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Real Estate

Tips To Keep Moving Costs

download (4)Many people need to move out of their hometown, either for a job or a better life. But it is difficult to find stability in the new town, considering that you are not aware of everything about the new place. There are several ways to shift to a new place, which is budget-friendly and keeps costs to a minimum.

Here is a list of some tips to reducing your moving bill.

• Take only what you need

In order to save storage and transport costs, only pick those items that are essential to you. This is obviously because more space requires more money. You need to manage your stuff. Make a proper plan prior to the shifting to save a good amount of money. Keep all the required items in your luggage and discard those items that are not essential. In order to remember everything you need, prepare a written checklist.

• Calculate your moving costs

It is very important to calculate all your moving expenses before starting your shifting preparation. A lot of expenses are involved, in both the cases of either moving the belongings on your own or hiring professional movers. Both the ways are pretty costly to increase your expenses. Keep the receipts of your income tax reductions and grants with you.

• Get free packing and moving supplies

Cut your budget as much as possible in order to lessen you expenditure while moving. Buy handy packing boxes of different sizes from your nearby stores or supermarkets. Always remember that small boxes are ideal for storing valuable things.

• Decide on your means of transport

The amount of furniture you want to move depends on your budget. The cheapest way to move furniture is to rent a truck or trailer. If you travel light, then shipping your belongings is the most affordable option. Next option is a bus or train. You can also avail air transportation by availing cargo shipping services.

• Ask your friends and family for help

You can ask your friends and relatives to help you to move your belongings for the day. Plan with them prior to the actual day of moving. Provide an incentive to them as a token of gratitude. Do not forget to thank them wholeheartedly for their support.

• Hiring a moving company vs. cashing in a favour

You can hire a truck for moving your belongings by just paying the cash amount hand to hand. On the other hand, you can hire a moving company, sit back and relax without any tension. It depends on an individual’s choice.

Many of the ways mentioned above are simply great ways to cut down on moving. You can benefit from these, especially when you are on a tight budget.


Real Estate

How To Choose A Reliable Ocean Freight

Do You Need Ocean Freight Shipping Services?

Do you need to hire the services of an ocean freight shipping company? Perhaps you are relocating to another country, in which case you’ll be shipping your household goods. Maybe you need to send an express parcel overseas. Or if you have an export business and you need to transport a freight shipment. These are the 3 types of cargo sent via ocean freight. You have to deal with an ocean freight shipping company for the most reasonable price. Transporting by air can be very costly, especially if you need to send your items in bulk.

Search online for the best ocean cargo transport company. Most of these companies have websites. All you need to do is send the details of your shipment and the customer service representative will give you a quote. Transacting online saves you time and effort because you don’t have to physically visit the offices of your option companies. Be particular about reading the information about the company and their services (in their website). It could be overwhelming, but you have to be in-the-know. Read about company reviews in the site as well. You can access valuable information about the shipping service provider you’re hiring from forums and review pages.

How Do You Know That The Company Is Reliable?

A good ocean freight shipping company will have your cargo transported by sea smoothly. That is, there ought to be no problems with documentations, especially with the Federal Maritime Commission. The FTC regulates rules and policies of ocean freight shipping globally. There should be no glitches with the custom’s clearance too. Take note of this when hiring an international shipping service provider.

Many businesses send their merchandise abroad via ocean freight, and a lot of them hire agents to be able to avail of the most reasonable prices for their shipping. You can do so, too. Take your time asking pertinent questions about your concerns. You may be able to get the best deals from your international shipping provider. At the same time, ask for your cargo to be covered by an insurance policy. Shipments are in transit at sea for a few days to a few months, and shipment containers are loaded and unloaded in different locations from time to time. This process makes your cargo prone to damage, that’s why you should ask for the shipping company to cover your shipment with an insurance policy. You don’t want to suffer any loss for your items. You should be able to track your cargo, too. Ask about how you can access shipping tracking to your international shipping service provider.

Be Particular And Be In-The-Know

A reliable company will actively transport your goods without problems in customs at any time and in whatever location. Note the services offered by the company so you can avail of the best prices. Consider if the company offers standardized services. With their company managed well and with the proper connections, all documentations, tracking, insurance and custom’s clearance, among other requirements should be managed carefully and your cargo delivered safely, in tact and on time by a trustworthy and efficient ocean freight shipping company.


