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    Heading North


    Contributed by Guest Blogger Sally Norton

    Moving to a colder climate requires certain preparations. Whether it's for work, fun, or just out of pure necessity, each relocation has its own adventures. However, if we add the weather into this equation, we have to look at the relocation from a whole other perspective.

    If you are a warm-to-cold newbie, this guide will be perfect for you. I will try to cover all the essentials of moving to a colder climate, in as many details as possible. Let's begin!

    Your body reacts differently when exposed to cold weather

    It is interesting to know how your skin reacts to the sun. When being exposed to the sun's rays, the skin generates vitamin D, which in return strengthens your immune system.

    Furthermore, if you expose yourself to the sun, you will feel less stressed.

    With this in mind, you may experience some mood changes when moving to a colder climate. Nevertheless, some people prefer winter, and they feel better when exposed to cold weather. My advice is, prepare yourself mentally for this change.
    Winterize your home, fix the windows and make sure your faucets don’t freeze Winterize your home, fix the windows and make sure your faucets don’t freeze

    Essentials of moving to a colder climate

    Once your mind is set, and there is no turning back, we can start talking about the essential steps when moving to a colder climate:
    • invest in winter clothes
    • get used to the cold weather
    • prepare your car for the road
    • stay healthy
    • stay active
    I can't arrange these steps in any particular order since they are equally important. Nevertheless, they are all connected.

    In the end, we will talk about buying or renting a winter house, and I'll also give you some general things to think about.

    Invest in winter clothes

    Imagine how would moving to Alaska from another state look like if you didn't layer up on time. Investing in real winter clothes will pay off in the long run. Wind resistant jacket, boots, and a sweater will be worth more than anything once you feel the cold.

    Getting used to the cold weather

    When moving to a colder climate, the hardest thing is to get used to the cold weather. However, the golden rule is to go out as much as you can. If you expose yourself to the wind and the cold, your immune system will develop. The biggest mistake is to stay inside.

    Don’t forget to prepare your car for the winter road
    Don’t forget to prepare your car for the winter road
    If you don't allow your body to get used to the cold, you will have higher chances of getting ill.

    Prepare for moving to a colder climate

    If you are relocating on your own, you have to prepare your car for driving in the cold weather. This means, go to your auto mechanic for a full checkup before you hit the road. Also, don't forget to put the winter tires and chains.

    On another hand, if you wish to move with a moving company, my advice is to search for the one with the most experience, like Verified Movers.

    Always stay healthy

    Do you remember how I said that all of the essential steps for moving to a colder climate are connected? Here is where you'll see it best.
    It is imperative to stay healthy during the winter. To protect yourself from getting ill, you'll have to dress warmly. Here is where investing in winter clothes pays out.

    Also, we talked about regularly going out, so you can adjust to the cold weather.

    Next, you have to stay hydrated and eat well. Drink tea and other hot beverages to keep yourself warm at all times. And above all, always be on the move. But, more about this in the next section!

    Always stay active

    It is crucial to stay active when exposed to cold weather. Always find something to do. This way, you'll improve your blood circulation. Also, your body generates heat when being active. This is another reason to keep yourself busy.

    Winter time is perfect for outdoor activities, so always stay active

    Winterize your home

    Moving to a colder climate also means that you'll have to winterize your home. It is a challenging task, but also a necessity. First, check your windows and doors for the draft. If there is anything you need to repair, do not hesitate.

    If your new place has an attic, check if it's well insulated.

    Outdoors, make sure you drain garden hose and store it. If it freezes, it may tear apart. Also, don't forget to shut the water to the faucets.

    Clean the gutters so the melted snow and debris can run off of the roof.

    Knowing these steps will also make it easy if you are buying a new house. You'll know in advance what is important, and what to look for in a winter home.

    Some things to think about

    When moving to a colder climate, people are always busy doing relocation preparations. In all of the commotion, they might overlook some important details.

    For example, if you are moving with pets during winter.

    For instance, if you have a dog, think about its needs. Dogs require to be taken outside every day, multiple times. If it's cold, you have to think about how to keep them warm. Some breeds like the cold weather, some don't.

    If you have a parrot, never put the cage close to a drafty window. They may die if exposed to the cold wind.

    Pets require special attention, especially during winter

    Moving with children

    Moving to a colder climate with children is a sensitive topic. Always keep them warm. It is smart to bring some medicine with you, just in case they catch a cold.

