4 Moving Mistakes

Mistakes Can Cost You Big During the Moving Process

Moving mistakes can take a big toll! Here are the top 4 moving mistakes we see, and tips for making your move as stress-free as possible!

  1. Not doing due diligence when selecting service providers. Doing the legwork is critical when you are hiring a realtor, moving company, hiring contractors, hiring a home inspector – Anything that goes along with a move! Having an accurate estimate, seeing reviews and references and selecting a reputable, licensed service provider is key.
  2. Wingin’ it and panicking. Moving is no joke. There is a TON of coordination that has to happen, especially if you are buying and/or selling your home. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and then at the 11th hour, decide to ‘wing it’, and just plan to deal with it later. This can have a huge negative impact on your move! Give yourself plenty of time, start early, get organized and make sure that everything gets done the right way.
  3. New home woes. Buying a home is the largest purchase decision most of us make. In the competitive market, it can be a delicate balance act to get your offer in quickly while still making a sound decision. Avoid the urge to jump at the bid and get a plan together. Have proper home inspections, ensure that you are making a great decision by really familiarizing yourself with the details of the home, your new neighborhood, etc.
  4. Extra costs and budgeting. Aside from the actual up front costs of moving and buying / selling a home, be prepared to budget for other expenses. Whether it’s things on the inspection report that will need prioritized and dealt with, buying furniture, increased monthly expenditures – Have a very clear picture on all costs associated with your move.

Moving is a complicated process! While usually an exciting and positive experience, there are definitely some hurdles to be expected along the way. Plan ahead and make your move a great one!

Types of Long Distance Movers

Understanding the Types of Long Distance Movers

Before you hire long distance movers it’s important to understand the types of moving companies out there. We’re here to help!

What types of long distance movers are you contacting?

Particularly if you are doing online research, it can be difficult to sometimes tell the differences in the types of moving companies out there. Many of them don’t specify in their ads or their websites, and it can take a bit of digging!

Brokers – This is very common now, and can be difficult to spot! Some companies will quote a low low starting price to get your information, and then sell your information to multiple types of long distance movers to service the move. Unfortunately, this can be a recipe for disaster! It can be unclear who is doing the move, and thus unclear to determine the type of skill and requirements that your movers have. Be sure to do your due diligence!

Van Lines – Van lines will typically provide a pick up date, and then a drop off window / date spread. Your belongings can be transferred from truck to truck and warehouse to warehouse, all loaded with other household moves. If this schedule and timeline works for you, great! For many, the specific delivery date is essential.

Dedicated Freight – Dedicate freight means that the company that packs / loads your belongings at your departure is the same company that unloads and delivers your belongings at your destination. This means the company that you select stays with your belongings every step of the way and you get specific pick up and delivery dates.

Doing your due diligence can go a long way to ensuring your long distance move is a success! In addition to understanding the types of long distance movers, it’s important to do your research on the company history, reviews, processes and policies.

Moving from the US to Australia

Moving from the US to Australia – Everything You Need to Know

Every year, thousands of people from all around the world decide to take the leap and move to Australia. This is not a surprise since “The land down under” has plenty of things to offer to its new residents. Other than the fact that on average Australia has more than 230 sunny days per year, it has also one of the lowest air pollution levels in the whole wide world.

If you add to that the low crime rate, the lowest population density of any continent in the world, and the fact that it indeed is a multicultural society- you can see why it’s one of the best places to live in on Earth.

Australia is also a massive piece of land with more than three million square miles, so if you want to travel the country, you will need a lot of time to do so. The rich ecosystems make exploring this island a real adventure; from the sandy beaches and the tropical rainforests, to the golden deserts and even mountains with snow.

If you’re from the US and you’re considering moving to this alluring place, you should be prepared before packing your suitcase and hitting the jets.

 

Things to do before arriving

There are some steps that you need to do before you actually step a foot in Australia. Make sure you think through all of these points in order to avoid any problems once you arrive in your new home.

