How to pack like a pro

woman in grey shirt holding brown cardboard box
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

🧳Plan ahead.
Develop a master to-do list so you won’t forget something critical heading into moving day. This will also help you create an estimate of moving time and costs.

🧳Discard items you no longer want or need.
Ask yourself how frequently you use an item and how you’d feel if you no longer had it. Sort unwanted items into “garage sale,” “donate,” and “recycle” piles.

🧳Pack similar items together.
It will make your life easier when it’s time to unpack.

🧳Decide what you want to move on your own.
Precious items such as family photos, valuable breakables, or must-haves during the move should probably stay with you. Pack a moving day bag with a small first-aid kit, snacks, and other items you may need before unpacking your “Open First” box.

🧳Know what your movers will take.
Many movers won’t take plants or liquids. Check with them about other items so you can plan to pack them yourself.

🧳Put heavy items in small boxes.
Try to keep the weight of each box under 50 pounds.

🧳Don’t overpack boxes.
It increases the likelihood that items inside the box will break.

🧳Wrap fragile items separately.
Pad bottoms and sides of boxes and, if necessary, purchase bubble-wrap or other packing materials from moving stores. Secure plants in boxes with air holes.

🧳Label every box on all sides.
You never know how they’ll be stacked. Also, use color-coded labels to indicate which room each box should go in, coordinating with a color-coded floor plan for the movers.

🧳Keep moving documents together in a file, either in your moving day bag or online.
Include vital contact information, the driver’s name, the van’s license plate, and the company’s number.

🧳Print out a map and directions for movers and helpers.
Make several copies, and highlight the route. Include your cell phone number on the map.

🧳Back up computer files on the cloud.
Alternatively, you can keep a physical backup on an external hard drive offsite.

🧳Inspect each box and piece of furniture as soon as it arrives.

🧳Ahead of time, ensure your moving company has a relatively painless process for reporting damages.

Why Choose a Title Company over a Real Estate Attorney

new home owner

In Florida, you have the choice to choose a Title Company OR a Real Estate Attorney.

When you’re considering choosing a title company or a real estate attorney, you should think about the entire closing process and most importantly, your closing experience.

Here are a few important things to look for when deciding whether to choose a title company or a real estate attorney:

  • Company values
  • Security
  • Technology
  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Flexibility

Make sure that you will be happy with your overall experience when you walk away from the closing table. Choose the title company or real estate attorney that provides most, if not all of these.

We strive to maintain all of the attributes above and we recommend partnering with a title company for your real estate closing.

Company Values

Choosing a title company or real estate attorney that has a set of core values that align with yours is not only important for the “experience” but also for your connection to them during the process and the way they handle your personal needs.

The core of our beliefs is emulated in our mission statement “Earning Your Business Through Excellence In Service”. This short sentence exemplifies our commitment to the relationships within our company and those we have gained over the years. We stand firm in the belief that when you work with us you become a member of a professional team. Our greatest asset is our outstanding staff, we take great pride in this fact as it speaks to our commitment to excellence and consistency in a market of constant change.

Security, Regulatory Compliance, Communication & Trust

Choosing a title company with strict regulatory compliance is essential. Attorneys are not regulated by the Florida Department of Financial Services as title companies are. Also, a title company that has the ALTA (American Land Title Association) best practices certification will:

  • Comply with all state and federal laws and regulations
  • Ensure that all employees are constantly updated with newly released ALTA policies, procedures and standards
  • Provide adequate protection for all customers’ personal and financial information
  • Adopt and sustain the use of best practices in title insurance and the closing process pursuant to ALTA standards

 

Nona Title provides premium title insurance and settlement services throughout the state of Florida for any type of real estate transaction. Our team of professionals offer an unparalleled level of knowledge and understanding of the industry. Our cutting edge technology allows us to be more consumer focused and ensures the security of non-public, private information.

We value our clients and that is why we strive for top notch security and the most up to date technology. Our commitment to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable closing experience is part of our company core values and mission. Your overall closing experience is very important to us and that is why Nona Title acts as a communication HUB for all parties involved in the transaction.

 

Our dedication to our clients and our exceptional level of customer service, in addition to our transparent communication system are why REALTORS, real estate agents and  homebuyers and sellers have chosen Nona Title to handle their closings since May 2016. Our exponential growth is directly attributed to our devotion to our customers.

Check out our reviews on Google, Angie’s List and Facebook. Social proof is an essential tool when selecting a title company.

It shows you:

  • How well the company handles the closing process, especially for first-time homebuyers
  • How fast and efficiently the company communicates with clients throughout the closing process
  • How the company handles the closing of home purchases for people who live outside the city – or even outside the country
  • How well the company keeps the client informed about the details and steps of the process
  • How satisfied you are likely to be after the closing is completed

Title Insurance Customized To Your Needs

All title insurance issues, questions and recommendations are best handled by a title company.

