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If you intend to buy or sell a home, it's never too early to start planning ahead for moving day. By doing so, you can find a great moving company that will make it simple for you to take all of your belongings from Point A to Point B.
Ultimately, there are several best practices that individuals should consider before they hire a moving company, and these practices include:
1. Conduct an In-Depth Search
Dozens of moving companies may be available in your city or town, and all of these businesses claim to be the best. As such, differentiating one moving company from another sometimes can be difficult.
To kick off a search for a moving company, it often pays to reach out to family members, friends and neighbors for support. These individuals likely have moved at some point in their lives and may be able to provide moving company recommendations.
When in doubt, don't hesitate to search for moving companies online as well. A simple online search for moving companies likely will reveal a wide range of results. However, as you check out each company's website and client reviews, you should have no trouble narrowing your search.
2. Ask for Client Referrals
It never hurts to ask a moving company for client referrals. That way, you can gain firsthand insights into what it is like to work with a particular moving company.
To obtain client referrals, call a moving company directly. If the company has a proven reputation, it likely can provide client referrals instantly. Conversely, if a moving company has delivered lackluster results to date, it may struggle to provide client referrals.
In addition, ask a moving company's past customers about their experiences with the business. Find out why these customers chose a particular moving company, how the moving company handled various moving day challenges and whether these customers would use the same company in the future. This will enable you to gain the comprehensive insights you need to make an informed decision.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Local real estate agents are well-connected in their respective cities and towns. Thus, if you contact a real estate agent today, you can simplify your search for the right moving company.
A real estate agent is happy to provide expert recommendations about moving companies in your area. Plus, if you need help finding a moving company on short notice, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to support homebuyers and home sellers alike. This housing market professional understands the challenges associated with buying and selling a house and will assist homebuyers and home sellers in any way possible. In fact, a real estate agent will help a property buyer or seller get ready to enter the housing market, prep for moving day and much more.
Take the guesswork out of finding the right moving company – use the aforementioned best practices, and you're sure to find a terrific moving company.
Nothing dates a bathroom like an old toilet. Not only have toilets advanced significantly in the past 10-15 years. Older toilets often develop hard water stains and porcelain scratches that show their age.
Fortunately, replacing a toilet is one of the most straightforward home improvement projects you can do. And it's relatively inexpensive for a DIY toilet replacement. Here's how it's done.
What You'll Need
Some of these items will come with a toilet. So see what's in the box before you buy separately.
Remove the Old Toilet
Before you do, turn off the water supply on the wall behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to empty the remaining water. Then while wearing gloves, use your sponge and towel to sop up any liquid left behind in the bowl and the tank behind the bowl.
If the toilet's tank can separate from the bowl, remove it first for a lighter lift. You only need the hack saw if the bolts are rusted solid. Otherwise, you just need a wrench.
Put the dirty toilet in a big plastic bag and take it outside for now.
Remove Old Wax
Stick an old hand towel gently into the mouth of the hole left behind to block sewer gasses floating into your house. *Pro tip* Don't use a washcloth. You may lose it. If it falls down your drain, you may need a plumber to get it out.
Next, use your putty knife to carve out the old wax around the hole in the floor. It's soft, so this is easy on the hands, but it may take a little while to dig it all out.
Remove the old closet bolts and the flange if needed. They're cheap to replace.
Install the New Flange, Bolts & Wax Ring
Lay down your new flange and place your bolts pointing up. These will secure the base of your toilet. Tightening down washers over the bolts holds the bolts in place, so it will be easier to slide your toilet over the top.
Next, soften the wax ring with warm water. And then fit it around the drain on the underside of the toilet. Don't forget to remove the towel from the pipe before going further.
Lower Your Toilet into Place
Carefully lower the bowl of the toilet over the bolts. Press down firmly to strengthen the wax seal. Then fasten the bolts on the bowl and tank. Hook up the water, tighten, and watch as the tank fills ready to shut it off the hose leaks. Tighten it.
And you've just replaced your toilet. Don't forget to follow our blog for more helpful home tips.
