Archive for June, 2017

How You Can Avoid a Mess with Your Movers

Friday, June 30th, 2017
Movers

Use these tips to hire reputable, licensed, and experienced movers and avoid a stressful mess for your next move.

Moving is stressful, and buying and/or selling your home means moving. Is it possible to rid yourself of some of that stress by hiring professional movers? Yes and no. Believe it or not, there are pretty sad stories of lost, stolen, and broken belongings and surprise added charges told by those who hired professional movers. Avoid becoming the next moving horror story. Protect yourself and your belongings and make your move less stressful with a few moving tips.

9 Tips to Avoid the Stress Movers can Cause and Help Your Move Go Smoothly

  1. Research Movers Thoroughly

If you decide to hire movers, start early and take all the time needed to research moving companies thoroughly. Movers can steal, lose or recklessly damage belongings. Ask for references. Check reviews and the Better Business Bureau for ratings. If you’ll do your homework to make sure a moving company is reputable, licensed, and experienced, you’ll hire some great movers confidently. And just in case something should go awry, purchase insurance for your belongings.

  1. Book Movers In Advance

Moving companies get busy during the summer, just like real estate agents do. Start researching movers early, find one you can hire with confidence, and get on their schedule.

  1. Assess Your Belongings Honestly

Before you get a quote, assess your belongings with honesty. Your already high bill will only get higher if you end up moving more than originally discussed with your movers. Or worse, the truck they think will fit all your belongings won’t be big enough. Side note: If you downsize your belongings after receiving a quote, you could wind up paying more than necessary.

Find out whether or not the moving companies allow you to pay by the foot and what this entails. Paying by the foot means you pay only for the space you end up using, but you may have to share space with another customer.

  1. Ask About Labeling

Professional packers aren’t pros at labeling, so ask what their policy for labeling your boxes is. It’s quite common for movers not to label boxes, so make it your job to label each box as it’s packed. Label your boxes with your last name as well.

Here’s an idea our family used for our recent move. We created a moving legend (just an inexpensive notebook from Walmart) with tabs marked A, B, C, D, … (one letter for each room in the house which were color-coded to match the moving labels we purchased from Amazon). For example, we decided the A tab would be designated for everything packed from the kitchen, colored the A tab in the legend yellow, marked A1 in the moving legend in the A section, and listed all items packed in that box behind A1. (A1: measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatulas, cookie cutters, hand mixer, …) Then we marked that box with an A1 on three sides and slapped a yellow Kitchen label on two or three sides.

On moving day we put a yellow Kitchen label on the wall or door jam of the kitchen in our new home. All those who helped us unload the truck knew that all boxes with a yellow kitchen label were to go in the kitchen.

  1. Avoid Long-Carry Fees

Ever hear of “long-carry fees”? If your movers are unable to park the moving truck close to your home, they’ll tack long-carry fees onto your bill. Save yourself this added fee and the added time it will take to get the truck unloaded by blocking out close parking in advance. Park your cars in the spaces closest to the homes (old and new), use cones and signs, and talk with your neighbors to make sure the truck can be parked as close as possible on the day of the move.

  1. Measure Openings at the New Place

Measure the doorways and stairwells of your new home before moving day. Why? If movers are unable to get bulky furniture through openings at the new place, you’ll be forced to leave that furniture behind. You could ask for hoisting services, but that’ll cost you a pretty penny.

  1. Let the Movers Position the Big Stuff

Let the movers put the big stuff into position before they drive away at the end of moving day. Rugs and heavy items you can’t easily manage on your own should be put into position by the movers. Everything else can wait. Station yourself in your new home before the movers arrive to decide where you want the big stuff to go (and place those handy dandy moving labels on the door jams). Then be available to provide direction and answer the movers’ questions about your belongings.

  1. Read the Fine Print Carefully

At the end of the day you’ve moved into your new home, you’ll be “slightly” tired and ready for a long rest. This is the time the movers will ask you to sign off on the inventory sheet and your bill. Don’t give in to your exhaustion and just sign whatever the movers put in your hand without reading the fine print. Take the time to read everything before you sign anything.

