Predictions for 2020's Housing Market

The Michigan real estate market is no exception, 2020 is projected to be a strong year in real estate.  Here are some pros and cons of buying and selling your home in the Michigan real estate market in 2020.

 

Mortgage Rates are on the Rise

Although rates are projected to increase in 2020, they are only projected to slightly rise. This means now more than ever is a great time to buy as they will only continue to rise over the next year or so, and you can still get a great rate!

Rent Prices Increase

Millennials are reaching the point in their life where they are having to make the decision of continuing to rent or becoming a homeowner. As rent prices rise it is becoming increasingly affordable to take on a mortgage. Many renters are finding they are able to take on a mortgage for the same, or at times, a cheaper monthly payment!

Low Inventory on the Market

Low housing inventory will continue into the new year, which will make it a great time for sellers. This trend will result in homes to selling quicker at a higher price. It's more important than ever for buyers to have a real estate agent working for them. Having an agent will get you the quickest access to homes once they're on the market.

Housing Prices on the Rise

As the demand for houses remains higher than the supply, many home prices will rise. Housing will become less affordable which will hurt Millennials and those that are renting the most. It's always best to work with a trusted real estate agent to best determine the listing price for your home. An experienced real estate agent has the knowledge and experience in your market and will be able to guide you to reach top dollar for your home.

The market for 2020 is really at a stage that can work well for both sellers and buyers.  Since rent prices are on the rise and mortgage rates are slowly increasing as well, now is a great time for renters to become homeowners!  with motivated buyers on the market and low inventory now is a great opportunity for sellers to get multiple offers on their home. If you are looking to buy, the first step is to consult an experienced real estate agent and get pre-approved for a mortgage.  Sellers will want to consult with a real estate agent for expert advice on their home value and the current market!

 

Nov. 24, 2020

Get Started Winterizing Your Home

 

While the fall has been mild and even warm in many areas, it’s important to realize that winter is right around the corner. There’s no way to tell what the winter might hold, and even if you don’t see much in the way of snow and ice you can still run into some problems if your home isn’t ready for cold winter temperatures. To make sure that you’re as ready as possible for whatever the winter might have in store, here are some things to consider as you make your winterization plans.

 

Weatherproofing and Heat Loss

One big problem during the winter is heat loss, with doors and windows being some of the biggest culprits here. A few big aspects of weatherproofing to prevent heat loss involve things like installing weather strips on your doors and windows, caulking around windows where you can feel a draft, adding a door sweep to keep drafts from occurring under your door, and even installing a storm door if you don’t have one. Adding thermal plastic over windows and other exposed surfaces can help with this as well.

Leaks and Burst Pipes

Depending on where you live, leaky pipes and even pipes bursting after a freeze can be big problems during the winter. There are a few ways to prevent this, including disconnecting external hoses, installing covers over external faucets, and adding pipe insulation to the pipes under your home. Sealing or caulking cracks and other openings where pipes and conduits travel through walls can also help, as can installing heat cables on your pipes if freezing is a major concern.

Prepare for Heat

If you’re like most people, you’re going to need to heat your home during the winter. It’s best to do some maintenance and testing of your heating systems while it’s still warm so that you’re not left in the cold once winter hits in earnest. If you use a fireplace, have your chimney cleaned to remove creosote and blockages before you have to use it. Clean any external components of your heating system to remove leaves and other debris, then turn the heat on to make sure that it’s actually working properly. Don’t be alarmed if you smell a bit of dust burning off, but if the burning smell continues or the heat isn’t coming out of the vents very well then get some maintenance done on your system.

Check the Roof

Your roof and gutters should be checked toward the end of autumn, after the leaves have mostly stopped falling and before the temperatures drop too much. Look for signs of damaged or missing shingles, as well as any obvious dips, leaks, or weak spots in the roof. Clean your gutters thoroughly and make sure that they’re securely fastened to your home. You might consider installing snow or ice guards to prevent large amounts of snow becoming a falling hazard during the winter as well. In addition, take the time to check your attic and make sure that all the insulation is in good condition and that there’s sufficient ventilation to keep mold and other problems at bay.

