Finding a Home
When it comes to buying your first home or upgrading to a new home, finding the right tools and the process can be pretty tough without a little help. Thanks to the internet, that help is freely available. There are tons of tips and tools that can help make finding and moving to a new home a lot easier. Here are our top 10 favorites.
Know Your Rights
Whether you plan to rent or buy, you need to know your rights. Renters can quickly find this information in their state’s tenant handbook. To make things simple, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a tenant’s rights page for every state. Just choose yours and start reading. Although homeowner rights will vary from state to state as well, the American Bar Association Family Legal Guide provides some broad answers. To find state-specific rights, just do a web search for “homeowner rights” and the name of your state. In most cases you’ll find a government web site and/or PDF document filled with everything you want to know.
Hire a Reputable Mover
Moving day is stressful, there’s no doubt about it. When you’re heading to a new home, hiring a reputable mover is obviously a better idea than hiring an inexpensive company that’s going to hijack your stuff. Still, it has been known to happen. To make sure you don’t fall victim to a moving scam, you need to sufficiently investigate the moving company you want to use. Consumer rights blog The Consumerist suggests that you check movingscam.com and movingsham.com to make sure the company isn’t blacklisted, know your rights as a customer, check out the mover’s Better Business Bureau record, check the mover’s D.O.T. number, and get at least three estimates in writing before making a decision. You may also want to consider using a tool like Angie’s List to avoid misleading, fake reviews.
Budget for Owning a Home
Want to own a home but aren’t sure how much you can afford? MSN has a home affordability calculator that can help you out. You just enter the cost of your current financial obligations, how much you make, and a few other statistics to find out the cost of a home you can afford. If you’re thinking of buying, this is a quick way to get an approximate idea of what’s in your price range.
Moving Boxes and Packing Supplies
Brand new cardboard boxes can command a hefty premium. Skip paying for moving boxes by looking in the right places for free ones. You don’t have to pay (much) for packing supplies. To start, there are plenty of ways to get free moving boxes. Craigslist, Freecycle, restaurants, grocery stores, furniture stores, and liquor stores are all great options. If you can’t locate any for free, however, you can always buy them on the cheap at UsedCardboardBoxes.com. If you want them new you’re definitely going to pay a bit more, but ULine is a great resource for getting everything you need delivered for a reasonable price
Find a Real Estate Professional
If you’re buying a home, the first thing you’re going to need to do is find one and chances are you’ll need a broker or agent’s help to do that. CENTURY 21 Allstars provides real estate agents search for both buyers and sellers and includes some helpful statistics on your options. If you’re just looking to search existing listings, we can show you plenty of options in a given area with helpful statistics.
The Simple Moving Process
Moving isn’t fun or easy, but you can make it a little less painful. We’ve offered a complete guide to a smooth move, but there are a couple of tools that are particularly helpful. WordLabel’s Moving Label Kit can make organizing and labeling your boxes a breeze with very little effort. Template your furniture by outlining each piece with paper can save a ton of time when you’re figuring out where to put everything in your new place.