Daryl Lippman's Blog
It may be tempting, when buying a home remotely, to jump at the first great deal that fits your checklist. But, number of beds and baths aren't everything. Location matters, too. So does the school district if you have school-age children. Don't be afraid to delve deeply into a property that you're thinking of buying sight unseen, because failure to do so could lead to some serious buyer's remorse. Here's the checklist of items to cover and questions to ask before you buy a home long-distance.
Neighborhood Crime Statistics
Sites such as ADT.com and Cityrating.com can help you learn about crime rates in your potential new neighborhood. The local police department or sheriff's office is a good resource, too. All are easy to find online once you know the address of the home or county in which it's located. Find registered sex offenders living nearby and whether your new neighbor has a collar for burglary.
Costs of Getting There
If you're searching remotely for homes that are close to your new job location, ask your employer about job relocation assistance. Sometimes employers have packages in place to help with the logistics involved in relocating for work. A package might include financial assistance for multiple items, including:
Having financial help to get you and your family settled in before your first day of work at your new job is a great perk. It goes a long way toward alleviating the stress of relocation.
Homeowner's Associations can be beneficial in keeping housing values steady in your target area, but they can be costly, as well as restrictive. Is your new home governed by an HOA? If so, expect to pay monthly dues, and read up on the restrictions before you commit. If you plan to change the color or layout of your new home, you may have strict guidelines you're required to follow.
Reputation of the Local Schools
Parents of school-age children should also be concerned with the school district they're moving into. Your real estate agent should be a good resource for the best schools in the area, but it never hurts to Google. The best schools have a low student-to-teacher ratio, strong test scores compared with the rest of the state and plenty of support programs in place for students and parents.
A little homework done from the comfort of your home office can help you score the remote home purchase of your dreams. Don't be afraid to play investigator throughout your new target neighborhood.
You can walk into some folk’s homes and feel the chaos, while in other homes, all you see is clean. There must be a secret to keeping a house picked up without the aid of a housekeeper, right? Right! People whose homes always appear tidy have habits that keep them that way. Here are some of those habits that you can adopt in the kitchen to keep it clean.
Clean While Cooking
Instead of leaving pots or chopping boards to soak, wipe them with a soapy sponge and give them a quick rinse or pop them in the dishwasher. Pans left to soak after a meal become onerous and tempt you to leave them until morning. Cleaning them right away means the food particles wash off more quickly too.
Find a Great Broom or Dust Mop
If you hate the tool, you’ll hate using it. Instead, try out a couple brooms or even microfiber dust mops to see which one you like best. Run it over the kitchen floor at the end of the day, and you’ll wake up to a clean kitchen.
Tuck Away Small Appliances
Toasters, mixers, the slow cooker or Insta-pot all clutter up room on your kitchen counter and gather dust and food debris. Keep them out of sight on a pantry shelf and just pull them out when in use. They stay cleaner and ready to use, and your countertop sparkles.
Hide the Mess
Open shelving adds a beautiful dimension to a kitchen, but when the shelved items don’t naturally stack, they look messy. Hide things away in deep drawers or cupboards that don’t match or rest awkwardly. Use your shelves to display pieces you love, or that stack artfully.
Do These Daily
Wipe the refrigerator doors daily to keep fingerprints at bay, and while you’re at it, take a moment to get the shelves too. Then, ditto with the microwave. Keeping fingerprints and food spills wiped up every day helps avoid the significant cleaning days so many people dread.
Stop the Spills
Well, you can’t always stop spills, but you can stop most spatters. Keep a cover handy for the microwave so that those little “pops” don’t become big messes. If little ones consistently spill milk from a gallon jug, pour some into a smaller container for them to use.
Keeping your home picked up when you have it on the market is essential for a lower-stress selling experience. If you need other ideas about preparing your home for sale, ask your professional real estate agent.