Last-Minute Maintenance

While you’re not likely to use them much during the winter, be sure to take an afternoon to clean and maintain your mowers, trimmers, and any other power equipment before you stow it away for the winter. This also applies for any grills or other outdoor equipment you won’t be using again until spring. While you’re at it, do some maintenance and testing of equipment such as leaf blowers, snow blowers, and portable heaters that you might need to use over the winter to make sure that everything is in proper working order.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Nov. 12, 2020

How to Take Care of Your Popcorn Ceilings

 

Popcorn is great with a movie or possibly for stringing around an old-fashioned Christmas tree, but it’s a little less universally loved when it’s applied to the ceiling as a texture. “Popcorn ceiling,” a type of texture that looks a lot more like cottage cheese than popcorn, was widely used in homes from the 1950s through the mid-1980s, regardless of architecture style.

 

A Warning About Popcorn Ceilings

Many popcorn ceiling treatments were manufactured using asbestos fiber, which was legal until the mid-1970s in most states. However, the asbestos-containing compound was still legal to sell until all stores were depleted, so if your home was built prior to the mid-1980s, there’s a significant chance your popcorn ceilings contain asbestos.

Just having asbestos bound up on your ceiling doesn’t pose a significant health risk by itself. The problem occurs when these ceiling materials are disturbed. Dust particles containing asbestos can be inhaled, which is really bad for your lungs. Because of this, it’s important to have an asbestos test on your ceiling materials if you’re considering cutting into or removing portions of it. It’s also vital that you invest in filtration respirators that will capture asbestos particles. And in some locations you may need a permit or licensed professionals to remove asbestos containing materials.

Your Popcorn Ceiling Options

Ceiling work can be a huge pain even under the best circumstances, but when you have to add in the risk that popcorn ceilings can represent, it gets even more troublesome. However, you have several different options for refreshing your popcorn ceilings without adding significant risk to your household. Consider:

  • Simply repainting. Sure, popcorn ceilings are hard to clean and can really date your home, but for many houses, popcorn was the original ceiling texture. Regardless of how you may feel about it, it’s period appropriate. If it’s holding well to the ceiling and you’re not experiencing any issues (besides cosmetic ones), repainting your popcorn may be the best way to refresh it. It’s a cheap, simple solution for a ceiling that doesn’t need any patches or repairs.
  • Encasing it in drywall. Choosing thin drywall that’s made for ceilings can give you a brand new ceiling to work with. Not only will this encase any asbestos between two layers of ceiling material, but you can also start fresh with very little mess, unlike scraping popcorn with all its hassle and risks. Fresh drywall can be used on popcorn ceilings that are less than perfect, even if they contain holes, but you’ll need to make sure the attachment surface is consistently level. This may require you to shim out missing bits of drywall.
  • Installing a new ceiling system. Several lightweight ceiling systems exist that can be used to cover popcorn or other texture ceilings. They generally consist of tongue and groove segments that work with a rail system to create a seamless new ceiling with a pattern. Several popular choices include systems that mimic wood ceilings, tin ceilings, or even bead board.
  • Removing the popcorn texture. You can often remove a popcorn ceiling by scraping the material off with a trowel. Depending on how it was applied, you’ll either do it while it’s dry or after it’s been wetted. If you do decide to remove it, be aware that it will create a substantial mess; you’ll need to remove everything from the room and protect the walls to avoid unnecessary mess and damage. It’s a very complicated process, and you’ll definitely need to wear proper respiratory protection.

     

Posted in Home Maintenance
Nov. 2, 2020

Student Loans VS. Mortgages

According to the Brookings Institute, about 42 million Americans (one in eight) have a student loan, totaling about $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Only 30 percent of Bachelor’s degree recipients graduating in 2011-2012 managed to escape without a student loan; another 30 percent accumulated $30,000 or more in student debt. All this adds up to a whole lot of potential borrowers who have to navigate the added complexities involved with buying a house with student debt.

 

What’s Your Student Loan Repayment Plan?

