Category Archives: Moving

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Buyer Beware: Read This Before Buying a Flipped House

When relocating you will more than likely go through the process of finding a new home. Buying is a huge commitment, and it will be important take your time to ensure you find the perfect house for you and your family. During your search, you will most likely come across flipped homes for sale. A flipped house is a redevelopment of distressed or abandoned properties, fixing them up and selling them for a profit.

According to RealtyTrac, homes flipped in 2013 accounted for 4.6 percent of all U.S. single family home sales during the year, up from 4.2 percent in 2012 and up from 2.6 percent in 2011. There are a lot of people that are great at flipping houses, but there are some that do the bare minimum — mainly cosmetic improvements – to sell the house and make a buck. If you’re considering purchasing a flipped home, below are a few extra steps to ensure you purchase the best home for you and not one that was just cosmetically flipped.

  • Do your research.  Check online, ask your realtor and talk to the neighbors to find out about the house prior to the renovation. Realtors will have disclosers if the current owner received them, so make sure to ask for all documentation.
  • Hire an experienced home inspector and have your inspection done as soon as possible. A home inspector will be able to tell if the work on the house was complete and done properly.
  • Look for structural problems. Tip-offs include cracking in the exterior brick, evidence of tuck-pointing in the area, unleveled floors and bad finish work. If you suspect issues, consider hiring a structural engineer.
  • Check for permits on the house – unpermitted work is a bad sign. Make sure the permits were pulled and closed out properly with inspections done at completion.
  • Pay attention to details. Does the dryer and heater vent out of the house? Is there a new circuit breaker panel with a state inspection sticker on it? Ask to see the manuals of the new appliances as these should be on hand if they were recently bought. Check to see separate hot and cold knobs in the shower, this usually points to old plumbing.
  • Who worked on the house? Find out what contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc., that made improvements on the house and check their reputations online, such as the Better Business Bureau website and Angie’s List.
  • If you are considering buying a house that was up for auction, talk to your realtor about the risks. These are generally without warranty or any guarantee of clear title.

There is nothing wrong with buying a flipped house, but there are always some bad eggs in the basket.  It is important to do your research, pay attention to details, and, if all else fails, ask an expert before making a commitment to buy the perfect house for you.

References:
http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post–5-questions-buyers-can-ask-about-a-flipped-home
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/buying-a-flipped-home-be-careful-2013-08-26
http://www.zillow.com/blog/problems-with-flipped-houses-78938/
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/07/how-to-spot-a-home-flip-money-pit/

 

roadtrip

Family Fun with Road Trip Games

All of your household belongings are packed in the Bekins truck and now you are making a road trip to your new home. Make your journey interesting with a few of these road trip games. It is a great way to pass the time as well as bond with your family as you embark on your new adventure.

Spot the Bekins Truck
Here at Bekins, one of our favorite games to play on a long road trip is spot the Bekins truck. Count how many Bekins moving trucks you pass while traveling to your destination. Whoever spots the most wins! One of the Bekins trucks could be the one moving your belongings!

Bekins_Triple Crown Muffucci

I Spy
This is possible one of the most popular games of all time. One person chooses a nearby object and says, “I spy with my little eye something that begins with ____________ or something that is the color ________.” The player who guesses the correct object gets to go next. Remember, it’s best not to choose something that will be out of site in a few seconds, such as a moving car.

Banana Game
Similar to “Spot the Bekins Truck,” anyone who spots a yellow car shouts “Banana!” and gets a point. You can make up your own point system. For example, a school bus could be worth five points or a little yellow corvette could be two points. It’s your game, so you make the rules!

License Plate Game
There are many ways to play the license plate game and adjustments can be made depending on the age of your kids. Young participants can call out spotted license plate letters in alphabetical order. The first one to Z wins. Next, have them look for doubles of letters or numbers on the plates. Older kids can spot out-of-state plates they see. To make it harder, they would have to spot state license plates in alphabetical order.