17 Paine, Wellesley, MA 02481
Flooring can add to the function of your newly finished basement, or it can take it away. Installing the wrong type of flooring material in a below-grade space could leave you open to costly water damage or even the growth of mold and bacteria. Even the best-built basements are sometimes prone to invasion by moisture seeping through concrete walls or up through subfloor materials. This is why it's vital to choose flooring that's specifically designed for below-grade use. If you want a finished basement that's attractive and functional, as well as one that won't require constant maintenance, opt for easy-care materials like those listed below.
Epoxy flooring is a mixture of resin with hardeners added. And if you've ever shopped the local food warehouse or super home store, you've likely seen epoxy flooring. Sleek and exceptionally glossy, epoxy can be applied with rollers over the course of a single weekend, giving you an attractive basement floor that's nearly impervious to damage. It's available in a full range of colors, as well.
Stamped, Stained or Painted Concrete
Another easy flooring option for your new basement involves concrete that's been poured and smoothed with a rake and a squeegee. Afterward, the concrete can be stained or painted any color you desire. It can even be stamped to resemble other materials such as natural stone, brick or tile.
Laminate is a type of flooring that's installed as planks or tiles. It's a manufactured type of flooring that's extremely durable and can mimic the look and feel of hardwood at a fraction of the cost and without the worry of warping should it happen to get wet. Because it's installed in pieces as a floating floor, laminate is easy to repair if a section becomes damaged. Simply pop out the bad plank and replace it with a new one. This may mean removing part of the floor to get to the piece that's damaged, but there's no adhesive involved with laminate, so putting everything back is an easy fix.
Rubber flooring comes in multiple variations, including tiles and rolls. Either is good for basement flooring, but tiles are easy to replace should the need arise. Rubber is super easy to install, and it adds soft comfort to your below-grade space. It's also a great insulator. This translates into a lower utility bill each month. Residential-grade rubber flooring may be comparable in price, however, to other high-end flooring options such as natural stone.
These flooring options are all easy to install yourself, but if you doubt your DIY skills, your local contractor will be happy to help. Your newly finished basement can be a reality this year if you make savvy choices from the floor up.
If you recently bought or sold a house, it may be only a matter of time before you need to move. Lucky for you, many moving companies are available to help you transport your personal belongings from one destination to the next.
What differentiates a good moving company from a great one? Here are three tips to ensure you can find the perfect company to help you with your upcoming move.
1. Get Multiple Quotes
When it comes to finding a moving company, there is no reason to break your budget. Fortunately, if you shop around, you can select a high-quality moving company that won't force you to overspend.
Reach out to a wide range of moving companies in your city or town. That way, you can receive multiple quotes.
Also, it is important to remember that the lowest price doesn't always guarantee the best service, particularly when it comes to moving companies. And even though price should be a consideration as you evaluate moving companies, it is essential to consider other factors.
The more you research that you perform into all of the moving companies that are available, the better off you will be. With plenty of research in hand, you should have no trouble choosing an affordable moving company that will exceed your expectations.
2. Look at a Moving Company's Experience
No two moving companies are identical, and in most cases, you can enjoy many benefits if you choose a proven moving company over an inexperienced one.
Ultimately, a proven moving company will have sufficient staff on hand to help you transport your belongings to your new address. This company likely employs customer service professionals who are happy to respond to any concerns or questions prior to moving day too.
A proven moving company also can help you alleviate stress as you prep for moving day. This company will go the extra mile to support you in any way possible, and by doing so, ensure you can receive comprehensive assistance when moving day arrives.
3. Ask for Client Referrals
If you're on the fence about a moving company, it certainly won't hurt to ask this business for client referrals.
In many cases, client referrals are difference-makers, particularly if you're struggling to decide between two moving companies.
A moving company should be able to provide you with client referrals at your request. Then, you can reach out to past clients to learn about their experiences with a particular moving company.
Client referrals offer excellent resources as you search for the ideal moving company. In fact, client referrals can provide you with moving company insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to your real estate agent for extra help. This housing market professional may be able to put you in touch with a variety of moving companies that can help you relocate your belongings.
Take the guesswork out of selecting a moving company – use the aforementioned tips, and you can find the ideal moving company based on your personal needs and finances.