Kimberly Delling's Blog
There are a lot of ways a real estate agent can help you find the best home for your needs. However, the final decision always rests squarely on your shoulders.
The challenge for many home buyers -- especially first-timers -- is to keep everything in perspective and avoid sacrificing features that are especially important to you.
Developing a carefully thought-out priority list, consisting of both necessities and "wish list" items, is an essential starting point for getting what you want in a new home. Even though house hunting can potentially wear you down, it's important to hang in there and stay true to your priorities.
While everyone has different expectations, lifestyle needs, and personal requirements, some things are bound to create issues down the road.
- Being too close to neighbors: Depending on your need for privacy, this may or may not be a problem for you. However, if you don't want your life to feel like a reality show (with your neighbors being the audience), then it would probably pay to maintain a comfortable distance between houses. Unfortunately, that's not always possible. For example, if you're in the market for a home in an urban environment or a townhouse setting, then close proximity "comes with the territory". If living in suburbia is your objective, though, it's often feasible and desirable to keep some breathing room between neighbors.
- Basement laundry: Having to go up and down an extra flight of stairs every time you do your laundry is not the worst thing in the world, but it can make laundry day more of a hassle. The inconvenience of a basement laundry is multiplied if you have to do several loads of laundry every week. To make that chore even more unpleasant, unfinished basements are often dank, musty smelling, and not much to look at! Regardless of the condition of the basement, though, having a first-floor laundry does make life a lot easier!
- A tiny yard: A spacious yard is not a feature all house hunters require, but if you have dogs, kids, and the occasional backyard barbecue, then you'd probably find a good-sized yard to be more satisfying. On the other hand, if your short-term plan includes moving in a few years, then yard size might not be a major issue.
- Being too far from conveniences: Do you have your heart set on a rural setting for your next home? If so, you may have to sacrifice being close to shopping, entertainment, friends, and work. It is a potential trade-off that you and your family will need to consider carefully. Reaching a consensus on what you must have versus what you'd like to have in a home will hopefully help ensure a decision you'll all be satisfied with.
SuppliesThe best part about blanket forts is that you can build them with whatever you have at hand. There are a few items, however, that will make your fort structurally sound. The bare necessities are:
- Blankets (as many as possible)
- Sofa cushions (you'll want to stack these to make a crawl-through doorway)
- Chairs (to toss the blankets over; these are the bones of your fort)
- Broom sticks or any other tall pole (to raise the roof)
- Something to clip blankets with
- Lighting. Bring flashlights, christmas lights, black lights, or a lantern inside your fort to illuminate the fun activities you can do inside.
- Games. Once inside your fort you're not just going to lay there (until bed time anyway). Bring in board games, Jenga, or whatever you have laying around.
- Friends. Stuffed animals, dolls, action figures... make it a party.
- Sleeping bags. If your fort makes it through the night you'll want something comfy to sleep in.
- Food. You can't have the campfire but you can have the S'mores. Cook them in the microwave or toaster oven and eat them inside the fort.
- Laptop. This is strictly for movies, not for Facebook.
TechniqueIt doesn't take a structural engineer to build a blanket fort (though I'm sure they'd build a really awesome one that we'd all be envious of). Use the biggest blankets for the largest part of the roof, smaller blankets for walls and objects that can't hold a lot of weight without tipping. Use your environment to your advantage. If the room you're in has anything you can toss blankets over--like a table--or if there are window-sills you can clip blankets to, use these features to optimize your experience. Using slightly translucent blankets underneath the lights in your room will add a nice glow to the inside. If you want it to be more like camping out, turn the lights off in the room and only use lights inside the fort. The best part of making a blanket fort is that it's your own creation. Use our guidelines to get started, but once the blankets are out--anything goes.
If you recently bought or sold a house, it may be only a matter of time before you need to move. Lucky for you, many moving companies are available to help you transport your personal belongings from one destination to the next.
What differentiates a good moving company from a great one? Here are three tips to ensure you can find the perfect company to help you with your upcoming move.
1. Get Multiple Quotes
When it comes to finding a moving company, there is no reason to break your budget. Fortunately, if you shop around, you can select a high-quality moving company that won't force you to overspend.
Reach out to a wide range of moving companies in your city or town. That way, you can receive multiple quotes.
Also, it is important to remember that the lowest price doesn't always guarantee the best service, particularly when it comes to moving companies. And even though price should be a consideration as you evaluate moving companies, it is essential to consider other factors.
The more you research that you perform into all of the moving companies that are available, the better off you will be. With plenty of research in hand, you should have no trouble choosing an affordable moving company that will exceed your expectations.
2. Look at a Moving Company's Experience
No two moving companies are identical, and in most cases, you can enjoy many benefits if you choose a proven moving company over an inexperienced one.
Ultimately, a proven moving company will have sufficient staff on hand to help you transport your belongings to your new address. This company likely employs customer service professionals who are happy to respond to any concerns or questions prior to moving day too.
A proven moving company also can help you alleviate stress as you prep for moving day. This company will go the extra mile to support you in any way possible, and by doing so, ensure you can receive comprehensive assistance when moving day arrives.
3. Ask for Client Referrals
If you're on the fence about a moving company, it certainly won't hurt to ask this business for client referrals.
In many cases, client referrals are difference-makers, particularly if you're struggling to decide between two moving companies.
A moving company should be able to provide you with client referrals at your request. Then, you can reach out to past clients to learn about their experiences with a particular moving company.
Client referrals offer excellent resources as you search for the ideal moving company. In fact, client referrals can provide you with moving company insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to your real estate agent for extra help. This housing market professional may be able to put you in touch with a variety of moving companies that can help you relocate your belongings.
Take the guesswork out of selecting a moving company – use the aforementioned tips, and you can find the ideal moving company based on your personal needs and finances.
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