The Best Residential Moving Companies [Services, Reviews, Cost]

Residential movers in actionMoving from one home (house or apartment) into another residence (house or apartment) is a classic case of residential moving. Household moves, as opposed to commercial moves, are often serviced by professional residential movers unless the pre-move conditions are just right for attempting a self-move without the assistance of experienced moving experts /read on for more details/.

The process of moving most personal possessions between two homes is notoriously stressful and infamously arduous, so it’s important that you know the limitations, dangers, and risks of self-moving so that you can do what’s best for you. In fact, understanding your residential moving options is the first step towards having a smooth and problem move from the very start.

Let’s take a closer look at the services offered by the best residential movers in the industry, and then see how customer reviews can help you make a better decision. Also, learn more about residential movers cost, and most importantly how to find top-rated residential moving companies.

Residential moving services

The thing you should know from the start is that the best residential moving companies offer a large range of services aimed at satisfying the needs of their customers. A professional residential mover will need to complete a serious of smaller move-related tasks (services) in order to be able to complete a household move successfully (the major job).

For example, the actual transportation of packed cardboard boxes, furniture pieces, domestic appliances, as well as the rest of the items found under a roof, is only one of the many services top-rated residential moving companies provide to their customers to get the job done.

  • In-home survey. First and foremost, you will need to know how much your residential move will cost so that you can set your budget accordingly. Your residential moving expenses will depend on a number of variable factors, so for precise price estimation, you must request in-home visual inspections from a few top-rated residential movers.
  • Risk assessment. During the on-site inspection, the moving experts will take a closer look at what items you have for moving and will complete a detailed risk assessment to avoid last-minute moving day surprises. After the survey, you will be given accurate moving cost estimates for actual consideration and effective comparison.
  • Packing. Due to the huge number of household items to pack, including their varied dimensions, weight, value, and purpose, packing for a move often proves to be the most time-consuming job of them all. Good household movers offer packing services done by professional packers with high-quality packing materials. Depending on your specific packing needs, you can choose between partial professional packing and a full-service one.
  • Extra services by residential moving companies

    It’s the array of extra services that separate good from great residential movers.

    Disassembly of furniture. Some furniture pieces are too large to be taken out of a home without damage and transported safely without partial or complete disassembly first. Should you choose to take with you some of the bigger furniture pieces, be ready to be charged extra for their disassembly and possible re-assembly inside the new residence.

  • Handling of special items. Your plans to move on your own will probably be ruined by the realization that you already own special items that you want to take with you. The decision to move an upright piano, a pool table, antique furniture, or a hot tub will require the professional touch of residential household movers.
  • Custom crating. Some of your specialty items will be too expensive or valuable to be transported without additional protection. Priceless artwork pieces, super expensive breakables, antique furniture pieces, precious collectors’ items, wine bottles, or pricey electronic equipment may need to be placed in custom-built wooden crates for maximum protection. Custom crating services are offered by some full-service residential moving companies.
  • Hoisting. Moving day may bring about unexpected hardships that can test your problem-solving abilities. But if any of your larger furniture pieces refuse to go through a narrow opening no matter what you’ve tried, then you’ll be forced to turn to professionals who offer real residential moving solutions. Like hoisting oversized items through windows and balconies.
  • Temporary storage. The best long distance residential moving companies will also offer the extra service of temporary storage in case your new house or apartment is not ready for the move-in process yet. For a fee, part or all of your current household items will be stored safely at the storage facilities of your residential mover for a pre-determined period until you’re ready to reunite with them once more.
  • Unpacking. The race with time is practically over once your prized possessions are delivered to your new address. Therefore, it’s usually you who will take care of the unpacking process, at your own pace. Still, special circumstances may force you to seek professional assistance even with that post-move task. Luckily, your full-service residential mover will be glad to give you a hand with that time-consuming job too.

