6 Tips for Moving to a Completely New City

Family packing moving boxes

There are many reasons you might be looking to relocate to an entirely new area. You may be taking a job in a new city, need a change of climates for health reasons, or you have a sense of adventure. Maybe it’s just time for you to move out of your current living situation. Whatever your reasons for relocating, there are some steps you can take to help ease the transition. 

Find your new neighborhood

Do you want to be right in the heart of the city? Do you prefer to be remote and rural? Or would you like something in the suburbs between the two? This is probably the first set of questions you need to answer when you start your new home search. You can change a lot once you’re there, but location is something you’re stuck with for at least a little while.

There are probably a few “deal breakers” on your list when you start your apartment search. For example, you may need to be a close distance to your job or not near an industrial area. You may want to be near theaters or nightlife. Whatever your most important amenities are, you’ll want to factor those in upfront so that you’re not stuck with a location that you can’t stand. 

Find the important stores & services

Once you’re done with your apartment search, but before you move, you’ll want to search out the stores and services that you need and use most. The top of the priority list will probably be the grocery store, bank, and utility companies. You’ll want to look ahead of time so that you can get your new place stocked and set up as quickly as possible. 

 Once you have the basics set up, expand the list to include home improvement stores, clothing stores, salon service, or barber. Know where to find a doctor, dentist, and any other medical services that you might need. If you go to the chiropractor or massage therapist, you’ll want to get those visits lined up as soon as possible. Don’t forget about your pets; it’s never too late to think about the pet store, veterinarian, or boarding facility. 

Get to know the transportation options

Your transportation options are going to be dependent on how rural you live. In the city center, you’ll probably have several public transportation options, cabs or Uber, bike, walk, or in some cases, have your own car. However, as you move out further, those options start to narrow. You may be limited to park-and-ride service or personal vehicles. Whatever your options are, you’ll want to know their ins and outs before you get there. It’s not fun to try getting on a bus on your first day of work only to find that you need exact change.

Take time to get to know the area

Give yourself some time (anywhere from three months to a year) to get to know your surroundings. Three months is just enough time to figure out the bus routes, your neighbors, and maybe the names of your favorite street vendors. But to really get a feel for a new place, it takes about a year; so that you can see it in all seasons. You can figure out which neighborhoods are safe to explore and which should be avoided. You’ll know which intersections get jam-packed at rush hour or which restaurants have the fastest delivery service. These are all insights that must be experienced, so give yourself some time before you commit to a permanent situation.

Get social 

Try to meet new people wherever you go. Accept any social invitations that come your way. Scrabble night at church? Say yes. Rooftop BBQ at the new apartment? Say yes. Holiday potluck at the office? Say yes. These are all opportunities to meet the people you’ll be in contact with regularly. 

If it turns out–by some rare chance–that none of the people you meet share your interests, you try an interest-based social group. Meetup.com is searchable by city and type of group and can be a great way to fall into social groups based on interests, like running or cycling, for example.

Explore

Once you’ve gotten that first three months down pat, and you roughly know where everything is that you need, you should take the time to (safely) explore. Be sure to have a fully charged cell phone and then just take off in some new direction. Peek around corners, ask locals for their recommendations, and just generally try new things. This could be exactly the kind of adventure that leads you to your new favorite coffee shop, Café, or bookstore. 

In short, moving to a new area doesn’t have to be a stressful process. It can be a lot of adventure and finding new places. If you keep your “deal breakers” in your mind when you start your apartment search and learn to be flexible with everything else, you can have a great time somewhere new. 

How to Save Money by Conserving Energy

Energy is a crucial element that contributes to the success of day-to-day activities. For example, you may need to drive a car to get to work, use office equipment while you’re there, and cook with appliances or unwind with devices when you return home later in the day. Unfortunately, the continuous use of such elements can lead to high energy bills, which can eat into your budget

The positive side is that there are various ways to conserve energy and save money both at home and in business. 

