Friday, April 30, 2010

Homebuyer Rush is On!

Today, April 30 is the last day of the first-time home buyers tax credit! It is also the last day of current homeowners credit as well. You have until midnight tonight to have a signed contract in hand, and the deal must be completed by June 30. The tax incentives that were offered to both first-time buyers and some current homeowners are fueling a strong spring selling season. The government is offering buyers who haven't owned a home for three years a tax credit of 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $8,000. So if you have not signed those papers, get out there and do it! the clock is ticking. And after you sign those papers and need assistance with moving, contact CRS at 1-800-839-6683.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There's More to Consider Than Just the Sale Price

If you are in the market for a new home, there are a few other things to consider than just the sale price. Buying a home costs more than just the price of the house itself, there are other factors to consider. It is important to clean up your credit before applying for a loan. The better your credit score is, the lower the interest rate you receive will be and this may mean paying off any debt before hand to enhance your score. Mortgage related costs and closing costs are two things that can add up and you will be responsible for those at the time of closing. Making the move, now that we can help you with! Moving can be very expensive, but by using CRS to help you move, you can save a lot of money and time! Last but not least, the upkeep of the house. If you are moving from a rental into a house of your own, all of those little projects will be on you! So if you are planning on purchasing a house this summer, let CRS do your dirty work! We can arrange to have all of your household goods relocated from your old house to your new one! We can also take care of your cars, boats and motorcycles. Call us at 1-800-839-6683 to speak to one of our professional moving consultants. Or visit us online at

Monday, April 26, 2010

Homes across the country vary in size, but the price is still $250,000

I found this interesting article comparing what kind of house you can get for $250,000 in different parts of the country. It's interesting to see the difference between NYC and CO. Check out this article from MSNBC Business.

A Cool Quarter Million

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Free Green Reusable Shopping Bags!

In Honor of Earth Day, sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter and we'll send you a FREE green reusable shopping bag while supplies last! So don't wait any longer, visit and click on Subscribe to Our Move eNewsletter. Don't hesitate, everyone can use another reusable bag! Just remember, every bag counts!

Today is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day!!

Happy Earth Day! Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation of the Earth's environment. What are you doing to help our environment today? Whether you can spare 5 minutes or a few hours today, get out there and help Mother Nature. Today, the president of CRS, Les Velte is spending a few hours stocking 2 ponds with 120 trout to help boost their ecosystems, while I will be joining others in my neighborhood picking up trash. How can you be more green? Did you know that CRS has commited to being "green" for the past 4 years? Here are a few suggestions on how you can celebrate Earth Day:

-Plant trees

-Make nature crafts at school or at home

-Learn more about the environment

-Reduce, Reuse and Recycle ALL DAY

-Rid litter

-Get children to recycle their old games and toys

-Hold an Earth Day fair

-Educate others on how important our environment is

-Cook a special Earth Day meal using locally grown produce

-Ride your bike to run errands, leave your car behind

-Gather friends and family and help beautify your town or neighborhood

-REMEMBER: Everyday is Earth Day!

So go outside, enjoy the beauty of our Earth and help preserve it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Buying a New Home Can be Stressful...... But It Doesn't Have to Be

Puchasing your first home can come with a lot of emotions. Stress, anxiety, excitement to name a few. But there are some things that you can do to prepare yourself for the homebuying process and to help eliviate those unwanted emotions! First thing is first.... set a budget! When looking at houses, you want to make sure that they are in your price range and that your monthly mortgage will be affordable. Next, qualify for a loan. It is important to know your credit score before you meet with a representative from the bank. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate may be. Now the fun part, Shop for a home.. It is easiest to hire a real estate agent that you trust and that knows the area that you are looking. Agents will be able to find the house you are looking for in the budget you have set. They typically have insight on homes that are coming onto the market. I have found that driving around areas that you are interested in living and looking for For Sale signs works great! When I was purchasing my first home, that is how we found our dream house! Just write down the listing agent and their contact information and start calling! Next, strike a deal. If you find a house that you like, its in your budget, and you can see yourself living there, make an offer. It doesnt hurt! You will either receive a counter offer or your offer may be accepted. If they come back with a counter offer, you can counter right back and negotiate until you reach an agreement. This can be a stressful time, but your agent should be knowledgeable enough to help you decide on an offer based on the home's value and one that's realistic for the market. Once the house has gone under contract, it is important to have your loan finalized, if that is how you intend to pay for the house. The bank will request several documents so it is also important to have information like pay stubs, past tax returns, checking and savings account bank statements, 401(k) and IRA statements available. Inspect the home. ask your realtor if he/she knows of any good inspectors in the area. The inspector will need to check the roof, walls and foundation, the heating, AC and electrical systems before you close the deal on the house. You want to make sure that this house is safe and not going to fall apart the day after you move in! From there, the inspector will give you a list of potential repairs. If there are major repairs that need to be completed, this may lead to renegotiating the price. Before you close the deal on the house, you will want to do a final walk-through of the home. This is the time you make sure that the inspection issues were fixed. Last but not least, close the deal! There are some closing costs that you want to be aware of before closing day, which include loan processing fees, appraisal of the home, attorney fees and inspections.But after that, this is the MOST exciting part of the entire process. After a stack of papers are signed, the keys are yours!

