Archive for September 2018

5 Budget-Friendly Tips for Relocating

Relocating can be an exciting experience for some people who are ready to experience someplace new. But, for others, it is a necessity, not a choice. Maybe you are relocating because you need to be closer to a loved one or your job is transferring you to a new office. Whatever the case may be, here are a few tips to help you save a little more money in the process of relocating.

Ask for a Stipend

If you are moving for work, make sure to ask your employer if they are able to give you a moving stipend. This will allow you to cover some of the expenses that you would rather not be paying for yourself. If you don’t want to move all of your furniture or disassemble that IKEA desk you built two years ago, then check for the stipend because that could be the difference between a do-it-yourself project and hiring a company to do it for you. Even if the move is for a family member’s benefit, it is always worth asking that family member for some extra help with finances during the move.

Collect Packing Items Early and Often

You should never pay for boxes during the relocation process. There are so many businesses that get products in boxes. Most of these boxes go to the back of the store and are never seen again. Oftentimes if you just ask if a store has extra boxes that can be used in moving, the store would be happy to give them to you. If you can get a box collection going early, then you will not be scrambling for boxes right before your move. This just makes your only expense tons and tons of packing tape.

Declutter before You Pack

Before you get carried away packing up all of your lovely belongings, make sure that those items that you are packing are worth keeping and unpacking in your new place. If you are using a packing company, they usually charge per item and moving expenses can get quite costly. But, even if you are not using a moving company, your back will thank you if you do not pack those tea sets that your mom got you every year on your birthday. Decluttering when relocating is a key part of the moving process.

Take New Purchases on Slowly

When relocating, it is important to unpack and organize your belongings slowly. This is helpful because if you just run to Target right when you move in to your new place, you might purchase more clutter that you just got rid of when moving. It is better to unpack and take your time and not take on new purchase clutter.

Move in the Off-Season

If you have any choice as to when you relocate, you should try to do so in the off-season. Chances are that if you are using a moving company their prices may be cheaper during the off-season because it may be the company’s slower season.

Whether you are relocating for personal or work reasons, please let me know if you have any additional questions about relocation and how you can save money in the process.

The 8 Best Restaurants in Huntley, IL

Looking for some of the best restaurants in Huntley Use this list to find everything from a great breakfast to a marvelous dinner.

Manny’s Handcrafted Gelato & Cafe

If you are looking for a tasty dessert treat in Huntley, check out Manny’s. All of the gelato made in the Italian tradition is made in house with the freshest ingredients to make for a decadent homemade treat. Moreover, if you don’t feel like having a cold treat, enjoy a warm cup of coffee or espresso. Additionally, Manny’s offers daily lunch and soup specials, so enjoy a hearty soup or yummy sandwich.Manny’s aims to create the finest gelato and espresso treats in town. Make a stop here for your lunch and dessert cravings.

Papa G’s

If you want a restaurant with over 19 years of community history in Huntley and that offers a large array of menu options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, look no further than Papa G’s. If you are a fan of breakfast for dinner, then you are in luck because breakfast is served all day, every day. Soups are made fresh in house daily and Papa G’s offers daily dinner specials, so be sure to come in for some delicious, homemade favorites.

Brunch Cafe

If you are looking for a brunch spot with the breakfast classics and a few creative carbohydrate options like blueberry bliss cakes and berry explosion waffles, you came to the right place. Brunch Cafe opened its doors in 2008 and has been running strong since then. There are six locations and one is located in Huntley. If you want to ensure that you have a table, make sure to book ahead on their website through their Nowait application.

Jameson’s Charhouse

As the restaurant name implies, Jameson’s Charhouse is all about the steaks, chicken, and seafood. The restaurant uses only the highest quality ingredients to create its decadent dishes and even has a kid’s menu available if you’d like to bring the little ones along on date night.

Goodfella’s Beef

If you are looking for a more casual and quick option in Huntley, look no further than Goodfella’s Beef. It offers a wide assortment of Chicago Style beef, burgers, and hot dogs. The restaurant also offers a few vegetarian options. At this casual spot, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Also, they offer daily specials for under $8.

Sal’s Pizza Place

Sal and Sue own this local pizza joint that takes inspiration from Sal’s Sicilian roots. Offering an assortment of homemade pizzas, salads, wings, and sandwiches, Sal’s is sure to please everyone’s cravings. Sal’s offers dine in, delivery, and pick up options for customers. If you want to pizza, Sal’s is first on the list.

