Wednesday, December 14, 2011

House on Land or Water?


I came across a fun article on MSN.com discussing the new trend in purchasing a floating home! No, not a house boat; an actual home that looks like a house that sits stationary on water. Now that's a pretty cool concept! Is it the perfect summer home for one that lives in the mountains? I think so! These floating homes can range from $100,000 to $1 million depending on the size of the home and the location. Check out this article to learn more about floating homes and how to find a good deal! And don't think that just because its a floating home that CRS can't help you move into it.... Of course we can!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Americans staying put, but those who move are heading to no-tax states

November 27, 2011 6:01 am ET
The percentage of Americans who changed residences reached its lowest point last year in more than six decades, according to the Census Bureau.
Those who did move often relocated for employment reasons, and many went to states with no individual income tax.
Barely one in nine people, or 11.6%, changed locations in 2010-11, the lowest total since the government began tracking the figure in 1948, according to the bureau. The percentage of Americans who have moved has declined annually since 1985, when 20.2% relocated.
“Although many of us still move over the course of a year, we are now less likely to do so,” Alison Fields, chief of the bureau's migration statistics branch, wrote in a report.
Most moves were for employment-related reasons, according to one of four mobility-related studies released by the bureau.
The government reported that 43.9% of people who moved more than 500 miles in 2008-09 did so for work reasons. Just 11.6% of people moved long distances for housing.
A separate study based on the American Community Survey showed the most common move in 2009-10 was from California to Texas (68,959).
California accounted for several of the most common moves from one state to another. Some 47,164 Californians moved to Arizona, 39,468 to Washington and 35,472 to Nevada.
None of those three states has particularly high tax rates. California has the highest taxes in the nation.
The second-most-common relocation was from New York to Florida (55,011), according to the bureau. In third place was the 49,901 people moving from Florida to Georgia.
Texas and Florida have no state income tax on individuals.
In another study, the Census Bureau reported that a majority of Americans lived in their state of birth. Louisiana had the most home-grown residents at 78.8% of its population. Michigan was next with 76.6%, Ohio with 75.1% and Pennsylvania with 74%.
Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Nevada and the District of Columbia had fewer than 40% of natives in residence.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Take it easy when you move!

Moving can be one of the most stressful events in anyone's life.  So many of our customers are moving because they want to; to be closer to family, to retire, or to take a new job.  Since many of our customers are in the over 50 years old category, they need to take their time and spread the many activities over a longer period of time.  Other considerations are the many physical things that need to be done in preparing for the move. 

We're not as young as we used to be, and many of the physical activities in moving should be completed with some thought and in advance.  If you going to do a lot of the packing yourself, do it over time. Pack a few boxes each day, rather than try to do it all in the week prior to the scheduled move.  If you leave this to the end, the chances are you will either physically "beat yourself up" or not complete the packing necessitating the movers to finish and charge you for the service; perhaps increasing the cost of the move beyond what you initially thought.  Next, DON'T over pack your boxes,  Too many people over pack the boxes to the point where it is impossible to pick them up, or to move them.  If you are doing the packing yourself, the chances are your going to have to move the boxes around your house during the process.  Its not the number of boxes your will be charged for in the move its the totally weight of your entire household.  So, give yourself a break and keep the weight of the boxes manageable for you and your movers. Over packing the boxes will also make them more susceptible to breaking or the contents being damaged during the move. 

When packing notate what you are putting in each box.  Particularly if you are packing over a period of time, keeping an inventory list of what is in each box will be helpful when you arrive at your new location.  It will also assist you in keeping track of what is loaded on the truck and what arrives. 

Plan ahead so you are present while the moves are at your house on both ends.  If need be, get a relative or friend to assist you at each end.  Sometimes moving day can be stressful with a lot of things going on with the movers and yourself.  Having an extra set(s) of hands can make this day much less stressful.  This goes for both the origin and destination moving days!  Many people say that the unloading was far to busy for them to keep track of the inventory and to notate any irregularities in the arriving shipment.  Well, that extra person helping you will certainly make it much more manageable. 

