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All The Best Ways To Deal With A Nightmare Of A Neighbor

in Advice, Your New Home by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Don’t Let a Bad Neighbor Ruin Your Life

If you live in a city or in a suburb, the last thing you want to worry about is a bad neighbor. Your house may be beautiful. Maybe you got it for a bargain, by Bay Area standards, but a single nightmare of a neighbor can ruin it all.

Be Proactive

Do Your Homework

If there’s a dispute over land use or a fence, document everything and check with the city about laws and property boundaries.

Discuss the Problems

If a situation begins to build, address it head on. Talk about any impending problems with your neighbor before they turn into a major incident. Listen and don’t take things personally. If your neighbor believes your son vandalized his home, and you know he didn’t, assure your neighbor that you will talk to your son and make sure it doesn’t happen again. If that doesn’t solve the problem, offer to help your neighbor figure out who did it.

Talk to Your Other Neighbors

Your other neighbors could be allies, especially if they have had run-ins with the neighbor before, but don’t make the mistake of badmouthing your neighbor. Approach the situation by saying something like, “our neighbors, the Smiths, feel that our dogs are too loud. Do you feel that way as well?” If the other neighbors agree, it’s time to bring your dogs inside or hire them a walker. If they don’t, perhaps they’ll offer some advice on dealing with the other neighbor.

Involve the Law

If your neighbor is a true nightmare, and they are breaking laws, call the cops. If, though, it’s a civil issue, consult a lawyer or a mediator. Use this as a last result because there’s no going back after involving the law.

If your complaint is below $7,500 in California, you can take your neighbor to small claims court.

Image: CC0 Creative Commons, by mohamed_hassan/2956, via Pixabay

8 Things to Consider When Moving to A New City

in Advice, Articles, Long-Distance moving by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

You’ve got a new job, or maybe you are dating someone and your relationship has progressed to the next level and you find yourself moving to a new city. Your emotions are a mixed bag of nervousness, excitement, and apprehension, but you are ready to make the big move.

There are many things to consider when moving to a new city. We want you to be prepared and ready to take on this big change in your life and know all the possible costs so that you will find it a joyful experience and not one that you are dreading.

Job Selection

If you are moving to a new city for a significant other, this is something that may impact your decision. If your career requires that you teach people how to ski but where you plan to move stays warm throughout the year with no snow, you may have to re-evaluate your career path.
Before you take the big jump, check out some online job listings and see if any of them would be a good fit for you. You may also want to get a local phone number to remove any questions about where you live.

If you are already relocating for the sake of a job, be sure that you are making the correct move and that there is room for progression in your chosen career. Your significant other may want to stay back for a while until you have had a chance to get through the probationary period and your job is more secure and appears to be long-term.

The Cost of Living

The cost of living varies quite considerably from one city to another, let alone one state to another. Will you be paying double the rent? Will food or utility costs be increased? Or perhaps your rent will be significantly cheaper, but maybe your salary will reflect that, how will you handle making less money?

The way to be successful with this sort of change is to make sure that you budget your money well. Not just in relation to the money you will need once you get there, but also to cover moving costs, even possibly long-distance movers, sending over your belongings and having to do without until everything arrives (for example, no pots and pans means lots of take-out food.)

Do I Know Anyone?

You may or may not be moving with a companion, but even if you are, if they are the only other person you know, this will be a challenge. Leaving family and friends and then moving to a new city where you will have to make friends again takes time, and not everyone finds that easy to do.

Add in costs of traveling back and forth to see family and friends, and you may find this quite stressful. Try to build new connections quickly by going out for a drink with coworkers after work or by joining a group activity that will include meeting people with similar interests to yours.

If you are planning on making the big move by yourself, finding an apartment to rent that comes with a roommate may also be a great way to make some friends and meet some new people. This will also be a great way to save the cost of having to cover a place all by yourself.

How Will I Get Around?

Moving from a city that is known for its great public transit system to a new city where everyone drives may come as a surprise. It will also directly affect your commute to work as well as how you get around the city; you may not even currently own a car.

Taking a taxi everywhere or having to buy or even lease a car would be another added expense, plus, another change to the routine you have done for a long time. Do a test run to see if this is something you could handle on a daily basis and be sure to do your research before calling any committing to the move.

What Will I Take with Me?

You may already have a 12-piece dish set, two couches, and the comfiest bed in the whole world, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to take it all with you when you move to a new city. You will have to make some sacrifices and some tough decisions; a detailed list will help with this.

