DIY PCS Military Moving

PCS Military Moving

PCS Military MovingPCS military moving or Permanent Change of Station used to predominantly mean that the military handles your entire move and you get little to no say in the matter! While this route was theoretically stress free (HAHA) it came with its’ own set of pros and cons. More recently, our active duty military and their families are opting for the hybrid DIY PCS military moving route.

For a PPM PCS Move (Personally Procured Move for Permanent Change of Station, say that ten times fast – FKA DITY moving) you need to apply, even though it is a completely voluntary option. This means that the government essentially reimburses you for the costs of your move (up to a certain point).

How to Handle PPM for PCS Military Moving

There is a bit more work involved here, but the reward is there! You may actually save money and have some funds left over depending on the budget given for your move. You may also be granted additional travel time for a PPM move. Most importantly, you have complete control. Historically, military approved relocation plans may or may not be a walk in the park. This is typically the most attractive reason to do your own move!

Military.com provides a nice and tidy outline of everything encompassing approvals and process for a PPM move.

Do the research and gather quotes to put together a plan for your move. Find a service provider that offers it all, and get a discounted bundle rate! Supplies, storage, labor, equipment etc.

If the DIY route is more for you, moving labor can still go a long way. Take advantage of special promotions and active duty discounts.

If you are moving in the Eastern US and would like a great quote for your move, give us a call today!

Storage Restrictions

10 Items You Cannot Put Into Storage Units

Storage restrictions are put into place to protect your belongings, and to ensure your storage is safe and secure for the duration of the stay. Failing to adhere to storage restrictions can cause big trouble!

Storage Restrictions – 10 Items You Should Never Put Into a Storage Unit

1. Food / Perishables – 
You should never store food of any kind in a storage unit, although some places will allow canned goods. There is a two-part problem with storing food in a storage unit; part 1 is that food can go bad! Part 2 is that food can attract pests and insects, including mice. Mice and rodents can be incredibly destructive and don’t just restrict themselves to the food. Mice can damage paper and clothing items too!
2. Guns & Ammunition – 

Ammunition and guns are typically not allowed to be stored in storage units. Check with your storage facility and ask specifically if you have items requiring storage.. Often local gun ranges or gun shops will provide storage services!

3. Explosives

Hate to be the first guy to figure this one out!  Fireworks and other explosive items cannot be stored in a storage unit.

4. Flammable / Hazardous Materials

Most storage units will not allow flammable or otherwise hazardous items. This can include aerosol cans, gasoline, paints, solvents, pesticides and more.

5. Plants 

The name of the game is to have your stored items, dry and secured – Thus not conducive to storing plants! Plants need water and sunlight, two things you do not want in your storage unit.

6. Humans

Living, dead, undead – No humans can reside in a storage unit.

7. Animals

See #5 and #6 above. Not animal, reptile, fish, etc can be stored in a storage unit.

8. Scented Things

Extremely scented items can have the same impact as storing food, so avoid these in your storage unit!

9. Wet Items

Moisture can wreak havoc on a storage unit. Do not storage anything damp or wet items.

10. Electronics

Depending on the type of storage you have, you may also want to refrain from storing electronics. Typically climate controlled storage is OK, but regular storage can cause damage to electronics in high or low temperatures.

 

Planning a move and need storage? Call us! We have climate controlled storage at each of our office locations. Get a free quote today!

Dog Friendly Places in Columbus

Great Places to Take Your Four-Legged Friend

Dog friendly places in Columbus are on the rise! If you have a tail wagging best friend, there is much to do and see in and around the Columbus area!

Check out our guest post at Sparefoot and see some great places below!

Take Your Bud to a Patio

Oddfellows has topped the list as one of the best dog friendly places in Columbus. Not only can your furry friend hang out on the patio, but Oddfellows will even let pets join you inside!

There a ton of restaurants and bars in Columbus that let your pets be a part of the crowd!

dog friendly places in Columbus

Gresso’s

The Crest

Fourth Street Bar and Grill

BrewDog Dog Tap

City Barbeque

Olde Town Tavern

And more!

There are over 100 dog friendly places in Columbus to visit this Summer!

