Browse Month by March 2016
Real Estate

Home Moving With Large Plant Pots

download (6)If you’re moving home (or office for that matter) and have large pot plants to take into account, then a bit of forward planning just might be advisable.

Professional furniture removals companies will typically cope with such items as a matter of routine, but there are a few points to consider in advance – at least if you wish to avoid gasps of shock and horror from your removals team on the day!

• If your plants are tall, let’s say roughly anything much over about 2.20 metres in height (about 7 foot 2 inches), then warn your removals company. The maximum internal height restrictions of a vehicle might mean your plants will need to be pruned down a little. That’s something you’ll want to do in advance and in a relaxed fashion, rather than starting to frantically hack them in a panic on removal day itself.

• It’s hopefully stating the obvious but if your furniture is going into storage for a period of anything over say 24 hours, you should take specialist advice about watering and the effect of a loss of light. Many plants will cope adequately with both for shorter periods but more sensitive ones might not.

• Think ahead about external plants in large stone/cement/iron pots or troughs. Sometimes these are too heavy to be lifted by hand, even if the guys concerned are strong and fit. Lifting equipment might be needed – so make sure that such items are clearly drawn to the attention of the removers during their initial survey and quotation.

• Remember that in the case of some external plants in aged wooden pots, it’s possible that their roots will have grown through the pot or trough over several years and may now go deeply into the soil they stand on. If so, it’s very likely that they’ll be difficult to move and that’ll be even more so if you’ve packed away your shovels and spades in advance. Note that many removals companies won’t consider the last-minute digging up of your plants to be part of their legitimate service responsibilities.

• A word of warning on legalities here too. Most non-movable plants in your garden will typically be considered ‘fixtures and fittings’ and therefore will be considered to be included in the sale. Digging lots of them up and taking them with you, could be considered to be theft unless you have explicitly noted your intention to do so as part of the sale contract. A grey area might also exist when plants form part of a fixed or semi-fixed installation in the house, such as a tree in a cemented-in pot in an atrium. Take legal advice before you just start to dismantle such plants and their fittings as part of your removal.

 

Real Estate

All About The Insurance and Legal Issues With Office Moves

When you move office, there are certain issues you should be aware of relating to your employee liability insurance and the law.

In what follows, please remember this is not qualified legal advice. Things may vary significantly depending upon the legal jurisdiction you are operating within at national or local state level.

The use of employees as removals labour

Broadly speaking, the contract of employment between your organisation and your employees will typically define what may be described as the ‘legitimate duties’ associated with their role.

What this means is that you have no right to require them to do anything significantly outside of those definitions.

It’s worth noting here that even if they do so willingly, you may well be legally exposed if you are asking them to engage in, for example, manual labour to support an office move.

There are two consequences of this for the typical employer. The first is that you cannot cajole your employees into acting as casual labour – even subtly. The second is that even if they do assist, whether willingly or under pressure, you may also have put at risk aspects of your employee liability insurance.

A scenario

To give an illustration of the complexity of the legal and insurance issues here, take a hopefully hypothetical scenario in which one of your employees is injured.

Somebody who falls in the office when in pursuit of their defined normal duties will typically be covered by your employee liability insurance and legal definitions of what constitutes a legitimate employer demand. That’s providing you have met all workplace health and safety laws.

However, that same person falling while they are trying to pack items into a removals company’s boxes or while they are carrying things out to a removals vehicle, might constitute an entirely different situation. Given that the packing and removal of items into a waiting vehicle would hardly be considered to be part of their “normal duties”, you may find that your insurance cover is not valid and that you might also be in breach of employment and health and safety laws.

The solution

Many employers ask, directly and indirectly, their employees to assist in the packing up and sometimes carrying of office equipment in support of a planned move.

Employers usually do so for one of two reasons:

• They are trying to cut costs and avoid paying for specialist packers

• They wish to try and ensure that the packing is done correctly and with due consideration for the items concerned.

