Getting Help During the Big Move: Family, Friends, or Pros?

Getting Help During the Big Move: Family, Friends, or Pros?

      From time to time, we have guest bloggers write articles that we feel would be beneficial to our readers. This article is perfect for seniors or those that might have aging family members needing to make a move. It’s time to move, and you know you can’t do it on your own. You have years of accumulated stuff, a looming moving to-do list, and not nearly enough time, energy, or patience to handle it all yourself. So who do you turn to for help? Here, we weigh the most popular options and explain why each one may or may not be the right choice. Friends: Pros and Cons A lot of people turn to their friends when it’s time to move, thinking they can can save money and return the favor the next time their friends move. For seniors looking to relocate, this isn’t the most feasible option for a number of reasons. For one, even if you have young, able-bodied friends, you’re unlikely to be able to offer the same kind of help when they need it. And helping someone move calls for a display of gratitude beyond a fruit basket or gift card. Unless you can offer a favor of equal value in return, using the assistance of friends could breed resentment. Furthermore, if your move causes someone to become injured, resentment could be the least of your worries. Friends don’t have the same level of concern for your belongings as you do. While you may want things handled with care and packed a certain way, your friends probably just want to finish the task as quickly as possible. This could lead to damages that you can’t recoup without straining relationships. For reasons like these, the cost savings simply aren’t worth the risk. Family: Pros and Cons For many seniors preparing for a move, adult children seem like the obvious choice for moving assistance. Not only will they help for free, but they’ll respect the value of belongings and be understanding of how emotionally stressful moving can be for senior parents. If they have enough spare time, they might even help unpack and organize the new home. However, adult children may also share the same sentimental attachment to items that makes it so challenging for their parents to downsize and pack efficiently. If time is tight, you can’t afford to spend hours reminiscing over family photo albums or debating over which child inherits which heirloom. In addition, children and other family members could have strong opinions about what’s best for you in your new home, even when you disagree. When you’re in the midst of an already-stressful move, the last things you want to deal...

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Home Organization: Preparing For The Sale

Home Organization: Preparing For The Sale

When buyers imagine their dream home, what do they picture?. Maybe it’s a downtown loft, a mid-century modern, or a plantation home in the country. No matter what type or style of home they desire, nearly everyone will picture a place that is clutter-free, well cared for, and immaculately clean. Sellers should take this seriously when they prep their home for sale. Organization in all rooms is important, but having specific rooms exceptionally well organized is key. Here are the rooms and areas of your home you should focus on organizing before you list your house! Clean All Bedroom and Hall Closets Start by tossing out or putting into storage items that are not in season or not worn. Install shelving and add pegs for ties or scarves or purchase baskets for these small items. A shoe rack will contain multiple pairs of shoes, freeing up floor space in the closet and making it look larger. Consider adding a dual-rod shelving system to double the amount of space for hangers. This is useful even if there is not enough clothing to fill both rods. Empty closet space adds to the impression of bountiful storage. Organize the Pantry Every home should have a spacious, organized pantry. Always use containers to increase storage potential. Plastic containers of cereal are easy to stack, but open cereal boxes are not. Lidded containers prevent items like flour and sugar from spilling from their bags. Consider installing a Lazy Susan to maximize the space (they are available in floor-to-ceiling models or small versions that slide into cupboards). Small bins mounted to the walls or doors are convenient places to tuck away bulky bottles or packages that do not store neatly on an open shelf. Labeled bins and baskets make it easy to corral snacks, baking supplies and other items and makes them easier to find. Store cookware and storage lids in slotted racks. Prepare the Laundry Room In the laundry room make certain nothing is stored on the floor or on top of the washer and dryer. Install a wall-mount, expandable drying rack. Hang the ironing board on the wall or the back of the laundry room door. Add shelving for laundry soap and other cleaning supplies. For a folding table, consider installing a fold-down wall mounted desk. These are are a great way to maximize usable space in a laundry or utility room. While laundry sorters do take up space, they look more organized than multiple clothes baskets filled with dirty clothes. Single hampers are great for small rooms and collapsible models make it possible to fold them up and tuck them aside before showing the home. Most importantly, make sure there are no...

