Tag Archives: Sandy Erickson Real Estate

Moving Checklist

Checklists can be tedious and overwhelming…but, for a big task like moving, you’re going to want one! Here are some ideas, tips and tricks that we have for a less stressful and more enjoyable move.

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Two Months Before:

1. Research

Start investigating moving companies. The best idea is to pick a few top companies and request an on-site estimate. You want to make sure that your estimate is in writing from the company you choose and has a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number on it.

 2. Sort & Get Rid Of

Go through every room of your house and decide what you want to keep, and what you don’t need anymore. Do NOT pack things that you know you’re not going to keep. We recommend donating your clean items that you don’t need anymore (get a receipt for your taxes). Also, consider any items in your house that may need special packaging or extra insurance coverage- make a note of those items.

3. Take Measurements

Check room dimensions at your new home. If you know some of your furniture won’t fit, try selling or donating it. If possible, try to decide if larger items will fit out your doorways. If you know you have large items that may be difficult to fit out the doorway, make sure you mention this to the moving company right away.

4. Create a Moving Binder

A lot of people skip this step. But, we recommend it to keep everything organized. Use a binder to keep track of everything during your move- every estimate, your receipts and an inventory of all the items you’re moving.

5. Organize School Records (if you have children)

Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to the new school district. 

Six Weeks Before

1. Order Supplies

Order boxes, packing tape, permanent markers and bubble wrap. Don’t forget to order special containers for items like clothing. You can even order colored stickers to keep everything simple. For example: every red sticker=kitchen, every orange sticker=master bedroom, etc… 

2. Start Using Up Supplies

Use up perishable food items that you won’t be moving. Also, consider using up cleaning supplies that are hazardous to pack.

One Month Before:

1. Confirm Arrangements With Mover

Make sure you confirm your move date, costs and other details with your mover of choice.

2. Begin Packing

Start by packing items you don’t use often. This may be some kitchen supplies (the griddle or blender) or decorations. While packing, make note of items that have a higher value (over $100). Note this to your mover in writing & save a copy for your records. Make sure to wrap every item in bubble wrap.

3. Label

Clearly label each box with a number, and write what is inside the box. This is where the sticker idea also comes into place! We recommend writing the room the items will be going to (kitchen, master bedroom, living room, etc.…). This also keeps an inventory of your items. If there are fragile items in one of the boxes, write this large and bold on the outside. Make sure you pack a box of essential items for things you will need right away.

4. Separate Valuables

If you have special jewelry or paperwork, pack a personal box that you will take with you- consider taking a safe with you. 

5. Do a Change of Address

Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form. You can also go to USPS and fill it out online.

6. Notify Important Parties

Alert the following of your move:

  • Post Office
  • Veteran’s Administration
  • IRS
  • Social Security
  • Pension Plan
  • Draft Board
  • Health & Hospital Insurance
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Driver’s License
  • Schools
  • Library
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Banks & Financial Companies
  • Credit Cards & Charge Accounts
  • Stock Broker
  • Housecleaning Services
  • Doctor, Dentist, Optometrist, Chiropracter
  • Lawyer
  • Locksmith
  • Electric, Gas, Garbage, Internet, Telephone & Cable Services
  • Appliance Service
  • Fuel
  • Water Treatment
  • Landscaper & Snow Removal

Two Weeks Before:

1. Tune Up

Take your car to a garage and ask the mechanic to consider different services if you’re moving to a new climate.

2. Remove Contents From Safe-Deposit Box

Place in the safe you are taking with you.

3. Contact the Moving Company

Re-confirm all moving arrangements.

One Week Before:

1. Refill Prescriptions

Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks.

2. Pack Your Suitcases

Aim to finish your general packing a few days before the actual move-out date. Pack a suitcase for everyone in the family with essential items, clothes for a few days, and any valuables you don’t want on the moving truck- place valuables in the safe you’re taking with you.

A Few Days Before:

1. Defrost the Freezer

Only if your refrigerator is moving with you! Make sure that it is cleaned out and defrosted at LEAST 24 hours before moving day.

2. Plan the Payment

If not arranged prior, make sure you know whether you are paying your mover with a credit card, a cashier’s check, or cash. Remember to tip the moving company if they’ve done a good job (10, 15 or 20%). If your move is especially difficult, tip each mover up to $100 and make sure to provide refreshments. – Of course, this is all personal preference.

Moving Day:

1. Verify

Make sure that the moving truck that shows up matches the company you hired. The USDOT number on the side of the truck should match the USDOT number on your contract. Scams are possible.

2. Take Inventory

Before the movers leave your house, sign the bill of inventory and keep a copy for your records. Put in your moving binder!

For any questions you may have, please feel free to reach out to our team. 


Sandy Erickson Team of Keller Williams Realty
Phone: 651-269-3487
Email: Sandy@SandyErickson.com
Website: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

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Understanding the Closing Process

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Buying a home is a big step in anyone’s life, so feeling confident on closing day that you understand the process can help ease some nerves. The more you know about the process, the more relaxed you will be, and the smoother the process will flow.

