Top tips for a smooth move


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SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2017

THE REGISTER CITIZEN

CONNECTICUT

Top tips for a smooth move Moving into a new home or apartment can be exciting or problematic, and according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau, some preparation and a few tips, can help you find a trustworthy moving company. May is National Moving Month and proper planning can help you save money and avoid unpleasant surprises. “Every year Better Business Bureau receives complaints from consumers who describe problems with lost, stolen or damaged property, a final cost CROMWELL >>

far in excess of the movers’ estimates and contract disputes,” according to Connecticut BBB spokesman Howard Schwartz. “The key to avoiding these pitfalls is knowing your options and your rights before moving.” Connecticut Better Business Bureau offers these tips to lessen chances of a stressful move and keep the cost within your budget.

Get three estimates

You can learn a lot about dos and don’ts from movers. All verbal promises must be in writing in the estimate and contract. If one price

Avoid telephone estimates

A mover can give you a rough estimate over the phone without seeing the is unusually low, ask why. layout of your property If it is unrealistically low, and your belongings, such it is best to select another as large furniture. The best company. way to find out what the move will likely cost, is to Do thorough research obtain an in-home estimate. A word of mouth recommendation is helpful, but it Buy supplemental is still vital to find out what insurance consumers’ experiences have been like with a given Movers are obliged to company. You can check provide you with what is out a prospective mover’s known as Released Value business profile at bbb.org, insurance at no additional where can check the reli- charge, however, protection ability of a recommended may be inadequate. The mover, read any complaint mover assumes liability for details or select a mover 60 cents per pound per arfrom our Accredited Busi- ticle. If the mover loses or ness Directory. damages a 10-pound tele-

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vision valued at $1000, you would only be entitled to $6.00 in compensation (60 cents x 10 pounds). You get much better protection by buying Full Value insurance, which covers the replacement value of all lost or damaged goods being moved.

Carry fragile of valuable items

Keep an accurate manifest

Take photos of the properties

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You are putting your most precious valuables into the hands of strangers. If a belonging is irreplaceable or of sentimental value, take them with you on moving day.

It is one more chore and can be time-consuming, but it can help you determine whether anything is missing from the move.

Before and after photos can document whether the movers caused any damage to the property you are moving out of as well as your new home. Ask about extra You can learn more about charges your rights and responsibilities from the Federal Motor Find out per hour cost if Carrier Safety Administrathe move takes longer than tion, as well as additional expected. helpful tips at bbb.org.

REAL ESTATE

Housing recovery has some big winners - and a lot of losers By Thomas Heath The Washington Post

So how is the U.S. housing market doing? It depends upon whom you ask. A controversial report last week from Trulia, the popular real estate website, upends conventional wisdom that the housing market is back to where it was in the halcyon days of 2006 and 2007. Back then, and for a decade preceding it, the housing bubble was fueled by low mortgage rates and relaxed lending criteria. The Trulia report asserts that vast swaths of the 120 million single-family homes across America — or about two-thirds — are worth less than they were before the 2008 financial crisis. “Everything is not up,” said Ralph McLaughlin, the chief economist at Tru-

lia. “The places where home prices are up tend to be few and far between. In only 37 major metropolitan areas out of the top 100 has the share of homes recovered exceeded 50 percent.” McLaughlin said housing prices in big metropolitan areas with strong economies and lots of jobs — think San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Austin and Boston — are healthy. Home prices in the nation’s economic soft spots — such as Upstate New York, much of rural America, the Rust Belt, Baltimore and bubble cities such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast — are wheezing. Put simply, Trulia says, the housing market’s recovery has followed geography. Others paint a different picture. The S&P CoreLogic CaseShiller Index and the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index

indicate that the market is back to its pre-bust levels. “Overall, various different price metrics say we have surpassed prior peak levels in home value,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors. “People who had purchased during the peak years and went through the downturn would now have fully recovered those values.” The big difference between Trulia and the Realtors is that Trulia measures the value of homes based on its own algorithm it created to put a value on homes. The Realtors’ prices are based on actual sales. According to a survey supplied by the Realtors, the median price for a U.S. home sold in the fourth quarter of 2016 was $235,000, compared with $221,900 in 2006, which is considered near the peak of the housing bubble.

