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How To Move Your Car Across Country

in Long-Distance moving, Moving Costs by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you’re moving cross-country, one of the toughest decisions you can make is when to drive and when to fly. Even if you do choose to drive, there is often a second or even a third vehicle to worry about. With some proper planning and armed with a little information, moving your car(s) can be convenient and might even save you some money.

Some moving companies own car transporters, but most do not. However, your moving consultant will be happy to arrange for your car’s transportation through a highly reputable company.

Before moving your car, you want to ask yourself how valuable the car is to you. If it’s a family car, standard auto moving, which is on top of an open car transport trailer, is safe and appropriate. However, even the most careful car transport company can encounter road hazards and little scrapes and dings from debris. If the car is extremely valuable or a collector’s item, it could be beneficial to have your car moved inside a truck, keeping it out of the way of environmental harm. You can plan on enclosed shipping nearly doubling the cost.

There are several factors that go into the pricing of moving your car. To cut down on cost, you want to make it as convenient for the car mover as possible.

Know your car – The pricing of car transportation is based in part on weight and size. Know the make, model and year of your car. Notify the carrier of any modifications that could change the weight of the car. The car will be weighed. If you are moving across country, look to spend from about $750 to over $2,000.

Does the car run? – If your car doesn’t run, it will take a lot of expensive effort just to load it and unload it onto and off the truck. The car carrier will be able to handle the job, but it will cost extra.

Bring it to them – If possible, take the car to the car transport company’s lot, especially if you are outside a major metropolitan area. The further out of the way a company goes, the more it’s going to cost.

Take pictures – The car carrier will make a thorough inventory of the condition of your car, but taking your own 360 degree pictures will help if any issues should arise.

Prices fluctuate quickly – Much of the cost of moving a car, like moving anything else, is the cost of the fuel required to complete the move. Higher fuel prices will mean higher moving prices, and they can change from today to tomorrow.

Ninja Movers will be able to assist you with all your auto transport needs.

Is The Tenderloin Really The Worst Neighborhood In San Francisco? (VIDEO)

in Bay Area Real Estate, Real Estate by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

800px-Tenderloin_Street_Chess,_SF,_CA,_jjron_26.03.2012The Tenderloin, about 50 square blocks near one of San Francisco’s most posh neighborhoods, Nob Hill, is often considered the worst the city has to offer.

While the Tenderloin is probably not the best neighborhood to raise a child – the neighborhood is riddled with drug addicts and the people who serve them, prostitutes, gangs, guns and many homeless people. However, if you are young and adventurous, the Tenderloin offers a vibrant lifestyle and about the closest you might find to affordable in the city of San Francisco.

This video, by Benjamin Jenks, lovingly shows you the real Tenderloin, both the good and the bad.

While it’s still possible to find living accommodations in the Tenderloin for around $1,000 – $2,000 a month (although you are still looking at a minimum of about $500,000 to buy), the neighborhood might still be too raw for some people. If you want a compromise between the vibrancy of the Tenderloin and the staidness of Nob Hill, you might check out the TenderNob – located right where the two neighborhoods meet. Realtors might just call the neighborhood, “downtown.”

The Tendernob is hipper than Nob Hill and safer than the Tenderloin.

For a longer and more comprehensive look at the Tenderloin, watch this video by Matt Granger (some offensive language).

Winter – The Best Time To Move

in Local moving, Long-Distance moving, Moving Costs by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

oak-trees-a-clear-winter-dayFor a moving environment, you really can’t beat the Bay Area. During the summer, the weather is almost always dry and sunny and during the winter, well, the worst we see is rain. Despite that, fewer people move in the winter, even in the Bay Area.

If you have school children, moving during the winter might not be a viable option, but if you don’t or if you are moving within the same school district, a winter move can give you a lot more flexibility than a summer move.

Summer is by far, the busiest moving season. What that means to most people is that movers tend to get booked up fairly quickly and as a customer, you have little room for negotiation.