If you have student debt, you probably were initially given a standard repayment plan. Many students, however, found quickly that they weren’t able to pay those payments reliably and risked default. For 8.1 million borrowers, not quite 20 percent of all student loan holders, those standard repayment plans were traded in for income-driven repayment plans. Although income-driven repayment was meant to help students successfully keep their loans in good standing, they also can create complications for getting a traditional mortgage.

Calculated Student Loan Payments

For students in anything besides a standard repayment plan, it may be necessary for a lender to calculate an estimated loan payment as part of the debt to income calculation, rather than simply using the number from the student loan holder’s documents. This is where the rub really comes in.

For some loan programs, a $14 payment in an income based repayment plan is just that, $14 added to the calculation. However, in others, because the income-based repayment plans are only approved one year at a time, a calculated payment is substituted. This, in theory, sets up a worst case scenario for lenders when it comes to the risk of foreclosure due to housing affordability. For student borrowers, it can turn a long awaited home purchase into a huge disappointment.

Loan programs typically calculate the estimated payment in one of two ways:

  • By simply using the amount equivalent to one percent of the outstanding loan balance (if you owe $30,000, your monthly payment is figured at $300), or
  • Calculating how much of a payment it would actually take to pay your loan in full in the term that remains (if you owe $30,000 and your term remaining is five years, your calculated payment would pay that loan off in full at the end of the five years).

This also goes for loans that are in forbearance or deferment, so there’s really no way around it.              

Student Loan Payments and Debt to Income Ratios

If you’ve never had a mortgage before, or you’ve only had limited exposure to the lending industry, it’s important to understand how debt to income ratios work. Lenders determine how willing they are to loan to someone not only based on their credit worthiness, but also on how much other debt they have. They want to see that borrowers have plenty of financial wiggle room for emergencies, since they really don’t want to get the house back.

For most loans, that means a debt to income ratio (DTI) under about 43 percent. Anything you’ve agreed to pay over a longer term, like your student loans, are added into this calculation and compared to your actual income. When your car loan, student loan, rent or current mortgage payment, and credit cards are all combined, does that or does that not exceed 43 percent of your income? This is the first and most basic question. Various loan programs will have ways to compensate for high DTIs, to a point, and there are different DTIs for different programs, though generally they’re in the same ballpark. So if your DTI is high, it’s not yet time to panic. However, you should be cautious about your next move.

This is why, if you have large student loans, it’s even more important to carefully consider the debt obligations you’re taking on as you take them. Student loans aren’t the only hurdle, but they are definitely a very large one for many students. Imagine having 10 percent or more of your income suddenly discounted because your deferred student loans are suddenly counted against you, even if you don’t have to make a payment! That’s the situation some borrowers find themselves in when they go to apply for a mortgage they believe they’re ready for.

All Isn’t Lost, Many Lenders Will Help

The good news is that lenders can help you sort your student loan woes out, even if it takes a little time to get you on the right path. Not only can they help you understand compensating factors that could help stretch your DTI a bit higher, they can also point to financial moves you can make to decrease your DTI, such as paying off those loans in their last legs or finding a co-borrower who can help even things out a bit.

If you don’t have a lender that you absolutely love, we can help! Just ask for a recommendation for a lender in your area who works with borrowers with student loan debt and you’ll be connected in almost no time to someone nearby!

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 2, 2020

Make Your Smart Home Smarter with Google Assistant

 

There are several so-called “smart assistants” on the market now, providing users with hands-free access to information and services from their smartphone or dedicated smart devices. One of these, the Google Assistant, has recently introduced a number of new features that can be used with Google Home devices. If you have a Google Home device or are thinking of getting one, here are some of the new features that you can look forward to using.

 

Making the Smart Home Smarter

One big focus of the Google Assistant’s changes for Home is expanding the number of smart home devices that Google Home is compatible with. There are a lot of companies selling devices for smart homes these days, including both major companies and new startups. Google is trying to accommodate more of these devices than ever, making sure that small but innovative companies aren’t left out when people try to automate their homes using Google Home.

Easily Adding Devices

Along with adding compatibility with more devices, the Google Assistant is also streamlining the process by which you add devices. This is done both to reduce the steps required to add devices and to prevent confusion for homeowners who might not be quite as tech savvy. By streamlining the process, Google hopes to make the Google Home into a device that anyone can use effectively even if they don’t have a lot of experience with technology or the Google Assistant app.