    If you wish to dress your kids for the cold weather, always use multiple layers. However, many parents overdo it out of fear. If your kids wear too many clothes, they will start to sweat, and it will be easier for them to get sick.

    Stay safe on the road

    I hope this little guide helped you to prepare when moving to a colder climate. Keep in mind that cold weather means winter sports! There are lots of fun activities to do in the snow.

    So, dress well and have a safe trip!


    Pre-sale Tips to Use Now


    by guest blogger Bob Vautour and Pillar to Post Home Inspections

    Pre-sale Tips to Use Now

    Many home sellers often overlook easy and relatively inexpensive fixes that not only increase visual appeal, but may also add to a home’s selling price. While major remodeling is costly and may not address the needs and tastes of prospective buyers, these repair and maintenance suggestions have universal appeal and may help a home sell more quickly – and for a better price.

    • Bathrooms and the kitchen must get a deep cleaning. Sellers should consider a cleaning company that offers “move in / move out” cleaning services to do the job.
    • If kitchen cabinet exteriors are in bad shape, refacing may be an option. Far less expensive than new cabinetry, refacing can give old and worn cabinets new life and can visually renew a kitchen. Alternatively, many cabinet materials can also be painted, for an updated look without costing a lot.
    • Consider replacing kitchen or bathroom counters with a neutral colored laminate surface if the current material is badly worn or stained. This gives the room a fresh appearance and, most importantly, prevents potential buyers from focusing on an eyesore.
    • Fresh paint on the walls and ceilings will do wonders for all rooms in the house. Stick to neutral tones so that buyers aren’t distracted by colors that make a statement. They’ll be able to imagine themselves and their furniture in the space much more easily.
    • If carpet now covers up hardwood floors, consider having it removed to expose the hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are desirable, so they should be shown off. If carpet is to remain, it should be thoroughly cleaned.

    • If the home’s exterior needs painting, get it done. Buyers notice if paint is faded and peeling. If the paint is in good shape overall, renew the doors and trim with a fresh coat.
    • Clean the windows inside and out so they sparkle. It’s amazing what a difference this can make in a home’s appearance. Hiring a professional window cleaning company is the easiest and safest way to get the job done on a multi-story home.
    • Clear clutter from the yard, keep the lawn mowed, and trim any overgrown shrubs that detract from the home’s appearance. The home should look well maintained even at first glance.
    • Place pots of bright, colorful flowers along an entry path and near the doors to add a cheery, welcoming touch.
    Homeowners should save major remodeling projects – and the budget required – for their new home, not the one they are about to sell. But implementing some of the steps above can increase the appeal to prospective buyers without a huge investment in time or money.
    Bob Vautour
    Franchise Owner and Licensed Home Inspector
    License #137
     907-375-9155 | Online | Email


    Moving Day: How Pet Owners Can Get Through It Safely


    Moving Day: How Pet Owners Can Get Through It Safely
    by Guest Blogger Cindy Aldridge