Solar Energy

Installing solar systems in your home and business is a great way to lower the energy bills. Every solar kilowatt saves electricity bills to almost zero dollars. The panels can even give you negative bills. 

Here are ways to save energy bills with solar panels.

  • Heat water with solar heaters – Heating water is one factor that contributes to high energy bills, yet, it’s one of the most common activities both at home and at work. To cut on energy costs, install a solar water heater. 
  • Use solar lighting – Install solar light bulbs for artificial lighting to reduce energy consumption. Apart from saving energy, solar bulbs are durable and produce brighter lights than other light sources. 
  • Go for solar chargers and solar power banks – Whether in the office or at home, use solar power banks and chargers to charge your gadgets. Using them as your main charging option will help you save energy costs. 
  • Avoid using a cloth dryer and hang clothes on a clothesline – Clothes can dry so well on a clothesline in the backyard or close to the windows. You’ll save more on energy bills, unlike when you use a drier. Therefore save yourself the bulk of your bills by hanging your clothes on a clothesline. 
  • Heat your pool with solar hot water panels – A heated pool makes the swimming sessions more enjoyable. But this can be costly when using electricity. In this case, you’ll need to purchase solar hot water panels to heat your pool and save on energy consumption. 
  • Participate in demand response programs – Your utility provider may offer financial incentives if you can significantly reduce your electricity usage or shift your usage away from peak times. Solar panels would help you to do this.

Electric Vehicles 

It’s cheaper when you use electricity to power your car, unlike when using gas. You can even get lower prices for charging your vehicle at some facilities, especially during off-peak hours. Although the programs vary per state, an electric car lets you enjoy rates on time-of-use during vehicle charging. 

Rates and discounts can significantly reduce energy costs. Additionally, you can also save money with electric vehicles by generating electricity. Your solar panels can also help you to charge your electric car and further reduce fuel consumption. 

Carpooling

Another way to save on energy costs is by carpooling with others. In normal circumstances, people waste fuel during traffic congestion. So, sharing private cars will be the best way to save energy and save money in the long run. You can plan to have a combined ride with colleagues or neighbors. Regular carpooling will help you share costs among the carpoolers, allowing you to use the money. 

Public Transportation

Using public transportation helps you save money in the long run. The continuous use saves a significant figure because many people use one vehicle and pay for the costs, which are generally cost-effective compared to when using a private car, moped, or motorcycle. 

The cost of public transportation is much lower than fueling a car. Not to mention that you’ll also save costs on car leasing, parking, insurance, and maintenance. Public transportation is way much cheaper. To save more money, you can try researching cost-effective routes to your office or any other location.

Alternative Modes of Transportation 

There are more alternative forms of transportations to save money while traveling. You can use a bike, walk, skateboard, longboard or rollerblade. Choosing the suitable mode depends on the distance. 

Using any of this transportation method will not only help you save money but also keep physically fit. However, this may not be suitable for a prolonged period, especially with the weather changes like hot summers and cold winters. 

The Bottom Line

Saving energy on various aspects within your home or business can help you save a significant amount of money in the long run. Some of the components, such as using a solar panel, electric vehicles, public transportation, and carpooling, can be continuous for as long as you want. But things like biking, walking, skateboarding, rollerblading, and longboarding can be energy-draining, and you may need to minimize after a while.

5 Simple Tips to Get the House of Your Dreams in a Hot Market

The housing market has its ups and downs, but 92% real estate agents who took part in HomeLight’s 2020 Q3 survey say it’s a strong seller’s market in their area. This means that as a buyer, you’re going to want to do everything you can to put yourself in a situation where your offer is accepted by the seller. 

Here are 5 tips that’ll get you ready to blow the competition (other buyers) out of the water and score the keys to your new abode.

1. Know as much as you can about the new neighborhood

Part of the homebuying process is researching the neighborhood that you’re hoping to move to. It’s not enough just to look at the houses in the area and what kind of house falls within your budget. You need to know what kind of amenities are nearby. 