Neither of these is valid nor would they typically constitute an acceptable position under law.

The first motivator should never be a deciding factor and the second can be easily achieved if you select a professional office removals company and ask them to provide specialist packing services.

It would be highly advisable for all employers to take this matter seriously and to avoid slipping into casual assumptions about just what can be expected of employees by way of packing and labour in support of an office move.

Real Estate

The Benefits Of Hiring A Reputable Relocation Service

Large organizations and small business enterprises relocate their offices on a regular basis. Moving to a new city or moving interstate can be a stressful undertaking. This task is better left to a professional relocation service provider who is better equipped to handle the logistics. There are many benefits to choosing the right relocation company. To make your decision easier, some of these advantages are listed in this article.

Professional relocation service providers are fully trained

Lifting heavy items needs trained professionals in order to prevent serious injury. If you or your loved ones are injured during the moving process, you will find your relocation more difficult and stressful. It is, therefore, best to leave this task in the hands of a fully trained relocation service provider. These experts will carry the heaviest goods in the safest way, so there will be no risk of personal harm or causing damage to your precious items.

A relocation service has the right paperwork

Most people believe that if they hire a van and move everything themselves, they will save money. But this can actually get you in trouble legally. To be able to drive a large van, you will need a special driving license. Only a relocation service will have the right driving license to operate large vehicles. Finding yourself unable to drive a hired van can end up costing you more money than you think. It is best to leave this task in the hands of a fully qualified moving company.

Make better use of your time

When you have a business to run, your main focus should be on the company and how it is operating. The last thing you have time for is packing files, equipment, and other items. A professional relocation company allows you to manage your time better by taking care of the move for you.

Relocation packs

Many relocation service providers offer flexible options such as short-term or long-term furniture rental whilst you wait for your own furniture to arrive from overseas. This helps you settle in your new home sooner rather than stay in hotels. The relocation packages include all the furniture, appliances, and homeware to make you feel right at home.

Streamlined process

A professional relocation service handles everything. The movers will pack the entire office or home contents, and load them onto the truck. Once they are relocated to the new location, they will unload all the items and place them where they should be. The goal is to create a streamlined process to make your move as effortless as possible.

Safety

If you are relocating your office, the computer equipment will be some of the heaviest items to move. If one of your staff members is injured while moving, you may end up having to pay compensation. However, if you leave this task to a professional relocation service, the trained movers will take the heavy items safely. Working with such companies will eliminate the risk to you and your organization.

No risk of damage

Aside from the safety of your employees, the safety of the office equipment matters too. If any of the furniture is damaged, it could cost you a lot of money to replace them. It therefore, makes sense to hire a relocation service that is trustworthy and reputable in order to minimize the risk of damage.

Happy work environment

Many employers nowadays push their employees to the edge by getting as much work out of them as possible. By not making your staff move all the furniture or equipment, you will help boost morale in the work place and let them know that you care about them. After all, moving is not part of their job description. To get the most productivity out of employees, it is best to leave this task in the hands of professional movers.

 

Real Estate

Make Sure That Your Furniture Is Secure Overnight

When you’re moving home, it’s very common to have a situation where the removal and subsequent delivery to the new address takes place over 2 days.

There may be any number of reasons why that’s the case, including there just not being enough time to get it all done in one day or perhaps it’s too far between your old and new property to make a same-day service feasible.

So, your furniture may need to be ‘stored’ somewhere overnight – and that’s where you need to ask some questions in advance of your professional furniture removals company.

Note that if your furniture is to be stored for any length of time, a further set of questions would also apply. Here we’re only discussing the ‘overnight stop’ scenario.

Will my furniture be offloaded overnight?

This is best avoided, if possible, to reduce the chances of damage arising during the offload and subsequent reloading the following morning but it might also be necessary in some cases.

If it is to be unloaded, make sure you get guarantees that the subsequent vehicle is fully booked and available.

