How to Hire a Reliable Moving Company

18 Mar 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

How to Hire a Reliable Moving Company

Getting settled into your new Loft can be a transformative experience. Starting fresh in a new space is like hitting the reset button on your life, sparking fresh energy, new ideas and a buzz of excitement.

But the process of moving? Not so much.

Packing up everything in your old Loft, transporting it to your new Loft and unpacking it all is a daunting task. Many Loftowners opt to alleviate some of the headache by hiring moving companies to deal with most of the logistics and heavy lifting. But hiring a third party can be fraught with potential problems such as delays, overcharging and loss.

If you’re getting ready to hire a moving company, here’s what you need to know to find one that is reliable.

Ask for recommendations

Start by asking friends, family, co-workers and local real estate agents for recommendations. You’ll find out quickly which companies are worth looking into and which ones you should avoid.

Research each company

The next step is to do some preliminary research on each company you are considering. Do an online search for reviews and contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been registered about them.

Arrange for an in-Loft estimate

Ask each company to come to your Loft and give you an estimate. While they are there, make sure to show them everything that needs to be moved as well as any stairs they will need to deal with and how far away from your Loft they can park their truck. Ask the company for a written estimate with a guaranteed cap. In addition, ask if they use subcontractors or if they will be conducting the move themselves. Get all their contact information, any other names they may conduct business under and their state and federal license numbers. If any company won’t come to your Loft or give you any of this information, take them out of the running.

Compare estimates

Now that you’ve collected your estimates, compare them. Any bids that come in low should be treated with caution. If several are in the same range, you can contact each to see if they will negotiate.

Research more thoroughly

You’ve got your list narrowed down at this point – now is the time to research each company in more detail. Are they active in your community? Have they won any awards? Do they have any specialties, such as moving valuable antiques or working in a high-rise? In addition, check to make sure they have the license and insurance they need for your state.

Choose your mover

At this point, you’ve thoroughly researched each prospective company, had them come to your Loft and have gotten a written estimate. Based on your communications with them, now is the time to choose which company to work with. Once you’ve chosen your company and secured their services, be sure to give them directions to your new Loft, and get a contact phone number for them for the day of the move.

While moving is a complex process that can be potentially stressful, taking the time to adequately vet potential moving companies will go a long way towards giving you peace of mind when the time comes to relocate.

Use Your Tax Refund On Your Loft

11 Mar 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Use Your Tax Refund On Your Home

Have you filed your taxes yet?

We know — tax season isn’t anybody’s favorite time of the year (except, of course, for tax accountants). But if you’re expecting a refund, now is a great time to reinvest that money in your Loft. Whether you’ll be getting a check for a few hundred dollars or a few thousand, there are great ways you can put that money to good use.

Save it for a down payment

Are you hoping to buy a Loft in the near future? As you probably already know, you’ll be expected to put down a down payment — anywhere from 3.5 to 20 percent or more of the purchase price. If you’re expecting a refund in the thousands of dollars, adding it to your down payment savings account is a fantastic way to get yourself closer to Loft ownership. And if you manage to save more than 20 percent, you’ll eliminate the need to buy mortgage insurance, saving you even more money down the line.

Pay down your mortgage

Even if you have a great rate on your mortgage loan, making an extra payment will still help you save money in the long run. By paying off more of your mortgage early, you will pay less interest over time. You’ll build equity more quickly and will own your Loft outright sooner. You may also be able to eliminate the cost of mortgage insurance once some of your loan has been paid off.

Purchase additional insurance

An inevitable part of owning a Loft is also purchasing Homeowner’s insurance. This protects you from liabilities should someone get injured on your property and sue you. Unfortunately, most Homeowner insurance policies are not comprehensive. By purchasing umbrella insurance, you get additional protection once your primary insurance coverage limits are reached, and as an added bonus, it also applies to your vehicles. For around $300 a year, you get about $1 million in coverage. It’s a very small price to pay for peace of mind.

Audit your Loft’s energy usage

Leaky windows, drafty doors and energy-hogging appliances all needlessly eat up your money. If you’d like to find ways to cut your energy costs, consider using your tax refund for a Loft energy audit. While there are free programs available from many local power companies who will send out a professional to look at your Loft and offer advice about where to make changes, the biggest bang will be to hire a private firm to do a comprehensive audit of your Loft. While you’ll be paying more up front, the audit is much more detailed and could potentially save you up to 30 percent on your energy bills should you decide to implement their suggestions.

Make needed Loft repairs

If your refund is less than $1000, perhaps one of the best ways to use it is to make some needed Loft repairs that you’ve been putting off. You can repaint, add some new landscaping, buy a programmable thermostat or finally organize your garage. The money spent will go a long way to contributing to your overall enjoyment of your Loft.

While it may be tempting to splurge on a big treat, spending your tax refund wisely on your Loft can improve your financial health for the long haul.

Is an FHA Loan Right for You?

4 Mar 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Is an FHA Loan Right for You?

One of the most daunting challenges of buying a Loft is choosing and getting approved for a mortgage loan. There are many types of mortgages out there and if you’re unfamiliar with the differences between them and how they relate to your personal financial situation it might seem impossible to make a choice.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of one particular type of mortgage – an FHA loan.

What is an FHA loan?

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is insured by the government and can be a good choice for Loftowners with lower credit scores or those who don’t have much saved for a down payment. A credit score as low as 580 can still get you approved for an FHA loan, and it only requires a down payment of 3.5 percent of the purchase price. FHA loans are available as both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages and can also be used to refinance your Loft.

Advantages of an FHA loan

With such flexible qualifications an FHA loan is a great opportunity for those who may not otherwise be approved for a mortgage. Some of the specific advantages to this type of loan include:

  • It’s easier to use monetary gifts for your down payment.
  • It allows you to have a higher debt-to-income ratio than other conventional lenders might allow.
  • It allows first-time Loftbuyers who may not have 20 percent saved for a down payment access to a mortgage loan.
  • It allows those who may have had credit problems in the past to own a Loft.

It’s important to understand that the government is not the one lending the money for the Loft purchase, they are simply guaranteeing the loan should you default. This makes lenders more willing to approve loans for a wider range of people since there is minimal risk for them.

Potential disadvantages of an FHA loan

Getting an FHA loan seems like a no-brainer, right? While it sounds like the perfect type of loan, there are responsibilities and potential pitfalls you should understand before you decide.

  • Interest rates are typically higher for FHA loans.
  • Buyers are usually required to pay their own closing costs.
  • Some sellers may be less inclined to accept an offer from a buyer who is pre-approved for an FHA loan.
  • FHA loans may end up being more expensive in the long run. Borrowers must pay two mortgage insurance premiums. One is paid upfront at closing and the other is a percentage of the total loan price that is paid monthly.

Is an FHA loan right for you?

There is no one-size-fits-all mortgage for Loftbuyers in today’s market. An FHA loan is one opportunity that is available to Loftowners who may be trying to get their financial lives in order but who don’t want to put off Loft ownership for too long.

Please keep in mind that not every building is FHA approved and there are other alternatives with low Down Payment without being an FHA loan.