Monday, June 30, 2014

Where can you donate that stuff?

Who will take my stuff?

Do you have a lot of stuff in your house or clothing that you are not taking with you when you move?
The best time to get rid if it is BEFORE you even put your home on the market to sell.
If you don't have someone to take your things and you can't sell them (or just don't want to) here is a list of places you can donate them and pick up services you can use.

Some items you can donate or have picked up are: Furniture, cribs, mattresses, household items, clothing, shoes, linens, drapes, toys, books, electronics, dishes, appliances, sporting goods, computers, sofa beds, rugs, jewelry, unopened toiletries, and more! (All of these places accept different types of items and some are specific about condition.)

  • Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores and Donation Centers 612-861-9550
  • Bibles for Missions Thrift Center 763-522-1786
  • Bridging 952-888-1105 (information only)
  • Christ United Methodist Church 651-739-8875
  • Courage Center 952-881-1100
  • Epilepsy Foundation 651-287-2300
  • Hope Chest 952-471-8700 or 651-642-2850
  • Lupus Foundation of Minnesota 651-748-0400
  • Minnesota Disabled American Veterans Pickup Service and Donation Centers 651-487-2002
  • Pilot City 612-348-4762
  • Salvation Army 612-332-5855
  • St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store 612-722-7882
  • Steeple People 612-871-8305
  • Vietnam Veterans of America. 651-778-8387

A more comprehensive list can be found at Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers.
Hope this helps!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

[VIDEO] What is Title Insurance?

Do I Need Title Insurance?

What is Title Insurance?

An insurance policy that is issued by a title company to protect and indemnify the property owner against any financial losses resulting from title defects, once the purchase is complete.

What is the purpose of Title Insurance?

A title insurance policy provides coverage in the event that some person asserts a legal claim against your property. Some common risks that it will insure you against include property liens for unpaid taxes, forged title deed, missing or undisclosed heirs, impersonation of the property's true owner or mistake made while recording legal documents.

What Does Title Insurance Cover?

There are the two main types of title insurance

An owner's title insurance policy - Insures the property owner up to the purchase price paid for property. A new title insurance policy is issued each time there is a change in property ownership. The coverage it provides cannot be transferred or assigned to subsequent owners of the same property.
A lender's title insurance policy - Insures the lender up to the amount of the loan issued. The policy's value decreases over time as the loan is paid off. The lender's title policy insures the lender's valid and enforceable lien in the property. It can be assigned to any other party that owns the loan.

How much is Title Insurance?

There is a one time fee for the insurance premium due at closing of escrow.

Need more information?

Contact us!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Packing for a Move: Where do you get the boxes?

Packing and Unpacking

Packing and Unpacking
Finding moving boxes that fits both your needs and budget takes some preparation. It includes assessing what kind of assortment and how many boxes you will need and researching the costs. And being prepared with moving box knowledge saves time - you won't be running out at the last minute to buy more boxes and good organization helps save time during the loading and unloading process for your movers.

And don't forget, after the move, compress your boxes, remove the tape, and find place to stash them, like a storage unit or an overhead closet. You will have exactly what you need for the next time move.

1. Cardboard boxes 
Cardboard boxes are convenient because they can be bought virtually everywhere -- from Amazon to Home Depot to Sam's Club) The downside is that they are usually sold in one-size packs and you may end up with a surplus of unused, wasted boxes. 
Some online moving supply companies, like and, have solved this by selling "moving kits," which include a variety of box sizes and other necessities, such as bubble wrap, packing tape and markers. The benefit of buying a package is that the supplier helps you estimate how many boxes you will need, based on the size of your place.

2. Grocery store boxes (apple boxes, plastic milk crates, and glass or wine boxes)
Best to stow small, heavy items for the move. It's a cheap, eco-friendly way to get boxes for your move; however, it requires a little extra work on your part to get chummy with the manager of a local grocery and start accumulating a set of boxes. Restaurants and coffee shops are your best bet for finding plastic milk crates, free of charge.

3. Banker boxes (boxes that usually store paper or legal files; roughly a foot wide and high, by 2 feet long) 
They have handles for easy transport and lift-off lids. Best for little or heavy items, such as books, DVDs and cooking utensils or children's clothes.