During the cooler months, all of that changes. Movers need you more than you need them, or so it seems. You should have a wide option of availability and the movers themselves will be less harried. Winter is also the best time to negotiate a deal, but you want to be careful. Too good a deal is still too good a deal, whenever you decide to move. So, here are a few tips to ensure that your winter move is a good value rather than just cheap:

1. Do your homework. Some movers are going to be desperate this time of year, but not the better ones. Good movers have enough of a following to keep them in business year-around. Get referrals. Check Yelp, Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau. Even a cheap move can be a ripoff if the mover is sloppy, inexperienced or even crooked.

2. Don’t trust too good a deal. Believe it or not, the profit margin on moving is very slim. A mover has to pay for gas, for the movers, for many materials used throughout the move and for other overhead. More than 20% off is usually an unrealistic figure with some exceptions. Either they will get it in other ways, like claiming that you didn’t uphold your part of the deal or they will cut back on quality.

3. If you do get a better than 20% off deal, find out why. There are times when giving fantastic deals is to the mover’s benefit. For example, if they have a move being delivered in your area, it might be better off for them to get some money for moving you back to their home base than for the truck to go back empty. For deals like this to work, generally you have to be very flexible with pick-up and delivery dates. In other words, fantastic deals generally require some give and take. Question a mover who offers you such deals without the give and take.

4. Don’t be too impressed by 60% or more off on a long-distance move. I’ll let you in on a little secret. For moves of more than a few hours away, most movers charged based on what is called a tariff. The vast majority of reputable movers use the exact same weight-based tariff, then they discount based on that tariff. The average discount is about 60%. It’s unnecessarily complicated, I know, but that’s how the industry works.

If moving in the winter is out of the question for you, it’s never too early to prepare for a spring or summer move. Before listing your home for sale, you should consider readying your home by storing all clutter and furniture that it mismatched or not in pristine condition. Ask about winter storage specials too. You might be shocked at the deals you can get.

Thanksgiving Pastrami – For This Year’s Hanukkah Thanksgiving

in Holidays by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

card_for_thanksgiving_and_hanukkah_thankgivukkah-r541576960ff24615ad378a4dee933491_xvua8_8byvr_512It’s rare, but for the first time in a long time, Hanukkah coincides with everyone’s favorite food and family holiday, Thanksgiving. The last time that happened was in  1888 and we’ll have to wait another 79,000 and change years before it will happen again.

For many, especially children, celebration can be a bit confusing and difficult to navigate. If done right, though, lighting Hanukkah’s second candle during Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be awkward. In fact, Hanukkah’s tradition of unwrapping presents can be made even more special and family-oriented with a Thanksgiving dinner. And aren’t both holidays really about giving thanks for blessings?

If you’re wondering what to fix for Thanks-Hanukkah, a simple addition like a turkey-shaped challah bread adds a Hanukkah flair to Thanksgiving dinner. Chef Danny Boweins suggests making a Thanksgiving pastrami. Here is the recipe:

Whatever you choose, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah from Ninja Movers!

Tour Of Bay Area Neighborhoods Part 2 – Sea Cliff

in Bay Area Real Estate by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

san-francisco-bay-2If at the end of the work day, you want to leave the hubbub of the city without actually leaving the city, Sea Cliff might be the neighborhood for you.

Sea Cliff’s opulent single family homes make it the perfect escape for the particularly affluent. With a median home price approaching $2 million, it’s no wonder the neighborhood is or has been known for high-profile residents such as Robin Williams, Sharon Stone, Cheech Marin, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and the late photographer, Ansel Adams.

One of the most appealing aspects of Sea Cliff is described by its name. It’s at the edge of the Pacific with views of the ocean, of the Golden Gate Bridge and of the Marin Headlands.

Sea Cliff is almost entirely residential with virtually no commercial presence. That means, that unlike many San Francisco residents, Sea Cliff inhabitants are not surrounded by shopping, but they are within walking distance. Better yet, they are within an easy walk or bike ride to many of San Francisco’s most sporting and adventurous experiences, including golfing, biking, hiking the rugged beach and the Presidio.