Scheduling Actions

A big feature being added to the Google Assistant is the ability to schedule actions on connected devices more naturally through Google Home. By simply telling it what action you want taken and when, Google Assistant can schedule the connected coffee maker to start brewing before your alarm goes off or the connected thermostat to change the temperature in the middle of the night. The goal is to make scheduling actions easier and more intuitive for Google Assistant users.

Improved Privacy

As data breaches and other privacy concerns continue to make headlines, the Google Assistant has taken steps to improve the privacy and security of Google Home devices. In addition to overall better security, these changes also make it easier to remove searches and other bits of your history from memory. Instead of having to go in and manually remove items from the app or a website, you can use voice commands to remove these items directly from a Google Home device. You can even tell Google that something you said wasn’t meant for it and the Google Assistant will go ahead and delete the last item right then and there.

Smart Display Notes

One neat feature being added to Google Assistant is the ability to add virtual notes to compatible smart displays from anywhere in the house. The notes are viewable to anyone who has access to the displays and are left simply by telling Google Home to leave a note and providing what you want the note to say. The notes then appear and remain until someone removes them after they’ve been read.

Workday Routines

In response to the large number of people who have started working from home this year, Google has added workday routines to the Google Assistant. This doesn’t mean that they’re only intended for those working from home, though. These routines break down your day into a variety of activities, including appointments, reminders to get up and stretch, lunch dates, and more. Working with both the Google Assistant app and Google Home devices, these little reminders help to give structure to your day and make sure you don’t miss out on anything important.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Sept. 28, 2020

Your Guide to Planting in the Fall

Fall is a little bit like a reverse spring. Everything is starting to wind down as winter approaches, and for a lot of gardeners, that’s a sad time. It doesn’t have to be, though; fall can be a time for laying the groundwork for spring plants and creating dazzling garden displays.

What to Plant

Fall planting can be tricky, largely because the plants that prefer to be planted in the fall can vary widely depending on where you live. However, if you live where it gets cold enough to frost or freeze, you can bet on many of these being excellent candidates:

  • Spring bulbs. Tulip, daffodil, Crocus, Allium, hyacinth, lilies, and even Iris are awesome choices for planting in the fall. They don’t generally need to be lifted, so they can be planted in those short days before the first frost hits. You’ll reap the fruits of your labor when the ground starts to warm up again.
  • Perennials. A huge range of perennials do great when planted in the fall. Bleeding hearts, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Coreopsis, garden Chrysanthemums, Asters, Hostas, and many others are not only great for end of year color, but will reliably return year after year to put on a dazzling show.
  • Shrubs. Looking for some show-stopping fall color? There’s no better time to choose and plant these kinds of shrubs than in the fall, when they’re at their best.
  • Trees. Most trees thrive when planted in the fall; it’s their best season! Planting your young trees in the fall, well before your first frost, gives them time to establish their roots without risking drying out. Not only do you increase the odds that your trees will survive by choosing to plant them in the fall, you’ll skip all the major maintenance required to nurse a fresh, new baby tree through a hot summer. It’s really a win-win.

When to Plant

Timing is everything when you’re planting in the fall. It’s not enough to ensure that the ground is unfrozen and workable; you should also give your young plants time to grow and spread their roots before they go dormant for the year. You can look up your first frost date on a reliable gardening site like The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Count back six to eight weeks and plan to plant your garden at that time.

Planting too close to a frost can cause significant damage to your new plants, or even result in their deaths from too much stress. After all, moving into a new neighborhood can be tricky, even for a plant, and they need time to repair roots that have been injured during the process. A few extra weeks to start going into dormancy will help them come back strong in the spring.

Protecting Plants

For the most part, fall plantings won’t need a great deal of protection as long as they’re planted in a timely manner. What they will need is mulch, and lots of it. It doesn’t really matter what kind of mulch you use, so long as it’s biodegradable and can be piled on deep.  

