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Your Furniture: Take It Or Leave It

Years ago, at a 911 driving school, a retired police officer and my driving instructor explained a concept called velocitation, related to highway driving. DriversEd.com describes it this way:

“Velocitation is a phenomenon caused by driving for long periods at high speeds. A driver may experience velocitation when coming off of the highway; the change in speed makes him or her think that the car is going much slower than it actually is.”

In addition to being a great way to get a speeding ticket, velocitation is all about perception. When it comes to moving, perception is important when you need to determine what furniture to bring with you.

Here are three ideas to help you decide:

1) It is possible to become so accustomed to your furniture that you barely notice it, but also so accustomed in a different way that you will miss it in your new home if you don’t bring it with you or replace it.

2) The age and state of that furniture will probably have a big impact on which items you choose to bring with you. Take a good, hard look at the state your furniture is in. It can be really easy to overlook the rips, scratches, and scuffs, because they’ve been there so long. After you’ve taken a good look, determine what needs to be replaced and make a list. Then schedule out some time to shop for replacements after you get moved in.

3) Deciding what to throw out, and what to keep can be stressful. There are times to make the tough decision to replace well-worn furniture. Other times, you can choose to wait, and save money if your furniture is in good condition with just a few small scratches.

In Driver’s Ed, they taught us about a lot more than just velocitation, and we knew at the end, there would be a test. And the closer we got to the test, the more stressed I felt. Moving day sometimes can feel the same way, but it doesn’t have to.

I discovered that, with prior study you can largely reduce or even eliminate stress before a test. And with proper preparation, you can do the same for moving. So take your time, plan it out. And when it’s done, relax and enjoy your new home.

Before You Move – Moving Tips

“Time is money,” as the saying goes. But time is so much more than money. Time is life. Waste your time, waste your life.

In fact, it may sometimes be more accurate to say that money is time. You trade seconds of your life for every dollar you earn. So, it stands to reason that if you save money, you save time and you can add seconds, minutes and even hours to your life.

If you take the time to plan your move in advance, it will save you a lot of time and money later.

Pack ahead. If the movers show up on moving day with you still packing your belongings into boxes, they will have to wait for you. Which would probably stress you out quite a bit, not to mention that the movers are waiting on your dime. And that’s not good for anyone, except maybe the movers, who are still getting paid.

Time your move. The time of the year can make a big difference in the amount of money you spend on your move. While most people move in the summer because of better weather, moving companies are more likely to give you a discount if you move in the winter, when business is slower.

Compare your options. Find several good moving companies, and compare their strengths and weaknesses (fees, additional services, etc.). See Trustworthy Moving Companies, Where Are They? for further useful information about finding the right moving company.

By following these moving tips, you’ll save time and money. As you know, money is time, and time is life. So, when you save money and time, you save your own life.

Additional Resource: Before You Move – Moving Tips

Real Estate Agent Secrets

Like undercover spies, great real estate agents can be difficult to find, unless you know where to look. And knowing who to trust is even more important. 

When working with a secret agent, it’s all about trust. If they can’t be trusted, you might end up shot in the back. And when you’re working with real estate agents, the same warning applies, just not literally.

While most realtors and real estate agents are trustworthy, it’s still a good idea to be cautious. Some realtors have agreed to follow the code of ethics set down by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), while others have not. However, agreeing to a code of ethics does not guarantee ethical behaviour. So, as always, do your research.

A profitable brokerage with a nice office building might be a good place to start. Success could be a good indication that they have a track record of ethical and trustworthy business. Unfortunately, sometimes that is not the case.

As mentioned in the previous post, Trustworthy Moving Companies, Where Are They?, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can be an excellent resource. On the BBB website, they have ratings, comments, and recorded complaints about real estate agents.

Most people don’t know that landscapers, mortgage brokers, bankers, and movers all work very closely with real estate agents. Ask us. Ask them. Most professionals are quite willing to give you their recommendations. In addition, your friends can be great resources for finding the right agent.

Bonus tip: When seeking sensitive information from a friend, it’s better to follow conversational methods to extract information. Remember, friends don’t interrogate friends.

Finding Trustworthy Moving Companies

Moving can easily become an incredibly stressful experience. Without a moving company you can trust, it could get even worse. For example, say that you hire Bogus Movers to transport your precious belongings and the moving truck never shows up at your new house. You could call the number they gave you and you might get a teenager asking if you want “extra anchovies on your pizza.” And nobody wants more anchovies.

So, the key question: How do you find an ethical and trustworthy moving company with a proven track record?

Do your research. When looking for a great moving company, remember that reputation is built over time. The longer a moving company has been around, the more likely they are to be running an ethical business. Another thing to remember is that it’s easy (and inexpensive) to make a beautiful website for an entirely and utterly fictional company.

Compare your options. Find several good moving companies, and compare their strengths and weaknesses (fees, additional services, etc.). Check out the companies’ records with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and look beyond the rating at the front. Go deeper and investigate the positive comments and complaints.

Ask questions. Ask whether the moving company you are considering will be actually moving your stuff. If they hire another company to do the moving, it would probably be good to “move on.”

Do a little digging. Make sure the company you hire is a legitimate registered business. Visit their storage facility, check out their trucks, and make sure their logos are permanent. If they don’t show up as a registered business and their logos are stuck on with magnets, like grade-school pictures on a fridge, you probably want to “stick” with a different moving company.

Understand what you sign. It’s always a good idea to be sure that you thoroughly understand an agreement, before you sign it. And if the paperwork is blank, definitely do not sign it. They could write in: “…and your first born!” Rumpelstiltskin did it. They could too.

Protect yourself, and the priceless belongings you are moving.

And remember… nobody wants a bad moving experience. Or more anchovies.