Happy Veteran’s Day From Ninja Movers

in Local moving, Long-Distance moving by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

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On this Veteran’s Day, Ninja Movers would like to take a moment to thank the brave men and women who have served our country. It is because of you that we have the freedoms that we so often take for granted.

In honor of our nation’s veteran’s Ninja Movers would like to announce that from this point forward, all American military veterans will receive a 10% discount on all moving services. It’s the least we can do.

For now, here are some fascinating facts about Veteran’s Day. For example, did you know that it wasn’t originally called Veteran’s Day? Here’s the video:

Tour Of Bay Area Neighborhoods, Part 1 – Pacific Heights

in Bay Area Real Estate by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

 

 

When much of the world thinks about San Francisco, they think of the affluence and beauty of Pacific Heights.

As with the rest of the Bay Area, when you rise in elevation, you rise in exclusivity. Pacific Heights is no exception. The area is best known for its Victorian architecture, its exquisite views and its shopping.

The neighborhood blossomed around the turn of the 20th Century as a new money alternative to the more established Nob Hill. Today, Pacific Heights residents can hold their heads high knowing that they are second to no one in opulence and beauty.

Watch this video as guide, Beverly Barnett takes us on a tour of the neighborhood, which is bordered by Van Ness and Presidio Avenues and Pine and Vallejo Streets.

Use Halloween As An Opportunity To Get To Know Your Neighbors

in Your New Home by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

At Ninja Movers, we love Halloween, however, today’s Halloween isn’t much like when we were growing up. Trick-or-treating is less and less common and people know fewer of their neighbors. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Even if you live in a neighborhood where trick-or-treating is a rarity, you can still make your home festive enough that maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to dole those fun-sized Snickers out to someone else instead of to your own waistline. Here are a few things you can do:

Make your house inviting – Turn on the porch light and have some decorations – the more, the better. A few pumpkins and some dollar store decorations should be enough. If you are artistic, carve some great faces on the pumpkins. If you’re not, no one will complain if they’re plain.

Talk to the parents beforehand – Take this as an excuse to introduce yourself to the new neighbors. Let them know that your house will be open to trick-or-treaters, but don’t be too pushy. That will come off as creepy. Just tell them something like, “Obviously, I don’t know much about Halloween around here. Just in case, I bought a lot of candy. You and your kids are free to come by.”

Give the good stuff – You might have been that kid that liked candy corn and those weird peanut shaped candies (what were those things?) but most kids don’t. Most kids do like chocolate, though and spring for the name-brand stuff. No one wants chocolately coated generic candy. Don’t give out dental floss or even pennies. Homemade treats, while well intentioned, will likely end up in the trash. The best idea is to have an assortment of name-brand candy and let the kids choose for themselves.

Be wary of allergies – Most parents will inspect Halloween loot bags before letting their kids dive in, but it’s not unheard of for a kid to grab a piece or two while on the streets. The most common food allergy is to nuts. Offer some candy that doesn’t include common food allergens. Dark chocolates without nuts are often safe, but you should check the labels. If that’s a little too risky for you, offer some non-food items like stickers and fun pencils. Kids with food allergies might understand receiving raisins or dried cranberries instead of candy.

Have a party – A kid friendly Halloween party is a great way to get to know the neighbors. Set up a small haunted house. Serve some Halloween themed treats and you are set to be the most popular Halloween house on the block.

Eating From Paper Plates And Other Annoyances Of Moving

in Preparing for a move by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

 

 

 

No matter what, moving will upend your life. Usually, it’s for the better, there are always inconveniences you won’t anticipate.

1. Eating on paper plates – In your eagerness to pack the most time-consuming things, your breakables, you pack away all your dishes.

2. Indigestion from too much takeout – You also packed your pots and pans.

3. On the other hand, trying to empty the fridge and pantry – if you aren’t tired of canned peaches now, you will be.

4. Gauging food consumption – Do you risk running to the store every day for a quart of milk or do you suck it up and buy a gallon, risking having leftovers on moving day?

