NAVIGATING THE HOME INSPECTION PROCESS

NAVIGATING THE HOME INSPECTION PROCESS

The home inspection is part of the home buying and selling process and is a crucial part of any home sale transaction. As a buyer who has finally found the home of your dreams and had your offer accepted, it is easy to overlook a few details in the excitement. The home inspection is a very important resource for you, as it is like a grade card for the house you are buying. However, there are some things the home inspector will not or cannot inspect and you may want to bring in other professionals to have a total understanding of the health of the house you are buying.

First, let’s cover what home inspectors do check. It is important to keep in mind that the inspector can only check what he/she can see without opening walls or digging in the ground. Sometimes- like during winter months where there may be snow on the roof- the inspector may not even be able to access the areas to inspect. Typically, home inspectors will check the following areas from outside to inside.

  • Grading: The grade of the land should slope away from the house so that moisture and water run away from your foundation. If it doesn’t, the inspector will let you know.
  • Roof: Inspectors will look at the roof for any potential damage or leaks and will also check the vents and gutters for damage.
  • Foundation: While the inspector usually won’t look at the foundation (because it’s underground), he or she can identify  issues that indicate foundation problems, such as cracks or settling.
  • Garage or carport: The inspector will evaluate the garage door to make sure that it’s operating correctly and the garage to see that it’s well-ventilated. If the garage has a door that leads to the interior of the house, the inspector will check that it is fire-proof.
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): An inspector will evaluate your HVAC system to see that it functions correctly. Typically this inspection is solely that it turns on and blows cool air. Obviously ducts in the walls will not be inspected, but exposed ducts will be checked for leaks or asbestos.
  • Walls: The inspector will look at your siding and check for missing or damaged pieces, cracks, or signs of pests underneath. He or she will not comment on the stability of the walls.
  • Electrical: An inspector will check your home’s wiring, testing how the outlets and GFCI perform to prevent any shocks or potential electrocutions. They will check your electrical panel to make sure it doesn’t present a fire hazard. They will not inspect the type of wiring your potential new home has.
  • Plumbing: The inspector will check all sink faucets and showerheads to evaluate the water pressure and will check visible pipes for leaks. He or she will also check the state of the main water shutoff.
  • Bathrooms: The inspector will check the bathroom for obvious leaks, ventilation and any other issues. An absence of windows or fans will be noted as the lack of ventilation could lead to mold or mildew problems.
  • Kitchen appliances: Inspectors may will sometimes check appliances to see whether they work. Ask ahead of time if these are covered in the inspection. Many inspectors will not comment on the appliances and a home warranty is recommended.
  • Laundry room: The inspector will make sure this room is well-ventilated and free of fire hazards.

So, what isn’t covered? It really comes down to what the inspector can see with the naked eye. Issues that may not be addressed in an inspection include those associated with the following:

  • Electrical wires
  • Foundations
  • Sheds or wells
  • Areas behind the walls
  • Mold, asbestos, radon, etc.
  • Chimneys
  • Insulation

This list provided by House Logic is a great tool to use to know who to turn to beyond the inspector.

If you need help navigating any aspect of the home buying or selling process, contact me by phone, text or email! (614) 332-4391 lori.hicks1@outlook.com

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7 Home Features Buyers Want in 2017

7 Home Features Buyers Want in 2017

Interior design trends come and go so quickly it is tough to tell what home buyers will be looking for from year to year. Some trends are not worth the investment, but some trends become the staple features that buyers seek year after year. Knowing which home features buyers are looking for will give you an advantage when upgrading your home to put it on the market!

According to research conducted by the National Association of Home Builders earlier this year, even though the generations and demographics of buyers vary, there is a consensus on these 7 features home buyers want in 2017. The popularity of these home features is not going away anytime soon, so if you are thinking about selling, these 7 choices are good areas to invest in.

