Len and Leslie Marma's Blog
You've sold your home, and moving day is almost here. As such, now may be the perfect time to pack an overnight bag; that way, you're ready to survive with only limited supplies until you get settled into your new house.
Ultimately, there are several essential items to include in an overnight bag, such as:
It is important to pack enough clothing to ensure that you can dress comfortably until you get unpacked. Thus, you'll want to consider how long that it will take you to get settled into a new house as you prep your overnight bag.
For example, if you plan to take several days to unpack, you'll want to pack your overnight bag clothing accordingly. In this scenario, you'll likely need work clothes for the days that you're in the office, along with pajamas and other comfortable clothing that you can wear around the house.
If you know that you're going to be living outside a traditional home environment for a few days, it never hurts to pack cash in your overnight bag. By doing so, you'll have money available to buy food, beverages and other items as needed.
Consider how much money that you'll need to survive even a few days outside of a traditional home setting. Also, be sure to keep extra cash close to reduce the risk of losing this money while you relocate to a new address.
Shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries should be included in your overnight bag. These items ensure that you can maintain a clean, neat appearance, regardless of where you're staying.
Many convenience stores and supermarkets sell travel-size versions of popular toiletries. Therefore, you may want to purchase travel-size toiletries to limit the chance that assorted toiletries will take up too much space in your overnight bag.
Furthermore, you can pack only the toiletries that you know you'll need for a set period of time to conserve additional space in your overnight bag.
4. Smartphone Charger
Let's face it – no one want to lose access to his or her smartphone for any length of time. Fortunately, if you pack a smartphone charger in your overnight bag, you can recharge your smartphone at any time.
Include a smartphone charger and any smartphone cords or wires in your overnight bag. In addition, don't forget to test your smartphone charger and accessories to ensure they work properly.
Packing an overnight bag can be quick and simple, particularly for those who plan ahead. And if you include the aforementioned items in your overnight bag, you should have no trouble surviving outside a traditional home setting.
Lastly, if you need help as you get ready to vacate your house, a real estate agent may be able to provide assistance. A real estate agent serves as an expert guide along the home selling journey and will do everything possible to guarantee that you are fully prepared for an upcoming move.
Common-interest housing includes individually owned spaces and common areas shared by all owners. The common areas can include clubhouses, landscaping, parking lots or pools. Multistory buildings share lobbies, stairwells, and elevators. Any community that shares property including single-family free-standing homes in developments, falls into the common-interest category.
The two most familiar types of common-interest housing terms are condominiums (or condos) and townhomes (or townhouses). Although both belong in the category of common-interest housing, condos and townhouses may mean different things depending on regional or legal definitions.
A condo is a shared building or group of buildings and common spaces in which housing units are owned individually. This could be a single unit within a tower building or a conjoined home having its own ground floor with exterior entry. Other homes in the condominium category include single-family cottages or even modular homes inside planned communities. When you purchase a condo, you own the unit itself while you are a co-owner of the common areas.
A townhome is a style of house that is connected to another structure on at least one side. It may be solely owned by an individual as part of a CID, part of a multi-family apartment dwelling, or individually owned without property in common. A true townhome is built with independent sidewalls that stand alone even if they touch the walls of another townhome. When you purchase a townhouse, you own the unit itself and whatever yard area is affiliated with it as you would with a detached single-family house.
While condominium units might incorporate elements like private outdoor spaces, individual ground-floor entry options or design elements that resemble those of a townhome, it is ownership that truly defines them.
All CID properties have a homeowners’ association (HOA) of some sort. While some are mainly hands-off with regard to individual units, others have specific regulations regarding renting, remodeling, and exterior décor.
If you are trying to decide between purchasing a condominium or a townhouse, have your agent explain the differences in common ownership between them, and make certain to factor in the HOA fees to your monthly budget.
The penthouse is the pinnacle of real estate in many markets -- and places like New York and Miami -- have plenty of options to choose from. It's easy to get caught up in great decor or fall in love with a view, but there are other considerations as well. Here's what to think about when you shop for a luxury penthouse unit.