Check out hotels or alternate places to stay in both origin and destination ahead of time. Periodically, due to unforeseen circumstances, the schedule does not go quite as planned.  Having "Plan B" already thought out will be very helpful.  Find places you will enjoy staying at.  You may decide to make your move a mini vacation.

These are but a few of the things you can do to 'take it easy " during your move.  Make the most of it, and enjoy it! 

And last but not least, call Consumers Relocation to assist you in planning and setting up all of the arrangements to moving your household goods , personal effects and autos.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Unemployed and want to move for work?

With today's unemployment and so many professionals out of work, many people are considering moving to locations where job prospects might be better, or the cost of living less.  Moving without a job can be scary, but proper planning and strategies can often make your move successful. 

Certain pockets of the country have been particularly hard hit with unemployment.  Future job prospects in areas rich with industries looking for skilled professionals can be the answer to finding a job.  Many times people say that the best place to be is where the employer is looking for skilled employees.  Planning can help you get there.  Some things to think about in pulling a move off successfully without a job.

Find the hot locations that will fit your skills

Determine where your most marketable, and fit those skills to the hot job market.  Silicon Valley for high tech, New York for financial, as an example,  Research the employment and the number of job openings.  We are hearing companies are wanting to hire a number of people in certain disciplines, but only a fraction of the positions have been filled due to unqualified applicants!  Find those companies and locations where the labor pool is insufficient for the jobs that are open. 

Find a place to live while you still have a job

Landlords will be looking at income and employment.  If you have a spouse or significant partner perhaps they could move first providing the employed partners employment information as proof of income.

Get a local cell phone
Local contact information will help to get the attention of an employer.  If you don't have a local address then at least get a local cell phone number.


Be Creative

These are only a few tips.  Once you get into the mind set of making this happen, you will be able to determine many more creative things that can be done to get the new employers attention in the new area.

And of course, once your ready to move your things, you need to contact Consumers Relocation to be sure you make the most of the money you do have in shipping your household goods and personal effects.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last minute details when moving

Things come up sometimes right at the last moment when you least expect them when moving.  LA, issued a Red Flag Parking restriction yesterday at 4 pm lasting 11/2 and 11/3.  The LA Fire Department issues these warnings when the risk of brush and other types of fires is high.  The intent to to avoid clogged roads due to parked vehicles in difficult to pass areas such as narrow streets, or tight corners.  The listing on their site extensive and listed by property address including about 15,000 address', but doesn't look like it is entire streets, just specific address'.  Soooo, if you are moving today, from one of the address' this might come as quite a surprise just when you think all is all set.  Often times the mover is not aware of the restriction due to it being so property address specific.  Their site does have a property search, but... it is not working.   Best thing to do is alert the mover as soon as you are aware of something like this, so they can come up with an alternate solution.

The site address for this particular alert is

http://lafd.org/redflag/

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thinking outside the cardboard box

We are always looking for ways to be more green and provide our customers ways to save our resources.  Bungo Box contacted me recently about their growing company and product.   What follows is from Sarah Sekula their PR Director.  They currently have locations in the southeast US and parts of Canada. 

Florida entrepreneur Tom Cannon hopes cardboard will go the way of the dinosaur.

It’s a long shot, but a worthy goal. After all, only half of the cardboard Americans use actually gets recycled. The rest gets hauled off to the landfill. Cannon's 2 and 1/2-year-old company, BungoBox, hopes to change that statistic with his simple, yet innovative, concept. “We rent reusable plastic bins as an alternative to the traditional disposable cardboard box and packing tape,” Cannon, 39, says.

Highlights:
--When you reuse cardboard boxes, they can last for approximately four moves. The stronger, more durable plastic moving boxes that BungoBox rents can be reused up to 400 times. After that, they are recycled and made into new bins.