Image result for laundry room ideasSEPARATE LAUNDRY ROOM

A separate laundry room is at the top of the list as the most desired home feature in 2017. Buyers don’t want a laundry space that is tucked away in a closet or an afterthought in the corner of the basement. Laundry is a big part of life- especially for growing families. Having a laundry room which is large enough and appropriately designed for folding clothes, piling up dirty clothes or ironing is a huge benefit, as it helps keep the mess out of the rest of the home.

CARPET-FREE MAIN LEVEL

Home buyers are opting for hardwood, laminate and vinyl flooring on the main level. Carpet on the main level, especially in the dining room, is a thing of the past. Not only do hardwood floors give a home a nice sleek look, they’re also cleaner, easier to maintain and more durable than carpeting. Laminate and vinyl floor technology has advanced so much in the past ten years that is is difficult to tell that these types of floors are not really wood or tile. Laminate and vinyl flooring provide a more affordable, more durable option than real hardwoods, however real wood floors can be refinished and updated for years to come. Chances are even if you have new carpet on the main level, buyers are picturing your house with hardwoods.

Home features 2017

FREESTANDING TUBS

A bathroom with both a tub and shower is a common home feature buyers look for and essential for young families. Over the years, the tub/ shower combo became the standard with home builders. Buyers now look for separate tubs and showers and the jetted tub of the early 2000s is out. A free standing tub adds a little piece of luxury that appeals to home buyers and it looks more expensive, more up to date and more relaxing.

EXTERIOR LIGHTING

Exterior lighting is the #1 most desired outdoor home feature in 2017. Exterior lighting indicates an attention to detail that lets buyers know you’ve thought of everything and have taken great care of your home. Buyers are moved by emotion and an illuminated home that highlights landscaping can improve the aesthetics of a home and set a mood. Even if buyers do not see your home at night in person, Including professional photos of your home lit up at night with beautiful exterior lights will create the ambiance you want.

Kitchen - farmhouse sink, dark wood floors, stainless steel appliances, backsplash...I'd probably do a different cupboard color, but overall love this. -MH by josefa STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES

Kitchen trends are big on buyers lists and stainless steel appliances have been a popular home feature for more than five years now. This is one feature that experts say is not going away anytime soon. Buyers equate this home feature with a recent remodel, indicating that the appliances are new. This means that they can move right in and not have to worry about upgrades and updates.

SMART FEATURES

Just about everyone has upgraded to a smartphone and this is one trend that is never going backwards. It is wise to get your home up to date and compatible with smartphone technology. Smartphones have the ability to access your home’s security systems, heating and cooling systems, and various devices via apps that make it even more sell-able. Smartphone apps which connect to your home give you the opportunity to improve efficiency and control home systems from wherever you are.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

In addition to smartphone updates, adding energy-efficient windows can help cut heating and cooling costs by 12%, an ENERGY STAR appliance like a washing machine can help save a homeowner $40 or more a year on utility bills and an ENERGY STAR Certified Home uses 15-30% less energy.

Want more advice on investing in upgrades before you list? Call, text or email me!

 

25 Things To Put On Your Ohio Summer Bucket List

25 Things To Put On Your Ohio Summer Bucket List

Summer in Ohio-what could be better?! Summer here is full of options from day trips to local culture, outdoor festivals and entertainment. Our parks and natural areas are alive with visitors looking to hike, mountain bike, canoe and look for wildlife. Our Urban areas shine with colorful gardens, public art, walking tours, and fresh and locally sourced foods and drinks.Not to mention that our zoos, theme parks and outdoor water parks are world renowned. If you are lucky enough to live here, you should have these 25 things on your summer bucket list!
  1. Watch the Fireworks in your home town
  2. Visit Amish Country to sample the goods and indulge in a great dessert
  3. Head to Lake Erie and kayak around the islands
  4. Set up a tent and camp in your own backyard
  5. Take a hike in Hocking Hills
  6. Attend an Outdoor concert
  7. Catch fireflies
  8. Circle up to a campfire and make some s’mores
  9. Head to the Farmer’s Market or a local fruit & veggie stand
  10. Go Fishing
  11. Take a night to star gazefireflies.jpg
  12. Read a book by the pool
  13. Make a meal with family and friends and try to duplicate one from your favorite restaurant
  14. Spend a day at the Columbus Zoo
  15. Have a picnic at Alum Creek State Park
  16. Run or walk a 5k for charity
  17. Host a water fight themed party
  18. Grill something unique (like sweet pickle spears-yum)
  19. Go out on a boat
  20. Visit a farm
  21. Make root beer floats
  22. Visit the ice cream place you went to as a kid
  23. Have lunch at a winery
  24. Eat on the roof top or patio at one of our great restaurants
  25. Ride a Roller Coaster
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy living in Ohio! If you need help finding your dream home in Central Ohio, call, text or email me! (614) 332-4391 lori.hicks1@outlook.com
5 Ways To Reach Your Down Payment Goals