According to surveyed agents, 3% have clients who want access to nature (hiking trails, parks and so on), 3% have clients who want to live in a suburban area but still have the option to drive to the city if they wanted to.

2. Choose a lender who will work with you

There are countless lenders out there you could go to who could help you get pre-approved for a mortgage, but you don’t want to go with just anyone. You need a shopping strategy when looking for a lender. To do this, find a lender who offers the type of loan you’re interested in. 

You will also want to compare interest rates, the repayment terms of your mortgage, the APR (not the interest rate), and more. Oh! Don’t forget to ask them to give you an itemized breakdown of costs and fees associated with the loan, too.

3. Find a real estate agent who knows their stuff

Like any other professional, the real estate agent you’re working with needs to be on the top of their game. They need to be able to work with your budget to find a house that meets your needs. They need to have a good reputation among their previous clients (you can look for testimonials online or even ask the agent for references). And, last but not least, you need to feel like they’ll have your back when it comes time to negotiate the contract. 

If you meet with an agent and you don’t feel like they’ll work with your best interest at heart, you can always look for a new agent – just don’t sign any contracts right away!

4. Don’t insult the seller with a low-ball offer

Understandably, you’ll want to get the best deal as you can, but you need to be considerate and strategic. However, since this is a seller’s market, you do not want to submit a low-ball offer! In fact, 87% of agents say they’re clients are bidding above asking! Why? It’s simple – there are more buyers than there are houses and sellers. 

Seller’s hold all the power and they can wait it out for an offer they can’t refuse. So if you want that cute little cottage, you need to come in with a strong offer that the seller is likely to accept.

5. Show that you’re a person and not just a buyer

To the seller, you’re just someone who wants to live in their house – they don’t necessarily think of you as a person. That’s why 61% of agents are seeing clients write a touching letter to the seller. This letter should be to the point, flattering, and heartfelt. The letter should let them know how much this house means to your family and what you like about the property. 

Buying a house in a strong seller’s market means you’ll need to be prepared for anything. You could enter a bidding war or your offer could be rejected outright. As a buyer, you’ll want to lean on an agent to guide you through the process. With them on your side, the house hunting process will be a little less overwhelming.

How to Make Ends Meet after a Life-Altering Injury

During the course of 2019, more than 137 million Americans faced financial hardship brought on by medical expenses. In the case of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which affects nearly 1.5 million individuals in any given year, the financial burden can be colossal. Apart from having to contend with sky-high medical bills, TBI patients are often unable to return to work, resulting in an increasing pile of bills and a severely-compromised quality of life. While living with a TBI undoubtedly requires considerable adjustments, there are a number of ways to relieve the financial pressure somewhat. Apart from scrutinizing your monthly expenses and seeking compensation for damages incurred, it might also be worth looking into earning an income, even if only part-time.

Seek compensation for financial damages

Calculating the monetary value of a symptom related to a life-changing injury can prove to be extremely difficult.  Thankfully, personal injury lawyers can help translate your suffering into tangible damages. In the case of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a team of brain injury lawyers can help you obtain fair compensation for damages arising from past, present, and future medical treatment,  damage to property, and loss of income and earning potential. The compensation awarded will make it somewhat easier to cope with the immense financial burden brought on by the life-changing injury you experienced.

Analyze your monthly expenses

The first thing to do when faced with a significant financial burden is to scrutinize your expenses.  Identify what can be cut to save money while still maintaining an acceptable standard of living. If you are still making payments on a luxury vehicle, consider trading it in for something more economical. Additionally, you can cut down on other luxuries such as cable TV, take-out meals, and family vacations.  While spending $20 dollars on luxury food items a week may seem inconsequential, you could end up saving more than $1,000 a year by simply making more budget-conscious purchasing decisions.  Where possible, also try to renegotiate any essential bills by requesting adjusted repayments or a downgrade in membership.