--Surprisingly, until now, there really hasn’t been a good alternative to using cardboard. We’ve been using the same environmentally unfriendly materials for the past several hundred years.

www.bungobox.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BLS Unemployment in September 2011 report

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics - interesting not much progress

The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in September, and the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. Since April, the rate has held in a narrow range from 9.0 to 9.2 percent.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.8 percent), adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (16.0 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed little or no change in September. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
The civilian labor force increased by 423,000 in September, but the labor force participation rate—the percentage of the civilian noninstitutional working-age population who are in the labor force—was little changed, at 64.2 percent.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Self Storage at Origin and Destination

In October's issue of Consumers Relocation's E News we featured an article about self storage.  While we have addressed this in this blog before this is a great summary of all the things you must consider when moving out of or into self storage (Mini Storage).  Here is a reprint of that article.
Moving Topic #4&5: Self Storage; At Origin & Destination
By Amy Olsen

When moving, timing doesn’t always work out perfectly and you may need to be out of your house before you’re actually ready to move, your new house might not be ready yet or you just want to move things to or from your storage unit. When this is the case, you have another option- self storage. Storage is a great and affordable option when you are in a bind and can cost anywhere from $10 to hundreds of dollars per month depending on different circumstances and your needs. Here are some things to help you when your move involves self storage.

At Origin
Moving out of a storage unit is a very exciting time, especially when your belongings have been stored for a while. You tend to forget what is actually in the unit let alone in the boxes! There are several things to consider when moving out of a storage unit to make the move smooth and successful. Here are some tips to help you when your move involves self storage:
  • Consider a unit that is large enough to make access easy. Also be sure to ask the manager if a unit is tractor trailer accessible. If a large tractor trailer cannot pull right up to the unit for easy access, you will incur an additional charge on loading. A shuttle charge is when a mover has to load into a smaller truck and then offload into the moving van. Charges are based on the weight and distance. This can occur at either end of the loading or unloading, at origin or destination.
  • If you can, go into your storage unit ahead of time. Go through your things and decide what is important to keep and what can be tossed. After you have done this, move things around and organize so it is easier to navigate through the unit.
  • Allow the mover to gain access to the unit when preparing the estimate so they can accurately evaluate what is being moved. The more the mover can access, the more accurate the estimate will be.
  • Be prepared to repack things. If boxes have been in storage for more than a year, they will typically start to breakdown and can actually collapse during the move. If the mover determines during loading that the boxes are too flimsy, he can, at his discretion repack boxes and you will be charged for it. So if you notice boxes falling apart, try to repack in a new box.
  • Most movers will not bind your moving estimate when self storage is involved due to their inability to accurately evaluate what is being moved. Be prepared to give an accurate description of what you have.
  • Typically, self storage units contents have been packed by the owner and many have a tendency to over pack boxes. Movers estimate weight for boxes based on the contents- books, pillows, clothes etc. There can be quite a difference in weight, in particular if large boxes are packed with books or heavy items. Over packed boxes can be heavier than normally expected and can throw the weight estimate off considerably.
At Destination
So your house isn’t ready yet? Not sure where you are going to live? Moving your things into self storage can buy you some time. There are different size units and some units with temperature. All range in price depending on the amenities, size and location. Here are some useful tips when moving into a self storage unit.
  • The MOST important thing to remember when moving your belongings into a self storage unit is the release of liability of the mover once everything is unloaded into the unit even if you discover damage at a later date. It is crucial to be there when you things are unloaded so that you can note any damaged or missing items on the inventory as the items are being placed into the facility. The movers will not consider a claim if you move the items out of the storage unit before filing.
  • Be sure that you have rented a large enough unit.
  • To keep your furniture from any damage while in the unit, place wooden pallets on the floor before you move things in. This will keep the contents off the floor and keep things dry. Wood furniture can get damaged if the temperature goes into extreme temp zones.
  • Be sure to determine beforehand whether a tractor trailer or 18-wheeler can access your unit. If it cannot, a shuttle will be needed which will cost extra.
Self storage is a great option when moving, just keep in mind these tips that were compiled by our professional move consultants at CRS and if you have any questions or concerns during your move, they will be available to assist you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Snowbird Shipping an Auto? Helpful info

It's that time of year again when many people move their autos to their winter headquarters.  For those first time movers some helpful hints may be beneficial.