If your area sees snow and freezing temperatures, go for about four inches of mulch per planting, evenly distributed across the top. Wait to cover the crowns until you’re actually at risk for frost, but the root area of the plant can be covered the day you plant it. These kinds of mulches help the plant retain moisture and acts as insulation to keep the warmth from the sun in the ground longer.

As your plants die back for the year, mulch the entire area, making sure to carefully check tender plants for new growth as temperatures rise in the spring. When you see those little green sprouts popping up, uncover them (but leave the rest of the mulch) so they can continue on their upward journey.   

Posted in Home Maintenance
Sept. 21, 2020

Remodeling your home's top selling points

When it comes time to sell your home, you obviously want it looking its best so that prospective buyers will fall in love with it. This may lead to you consider touching up or remodeling parts of your home to make the best possible impression. If you’re trying to figure out the best parts of the home to give special attention to, there are a few places that buyers are more likely to pay attention to than others. This list includes the kitchen, the bathrooms and decks.

Considering the Kitchen

A lot of work goes on in the kitchen, so it makes sense that homebuyers want to make sure that the kitchen meets their needs. If your kitchen is dirty, cramped or outdated, that could raise a few red flags. Most potential buyers are looking for a big, open kitchen with modern appliances and usually a few key features like a dishwasher or kitchen island.

Obviously, your home doesn’t need to have all of these things to sell, and it may not even be realistic for you to make those sort of upgrades. Still, it’s possible to find a balance between a small, cramped kitchen and a potential buyer’s dream kitchen. Taking a moment to see how well your kitchen meets that balance can help you to see if there are any tweaks that you could make to improve the likelihood that a buyer will want to purchase your home.

A Focus on Bathrooms

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in a house, and buyers want to be confident that things will work well in the bathroom when they’re in there. There’s a lot that goes on in the bathroom, though; beyond the obvious, this is also where people get ready in the morning, take their showers or baths, brush their teeth and sound their absolute best when singing along to a favorite song.

Because of this, there’s always a wow factor involved when a potential buyer sees a nice bathroom. This can be a combination of new and nice-looking fixtures as well as cleanliness, lack of obvious mildew or water damage, layout and things like adequate lighting and sufficient mirrors. Most bathrooms only have a limited amount of space to work with, but you’d be surprised how much of a difference you can make with a few tweaks and upgrades.

Enjoying the Deck

Not every home has a deck, but those that do always get oohs and aahs from potential buyers. A lot of homeowners want to be able to enjoy their time outside of their home, and having a deck can make this a lot easier since you can set up tables, chairs, a grill or anything else in a secure and flat area outdoors.

This isn’t to say that you have to build a deck to sell your house, though some sellers actually do make significant changes to landscaping and outdoor areas to spruce things up. If you already have a deck, take the time to make sure it’s recently painted or stained and is otherwise in good condition. A deck can make a big impression, but an ugly or damaged deck can make the wrong sort of impression on your potential buyer.

Sprucing Up the Whole Home

Obviously, there are other parts of the home that you can make changes or updates to if you’re getting ready to sell your home. General repairs, remodels or upgrades can interest potential buyers regardless of where they occur. But take care of any obvious damage, and then focus on the kitchen, bathrooms and decks, before you work on any other big areas.

Aug. 27, 2020

Getting A Mortgage After A Salary Drop

In uncertain times, it can be easy to sit back and worry your time away hoping things will work out eventually. Although worrying will absolutely give you something to do, it won’t get you anywhere. So if you’ve been wanting to buy a home or refinance this year, don’t discount the possibility just because your income may have dropped. It’s true that qualifying for a mortgage is getting trickier for many potential borrowers, but you still have plenty of options and opportunities for a home loan.  

How Have Things Changed?

Many industries are facing uncertain futures and what are likely to be unstable paths of recovery. Because of this, lenders have become increasingly concerned about borrowers’ abilities to repay loans. That’s not to say that there’s no hope in sight for workers or business owners, just that from a lender’s perspective, the pandemic has introduced an additional level of risk that has never been factored into home lending equations before now.

So it’s not that you’ve done anything wrong, or that home buyers in general have done anything wrong, but lenders like to see that incomes are stable and will continue to be stable for the foreseeable future. And in the current economic climate, this is pretty much impossible to forecast. Given this, lenders are getting more choosy about who they’ll lend to. Minimum credit scores are going up and, in some cases, so are down payments. The good news is that lenders are still issuing loans for home purchases and refinances, even to buyers who have lost income during the pandemic.