Real Estate

Finding Treasures When Moving House

It’s not unusual to hear stories of removals companies who have been asked to effectively ‘dispose’ of unwanted items during a household move.

There is an issue there about responsibilities because professional furniture removals companies aren’t also waste disposal specialists but there’s an even bigger question to be asked: Do you know what you’re throwing away?

The Internet Selling World

In the last 10-15 years, the arrival of online selling and the huge growth in antique programmes on TV has raised awareness about the value of ordinary household items yet people are still just throwing them out.

What looks like junk to you just could have some value.

So, here are just some of the unlikely things that are selling right now and which you might have waiting to be thrown out as part of your house move.

Top Tips

Look out for:

    1. Old iron objects. Fireplaces, ranges, decorative plaques, rusty old radiators – these things are all now considered to be ‘architectural antiques’ and might be worth quite a bit.


    1. Old 60s/70s gadgets and appliances. Your parents’ and grandparents’ stuff might look like junk to you but today lamps, stereo systems, plastic chairs, plastic lamp shades – they’re all considered to be “20th century design” objects and many people are paying high prices for them.


    1. Garden furniture and ornaments. Once considered only useful for breaking-up, today old concrete urns, animal statues, toadstool seats and old metal chairs and tables, are all highly desirable. Some will be stripped down and refreshed or repainted and then sold as ‘shabby chic’.


    1. Old clothes. Those old shoulder-pads from the 1980s might look ludicrous to you, as do those old bell-bottoms from the 60s and 70s but if you have any kicking around on a clothes rack in your loft, you might be surprised at how much vintage clothes collectors might be willing to pay. Of course, they’ll need to be in reasonable and wearable condition.


    1. Old tools. Granted, that broken-handled screwdriver from 2010 probably isn’t going to be worth much but those old iron and steel tools from say the 1890s, 1920s or even 1950s, might well be. They were probably made to an extraordinarily high quality specification at the time and even if they’re a little rusty now, there are avid collectors of such items.


    1. Transport. True, you probably know that classic vintage cars are worth a lot and wouldn’t dream of throwing one away but did you know that vintage bicycles are highly prized? Even those from as late as the 1970s/80s can fetch good prices.


  1. Toys. You might be staggered to see the prices collectors will pay for some sorts of toys from as recently as the 1980s/90s. Tin Robots from the 1960s catch fetch a king’s ransom if they’re in half-decent condition. Board games, early computer games – they’re all collectible.


Real Estate

Tips for Managing Your Furniture

So, you’re understandably a little nervous about your removal day and want to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

That’s sensible because we’ve all heard about and many have experienced a removal that went badly or significantly wrong.

One of the most important elements to get to grips with is that of managing your furniture removals company and here are some top tips to aid in going about that.

    1. Trying to manage an unprofessional and/or incompetent removals company can be difficult bordering impossible. So, the moral of the tale is to make sure you do whatever it takes to select a good one to begin with. Take references, use a long-established and highly professional furniture removals company and avoid jumping for simply the cheapest quotation.


    1. Insist that your potential providers come to look at your property and your contents as part of their quotation process. Don’t make a selection, even a preliminary one, based upon a ‘sight unseen’ estimate. That would leave you vulnerable to the “I didn’t know that” response when the removals company turn up to do the job – and that’s the first step towards escalating costs or a bodged job.


    1. Get confirmation of everything, including collection dates/times and the same for on-delivery, in writing. Don’t accept casual ‘matey’ promises over the phone – they’re useless if things subsequently go wrong and you’re seeking redress.


    1. If you have any larger, heavier or more challenging items to move, make sure that the removals company specifically confirm in writing that it is included. That should avoid the “you didn’t tell us you wanted that shifted” syndrome.


    1. On removals day itself, make sure that you circulate to keep an eye on packing. There’s a balance to be struck here between maintaining a watchful eye and getting in the way or even worse, trying to micro-manage the packers and removers. If you have selected a top-class professional company, this should be a relatively minor task but do it anyway. Don’t accept shoddy packing or a ‘chuck it all in” culture if you see it starting.


    1. Do likewise when your cartons and furniture items are being loaded onto the vehicle. Make sure that they’re using strapping to secure furniture items to the side of the vehicle and that they’ve thoroughly and comprehensively protected your furniture with blankets and other such protection.