See also: Additional moving services: What residential movers can offer

Residential moving companies reviews

It’s important to know that you can rely on an array of additional services from your residential mover it practically means that the needs of your particular household move will be met by professionals. So far, so good. But the thing that matters even more is to find reputable cross country residential movers to whom you’ll feel comfortable entrusting your prized possessions for fast and safe delivery.

Residential movers reviews

It’s important to check the online reputation of the residential moving companies you’re currently reviewing.

One good and proven way to select a top-rated residential mover to take care of the toughest aspects of your house move is to check their online reputation that is, to read moving reviews and performance ratings left by former customers. The best professional moving companies understand well the significance of providing good and reliable services, which in turn will generate positive feedback from their satisfied clients. And finally, positive feedback will create trust in people looking for trustworthy moving services trust that will bring in more customers and revenue.

  • Go to the best moving reviews websites such as MyMovingReviews and Yelp, search residential moving companies by name, state, and city, and then read what people who had used residential moving services had to say about their respective companies. Overall ratings do matter but it’s the brief testimonials that will give you a much better idea of what your actual choices are.
  • Moving reviews should serve as guidelines the one aspect that can help you make the right choice while comparing a few good residential movers. In other words, do not base your decision which company to trust entirely on online reputation rather, make an informed decision that takes into account customer reviews as well.

How much do residential movers cost?

Of course, you will be very interested to learn how much you will need to pay professional residential movers to help you move your household goods to the new residence. Naturally, you would very much like to know the final price right there and then, but that’s more of a wishful thinking. Why? The moving cost for each relocation job is calculated on a case-by-case basis, which basically means that a residential moving company will have to know the details of your household move in order to give you an estimate of the moving costs.

That’s right, it’s only an estimate of the costs because nobody knows exactly how much the final bill will turn out to be, not even the movers you hire. The best you can do is to get several binding moving estimates in writing after in-house inspections from those same residential moving companies. Note that estimates done over the phone or via e-mails can never be accurate how could moving experts possibly give you precise quotes if they never even saw the things you plan to move?

Local residential movers

If you’re moving to a new home that is located within a 100-mile radius and never leaves the state of origin, then technically you’re moving locally and your household move should be treated as such as far as residential moving rates are concerned. In reality, what that means is that your local residential moving company will charge you by the hour.

In other words, regardless of which move-related task your movers will be working on (packing, loading, etc.), the total time spent on the moving job will determine the final price. And that time factor does include 1) the number of all your items for moving, 2) the number of extra services needed, 3) the number of movers working on your specific move, and 4) the move distance between the two homes.

Residential movers cost

Finding good yet affordable residential movers is still a top priority when moving home.

Generally speaking,

  • the average moving cost for when moving locally is around $30 per mover per hour;
  • 2 local movers will need about 4-5 hours to move you out of a studio apartment (approximate cost of $240-$300 with no extra charges);
  • 3 local movers will need about 6-7 hours to move you out of a 2-bedroom home (approximate cost of $540-$630 with no extra charges);
  • 4 local movers will need about 8-9 hours to move you out of a 3-bedroom home (approximate cost of $960-$1080 with no extra charges);
  • each additional service will cost you more while you should expect to be charged a travel feetoo the time your movers need to reach your current home (Point A).

Remember that these are only average moving costs and you should treat them only as referential values. Do request an on-site survey for precise cost estimation.

Long distance residential movers

If you’re about to move to another state, then your home move falls into the long distance category of residential moving, which means that you will not be charged by the hour but by a combination of price-forming factors. The principal price formation criteria are:

  • move distance: a constant value you cannot possibly change;
  • total weight of shipment: one of the best residential moving tips you can ever get is to take fewer items with you a smart decision that will enable you to save loads of money;
  • extra services: being careful about which services you use can also help you save on your long distance move. For example, pack up the things you can by yourself and leave the specialty items for professional packers.

