• Ask Allied: How Do I Manage a Move from a Distance?

    by Jackie Heath | Jan 23, 2015

    Ask-Allied_DistanceNot every move follows a seamless timeline. Ideally, you go from selling your current house straight to buying a new one, then packing your things and heading on your way. However, relocations (especially ones you undertake for professional reasons) often require you to manage a move from a distance. For example, if you need to move early for a job and live in temporary housing, you might not be free to oversee the moving services.

    So how do you sell a house and/or coordinate a transition without being physically present? It’s not always easy, but with these tips, you can feel confident that it will get done well.

    > A Good (Really Good) Friend or Relative: Putting your entire home’s contents into the hands of a friend or relative might be the ultimate test of love and loyalty, but plenty of people have success going this route. A lot of the time, what you need more than anything else is a point of contact—someone who can be on hand to check up on the house from time to time, answer questions potential buyers have, or be there when the movers arrive to pack everything up and cart it away. Always be sure and offer some kind of compensation (if not money, then a really great gift), and prepare to be flexible if things go wrong. It’s not worth losing a friend over.

    > A Real Estate Agent: Real estate agents don’t just buy and sell homes—they often provide ancillary support for all of the transition process. If you know your move will be a staggered one, try to find a real estate agent who specializes in long-distance relocations (they do exist). Not only can these professionals recommend moving companies and coordinate many of the tasks to be done, but they also have an invested interest in getting your home sold.

    > A General Contractor: Selling a house and packing it up to be moved usually requires some sort of change to the physical structure of your home. From inspections and repairs to regular house checks, you need someone you can trust to handle these details. A general contractor (especially one you’ve worked with in the past) is a good resource for this kind of work.

    > A Spouse/Partner: Although it often puts a strain on families, many find it helpful for one spouse to move to the new location while the other stays behind to oversee the home selling and moving process. This works especially well when children are involved—you can better time their transition so it doesn’t interrupt their education or activities.

    > Rack up the Frequent Flier Miles: You may find that there is no substitute for being present yourself, in which case you should set aside some time (and money) to do a bit of weekend traveling. Most homes will be fine being left in the hands of a real estate agent during the week, while you visit on weekends to clean up, pack up, and handle any lingering repair issues.

    This kind of transition isn’t always easy, but it can be done. Always talk with your real estate agent and moving company in advance so everyone know what they’re working with, and together, we will make it happen.

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  • Process for Picking a Realtor

    by Ryan Cox | Jan 21, 2015

    Pciking a RealtorSo, you’re buying a new home? Well, are you aware that this is one of the biggest decisions that you will ever make? Because buying a new home takes a lot of hard work, research, and time, it is vital that you are extremely selective when it comes to choosing your realtor. The best way to complete this task successfully is to follow a simple process. By doing this, you will ensure every “I” is dotted and every “T” is crossed because ultimately you want to protect yourself in the end.

    Know What Type of Property you are Interested In

    There are various types of real estate on the market to choose from. When looking for a home you may be interested in a foreclosure, short-sale, HUD home, or a typical sell. Based on what type of market you are drawn to, that is the type of realtor you need to seek out. For example, not every realtor has experience with foreclosures and others simply do not enjoy selling them. Either way, if you are set on buying a foreclosure, then you do not need a realtor that falls in either one of those categories. They will not be able to offer you the best advice, service, and knowledge as someone who deals with foreclosures on a regular basis.

    Research the Experience of Potential Realtors

    Experience is the best teacher. Ideally, you want to work with a realtor that has at least a few years of experience. So before you make any decisions about what realtor you will choose, an adequate amount of research will be beneficial. You should know how successful that realtor has been with placing people into homes of their preference. Ask the realtor for references. If they are not upfront with offering legit references, then they may have something to hide. Speaking with former clients will give you a great indication of what type of person you are going to be working with.

    Hold a Realtor Interview

    Don’t be afraid to interview your realtor. This is a business like anything else. They want to get hired to find you a home; therefore, they should be ok with you asking them a few questions. If they are not, then you may want to steer clear. It is vital that you and your agent are on the same page. If you are not, then chances are you are wasting your time. Thus, by holing a realtor interview, you will ideally know from the beginning if you and the realtor are a good match.

    Of course, you want to make buying a new home a fun and enjoyable process. In order to make this happen, you need to start by selecting the perfect realtor. Following these helpful tips should make finding a realtor a little easier. At Allied, we are committed to offering you helpful articles like this that are designed to make your home buying and moving process as smooth as possible.

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  • Are You With the Right Agent

    by Ryan Cox | Jan 20, 2015

    A whirlwind of mixed emotions accompany the home buying process.  For this reason it is crucial to work with an agent that collaborates effectively with you.  With certain specifications that you will not budge on, to knowing what you will be able to afford, it can be difficult to find the right home for you and your family.

    Your real estate agent is meant to make your life much easier. Through each step they help guide you to your new home meeting as much of the criteria as possible. But, if your agent is not consistently listening and communicating the process can be aggravating. So how do you know if your agent is actually listening to you?

    Are they Asking the Right Questions

    When starting the process certain questions should be asked by the agent to gain an understanding of where and what to look for. Important question include:

    • > What type of loan you are qualified for?
    • > How much are you looking to spend?
    • > What type of home are you looking for?
    • > Neighborhood specifications?

    If these questions are not asked a red flag should immediately go up. Most likely they are not interested in helping find the best home possible for you.

    Why Are You Showing Me This?