Expect to Pay a Premium: Most penthouses are priced above similar sized units in the same building, so be prepared to spend a little more for that amazing view and those amenities. A single penthouse spanning the top floor will command more of a premium rate than one that shares the floor with one or more other units.
You Can Still Negotiate: While a penthouse will command a higher price than any other unit in a specific building or location, you can and should negotiate the best deal. In cities with a glut of inventory in this price range, you may be able to secure a better price, simply by presenting the right offer. Your real estate agent can help you determine how flexible a price is and what fair market value is for a home you are considering.
Inventory Impacts Price: In high-rise dense cities like New York, there are always penthouse properties available. Outside of cities, though, you may have fewer options In vacation and resort areas with coveted views, there are only a small number of penthouse properties to begin with, and they are not all on the market at the same time. Act swiftly if a property you truly want becomes available to avoid missing out.
Visit at All Hours: If you will live in the penthouse property, you should visit it during the day, at night and on weekends. Because this property is near the roof, it may also be near HVAC and elevator equipment -- these can get noisy when in heavy use. Newer penthouses have insulation and soundproofing, but older ones may not, so the home could be noisier than you expect when everyone else in the building is home.
Is the view guaranteed? A building that faces the ocean and is directly on the beach will have a view that is not interrupted by future construction, but not all penthouses fit this description. You should be aware of zoning and building possibilities -- could a taller building be placed in front of yours -- disrupting your view? Your agent can help you discover if this nightmare scenario is a risk factor in any home you are considering.
Buying a penthouse is different from other luxury property purchases, because the view and position of the home offer so much and contribute to the price. Be aware of the setup of the building and its location -- and be ready to move if a penthouse becomes available in a market with scant inventory. Your real estate agent can watch for new listings and help you be first in line to view new luxury properties as they arrive in the marketplace and ensure you don't miss out on the home of your dreams.
In this day and age, there’s no reason to have to worry about forgetting to pay your bills on time. There’s also no reason to have to write a check or even log into a website each month to pay your bills.
Using a combination of digital tools, it’s possible to fully automate your bill-paying process so that you can spend less of your free time trying to remember your passwords and entering debit card numbers and more time doing the things that make you happy.
Benefits of auto-pay
There are plenty of reasons to automate your household bills. More free time and less time stressing about money are two of them. But, did you know that automation can also be a great way to help you boost your credit score?
Late payments on mortgages, student loans, utilities, internet, and cable bills can all negatively affect your credit score. By setting up auto-pay, you can make sure you make your payments on-time, helping to build your credit.
Another huge benefit of bill automation is that you can actually earn money and other rewards by making on-time payments.
For example, setting up your bills and utilities to charge to a credit card with cash back rewards can help you earn money by paying your bills. The one caveat is that you need to make sure you pay off your credit card balance in full each month. How do you do that? With auto-pay!
Where to automate
As I mentioned before, many monthly bills can be charged to a credit card which you can use to earn rewards. However, you won’t be able to use a credit card for all of your bills. Mortgage payments, student loans, auto loans, and oftentimes utility companies will require a checking or savings account with a routing number.
In these cases, it’s still possible to set up auto-pay through either the company’s website, or through your bank’s bill-pay feature.
Need help with a list of things you could be automating? Consider setting up auto-pay or bill-pay for these services:
Entertainment (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Spotify, etc.)
Automation of the future
So, we’ve covered some of the most common ways to automate your home expenses. However, recent technologies are making it even easier to run your home and keep up with the bills.
One new innovation is Amazon’s Dash button. This service enables you to just tap a button on your smartphone or tablet whenever you need to order new pantry items for the home. Alternatively, you can subscribe for common household goods like cleaning productions, paper towels, and dish soap so that you never run out. And, with Amazon Prime, you don’t have to worry about shipping costs.
Between home automation and auto-pay, you should be able to make your home significantly easier to manage and reduce the amount of stress related to paying the bills.