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    • These are Articles to Read: Relocating Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible. Research before you move. Its important to understand the culture youre joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone whos lived there before. Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where youll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you havent seen. If you cant get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if thats not possible, know what youll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like drivers licenses, car insurance, renters insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well. Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Dont expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like. Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.
    • Prepare To Sell Selling your home does not just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.Repair. Just because youve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesnt mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it donehardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, dont forget to address any issues with the exteriorfences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutralbeiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, its time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and d├ęcor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rougeif its done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.
    • Tips for Buying a Home Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible. Get your finances in order. Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Find a house you can afford. As with engagement rings, theres a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Dont forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc. Hire a professional. While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you cant pick up from surfing the web. Thats why youre better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. Do your homework. Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price thats competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller. Think long term. Obviously, you shouldnt buy unless youre sure youll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new homes resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

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