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Understanding and Treating Radon

Understanding and Treating Radon

Understanding and Treating Radon Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the decay of radioactive elements such as Uranium found in soil and rocks. This chemically unreactive gas is fairly soluble in water and other organic solvents, even though it occurs as gas under normal conditions. The radon gas found in the soil and rock can easily find its way into the air and water found on the surface and underground. Radon poses serious health risk to humans and the environment since it is acknowledged as the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 20,000 people die every year from lung cancer as a result of exposure to radon. The other harmful respiratory effects associated with chronic exposure to this deadly gas include; respiratory lesion, emphysema, silicosis and pulmonary fibrosis. High concentrations of radon have the potential of generating genotoxic effects. The primary routes of radon exposure to humans are through ingestion and inhalation. Exposure to Radon Gas in Nashville Homes and Workplaces The level of radon gas in buildings largely depends on the characteristics of the soil or rock found at in a given area. The exposure can happen at home, school, workplace or the outdoors. Importance of Home Inspection Having a Home inspection performed is an obvious step to take, but many people skip having a radon test performed. Homes in Middle Tennessee have some of the highest levels of Radon in the country, so this is a dangerous gamble to make. Radon inspections have become an important part of Nashville home inspections, because radon gas can easily accumulate inside in places like the attic and basement. The radon mitigation test can be conducted by placing a test kit at the lowest hanging floor for between 2 to 7 days. Once this period is expired, a house inspector will take the sample to the lab for further analysis. If the levels of radon are high several remedial measures can be undertaken, including sealing the concrete slab floors, water drainage systems and basement foundations. To ensure total safety, tests should also be conducted on the septic tank and well water. Be sure to reach out to a professional in the Nashville area for a Radon Test and Radon...

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Heloc: What is it and How can I use it?

Heloc: What is it and How can I use it?

  Have you ever wondered what a HELOC is? Do you want to know how you can use it? I introduce you to Sidney Powers – banker extraordinaire. She will explain everything you would want to know so, read on.   Well here it is already… 2016 and a LEAP Year too!  The decorations are put away, the company has all gone home (hopefully) and you finally get to sit down. However, now you start looking around your house and begin to realize it is looking a little shabby (not as in Chic either). It looks Drab, Carpets and Furniture are worn, Kitchen and Bathrooms are outdated, and you would love to add on a Sunroom, your list is longer than the kid’s Santa gift lists were. You would love to remodel but that costs money.  Savings isn’t where you would like for such a project, as you have been busy paying the mortgage down. You don’t want to use your 401K or Investment money or the Children’s College funds… so you assume you will just have to put this dream off yet another year, UGH!! STOP, right there, it is possible you don’t have to wait another year!  You have lived in your house quite a while now and you have built equity into it; both by paying down the mortgage and by the rise in real estate values in Middle Tennessee.  Why not tap into that Equity and let your House work for you for a change?  Borrowing against the equity in your home is called a Home Equity Line of Credit, fondly referred to as a “Heloc”. Using a Heloc is a simple and economic way to make improvements to your home.  Just stop by or call your local banker (preferably me) for details about a Heloc; the amount you can borrow and how to pay it back, the interest rates and if there are any fees involved. You should also contact your Tax Preparer or CPA to see if the interest charged would be tax deductible. The beauty of a Heloc is it is not selective about what you use it for, the possibilities are simply endless.  One strong feature of a Heloc is the rates are very low and you have the probability of a tax deduction making this a very cost effective loan. This loan can also be an ideal way to buy an Automobile, use for College Education,  a Wedding,  a dream Vacation , to have as an Emergency Fund,  OR maybe,  to start your own Business. Other little known facts about a Heloc are; You can use it for a Home Renovation Loan to add on that Sunroom you wanted  -or-...