5 Ways To Reach Your Down Payment Goals

When you think about buying your first home, there are all kinds of wonderful, warm emotions: excitement, happiness & joy. Home buying is truly a step that is life changing and provides a sense of accomplishment and pride. It can also be overwhelming if you are not sure how much money you need for a down payment or how you are ever going to save that money. Before you get to the good stuff about buying a home, you need to plan your down payment strategy. Here are 5 ways to get your down payment funded and accomplish your home buying dreams!

LEARN ABOUT ALTERNATIVE LOAN PROGRAMS

There is a common misconception among first time home buyers that you need 20% of the home’s value for a down payment. There are many programs out there to help people buy a home with a small down payment, some of which only require 3 to 3.5% down. For example, FHA mortgages can require as little as $7000 down on a $200,000 home. The downside of going with a lower down payment is the addition of mortgage insurance which is the lender’s way of covering their risk with the smaller down payment. Mortgage insurance (PMI) will be added to your mortgage payment, but can be dropped after your balance due on your mortgage falls below 75% to 80% of your homes value, depending on the program.

Some lender programs go even further, offering a 3% down payment with no mortgage insurance for first home buyers. The best way to begin is to check with your regional bank or lender to know what options are available for you.

CROWDSOURCE

You may have heard of people using sites like Kickstarter to fund creative projects and start up businesses. Why not use a similar option to crowdsource your first home? Check out sites like Feather the Nest and Hatch My House to raise your down payment. Hatch My House says it’s helped Americans raise more than $2 million for down payments. Getting married? Register for down payment assistance instead of traditional gifts.

ASK THE SELLER

In a tight market like we are experiencing in Columbus, asking the seller for down payment assistance may be tougher than in other markets, however if you have a great offer in all other ways-the seller may be open to it. When sellers want to a sell quickly, they might be willing to assist you with the closing costs. Saving money on closing costs means you have more to put down on the house.

Let your agent negotiate the terms and the percentage of closing costs the sellers are willing to pay. There are limits on concessions depending on the type of mortgage you get. For FHA mortgages, the cap is 6% of the sale price. For Fannie Mae-guaranteed loans, the caps vary between 3% and 9%, depending on the ratio between how much you put down and the amount you finance. Individual bnks have varying caps on concessions

LOOK INTO GOVERNMENT OPTIONS

Believe it or not, the government provides many options for down payment and closing cost assistance based on income level, profession and veteran status. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a number of programs,  typically available for people who meet particular income or location requirement. HUD has a list of links by state that direct you to the appropriate page for information about your state.

HUD offers help based on profession as well. If you’re a law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, or EMT, you may be eligible under its Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program for a 50% discount on a house’s HUD-appraised value in “revitalization areas.” Those areas are designated by Congress for  homeownership opportunities. And if you qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage under this program, the down payment is only $100; you can even finance the closing costs.

BORROW IT

If  you just can’t come up with your down payment on your own, it doesn’t mean that you can’t live your dream and buy a home. There are many options available for borrowing the funds you need.

Personal loan. A bank might be willing to make you a personal loan to use toward your down payment. You will need good to excellent credit to qualify for an unsecured loan, so know your credit score and be diligent about keeping your score   or above.