Your realtor and loan officer should provide you with a lot of information and tools to help prior to the day of closing. Your lender should provide you with a Good Faith Estimate so you know all of the costs associated with your loan (if you are obtaining a loan). If you offered on a home, and the offer was accepted, the earnest money deposit will most likely be deposited into an escrow account and the funds will be held until the time of closing.

The settlement agent will prepare you a HUD-1 Settlement Statement which will outline all of the costs for both the buyer and the seller associated with the closing. Here is an example of a HUD-1 Settlement Form: HUD-1 Settlement Form

Closing day is the time where all parties sign papers to seal the deal and ownership transfers from the seller to the buyer. Closing is also a time to make any changes to the transaction before its final (although you usually want this figured out before closing).

Coming to your closing prepared will help you to get those keys to your new home faster and leave all parties in the transaction stress free. Prior to closing (usually 24 hours in advance), you will have a walk-through of the property you are purchasing. This ensures that the seller moved out and everything stated in the sales contract is left in that condition. During your walk-through if you find any major problems, you are able to delay the closing, or ask for money for the repairs.

One of the main things you need to remember to bring to closing is all of your paperwork and photo identification. Here is a site that provides a list of buyer requirements for closings: What to Bring to Closing.

Make sure you know exactly what to bring to your closing to ensure the process isn’t delayed. Always ask questions if you have them, and know that your realtor, closing officer and loan officer are all great resources!

Closing day arrives, and now you need to be ready to sign a number of documents that the closer will be able to fully explain to you. Once the signing is done, the keys are handed over and the house is yours!

After closing, there is usually a behind-the-scenes process. The lender and the closer still work to make sure the funds are all placed properly, and they work on legally completing the purchase. You do not have to be involved in any of this behind-the-scenes work! Having a trusted realtor, closer and loan officer is key, to ensure a smooth process once you are out of the picture.

Network Title is our trusted partner for closings. Network Title, Inc. serves the greater Twin Cities metro area, with clients throughout both Minnesota and Wisconsin. This closing company handles all aspects of real estate closings, including:

  •  Standard Closings
  • Non-Standard Transactions
  • HUD Sales
  • Short Sale & REO Closing Specialists
  • Title Insurance & Other Title Products
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Mobile Closers & Multiple Closing Offices

Visit Network Title’s Website for important information, forms and client testimonials, and more: Network Title

Network Title, Inc.

Barb Rodriguez
371 Commerce Court
Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

Phone: 651.482.9514
Fax: 651.482.9519
E-mail: info@network-title.com

**Remember, for the most accurate information, it is always important to get the facts from your agent, closer and loan officer specific to your unique situation**

 Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Realty
www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com
Sandy@SandyErickson.com
651-269-3487

Fun 4th of July Events in Minnesota

Still no plans for the 4th? Here are a few fun events in the Twin Cities, and a great location for fireworks!

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The 4th of July marks the anniversary of the day in which the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England all the way back in 1776. This eventually led to the formation of the great United States. 238 years later, we are still celebrating this day and family, friends and the communities around us are truly what this day is all about. Minnesota, and the Twin Cities in specific, have some fabulous events to celebrate the 4th of July!

1. Taste of Minnesota
Date: July 3-6, 2014

The Taste of Minnesota usually takes place on Harriet Island, but due to our large amount of rain, the event has been relocated to Carver County Fairgrounds. The new location address is 501 West 3rd Street in Waconia, Minnesota, just off of Highway 5. The Taste of Minnesota is one of the largest Minnesota celebrations out there. Some of the entertainment this year includes: 92KQRS, 93X, 102.9, fireworks every night starting at 10:20 pm, and many different exhibits. Some fun food and beverage vendors include: Kemps Ice Cream, Maui Wowi, El Burrito Mercado, Granite City and many more! For more information on the Taste of Minnesota, visit their webpage at: http://www.atasteofmn.com/home-page.

2. Red, White & Boom
Date: July 3-6, 2014

This is a two-day celebration hosted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. This event is held annually and attracts over 60,000 people. There are plenty of activities, live music and great food. The fireworks are some of the best in the state. Visit their FB page for more updates and information: https://www.facebook.com/MinneapolisRedWhiteAndBoom/info

We love the Twin Cities. We love real estate in the Twin Cities! For any questions about the Twin Cities housing market, contact us directly at 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com

Sandy Erickson Team of Keller Williams Realty
Website: www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

Take Drab Windows & Turn Into Fab Frames

A fun and easy way to add a focal point to your room is to turn old windows into picture frames! It can be a cheap and fun project to add some color and meaning to your living space. This idea is particularly popular on social media sites right now, but not many sites offer directions. Having tried the project myself, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks for my fellow crafters.

Below is a picture of two of my finished frames. I chose to add a pop of color to my room with these frames. My company always enjoys hearing about these pieces of art!

1. Find a Window-

Finding a window was not too difficult for me. Better yet, my windows were free. I found them at an old cabin up North in Ely, Minnesota. One of the owners was redoing his cabin, and generously offered me the windows. Not only are they a good reminder of my trip, but they are perfect for my living room! Others choose to find a window that holds a piece of their family history or a special part of their past. Craigslist and Ebay offer many different options to purchase windows. You can also find them for free on those two sites!

