Monday, July 30, 2018

Moving with Pets: 9 Tips to Keep Tails Wagging

Holly's dogs, Oliver and Coco, haven't had to endure a move.
But Holly she does restrict them to the laundry room
when she has work done to her home. 

1. Update your pet’s tag with your new address.

Make sure your pet’s collar is sturdy and correctly sized. The tag should also include your mobile number and e-mail address so that you can be reached during the move.

2. Request veterinary records.

Ask your current vet to send your pet’s medical history directly to the new vet. Have their contact information handy in case of emergency or if the new vet has questions.

3. Keep a week’s worth of food and medication with you.

You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. Take the same precaution with special therapeutic foods.

4. Seclude them from chaos.

Keep your pet in a safe, quiet room on moving day with a clear sign posted on the door. There are many light, collapsible travel crates available, but ensure it is well ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers. Also, introduce your pet to the crate before the trip.

5. Prepare a pet first aid kit.

Include your vet's phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for use on bandages, nonstick bandages, towels, cotton swabs, antibiotic ointment (without pain relief medication), and 3% hydrogen peroxide.

6. Play it safe in the car.

Use a crate or carrier in the car, securing it with a seat belt. Never leave your pet in the bed of a truck, the storage area of a moving van, or alone in a parked vehicle. If you’re staying overnight, find pet-friendly lodging beforehand and have kitty litter or plastic bags on hand.

7. Get ready for takeoff.

When traveling by air, check with the airline about pet requirements or restrictions and whether you must purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you.

8. Prep your new home.

Set up one room with everything your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, scratch post, and toys. Keep windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised, and beware of small spaces where nervous pets may hide. If your old home is nearby, give the new home owners or neighbors your phone number and a photo of your pet, in case your pet tries to return.

9. Learn about local health concerns and laws in your new area.

If you’re moving to a new country, contact the Agriculture Department or embassy of the country to obtain specific information on special documents, quarantine, or costs related to bringing your pet into the country.

Source: REALTOR® Magazine

Monday, June 11, 2018

Free (or almost free) Father's Day fun in Springfield

Saving money delights Dads of all ages! Treat Dad to some FREE (or affordable)
Father's Day fun.

June 17: Dads play free at Itty Bitty City.

June 17: Dads and Grandpas play free at the Discovery Center.

June 17: Free admission for Dads at Dickerson Park Zoo.

Not free but still fun:

June 16: Hands-on chocolate tour + a quick and easy DIY BBQ rub gift at Askinosie Chocolate.

For Dads and Grandpas with older offspring:

June 17: Father's Day screening of "True Grit" at Alamo Drafthouse.

Monday, April 23, 2018

How much house can you afford?

Sometimes, what you want and what you can afford are two different things. To figure out how closely they align, you need to assess how much you can actually put towards a new home.

Here are the factors your lender will consider to determine this:
  1. The down payment
  2. The closing costs associated with your transaction
  3. Your monthly mortgage payment
Down payment requirements
Most loans require a minimum down payment of between 3 and 5 percent of the total loan, depending on the type and terms of the loan. If you are able to come up with a 20 to 25 percent for the down payment, you may be eligible to take advantage of special fast-track programs and possibly eliminate mortgage insurance. There are a variety of loan programs available for buyers and even some that don't require a down payment. We can help you find a qualified lender who can help you figure out which loan is best for your financial situation.

Closing costs
In addition to the down payment, you have to pay fees for loan processing and other closing costs. They can include fees for home inspection fees and title company. These fees must be paid in full at the time of the final settlement, unless you are able to include these in your financing. When you apply for a loan, your lender will provide you with a good faith estimate of all settlement fees and an estimated total house payment based on an anticipated sale price. Of course, these numbers are only estimates.Your lender will let you know an exact figure closer to the closing date.

Your monthly mortgage payment
Most lenders require that your monthly payment be between 28 and 34 percent of your gross monthly income. They also figure in how much your mortgage payment along with all of your other expenses and financial obligations will be each month. In general, they want your total monthly expenses to fall between 36 and 45 percent of your gross monthly income. 

The goal is to figure out how much you can afford realistically. Just knowing this will save you countless hours in your search for the perfect home. We can put you in touch with a competent lender and walk with you through this process. Just give us a call.

Source: Murney Associates, Realtors