401k or IRA assets. If you have retirement savings in a 401k or IRA, you may be able to borrow up to the lesser of $50,000 or 50 percent of your 401k plan balance, and first-time homebuyers may qualify for an exemption of up to $10,000 from early IRA withdrawal penalties. Just be advised that some 401k plans require the immediate repayment of loans if you leave your current employer.

Borrowing from family If a bank won’t give you a loan, you might have a relative who is willing to do so. This arrangement may be formal or informal, but you might want to document the repayment and interest terms in order to qualify for the mortgage interest deduction.

Peer-to-peer lending. A new twist on borrowing from a friend is to use peer-to-peer lending sites like Prosper or Lending Club to find people who are willing to lend you money as an investment.

Need more assistance and advice? Call, text, email or contact me on social media!
Bidding War? Be Ready To Win It With These 5 Tips!

Bidding War? Be Ready To Win It With These 5 Tips!

Are you ready to buy in this hot housing market? Purchasing a home in the type of market like we are experiencing in Columbus and the surrounding areas this year can be tough. A great economy means more and more residents are moving in and the number of homes on the market can’t keep up. Get ready to buy with these five tips, and you will be prepared to move quickly and win out even if there is a bidding war!

oneGET YOUR FINANCES TOGETHER BEFORE YOU SHOP

You wouldn’t go to the grocery store without your wallet and without knowing how much money you have to spend. Shopping for a home works the same way in a tight real estate market. Get pre-approved for your loan and have your lender prepare a pre-approval letter. Many sellers will not even show their house to buyers who are not pre-approved. If you can, bring cash to the table. Cash is appealing to a seller because it indicates that you are ready with both a down payment and to cover any gaps if the appraisal comes back low.

2MOVE QUICKLY & BE THE FIRST OFFER

If you are quick enough to be the first buyer to make an offer, the seller will see you as a serious buyer and the sale of their home a reality. This is not the time to make a low-ball offer. Trust your agent about the offer to go in at. When there is a lack of listings and a ton of buyers, sellers will not bother countering a low-ball offer. They will just move on to the next buyer.

3

INCLUDE AN ESCALATION CLAUSE

Only the market can dictate what buyers are willing to pay for a house. If you are confident with your offer based on your research and comps and then get outbid, it can be very frustrating. An escalation clause allows you to keep bidding automatically as other offers come in. The escalation clause is an amount of money a buyer agrees to increase his/her offer to, if there are other bids and is possibly the single best tool you can utilize in a bidding war!

Let’s say the purchase price of the home is $300,000, but you expect it could go as high as $350,000. By putting an escalation clause into your offer, you are saying you are willing to go as high as $355,000 for example. Make sure, however, that the clause also identifies how much over the top bid you are willing to pay. In other words, if your competitors only go as high as $330,000 in the example above, the seller can’t expect you to pay $355,000. Instead, if you have indicated you would pay $1000 over the top bid, (under your initial level of course) then in the example, when your competitors highest bid is $330,000, you would end up winning the bidding war and paying $331,000.

4BE SMART- KEEP YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK

Buying a home, especially in a hot market, can be very emotional. You have to make quick decisions about a purchase you may keep for 30 years. It is natural to get caught up in the moment when there is a bidding war and overpay for your “dream home”. This is where it is important to be smart about how much you can afford and how much you truly love the house.

5LOVE IT? LET THEM KNOW

If you really do love the house and want to let the seller know, take time to write a letter. Work with your agent to get the letter to them and be specific about how you envision yourself and your family living in and loving their home.

“When we sold our house in 2016, we had 10 offers in the first 24 hours! Our agent made us a spreadsheet of all the offers and I was surprised to receive 4 letters from buyers who took the time to tell us why they really wanted to live in our house. It was tough to decide, but we were able to pick the best fit for our house and our neighborhood! We knew who would fit in well because we had lived in the community for so long. All of the offers were from qualified buyers, so the letter really was the way we made our decision!”