Generally speaking,

  • 1-bedroom home. Expect to pay roughly $1500 to move out from a 1-bedroom apartment to a home located approximately 500 miles away. Double the move distance (1000 miles), and your cross country move will cost you about $2000.
  • 2-bedroom home. Expect to be charged roughly $2500 to move out from a 2-bedroom home to a residence about 500 miles away. Double the move distance (1000 miles), and your interstate move will cost you about $3000.
  • 3-bedroom home. Be ready to part with roughly $3500 to move out from a 3-bedroom home to a residence about 500 miles away. Double the move distance (1000 miles), and your long distance move will cost you about $4000.

Keep in mind that these average moving costs are only given as an example. The price that you pay will vary depending on your specific pre-move parameters. Get in touch with top-rated residential movers for accurate price estimates.

Must-read: What are the average residential moving costs?

How to find the best residential movers

Packing on your own

Residential moving advice #7: Pack whatever you can by yourself to save on professional packing services.

Once you’ve decided to use a professional moving company to help you with your upcoming house move, the next logical step is to know how to find a reliable and trustworthy residential mover.

  • Step 1. Get recommendations from people you can actually trust, such as friends who have moved house recently and can vouch for an affordable yet dependable residential moving company.
  • Step 2. Fill in the online moving cost estimator to get contacted by licensed, insured, and trustworthy household moving companies. Request in-home surveys from them in order to be given accurate residential moving quotes.
  • Step 3. Compare the received residential moving estimates: take a closer look at the additional services offered and their respective rates, and of course pay attention to the price at the bottom as well. Keep in mind that unnaturally low estimates could be a sign of moving fraud.
  • Step 4. Compare the residential moving companies by reading customer reviews about their professional services. Also, make sure the residential movers have been properly licensed by the U.S. State of Transportation (that is, they have USDOT numbers), are members of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), and are BBB accredited.
  • Step 5. Trust your feeling!

Read also: How to find the best residential movers

The post The Best Residential Moving Companies [Services, Reviews, Cost] appeared first on The Moving Blog.

How to Build a Fallout Shelter in Your Home (on a Budget, to Boot)

how to build a fallout shelter

mrdoomits/iStock

With the all the incendiary talk being tossed around by the U.S. and North Korean leadership lately, you might be wondering how to build a fallout shelter. You know, just in case. And with domestic tensions running high, it seems like a foreign attack isn’t the only thing to worry about.If you’re the better-safe-than-sorry type, creatinga fallout shelter can provide peace of mind at the very least. Who knows? It could turn out to be an actual lifesaver.

As it turns out, you really canbuild a falloutshelter in your own home-even if you don’t havea basement!

A brief history ofbuilding bomb shelters

Designed to reduce exposure to radioactive debris-aka fallout-during a nuclear attack, fallout shelters were popularized in the late 1950s, during the Cold War. While American kids practiced duck-and-cover drills in school, President John F. Kennedyadvised that in the event of attack, the lives of those families which are not hit in the nuclear blast and fire can still be saved if they can be warned to take shelter, if that shelter is available.

The answer? Shelters at home. TheOffice of Civil Defense begandistributingpamphlets that outlined how to build your own fallout bunker, and quite a few people dug out bomb shelters in their backyards, creating plywood structures within the earth and stocking them with everything a family might need for weeks on end.

Fallout shelter instructions
Fallout shelter instructions

dahp.wa.gov

It’s still not uncommon to find bomb shelters inhouses built prior to the 1970s. Theyreportedlycameback in fashion after the election ofPresidentDonald Trump, when manufacturers of these hideouts say their sales shotup 700%. And that figure doesn’t even account for the folks who are trying tobuild their own fallout shelters.

Sooooo, how exactly do youbuild your own fallout shelter, anyway?

Where to go in the eventof a nuclear blast

The key to staying safe during a nuclear attackis to placematerial capable of blockinggamma rays between you and the blast. If you live in a home withan underground basement, you’re in luck-at least 3feet of solid packed earth offers sufficient protection.