Getting a Loan With a Salary Drop

Revenues in many industries have taken a huge blow, and many workers are being asked to take a salary cut in order to maintain the integrity of the workforce. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you would be denied a loan, although you may need to provide additional documentation so your lender has a better picture of your overall financial picture. But a lower income can still affect your loan in one or more ways:

  • It can reduce the amount you’ll qualify to borrow. This one is pretty obvious; if you’re making less, even temporarily, you won’t be able to make as large of a loan payment. Your lender may still be more than happy to make some kind of loan to you, but it may be for much less than you expect. So if you must borrow while on a reduced income, brace yourself for purchasing down. The upside to this, though, is a home that you’ll owe less on and be able to pay down more quickly once your income is back to normal.
  • It can change your debt to income ratio. A lot of borrowers walk the debt to income line, especially as housing prices continue to increase. If you were close to the cap before your income was reduced, be prepared to have to make some changes to your plans. You may need to pay off debts strategically, sell items like extra vehicles that are encumbered with loans or settle for a much smaller loan.
  • It can increase your down payment. If you’re determined to borrow within a specific price range, or you’ve already made an offer and your income changed during the sales process, a quick way back to the home of your dreams is to make a bigger down payment. There are many ways to increase your down payment, such as a gift from a relative (provided they do not expect you to repay the gift) or liquid funds from things like savings or a 401k. Before you cash out investments or savings, though, check with your lender to ensure you’ll have enough money remaining in any accounts that may need to contain reserves.

Need Help Finding a Lender?

The good news is that just because one bank may have new requirements that reduce your loan amount or make you ineligible for a loan right now, others may not. Offers vary from bank to bank and from program to program, so it’s worthwhile to shop around for mortgages. If you’re not sure where to start, give us a call today for a recommendation! It’s a great way to know that you’re getting a professional you can trust and who can help you achieve your dreams.

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 11, 2020

Is Metal Roofing Right for You?

 

There was a time when metal roofing was largely reserved for use on shop buildings or certain businesses. These days, however, you’ll see metal roofs on almost any sort of structure, including a wide range of home styles. If you’re in the market for a new roof, you might consider going metal. Before jumping on the metal bandwagon, however, here are a few things that you should know about metal roof installations and how to tell if a metal roof is right for your home.

 

The Look of Metal

When considering a metal roof, one thing that a lot of people think about is how the roof will look after installation. While some metal roofing materials are installed as bare metal, it’s not uncommon for the metal to be coated or painted (especially in the case of some materials such as aluminum.) The metal panels are often machined to produce creases, folds and bends that mimic the look of smaller panels, and in some cases even create a look similar to shingles or Spanish tile. While there are definitely options that look like what you would expect from a metal roof, there are a wide range of other aesthetic options available as well.

Metal Roofing Longevity

A properly installed metal roof can last a long time, in some cases outlasting many of the other materials in your home. A lot of metal roof installations come with warranties that can last anywhere from 20 to 50 years or longer, though painted metal tends to top out at around 30 years. These roofs are fire resistant and less likely to suffer wear and tear from weather that could otherwise reduce their lifespan, since they’re all but impervious to the effects of rain and snow.

Metal Roof Quality

The quality of a metal roof can vary depending on the material used in the roof and how thick it is. Common metals used in roofing include tin, copper, aluminum, zinc and steel, with each providing its own advantages in regard to aesthetics, strength and rust resistance. Aspects of the roofing material such as sheet size, design and mounting hardware used can have a big effect on the quality of the roof, as can the skill of the person doing the installation.

Metal Drawbacks

While there are a lot of advantages to metal roofing, it’s worth considering a few drawbacks as well. Some metal roofs, especially those that are made of softer materials such as copper, can dent or otherwise be damaged by hail or other large impacts. Metal roofing can also be louder than other roof materials if appropriate noise-reduction materials aren’t used during installation and insulating. Improperly installed metal roofs can leak around fasteners and screw holes, especially if specialized washers aren’t used with the connecting screws. The biggest disadvantage of metal roofing is the cost, however; the up-front cost of even a lower-end metal roof can be equal to or greater than the cost of a premium installation of other roofing types.