 

 

3 Herbs That YOU Should be Growing in Ohio

3 Herbs That YOU Should be Growing in Ohio

Ohio is a perfect state to grow almost any garden vegetable, flower or plant that likes moisture and sun. Herb gardens have grown in popularity lately because they are easy to grow and provide a great return. In addition to the many things you can do with herbs, these plants have the perfect relationship with Ohio’s insects-attracting the ones you want and repelling those that you don’t. Whether you are an avid gardener or have just enough space for a few potted plants, these 3 herbs should be at the top of your list!

LAVENDER

This easy to grow herb is pretty in your garden or yard and smells amazing. There are also many uses for lavender, making it a great, low maintenance plant that gives back in a big way!

If you’ve ever been around when lavender is blooming, you know how well it attracts bees. Bees are great for your garden as they help pollinate other plants and flowers. Lavender also attracts butterflies, hoverflies, and other beneficial insects.It keeps mosquitoes, flies, and moths away, and is a common ingredient in natural and homemade bug sprays.  It even repels fleas and ticks, making it great to have around your pets.

Not all lavender is, well, lavender in color. Varieties of this fragrant herb come in shades of purple and blue ranging from light to dark, as well as white, red, pink, and even yellow-green. Group several plants of one color together for a strong visual impact. 'Richard Gray' is a hybrid lavender with blue-violet flowers and silvery, woolly foliage, while 'Nana Alba' is a dwarf English cultivar with very fragrant white flowers. It grows compactly and will bloom again.

Lavender can also be dried quickly and added to many foods, drinks, bath and body products, and more. It is truly one of the most versatile herbs!

ROSEMARY

I love rosemary because it is easy to grow in Ohio, it smells amazing and there are so many practical uses for it here in the summer. Not only is rosemary a good herb to add to meals, rosemary is a natural antiseptic and can be used for cleaning, as well as for your own health. Stuffy from summer allergies? Boil a couple of dried sprigs of rosemary and then breathe in the steam to help clear congestion.

Rosemary also provides natural insect repelling qualities, especially when it comes to For an all-pure strategy to get mosquitos off the visitor listing at your subsequent outside .... Check out more at the picture: mosquitos. Place rosemary over an open grill or in your outdoor fire pit to keep mosquitos away. You can also make a homemade mosquito repellent by combining these ingredients in a mason jar:

– 1-2 Lemon Wedges
– 1-2 Lime Wedges
– A couple sprigs of Rosemary
– Water (fill remainder of jar with water)
– Active Ingredient: Lemon Eucalyptus oil (7-10 drops)
– Floating Tea Candles

MINT

Growing mint will keep your yard and garden buzzing with good, beneficial bugs. Mint is rich in nectar and pollen, and its small flower clusters keep helpful bugs such as honeybees and hoverflies coming around.

Mint is a fantastic container or garden herb, and so versatile. Mint needs regular water and picking, but the return is worth it! You can use mint for everything from tea to mojitos, to mint and coriander chutney, to a diy sunburn remedy. Try fresh mint on your ice cream for a deliciously refreshing summer treat.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A HOME WITH A YARD AND A PLACE TO GARDEN? I CAN HELP!

Call, text or email me :) (614) 332-4391 lori.hicks1@outlook.com

7 Amazing Backyard Barbecue Hacks for Memorial Day

7 Amazing Backyard Barbecue Hacks for Memorial Day

Summer barbecues should be easy and laid back, like summer itself! If you are hosting a backyard barbecue for Memorial Day, try these 7 summer party hacks that will give you more time to hang out with your guests and make you feel like a genius.

Backyard barbecueSERVE UP SOME FUN

Keep drinks chilled with frozen water balloons instead of ice. This is an easy, decorative solution that makes clean up easy. When they melt, use the balloons for an outdoor game.

Sttore drinks in an easily accessible drink tub or cooler.  Separate “kids” drinks from “adult” drinks. Tie a bottle opener to the handle of the “adult” drink tub or cooler.

USE MASON JARS … FOR EVERYTHING

Mason jars are inexpensive, versatile and they look pretty at a bbq! Drop tea lights in them for mood lighting, give each guest one for their drinks and have them label them with their name, store utensils in them, catch fireflies…the possibilities are endless.