4. Wardrobe boxes (the tall, slender boxes that come with hinged holes and a metal bar) 
Works well for light, bulky belongings such as pillows, comforters, sleeping bags, etc). Do NOT put heavy things in these boxes.

5. Eco-friendly boxes (eco-conscious moving boxes). 

You can rent these storage boxes for a couple of weeks to pack and move, and then they are picked up once your move is complete. The downside of this is usually cost.

 9 Ways to Save on Moving Expenses
Five Must Have Moving Supplies

Friday, June 13, 2014

Planning a Move

Planning a Move

Planning a Move
Before you start packing boxes you should be thinking about logistics. These guides will get you thinking about the decisions you need to make before a move. It's important to have the best tips and resources possible when planning a move! 

Choosing Movers

Choosing Movers
When preparing to move one of the biggest decisions is figuring out how to find trustworthy movers to get your stuff from A to B. These guides will help you find the right movers for you.

    Want more GREAT TIPS from a GREAT AGENT? Call Sarah First!

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    6 Things That Turn Buyers OFF

    No fluff, let's jump right in. Here is the stuff buyers whine about. Where you're done here, check out more Tips for Sellers.
    Is your house turning buyers off?

    Curb Appeal: 

    Besides mowing the lawn, your to-do list should include trimming scraggly trees and shrubs and removing anything that's dead or beyond resuscitation. Edge, weed and mulch garden beds. Plant annuals in a plot or pot for color.


    Avoid using stark-white paint, though. Choose a warm neutral color -- beige, ivory, taupe or light gray -- that makes your rooms look inviting, larger and brighter. Redo painted trim in white. 

    Popcorn Ceiling:

     If you've lived with a popcorn ceiling, you know that it accumulates dirt, defies cleaning and is hard to paint. A knockdown ceiling is the way to go.  Search this blog for more on ceilings.


    Buyers these days expect hardwood floors and tile even in starter homes. If carpet hides your home's natural hardwood floors, remove it to expose them, even if the wood isn't in the best condition. If you don’t have hardwood, you may want to consider having it installed in a first-floor living area. If you must keep the carpeting, make sure it looks and smells its best by having it professionally cleaned, especially in high-traffic areas or if you have pets.
    Fixtures: From switch plates to chandeliers, builder-grade, shiny yellow gold or brass is out. Replace it with chrome- or satin-nickel-finish fixtures for a contemporary look, or an oil-rubbed bronze or black finish to update a traditional room. This is a pretty straightforward do-it-yourself job. Acrylic knobs in the bathroom look cheap and can be hard to use by young, aged or soapy hands. Replace them with a faucet and handle set that matches the existing fixture's configuration (centerset or widespread) and meets the standard of the Americans with Disabilities Act with flipper- or lever-style handles. Polished-chrome finish will cost you the least and still be durable. Plus, the National Kitchen and; Bath Association says that the finish is enjoying a surge in popularity over brushed or satin finishes.
    Nothing says 1970s like a Hollywood-style strip of bare, round lights over your bathroom mirror. Replace it with a fixture that includes a shade for each bulb in a style and finish that complements your faucet set. If you have a one-person mirror, you could replace the vanity strip with a wall sconce on either side of the mirror to achieve better lighting for shaving or applying make-up.


     In most cases, buyers walk in and see your furniture before they see the house.  Look at your furniture and ask yourself, would I buy that TODAY if it were for sale?  If the answer is no, it shouldn't be in your house when buyers come.  If your furniture is in rough condition, it give the house a feeling of poor condition. Some agents may disagree but I believe it's better to be empty and show the house than distract with bad furniture.  Yes, you have to live there but if you are getting rid of that furniture when you move anyway, just get rid of it now.  If you are keeping that couch, get a plain couch cover and make sure it's neat and tidy for showings.

    Dirt and minor disrepair: 

    If a buyer grabs a cabinet handle and it's loose, they immediately think "If the homeowner can't even tighten a handle, have they maintained anything?"  If they see stained or peeling caulk around tubs and sinks they often say out loud to their agent "that's gross. I wouldn't want to touch that" so it's important to get that handyman and the house cleaner out there if you can't make the simple repairs yourself.  This home will be "new" to the buyers so just like a car dealer gives the those trade-ins a good buff and shine, you need to do the same with your house.

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