If you’re unloading it, where?

It’s important that you never really find yourself in the position of not having a clue where your precious possessions are.

No reputable furniture removals company will ever refuse to answer the question and if they do, it probably indicates they’re not sure. That should be MAJOR cause for concern.

Ask them to give you unconditional guarantees that if unloading is necessary, the overnight (or longer) storage is in a fully secure, patrolled and environmentally-protected warehouse. You won’t want your property to be sitting in a glorified backstreet garage with a leaky roof overnight with only a padlock on an old gate to protect it – and YES, it does happen with some ‘cowboy’ removals companies.

If it’s staying on the vehicle, where will the vehicle be parked overnight?

Unfortunately, it’s not unknown for vehicles loaded with someone’s prized household possessions to be parked overnight on seedy waste ground or on streets outside the driver’s house.

That might be convenient for them but it probably won’t help you to sleep easily.

So, insist that the vehicle is parked in a fully secure, lit and patrolled car park or inside a similar warehouse. Don’t be afraid to ask exactly where and research the location on line to be sure.

If you’re involved in a long-distance removal, then of course the vehicle may need to be parked somewhere on the road overnight. Make sure though that you have an assurance that the team or at least the driver will be sleeping in the vehicle overnight.

Summary

If the above questions worry you as being too patronising or falling under the category of ‘asking the obvious’ then don’t be concerned.

All experienced removals companies will understand that their customers will be rightly worried about their property when it’s out of sight and somewhere on the road. They’ll have no problem whatsoever in clarifying the above matters if you ask.

 

Real Estate

Whats The Real Estate Market in Montgomery County Say

Montgomery County offers neighborhoods radiating from Washington DC. The homes are newer and more affordable as they venture from the Capital Beltway. With newer construction. Close-in communities have the priciest homes, but also the best commuter locations. New communities along the I-270 corridor offer a range of modern styles and sizes. Along the crest of the county, there are sprawling farms and horse properties.

If you plan on selling a home fast, realtors suggest the following information about selling a home. Paint rooms, having colors that may not be appealing to everyone, a more neutral pallet. Painting is a relatively inexpensive preparation. Store clutter and depersonalize the home. Do some inexpensive landscaping and paint the door to improve the outside appeal.

Statistics show a 20 percent increase in homes sold in May of this year over May of last in Montgomery County. The inventory currently available is 20 percent less than this time last year. Last May, $412,000 was the median sales price of homes sold in Montgomery County. This year, the median sale price was $420,000. That is an $8000 or two percent increase over last year. The median price is a price in the middle of the statistics. There are an equal number of properties that sold below or above the median.

Relocation is the most common reason people need to sell a home. The average length of time people stay in their homes is 11 years. A new job offer is a common occurrence that makes relocation a necessity. Selling a home is often a big obstacle when accepting a new job.

The options in the pursuit of selling a home fast are selling the home yourself, employing a real estate agent, or selling to a real estate investor. Investors need knowledge of any new laws that pertain to real estate investment. The real estate market is full of complexities, and new laws are likely to contain intricacies. If selling a high-end residential property, it is advisable to go through a real estate agency or have a lawyer draft a contract for the sale of a home. The lawyer reviews all documents necessary for the settlement transaction.

 

Real Estate

Make The Most Living In Spain

Are you considering living in Spain? It’s a good idea to stay in Spain without a full-time commitment in the meantime. In that case, renting is a viable option. If you get a Short-Stay visa to Spain, you can stay there as a tourist for as long as 90 days from the total 180 days. Three months of living in Spain is a significant time enough to let you have a taste of the experience of what it’s like to live in that country.

If you stay for less than three months, your visit would be categorized as a vacation rental. You’ll find many vacation rental places along the coasts. Major cities in the country also offer these locations. Visit the interiors such as the capital, Andalucia, Granada and Madrid.