  • Apply for a visa: before going to Australia, you have to have an approved visa. The type of visa that you have to apply for depends on many factors such as the country you’re originally from, whether you’re going there to study or to work, how long are you planning on staying, and more. If you need help with this, you should go to the website of the Australian Department of Immigration and get info.
  • Count your savings: Australia is a place where the average salary is much higher than in the US, and the unemployment rate is around 5%. Although this is a great sign for the country and its strong economy, it can also mean you should expect to have much higher expenses. You should plan to have some capital before you go. Count on having at least AU$5,000 to live through a few months without work.
  • Cut expenses in the US: it doesn’t matter how long you’re going to be living in Oz, you have to be smart and start cutting back on all the things that you can in your home. You won’t need the internet, home phone, Netflix accounts, and more- so you might as well close your accounts.
  • Find accommodations and a job: if you can, you should have these two very essential things lined up before you enter Australia. Some websites where you can find accommodation are Flatmates and Gumtree. Since it’s a common practice in Australia to rent apartments without any furniture, make sure you ask about that before signing the contract. According to http://www.movingtoaustralia.com it helps to have a reference from a place that you rented before.

When it comes to job hunting, even though Australia has a low unemployment rate, it might be difficult to find a job right away as soon as you arrive. Try to do your research before going so that you have an idea where to start. Moreover, the opportunity to save cash while having a regular job is the best thing about working there. Try finding something to do at Gumtree, Seek, Careerone, or Taw.

Once you’re there

  • Apply for a Tax File Number or TFN: this is similar to a social security number, and you need it if you want to work, file taxes, and more.
  • Open a bank account: don’t keep a lot of cash in your pockets, instead open an Australian bank account which will make everything much easier.
  • Get healthcare insurance: getting healthcare immediately could potentially save you money in the long run. There are different private healthcare packages according to your income.
  • RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certificate: if you want to work in hospitality and either serve or sell alcohol you will need to complete an RSA training regulated by state laws, and after finishing the course you will get your certificate.
  • Buy a power adapter and a voltage converter: if you have chargers, hair straighteners or other appliances, be aware that in Australia the main voltage is 230V 50Hz.
  • Stay left: do not forget to drive on the left-hand side of the road! Usually, you will be allowed to use your driving license during your stay in Australia, except if you’re applying for permanent residency status.
  • Remember the tax return: you could get “extra” cash if you remember to do your tax return, and it’s fairly easy to do it too.

What you need to know

  1. The weather: The weather in Australia tends to be very hot. A common misconnection is that it’s always sunny and dry. Actually, the weather can be so turbulent that even Melbourne is known for having four seasons in one day.
  2. The sun is very strong: the temperatures are known to rise above 40 degrees Celsius, and the heat is expected to rise in the following years. Furthermore, the ozone layer above Australia is unusually thin which makes the dangerous UV radiation from the sun even worse in this part of the world. It’s critical to protect yourself by using lots of sunscreen, wearing protective shirts and hats, and avoiding the sun in the hottest periods of the day.
  3. Fires: Australia experiences up to 50,000 bushfires on average per year, mostly as a result of the dry vegetation, the strong winds and the hot weather. Make sure to listen to the fire warnings and to be very careful, especially in rural areas.
  4. Wildlife: Many think of Australia as the land where spiders and snakes attack you everywhere, kangaroos kick you, sharks bit you, and everything is out to get you. Although it can happen, the statistics say that there is no real danger. For example, there are only two deadly spiders for which there is an anti-venom, and nobody has died from a spider bite since 1979.

 

Hopefully these tips have you feeling a little bit relieved about making this major decision. Don’t be afraid to meet some Aussie people and to explore their rich culture. You’re good to go, mate!

Author Bio: Jessica is the head of content for https://www.hireamover.com.au – her father’s moving company. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling around the world to different surf spots and tasting the local cuisine.

 

Mover of the Year

Move For Hunger Mover of the Year

Mover of the Year, round 2! We are proud and excited to have been selected as Move For Hunger 2018 Mover of the Year. This award simply could not be made possible without the generous support of our community!

