Matthew Walsh's Blog
18 Silvia Way, Dighton, MA 02715
Moving to a new home can be either a fun experience or a very stressful time for you. It all depends on the way you manage the move. Being prepared for the entire process is one definite way of making sure that the whole moving experience is a fun one for you. Follow these simple ideas for a smooth moving operation.
- Find a moving company. Except you want to do the moving yourself, you might be better off with a professional moving company. Ask for good recommendations and decide on one mover that is well within your budget. Schedule a date for the moving with the company when you finally pick one. You can begin this about two months before you have to leave, to give you enough time to wrap up the process.
- Sort and purge. Decide what you want to move to your new home. Some items will probably be too old or useless where you are going too, so you should sell, give to your neighbors or donate to charity. During this period, you should also work on exhausting things that you won’t move, such as perishable food items or cleaning supplies. Ideally, you should start doing this about six weeks before your moving date.
- Start Packing. At about a month to your moving date, you should start packing your non-essential items into boxes. Things that you don't use frequently should be the first to go in your boxes. Make sure you mark individual boxes with a label that identifies what is in the box and what room it’s going to in your new home. As your move date draws nearer, everything you no longer need until you settle in at your new home you should pack at once.
- Clear out your home. If you have storage facilities outside your current home, like a garage or shed, you should start clearing them out for the move. You want to avoid forgetting something that might turn out to be very important. Wash, dry and pack up all your clothing too. Also, don’t forget to return all items you may have borrowed from neighbors in the past.
- Final arrangements. In the last days before you leave, go round your house a few times to be sure you are not leaving anything behind. Pack a night bag that you can live out of, pending when you finally settle in at your new home. If you are using professional movers, be sure to ask them for wardrobe boxes to make it easier to have your clothes when you arrive. If you need recommendations on moving companies, ask around at the next neighborhood meeting.
Moving doesn't need to be stressful for you if handled well. Sometimes all you need is a plan of action.
With rent prices shooting soaring across the country, many young Americans who were previously happy renting while they saved for a home are now turning to other options.
One common solution is a starter home. If you want to keep your monthly mortgage prices low while being able to build equity and slowly save for your “forever home.” a starter home can be a great option for first-time buyers.
When does it make sense to buy a starter home?
Buying a home means mortgage payments, home maintenance and repairs, and closing costs. However, they can also be a great introduction to the responsibilities of homeownership.
Better yet, starter homes allow you to build equity that can be used toward the down payment of your next home, something that first-time buyers often struggle with. This could help you secure a lower interest rate and avoid costly private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Sounds great, right? But when shouldn’t you buy a starter home?
It might not make sense to buy a starter home if you don’t plan on living in it at least 3-4 years. You might find that the cost of renting is less than that of your mortgage payments and closing costs if you don’t live in the home long enough to reap the rewards.
It also might not be a good idea if your family is going to outgrow a small home in the next few years for the same reasons mentioned above. That makes it all the more important to discuss your long term plans with your spouse before considering a home.
Things to look for in a starter home
1. Resale value
One of the most important aspects of your starter home should be the ability to resell it in the future. Now, there is an endless number of factors that go into the marketability of a home. Key factors include the condition of the home and keeping it well-maintained, as well as the location of the home. Buying a starter home in an area that will attract young professionals down the road is typically a good investment.
2. Small size = low price
It probably goes without saying, but finding a home with a low price, at the expense of square-footage, is most often a smart choice when it comes to starter homes.
Small homes are cheaper to buy, cheaper to heat, and cheaper to maintain. However, since housing prices are trending upward, you’ll likely still see a positive return on your investment in ~5 years time when you’re hoping to buy again.
3. Reasonable home improvements
If you can spare the time, buying a starter home that needs some work can be an excellent investment. It can be more difficult later on when you have a large family to care for and less time to focus on making improvements.
482 W Britannia St, Taunton, MA 02780
When pests come into your home, there’s no creepier feeling that you may have as a homeowner. You may turn to your house insurance for assistance if the problem gets really bad. Let’s say that termites have taken over your home and gotten into your walls or foundation. Maybe mice have gotten into the walls of your home, or a squirrel has caused some major issues in the attic. Whatever the problem is, you want to remedy it quickly. It might be an expensive fix no matter what, but it has to be remedied for you to continue to live comfortably in your home.
The Truth About Homeowners Insurance
Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn't cover pest infestations. It doesn’t matter if the termites have literally eaten you out of house and home, the insurance companies consider pests to be an avoidable problem. Even though you may wonder how bugs can be considered “avoidable,” it’s simple. The insurance company believes that regular maintenance and checking of your property can help to prevent bug infestations. This is why it’s so important to take care of your property and not neglect it.
There are a few exceptions to the rule. If your ceiling caves in and it was caused by some of the pest damage, your insurance may cover the cost of the repairs to the ceiling. They may not cover the materials that are needed to repair the ceiling itself. Insurance claims can be tricky, so you’ll need to ask a lot of questions if these problems do occur for you.
What Homeowners Insurance Covers
There’s nothing more frustrating than paying an insurance premium to find out that it doesn’t actually cover anything that you need at a certain point and time. As a general rule, homeowners insurance policies cover things that are considered accidental. This would include natural disasters like hurricanes, hailstorms, or high winds. If a tree falls on your home due to a windstorm, there was really no way of preventing that from happening. Your insurance would cover this. Damage that happens over an extended period, like that of a pest infestation or an aging home generally is not covered by house insurance.
Some insurance companies do offer separate policies to cover damage from certain types of pests like termites. There are several varieties of insects that cause damage to wood structures, so these policies may be more general stating that they provide “wood destroying insect” coverage. If you live in an area that’s prone to termites, there’s a few options available to you including something called “termite bonds.”
Your best course of action as a homeowner is prevention. Keep up with regular maintenance around your home and inspect your home regularly for any problems that you may find.