KEEP CONDIMENTS ORGANIZED

Use muffin tins to serve your condiments. Each compartment gives you the perfect space for catsup, mustard, relish, mayo, onions, tomatoes, etc. To make it even easier, use craft sticks as serving utensils and mark each one with a sharpie.

PLAN FOR SUN

Place chairs in shaded areas around the yard and put up umbrellas on the deck. For added protection, provide sunscreen in a clearly marked area when guests enter the backyard. Our favorite idea is a simple garden plant hanger and a metal or plastic tub which can be found at the dollar store.

LIGHT IT UP

Create ambient lighting by making lantern lights out of clear plastic cups and strings of white lights.  Count the bulbs on a strand of holiday lights and cut X’s into the bottoms of the same number of small cups. Then push a bulb through each cup’s center!

HANG YOUR SNACKS

Save table space and make a fun snack station by clothes pinning snack size bags of chips and pretzels on strings that you hang from one place to another!

SET OUT A NO MESS/ NO STRESS ICE CREAM STATION

Pre-scoop a variety of ice cream flavors into scoops in muffin tins or onto baking sheets and keep them in the freezer. When it is time for dessert, guests can serve themselves with pre-made scoops. Need an alternative to ice cream? Create faux ice cream cones with cotton candy!

Backyard Barbecue

If you are looking to buy or sell this summer, email, call or text me! Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!

(614) 332-4391   lori.hicks1@outlook.com

 

2017 TOP HOME REMODELING TRENDS

2017 TOP HOME REMODELING TRENDS

In Central Ohio, the passing of winter into spring is a time for celebration. The sun is up earlier and stays out later, the grass and trees are green as can be and the flowers are in full bloom. Spring is certainly a time for renewal and new energy and this is the most popular time of year for homeowners to make improvements to their homes, yards and outdoor living spaces. Whether you are a homeowner or looking for your dream home, here are a few of the 2017 home remodeling trends you may see this year!

Kitchens are the most commonly remodeled home in the house. The kitchen is the heart of the home and it tends to be the centerpiece for entertaining family and friends.

25-beautiful-paint-colors-for-kitchen-cabinets-apieceofrainbowblog (3)2017 Home Remodel Trend #1: Colorful Cabinets in the Kitchen

Multi-colored cabinets are big this year. This trend combines staining and painting on the same cabinet or using a combination of cabinets in the kitchen. Some home owners choose one color on the lower cabinets and a different color on the uppers, or island. And it doesn’t end at neutral tones like wood, white and gray. The multi-color cabinet trend is leading cabinet makers and even big box stores to keep colors like robin’s egg blue and sea foam green in stock. Blue is very fashion forward this year, according to Columbus Interior Designer, Courtney Burnett.

“From dark shades of navy to bright turquoise tone, blue can be very versatile in the kitchen.”

Are you a fan of DIY? Click the image to learn about all the beautiful kitchen cabinet colors you can paint yourself from blogger Ananda at A Piece of Rainbow

2017 Home Remodel Trend #2: No More Bathtubs

A trend that builders started to see in 2016 and is still going strong is replacing the bathtub with a luxury shower. Families are so busy these days that the relaxing, jacuzzi style tubs just aren’t being used. Instead, home owners are opting for large, walk in showers. The addition of a built in sit-down shower bench is also popular, as are dual shower heads.

2017 Home Remodel Trend #3: More Bathrooms Please

Over the past few decades, builders based their standard floor plans on a traditional family of four, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Families are growing, as well as the number of children who move back home after college and aging parents who move in later in life. This has increased the demand for additional bathrooms and those that are attached to each bedroom.

2017 Home Remodel Trend #4: Basement Finishing & More Living Space

The Basement, which formerly was viewed as storage and laundry space, is now being seen by home owners as additional living space and a great place for recreation. Finishing the basement typically costs a third to half of what it would take for above-ground construction. Basement finishing can increase your square footage, in some cases just about double it and this is a great selling feature if the basement is finished correctly. Make sure you know the rules for making your basement livable space. Learn more by clicking here.  