5. That last load of laundry – Do you do a load on moving day or do you move dirty sheets and clothes?

6. What to wear – Planning your moving week wardrobe can be tricky, especially if you have to work. Otherwise, some jeans, sweats and some comfortable shirts should do it.

7. Entertainment – The books and games are packed. The TV is in its box and it probably is best to arrange the cable and internet hookup on days either before or after your moving day. Oh, well, music is better for packing anyway.

8. Firewood – Unless you have a lot, some things are best left with the new inhabitants.

9. All those magazines you’ve been collecting – Come on, it’s the 21st century. Scan the articles you want and recycle the paper, unless they are collector’s editions, and really, almost none of them really are.

10. Trash – Take it out or trust me, the movers will pack it. Remember, the old adage, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s not a mover’s job to make a judgment call and yes, people do use trash cans as packing containers.

For most of these quandaries, there is no right or wrong answer. Of course, it’s less of a problem when the movers pack for you, but there will still be some loose ends. The best advice I can give is leave a few needed items out until moving day and hope that you can balance the rest.

10 Things You Might Not Think About Before Moving – But Should

in Local moving, Long-Distance moving, Preparing for a move by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

It’s fairly easy to find advice on the obvious aspects of moving, like packing or hiring a mover, but there are several things that most people don’t think about and they can make the difference between a predictable and even pleasant move and a moving disaster. If you follow these few tips, your move might not be perfect, but you could be saved a lot of headaches.

1. Talk to your cities – You should contact both your current city and the city where you are moving. You should also speak to your management company or landlord if you rent and your homeowner’s association if applicable. Many cities and neighborhoods have ordinances regarding where moving trucks can park and what hours they are allowed. Some require permits. Be as specific as possible and exaggerate the time needed – it’s always better safe than sorry.

2. Talk to your neighbors – Many vigilant neighbors are on-guard for things like moving trucks. They are common tools of burglars. Neighbors can be very helpful during a move, even if it involves small things like them allowing the truck to block a part or all of their driveway. You also want to make sure that the street in front of your home is as clear as possible. That might require asking your neighbors to move their cars.

3. Try to schedule your move outside of rush hour – Most movers charge a flat fee getting to your move and returning from your move (unless you are moving out of your metro area), but you will be charged for the time traveling between homes.

4. Prepare your electronics – Always back up your computers. If you are packing your own electronics, remove CDs and DVDs. They are best packed in their original boxes with the original packing material, but you should always make sure they are packed securely and that nothing can move.

5. Prepare your appliances – If you have gas appliances, they should be disconnected by a professional. Most moving companies can recommend a profession to service your appliances. All appliances should be emptied and cleaned. Remove shelves and drawers from your refrigerator.

6. Make sure your appliances are compatible with your new home – Not all homes have gas lines for dryers or for ranges. If not, you might have to either install a gas line or purchase new appliances.

7. Don’t pack items that can’t be moved – The general rule of thumb is that if it’s flammable, corrosive or explosive, a moving company can’t move it. You can move non-corrosive cleaning fluids, but even those are prone to leak. They are best either left behind or transported in your own vehicle in a plastic container. Return your propane tank to the store. Some stores will be able to issue a certificate for an exchange in your new city.

8. Don’t pack small valuables – You should move all valuable jewelry, money and papers yourself. Valuable art and antiques can be handled by a reputable mover.

9. Measure the rooms and doorways in your new home – Often, people move their home full of furniture only to find that their oversized sofa or refrigerator simply doesn’t fit – either in the room or even through the door. If you have concerns as to whether your furniture will fit through the doors, contact your moving consultant. It could require a visit to your new home or at least a few measurements.

10. If possible, get rid of the children and the pets for the day – If you can have your children and your pets stay with family members or friends for a few hours, you might save yourself and the movers a lot of headaches. If you don’t have friends and family that can help, you can always contact child care and pet day care facilities. If that is out of the question, keep them out of the way as much as possible.

 

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