Most companies provide door to door and terminal to terminal pricing, or a mixture of these.  Terminal to terminal is less expensive.  However, the terminals may not be convenient to your home.  When asking for pricing request both, and as specifically where the terminals are located.

Make sure that the transporter provides adequate insurance coverage.  Make sure it is replacement value coverage and find out the basis for determining the value of the auto and/or repairs if there is damage.
Find out if there are exclusions in the insurance such as custom after market interior items such as high end stereo,  One word of caution, be sure that you fully inspect the car before signing off on it at delivery.  Just as a household goods shipment. any damage must be notated so that the claim will be honored.  This is very important.

Many auto shppers will not allow personal items to be shipped in the auto.  If you do leave items in the auto, and the company allows this, be sure that their insurance will cover the replacement if items are lost or stolen. 

Here's one- do not leave your Easy Pass, in the auto.  We have had customers leave the pass in the auto, and they Easy Pass recorded charges during the trip across country.


Consumers Relocation arranges for hundreds of auto shipments each year. We can select from a number of different options, and assist you in evaluating each option that might be right for you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Internet Estimates and Phone Surveys are a Poor Choice

Just the other day one of our customers, a member of a large association account, complained that she was overcharged.  She was on the West Coast and her things, a little furniture and 50 boxes, were in the Midwest.  She did not want to bother anyone at origin to allow the mover's estimator a chance to see the items, so she insisted on a phone survey based on a listing of items she provided.  We complied with her request although we told her we did not recommend this process of quoting off a list or on the phone. 


Well, when the items were loaded the piece count was accurate, but the 50 boxes were much heavier than standard boxes of the size and were self packed.  They were way over packed and therefore much heavier than an estimator would expect.  Had the estimator been able to physically see the boxes they would have known about this.  We did have a reweigh completed before delivery with the same weight as the original one.  Consequently, the charges were more than the customer expected.

This pitfall is experienced everyday when unwary customers get quotes off the internet.  All too often we hear "I got the quote off the internet and it sounds good to me".  Wrong don't do it.  We insist on physical surveys unless the customer is insisting on a phone quote or one off a list.  This is the only way you can get an accurate  estimate  of cost and required services to perform the move properly.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ayyyyy Matey it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast, me hearties!  Its my favorite day of  the year!! If you want to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day go to this site

http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html

Enjoy


Avoiding the Most Common MAJOR Mistakes When Moving

Our Consultants work very hard  to be sure every  customer's move goes well  and meets our customer's expectations!  But we seem to spend much of  our  time on a very small percentage of moves unraveling situations that could  have been avoided.
-You need to be at origin at the time of loading.  Other people should not be relied on.  Pay attention to the items that go onto  the  truck, and the inventory that the driver has taken.  The inventory with any comments on the  condition  of items becomes the documentation a claims manager will  look at if damage is  claimed.  You need to do a walk through after "everything has been  loaded" to  be sure everything that you want moved has been  loaded.  Its too late after the truck leaves.  

-Make sure you understand any document before you sign it.  Sounds basic but way to many people sign the order  for service without  reviewing load and delivery dates, or estimated charges. 

-Yes you should personally be at the delivery of your household goods managing that process.  The mover and their  crew  will do all  the work, but they need direction as  to where things go. Most importantly, notate any exceptions you see in the delivery such as any damage, any missing  items, or anything else.  Notate this on the inventory sheets or driver documentation that goes back  to the  van line. 