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BARKHAMSTED $259,000 This charming 1820’s Federal brick colonial is listed in the National Registry. Updated mechanicals, 3 fireplaces, wide board floors, original trim. Heart of Riverton location near river and town center. Heated in ground pool, gazebo, detached garage. G10175759 Kim Trumbull 860-309-6542

BARKHAMSTED $899,000 Be in this Summer! A year round stay-cation on West Hill Lake! 3BD/4.5B, Gourmet kitchen, LR w/ Stone FP, MBD suite with FP and sauna on main for easy one floor living. Upstairs has 2 more BD. Beach front, dock, boat house! G10210345 Kathy Samul 860-305-8430

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BURLINGTON $719,000 Absolutely amazing property! Custom 3BD/2.5B Classic Colonial on 6 acres in a beautiful neighborhood. Stunning fit and finish throughout in a one of a kind gracious home. Gorgeous grounds, pool, large barn/horses permitted, separate office/studio. A true exquisite gentleman’s farm with no detail overlooked. G10164588 Julie Yescott 860-655-0646

BURLINGTON $359,900 4BD/2.5b Colonial on over 1.5 acres in sought after neighborhood. Lovely neutral décor, open floor plan, HW floors, spacious rooms. Stone FP in Fam Rm next to eat in kitchen with center island. MBD suite w whirlpool. Fin LL. G10177326 Karen Campagna 860-559-4259

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CANTON $875-975/mo Convenient and affordable units on RT 44 convenient to everything. Spacious, bright and clean, newer carpet, 3 units, large bedrooms in all, both one and two BD units available. Quiet complex set back from road with large yard. Youtube video available, G10193490 call owner/ agent Matthew Schoenhardt 860-543-4005

CANTON $179,900 Classic New England cottage style home in lovely and desirable Collinsville! Walk to town, shops, restaurants, yoga, rail to trail and Farmington River. Winter views of Main Street and River. 3BD/1B with many possibilities or keep the vintage charm as it is. Maybe Less Than Renting! G10193065 Jessica Beganski 860-965-5010

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CANTON $329,900 Great cul-de-sac location for this 4BD/2.5B Contemp Colonial. HW beneath carpeting, spacious rooms floor to ceiling FP in vaulted living room. Huge deck w/ hot tub and above ground pool. Estate sale is a great value with great potential. G10149365 Ann-Marie Rossley 860-205-0786 D

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CANTON $415,000 5BD/3.5B Colonial on an almost acre with views of the rising sun! Granite on maple kitchen w HW floors and center island, formal LR/DR, gas FP in FamRm, Master suite w bamboo floors, walk in closet. LL is an in law suite with full bath, LR, kitchenette. G10195313 Ann-Marie Rossley 860-205-0786

CANTON $549,900 Zoned B1 for Professional/Medical office. Great location visible from RT 44, 3 medical practices plus lab and xray area. Multiple entrances, 24 car parking. Public water and sewer. Hardwood under carpets. Handicap access. Would need zone change to convert to multi fam. Many possibilities. G10192164 Geena Becker 860-983-4446

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REAL ESTATE

A homebuying calculator for millennials: Does that add up? By Patrick Clark Bloomberg

The real estate industry has spent the better part of the last decade worrying about the buying habits of millennials. Their preference for big cities, tendency to marry later, and bulging student debt are sometimes blamed for the generation’s slow entry into the housing market. Now that millennials have gained a toehold in the U.S. housing market, Zillow has come up with a new way to sell them homes-a little help with the math. The Seattle-based online real estate company on Tuesday is launching a new portal designed to help first-time homebuyers navigate the process. Ca lled rea lest ate.com, it works a lot like Zillow’s flagship site, with a search tool for browsing listings by price and location, and ads promoting specific properties and real estate agents. (Zillow acquired the enviable domain name when it bought Trulia for $2.5 billion; Trulia got the URL in an earlier acquisition of the software company, Market Leader.) The main difference is that the new site is built around a budget calculator that computes mortgage payments, property taxes, and other carrying costs and crunches them into a single monthly bill. The idea is to let users make an easy comparison between the cost of owning and renting a home. The website is built to toggle among English, Spanish, and Mandarin in a nod to the diversity of the millennial generation. “ We weren’t set ting out to build Snapchat for real estate,” said Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow. “We

