Monthly Archives: January 2018

Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

Whether you’re shopping for a home in a familiar location or a new neighborhood, remember that you’re buying more than a home. You’re also buying the neighborhood, so it helps to become familiar with your favorites, whether you drive them or walk them.

Why is that important? It’s the neighborhood that helps establish home values, which depend largely on location and local amenities (close to high-paying jobs, high-scoring schools, high-starring restaurants, etc.)

Neighborhoods can change over time, so look for signs of transition. Do you see reinvestment or decline? Homeowners reinvest by repainting, making repairs and refreshing their homes with updates. What kinds of stores and services do you see? Dollar stores or boutiques, payday loan shops or investment firms, fast food or upscale restaurants. Are you the right target demographic?

Visit the area at different times of the day and on weekends. What’s traffic like? How long is your commute?

As you drive, check a few home-buying apps. On your Realtor.com app, you can see crime stats and amenities and save your favorites to show your Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network professional.

You’ll be happier if you pick the neighborhood first, then choose the home.

Moving to The Golden Isles?

St. Simons Island Mover

GET THE BEST MOVER

Moving is a big job but you can make it much easier by choosing a reliable mover.

Start early. Ask family and friends for referrals, then compare price and service estimates from several moving companies. Your mover should be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, or by your state.

Licensed interstate movers must offer two types of liability options: Full Value Protection and Released Value. Full value means full replacement cost, while released value is approximately 60 cents per pound per item. You can also purchase third-party insurance for more protection.

Binding estimates are based on the weight of your household items, the distance they will be moved, and the amount of packing and other services you will require, so the mover’s estimator should thoroughly look at what is to be moved. Point out extra-heavy or fragile objects, and share special conditions, such as parking restrictions, number of stories, and freight elevator use.

Make sure you understand all rates and charges that will apply, the mover’s liability for your belongings, pick-up and delivery schedules, and claims protection. You can choose the extent of services you require and have them tailored to suit your moving budget.

Things to Have in Order Before Hiring A General Contractor

Hiring a General Contractor

When you hire a general contractor to remodel your home, it’s helpful to know what to expect, so start with the design you want. Are you doing a complete remodel? Updating a kitchen or bathroom? Adding square footage or moving walls and plumbing will require professionals to ensure the project turns out the way you want.

If you hire an interior design firm, or kitchen design firm, the company will have excellent resources, including general contractors. The designer wants a seamless, trouble-free project as much as you do, so s/he knows which contractors to hire, what they’re especially good at, and who to avoid.

The general contractor is in charge of scheduling, hiring, material estimation and acquisition, tear out, installation, waste disposal, permits, and insurance. All of the sub-contractors and their workers will report to him or her.

Ask for references. Most clients are happy to tell others if they had a good experience, and they understand your need to check referrals. Certifications can indicate standards of professionalism and values. NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) offers the Certified Remodeler, Certified Remodeler Specialist, and Certified Lead Carpenter designations.

Hiring a general contractor can protect you by knowing the latest building codes and getting the proper building permits so your job is insurable by your homeowner’s insurance. The firm will also provide worker’s compensation to cover workers who might get injured on your property.

Make certain the scope of the work is detailed in the estimate, so you know what, when and where work will be done.