Stretch it out in Dog Yoga

Yes, DOGA is a thing! In addition to the traditional dog events like races and pup walks, Wild Goose Creative hosts a Doggy Yoga that is a definite must for any dog owner. DOGA is a great opportunity to socialize your pet, and teach them some basics of yoga – It’s a win win!

Stroll Around Short North

Treat your tail wagger to a day on the town in Short North!  Make a day of it visiting a slew of dog friendly places in Columbus, all in Short North! From Oddfellows and Bodega patios to some great dog shopping and even the one and only Three Dog Bakery.

 

Columbus Neighborhoods

Planning a Move to Columbus?

Columbus NeighborhoodsColumbus neighborhoods offer a vast list of features and benefits for individuals of all ages. If you are planning on relocating to or within the Columbus area, this is for you!

Our Top 5 Columbus Neighborhoods

In and around the Columbus area is a bustling economy, endless shopping and dining, attractions and events for all ages and a huge inventory of neighborhoods. We rounded up our pros and polled the audience to put together this great article for sparefoot.com!

#1 Dublin

As far as Columbus neighborhoods go, Dublin hit the top of the list for many people we spoke with and across the web. There is literally something for everyone! Home to a few of Ohio’s largest corporations and a nationally known annual festival, Dublin is a great place to live.

#2 Powell

Powell is a great suburb of Columbus, boasting an array of restaurants and shopping options, as well as close proximity to some great attractions for the kiddos. From the zoo to the caverns to ZoomBezi Bay, plan you day however the mood strikes!

#3 New Albany

New Albany is a common destination for our clients moving into the Columbus area. The real estate market is booming and Easton town center is nearby. Get all of the perks of living downtown coupled with the benefits of small town charm.

#4 Grove City

Grove City is a great place to call home! The historic downtown area is incredibly popular, and there are an abundance of activities for the kids or for the kid in us all. Growing along with demand, the future of Grove City is guaranteed to continue drawing residents in.

#5 Hilliard

While we may be biased, Hilliard is a great place to be! Hilliard is conveniently located and has blown up in the last decade. The increase in population and business has led to Hilliard being the quintessential American town.

 

Check out our full article and learn more about each of these great Columbus Neighborhoods!

If you’re planning a move to the Columbus area, give us a call! 614-352-6444

Tips for Moving with Pets

Moving Our Furry Friends

Moving with pets can definitely take a little extra consideration. Making sure your pets are prepared and safe during the move is a big priority for many. Check out our great tips!

Tips for Moving with Pets

  1. moving with petsHire a Sitter – Much like moving with kiddos, having someone to watch your pets during the big move is ideal. Instead of keeping your pets locked up, enlist the help of a friend or send them to a boarding facility or doggy day care for the day of the move. Having movers in and out can be stressful, and there is always the risk your four legged friend could sneak out the door.
  2. Put Technology to Work – Using either your electric fence, pet GPS tags or microchip, having technology on your side can making moving with pets easier. In the event that your furry friend escapes, having a way to track and find them can be a safe option. Plus, this is a great way to keep your pets safe at your new place until they become familiar.
  3. Introductions – Take your pets to the new place ahead of time if possible. Let them check out the scents and keep them contained to an area of the home if necessary. Not all pets will react the same, so pets that are having a difficult time may take some extra TLC. Take extra care to make sure your four legged friends are curious and marking in the new place.
  4. Get All Your Records – If you’re moving out of town and won’t be using the same veterinary office, get copies of all pet records. Don’t forget any medication refills too!
  5. Pack a Go Bag – This can be medicine, dog food, toys, comfort items, cage, leashes, etc. Anything Fido or Fefe would need in the new place.
  6. Update Contact Info – Once you get where you’re going, don’t forget to update your contact information! From vet records to microchip databases, dog and cat tags, etc.

Moving with pets can take a little extra consideration, but overall your four legged friend typically only cares about you and your family! Keeping them safe and healthy during the transition is essential, and most pets will settle into their new digs quickly. Keep in mind, movers cannot transport your pets! If you are moving you must be able to transport your furry friends by car or plane.

Renting a Truck Vs. Hiring Movers

How to Decide What is Best for Your Move

tips for driving a rental truckRenting a truck vs. hiring movers can be a tough decision, particularly if you aren’t taking all of the variables into consideration! We often receive requests for rental truck driving services and moving labor services. While some customers can benefit from one or the other, many of our customers find that hiring movers to complete their entire move is the best option!