  • Double check that everything that went into the truck actually arrived.
  • Carefully look over the bill and make sure there are no extra charges.
  • If you shared space with another customer, look inside the truck for belongings that may have been missed before it pulls away. Look closely for tiny items such as drawer knobs and shelf brackets, too.
  1. Locate the “Last-On, First-Off” Boxes

    You’ll appreciate this tip as soon as the movers drive away. Pack boxes labeled “Last On First Off” with bedding, pillows, pajamas, towels and washrags, toiletries, toilet paper, tissues, and cleaning and pet supplies. You get the picture, right? Then after the movers drive off, locate these boxes and prepare for a good night’s sleep! You will have earned it.

Hiring movers is stressful because moving is stressful, plain and simple. But there are things you can to do to keep your move from turning into a horror story. Minimize the stress. Do your research early, and hire a moving company that is reputable, licensed, and experienced. Need some referrals? Contact Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. With over 30 years of real estate experience in Brooklyn, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate knows about good movers.

How to Increase the Value of Your Home with Landscaping

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
Increase the value of your home

Landscaping, big or small, will increase the value of your home in Brooklyn.

You’ve heard the talk about the power of curb appeal. It isn’t just some urban myth that we real estate agents peddle. It’s a real thing, a powerful thing. And when you add landscaping to your Brooklyn property, you boost its curb appeal and increase the value of your home. Whether you spend a great deal of time in the yard of your Brooklyn home or not, landscaping is worth your time and investment. It beats out all indoor projects when it comes to increasing the value of your home! This is because any money you invest in landscaping is likely to pay you back a lot more than you invest.

How to Increase the Value of Your Home in Brooklyn

You may be wondering how you can increase the value of your home in Brooklyn with landscaping when the front and back yards have very limited space. Here are a few low-maintenance landscaping ideas to consider:

  • Add a front patio and a back patio if you don’t already have one. If you choose bluestone pavers, the only maintenance needed is an occasional sweep with a broom.
  • Plant perennials in a small planting bed in the front corner of your front patio. Russian sage, autumn sedum, blue carpet juniper and lavender are low-maintenance, fragrant choices.
  • Hang window boxes from your windows and grow Boston ivy along one side of the front steps.
  • In the back, plant a garden at the very end of the patio. If it gets full sun, a smoketree shrub would be a great addition. Shrubs and drought-tolerant junipers, such as blue carpet juniper, and Hollywood juniper add some color and don’t require a lot of care.
  • Ground cover and a nice layer of mulch are wonderful things. They keep weeds at bay and help retain moisture, plus they look good! Ajuga and pine-bark mulch are good choices to consider.
  • Hakonechloa grass next to the back wall of your house beneath the stairs is striking!
  • Find a good shade tree (about 15 feet tall) to plant in back. The Japanese zelkova is a good shade tree. It’s a favorite that can be found all over New York City.
  • Place a large planter with a pieris planted in it near the sidewall of your patio.
  • A long, built-in cedar bench with a spring-loaded lid is a practical addition that will increase the value of your home. Use it to store and easily access cushions and other patio gear.
  • If you’re interested in a more native landscape for your property, visit plantnative.org.

Add some outdoor furniture and a fire pit, and/or the relaxing sound of water, and you’ll have the best room in the house outside.

Small Landscaping Pays Off

Landscaping investments don’t have to cost a fortune. The return on landscaping can bring four times a small investment of $400 to $500. Research proves that landscaping adds valuable curb appeal to homes, big or small, and it adds to the value of your immediately. It also adds value over time as your trees and plants grow bigger and more beautiful. Decorating trends come and go, but landscaping endures.

It’s very special to have outdoor space in Brooklyn. With a little planning and a few well-chosen landscaping ideas, you will increase the value of your home. Enjoy your home now or enjoy the return on investment when it’s time to sell your Brooklyn home.

Not sure how much landscaping to invest in? Maybe you’re wondering which landscaping investments would be best to start with. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate professional, today at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected] He knows Brooklyn, and he knows which landscaping investments will increase the value of your home.