    1. Be sure to watch also when heavier furniture items are being taken down stairs or out of doors. A second’s carelessness or simple error of judgement might leave gouges out of plasterwork or wood. If that happens, make sure you formally note it to the removers because you’ll probably be asked to pay for repairs by the property’s new owners when they move in. Your removal company’s insurance should be taking care of that rather than your bank balance.


  1. Do all of the above again – when you’re moving in and offloading!


Real Estate

A guide for your move

download (5)There are some that feel that since they are paying the bill for moving services that they do not tip the movers, but they work in a service industry like a waitress so they should be tipped. When deciding whether to tip or not, and how much if they do give a tip, here are things to think about. Yes, movers working for moving companies do get paid a salary, but moving is hard work. They were hired to move heavy furniture and boxes so you do not have to. In addition, if where you are moving too has a lot of stairs, it takes a lot of effort and hard work to get all of the stuff up the stairs to your new place. The movers also have to make sure that everything is delivered to your new place safely. When you tip them it is just a small way to say thank you and that you appreciate all of their hard work. If the moving services has movers that dragged your furniture around, something gets broken, or things are not packed the way you packed them because the movers were going through them to find valuables to steal, then not tipping them would be okay.

According to moving experts the appropriate tipping amount for three movers would be twenty dollars if it is a full day job. If there was a lot of furniture and appliances that needed to be moved and there was many stairs then the appropriate tipping amount would be fifty dollars. These two amounts would be split among the movers. If there is just one mover then you could tip them as much as one hundred dollars. Because it is such hard work you should have some water or soda in a cooler that you can offer them. If you do not want to tip them you could treat them to a pizza or some burgers. If you are able to be around when they are moving your things you could tip them in advance. Doing this assures you that they will do a good job.

If you have hired movers and packers from the moving services make sure that you tip each person individually. Do not give the money to the supervisor or driver to be divided later. In some cases they may keep all of the money themselves or they may divide the money the way they feel is suitable. If you want to know about moving companies tipping policy, call to find out. Tipping is not mandatory but is an appreciated gesture.


Real Estate

You Shuld Seek a Professional Moving Company

Let’s face it, moving is tough. The emotional stress of upheaval only compounded by the physical demands associated with relocation, not to mention the myriad of administrative tasks associated with getting settled into your new home! (address updates, utility set-up, etc.)

In the age of DIY, there can be allure in trying to self-manage a move, and the concept can appear deceivingly simple, however, just how nuanced and costly this process is, is often grossly underestimated by aspiring DIY’ers. Customers will often ask, “When does it make sense to hire a professional mover?” and the answer is – whenever you can afford to!

Here’s why:

    1. Safety: From pulled muscles too sore backs and broken bones, moving can be risky business! Any combination of heavy boxes/furniture, narrow walkways, stairs, and/or inclement weather can create unpredictable and high-risk circumstances in which to maneuver. Professional movers have the equipment, training, and experience necessary to navigate these circumstances safely.


    1. Cost Savings: Many customers assume self-management of a move equals cost savings; however, this often proves to be untrue! When hiring a professional, all aspects of your move have been considered and included in your estimated cost. This includes the use of specialty equipment, packing materials, site-protection, labor, fuel and truck costs, and insurance. Paying à la carte for these options adds up quickly, and the decreased efficiency of an inexperienced move team can lead to time, energy and money lost when all is said and done.


    1. Professionals are Accountable: Registered, licensed and bonded companies are accountable. They assume responsibility for any damaged goods, and as a result, are especially diligent in their efforts to handle your goods with caution and care. Leaving it to the pro’s affords you a priceless peace of mind come moving day.


    1. Equipment: Hiring professional movers ensures access to dollies, ramps, custom built trucks, door jams, and all the goods and gadgets that make moving speedy, safe and simple.


  1. Knowledge and Experience: The devil is in the details. Between elevator and/or parking designations, to site protection and truck packing. Professional movers have cultivated a depth of knowledge through their experience and know exactly what to look for and what questions to ask when preparing and performing a move, ensuring move day goes as smoothly as possible.

From assuring your personal safety, too saving you valuable time and money. There is a host of good reasons to hire a professional mover. At the end of the day, if your pocketbook allows it, you can rest assured that money spent on professional moving services is money well spent!