So when buying your first home, or even your second these are just some general tips to get you started and prepare for the long, exciting process.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

National Parks Week April 17- April 25.

This week is National Parks week and admission to all parks is Free! Its important to support his valuable natural resource. Over 100 parks are offering special events and offers this week. Check out a park near you, and find out what is going on there. You can get more information by visiting the National Park Service website at

Earth Day is April 22- so get out help our environment. Pick up some trash on the side of the road, plant a tree, anything that will make some difference in our earth.

Consumers Relocation is a "green" company and we support a number of environmental inititatives.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The skinny on Home Affordable Modification Program

The latest data on the HAMP was released this week for the month of March. Although the program is intended to assist 3-4million households keep their homes, 230,000 have so far been permenantly modified. Another 780,000 active trial modifications are in process.
The basics as reported by the Brookings Institute are;
"In order to be eligible, the property must be a primary residence, the mortgage must have been originated on or before January 1, 2009, and the unpaid principal balance on the mortgage must be no greater than $729,750. Also, the debt-to-income ratio for the first mortgage for the borrower must be greater than 31 percent of pretax income.

For eligible borrowers, the mortgage servicer will take steps to adjust the debt-to-income ratio for the first mortgage down to 31 percent of pretax income. The steps include first reducing the interest rate to as low as 2 percent, then extending the loan term to 40 years and, finally—if necessary—deferring a portion of the principal, interest-free, until the loan is paid off. The borrower is given this modification for a three-month trial period, and the modification becomes final after the borrower makes all three trial period payments on time."

More information on the most recent report can be found at:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Considering moving for a job?

The CBS morning news reported on the best places and worst places to relocate to to find a new job. Some cities are considered the best for job seekers, and certain industries are better as well.
Health care has been adding jobs throughout the recession. Registered nurses, pharmacists, and paramedics are among the jobs most available reported CBS. Accountants, and auditors positions are most available in the finance industry. Some of the big information technology companies like Google are actively hiring too.
With the unemployment rate still near 10%, many people are considering a relocation for a job. Some of the areas where jobs are most available are ones you may not think of. But most of the locations are those that have not been as hard hit by the real estate downturn. Areas like Miami, Las Vegas and California are still not great for job seekers. However, job seekers might consider Provo, Utah, DeMoine, Iowa, Raleigh, and Ft. Collins, Colorado.
Whatever cites you choose to relocate to be sure to contact Consumers Relocation Services to get you there. Consumers Relocation can assist job seekers in managing the shipment of their household goods and automobiles anywhere in the country. Just call 800-839-6683 to speak with a Consultant, or visit us on the web at We can save you money, time and hassle in your next move.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Study on most affordable communities

Bloomberg Business Week recently published a study on the most affordable suburbs in each state. Generally they chose places to live that offer families good quality of life, good schools and amenities such as country clubs. The focus is not luxury living, but just plain great places to live. The chosen suburbs are also within 25 miles of the largest populated city in the state.
Being from Vermont I was surprised at the choice in our state. I would never have thought of St Albans as being a likely choice. But, from the sounds of it I need to check it out! Here is what the study says about this town-
St. Albans, Vt.

Nearest major city: Burlington Population: 7,531Median family income: $55,897Median home price: $150,000Unemployment rate: 6.8%Violent crime index: 11St. Albans is a popular resort town north of Burlington with a low crime rate. Between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, it has hiking trails, parks, a public pool, and boating access. About 32% of residents in the area are married with children. The average commute is 12 minutes.