About Move For Hunger

Move for Hunger is an incredible program that aims to rescue food from the trash dump, and instead re-allocate it to those in need in our communities. As part of the Move for Hunger program, our team works tirelessly with our clients and communities to rescue food! Whether it’s food that would normally end up in the trash on moving day, or proceeds from a food drive, gathering and transporting it for meaningful impact is our number one goal!

As a result of a HUGE food rescue following the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and the Akron Race for the Cure, we were again recognized as the 2018 Mover of the Year! It goes without saying that we simply could not compete and have an impact without thoughtful, generous community support.

The 2018 Impact

In 2018, Moving Ahead Services rescued 8,597 pounds of food! This provided over 7,000 meals to individuals in need. As part of the semi-annual Stevens Worldwide Van Lines Conference in gorgeous sunny Florida, we were presented with this incredible recognition.

We plan to drive full speed ahead in 2019! Help us help those in need! Donate food on your moving day, let us know about events and organizations that often have food leftover or host a food drive at your business or workplace! We handle all of the logistics!

Should You Air BNB Your House or Sell?

Air BNB or Not to Air BNB

Air BNB is becoming an increasingly popular option for those that own a second residence or that have room in their primary residence to host guests. Not only can it be a great alternative to selling or traditional rentals, but it can also be a flexible way to make some income and maintain your residence!

Before you host on Air BNB there is some important information to consider. Whether you are planning to buy a home with Air BNB goals in mind or you are considering your options in your current residence, keep these in mind!

10 things to consider before you host on Air BNB

  1. Local Regulations – Numero uno should be to consider whether or not your local municipality allows Air BNB. Different cities have different restrictions, some don’t allow it at all while others allow it but in your primary residence or vice versa. Start by looking into local regulations before all else!
  2. Demand – Realistically consider where you are and what the draw would be for guests to come and stay at your place Air bnbconsistently. Check out Air BNB as a guest / user and see what competition you are up against, and whether or not you would have luck.
  3. Guest or Roommate – Really think about how you feel and how your family feels about having guests in and out, or having strangers staying under your roof (if it’s your primary residence). You may decide to forego Air BNB when you consider the potential constant flow of people in and out.
  4. Upgrades and Guest Features – Just like when it comes time to sell or rent, do you have to make any repairs or basic upgrades to accommodate more people?  Upgrades and draws are another consideration, in order to have your Air BNB stand out and draw in guests.
  5. Time Commitments – Air BNB isn’t a “set it and forget it” project. Unlike long term rentals, your Air BNB hosting will be a constant, continual commitment. In addition to the prep and set up, you have to maintain communication and ensure your home is always ready for the next guest. This can including cleaning, maintenance and more.
  6. Damages – Reality is that things will get damaged and broken. You can’t control everything, regardless of how many rules you set. Expect to have to replace and repair furniture and more.
  7. Liability and Legal – As with any guest, you may have some legal considerations to factor in. You may also want to consider any ramifications on your mortgage, your HOA or COA and even your insurance policy. Talk to someone who understands the legal side of hosting.
  8. Neighbors – Furthering on HOA / COA rules, you have to consider whether or not your neighbors are going to be on board (at least to a point).. Providing detailed information and clear rules can help, but the bottom line is that your neighbors will likely be impacted in some way when guests are flowing in and out.
  9. Screening Guests – Setting rules and screening guests is going to take time and assumably must abide by policies you agree to as a host on Air BNB. Get the details before taking the plunge!
  10. Reviews and Experience – In addition to everything else, Air BNB is just like an business and you have to consider the guests’ experience while they are there and you may also have to deal with negative feedback and reviews after the fact. Familiarize yourself with the platform, processes and common complaints.

Air BNB can be a great option for many, but get the full picture before you take the leap!

5 Reasons You May Need Storage

The Top 5 Reasons You May Need Storage

Storage is often a big part of moving and understanding your options is key. A big part of deciding what type of storage you need can be from the “WHY” you need storage in the first place!

Selling / Buying / Staging / Real Estate

The housing market is crazy and buying or selling your home can be a bit of a rollercoaster. Whether you have to declutter to sell, put things in storage because your closing to buy was delayed or any other combination of real estate related storage needs!