    If your agent is continually showing you homes that do not meet any of your outlined specifications, they are definitely not listening to you. This probably means it is time to move on. Houses are only on the market for so long. An agent should be diligently at work trying to find your next home. Waiting even a day could cause you to miss out on your dream home.

    Not All There

    Is your agent always on their phone? Does it seem like they are hurrying things along or not really “all in” on helping your find your home? This can be a sign that you need a new agent. Some agents who do not always have your best interests in mind show that through not giving you their undivided attention.

    Signs of Inexperience

    Missing an important step in the process of buying a home can cost you. That is why having an experienced realtor is absolutely important. A realtor with experience will make sure that every step is followed thoroughly to make sure that are able to purchase the home you decide on. Having an agent that is not experienced could cost you. Some signs of inexperience may be:

    • > They can explain the contracts
    • > They do not provide full information on the market
    • > They do not ask the right questions from the beginning
    • > Violates certain guidelines that realtors must abide by

    These are just a few signs of inexperience. An agent showing signs of inexperience needs to be avoided.


    Always make sure that you find an agent that will work with you and has the experience necessary to help you find a home. Buying a home is a major life decision and should not be left in the hands of someone who will not have your best interests in mind.

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  • Types of Home Loans for First Time Home

    by Ryan Cox | Jan 19, 2015

    Types of Home Loans for First Time Home BuyersBuyers

    Yes, buying a home is a very important time in anyone’s life. However, this is also one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make. Because of this, most people choose to obtain a home loan in order to acquire their property. Unlike other buyers, first time home buyers have a unique advantage. There are numerous loans on the market that are targeted to help first time home owners. So, before you select a loan, it would be beneficial to know what is on the market for first time buyers. Below is a detailed list that explains a few of the loans that are offered to first time buyers.

    FHA Loan

    An FHA Loan is a loan from the Federal Housing Administration. These loans allow a number of people the opportunity to own a home who otherwise would not have been afforded this opportunity. The FHA is an agency of the United States Government. By securing this loan, the bank receives a guarantee that if you do not pay back the loan, then the government will pay it for you. Because of this, banks are more likely to approve you for a loan whereas in other situations you may have been denied. With an FHA loan you can have a lower credit score and pay a smaller down payment than usual. Because of these benefits, many first time home buyer choose to use an FHA loan

    Fixed-Rate Mortgage

    A Fixed-Rate Mortgage is a home loan with a fixed interest rate. For example, if you have a 15 year mortgage, then for the entire 15 year period, your interest rate will remain the same. This is ideal for first time home buyers because their monthly mortgage payments will remain consistent. Because of this, they can better manage their money and know exactly what they need to pay each month. Most first time home buyers prefer this type of loan because they are never hit with an unexpected hike in their mortgage payment.

    VA Loan

    This loan is strictly for veterans. If you are unsure about the qualifications for this loan, then you can refer to the VA benefits page for more information. The VA loan is ideal for those who qualify for a number of reason. For example, you are not required to pay a down payment. Because of this, you do not have to save for a long period of time before you are able to buy a new home. This loan also does not have strict requirements; therefore, it is easier for many people to receive this loan.

    Buying a home loan is a major milestone for many people. It is very important to find a home loan that best fits you and your family’s needs. Each loan is unique so a loan that is perfect for one household may not be as ideal for another family. So before you choose a loan, make sure you do an adequate amount of research.

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  • Before You Move in: Pros and Cons of Decorating an Empty House

    by Ryan Cox | Jan 16, 2015

    Pros and Cons of Decorating an Empty HouseMoving into a new home is one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life. However, that excitement is short lived when you realize how much work lies ahead. When moving into a new home some people choose to decorate before they move in their personal belongings. Well, this sounds like a great idea, but it is very helpful to know both the pros and cons of this decision before you begin.

    Decorating Before you Move in: Pros

    There are quite a few benefits of decorating your home before you move in. Below is a list of those benefits.

    • > An open space to gather inspiration free from clutter
    • > Room to paint without having to rearrange furniture
    • > A better idea of exactly how much space you have to work with
    • > A clear understanding of how the space can best be utilized
    • > An empty space means that you can shoot for more elaborate motifs and designs

    Decorating Before you Move in: Cons

    While these are all great benefits of redecorating an empty house, there are also a few drawbacks that you may encounter when attempting to decorate your home before you move in.

    • > Decorating an empty house can quickly become a very daunting task because you are starting from scratch
    • > You have to find a place for every single item you own
    • > It is more expensive to furnish a completely empty room vs. completing a room that contains a few items
    • > It is more time consuming decorating an empty room

    Obviously, decorating your home before you move in has both positive and negative consequences. Ultimately, you need to consider which option would your best for your entire family. If you and your household need to move into your new home promptly, then obviously you have no time to decorate before you move. In this case the decision is obvious. However, if you have purchased your new home, but you have the opportunity to remain in your current home for a while, then you have a few more options at your disposal. In this case, your decision making process is not as simple.

    All in all, rather you decorate before or after you move into your new home, eventually, everything will be completed in due time. Once this task is done, you and your family will be able to enjoy a fully furnished and decorated home together. At Allied, we want to make your moving process as stress free as possible. We believe that we can accomplish this goal by providing helpful articles such as this one. Therefore, we will continue to add these insightful articles to our site.

    Allied contains over 85 years of experience. Because of this, we know what it takes to make your move a success. So, you should trust Allied Van Lines with the responsibility to make your next move your best move. Leave all of the hard work to us because we can handle it. Your job is to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy your new home. 

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