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Investing In Real Estate – Part 2

Investing In Real Estate – Part 2

  I am listening to an audiobook called “The Entrepreneur’s Blueprint to Massive Success” by Peter Voogd. It talks about if you want to be a millionaire, hang around billionaires and you will get there faster. It talks about getting a mentor to help you achieve your highest success. Sounds like we were on track with last week’s blog! So, now what? Well, let’s continue with our interview with our successful real estate investor and see what kind of nuggets we can glean.   I asked, “Why do you continue to invest in real estate?” It is either invest in real estate or the stock market. He does not have much interest in the stock market. If he worked for a company with a 401k, etc., the stock market probably would have been more impactful but you have no control of whether it’s up or down, etc. He feels like he can beat the system in real estate much more than he can in stock market.   He currently owns about 65 properties in Texas, Tennessee, and Indiana. They are mostly single family with a few condominiums sprinkled in. He was opposed to condos at first, mostly because of the HOA fees, but a certain Realtor found him such a great deal on about 10 units that he decided he could look past the politics of the HOA and go straight to the bank with what he could clear each month. (I never claimed to be above the occasional shameless plug). His mentors always purchased single family properties so that’s what he was indoctrinated in and he feels that, if you need to liquidate, single family properties are easier to sell.   A common question I get about real estate investing is, “what do you look for”? Here is what this investor looks for as far as criteria to purchase a new property? His perspective may be a bit interesting. Coming out of California, losing $200/month was acceptable because values were appreciating exponentially each year. If you are not in a market where that is the case, you may need to look at it differently. In alternate markets, he looks for positive cash flow on day one then just ride it out as a long term investment. In general, he simply looks for “conforming” property – not the biggest, not smallest, just something that fits in the neighborhood. Red flags for him are foundation issues and floor plan issues that can’t easily be fixed.   His advice to someone who is considering investing in real estate? Read “The Wealthy Code; What the Wealthy Know About Money That Most People Will Never Know” by George Antone. It talks about positive...

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Personal Safety for the Holidays

Personal Safety for the Holidays

  Personal safety is important every day. As a Realtor, I have been trained to be constantly aware of my surroundings as well as some small tips to use when showing a house, holding an open house or going to a listing appointment. As the holidays approach, we are all likely to be in situations and locations where personal safety is even more important. I asked my personal trainer, Mark Simons, to write an article to help us all stay aware and, hopefully, safe during this time of year.     Nothing messes up a Christmas celebration more than getting mugged in the mall parking lot. Hard to argue with that statement. In the law enforcement world, officers are trained constantly in the arena of use of force. But it’s not just using force to effect an arrest. Often officers are attacked without provocation. In their world it’s called a sudden assault. Now these assaults can seemingly come out of right field. But over the years, officers have picked up nonverbal cues that can predict a possible assault. They have a list of cues that they train to look for from offenders. Let’s look at a few of those and see if we can apply them to our lives and hopefully avoid being mugged in the mall. When we are getting that funny feeling in our gut that someone is thinking about harming us, we often want to dismiss it. Don’t! Here are some names to those queasy feelings swirling around in our tummy: We refer to them as Threat Assessments: Watch for these Pre-Attack Postures Hand set Shoulder shift 1000 yard stare Target Glance Boxer Stance Let’s look at each one and briefly break them down. Hand set. When someone raises their hands above their waist in a manner that seems out of the norm, or as my kids say, random. Take note. Shoulder shift. The act of twisting your upper body so as to place it with your shoulder towards you as as opposed to being more forward facing or squared off. 1000 yard stare. That creepy, “I’m looking through you” look. It could mean they are about to pounce and anything you say may be falling on deaf ears, much like when I ask for chores to be completed by my teens. Target glance. Police are sketchy if the person they are encountering glances at their holstered firearm. In training class I loved to mess with them and do this. They were quick to step back and express their concern. Same for us. If someone is about to strike us, unless they are highly trained, they will most likely give it away by glancing at said target....

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