-Plan your trip to your new location to coincide with the  delivery dates outlined on  the order for service.  Do not rely on any verbal commitments for  dates.  The order for service is the  official  document for  the  move that  is used by all involved. 

-Make a contingency plan for late pickup or delivery during periods of high volume (summer) or poor weather(winter).  Late pick up or  delivery does not happen often, but.....

-Pay attention to your move- its YOUR move.  The movers supply the  labor, equipment, resources to make  it happen.  Like anything in life, you need to manage it.   

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vermont Pulls Together to Recover from Irene Flooding

If your not from Vermont you might be amazed how the communities have pulled togther to recover from the devastation of the flooding from Irene. There are a million stories about everyone volunteering to help their neighbors and local business'.  As a result the state is recovering remarkably fast!

Norwich University cadets worked an entire weekend to help local residences and business in Norwich, VT clean up the mess, move furniture from destroyed homes, rip our sheet rock and insulation. 

The local high school cross country team spent time helping The Garden Restaurant basically remove the entire interior the the building taking out equipment, spoiled food, walls, floors. 

Les and Dale Velte spent the weekend with at least 50 other volunteers to remove the contents and the interior of the Carlton's home in the center of town.  The owner of the Swiss Inn spent the day under the house ripping our insulation in the mud along with 2 volunteers that just walked in!

A roving group of local ski patrolers were moving around town randomly stopping in at peoples houses to help out.
One town was totally isolated, so the town folks used a bull dozer and put their own on/off ramp onto I91 to gain access to the outside world and called it the Hillbilly Highway.

Amy Olsen, CRS Account Manager,  is organizing a fund raiser with Jill Proudy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to help Vermont.

Dora Putnam, CRS Consultant,  spends her free time manning a Free Store with things donated by local people for those who lost everything,.

Talking to one local business yesterday, the owners are in their late 60's and were planning to retire.  They lost their entire store with insurance that will not cover the entire loss.  Bev said I never thought I would be starting over at 69, but we are
The stories go on and on.  No one complained that "so and so" was not taking care of the situation!  Everyone just jumped in and started doing things to get it done!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Consumers Relocation attends SHRM Vermont conference

This week Amy Olsen and  Les Velte attended SHRM Vermont annual  conference and trade show.  Most of Vermont's largest employers, state, educational and  heath care companies attended this two day seminar.  This was the first time that CRS participated in the trade show portion of the conference and the reception was amazing!  We are very excited about our growing Vermont client base.  CRS is the only relocation company in Vermont, and most companies are very interested in keeping their relocation business in Vermont!  Much of our  business with Vermont companies entails moving employees and  new  hires into Vermont from all over the country and internationally.  Because of our in depth national footprint of movers in our network we are uniquely positioned to assist Vermont companies in moving employees into Vermont, as well of course as moving employees from any locations in the country and internationally.

Friday, September 2, 2011

So Many mixed signals- "Somewhere over the rainbow"?

It's hard to figure out what the housing market and moving business will see for the balance of this year, let alone 2012!  The disappointing jobs report today certainly indicates a stalled recovery in our segment.  The real estate market continues to show signs of weakness in the numbers of homes sold. 



Today's jobs report  indicates NO new jobs added in August.  Everyone was hoping to see at least 50,000 to 60,000 jobs added, and that would indicate a still weak economy.  But 0 jobs added what does that mean?

Pending home sales slipped by 1.3 % in July over last year.  We saw a little slow down in the end of July in new calls for moving in the last week of July and August was flat over last year for new initiated moves.  This was after a significant increase over last year through the middle of July for the year; particularly March through mid July. 

Existing home sales down 3.5% in July and up 21% on the year.  But, I heard that perhaps up to 40% of these are fore closers being sold.  That does not improve the number of newly initiated moves.

So its any one's guess. 