Decide whether you need climate controlled or not, decide if on-site will work, or opt to collaborate with a moving company to secure storage and moving services together.

Remodeling 

Circling back to the crazy housing market, many folks are opting to stay in place and remodel to accommodate their needs. Remodeling can require work space and that requires storage! Putting items in storage during your remodel can be a great way to clear space and get things done. Check out our list of restrictions for things you can’t put in storage, and get started planning!

Downsizing 

Downsizing is often associated with seniors and adults that are moving from a large home to a more manageable and smaller living scenario. However, trends for minimalist living and “tiny house” trends are also common cause for downsizing! Why downsize and have to say goodbye? Put your belongings in storage!

Moving in Together

Couples are often associated with moving in together and combining households. In addition to couples, new roommates, blended families and busy professionals are all moving in together and this can require storage space for extra items. From big furniture and appliances, to clothes, decor and more – Storage can be a great long or short term option.

Contract Work

Job and professional opportunities are also evolving and it’s not uncommon for individuals to take short term or even “long term” yet temporary employment assignments. Even if you aren’t moving across town or across the country, temporarily relocating for work may require some storage.

Ready to Schedule Storage?

While the reasons you may need storage may vary, needing a quality service provider will not! Give us a call! We can pick up your belongings, transfer them to our secure storage facilities and deliver them when you are ready to have everything returned. Learn more about types of storage and give us a call for a free, full service storage estimate today! 877-643-4044

 

Moving to Ontario

Are you Planning on Moving to Ontario?

Are you planning on moving to Ontario in the near future? If you are, you are in the right place! Relocations can be quite difficult to take on, and getting some professional assistance for your upcoming move might not be a bad idea after all. Keep on reading, and learn how to move to Canada in a few easy steps!

Start by finding a moving company that can help you move

Moving is a serious task. It can take a lot of your time and energy. And even more importantly, moving to Ontario can cost you a lot. However, if you find a professional moving company that can land you a hand in this – you just might move with ease and a smile on your face.

Time is not your friend

Start your search for one early. Finding the right mover that can satisfy all your moving needs is harder than it sounds. So, make sure you start looking for yours well before your moving day comes. This move will allow you to think about everything twice, and to make only the good calls.

Are you looking for an international moving company?

It’s best to start looking for a mover as soon as possible. This way you will avoid all unnecessary stress and common moving mistakes. And believe us – you will want to. And while we are at it, make sure you get well informed before you move. It might take some time – but, it will pay off in a long run.

Packing

Moving Ahead Services offers its clients two options: full service moving and packing or full service movers without packing. We advise you to think carefully before making your final call. Packing might seem or sound like an easy task to take on, but is it really? Moving to Ontario wouldn’t be so hard if packing was an easy task.

Let us help you pack when moving to Ontario, and learn what moving with ease means!

Our professional packers can help you prepare your precious belongings for the transport in a safe manner. This aspect is something that is very important to us. We would like you to move with a smile on your face, and that is only possible if your whole relocation project plays out just as planned. Damage to your belongings isn’t any part of this plan. So – make sure you pack your items properly. Or even better, let our packing experts take care of this task for you!

Packing supplies

Don’t have any packing supplies yet? Don’t worry. We are here to provide you with some. Moving to Ontario with ease is still possible! Check out our website, and learn what we have to offer. And once you do – you will learn why opting for our professional moving assistance was the right choice to make.

Need some additional space for your belongings before moving to Ontario?

We have you covered. We all find ourselves in this type of situations, and even if it sounds like there is no solution to them – don’t worry. We offer our clients a wide range of storage options, and all you have to do is to pick the solution that fits your needs the best. Our storage facilities are modern, secure and even more importantly – affordable.

Figure 3Need some additional space to store your items? We can help you with that, too!

 

Making an Offer

5 Tips for Getting Your Offer Accepted on a House

Making an offer on a house in today’s crazy real estate market can be a frustrating process! Houses are selling overnight, and finding something you love enough to make an offer on – only to lose it – Can be extremely frustrating!  Here are some great tips to making an offer and getting it ACCEPTED!