Think of this move like the beginning of a new relationship, when you first start dating someone you may leave a few of your favorite things over at their place; your move to a new city will be the same. Take the most important stuff, and if the move becomes more serious, that is more permanent, you can consider having someone send your comfy bed.

Selecting a Storage Unit

And while we are on the subject of leaving some personal possessions behind, you will need to set yourself up with a storage unit to hold onto the things that you cannot take just yet. Be realistic with the size, if you have a lot of large pieces of furniture you will need a larger unit, if however, it is mainly boxes of knickknacks and smaller items, a smaller unit will be in order. Your mover can help you decide what size storage unit you need and most can even store your items.

Learn About the City

Moving to a new city and not being prepared with what to expect is the fastest way to hate it the moment you get there. Do some research into the city and find out what it has to offer. If you really like museums, visit the city’s museums. If you love microbreweries see if there are any in the area and perhaps select your new apartment to be close to some popular ones.

By putting in the time to get to know a city before you make the big move you will find yourself feeling excited to experience all that it has to offer. And be sure to find a similar place to your current city that will make it feel more like home.

If, for example, you like to go for a walk in the woods, see if you can find a nearby park or wooded area in your new city to help ease the transition. Don’t be too quick to compare your old city with the new one either, learn to appreciate the differences.

Embrace Your Homesickness with Some Comfort from Home

Maybe there is a bakery just around the corner from your current home that always makes the most delicious scones or a café that makes the best coffee in all of the city. Get a friend or loved one to make a care package with the missed items and get them to send it to you.

Moving to a new city can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. By being prepared and therefore helping to eliminate any unexpected negative surprises, you will find that you will experience a smoother transition to your new place of residence.

If you have made the decision to move but haven’t found a place to rent yet, then be sure to check out some great listings here.

Author’s Bio

Danielle thrives on researching and writing on all aspects of life. Further to writing for Zumper blog and personal finance, she is an advocate of self-improvement and living a life that is both financially responsible and knowledgeable. When she is not on her computer, she can be found spending time with her husband and two sons.

Featured image via PublicDomainPictures.net.

Six Things You Can Do To Make Sure Your Move Goes As Smoothly As Possible

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

The vast majority of complaints against movers are about delays, broken items and extra charges. In fact, you might hear so much about that sort of thing that you almost think the complaints are unavoidable. They aren’t.

Featured image via Pixabay

These six steps will make your move go as smoothly as possible

1. Get at least three estimates

Even if a friend insists you have to use their mover, remember that even the worst movers have some happy customers. Do your homework. Check their online reviews. Verify that each mover you’re considering is licensed — their licensing information should be on their websites. After you do all of that, invite at least three movers to give you estimates. Don’t just go by the cheapest, though. Examine each estimate and make sure they are comparing apples to apples. If one mover says they can do the job in 10 hours and another in four, there’s something wrong. Look closely at the inventory lists to make sure nothing is left off.

2. Ask your mover for packing advice

Many customers want the movers to pack for them, but for those who don’t, ask for packing advice. Ask how many boxes you need, and what kind. Ask how to pack certain items, especially breakables. If your mover isn’t willing to offer you advice for free, choose a different mover.

3. Ask about weird things that might need to be packed

I always like to tell people that if it isn’t furniture, it needs to be in a box. That includes pictures and mirrors, lamps, electronics and in many cases, even mattresses. If you aren’t prepared, your mover will pack these items, but you will pay.

4. Take pictures of the place you are moving into

In most cases, movers don’t see the place you’re moving into until they arrive with a full truck. There may be situations, though, where the destination address can add to the cost of the move. Take your phone or tablet on a virtual tour, including from the place the truck would park to the front door. Send the video to your moving estimator.

5. Tell your property manager you’re moving

Many buildings, especially elevator buildings, require people to reserve specific slots for moving. If your mover shows up and your building won’t let you move, you will still pay in most cases.

6. Reserve parking spaces

In many cities, like San Francisco, if your moving truck needs to park on the street, you may need to reserve the space.

Five Ways To Help Your Friends Move Without Destroying Your Back

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Back in the day, moving meant wrangling all your closest friends (and hopefully someone with a pickup truck), springing for pizza and beer and hoping everything and everyone ends the day in the same condition as they started.