When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, it’s very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or won’t bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!
Let’s take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.
1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel newer—an instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.
2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.
3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a home’s curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your home’s exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint won’t do the trick.
4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes don’t have to break the bank to catch a buyer’s eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.
5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.
6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.
The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but it’s quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.
Saving for a down payment on a house can seem like an insurmountable challenge to first-time homebuyers. You don’t have the benefit of equity built from owning previous homes, and most, if not all, of your income could be tied up in other places like paying rent and bills.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry--you’re not alone. The good news is that there are some other things you might try before giving up on saving for a down payment.
In today’s post, we’re going to discuss a few techniques for saving for a down payment that you might not yet have thought of, and talk about how to can start saving sooner rather than later.
1. Know your options
Many first-time buyers aren’t aware of all of the different mortgage types that may be available to them. VA loans, USDA loans, and more are all available to buyers who don’t have a large down payment saved up.
There’s also the common myth that your down payment needs to be at least 20% percent of the cost of the home. However, this number is more like an ideal figure that will allow you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Before determining how much you need to save, make sure you understand all of your options.
2. Learn the art of budgeting
Most of us use the term “budget” as a vague word that means the amount of money we can spend.
The true point of a budget, however, is to gain a detailed understanding of where your money goes and to develop a plan.
One good method of budgeting is to do what budget experts call, “giving every dollar a job.” This means that you know where each dollar o your paycheck will go.
There are many tools available for you to use when budgeting. You can use a free app like a spreadsheet from Google Sheets, or a service that connects you your bank account like Mint. Mint will also let you set goals (such as saving for a down payment) so you can track your progress.
3. Asking for a raise
Depending on how long you’ve been at your job and your work performance, it might be time to ask your employer for a raise up front. Many employers are more than happy to reward hard work and dedication, but just don’t hand out money if they aren’t asked.
4. Start that side hustle
There are a lot of ways to earn extra money in a service economy. From waiting tables at night to delivering packages for Amazon, and giving lifts in your car for Uber, there are numerous ways to earn some extra cash in the evenings.
Just remember that you want this project to be something that’s enjoyable or interesting, otherwise it’s easy to burn out from overwork.
5. See if you have employee assistance options
Some employers offer housing assistance programs to their employees as a work benefit. If you haven’t flipped through your HR packet in a while, now might be a good time to make sure you’re taking advantage of your options.
Selling your house should be a quick, seamless task. Yet the home selling journey varies based on a number of factors, including the condition of a seller's residence and the current state of the housing market. And if you fail to plan ahead for the home selling journey, you may struggle to achieve your desired results.
There are several things that you can do to simplify the house selling journey. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the home selling process.
1. Craft a Home Selling Strategy
A home selling strategy is pivotal for any property seller, at any time. If you know what it takes to sell your residence, you can take the necessary steps to ensure success at each stage of the house selling journey.
Think about why a buyer may want to purchase your residence and craft your house selling strategy accordingly. Because if you understand the buyer's perspective, you may discover unique ways to help your house stand out from the competition. As a result, you could boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.
2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price
The initial asking price for your home can make a world of difference. If you set an initial asking price that is too high, for example, buyers likely will shy away from your home. On the other hand, if your initial asking price is too low, you risk selling yourself short during the property selling journey.
Analyze the prices of available houses that are similar to your own in your city or town. Furthermore, it may be beneficial to look at the prices of recently sold homes in your area. Once you review this housing market data, you'll be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – navigating the home selling journey on your own may prove to be difficult. As such, a real estate agent is a must-have, particularly for a home seller who is unsure about how to navigate the property selling journey. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive assistance at each stage of the home selling cycle.
A real estate agent will help you craft an effective property selling strategy and determine the optimal initial asking price for your residence. He or she also will showcase your residence to prospective buyers, help you review offers to purchase your home and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. And if you ever have concerns as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is available to respond to them.
When it comes to selling a home, it is important to do whatever you can to keep things simple. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can move closer to selling your home and maximizing your house sale earnings.