2017 Home Remodel Trend #5: Outdoor Living Spaces

outdoor living 2017Home owners now use outdoor areas as additional living space and an area to entertain. Wide open yards are a blank canvas where you can make a big impression. Extending indoor comforts into outdoor spaces is the top outdoor living trend for 2017.

“The cold, modern concrete look is on its way out, as is wrought iron and plastic faux-wood furniture. This season, it’s all about natural materials, retro-inspired style, and cool, soothing colors.”- Taysha Murtaugh, Lifestyle Editor, Country Magazine

Learn more about this trend on my blog LET’S TAKE IT OUTSIDE by following this link.

Looking to buy or sell your home? I can help. Call, email or text me!

(614) 332-4391 lori.hicks1@outlook.com

FOLLOW THESE 5 TIPS WHEN SELECTING A MOVER

FOLLOW THESE 5 TIPS WHEN SELECTING A MOVER

Chances are you have gone through a lot already just to get to the moving process. Now it is time to find a mover and the process of selecting the right mover can seem daunting. However, with a little research and investigation, you can avoid hidden fees and surprises along the way. With these 5 tips, selecting a mover will be the easiest part of your move.

mover tip #1

ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS:

Why start from scratch when you know people who have been down this road before? Ask friends, neighbors, coworkers, and your real estate agent about which mover they would recommend and then visit any moving companies that have offices near your home.

 

mover tip #2

GET A FREE ESTIMATE:

Only choose movers who offer a free, in-person estimate of how much your move will cost. Never rely on an estimate over the phone or from  someone who hasn’t looked in every one of your closets. This will help you avoid hidden fees and an underestimation of how much stuff you have to move.

#3

CHOOSE A LICENSED & INSURED MOVING COMPANY:

Moving companies in Ohio should be licensed by PUCO (Public Utilities Commission) and be able to provide you with license numbers. Commercial transportation companies in Ohio are public utilities under the jurisdiction of the PUCO. The PUCO registers motor carriers and ensures they adhere to state and federal safety standards. Most moving companies will indicate on their websites if they are licensed, making them more reputable than ones who are not.

“When a moving company says they are insured, this means that should your items be broken during the course of the move, you will be compensated. The level of insurance, however, is not always clearly understood by the customer. Some moving companies have base-level insurance policies in place that compensate you for breakage or loss of items on a per-pound basis. This per-pound cost is often less than a dollar a pound, and would not even begin to cover the cost of a lucrative item. Be sure you understand fully what the insurance will cover before you sign a contract accepting it and request additional insurance if necessary. Most companies have higher levels of insurance for an extra fee.”-USA Moving Companies

mover tip #4UNDERSTAND THE PRICING MODEL:

Ask how the moving company charges for your move. Is it an hourly charge or determined by weight? Is there a minimum charge? Learn about any additions to the base charge you were quoted. These could include charges for travel time to and from each location, moving hours on the weekends or evenings and even charges for flights of stairs, narrow doorways or difficult parking areas. Finally, ask if the quote can be changed on moving day. If the estimator did not do a thorough job giving you a quote, you should not have to pay for the miscalculation.

mover tip #5

KNOW THE CANCELLATION POLICY:

Moving is full of challenges and changes. Your moving day may change for a variety of reasons, so make sure you ask and understand the cancellation policy and change fees. It is highly uncommon to encounter a moving company that asks for a deposit up front, so beware of a scam if your mover asks for one.

NEED ADDITIONAL MOVING TIPS OR HELP FINDING YOUR NEXT HOME? Email, call or text me! 

(614) 332-4391   lori.hicks1@outlook.com

 

 

 

31 THINGS TO DO THIS MAY IN THE COLUMBUS METRO AREA.

31 THINGS TO DO THIS MAY IN THE COLUMBUS METRO AREA.

May is here and it just might be the best month of the year in Ohio!