Some other interesting areas are Connecticut the town of Shelton was chosen, Southern California LaPalma near LA, New York metro Pearl River in Rockland County. Florida Fruit Cove in St. Johns County near Jacksonville, Fishers in Indiana near Indianapolis, Topsham near Portland, Maine, Wilmington near Boston, Pinardville, N.H., Clark, N.J., North Valley, N.M.,
Huntersville, N.C., Oak Hills, Ore., Montgomeryville, Pa, Kingston, R.I., Irmo, S.C., .

Check this one out near Houston,-
Deer Park, Tex.
Nearest major city: HoustonPopulation: 31,049Median family income: $89,348Median home price: $131,709Unemployment rate: 8.3%Violent crime index: 35

Draper, Utah near the Wasatch Mountain range-maybe I want to go there. Newcastle, Wash. near Seattle, Ranchettes, Wyo near Cheyenne (too far away from Jackson for me).

When you choose one of these wonderful spots to move to- call Consumers Relocation to assist you in moving all of your household goods and personal belongings. Call 800-839-6683 for more information on our Move Management Services.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Top Real Estate Brokers Report

Each year RIS Media publishes their "Power Broker Report- The Top 300. Additionally they study the diversity of the firms responding to their survey relative to additional core services. This year the top firms ranked by sales volume are no surprise- they have been the top ones for a long time. Topping the list is NRT LLC- with 274,179 transactions and 758 offices. The next firms drop significantly in both volume and office total. HomeServices of America had 123,817 transactions and 298 offices. One of Consumers Relocation's large accounts is Prudential of Connecticut at 32 on the list, with 8,318 transactions and 50+ offices.

I recently attended Prudential's annual awards meeting with over 1200 agents attending. Its hard to understand the size of some of these companies when all agents are together. Even at this size, the leaders create much electricity and excitment in their organizations.

Number 300 had 1,636 with 2 offices. This is a REMAX broker in Iowa.

Many of the top brokers offer "core services" including Foreclosure, inspections, insurance, home warranty, title, and mortgage. Not listed are moving services which a number of brokers do offer, many through Consumers Relocation.The percent offering these other services ranged from 20 to 50% depending on the type of service.

If you are a broker interested in offering Household Goods Move Management services as parrt of your "core services" you should contact Les Velte at Consumers Relocation- or by calling 800-839-6683.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Moving Tips

Today's Helpful Topic: Missing Items

It is your responsibility to make sure all of your items arrive with the shipment at the time of delivery. If there are items missing, you must inform the driver and notate the missing articles on the inventory sheet. If you do not notice an item is missing until after the delivery is completed, it is important that you notify the mover as soon as possible. The mover will place a trace to attempt to locate the item (some movers will require you to file a damage claim in order to start a trace). if the item is not found, you may put in a claim for recovery. However, if the loss was not notated on the inventory at delivery, it is highly unlikely that the mover will accept liability.
IMPORTANT: Because of the limit of mover liability on self packed boxes and high value items that are not declared prior to loading, it is unlikely that the movers will settle a claim for loss of these items.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Americans Think NOW is the Time to Buy

Many Americans are starting to see the economy turn around and they are starting to dig deeper into their options. One of those options, purchasing a new home. According to Fannie May and MSNBC, two thirds of Americans believe now is the time to buy. As we start to see the housing market turn, many believe prices will either stay the same or go up in the next year. Some families are worried about the ease of being accepted for a loan however and are sure that it wont be as easy for them as it was for their parents in 1930 when the housing market suffered from a large downturn.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good time to buy a house?

Rates on 30 year home loans rose to the highest levels in 8 months to 5.21%. This rise was "due to the improving economy and the end of a government push to make mortgages cheaper" reported Freddie Mac. Rates last August were 5.29%.

With the tax credit still in place, and with rates tending to rise, now should be a good time to pull the triger for potential homebuyers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yeah! Pending home sales showed a nice gain in February

Are we seeing the signs of a real spring housing and moving market? The National Association of Realtors reported signed contracts in February " rose 8.2 percent to 97.6 from a downwardly revised 90.2 in January, and remains 17.3 percent above February 2009 when it was 83.2. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months."

Consumers Relocation is expecting, once the market takes hold, a large surge of pent up demand for moving. Hopefully, this spring will bring this.

Lawrence Yun further stated “Anecdotally, we’re hearing about a rise of activity in recent weeks with ongoing reports of multiple offers in more markets, so the March data could demonstrate additional improvement from buyers responding to the tax credit.”