Monday, November 29, 2010

What to Expect When Moving Over the Holidays.

Moving around the holidays is not ideal, but sometimes cannot be avoided. Some people think that the moving truck drivers work 24/7 but believe it or not, they have a life too! They are like normal people with families that would like to spend the holidays at home. However, there are some drivers that decide not to celebrate the holidays and would rather work.

Aaron Roth, Sr. Move Manager for Wheaton World Wide Moving says "Many drivers want to be home for the holidays so they will plan their trip assignments to ensure they are home in time. Some drivers may finish delivering all the shipments on his truck a couple of weeks before Christmas and/or Thanksgiving, and then head home without a reload. Other drivers may ask for a reload, but limit the number of shipments being loaded so that he gets home quickly."

If you are looking to move during the holidays, the movers will factor in those days when determining a delivery spread. The movers will typically exclude holidays from the spread, but that does not mean they will not deliver on the holiday if the driver can do so. The movers plan accordingly to avoid late deliveries.

So if you are planning a move over the holidays, note that it can be done! Especially with a little flexibility! You can contact any one of our consultants at CRS for more information on moving over the holidays.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." Erma Bombeck

From everyone here at CRS, we wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mixed signals in the real estate market?

Third quarter results reported by the National Association for home prices and number of existing home sales see to send mixed signals. While is seems that prices are more stable, the number of exiting home sales have declined in some regions.

Seems that the Northeast stabilized the most in home sale prices. I know that Burlington VT, in my home state was the leader showing some appreciation. The other regions all reported a decline in home prices, although very modest in comparison to other reports over the last couple years.

In the midwest the median price dropped 3% from the third quarter of 2009. Home sales were 28.9% below a year ago in the third quarter. In the south home prices fell 1.9% and the west a very modest .4% drop. The midwest reported existing homes sales declined 16.4% over 2009 and the west slipped 20% during the quarter. Over on the year though, the drops are much less probably due to the favorable tax situation in the first part of the year which provided a stimulus for home purchases.

Although third quarter results are not where we all want them, we at CRS are optimistic in a rebound in activity in 2011 and are positioning ourselves for that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

4 Things to do to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

There is nothing worse than being cold in your home in the dead of winter! Wouldn't it be nice to save some money and make your home a more comfortable place while the snow falls? I was researching different tips on winterizing my home, as we are dealing with a lot of these issues! Leah Culler of MSN Real Estate has compiled a list of 4 winter prep essentials you shouldn't skip.

Gutters and roof

must do: clear debris from your gutters or have a professional do it. Make sure your downspouts are directing water at least 3 feet away from your home's foundation, says David Lupberger, home-improvement expert. It is also crucial to make sure that your gutters and downspouts are securely fastened to your home and that there is no blockage in the downspout. Why are gutters and downspouts important? Winter weather typically means more rain or snow which can seriously damage your home's foundation. Gutters and downspouts are there to take the water that runs off your roof and get it away from your home. Keeping them working properly will keep your foundation dry and stable and save you a lot of money and hassle.

should do: Check your roof for peeling tiles and any potential roofing issues. If you really want to be diligent, inspect your attic for mold, water stains and other signs of moisture.

must do: If you do nothing else, replace the filter.

should do: Have a professional perform an annual furnace check. Lupberger says a good furnace pro will vacuum the unit, lubricate the parts, replace your filter and check the thermostat.

must do: Walk around inside your house while the sun is out and look at the doors that lead outside. If you see daylight coming in around the door frame, that's a sign that outside air is leaking in. If you have an air leak you can buy weatherstripping at a hardware or home improvement store and create a tighter seal. If light is coming in from the bottom of the door, you can buy a door sweep to keep cold air out.

should do: Lupberger highly recommends that homeowners have a blower door test performed to determine where the house is leaking air so they can insulate and upgrade to create a tighter, more comfortable home- not to mention save some money. "Ninety percent of homes were built when energy was cheap, that means most homes are under insulated" says Lupberger.

must do: If your home has a sprinkler system, it must be winterized to prevent any freezing in the colder months, says Sam White, owner of Preferred Spinkler Service in Denver. Winterizing that system consists of shutting it off from inside the home, draining it and using compressed air to blow any remaining water out of individual sections of the system. White recommends having a professional do this.