Real Estate

The Esay Way To Handle City Life And Stress

City life is stressful and that’s a fact, especially if you are new to the life. The happenings are new and you would be trying to get used to all the new things that you are introduced to in the city. When you have never experienced city life, the initial few months may feel very stressful because everything is fairly new to you.

One needs to be prepared for all the changes because nothing will be the same anymore. Everything would be very different from what you have experienced so far. If you think that everything would be just like the way in the country side then be ready to be completely taken aback.

You need to prepare yourself based on the purpose of your relocation. If you are moving due to official reasons then you need to get used to the new situation as you have no other option. Many times people move from the country in search of jobs because there is a shortage of employment options, in such cases you just cannot move back as you would be out of a job.

Having the right expectations help tremendously. These tips will keep you prepared and will give you a fair idea of what you can expect.

High levels of crime

The levels of crime are very different in comparison. There are very few people who you can trust so it is vital to be vigilant at all times. You can be sure to find your vehicle stolen if you leave it unlocked even for a few minutes. Though this information is scary you do not have to be threatened, just more cautious.

Distant neighbors

People in the city mostly keep to themselves, unlike people in the country who know everybody around. People have very time to socialize and get friendly. Being friends with neighbors is not going to happen most of the times except if you are lucky enough to live in a community set up.

Absence of adequate parking

This would be the worst kind of torture. You would rarely be able to find parking for your vehicle if you ate not allotted one of your own. You would have to fight for parking every single day. Even if you have your own space, you would find other vehicles parked in them. If you need your space then you would have to protect it yourself. Parking barriers can be purchased with which you can protect your space. These are available online, but make sure to obtain necessary permissions, either from the landlord or from the council before you install them.

Real Estate

How To Buying A House In The East Valley

If you haven’t visited Mesa lately, you will be pleasantly surprised at the growth and redevelopment that has been taking place. The city saw some tough times during the recent economic downturn; many businesses were shuttered, and entire regions changed dramatically. Additionally, the foreclosure crisis affected virtually every neighborhood, with distressed and vacant houses all too common.

Things have been changing of late, though, and in a big way! No longer can you drive down any street in the city and find boarded-up, abandoned properties. Investors who buy foreclosed homes picked up and refurbished most of the vacant houses. Neighborhoods that once were blighted now experience pride of ownership. House values have risen in these neighborhoods as well, though homes are still selling at affordable prices.

Since the Phoenix Light Rail opened all the way to Mesa Drive, a lot of new businesses have popped up along the route. Several upscale residential projects are under way as well. Downtown Mesa has gained exciting new retail and dining establishments, including a microbrewery; several colleges and universities have opened branches in the area. The crown jewel continues to be the Mesa Arts Center, where local and national shows can be enjoyed.

Mesa Drive, Southern Avenue, and Dobson and Broadway Roads all have been extensively rebuilt, with modern intersections, crosswalks and lots of public art. The Fiesta District also is in the stages of being redeveloped; Fiesta Mall has gained several new tenants, and surrounding vacant storefronts are gradually being occupied. Mesa Community College is growing every year, and has received an extensive facelift at its Dobson Road entrance. A brand new police substation and fire station, along with an ever-expanding hospital and medical complex, keep things safe, and a large premium apartment development has almost been completed.

Mesa Riverview is experiencing similar growth and diversification. There are several new office buildings going in on the east end of the complex; exciting new restaurants and retailers have made their homes on the western side. There are many more choices for dining than just a few short years ago, all easily accessible from Riverview Park, the new Sheraton hotel, and the Chicago Cubs’ Spring Training Complex just across Dobson Road.

Infill development projects are reducing blighted and underused areas. Modern townhomes, apartments, and custom homes are sprouting up in places that for years were empty lots, all the way to the eastern reaches of the city. A huge expansion, both residential and commercial, is occurring to the southeast, with Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and the sprawling Eastmark development leading the way.

As I write this, I am sitting in a brand new coffee shop occupying a building that had been vacant for years. With continued economic improvement in the greater Phoenix area, Mesa will continue to be an integral part of that growth. As a long-time resident of this city, I am thrilled by the transformation. I encourage anyone contemplating a move to take a good long look at the city of Mesa!


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.