Monday, August 29, 2011

Consumers Relocation offices dodge a bullet with Hurricane Irene Flooding

Southern Vermont was particularly hard hit by flooding from Irene yesterday.  Virtually the entire downtown of Londonderry, Vermont was flooded by the West River which runs right through the downtown and right by our offices.  In fact you can look out our window at the West River.  Flood levels have not been this high since 1973 flooding.  A total of 10 inches of rain fell over a period on Sunday.  Fortunately, our offices were just barely high enough to avoid any water damage.  What follows are pictures taken yesterday in Londonderry,  Also included is one of Lake Champlain.







Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to College time! Getting the stuff to school

People are calling about getting their college students things back to college.   That time of year.  Mostly the calls involve moving a car, and perhaps a small amount of belongings.  Consumers Relocation can assist moving your students vehicle to school and in many cases their belongings if it involves some furniture in addition to the usual boxes.

We arrange for economical means to transport cars throughout the country.  Offering either door to door service or terminal to terminal service for your student's auto, allow choices to fit into yours and their budget.  For AAA members there is an added discount.  True with most auto carriers, you can not expect to put your students boxes in the auto.  If they have just boxes, perhaps UPS and FED EX ground might be the better option. 


We have one partner who offers a drive your auto service,  We can arrange to have them arrive at your home, pick up the car, then drive it the school.  This service allows for personal belongings to be placed into the vehicle for the trip, and even for the student to ride in the car,  The delivery times for this service are much shorter since the auto is being driven straight through to destination. 

.For students moving more than couple boxes, we car arrange to have their belongings shipped by professional movers.  During August, most movers will charge for a minimum of 2100 lb shipments.  As we get into September some will drop that minimum to 1000 lb.  If you are shipping 2 room's worth of things, and/or boxes with many books or heavy objects, then the 2100 lb minimum will not be a problem.  We can save you and your student expense and time in making arrangements.  We will order up to 3 moving estimates, and assist you in setting the move up and throughout the duration of the move.











Wednesday, August 3, 2011

our August eNewsletter is hot off the press!

Click the link below to view our August eNewsletter! In this months issue you can find tips on how to make packing, loading & delivery day a success, our featured blog post and some other great information! Email avelte@sover.net if you would like to sign up to receive this informative publication.

August eNews

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Moving Scams Do Happen.... But not with CRS

I found this article very interesting today. Posted on USA Today, the article discusses how government is cracking down on moving scams. Moving scams, unfortunately do happen. They happen when you book your move with a non-reputable, un-affiliated mover that may not have the propper licenses. One of the many benefits of moving with CRS is that all of our movers are licensed, certified, reputable, national vanlines that we pre-screen. Check out this article, and make sure to give us a call when planning your next move and you won't turn out like the people featured in this article!

Governments crack down on moving scams

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can't Sell Your Home? Consider Renting it Out

I just found this great article on msn and with knowing someone in this situation, I think it is an article worthy of posting! With the way home values are right now, it might not be worth trying to sell at this very moment. If you can handle being a landlord and have the time, drive and patience to do so, it is definitely something to consider. If you are in a situation like this, especially owning a second home that you may not need anymore, read this article for some insightful tips.
Can't Sell Your Home? Consider Renting it Out

July eNewsletter is out!

Check out this months Move eNews for our summer series topic #2: How to prepare for a delay should it occur

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer still going strong

In the past couple years, since the start of the "Great Depression" its been common for people in the industry to say; "was that summer?"  This mean, it just seemed to fissle out too early compared to the years leading up to the crash of the real estate market and financial melt down.  So far; "knock on wood"  it seems to be holding up, and the moving business continues to be very busy.

However, the industry has shrunk with driver shortages and some van lines reporting they have up to 30% less resources (drivers and trucks) to support this busy season.  Its interesting, with the continued poor stats in the real estate market,  that it still seems like many people are finally selling their homes.

Seems like there must be alot of cash sales with quick closings.  Last minute calls with very large moves seem to have increased dramatically.  Even with "closed out dates" we seem to still be able to service moves with one of our great moving partners even on a short notice.

Lets hope it all continues for the duration of the summer!

Les