Daily Archives: June 3, 2011

How to make moving easier on your kids!

How to make moving easier on your kids
(ARA) – When adults decide to move, it’s often to pursue an exciting opportunity or discover a new place. But for children, moving can be much harder to understand, as often they’ve only known one place as home.

As you travel through adulthood, the unknown becomes more alluring, but it’s because you’ve been through major life changes before. That’s why it’s important to take some steps to make this major transition easier on your kids. Here are some tips for helping your children adapt to a new place, along with some practical moving advice for families:

* Open a line of honest communication. It can be hard to tell your kids that they’ll be moving, but making sure that they know they can talk about how they’re feeling about the move is important. Try to keep the conversation positive by telling them about all the fun things they’ll be able to do in their new home, but acknowledge that they’ll feel some sadness about leaving their old one.

* Help them say goodbye. Organize a going-away party for your children and their friends, and work with the parents of their friends to gather contact information so they can keep in touch after you move.

* Take inventory. Take a minute with each child to go through toys and clothes to see what can be donated. By letting them help with these decisions, you can eliminate any angst that might come if they realize something they wanted was left behind when you get to your new home.

* Pack a first-day box. Have each child pack a box of things that they will want the first day you move into your new home, like favorite toys, books or stuffed animals. Have the movers pack these boxes last so they are the first thing that is unloaded when you arrive. If you are moving a long distance, have each child pack another bag with items to keep them entertained during the trip.

* Form a moving team. Creating roles for your older children so they can help you move can make your move go quickly and smoothly. If possible, arrange for somebody to watch your younger children so you can focus on moving tasks. Hiring movers can also help take some of the pressure off you so you can tend to your children. Your younger children may also be thrilled by the chance to see the moving truck up close, so take the time to show them.

* Help them feel at home. Showing your children new parks and other attractions in your new community will help them feel excited about their new home. Plan ahead to get them enrolled in activities with other children so they can quickly make new friends. However, be sure to explain to them that making new friends takes time, so they aren’t discouraged if it doesn’t happen for them right away. Communicate with their teachers to see if there’s anything special you can do to help your children feel more comfortable at school.

By doing the little things to help your children cope with the tough parts of moving, you’ll put them in a position to acclimate themselves to their new home quickly and easily.

The Smart Way to go from Renting to Owning

The smart way to go from renting to owning
If you’ve paid attention to any news media over the past few years, you know that the housing market has dropped off. From a seller’s perspective, that makes life a lot harder. But for a buyer, it can mean a wider world of options and opportunities. For those want to become owners rather than renters, it’s vitally important to make smart decisions – as the markets have shown.

Many factors contribute to the real estate market’s current sluggishness, and one of them is the fact that lenders are reluctant to give loans to homebuyers. After the housing market crisis, it’s not surprising that they would be more demanding in their lending practices, but for those eager to buy, it means that you need to present a pristine financial profile.

There’s no limit to the amount of real estate browsing you can do – either online or in your ideal neighborhood – but before you get serious about purchasing a home, take these tips into consideration.

* Pay down your debt. Before you even apply for a mortgage, it’s important that you reduce your debt load. The smaller it is, the better for your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders use to determine how much they’ll allow you to borrow. Items like car loans, child support and alimony, credit card bills and student loans are all factors that the lender will consider. Paying down debt can have the added benefit of improving your credit, as well.

* Check up on your credit. Having good credit is another essential element in smart home buying – it can affect how lenders view you, and the terms of your mortgage. The better shape your credit is in, the better your potential to get the mortgage of your dreams.

* Make the biggest down payment possible. The era of zero-down is over, and for good reason. A down payment – and a sizeable one – can help ease the strain of a mortgage in coming years. A minimum of 20 percent down is a good idea, and if you can do more than that, so much the better. If you don’t think you can afford a down payment of 20 percent or more on a house you’re considering, it might be time to shop around for a less expensive home that is more budget friendly.

* Be an informed buyer. There is a seemingly endless list of things to know about buying a home, and the faster you want to buy, the faster you’ll need to learn it all. Be sure you know the ins and outs of items like closing costs, adjustable rate versus fixed rate mortgages, how your credit report affects and the documentation you’ll need to get a mortgage. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make smart decisions that will make you a happy homeowner for years to come.