Don’t Get Taken For A Ride by Moving Companies

ImageThere are lots of good reasons to hire a moving company. It lowers your moving day stress, saves your back, and with the right company can ensure that your goods are safe from accidental damage. 

But for every sweet song of a smooth move, there are an equal number of “moving company blues” tunes out there. From a few sad notes of regret to total devastation, making a mistake when hiring a moving company can be an experience you’ll never forget! 

Here are some tips to help make the right move when it comes to choosing partners for your next relocation:

1) Get in-house estimates for your move from anywhere between 2 to 4 companies. Many may say they don’t need to see your stuff to estimate the cost, but the fact is a reputable company will want to see your place first-hand.

2) Do your legal homework on the moving company. Trustworthy companies will have their Motor Carrier number and D.O.T. (Department of Transportation) license information posted online (or with their materials). Check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for complaints and do a little research on Yelp.com for customer reviews.

3) Don’t commit to a big deposit or other down payment. Shady operators can abscond with you money and/or hold your possessions hostage to extort “excess fuel charges” or other bogus price changes.

4) Never go with the low-ball offer. If you get three estimates within the same range and one that’s substantially lower, what does that tell you about the quote? Don’t let cheap impulses turn into expensive mistakes.

5) Get referrals from friends, co-workers, and even your H.R. department (assuming you work for a company that deals with relocations). Also… ask your real estate agent! 

Are you looking for referrals for a trustworthy moving company? I’d be glad to provide you with private references. Contact me for the information today at 484-893-1234 or homes@debandjoe.com.

The Important Final Step When Buying a Home

Too many people fail to appreciate the importance of a final walk-through.

As a buyer, your last moment of leverage is signing on the (many!) lines during closing. Just before that day, though, you should do a final walk-through of the home you’re buying. While you might think a quick glance through the rooms is enough, you’d be well advised to take your time.

In fact, a good walk-through should take at least 30 minutes, depending on the size of the home. You might even want to consider hiring a home inspector to revisit the place to make sure any repairs essential to the deal were taken care of properly.

Don’t perform the walk-through too early, either. No more than two days at most. If you complete the walk-through too soon, there’s always a chance severe weather or other adverse events could damage the home. (Recent weather events are also a good reason to check for leaks or water in unexpected places.)

Be sure to check appliances, light switches, heating and air conditioning systems, garage doors, and any other major systems (pool pumps and heaters) along the way, too.

Should you come across anything that raises alarms, be sure to look for a way to settle the issue in a friendly, non-confrontational manner. While you don’t want to jeopardize the closing, you may be well within your rights to seek some sort of concession from the seller.

Even with short sales and foreclosed properties, you’ll want to do a walk-through to make sure all appliances and fixtures promised are still in place before the closing. (A home might be “as is,” but it’s definitely “as is” under the terms of the contract! Don’t get shorted.)

On the whole, the walk-through is an exciting time… after all, it’s almost yours! But don’t let excitement cloud your good sense. Use a little of this walk-through wisdom to protect your investment!

I’m always on the lookout for my clients. If you need representation for buying or selling a home, please get in touch today: email me at joe@debandjoe.com or call our office at 484-893-1234.

Hottest New Listing!

We have a great home for sale in Fountain Hill that is going to be a great buy for someone this spring. It’s a really nicely updated brick twin and it’s priced at just $130,000.  This home has all of that beautiful wood trim that you get in older homes and don’t see in the newer ones.  It has new carpet on the first floor and a really nicely updated kitchen.  The bedrooms are all a nice size and one features built-in shelves while another has a huge closet.  The home is priced at just $130,000 and we’ve got more information and plenty of pictures on our website: 612 S Bishopthorpe St

A Simple Equation for Buying a Home

A lot of people shopping for homes are worried about ‘timing the market’, trying to make sure they are buying at the right time.  Nobody wants to buy a new home and find out in six months that similiar houses are now selling for less.  While buying at the right price is important, it’s not the only factor in determining how much you’ll eventually pay for a home.  Often overlooked in the equation is the interest rate paid on your home loan, which is a much bigger factor in your payment than many people realize.  At last week’s Keller Williams’ Family Reunion in Orlando, FL Gary Keller and the KW Research Team shared a very important equation that all home buyers should know:

A 1% change in interest rates = 10% change in sale price

Wow, that’s a great number to know!  As an example, if you buy a $200,000 home and finance $180,000 at 4% interest you’re monthly payment is $859.35.  If the home were 10% less ($180,000) but the interest rate was 1% higher (5%) the monthly payment is $858.91.  Keep in mind that this payment is only principal and interest and doesn’t include any required tax or insurance escrows. 

So now that we know that the interest rate that we pay is so important that leaves us with another important fact that Gary shared last week:

In our current market, it is 20x more likely that the interest rate will change than the sale price.

This weeks quote on a conventional 30 year fixed rate mortgage is around 3.875%.  So do you think that rate is more likely to go up or go down?  This is the ‘platinum age’ of mortgage rates.  We can pretty safely say that rates cannot go any lower; the bank is never going to pay you to take their money!  If you’ve been on the fence about buying, the exampe we did above should answer a lot of questions for you.  If you have any other questions or want to know about current rates call me at 484-893-1234 or email homes@debandjoe.com.  We’re always here to help!