    Photo via Pixabay
    Moving day is always filled with lots of activity and motion, and almost always it comes with stress and unforeseen mishaps. When you have a lot on your mind, it’s easy to overlook some of the details that come with buying and selling a home and getting all your belongings to the new place without a hitch. Unfortunately, for pet owners, this can sometimes mean that beloved pets suffer anxiety, injury, or even emotional distress, so it’s important to stay organized and have a good plan in place before the move.
    The best way to start is by making lists of everything that needs to be done. Having it all in front of you -- and being able to cross off the things you’ve completed -- will not only keep you organized, it will also help you feel accomplished and allow you to move on to the next goal. Plus, it can help you delegate jobs so that everything doesn’t fall to you.
    Here are a few tips on how to make it through a move while keeping your pets safe and happy.
    Keep your routine
    It can be difficult to keep up with your normal routine during the sometimes chaotic weeks leading up to a move, but it’s important for your pet to feel that nothing has changed. Some animals have high anxiety about change, and a move can be a big deal to them, leading to behavioral issues and problems with eating and sleeping. If you have a dog, take him for a walk every day, give him dinner at the normal time, and keep your packing materials in one place rather than having them scattered all over the house. If you will be working long hours in preparation for the move, consider hiring a dog walker to come and step in for you.
    Give him lots of love
    Even the most well-behaved pets can have trouble with minding their manners if they feel they’re being neglected, so give your pet lots of love and attention during this time. Take time every night to cuddle, have playtime, and engage with him, and encourage your family to do the same. This will keep him happy and set his mind at ease.
    Take him to the new home
    Before the move, take your pet to the new house, and, if possible, let him explore the area. This way, he’ll have an easier time getting used to the new place and the transition won’t be so harsh when he encounters so many different smells and sounds.
    Keep him out of the way
    On moving day, keep your pet out of the way by asking a friend to come and entertain him or take him to their house. Or, you can designate a room at the back of the house where can hang out away from all the action. Give him some treats and keep the shades drawn so he won’t see all the commotion, and communicate with everyone in the house -- family and movers alike -- about keeping the door closed. Not only will this keep your pet safe during all the activity of the day, it will give you peace of mind about his whereabouts.
    Give him familiarity
    After the move, you might be tempted to throw out old toys and food dishes; don’t. Keeping his familiar belongings around, even for just the first few weeks in the new home, will help him acclimate to his new digs and ease the transition. Place these things in areas that are similar to where they were in the old house, especially if your pet is older or has mobility issues. One new thing you will want to add is an air purifier. Stressed out pets shed more, leaving more smell and dander behind. Research models online to make sure you get one with a pre-filter to trap larger particles and an activated carbon filter to address pet odors.
    Moving is a big process, and it requires quite a bit of planning to execute well. Don’t leave things for the last minute if you don’t have to. A well-orchestrated move requires certain steps. Ask for help from friends and family to ensure that the day goes smoothly for everyone.


    Fall Market Trends


    The 2018 Anchorage real estate market is flat meaning prices have remained mostly stable compared to the previous year. Despite a small drop in inventory the average price of a single family home in 2017 was $366,000 in Anchorage (approximately the same as 2016). Meanwhile, housing inventory has gone down with fewer homes listed for sale on the market – but not to worry – this figure is said to be reflective of a “return to normal” according to housing market data (ADN). There is room for gains in the future.  
    What does this mean for buyers and sellers?
    For now Buyers are benefitting the most as prices haven’t risen dramatically and there are still enough homes listed to surpass demand. The last quarter of 2018 marks a good time for those looking to buy since sellers are competing in a flat market and may use price drops to incentivize buyers. While buyers may have fewer options to choose from, they should be able to find affordable homes. Sellers should remain optimistic too, however. The stable prices point to a healthy trend in the housing market. Anchorage has one of the highest population turnovers in the U.S. with last year marking the fifth year in a row where more people moved out of state then in state. These and other factors mean in theory the market could be down far more. For now, Anchorage and the greater region are doing well when you consider the current factors.
    Other trends could increase market demand significantly, including changes in oil prices, Arctic exploration, military expansion and tourism, among other factors.
    Want More?
    Stay tuned for more Real Estate news from Northern Trust Real Estate. We know our city and all it's neighborhoods --Anchorage is our home too so you'll know that we can help you find the house that you can call home!


    3 Ways Back-to-School Affects the Market


    Back-to-school season is here and its a busy time for all! If buying or selling a home is on your list of to-dos this fall we've got you covered. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

    1. School District Boundaries Matter
    School districts are a major consideration for buyers: A study on Realtor.com found that among Buyers surveyed, “23%  would pay 1-5 percent above budget” while "20% would pay 6-10 above budget” to live in a home in a specific school district. For many potential buyers, school district boundaries serve as one of the primary concerns factored in when shopping for a home. As a seller you want to have your house on the market by mid-July to ensure it is featured prominently – especially if you live in a sought-after school district.

    2. Brace for Market Challenges
    Be aware: Brace for challenges if selling family homes, 3 (or more) bedroom units, multi-level homes etc. Traditionally the market slows down with these family-style units ---especially around this time. Don’t let the stress overwhelm you as the market tends to pick up in Mid-August after school starts. Prepare for a slow period and be ready to advertise across multiple channels.
    3. Some Properties Still Sell Fast
    Among the slow market challenges, some homes traditionally sell well regardless of the season. This includes but is not limited to retirement communities, condos and Town Homes. It might make sense to prioritize your energy on family homes during this period -- but as always treat it case-by-case and see what works. 

    Sources: https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/back-to-school-home-search-tips/

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