Making an Offer that WINS

making an offerPre-Approval: This is numero uno to making an offer on a house with the best odds of getting it accepted! Talk to your mortgage person and get a pre-approval letter before you even start to look around. You have to have the proof to make a serious offer!

Be Ready to BUY: Get all of your other ducks in a row to get your offer accepted and get through the buying process without things falling apart. Get your finances in order, make sure you avoid big purchases (after your pre-approval) and get your downpayment together. If you have to list your current home, talk to your real estate agent and mortgage person to determine what point in the process this needs to happen.

Get a Great Agent: This is a HUGE factor! Your real estate agent MUST be on top of their game and be available to show you houses and get you in the door ASAP. Find a great agent that knows your local market!

Set Alerts: Set alerts for any major search resources that scour MLS listings to fit the location, budget and features you want. Monitor those alerts constantly!

Be Flexible: Be ready to jump at the chance to get to a showing and make an offer. Your schedule has got to be flexible to avoid someone else swooping in!

Bonus tip; Be ready to pay above asking price if it’s a desirable home or neighborhood. Many folks are even putting offers in that state they are willing to pay above the top offer by a certain amount to secure their dream home.

Happy house hunting! Give us a call when you are ready to plan your big move.

 

 

Saving for a Downpayment

Tips for Downpayment Saving

Saving for a downpayment can be an overwhelming process! Whether you are buying your first home or simply moving on from the one you currently own, chances are you need some sort of downpayment fund. It can be tough to come up with the cash and having a plan will help! Here are some tips to cut costs and save for your downpayment.

5 Tips for Saving for a Downpayment

saving for a downpaymentAudit all subscriptions and monthly expenditures

Most of us are guilty of letting some monthly bills get away from us. Check for subscriptions you don’t use or need, cancel anything you can for the time being and call to get reduced rates on cell phone plans, cable and internet, etc.

Cut out extracurriculars

Put vacations on hold for the time being, and cut out expensive social excursions. Avoiding restaurants and movies can save a boatload each month depending on your habits!

Pinch pennies on groceries

Let’s face it, grocery prices seem to be climbing nonstop. Check other stores out and get an idea of what you are overpaying on.. Sometimes a little effort can go a long way!

Investments and retirement savings

If you have a 401K or retirement fund you may be able to borrow with little to no penalty. Talk to your employer or your financial advisor.

Get a part time gig

Look for a part time job for a temporary cash flow. Whether it’s a traditional part time job or you want to do some freelance, Uber or the likes – some extra income each month can add up.

Keep in mind different types of loans have different down payment requirements! Talk to a mortgage company and see what your options are. Saving for a mortgage can be difficult – Life can get in the way and it can be easy to take a back seat to finances. These tips are great for saving for a downpayment or just to cut some costs in general!

Home Selling Blues

Sometimes, Selling Your Home can Be Happy and Sad

Home selling blues are not uncommon! It’s a big change, and moving on is a big adjustment. Whether you are downsizing or simply moving to a new home or a new state – beat the blues with these great tips.

Tips to Beating the Selling Blues

Focus on the Positive You are moving for a reason, and hopefully it’s an exciting one! Whether it’s a new great house or a great new job opportunity or just a new next chapter – Moving is usually a great time to start over and focus on the positive. There is also going to be a great homeowner that gets to enjoy your old home!

Take Pics of your home, yard, neighbors, etc. Take lots of pictures!  Go through old pictures too, to see and remember all of the great times that you have had and focus on the great new memories you will make at your destination.

Take Momentos Whether it’s a favorite bench or an actual piece of the place that you called home – Take the personal stuff and replace it with things that aren’t so sentimental! Give each member of your family the chance to talk about what’s important to them and try your best to preserve and take those things.

Even if you are selling your home for a not-so-exciting reason, there is still plenty to look forward to and be grateful for. Try to emotionally detach from the physical structure and focus on the fact that it’s time to move on. While it can be traumatic at times, having realtors and strangers traipsing around – It’s all for the great good of achieving your goal to sell! Everyone handles moving differently and for some, it’s simply a routine part of life. The important thing to remember is that moving is stressful in any situation, and having trusted help and support is essential!