A DIY move will typically consist of renting a truck (U Haul, Penske, Budget, etc) and coordinating all loading and packing services, and then unloading services at your destination. Instead of hiring multiple people to handle this, why not consolidate in one!? There is more organization and accountability, and often the cost is LESS in the long run!

The Biggest Factors to Consider for Renting a Truck vs. Hiring Movers

Understanding all that goes into a move, particularly a long distance move, goes a long way to understanding the costs involved.

Rental truck driving pricing will typically include;

  • A professional driver
  • All taxes and tolls
  • Any lodging for the driver
  • Transportation to and from the job
  • Driving from Point A to Point B
  • All traveling expenses for the driver
  • $40,000 cargo insurance incase anything catastrophic happens on the road. 

Versus a full service move;

  • All of the above PLUS 
  • Truck included
  • Experienced crew to load truck
  • Experienced crew to unload truck
  • Truck packing that mitigates the possibility of in transit damage
  • All protective supplies (pads, tape, protective wrapping)
  • All moving supplies (dollies, tools, retention straps for transport)
  • Furniture assembly and disassembly
  • Furniture rearrange at the delivery address
  • The ability to make your move stress free and enjoyable!

When you need help moving, hiring labor help and then a driver is often only a small amount less than just hiring full service movers to complete the entire move!

If you are thinking of the pros and cons of renting a truck vs. hiring movers give us a call! Let’s talk about your move and figure out what the best solution is. Start with a free quote here!

Applying for a Mortgage

Mortgage Application Prep and Tips

Applying for a mortgage can be a daunting task, particularly if you are a first time home buyer. Having a heads up can go a long way!

Here are some of the common things most folks know to consider;

  • They check your finances
  • Downpayment amount
  • Employment verification
  • Pre-approval amount

Beyond the basics, there are a few things you can do if you are getting the process going for applying for a mortgage.

5 Tips to a Smooth Mortgage Application Process

applying for a mortgageStop Shopping. Prospective mortgage companies will be evaluating your finances, which includes bank accounts and credit card debt. Avoid large purchases particularly if you have already started the application process. You may need to hold off on purchasing cars, furniture and the likes. Your debt to income ratio is incredibly important!

Get Tax Returns Together. Dig out 2-3 years of tax returns (May need more if you have had large fluctuations in income). You may need to involve your tax preparer to provide PDF copies, but it’s likely your mortgage company will want to see income trends for historical years.

Individually Employed or SMB? Get your boots on it’s about to get muddy.  For individually employed folks, small businesses and the likes, you may need to go the extra mile. On top of tax returns, profit and loss statements, balance sheets and corporate filings, you may need to furnish letters of intent from your clients as well as show adequate time in business.

Shop Rates and Mortgage Companies This can get tricky. Once you start the pre-approval process, you will have your credit ran. Getting multiple pre-approvals can be detrimental since it shows multiple credit report fetches. Have a good idea of where your credit stands and do some preliminary leg work to get an idea on rates before you commit to a mortgage company. Think about the terms (15 or 30 years?), interest rates, penalties for pay off or extra payments, etc.

Audit Your Bank Accounts The mortgage company will be combing through your bank accounts to ensure every penny is accounted for. If your have large cash deposits (Say wedding gifts, etc) you will need to provide an explanation. Being prepared ahead of time can save headache and scrambling at the last minute. Avoid moving money around and keep things as basic as possible.

 

Buying a home is a stressful, exciting and amazing process! Having a realistic outlook on applying for a mortgage can go a long way. Happy house hunting!

Moving a Collector

How to Plan for Moving an Accumulator

For many of us, we have moved ourselves or have come across the challenge of helping a family member or friend move. This scenario can get exponentially more complicated if you or that loved one is a collector of all of the things. From old newspapers to boxes and bags, trinkets to garage sale finds – Having to move when you have copious amounts of unorganized things can get complicated. There is a lot of work that goes into successfully planning for it!

Whatever you may call it, accumulating, pack ratting, hoarding or the likes, getting organized and providing a helpful hand can be a steep hill to climb. We’ve seen it all, and of course have families and friends of our own! Check out our tips for getting a less than organized house, packed up to move.