Name that Tune
The winner here is the one who figures out the name of the “mystery song” first. You can sing, whistle, or hum a tune after choosing a theme for the game, such as show tunes, movie or TV themes, or contemporary music. The winner gets to be the singer for the next round. You can also guess songs on the radio by hitting the “seek” button.

I’m Going On A Picnic…
One person begins by saying “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing…” and then whatever they choose to bring, according to a special pattern or rule that only they know. Maybe it’s only things that are a certain color or start with a certain letter. Other players try to guess the secret theme of the picnic by suggesting their own items to bring. The picnic planner then tells them whether or not they can bring that item based on the secret pattern. The first person to guess the pattern wins and gets to lead the next picnic.

Seven Questions
The rules are simple: Players must take turns asking each other questions. Any player who hesitates, laughs or actually answers a question loses. The game can be played for points or just for bragging rights of not getting disqualified. Of course, the best way to win is to get into your opponent’s head: “Are we still playing?” “Did you just hesitate?” “Do you think we can pull over soon for a bathroom break?”

What are some fun games that you and your family pass the time on a long car ride?

 

 

 

References: http://www.minitime.com/trip-tips/Top-5-Road-Trip-Games-article, http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/top-10-road-trip-games.html, http://www.pbs.org/parents/summer/road-trip-games-for-kids/

Find-A-Job-Rev-3

Landing a Job in Your New City

Moving is a daunting task, but moving without a job can be completely overwhelming. Whether you are trying to find a job before you move or once you are settled in your new home, here are a few tips on how to land a job in your new area.

Research

Research the city that you are relocating to and learn about the industries that are located in that particular area. Pinpoint three-to-five companies that might interest you and think about what you, with your skill set, can bring to that organization.

You might want to research the geography of the city in relation to where these companies are located. Consider your commute to and from work as it might affect your decision on what neighborhood fits best.

Learn as much as you can about the culture of the city because these can be some great talking points in interviews.

Plan

When moving, planning is essential to alleviate stress. The same goes for finding a job, too.

Start by vamping up your resume and cover letter. A cover letter not only allows you to sell yourself, but can be a useful tool to explain your move and work availability. When possible consider using a local address on your resume since many larger human resources departments may filter out-of-town candidates from the pool. This will help you get past initial screenings.

Always be honest about your intentions to move. In your cover letter and in-person, make sure you are confident in your story as to why you are moving and when. It is essential to show hiring managers that you are not only committed to the move, but to the company and, most importantly, can remain composed under stressful circumstances.

Set a time frame and have a plan for your move when the time comes. There are many questions as to how much it will cost to move, who will relocate you, and how to pack your household goods. This will be much easier if thought out before moving day arrives. Here are some helpful tips when considering your relocation. http://www.bekins.com/household-moves/

Network

In recent study, 80 percent of jobs were found through networking as it can set you apart from a vast candidate pool. Be sure to connect with people in the area to let them know your intentions on moving. In addition, let family and friends know about you’re moving because they might have a link to someone in the area as well.

Consider reaching out to local recruiters or employment agencies. Their job is to find the best possible candidate for an open position at a company. Do a local search and explain your intentions with the move.

Try visiting the area before you move to meet up with these connections. If possible, plan your trip around local job fairs or networking events that can help build your network.

If you cannot visit before the move, the Internet will become your best friend. There are many career resources and job sites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and CareerBuilder, which will help you find job openings. You also can search local newspaper and government Web sites. Change your location on your social media profiles, including Facebook and Twitter, to begin networking with companies and people in your new area. Join local industry groups on LinkedIn as they may post job openings and give advice for job seekers like you.

Persistence

Finding a job takes persistence. You might not get call backs or interviews right away, which can be very frustrating, but don’t give up! The perfect job for you will come along; you just need to put in some work finding it!

 

Have you landed a job in a new city? What advice would you give to someone who is planning on doing so?