wanted to build something utilitarian.” T hat bud get- c entr ic approach came out of research on first-time buyers, who make up 42 percent of all homebuyers, according to the company’s data. Meanwhile, only 46 percent of buyers close on the first home on which they make an offer. First-time buyers in particular underestimate closing costs and other expenses, throwing a lastminute wrinkle into the buying process, Wacksman said. It’s hardly the industry’s first attempt to appeal to the generation. For years, the National Association of Realtors has maintained a “field g uide” to help agents understand millennia l homebuyer s. S t a r t ups have a lso ta ken their shots, often with services designed to resemble dating apps. (See “Tinder for real estate”; “EHarmony for homebuying.”) But Zillow’s new site comes at an opportune time. The median age of first-time homebuyers has hovered around 33 for the last 25 years, according to Zillow’s analysis of census data. The Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born from 1981 to 1997; this means that the oldest millennials are 36, and most members of the generation have yet to reach the age at which Americans typically buy their first homes. Meanwhile, millennial borrowers are having a slightly easier time getting mortgages. Their average FICO score was 722 in the first three months of 2017, dow n from a high of 727 from August through October of last year, according to mortgage software company Ellie Mae. In other words, they ’re able to secure

mortgages with a lower credit score. Mortgage calculators are ubiquitous on the internet. Nav igating the home-buying process is of ten f r ustrating a nd complex, but a better user experience isn’t going to solve the bigger problem fa cing f irst-time buyers: a shortage of homes they can afford. The inventory of U.S. homes for sale is at its lowest point since 2012, according to a March report from Trulia-a shortage that’s been pa r t ic u la rly a c ut e at lower price points.

NEW HARTFORD $315,000 On over 2.3 acres, this 4BD/2.5B has a first floor master for ease in living. Gas FP, 2 car garage, and a delightful front porch make this your country dream home with room for pets, outdoor entertaining, and close to recreational fun. G10165853 Patsy Keene and Associates/Patsy 860-989-1788

NEW HARTFORD $479,900 Stunning 4BD Colonial with large bonus room over garage! First floor bedroom as well as 3 on second floor. Gorgeous kitchen opens to family room. This is a very special property and won’t last long! Call now for your own showing. G10201184 Julie Yescott 860-655-9967

PLYMOUTH $194,900 3BD/1B Ranch with eat in kitchen, living room with gas FP, large dining/family room overlooking backyard. All bedrooms have hardwood flooring, remodeled full bath, 2 car garage w storage, newer roof and carpeting. Nice front porch! Tool shed and garden area. G10190386 Via Domus Team 860-416-4482

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PLYMOUTH $168,900 Updated 3BD Old Style Colonial in a neighborhood setting. Updated kitchen with SS, tile and a remodeled Full Bath. Beautiful woodwork and HW floors in the LR/DR. Walk up attic can be finished for additional space. Many mechanical updates. Three beautiful enclosed porches, 1 car garage, shed. G10199951 The Via Domus Team 860-416-4482

TORRINGTON $175,900 Well-kept ranch home with 3 or 4 bedrooms/2 full baths with an updated kitchen with stainless appliances. Large deck and finished basement. First floor laundry and full bath in LL, great for guests. 2 car garage under. G10170492 Christina Niziolek 860-673-5907

WINCHESTER $349,000 One of the nicest log homes ever! Everything is done: kitchen w/ cherry cabinets, granite, stainless. New bathrooms, HW floors on main level, a first floor BD could be a master for one floor living plus 2 master suites on second level. Barn with elec, and shed on 4.5 acres. Private yet close to all. G10149596 Owner Agent Tom Fowler 860-424-6948

LAND BARKHAMSTED: 71 CANTON RD 98.4 Acres, Pond $399,000 Kim Trumbull 860-309-6542 CANTON: 9 HOFFMAN 2.32 Acres Hoffman Farms! $179,900 Charles Hartigan 860-202-1754 HARWINTON: 2 Wildcat hill .94 acres $50,000 Matthew Schoenhardt 860-543-4005 WINCHESTER: Platt Hill 5.45 acres $69,900 Chris Niziolek 860-670-5635

www.marystevensrealty.com

Bus: (860) 738-3754 Fax: (860) 738-4283

129 South Road, Winsted, CT 06098

CALL OUR OFFICE AND WE WILL CHEERFULLY GIVE YOU THE ADDRESS.

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY, MAY 7 • 1:00 TO 3:00 PM 878 WEST WAKEFIELD BLVD., WINSTED, CT

Fantastic waterfront home. 4 bedrooms and a huge family room with wet bar and sliders that lead to a 14’x26’ deck. Formal dining room and a cozy breakfast nook overlooking the lake. Large Living room with FP. Delightful waterfront patio, Long composite dock. A lovely home with room for every one. Come take a look and make your dreams come true! Asking $650,000. Dir: West Wakefield Blvd. to # 878. See our sign.