If you’re living in a homewith nobasement, all is not lost. Lead and concrete are also listed among the best options to block the gamma rays of a nuclear blast, saysRobert Richardson, author ofThe Ultimate Situational Survival Guide.

While an underground shelter is going to provide more protection, even a concrete office building can act as an emergency fallout shelter, Richardson says.So if your house is made of wood and your neighbor’s is sturdy concrete, you may be best off heading next door.

In addition tothetype of building youshelter in, where you hunker down inside can make a huge difference.Richardson says that in case of a nuclear blast, you’re better off choosing an interior room in your home, as low down as possible.

The bottom center portion of a building will provide the mostprotection from gamma rays, sincethe upper floors of the building and the exterior rooms will act as a shield, Richardson says. Basically, the more material you can place between yourself and the rays, the better protected you will be.

How to build a fallout shelter

Once you’ve found the bestplace in your vicinity to go in the event of a bomb scare, there’s more you can do to fortify this area.

Sandbags, bricks, containers filled with water, or any heavy materials that you can find can be used to protect against anuclear blast,Richardsonnotes. Just placethese items against yourwalls-particularly the windows where radiation can still sneak through, or on the floors above wherever you are.Mattresses can be leanedup against windows, as well as stacked books, furniture, bags of clothes, and anything else with some heft.

From there, it’s time to stock up!The greatest risk offallout occurs during the first two to three weeks following a nuclear blast, Richardson says, so if you’re intent on hiding out in a shelter for that time, get enough food and water to last. It might not be comfy, but we’re talking about survival here.

The post How to Build a Fallout Shelter in Your Home (on a Budget, to Boot) appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com.

Buying a House With Cash? Don’t Forget These Added Expenses

If I Pay Cash For A House What Else Will I Owe?

ismagilov/iStock

There’s no question that buying a house with cash will make you feel like a million bucks. Maybe you came into a large inheritance, or you’re justreallygood at saving. Either way, paying the price of the homein full means you won’t have to worry about making mortgage payments. Plus, sellers love a cash offer becauseit means they won’t have to wait formortgage lenders to approve your funding. High-fives all around!

You will, however, still be responsible for other coststhat come with buying and owning a house. Don’t forget about theseexpenses you’ll have to cover,even if you plan on financing the house with cold, hard cash.

Closing costs

The purchase price is the biggest number you’ll have to face when buying a house, butthere are stillclosing coststhat must be dealt with, says RealtorDenise Shurwith1:1 Realty in San Jose, CA. Sure, you won’t have those loan-related fees, but there are a grab bag of others:

  • Real estate transfer taxes charged by the county and/or city
  • Title insurance fee
  • Processing and filing fees for forms being submitted to the County Recorder
  • Appraisalfee
  • Home inspectionfee

Even if you’re buying a home withcash, the one-time closing costs, or fees you’ll have to pay during the closing process, can be as much as 3% of the purchase price, according toLee Dworshak, a Realtor with Keller Williams LA Harbor Realty.

Sadly, your home doesn’t just cost nothing in subsequent years. Here are some ongoing costs you should be prepared for-by keeping some money in the kitty.

Property taxes

Yep, they say the only things certain in life are death and you-know-what. And it’s true! Even if your entire house is paid off, you’ll still have to pay property taxes each month.

To get an idea of what those bills will look like, check a home’slisting onrealtor.com. Scroll down to the Payment Calculator section, and look on the line that says Property Tax.

To get a more definitive picture,visit your city and county websites to find out the local property tax rates and whether ahike is imminent. You can also check with your real estate agent to get a copy of the current owner’s tax bill.

Homeowners insurance

Thecost of the policywill depend on the size and value of yourhome, your location, your deductible, and your coverage. Talk to your current insurer about the home and area you’ll be moving to to get an accurate picture of your new insurance costs. You might need to addflood or earthquake coverageto your policy if those are real threats in your new neighborhood.