Generally, it is more expensive to pay for vacation rentals. Full-time rentals are apparently cheaper. Then again, the high price to pay for vacation rentals are worth it. The place you’ll rent will be fully furnished and it includes all fees and utilities. The price is negotiable during off season, though, or if you plan to rent the place for several months. You can pay for a longer duration of stay instead of the costly per-day or per-week’s rent. If you’re planning to stay in a small beach city in Spain, the price of rent is typically $700 to $1,100 a month for a short-term rental of an apartment, and that is, if you hire that place off season. Otherwise, if you rent an apartment in major cities like Madrid and Barcelona, expect to pay double the price of that rate.

What if you decide to live in Spain for good? You can choose to rent a property or buy a property there. Currently, you’ll find that long-term listings are available at attractive low prices. It depends on the quality that is accessible as well. For instance, in the cities of Valencia and Alicante, you can get hold of a low-priced rent of $450 a month for your long-term stay. If you rent in Malaga, the price starts a bit higher, but expect to pay more if you plan to live nearer the historic center of the city.

In cities that are farther from the Costas, people don’t speak much English. Realtors aren’t as fluent in the English language, too, but they would be glad to hand you some listings. Your life in Spain would be much easier if you learn to speak a little Spanish because all Spaniards anticipatedly speak it. Consider that Spanish is not the only language spoken in Spain. In Catalonia, for example, people prefer to speak the local language which is Catalan instead of Spanish. Signs that point to the beach don’t say la playa in Catalonia, but on the other hand indicate la platja. Milky coffee is called café amb llet in Catalan rather than café con leche in Spanish. A street in Catalan is referred to as carrer; in Spanish it’s a calle.

 

Real Estate

How to Handling Larger Items

Almost every professional office removals specialist will have tales of troubles they’ve encountered with unexpected large items that were considered to be part of an office move.

True, a site inspection should always take place first but it’s far from unknown for ‘surprises’ to arise on the day of the move itself. That usually involves someone in the office concerned suddenly saying something like “Oh, didn’t you know that was to be moved?”

Here are three categories of item that are well-known to cause difficulty, particularly when not highlighted in advance to your professional office removals specialist.

Safes

Safes aren’t designed to be easily moved. If they were, thieves would be very happy.

In fact, some were originally built into the fabric of older buildings and just can’t be moved short of demolishing part of the building. Even those that are theoretically movable are usually far too heavy to manhandle and specialist lifting equipment is usually required.

So, discovering for the first time on the morning of a move that a safe has appeared ‘from nowhere’ could be a major obstacle and possibly a showstopper.

Note that sometimes, with larger safes, there is no real alternative other than to hire a crane and move the item out through a window or sometimes even the roof.

Printing Machines

Today people assume that ‘printers’ are all desktop devices attached to a PC.

However, they can also be very large and very heavy pieces of machinery if they’re designed for large-volume printing. These are sometimes ‘overlooked’ in advance site surveys because the machine is stored in the basement or another ‘print room’ location away from the main office in order to reduce noise when in operation.

Once again, these can be a major challenge because of their size, weight and fragility. They often require specialised handling, packing and transportation.

Odd-Sized Items

Problems arise here because some items weren’t identified in advance and although not heavy, they’re going to pose major challenges to transport.

Examples here include:· A dismantled ornamental antique bannister rail, that was far too long to go onto a standard vehicle

· A vast metallic wall mural with razor-sharp edges, which was far too tall to go into a van.

· A chandelier set into a very high ceiling which could not be reached without specialised steps etc.

Solutions

Just about anything can be moved from one office to another, providing it is recognised in advance and planned for accordingly.

What causes headaches are situations where surprises are sprung at the last moment.

These problems are easily avoided. Just make sure that your office removals specialist performs a full site survey as part of their quotation and planning session. During their walk-around, make sure you accompany them and draw explicitly to their attention anything that to you looks large, heavy, awkward or difficult to reach.