A few other things to think about before winter hits

Fireplace and Chimney- If your home has a fireplace and you regularly have fires, it may be time to have a chimney sweep take a look. It is a good idea to have this done every two or three years.

Pipes- You can save a little money on hot water by insulating your pipes so they will hold heat longer.

Detectors- Check the batteries in your carbon-monoxide and smoke detectors and make sure the detectors are working.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Where to Buy a Home for $600 a Month!!!

If you liked my previous blog post of where to buy a home for $800 a month, then check out what Luke Mullins of U.S. News & World Report just posted!
Where to buy a home for less than $600 a month

1. Phoenix, Arizona
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
3. San Antonio, Texas
4. Greenville, South Carolina
5. Boise, Idaho
6. Corpus Christi, Texas
7. Tampa, Florida
8. Columbia, Missouri
9. Tuscon, Arizona
10. Fort Myers, Florida

Visit for the full article listing local attractions, median home prices and monthly payments.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Relocating? 5 Questions to Ask Before Renting Out Your Home

Are you moving out of town? Or even across town to a house that better suites your family? Now you have the tough decision of whether to rent your home out or sell it. What would you gain financially from these options?

"Relocating homeowners need to shift their thinking and recognize that the property is no longer their home; it is an investment," says Joseph Himali, principal broker of Best Address Real Estate in Washington, D.C. "The decision to sell or rent should depend on whether keeping the home is the best use of their investment dollars."

Michele Lerner of put together a list of five questions to ask when deciding whether to sell a property or rent it out.

1. How much equity do you have?

Homeowners with significant equity should sell, unless their home is a desirable rental and they want to take on the challenges of being a landlord, says Diane Rule-Enos, a registered financial consultant with The Patriot Financial Group. "Even if you have to sell at a price that is lower than what it was worth a few years ago, if you have equity, it is a much less risky choice to sell, the higher-risk decision is to deal with renters who may not pay the rent and who may damage the property."

Rob Irwin, a real-estate expert takes the opposite view. "Homeowners with significant equity usually have lower mortgage payments, so they are more likely to have positive cash flow when renting the property."

2. What's the local market prognosis?

Irwin recommends that homeowners ask a real-estate agent about local market trends and research home values online. "Homeowners should make the calculation to determine how long it will take to reach the break even point in terms of gaining value to make a profitable sale," Irwin says.

3. What's the state of the rental market?

Irwin recommends consulting with a real-estate agent who specializes in rentals to estimate rental rates and how long it will take to find a qualified renter. Homeowners should know that rent is based on market rates, not the amount they need to cover their mortgage payments. "Homeowners who choose to rent need to be financially prepared for the possibility of negative cash flow, vacancies and the chance that the renters will stop paying the rent," Rule-Enos says.

4. What are the costs of owning investment property?

Owners who become investors must continue paying principal and interest on their mortgage, property taxes, homeowners insurance, homeowners association fees, and maintenance and repair costs. Many of these costs are tax-deductible for landlords. Owning a home as an investment property changes owners' tax liability in ways that may help or hurt them.

5. Are you ready to be a landlord?

The emotional cost of being a landlord includes handling tenant complaints, maintenance problems and even the possibility of eviction. The application process should include a background check by the landlord, says Irwin.

So there is a lot to consider when weighing out your options. For the full article, click Here

Monday, November 1, 2010

Amazing feedback from a AAA member!

Straight from AAA of Southern New England's magazine, Horizons:

By a AAA Southern New England member:
"I have recently returned to Rhode Island (my home) after spending many years in Florida, and I wanted to share an experience with you and our New England neighbors, all thanks to AAA! (I have been a member since 1975). Florida's AAA magazine is called "Going Places" and in 2007 an article appeared regarding Consumers Relocation Services. I knew I would be returning to Rhode Island, so I kept the article and called them when I was ready to move. The company is located in Londonderry, VT. Andrew walked me through the moving process, from assisting with the selection of the moving company, packing, providing contact with the driver, calling on the day of moving and the day of delivery. He made the move the most pleasant of all my moves. Thanks AAA and thanks Andrew!"