Home maintenance

We hate to break it to you, but things break. That’s why savvy homeowners put aside some money each month for unexpected repair or maintenance needs. Shur recommendsconsidering a home warranty, which costs about $450 a year and provides coverage on a wide variety of elementssuch as plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning, and appliances.

Homeowners associationfees

If you’re buying in a community with a homeowners association, you mighthave to budget formonthly or annual HOA fees. These mandatory fees are paid by everyone who owns in the community andgo toward maintaining thecommon areas.

These fees will bebased on the size of your home and the amenities in your community, but for a typical single-family home,HOA fees cancost around $200 to $300 amonth.

Utilities

Don’t forget to factor in utilities such as electric, gas, water, sewer, and trash. To get a clear picture of what you’ll be required to pay, ask your real estate agent to askthe sellers what a year’s worth of bills costs. Utilities can fluctuate from season to season, so this is especially important if you’re moving across the country to a new climate.

Deirdre Woollard contributed to this article.

The post Buying a House With Cash? Don’t Forget These Added Expenses appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com.

11 community-building event ideas for property managers (+ 7 tips for success!)

Resident Activities to Strengthen Your Community | Buildium

Every profession has its Holy Grail. For football players, it’s a Super Bowl ring. For insurance salespeople, it’s ‘Top of the Table’ status in the Million Dollar Round Table.

In the property management business, the Holy Grail is the elusive ‘sense of community’ among residents, which-theoretically, anyway-creates bonds between residents and the property itself. That sense of community gets leases renewed and encourages referrals from current residents.

One key way to develop a sense of community among residents is to organize a series of resident activities for them to participate in. In addition to building a community among your residents, one benefit of on-site resident activities is that it gives staff a chance to see which residents are worth retaining and which are better off getting politely non-renewed. If you witness property damage, drunkenness, bullying, or other negative or unruly behavior at apartment evens-which hopefully won’t happen!-that can tell you something about your residents that you might not have found out otherwise.

Here are 11 ideas for community-boosting resident activities, as well as our best tips for success.

11 Resident Activities for Strengthening Your Community

1. Community appreciation barbecues. This is one of the most tried and true, ever-popular resident activities. Host a potluck barbecue. Staff can man the grill and provide tables, chairs, paper plates, cups, and enough hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone. Encourage residents to bring side dishes and desserts. Keep the kids occupied with pool activities, a bounce house, or organized games and contests.

2. Cook-offs. Jamestown Apartments in Newport News, VA has sponsored a chili cook-off among residents for the last two summers. Residents of Southwind at Crowley, a nursing facility in Louisiana, participates in a town-wide gumbo cook-off league. You can have any kind of cook-off as long as you’ve got the grill/stove space for it. If you have a community kitchen and a bit of ingenuity, the sky’s the limit.

For the best results, post the winners’ names and photos in the community area each year. Anything that gets teams plotting about how they can win next year bodes well for lease renewals.

Make sure that you have teams sign up in advance. If you’re providing basic ingredients and stovetops, you don’t want to be surprised when more teams show up to cook than you can handle.


Property managers: Strengthen your community with 11 event ideas on the #BuildiumBlog!

Click To Tweet


3. Sports tournaments. Form teams and challenge nearby residential communities to a competition. New Territory, a community of 4606 homes near Sugar Land, Texas, is big enough to have its own intramural softball, dodgeball, cricket, soccer, and basketball leagues.

4. Luaus. In addition to the chili cook-off, Jamestown Apartments also sponsored a Hawaiian-themed pool party for residents last May.

5. Art nights. Consider partnering with a local artist, gallery, or art supply vendor to put together an art night or a series of classes for residents. For example, Sunland Village, a 55+ community in Mesa, Arizona, has an arts and crafts league.

6. Art exhibits. Reach out to local art supply stores, schools, and galleries and host an art show in your clubhouse for local artists. Think through how the art will be displayed-you may need to bring in booth materials, but the artists may provide their own. When everything is set up, have a wine and cheese reception in the common area. This method works well with upscale communities whose residents have the means to buy original works of art-thereby attracting better artists. However, you’ll be surprised how much participation you can get from young people, too.