GetMedia

  • Choose a single slotted window for a single picture, piece of artwork, or large photo
  • Choose multiple slotted windows for a different effect
  • Make sure the window can be hung or displayed- this means that the wood shouldn’t be rotting and the window panes should be clear from cracks that could later cause an injury
  • If possible, stay clear from lead painted windows

2. Paint/Refurbish Your Windows-

The wooden frames I choose were in pretty good condition. Some people enjoy sanding them down for a smooth look, but I enjoyed the vintage feel. To keep my frames rustic, I chose two different paint colors and just painted over the existing paint. I also kept the old hinges on the windows. I thought it added some nice detail. I was not overly neat with my painting, and I like the overall effect it had on the frames. I also cleaned the glass panes before attaching the pictures.

3. Find Your Artwork/Photos-

For two of my frames, I added a bright yellow wallpaper behind the window pane. I then hung a small verse that I printed from my computer with green ribbon. For my multiple slotted window, I printed 6 different photos from my computer and used clear tape to attach them to the window pane. You can also add artwork, or professional photos. My photos look like they are “floating” because I chose to make them smaller then the window pane. You can also have them fill the entire space.

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4. Hang Your Frame-

Remember that your window frame will most likely be extremely heavy. Use a good hanging kit for industrial hanging. Consider using up to three hangers to securely hang the frame. I decided to screw my frame directly to my walls. I used a long screw in all four corners and attached it to the wall this way.

Happy Crafting!

 

Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team

Keller Williams Integrity Realty

651-269-3487

Sandy@SandyErickson.com

http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

 

HARP Refinance Program

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The time to act is right now! HARP, a refinance program that has been around since April, 2009, can assist homeowners who owe more on their homes then the homes are worth! HARP stands for “Home Affordable Refinance Program/Plan” and allows you to refinance your home at low rates, and reduce your payment. The program is also known as Making Home Affordable, the Obama Refi, A Better Bargain For U.S. Homeowners, DU Refi Plus, and Relief Refinance.

The basic HARP Requirements are as follows:

  1. The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  2. The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  3. The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  4. The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.

The reason to act now, is that this program is set to expire on December 31st, 2015.

Here are some benefits to the program:

  • The average monthly savings for most eligible Americans is $250.
  • Many homeowners not only save every month, but depending on their current rates, they can also shorten their term.
  • Deferred payments – typically, one or two payments are skipped / deferred as well.

Our trusted loan officer John Roehrich with Homes Mortgage has offered some wonderful thoughts and insights on this program:

If your current mortgage was originated prior to May 31st, 2009 and you are paying more than 5.00% on your loan, we can definitely put you in a better financial position.  By removing the need for an appraisal, HARP loans are the fastest and least expensive way to start saving money immediately.  Interest rate today are still at incredible levels but most expect them to increase throughout the year so don’t delay and give me a call right away.  I can let you know exactly how much money you will save right on the first phone call

If you are interested in talking with a trusted lender about this program, please contact John Roehrich.

John Roehrich
Mortgage Planner NMLS: 300490
Homes Mortgage  NMLS: 298853
Office       651-748-3706
Cell       612-396-2578
Fax       651-766-5201
jroehrich@homesmortgage.net
www.MNmortgageplanner.com

References:

1. http://joemetzler.com/harp-refinance-mn.htm
2. http://lifestylejournal.com/act-now-to-refinance-your-home-before-rates-rise/?aff=1169&lturl=1&sub=BTT777&utm_medium=myfox-myfoxtwincities
3. http://themortgagereports.com/259/harp-making-home-affordable-guidelines

Fun Facts About Roseville, Minnesota

Our office is located in Roseville, Minnesota…so it only makes sense to share some fun facts about our area and where we do business best!

1.The Guidant John Rose MN Oval is the largest outdoor refrigerated skating facility in the world, featuring an 110,000 square foot slab of concrete used for ice-skating in the winter and inline skating in the spring, summer and fall.

2. Roseville’s property taxes are some of the lowest in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. This is partly due to the fact that much of the land is commercially zoned land.

3. Roseville stands on land that was once home to the Dakota and Ojibwa Indians. The Dakota believed their land superior because it was located at the juncture of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, which they poetically claimed, was immediately over the center of the earth and beneath the center of heaven.

Many years later in 1940, Ramsey County Surveyors bolstered this claim when they placed a boulder on the spot they determined was exactly one-half the distance between the equator and the North Pole. That spot is on the east side of Cleveland Avenue, just north of Roselawn Avenue in Roseville.

4. Farms and nurseries dominated the area until the 1930s. Then, commercial development arrived because the area boasted lots of open space, a convenient location and a railroad. when commercial development arrived, attracted by the wide-open space, convenient location, and the railroad.

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5. The city is the hometown of these famous or noteworthy people:

  • MacGyver
  • Stargate
  • Dean Anderson
  • Loni Anderson
  • Peter Krause
  • Jim Kramer

For more information about the city of Roseville and what it’s like to live in the area, contact us at 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@Sandy Erickson.com

Sandy Erickson Real Estate 
Keller Williams Integrity Realty
http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com