because this will give easy access to the termites.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 4/25/2019

Newlywed life is such an exciting time! Itís also a time many couples decide to buy their first home together. And therefore aside from having a wedding, itís the first major financial decision couples make together. Hit the ground running together with these tips:

Co-managing money: If they havenít already combined finances before the big day many couples choose to do so after marriage. Learning how to manage money on your own is a task unto itself but managing it together is a vital skill for newlyweds. You can avoid unnecessary fights over money down the road by getting on the same page financially now. Get really honest with each other. Put everything on the table, especially various debts you each may hold, from credit cards to school loans itís all important to get a true snapshot of your combined finances.

Create a budget for your life together. Calculate your combined expenses. Consider where you can cut back on services and habits to save money and what you need to add to your budget. Be sure to consider: savings for a nest egg, vacations, car repairs, and unexpected medical emergencies. You may also want to begin saving up to start a family or plan for retirement. When you have a complete picture of your finances you can then look at whatís left over. What kind of down payment and/or monthly payments will you be able to realistically make with this amount?

Youíll also want to talk to each other about your lifestyle goals. If youíve always dreamed of living in the city or a small tightly-knit town. Perhaps youíve always imagined a large, spacious home while your partner is thinking of something smaller to focus more on traveling. Do you want a garage, a big yard, a pool or to be close to family? Getting clear on what you each expect from your ideal home will help you find the perfect middle ground where you will both be happy.

Itís best to be able to make at least 20% of the house cost for a down payment. The higher the down payment you can make the better as youíll have lower monthly payments and wonít get hit with extra fees from your insurance. If you canít save up this amount, look into first-time buyer loans which allow new buyers to make a smaller down payment.

Be prepared. Remember to plan and budget for closing costs on your home. You donít want this price tag to catch you off guard. Other things to be financially prepared for throughout the year are property taxes, homeownerís insurance as well as maintenance and upkeep.

Being newlyweds is an exciting time where you have the rest of your life together to look forward to. And buying a new home, in a lot of ways, can feel like the first major step in laying down the foundation for a long, happy life together.




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Deborah Schilling
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