Ann Bennett - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Metropolitan

Posted by Ann Bennett on 3/8/2018

If you live in one state, but are trying to buy a home in another state, you’ll face some obvious challenges. There’s certain steps that you can take to help you get through the home buying process in another state. Whether you’re buying a vacation home, or are in a complete transition, you’ll need to follow a few steps to make life easier for you. 

Know How Much Time You Have

First, you’ll need to ask yourself when you’re planning to move. If you have flexibility and are planning a trip to the new state before you need to move, that paints a much different picture than a more rushed move. Consider:

  • The time it will take to sell your current home
  • When the closing will be on the new home

Keep that timeline in mind.

You’ll definitely want to hire a realtor to handle everything for you on both ends when you’re in this situation. A Realtor’s knowledge and experience is definitely worth it to help you.

Get Your Finances In Order

You’ll need to apply for a loan on the home you’re buying in the new state. You should start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage in that state. You don’t want all of your important paperwork to be buried in the midst of packing and moving. Also, you’ll need to have that loan secured before you even head to the new state to close on the home. Everything should be in order. This situation may be more challenging for you than a typical home purchase. Since big purchases affect your credit score, you’ll need to hold off on buying a car, furniture, or any major appliances that you may need. 

Get As Much Information As You Can

As a buyer who is from out of state, you’ll need to do your homework. Maybe you have visited the state many times before. Perhaps you know nothing about it. The more you know ahead of time, the easier that your transition will be. You’ll need to find recommendations about which neighborhood to search in. You’ll also want to learn a bit more about the lifestyle the area provides for activities like dining, entertainment, and recreation. You can learn a lot in the internet, but talking to locals- even a local realtor- can help you to find the right spot to live in. 

Find The Right Realtors

You’ll need to find the right realtors in both your home state and the state that you’re moving to. The seller’s agent will assist you in getting your old home sold. From marketing the listing to home showings to sending you all of the paperwork that you’ll need to sign, a seller’s agent is very valuable to someone who needs to move out of one state and into another. 

The buyer’s agent can help you in your new state, communicating with you on new listings and advising you on the neighborhoods that you’ll be the most happy in. Hiring these two realtors may be one of the most important steps in your feat of moving across two different states.

With the resources that are available online, moving from state-to-state isn't as hard as it may seem. Do your research for a smooth transition. Happy moving!

Posted by Ann Bennett on 9/14/2017

As a senior citizen, selling a home and moving to a new location may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of packing up your belongings and getting settled into a new address.

Now, let's take a look at three essential moving tips for senior citizens.

1. Plan Ahead

Moving day can be long and stressful, particularly for seniors who don't plan ahead. If you start planning for your move today, you can increase the likelihood of a seamless transition from one address to another.

Think about your belongings and what you'd like to bring to your new address. If you have a wide assortment of items that you won't need at your new home, you can sell, donate or dispose of these items prior to moving day.

Also, if you need to hire a moving company, don't wait until the last minute to do so. Because the longer that you wait to hire a moving company, the less likely it becomes that this company will be available on the date of your move.

2. Secure Your Treasured Belongings

Although you've collected a large assortment of items over the years, you may be unable to bring all of these items to your new address. However, if you sort through your belongings, you can determine which items to keep.

Treasured belongings like antiques, artwork and jewelry generally are keepers. Pack and store these items properly to ensure they won't deteriorate before moving day.

Let's not forget about treasured belongings that have sentimental value, either. Photographs and other treasured possessions should be packed in a safe place and labeled correctly. That way, you'll have no trouble unpacking these precious belongings once you arrive at your new address.

3. Ask Friends and Family Members for Help

When it comes to getting ready for moving day, there is no need to work alone. Senior citizens who reach out to friends and family members for help can streamline the process of preparing for a move and enjoy a one-of-a-kind moving experience.

Friends and family members are loved ones who strive to help you in any way they can. Thus, if you contact friends and family members before moving day, you can work with loved ones to boost the chances of a fast, easy move.

Lastly, if you need extra assistance before you relocate, it never hurts to contact a real estate agent. This housing market professional understands the challenges associated with moving and is happy to help any senior citizen enjoy a stress-free move.

A real estate agent can put you in touch with local moving professionals. Plus, if you need help selling a house, a real estate agent can make it easy to list your residence, host home showings and much more.

Keep things simple as you get ready to move – use the aforementioned moving tips, and any senior can quickly and effortlessly prep for moving day.

Posted by Ann Bennett on 8/13/2017

Every homeowner seems to come to a point where they wonder if it’s time to sell their home or renovate the one that they currently have. Whether or not you decide to sell immediately, you can start with some renovations to your home that will offer you a big return on your investments and more comfort. Certain renovation projects are more beneficial than others. We’ll go over some of the best projects that you can take on in your home to add value and comfort to your home.

Curb Appeal Pays 

While you may turn to the inside of your home to make improvements first, it’s actually more beneficial to update the outside of your home before you even begin to tackle the inside. Curb appeal can boost the value of your home significantly. 

