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Janice Bokor's Blog

By Janice Bokor Top Producer | Agent in 19103

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Moorestown  |  August 6, 2010 11:55 AM  |  626 views  |  No comments


    Mobile: 516-637-9621


    Temporary Housing

    Most relocations include a period of "in-between time," when you initially move to your new town and begin the process of settling in and looking for a place to lease or purchase. If you are planning on leasing, or if you've made several preview trips and have contracted on a new home, this interim period may only be a couple of weeks. In this case, a hotel or suite-hotel usually works best.

    However, if your interim period is going to be close to 30 days or longer, you will probably want to opt for temporary "corporate housing." Corporate Housing is a property that comes fully-furnished with room suites of furniture, cookware, linens/towels, small appliances such as coffeemakers, irons & alarm clocks, major appliances like microwaves, refrigerator, stove and washer/dryer, plants & pictures, accessories, maid service and all utilities included, even local telephone service and cable TV.

    Apartment Renting

    While renting has always been and continues to be an interim option during the home purchase process of a relocation, more and more it is becoming a long-term preference. Frequent moves, greater flexibility, rising ownership costs and amenities available through renting are great advantages. People today are renting in greater numbers, not just as a temporary step on the way to home ownership, but for the lifestyle they enjoy through renting.

    Some of the factors to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy are:

    • your job situation and likelihood of moving again

    • initial and monthly costs of both options

    • tax savings and advantages

    • the availability, lifestyle and desirability of properties to rent or buy

    • current interest rates and mortgages available

    The cost, availability and variety of rental housing possibilities will vary tremendously in different parts of the country. While a large city will offer a far greater number of rental properties and a greater variety of styles and amenities, they will also be much higher priced and may even have an extremely low vacancy rate. On the other end of the spectrum, small towns also tend to have a very low rental vacancy rate, simply because of the lack of rental housing there. Mid-sized cities will generally have the greatest choices available.

    Initial costs on a rental property usually include one month's rent security deposit, additional deposits if you have a pet (many rentals do not allow pets), first month's rent and/or last month's rent depending on the area, and an application fee of generally $20-75. Be sure and get renter's insurance; if you don't, your personal belongings will not be protected in the event of a burglary, fire or any other loss.

    Read lease agreements thoroughly, as they can vary greatly between states and even individual landlords. It is wise to have an attorney review leases. Be sure you understand what you and the landlord are each responsible for when it comes to utilities, maintenance and repairs. Although the most typical lease term in the U.S. is 1 year, this can be negotiable too. Know what your liabilities are if you have to break your lease early.

    Moving Solutions

    Careful consideration is needed when deciding whether to hire a moving company or do it yourself. Many factors are involved, such as the distance of the move, the size of your household, the time factor involved and the budget or company reimbursement you have for this expense.

    Pros & Cons of Moving Yourself

    Pros & Cons of Hiring a Full Service Van Line

    • cost savings can be considerable, possibly into the thousands of dollars. moving yourself can usually save at least half of what a household goods transportation company will charge you, even if you rent a truck and pay helpers for their labor.
    • you assume full responsibility for the move, labor and damages.
    • packing all your belongings yourself gives you a better organizational opportunity to inventory, rearrange, throw away, give away, and tag items for garage sales.
    • the time savings and ease of move are tremendous with a professional mover.
    • the cost can vary greatly, depending on whether you include packing/unpacking, insurance limits & what company you choose.
    • most companies offer references and free estimates. a binding estimate holds both you & the company to the price quoted; a physical inspection is usually necessary. a non-binding estimate is an approximation of costs; federal law requires a limit of no more than 10 percent additional charges.
    • many companies will guarantee pickup and delivery dates; if you're in a time crunch, this may be the only way to go.

    Moving Tips

    When coordinating the move of household goods, several items require special care and attention. Anytime you are moving pets, automobiles, waterbeds, antiques, plants, waterbeds or office/high-tech equipment, extra planning and coordination is necessary.

    The two major items that need special moving are autos and family pets. When considering automobiles in a move, often a full-service moving company will place a vehicle in the moving van. When moving yourself, auto tow-trailers can be hitched to the back of a moving truck. These arrangements, however, usually only handle one vehicle. When considering a second or third vehicle, there are several options:

    • Sell your vehicles prior to moving, and purchase new ones at your destination.

    • Have one of the family members drive the vehicle to your destination.

    • Hire an automobile transportation service to move the extra vehicle (s) for you.

    "Timing is everything" when arranging a professional auto move. Scheduling the move can be a challenging, complex and sometimes overwhelming undertaking. There are school and office hours to consider, for example. It is important to use an auto mover that coordinates the move so that it most suits your needs, creating a smooth transition.

    Pet Issues

    Before you leave:

    • Make an appointment & have your pet examined by your veterinarian; collect pet records.
    • Ask your vet for a reference for a practitioner in the new city.
    • Air travel should be booked four weeks ahead of departure for domestic moves and six to eight weeks prior to international flights.
    • If you are moving overseas, your pet must be examined & vaccinated 30 days prior.
    • Secure a form of identification to your pet's collar.