Consider a part-time job

Depending on your level of function, your TBI does not have to prevent you from earning an income. If you don’t experience any entrenched behavioral problems but can’t return to your previous place of employment, consider seeking employment in retail, the service industry or as a call center operator. If entrenched behavioral problems are experienced, however, a sheltered workshop or supported employment facility may be a good choice. Alternatively, a growing number of work-from-home opportunities such as blogging, data capturing, virtual assistant services, and transcribing are available for individuals living with TBI.  Although the earning potential varies from job to job, even a basic income will help negate the financial burden brought on by the injury.

Living with a TBI can be very stressful, especially if the financial burden is immense. Cutting down on expenditure and receiving compensation for losses incurred can make a big difference in the life of a TBI patient.

Eye-opening reasons why people declare themselves bankrupt

For many, the possibility of going bankrupt can feel like a world away. Sadly, with today’s current
financial climate, things can change in a heartbeat and before you know it you and your family could
be plunged into a financial quandary and be facing bankruptcy.

It’s a frightening thought. But losing control of your finances is incredibly common. This is why
recognizing the signs and the reasons behind bankruptcy is important. Wondering what happens
when you declare bankruptcy
? Click the link to find out more. Here we’ll explore some eye-opening
reasons why people declare themselves bankrupt. The reasons may surprise you!

You’ve been injured in an accident

It doesn’t take much for life to be turned upside down. What starts as a seemingly average day could
soon spiral into a complete nightmare. Finding yourself involved in a car accident for example or
slipping on a wet floor in a supermarket and sustaining serious injuries could throw your entire life
into disarray.

If you’re seriously injured you’re going to need medical care, something which is incredibly
expensive. You’re probably going to need time off work to recover or you could be left permanently
disabled and unable to provide for yourself. With rising medical and household bills and no means to
pay for them, it’s easy for families to spiral into debt, which ultimately can lead to bankruptcy.

You’ve lost your job

How secure is your job? Any of us could be facing redundancy at any moment. You could be fired
from your role unexpectedly or you may resign for personal reasons. You may be facing
unemployment without any kind of redundancy payment or your package may not last as long as
you need it to. No matter what your circumstances are, it’s common for sudden unemployment to
leave people struggling financially, leading to bankruptcy.

You may find yourself accepting roles that pay less than what you’re used to, which means despite
finding new employment your salary doesn’t reach as far as you need it to with your current bills and
debts. Often those who don’t plan ahead and build an emergency fund are usually hit the hardest.

Divorce or separation from your partner

Are you financially prepared for a divorce or separation from your partner? Could you afford to run
your home and any dependents with only one income if they left? If you needed a divorce, could you
afford a lawyer? Sadly, not all relationships work out and even more worryingly, many people are
left in an unstable financial position afterwards. The legal costs, division of assets, the lack of a
second income – it’s a frightening situation to be left in, especially if you have dependents.

And finally, out of control credit card debt

We all have debts of some sort, however, when those debts become difficult to control and you end
up paying more interest than the amount you initially borrowed, you could find yourself in bad
credit and struggling to stay afloat. It doesn’t take much for credit card debt to mount up and leave
you in a precarious financial situation. Don’t be afraid to reach out for debt advice if you’re
struggling with your debts.

Expert’s Shopping Tricks for Motorhome Loans

Acquiring a motorhome is similar to buying a home. Even if you’ll use it permanently or just for a weekend getaway, it is an expensive purchase. Moreover, aside from the loans that you have to pay monthly, other expenses, such as maintenance, gas, and repair, are necessary to keep your motorhome functioning for a long time.  Thus, it is crucial to do it wisely.

Most of us will obtain it from financing. Purchasing a motorhome through a loan can be confusing, time-consuming, and stressful if you are not fully aware of the process. It can also put you in a lot of financial trouble if you don’t handle it properly.

Fortunately, we’ve listed some advice and insights from the experts, campers, and motorhome shoppers when getting a motorhome through financing.

Knowing The Interest Rate

Avoid having a wrong perception about the interest rate. Many customers expect the same interest rate from the time they first inquired about the loan. Keep in mind that interest rates continue to rise annually. It may even change daily.