A few years have passed. Now we hire pros to help us move. That doesn’t mean we stop needing our friends. If you have friends who are moving, you don’t have to feel helpless and you don’t have to sacrifice your back. Here are ___ ways you can help your friends move:

1. Cook something

Even if your friends haven’t yet packed the kitchen, the last thing they want to think about is cooking and who wants to eat pizza or Chinese food every single meal? Your friends might not have time to accept a dinner invitation, but if you bring the dinner to them… Just don’t forget plates and utensils.

2. Help sort

Packing and purging can be difficult and time-consuming. Even useless items might have memories attached. A neutral party might be just the help your friend needs. Sure, that old stuffed animal might remind her of when her daughter was young, but wouldn’t a digital picture of the ragged toy work just as well? Does your friend really need to hang on to that chip from the charity casino? Perhaps you can gently remind your friends what really matters and help them save money and time.

3. Help pack

Packing can be a little back breaking, but no where near as bad as moving furniture. Offer to help pack a box or two. Any little bit will be appreciated.

4. Shop

Even when people are trying to eliminate stuff, they are using stuff. Your friends might find themselves short on some necessities, or perhaps they need packing and cleaning supplies. Odds are you’re going to the store anyway, so why not offer to pick things up for your friends?

5. Babysit kid or walk dogs

Pets and young children can get in the way or even freak out during moves. Help your friends out by offering to care for their loved ones, even for just a few hours.

Featured image via PublicDomainPictures.net.

21st Century Solutions For Not Being Hit With Extra Charges At Your New Home

in Advice, Moving Costs, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Even the most diligent moving consultant can miss one giant piece of the puzzle, the new home. While in most cases, the new home shouldn’t add much to the moving price, there are circumstances where the unknowns can add up. There are ways to avoid any sort of extra charges.

Long carry

When you receive a moving estimate, don’t be surprised if you get some questions about the distance from where the truck can park to the front door. If it’s longer than say, 100 feet, you are charged extra based on the amount of stuff you have. If it’s a local move, it will add to the number of hours.

Stairs

Movers don’t specifically charge more for stairs inside the home, but if there is more than one flight of stairs to get to the front door, you will pay extra. Even if the stairs are inside the home, it could require an extra mover and it will certainly add to the time.

Obstructions

People don’t give much thought to the obstructions that might impede a move. For example, my home has shrubbery next to the front walk that could prevent movers from carrying big items through. Fortunately, there’s a quick workaround in my yard, but that’s not always true. If you can’t clear your new home of obstructions, you should at least notify your mover so they can prepare.

Shuttle

Shuttles are typically only a factor in long-distance moves, but they are very costly. Most interstate moves are performed in a 53-foot tractor-trailer. Some homeowner’s associations have rules against tractor-trailers. If your new home is on a winding or hilly road, it’s often physically impossible for a truck to get through. Shuttles can add a shocking amount to the move, and for good reason. There is a lot of labor involved.

Every time a shuttle is needed, the movers have to call in another truck, often a rental. Then, all of the items are transferred from the big truck to the smaller one before the movers finally unload the contents of the smaller truck into the new home.

Storage

If your new home isn’t ready for delivery at the time the movers are ready to deliver, they will charge you for storage, often by the day. If your goods need more than a day or two of storage, the mover will charge you for unloading the truck, and then when you’re ready for delivery, loading it.

How to avoid extra charges at delivery

No one wants that hit of extra and unexpected charges. That’s how a good company can get a bad reputation, often through no fault of their own. Fortunately, there are advantages now that we didn’t have even a few years ago. Take your moving estimator on a virtual tour of your new home through your smartphone, laptop or tablet. Show them where a truck might park, how your front door is accessed and whether there are stairs.

Save money by letting your movers know in advance that your new home won’t be ready. Many movers offer one month of storage for free or at a dramatic discount, as long as they can store at their home base. Things get very expensive for the mover, and for you if they have to rent storage space.

Featured image via Pexels.

How To Pick A House That Will Work For You And Your Pets

in Advice by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

House hunting in the Bay Area is all about compromise. You want two baths, but everything in your price range has one. You’d love an open concept home, but none are in your price range. One place you can’t skimp, though, is on your furry friends. If the house won’t work for them, it will be miserable for you.

How to pick a house for your pets

It might seem weird to pick a house with your pets in mind, but think about it. If the house isn’t pet friendly, you will end up spending a lot of time and energy and possibly heartbreak making up for the fact that your new home just isn’t pet friendly.

1. Make sure your pets are legal

When you buy, you expect that your pets are no one’s business, but most municipalities have limits on numbers and kinds of pets. Many HOAs have size limits and at some condo and townhouse complexes don’t allow pets at all. Be sure to check before signing any papers.