Is Metal Right for You?

While metal can be expensive to install, its longevity combined with its weather resistance and minimal heat conduction during the summer can make it a good long-term investment. It’s also lightweight and can be installed quickly by a skilled contractor and their crew. With that said, some homeowners prefer the look and easy maintenance of shingles or other more traditional home roofing solutions. In the end, the choice between metal and other options comes down to personal preference and how much of an investment you’re wanting to make into your house.

Posted in Home Maintenance
July 29, 2020

Preparing Your Pet For Moving Day

Moving day, just imagine it: The sun is shining, the weather is just perfect, and you’re about to close one chapter and open a brand new one. There’s so much possibility ahead! Although it may be exciting and full of promise for you, moving can be a terrifying event for your pets, even if you’re just moving down the street. Fortunately, you can take a lot of steps to protect your furry, feathery and scaly pals in these high stress times.

 

Your Moving Day Checklist: Pet Edition

Whether you’ve got a dog that you love, a cat that’s a handful or a flock of chickens, moving with animals takes patience and attention to detail in order to help them get through the process with the least amount of stress possible. Remember that your pet doesn’t understand what’s happening and that the noise, strangers and general chaos can be terrifying for them. Before you so much as begin to pack, it’s important to consider what’s going to happen with your pets during your move. Here are some things you can do to keep them safer and happier during the whirlwind that’s to come:

 

Start practicing now

It’s likely your pet will need to be confined to a crate, bathroom or other safe space so that the door can be left open to move things out. Before the move starts, you can begin to get them used to the idea of being confined. Start by staying in or near the space with them and rewarding them when they relax (this could take some time at first, so be patient). As they get better at being confined with you, go farther and farther away, and for longer periods, rewarding them as they adjust to the situation. Getting your pets used to being confined like this can help prevent injuries to them should they frantically scramble to escape, and can help you better see what kinds of things in those spaces may be potentially dangerous when they’re left unattended on moving day.

 

Ask your vet

Your vet has all kinds of things in their dispensary for these one-time highly stressful events. They can make a specific recommendation based on your pet’s history and particular panic buttons, and also give you more behavioral tools to your own toolbox to help your pet cope. Absolutely ask your vet for help before you even book a mover or a moving truck.

 

Take frequent breaks

If you can, stretch your move out over a few days or a week so that your pets can have a breather from their safety spot. Depending on just how much there is to move, it’ll be easier on you, too. For example, you might move a lot of boxes on Monday, take the small appliances over on a Wednesday and then move the furniture on Friday. Giving your pet some time to shake off the stress will make the move a lot easier for them.

 

Consider a pet sitter

Longer moves may require you to be away for a while, which turns an already stressful situation into a potential for real trouble. A pet sitter will help fill your shoes while you’re moving, or while you’re taking care of getting the new place cleaned up and ready to go if your pet is very prone to stress in new situations. Just make sure to introduce the pet to the sitter ahead of time so they can get to know one another.

Posted in Buying a Home
July 22, 2020

2020 Summer Market Update

Over the last few months, the housing market has been heating up. In many situations the current demand for a home is creating bidding wars unlike any that we have seen before. Sellers are receiving multiple offers for more then asking price. By more then asking price we are talking about several thousands of dollars more. Sellers are actually receiving multiple offers for nearly $10,000 over asking price. The current market is definitely a sellers market, if you want top dollar for your home now is a perfect time to sell. Here are a few facts about the current market that might surprise you:
• New listings are down 28% with declines continuing nationwide.
• According to Realcomp MLS, the high demand from home buyers in June has led to a 114% increase in closed sales since May 2020.
• In this same time period (May 2020-June 2020) there was also a 29% increase in pending sales and ONLY an 8.0% increase in new listings.
• The average rate on a 30-year loan has dropped below 3.0% for the first time in nearly 50 years according to Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. The current average is now sitting at 2.98%.
Posted in Real Estate News