Have a section set aside for kids, or have a sidewalk chalk drawing event outside for them during the day!

7. Craft nights. Invite your creative-minded residents to an evening of crafting. This could involve anything from painting mugs to crocheting to classes-anything hands-on and appropriate for a wide range of ages.

8. Resident trade shows. The chances are good that you have a number of independent contractors and small business owners in your community. Hold a residents-only trade show. This provides an opportunity for local business owners and creatives to shop and form new connections. Mountain View Apartments of Asheville, NC did precisely this last year in their clubhouse-on the same day that they sponsored their own chili cook-off!

9. Story times. A classic activity for young children. A well-executed children’s book reading can foster an appreciation for reading. Combine storytime with age-appropriate craft-making for a little more oomph. Here’s a great example based around Eric Carle’s classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

10. Kite-making and flying competitions. Kites are easy to make and fun to fly. Have a kite-making contest for the kids. Provide some basic materials and string, and then have a kite-flying day at the closest suitable clearing. (This works best on a moderately windy day!)

11. Raft competitions. Given equal amounts of cardboard, twine, duct tape, and empty 2-liter soda bottles, who can build the best boat and row it across the pool? The kids will surprise you with their ingenuity. And for the really little kids: Here’s how they can get in on the fun, too!


From chili cook-offs to craft nights, try these 11 community-building event ideas on the #BuildiumBlog!

Click To Tweet


Hosting Resident Activities: Tips for Success

  • Begin publicizing the event with signage right before the first of the month, when lots of people will be dropping off rent checks at your office.
  • Begin publicizing 90 days out. Some resident activities, like the raft-building contest, may take some time and effort to get enough materials donated or recovered from the recycling area.
  • Publicize in multiple forms, from inserts and mailers to door hangers and A-frame signs in common areas. In addition, leverage social media platforms such as Facebook, which is taking on critical importance. In fact, a community communications plan that doesn’t include Facebook promotions and event invites is like going on a hike with one boot off. The plan to promote should be as detailed as the plan to execute, and it should involve multiple platforms to reach all demographics.
  • Offer incentives to boost participation. Poplar Ridge Apartments in Fort Wayne, IN boosts participation by entering all participants in a drawing to win a desirable prize, such as a big screen TV. The more resident events that someone participates in, the greater their chances of winning.
  • Find a way to encourage residents to bring guests, and have a way to capture their contact information and market to them. When they sign in, have them put down when their lease is up and what they might be looking for in the next year. If you put together a successful resident event that builds warm memories for the community, and you’re organized about marketing to them at the right time (about 4 months before their lease expires), you’ll get your share.
  • Encourage residents to participate in event planning. In fact, the more that they do and the less that your staff has to, the better-both from a community standpoint and from a liability standpoint. Ideally, you want your staff to facilitate resident activities that are driven by residents-with residents, not your staff, making key decisions. It takes a bit of time, effort, and deft people skills to get to this point, however.
  • Don’t think of resident activities as the magic bullet to resident retention. It’s nice, but it’s just one tool in what should be a big tool box.

Discover 7 insightful tips for hosting a successful community event on the #BuildiumBlog!

Click To Tweet


P.S. Be sure to subscribe to the Buildium blog to stay up-to-date on industry news and the issues you care about. Click here to sign up now!

The post 11 community-building event ideas for property managers (+ 7 tips for success!) appeared first on Buildium.

The Top 6 Tenant Responsibilities to be Aware of

Tenant Responsibilities

As a tenant in a rental arrangement, there are a lot of benefits: when something major breaks? You can just call the landlord! City taxes? Not your issues! But you do have some responsibilities, both legally and ethically, for being a good tenant. Make sure you stay on good terms with your landlord by following []

The post The Top 6 Tenant Responsibilities to be Aware of appeared first on Unpakt Blog.