2. Make sure the yard is ready

Do you have a yard? Most dogs like to use grassy areas to relieve themselves. Often a small patch will do, as long as you are diligent about cleaning it up. Are there thorny or poisonous plants? Is there a fence and does the fence have holes? Is the gate secure?

3. Are the streets busy?

When moved from a relatively remote area to a busy street. Our indoor/outdoor cat is still adjusting to being a strictly indoor cat, but he’s safe. Be sure your neighborhood is safe for pets or don’t let them outside unless in your backyard or on a leash.

4. Does your house have stairs?

If you have an elderly dog, especially a large elderly dog, stairs could be a problem. Even if you have a young dog who’s too big for you to lift, you might avoid stairs. Most dogs have trouble with stairs once they reach a certain age.

5. Is the home set up for your pets?

If you have a large dog, you want to make sure that you can arrange the furniture so you have planned of room to walk around and so that your dog will have plenty of room to roam. If you have a cat, you will want to make sure there are places for litter boxes and for a cat tree. Even small dogs need a feeding and comfortable sleeping area.

6. Does your home have carpet

Carpet and pets are not always the best fit. Pets are notorious for staining carpets, and sometimes dogs will mark new homes while you’re not looking. Once a urine stain makes it through the carpet pad, it’s almost impossible to remove. Cats can be even more destructive to carpets. Even if you keep their claws trimmed and give them plenty of places to scratch, they can still scratch up your carpet.

Featured image via Pexels.

The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Stuff Before You Move

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

If Americans are good at anything, it’s acquiring stuff, and when you’re moving, it means dealing with years, if not decades of acquired stuff, much of which hasn’t been touched in a very long time.

If you haven’t used or worn something for a year or two, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself if you really want to move it. Why should you, the more stuff needs to be moved, the more you’ll pay…sort of.

Allow me to explain. If you’re moving long-distance, you pay buy weight, so the less you have to move, the lighter the weight. If you’re moving locally, you pay by time. A handful of boxes here and there won’t make a noticeable difference on time, but if you are doing a major purge, you will definitely save money. More importantly, a purge is a way to give yourself a fresh start, and isn’t that part of what moving is about?

What are the best ways to get rid of stuff?

When purging, there are basically three options: sell them, donate them or throw them away.

Sell your items

When selling goods, there are a few ways to go. There are several apps where you can list your goods. Even Facebook now has a Marketplace. Tip: If you go the route of directly selling goods to strangers, bring a friend. You can also sell through Ebay.

Direct sales might bring in more money, but it’s potentially risky and it’s time consuming, and if you are moving, you probably don’t have a lot of extra time. Another option is to sell through consignment sites and consignment stores. You’ll do best consigning if your goods are relatively high-end and in very good condition. Regardless, never try to sell stained or torn items.

Donate your items

You won’t get money for your old goods if you decide to donate them, but you can get a decent tax deduction. Here’s a great article on some of the most common donation charities. You might prefer a more local option as well. Even when donating, make sure your items are in good condition.

Dispose of your items

For the items that aren’t in good condition, or things like old mattresses, disposing might be the only sanitary option. Call your local municipality or your local trash company. Most have available bulk item pickups.

Featured image via Unnar Ymir Björnsson/Flickr.

How To Prepare Your Home Office For A Move

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

It’s one thing to haphazardly throw your clothes in a box. The worst that might happen is some wrinkles. When it comes to your home office, though, a little organization now will save you weeks of headaches and it will get you up and running in the quickest amount of time possible.

If your home office’s organizational system needs a little improvement, like mine, now is the time to organize it.

1. File, shred, scan or do something with every single piece of paper

If you don’t own a good diamond cut shredder, buy one. Create files for taxes, for insurance, for investments, for credit cards, for utilities, for your home, for pets, for medical files, etc. A good filing system will make your life so much easier in the future. HGTV has some great hacks for creating a good system.

If you don’t need to keep the originals, and even if you do, it’s always wise to scan important papers and store them on an external hard drive. Separate out the really important papers like house deeds, car titles, Social Security cards, birth certificates, passports, etc. Move those yourself.

2. Label all cords

If you’re like most people, you have a drawer full of charging cords and no idea where they go. One is probably from that 2007 flip phone. It’s time to go through every cord. If it matches an item, label it with a sharpie and a bread tag. If it doesn’t, take it to an electronics recycling facility or to a store like Best Buy.