Check Your Insulation

You can improve the overall energy efficiency of your home by sealing unattended places in the home. Add insulation and sealing right in your attic. This helps to save on energy costs the whole year through. New insulation brings quite a return on value in your home. 

Make Your Spaces Peaceful And Open

If you have plenty of space available in the house, you’ll get a big return on your investment. Add a bedroom to the home if you are able. Expand on the master bedroom to include large closets along with a master bathroom. Some of these renovations can become a bit of an expense, but you’ll be happy you did them when you get a large return on your investment.     

Add A Deck

Adding an outdoor space to enjoy will not only give you financial returns, it will give you an increased sense of happiness as well. You’ll have a new outdoor space that you’ll be able to enjoy for a good portion of the year.

Think Small

Sometimes even small improvements can add returns and more appeal to your home. Does your kitchen need new tile? Could your dishwasher use an upgrade? Maybe the bathroom counter can be replaced. Anything small around your home that’s upgraded can add up. The kitchen and the bathroom are the two rooms of the home that people most desire to have updated. Doing any and all projects in these rooms can have a really big impact on the value of your property. 

After The Renovations

After you complete the desired renovations in your home, live in it for awhile. If you’re still itching to move on from your property, make an appointment with your realtor. There is nothing wasted in doing renovations to your home whether you decide to stay on the property or move on.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Ann Bennett on 2/5/2017

We all know moving is a stressful time, but for cats, it can be a bigger upheaval than for their human counterparts. Your home is your cat's territory. By taking them out of their familiar environment and into a completely new one can be extremely overwhelming for them. However, there are a few things you can do to make the move a more comfortable process for your feline friend. Creature comforts - establish the carrier as a safe, comfortable place for your cat to be as soon as you can. Leave it out a few weeks before the move for your cat to become comfortable with its presence. Putting blankets and the occasional treat inside will help your cat warm up to the carrier more quickly. Try to stick to normal feeding routines as much as possible in the days leading up to and after the move to give your cat some semblance of normalcy throughout the environmental changes. During the move - consider keeping your cat in a separate room while the moving process is taking place. This ensures not only that they won't slip out any open doors, but they also won't be underfoot or become stressed by the chaos of moving. Place a sign on the door to let everyone know that the cat is in the room. You will want to leave a litter box, food, water and their carrier in the room with them. Pack this room last and put the cat in the carrier before you begin packing up this final room. Stay safe - when cats are nervous they seek out small spaces to comfort themselves. To prevent your cat from getting stuck monitor them in the kitchen and other rooms with small gaps. You will also want to ensure that all window screens are securely in place. If you have an outdoor cat wait two to four weeks before allowing them to roam outside. Be sure to update your cat's tag and/or microchip with your new address and phone number. Comfort zone - set up a safe room in the new house for your cat to stay in for the first few weeks after the move. Being confined to a smaller section of the new house will put your cat more at ease. Place their favorite toys and bedding in the room with them as well as food, water, and a litterbox. If you want to keep the litter box in a different room have two litter boxes, one in the safe room and one in the room you would normally like it until your cat becomes comfortable with the rest of the house and new litter box location. Cats are creatures of habit and drastic changes like a move can cause them to become distressed. By taking a few preliminary steps throughout the moving process like slowly introducing them to their carrier and creating a comfort zone you can ensure your cat enjoys your new home just as much as you do!

Tags: moving tips   cats   moving  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Ann Bennett on 6/12/2016

If you are planning a move you are probably busy thinking about the new costs of living, how much the rental truck will cost, packing and how you will get there. What you may not be considering is the hidden costs of moving. Here just a few of the surprise costs of moving and some ideas on how to avoid them: Late Fees When you are moving things get lost in the mail or are slow to be forwarded to your new address. If you miss paying your bills on it can add up in unnecessary late fees. Switch all of your bills to online billing that way you are sure not to miss a payment that is lost in the mail. Overdraft Fees Don't close that bank account just yet. You may have checks or bills still being drawn on that bank account. Leave your bank account open for approximately three months to allow all checks to clear. Doing this will help you avoid any overdraft fees. Contract penalties All of those contracts you have signed may come back to haunt you. Memberships at the gym, country club, day care facility, community association, etc. can cost you. Typically there is some type of annual or monthly contract associated with membership and cancelling early will usually cost you.  Some of these contracts will have an exception for a move so read the terms and conditions before you pay a hefty cancellation fee. Auto insurance Part of the cost of your auto insurance is determined by your address. For example, moving from an area with less population, to a more highly populated area will cost you more in auto insurance. Different states also have different laws regarding insurance coverage. States have different minimum liability requirements so in some states you will need to purchase personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage and in others you will not. Health insurance Health insurance can also change when you switch states. Just like auto insurance, health insurance mandates vary among states, too.  Some states require some types of medical procedures are covered while another has not mandated coverage.  Be sure to comparison-shop for your health insurance. While adding up the normal costs of moving expenses like boxes and storage also be sure to check for these hidden costs and try to avoid losing money in your next move.