    At Moving Day:

    • When booking a hotel or corporate housing, make sure the management allows pets.
    • Before crossing into another state, know that some states have border inspection of all animals.
    • Limit feeding of your pets to once a day during the move, preferably in the evening, unless your veterinarian instructs otherwise.
    • The appropriate size for a kennel should allow your pet room to stand up, lie down, and turn around in natural positions.
    • If you are moving locally, take your pets on several visits to the new home before you move in to familiarize them with their new habitat.

    Career Assistance

    Here are some steps you may want to take to ensure results and a positive relocation:

    • Search Online Job Databases - thousands of jobs searchable by occupation or location.

    • Contact friends and acquaintances both in your desired field of work and the area you are moving to, regardless of their field. Even people in a different industry know the city and can give you ideas on what companies to approach & to avoid; as well, they may know someone in your field and be willing to refer you.

    • Subscribe to the Sunday newspaper in the town you are moving to. Not only should you research want ads, but read the business section as well.

    • If one spouse's company is responsible for the move, check with their human resources department to see if they have trailing spouse assistance.

    • Contact the Chamber of Commerce. Most have lists of the top businesses in the area.

    • Join local business, civic and networking clubs.

    • Contact the State Employment Commission.

    • Make appointments with executive recruiters and employment agencies. Bbe sure to find out if you or the employer is charged, if they negotiate the hiring contract, if you would actually work for the agency or for the client employer, and carefully review any contract or have an attorney look it over before signing.

    • Sign up with a temporary agency. This can provide you with a job and income while you continue your search; in addition, many temp jobs lead to permanent employment.

    • Consider your own business, as either a part-time or interim business, or as a whole new career direction!

    MOBILE: 516-637-9621

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Moorestown  |  July 30, 2010 4:06 PM  |  678 views  |  No comments

    Mobile: 516-637-9621

    Mortgage Rates Hit 40-Year Lows!!!

    WASHINGTON – Mortgages are cheaper today than they've been in a half-century. If only most people had the job security, the credit score and the cash to qualify.

    The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan sank to 4.69 percent this week, beating the low set in December and down from 4.75 percent last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. Rates for 15-year and five-year mortgages also hit lows.

    Rates are at their lowest since the mortgage company began keeping records in 1971. The last time they were any cheaper was the 1950s, when most long-term home loans lasted just 20 or 25 years.

    Almost no one expects falling rates to energize the economy, though. Sales of new homes collapsed in May after an enticing tax credit expired.

    "As long as prospective homebuyers are still concerned about their jobs and financial well-being, many will be reluctant to take the plunge, even though affordability has never been better," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com.

    Rates have fallen over the past two months as investors have become nervous about Europe's debt crisis and the global economy and have shifted money into safe Treasury bonds. The demand has caused Treasury yields to fall. Mortgage rates track those yields.

    While mortgages are getting cheaper, low interest rates hurt Americans who are trying to save. Puny rates for savings accounts and CDs are especially hard on people who are living on fixed incomes and earning next to nothing on their money.

    Americans normally rush to refinance when rates plummet. But refinancing activity now amounts to less than half the level of early 2009, when long-term rates hovered around 5 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

    Besides, many people who want to refinance — and are able to — have already done it, said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at the trade group. And refinancing costs can total several thousand dollars.

    "Rates haven't dropped low enough to justify a second refinancing," Fratantoni said. "The group of people who could potentially benefit is much smaller than it was 15 months ago."

    Another factor: Many Americans owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth and can't refinance through the usual channels. The Obama administration has launched programs to help borrowers refinance if they owe up to 25 percent more than their home's value and have their loans guaranteed by mortgage giants Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

    About 291,000 homeowners have participated as of March — a small fraction of the estimated 15 million homeowners who are "underwater" on their mortgages. And in Nevada and Florida, where home prices have fallen 50 percent or more from their highs, neither record-low rates nor government help can rescue homeowners.

    "It's not the desire to refinance. It's the ability to refinance," said Chris Brown, a loan officer with Trinity Mortgage Co. in Orlando, Fla.

    Refinancing is generally considered worthwhile for homeowners who can shave at least three-quarters of a percentage point off the rates they pay now and plan to stay in their homes for a long time.

    Besides the fees for the mortgage broker or lender, there are fees for title insurance, a new appraisal
    document processing and other charges. And in "no fee" mortgages, costs are often added to the loan amount or the interest rate is higher.

    To figure the national average, Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates each Monday through Wednesday from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate, even within a given day.

    Rates on 15-year fixed-mortgage rates fell to an average of 4.13 percent. That was the lowest since at least 1991 and down from 4.2 percent a week earlier.

    Rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.84 percent, down from 3.89 percent a week earlier. That was also the lowest on Freddie Mac's records, which date to January 2005 for those loans.

    MOBILE: 516-637-9621

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