3. Back up your hard drive

There are several cloud and external hard drive options. Many prefer the latter for security, but the cloud has the advantage of being indestructible and you can’t lose it. If you back everything up to an external hard drive, take it with you.

4. Disassemble your electronics

Electronics are one of the items we typically recommend that movers pack, but if you do decide to pack electronics, first disassemble them. Label the cords just like the cords above. If you have the original boxes, those are always preferable, but if you don’t, you can purchase boxes from your mover. Here are some tips.

If you have any questions or you need some help packing your home office, Ninja Movers is here for you.

What To Do If Your New House Has A Bunch Of Hidden Problems

in Advice, Real Estate by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

With our housing boom, home buyers don’t have a lot of clout in today’s market. Unfortunately, to purchase a home, many buyers have to forgo protections like home inspections before purchase.

That doesn’t mean that if you don’t have an inspection, you have no rights. In most cases, it is the seller’s obligation to disclose major problems like with foundations, roofs, mold and pests. If a seller neglected to tell you about a major problem, you might be able to sue, but you might not.

Home sellers are required to give truthful information about home defects they know or should have known about. Most states, including California, do require home sellers to complete several disclosure forms describing their homes’ general condition. Home sellers can never deliberately withhold from potential buyers knowledge about their homes’ condition that could later pose problems, such as lead paint or termites. However, homes in states such as California are also presumed to be sold “as-is.”

Source: SF Gate

Even if your home purchase was an exception to the disclosure low (such as a foreclosure, a family transfer, a judgement, etc.), you can ask the seller to fix the problems, although you could risk them saying no and you could risk them rejecting your offer.

The best tactic might be to hire an inspector anyway. Factor anything the inspector finds into the offer, even with the competitive market. If you can’t afford to fix a home’s major problems, it’s not the home for you anyway.

Another tactic is to wait on what you can. If the roof still has a couple of years on it, or if the plumbing only clogs occasionally, you can gamble that the real estate market will continue to rise and that you can take out a home equity loan to fix the problems. If, however, the safety and integrity of your home is at stake (such as with foundation or electrical issues), it may be best to move on.

If you’re already living in the home, though, you are probably stuck because in California, homes are sold as-is. If you sell, you will have to disclose the problems to future buyers though. Some repairs might be delayed by hiring a handyman. For example, a foundation issue might just need a French drain. A roof might just need patches, as might some pipes. Even electrical issues could have bandaid fixes, but be careful.

Six Things You Should Never, Ever Have A Moving Company Move

in Advice, Posts, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

When you hire a moving company, you have a right to expect a lot. A good moving company is expert at moving everything from basic furniture to priceless antiques; from framed posters to masterpieces. There are some things, though, that you should never have your movers take with them.

Image via <a href=

Pixabay,” width=”960″ height=”725″ class=”size-large wp-image-10223″ /> Image via Pixabay,

Valuable Papers

Experts always recommend that in case of fire or natural disaster, always take your valuable, irreplaceable papers with them, if at all possible. The same holds true when you move. While your movers can be trusted, papers like deeds, car titles, birth certificates and social security cards are far too valuable to trust with anyone. More importantly, moving insurance doesn’t cover the loss of valuable documents.

Image via <a href=

Pixnio” width=”960″ height=”636″ class=”size-large wp-image-10221″ /> Image via Pixnio

Expensive Jewelry

As with valuable papers, moving insurance does not cover valuable jewelry. If something is important enough for you to lock up, move it yourself.

Imagine via Pixabay,

Imagine via Pixabay.

Guns

While technically movers can move unloaded guns, loaded guns are out of the question. It’s simply best to move firearms yourself.

Image via Pixabay.

Image via Pixabay.

Plants

Moving trucks are a horrible environment for plants. They are hot and dry and they get absolutely no light. While plants might survive a short trip, they can be surprisingly expensive to move. Moving trucks are meant for stacking and you can’t stack plants. It’s also difficult to prop up plants without packing the pots in boxes.

Image via Wikimedia.

Image via Wikimedia.

Pets

For most people, it goes without saying that they should make other arrangements to transport pets, but you’d be surprised at how many customers ask that movers take their non-furry friends like fish, snakes and lizards. Moving trucks don’t have a lot of air and they can get very hot. Move all pets, including the non-furry kinds, yourself.

Image via Wikimedia.

Image via Wikimedia.

Flammables, Explosives and Corrosives

Leave your cleaning fluids, paint and your propane tanks behind, recycle them or move them in your car.

Featured image via Pixabay.

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