Interest rates also translate to the payments you’ll make every month. If you end up with a high-interest rate, you’ll most likely find the purchase to be a burden. But, if you’re able to get a considerable rate, the savings you get will allow you to enjoy your purchase and take your motorhome  to your dream destinations.

Motorhome loan interest rates are around 4% and can go as high as 15%. These numbers vary because of different factors. Mainly, it will depend on the lender, the amount borrowed, your down payment, the preferred loan term, and your credit.

Shop Around, Do Some Research, And Compare

Never purchase anything without giving yourself a few more days to think or check for other options, especially if it’s an expensive purchase. Being caught up and making an impulsive purchase will only prevent you from getting better deals.

The best way to make sure that you are paying the best price for your motorhome is to shop around. Aside from going to dealerships, you can also find unique inventories at a reasonable price from expos and online dealerships.

It’s also best to compare motorhome financing rates, loan terms, and downpayment. Find the perfect price that fits your budget and credit. If you find reduced fees or lower interest rates, that is your best option.

Make Down Payments

Most lenders may require as high as 20% down payment, while some don’t even need at all. But keep in mind that paying for a larger down payment will help lower your monthly repayments.

It will also help you qualify for a loan with a lower interest rate. If you avoid paying a down payment, you could end up owing more on your loan than the motorhome’s actual worth.

Even if you afford to pay in cash, it’s still best to make a down payment and take it for a loan. Making down payments is the most effective way to use money, especially to a depreciating asset like a motorhome.

If you have the money to pay cash, use that money over investments that can be earning more interest. In that way, you’ll make most of your finances.

Consider Hire Purchase Over Personal Contract Purchase

Choosing the right financing option holds a significant impact on your purchase. Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) is the most popular way to finance a car purchase. However, hire purchase (HP) is an advantageous option if you’re purchasing a motorhome.

HP works out cheaper than a PCP over the lifetime of a loan because you’re paying off the loan faster. You’ll have higher monthly payments but with lower interest rates. This option makes sense if you’re purchasing with a large purchase as you most likely want to finish it off as soon as possible.

While with a PCP agreement, you’ll have lower monthly payments but higher interest rates. You’ll be paying for your motorhome over an extended period. Also, if you decide to keep the vehicle under a PCP agreement, you’ll have to settle a big balloon payment.

Although you have the option to return the vehicle under a PCP agreement, it must be in good condition and under the required mileage. You can also exchange it for different car arrangements, but that’s up for approval.

In HP finance, you also won’t have to worry about the motorhome’s condition or the mileage. You’ll face charges and penalties if you go over the mileage limit set out in a PCP agreement. This factor will limit your opportunity to travel and use your motorhome more. It will most likely stay in the garage.

Taking an HP finance for a motorhome loan makes the most sense because you’ll most likely keep it at the end of the financial term, it offers unwanted penalties, and you can use the vehicle for as much as you like.

Your Credit Score Is Critical

Your credit score plays a substantial role in any loan application. Your credit score is even more crucial when securing a loan to purchase a motorhome. Many financial institutions even have stricter approval criteria on motorhome loans than any other loans.

This is because banking and other financial institutions see it as a luxury rather than a necessity. Luxury items pose a higher risk, and they can reflect on the interest rates and terms.

With a rigid approval process, you may want to ensure that your credit score is within the required range before getting far into your motorhome shopping. Generally, the required standard is within 660 to 700 FICO Score. It will not only help you with getting approved, but it will also give you a more reasonable loan rate.

Takeaway

Taking motorhome financing can be tricky, especially for first time motorhome shoppers, but it won’t be as long as you equip yourself with enough knowledge and tips from expert motorhome shoppers and campers. Remember that it is an investment, so make use of these tips to your financial advantage and get that motorhome for your dream road trip now!

Author’s Bio

Lauren Cordell is a writer and marketing specialist based in New York City. She’s been working everywhere from California, Los Angeles, and Texas, making traveling her second nature. If she’s not on the road, she’s busy with night and nature photography.