You should purchase title insurance from a title insurance company because:

  • Owner’s title insurance will protect you against any loss that can arise due to undiscovered defects with the title of the property.
  • The lender’s title insurance policy that you are required to pay for by the lender as part of your loan requirements, cannot shield you from losses due to unforeseen title issues.
  • The title company will conduct a thorough title search and examination, and provide you with peace of mind that you are purchasing the property without any liens, encumbrances or title issues.
  • Any title errors, such as omission in deeds, undisclosed heirs, fraud and forgery, will be detected and cleared while conducting the title research for you.

Your Overall Closing Experience

Working with a title company is not just about signing documents and buying title insurance. At Nona Title, we always strive to provide you with a unique and memorable closing experience, that is why we act as a communication HUB for all parties involved in the transaction.

We pride ourselves on being:

  • Thorough and Proficient: We employ a proprietary system to ensure there are no omissions that bring up issues at the time of closing.
  • Flexible: We can accommodate you regardless of your work schedule and location. We provide a secure online platform, which you have instant access to your documents from any computer or mobile device from any location. You may also use the platform to sign documents electronically and we have mobile closers available to assist you wherever you’re located and whenever you’re available.
  • What sets us apart: There are many times closings fall apart before they actually close, and the primary reason is because the closing agent has not been proactive and communicated throughout the closing process. This generally leads to obstacles appearing at the last minute which add to the pressure and stress of what is generally the largest purchase of a person’s lifetime. Nona Title hires the top people in the industry and ensures they are properly trained and proactive in nature to prevent these issues from surfacing. Our focus is to overcome obstacles before they become major issues.

    At Nona Title, we offer a uniquely better title experience for all parties involved in the transaction. We handle the transaction, all communication and documents involved by offering a private document portal for buyers and sellers and digital document access for the client after the transaction.

    We see our agents, lenders, buyers, and sellers as invited guests to our closing table. It is our job to facilitate proactive communication across all parties involved and at Nona Title, we are committed to you and your success. Our main goal is to bring everyone together to the table and create a memorable closing experience.

    Our foundation was built upon superior service and a uniquely better closing experience. We don’t just clear title and coordinate closings,we support our clients and provide the best solutions in the most cost effective way through our Green Light Listing Program.

5 Common Closing Costs for Buyers

savings

When purchasing a new home, there are some common closing costs for buyers. These include a variety of fees and other charges. So it’s important to have a complete understanding of all associated costs when purchasing a home.

We have listed the 5 most common closing costs below to give you a better understanding of what you should expect when purchasing a home.

5 Common Closing Costs for Buyers

During the closing process, a homebuyer can expect to encounter the following fees and costs when obtaining a loan….keep in mind that the fees and costs are different for cash purchases.

1. Appraisal Fee

Lenders require a property appraisal before approving your new home loan. They want to be sure the value of the loan does not exceed the value of the property that you intend to buy or exceed the loan-to-value they are willing to offer you for your home loan. That’s why they require you pay a professional property appraiser to make this determination. The appraisal fee is the money paid to an appraisal company that determines the home’s fair market value.

2. Credit Report

All lenders require that a credit report be run in order to check your credit score and credit history. This report shows the lender that you have the capacity to pay back the loan. Your credit score also affects the interest rate you will get for your loan.

The fee you pay for the credit report will be paid directly to either Equifax, TransUnion or Experian. A credit report can cost between $15 and $30.

3. Closing or Settlement Fee

This is a fee that is paid to the title company that conducts the closing.

  • The title company coordinates the closing process with all parties, including the buyer, seller, agents, lender and any other parties involved in the transaction.
  • The fee covers the cost of all the work the title company does to consummate the closing, including the cost of preparing and checking documents required to be completed during the closing process.

4. Title Search Fee

The title search fee is paid to the title company to conduct a thorough search of records pertaining to the home you’re buying. The title company will examine previous deeds, name and property indexes, court records and a range of other documents. This search is vital to ensure there are no problems connected with the title of ownership to the property.

5. Various Forms of Insurance

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Private Mortgage Insurance is usually required if you take out a loan that is more than an 80% loan-to-value (ie the equity is less than 20%). You’ll also have to pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium if you take out an FHA mortgage loan.
  • Flood Insurance: If the home is situated in a flood zone, a lender will require you to pay for flood insurance.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance (HOI): Homeowner’s insurance covers any damages that occur to your home, which can include its contents, and a lender will require you to pay your first year’s homeowner’s insurance at closing.
  • Title insurance: You must pay lender’s title insurance at closing to protect the lender from any liens that can arise because of previous title matters. It’s also wise to pay for owner’s title insurance to protect yourself as well.

7 Reasons to Own A Home

  1. Tax benefits.
    The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
  2. Appreciation.
    Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
  3. Equity.
    Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
  4. Savings.
    Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
  5. Predictability.
    Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.
  6. Freedom.
    The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.
  7. Stability.
    Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.
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