Moving a Hoarder

Tips to Move and Organize for an Accumulator

Time

Time is the most important thing for a complicated move. You must have enough time. Think months, not weeks! Sorting, packing and purging can be an emotional experience and it can take A LOT of time.

Supplies

Having the proper supplies is essential to keep the process moving. Have packing supplies, boxes, tape, markers, etc.

Sorting

Designate areas. Clean a room out and start there.

Have the following areas;

  • Keep
  • Toss
  • Donate
  • Gift to XX

Keep the process moving and avoid regret by continually packing up the items that are getting moved, take trips to donate the items being donated and get the garbage out of sight.

Prioritize by keeping in mind items with sentimental value, useful items, important documents, etc. If it is not a useful everyday item, important doc or sentimental then it may be time to part ways!

The End Goal

The goal at the end of the day is to have a manageable move. Whether you plan to DIY or hire help, prep work is likely going to be part of the equation! Parting ways can be difficult, but is a necessity for moving.

 

DIY Home Inspection Checklist

Planning a Move? Do Your Own Home Inspection to Start

Home inspection is a part of nearly every home sale. If you are planning to put your home on the market, get ready ahead of time by running through a checklist of common inspection items! Preparing and repairing or updating necessary items can save you big in the long run, and will help to avoid delays and issues when it comes time to sell. Get to checking!

Home Inspection Checklist Items to Consider

Outside your home

Roof, siding, soffits Inspect for damage, missing shingles, missing siding panels, etc. All soffits should be properly ventilated.

Driveways and sidewalks Depending on your city code, cracks and sloping my be an issue during a home inspection.

Drainage Proper drainage of your yard, including proper slope away from your foundation and proper direction of gutter downspouts.

Foundation Cracks, shifting or unevenness

Exterior Structures Sheds, garages and barns will all be inspected

Railings and Fences Proper railings for decks and stairs, as well as all fences are inspected

Special considerations: Lead paint, Asbestos, septics and wells Lead paint abatement, asbestos abatement, septic inspections and maintenance records and well functionality would all come under inspection.

Inside your home

Plumbing Proper plumbing, proper drainage, proper water flow and no leaks.

Electrical Proper electrical code including GFCIs and fire / smoke detectors

Walls and Ceilings Inspect for cracks or water spots

Windows and Doors Proper closing as well as window and door quality – Improper closing may indicate foundation or structure issues.

Pests All pests can be concerning in a home inspection, but termites are a special consideration and may require disclosure and treatment records.

HVAC and Air Quality Age and proper working order for all HVAC systems and ductwork.

Mold / Water Damage Inspect for signs of mold or current / old water damage and water stains.

Attic  Proper insulation and ventilation.

Basement Check for moisture, water damage, foundational cracks.

Appliances If included, appliances must function properly

 

You may also be required to provide age and service records for appliances, septic systems, HVAC systems, water tanks and more. Prepare ahead of time for a smooth home inspection!

Neighborhood Safety Ratings

Checking Neighborhood Safety Before you Move

Neighborhood safety ratings can go a long way to influence where you may move, particularly if you have kids. Maybe you are moving across the state or across the country, or maybe you are moving just a few towns away. Either way, it’s important to check out safety information before you move!

It’s important to keep in mind that even the most “Pleasantville” towns can have safety concerns and crime pop up from time to time. Having a realistic outlook, and having an understanding of what you want to deal with and what is a non-negotiable, is critical.

3 Tips For Checking Neighborhood Safety Ratings

Tip 1: Start following the local Facebook page for the police and local government and subscribe to the online papers for the area. Get an idea of crime reports, transparency, news stories and frequent police encounters. You can get a great sense of a community from this!

Tip 2: Use online tools. There are several websites that provide a grading system to gauge neighborhood safety ratings.

Crime & Place

City Data

Area Vibes

Check out this great article here from ADT Security.

Tip 3: Use government registries. Check the sex offender registry and others available in your area.

Scoping out the safety aspects of your new neighborhood can be incredibly important to deciding what areas you want to live in. Whether you are moving for work, relocating your family or downsizing seniors – Safety is a critical aspect of any living situation. Doing a little bit of homework now can save you BIG in the long run! Finding out that trendy new up and coming neighborhood is riddled with crime is a lesson to learn before you make the leap.

If you’re planning a move soon, give us a call! Get a free moving quote today.