You Can Do It: Obtain an Online Personal Loan to Pay off Debt

Some days, you feel that you’re in Minotaur’s labyrinth where the exit is obsolete, and escape doesn’t exist. Not knowing how to thrive or transcend, you allow yourself to be consumed by misery and hopelessness. Similarly, a person who has a piling unpaid debt seems to be in that impassable situation, and the only thing that’ll get him out is an approved loan.

Indeed, most people who have debts either in their credits or mortgages consider loans as a last resort to their continuing plight. Further, loans have lessened their burden because of the fast cash service that directly deposits the money in the borrower’s account through numerous online loan lenders. Hence, if you’re one of those who are still struggling with your debts,  this article will enlighten you about how loans help you pay off debt.

What is a Loan?

When you are in dire need, you apply for a loan from online lenders or banking companies. They permit you to borrow money to pay your bills, and getting a personal loan to pay off debt from Match Financial will take you out from the storm. Moreover, if you plan to apply for a loan, you need to know the key terminologies because the loan business realm can be confusing.

Term

The term is the duration of when your loan will last. Importantly, you must repay the borrowed money in the exact timeframe that the lender or bank company has given to you. Since there are different types of loans, they do have different terms.

Principal

The principal is the exact or initial amount of the loan you have borrowed.

Interest Rate

It is the amount that the lender or banking company charges you after borrowing money.

Fees

There are lenders or banking companies that require fees in applying for a loan. It includes application fee, processing fee, annual fee, origination fee, prepayment, and late fee. But, when you apply for an online loan to pay your debt, the process is smooth sailing, and they don’t typically ask fees.

How to Apply for an Online Loan?

Today, the application for an online loan is made easy. Even people who don’t have pennies in their pockets can now obtain a loan using their cell phone and internet connection. Below are the requirements you need to comply with for your online loan application to get you started.

Input Valid Personal Information

A typical loan application begins by filling out a form that requires your personal information. Upon declaration, you must submit the valid personal details as this serves as a record or document for the online lender service and lenders or banking companies. Nevertheless, failing to fill out the required information and alteration of details could lead to loan disapproval.

Provide a Permanent Address

One of the primary requirements for an online loan application is your permanent address. The address you have provided is where the lender sends notification emails regarding your loan status, including the payment deadlines.

A Proof of Regular Income

Usually, lenders also require you to submit proof of regular income since it’s another way for them to determine whether you are eligible for a loan. They also track your past and current work history to assess and evaluate if you can catch up with the interest rate according to their terms. Moreover, they run a soft pull or a soft credit check on your credit accounts, which don’t actually affect your credit score or points for future loan applications.

A Bank Account

If your loan application is approved, the lender directly deposits the money to your bank account; therefore, having one is essential. Since the online loan is fast cash, you will expect the lender’s decision in just a matter of an hour and approximately one business day for the money to be transferred.

Additionally, an account with good standing in the bank appeals to the lenders and would most likely have a higher chance for loan approval. A credit history that’s clear from any irregularities is a reflection of how responsible payer you are.

The Benefits of Online Loan

Convenience

The application for an online loan can be made at the comfort of your home using your mobile phones, especially in these trying times, going outside to visit a lending shop is prohibited. All you need is to use your mobile phone, select a lender service, fill out the information, and scan for driver’s ID requirements.

Lower Rates

Online loans have a fixed interest rate that you don’t have to worry about the fluctuating rate, which is one of the major problems people encounter throughout their loans.

Addresses Immediate Payment of Debts

The existence of online loans has helped many people who have no hope of striving back. It gives them another opportunity to begin again without front difficulties and continue striving in life.

Takeaway

There’s always a solution in every problem, and if you feel that you can’t escape in your situation, seek a lending hand that’ll place you at a stable pace. In a nutshell, when your debts gradually devour and seemingly eat up the remaining hope, all you have to do is to apply for an online loan for a fruitful life anew.