The month of May is named after Maia, the Roman goddess of fertility, and this is the month we celebrate the blossoming buds of flowers as nature prepares itself for summer. Central Ohio and the Columbus Metro area is a wonderful place to spend time outdoors in May! Not sure what to do with all 31 days?

Here is a list of 31 things to do this month in the Columbus area.31 Things to do this month in Columbus

  1. Explore one of our great Urban Parks. Scattered throughout Central Ohio, we have 19 beautiful metro parks; including Blacklick Woods, Inniswood Metro Gardens, Highbanks, Scioto Audobon, Three Creeks Metro Park, Battelle Darby Creek Park & many more. Don’t miss the Inniswood Annual Plant Sale- May 6th & 7th!
  2. Eat on the Patio. Living in Ohio, we know when to make use of good weather! Try a new restaurant or an old favorite and eat outside.
  3. Shop at a local store. Celebrate local artisans and shop owners in one of our shopping districts- Short North, Grandview, German Village and more.
  4. Go to a Clippers Game! Spring and baseball, it just makes sense.
  5. Take a Walk in a New Neighborhood.
  6. Celebrate Cinco De Mayo! May 5th is Cinco de Mayo, so why not join in the fun by making some guacomole? Take 3 ripe but firm avocados, peeled, pitted and slightly mashed and add 2 tbsp. of fresh lime juice, along with 1/4 cup each of chopped onion & jalapeno. Add 1/2 cup chopped cilantor, 2 tsp. of kosher salt and a 1/4 tsp. of black pepper. Visit the Columbus Zoo.
  7. Go on a Columbus Brew Adventure.
  8. Take in a Concert. We have a variety of venues and concerts all year long in Columbus. Alice Cooper comes to town May 16th at Express Live or if rock is not your thing, Opera Columbus is rounding out its 2016-17 season with “Carmen”, May 3,5 & 7th.
  9. Visit an Art Gallery. Columbus offers exhibitions for any taste! Check out the Columbus Museum of Art which has been here for 140 years and has permanent collections, or explore the many smaller, specialized galleries in the Short North Arts District.
  10. Host a Derby Party. The Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 6th. Get out your fancy hats and throw together some mint juleps, then let the racing begin! Add sugar and water (or simple syrup) to a glass or julep cup. Add mint and lightly muddle, being sure to swab the sides of the glass with mint. Fill glass half full with crushed ice. Add bourbon and stir.
  11.  Laugh out Loud. Laughs are not hard to come by with so many comedy options in Columbus. We have Shadowbox Live, Whiskey Bear Comedy, Comedy Collection, The Funny Bone and many others. May 9-16th is the second ever Whiskey Bear Comedy Festival!
  12. Go Antiquing.
  13. Tackle a D.I.Y. project.
  14. Do Brunch.
  15. Volunteer and Give Back. Check out Columbus Gives Back for weekly volunteering opportunities this month!
  16. Go to the Asian Festival and Dragon Boat Race. May 27-28th.
  17. Take a tour of Graffitti Art in the city. 
  18. Eat ice cream from a cone.
  19. Go on a picnic.
  20. Play the Penny Slots. Feeling lucky? Spend a night or two gambling at Hollywood Casino. 
  21. Image result for rustic bridge roadFind the Kissing Bridge.- Rustic Bridge Road in Clintonville. 
  22. Grab a Waffle at Taste of Belgium.
  23. Plant Flowers for Mother’s Day. 
  24. Buy Eggs from a Local Farm.
  25. Try to Escape! Check out Lockdown Columbus Escape Room.
  26. Watch Golf. The Memorial Tournament is May 29-June 4th at Murfield Village.  
  27. Go to the Pool. Memorial Day is May 29th and many pools open on this day!
  28. Run a 5K. 
  29. Look for Arrowheads. Central Ohio is a hot spot for arrowhead hunters and May is the perfect time to search after farmers disc their fields and turn over the earth. Get permission from the land owner and go hunting!
  30. Put Together a Neighborhood Kick Ball Game. 
  31. Light up Your Outdoor Space with Fairy Lights. Any white lights will do to get your outdoor spaces ready for summer nights!