Parkside Pub

Parkside Pub is located in the heart of downtown Huntley and offers patrons a menu of delicious bar food. But, bar food doesn’t just include burgers and wings. In addition to those classic options, they offer fish, soups, melts, and tacos. Whatever you’re craving along with a brew, Parkside Pub is sure to please.

Huntley’s Tacos Locos

This restaurant touts the flaunts its status as having the best tacos in Huntley. The restaurant offers authentic Mexican cuisine whether you are dining in or carrying out. Also, if you are sitting on your couch watching a movie, you can have the restaurant deliver delicious food right to your door. Try everything on the menu and you won’t be disappointed.

If you need any additional suggestions on great restaurants and cuisine in Huntley, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

5 Pieces of Advice When Moving with Children

Moving with children can be an emotional, yet exciting time for the family. Maybe your home that you are leaving is the place where you started your family or maybe the home has been in the family for a while. Whatever the case may be, moving with children can be made less stressful by incorporating these activities into the moving process.

Make the Kids Feel Included in the Home Buying Process

When you are deciding to make the big decision to move homes, make it an exciting announcement to the kids. Plan an evening to tell the kids about the big event and get everyone involved in the process. If you all start to look at properties together as a family, this can make the process easier on everyone because everyone will feel like they are on the same page. You can even tell the kids to start doing home research on their own to get some variety in the home search and take a little of the burden off of your shoulders. You might be pleasantly surprised at what options the kids come up with.

Use the Move as an Opportunity to Cut Down on Clutter

When announcing the big move, make a point to tell the kids that this would be a great time to start thinking about the old toys that they have grown out of or don’t want to keep that have been clogging up the basement or garage. This can be an ideal time to cut down and avoid taking clutter into your new home.

Get the Kids to Help Run a Garage Sale

With some of items that you want to declutter, consider setting up a date to have a garage sale before the big move. Get the kids involved by having them help set up the garage sale and any items that you don’t sell, the whole family can donate them to a charity who really values the items and will put them to a valued use.

Make Plans for the New Home with the Kids

After you settle on a choice for your new home, engage the kids in activities like planning what space in the new house will be used for. For example, have the kids pick their rooms and how they will arrange their furniture and decorate. This will help them to adjust better to the new home and feel attached to it right out of the gate. Transitions can be tough for kids, but this will make the process a lot easier.

Have the Kids Help You Host a Housewarming Party

Last but not least, once you are settled and the house is no longer too chaotic with moving boxes and items scattered about, sit down with the family and plan a date for a housewarming party. Not only will you be able to showcase the new house to friends and family, but this party can really help kids to feel like this is home.

If you would like any other tips or advice about moving with children, it would be my pleasure to help and feel free to give me a call.

5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Preparing to purchase can be exciting and exceedingly daunting all at the same time depending on the market you are hoping to purchase in. When you become a home buyer, you want to ensure that everything is in order to make the process as smooth as possible. Check out the tips below as you tread into the wonderful world of home ownership.

Get Documents Ready for your Lender to Pre-Approve You

When you consider starting the process to purchase a home, you need to get a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. In order to secure this letter, a lender needs to have documents like bank statements, identification, and other essential documents to see the type and amount of a loan that you can qualify for. This will help them determine what the price point of your home should be when beginning to look at potential properties. As a best practice, you should always have pre-approval before looking at homes in case you want to put in an offer.

Down Payment Amount

Consider how much money you have saved up to apply toward a down payment on your home. A down payment will help to lower your monthly payment because you are putting more money towards the house upfront that you don’t have to get a loan for. Normally, the rule of thumb amount for a down payment is at least 20% of the purchase price. But, being a first-time home buyer, there may be loan products that can require a lesser percentage of the purchase price for the down payment.

Shape Up your Credit Score

As a first-time home buyer, to ensure you get the best interest rate on any mortgage loan, ensure that your credit score is in tip-top shape. The higher your score, the more likely it is that the lender will not have to add to the interest rate because of the amount of risk they are taking in giving you the loan. Paying off high balance credit cards and making payments on-time always help you raise your credit score.

Research Mortgage Options

As a first-time home buyer, you have many options to choose from when it comes to loan products. There is a Federal Housing Administration loan that allows borrowers to qualify with as little as a 3.5% down payment and a credit score of 580 or higher. There are also specialized loan products for veterans (VA loans) and teachers. There are USDA loans for rural properties. Depending on the type of home and the area, you need to employ the help of your lender in finding the right loan product for you.

Be Ready to Compromise

Once you are pre-approved and ready to start looking at potential homes, you may think you know everything that you want to find in a home. However, as a first-time home buyer, you may have to compromise and only get a portion of the amenities or specific things you want in a home. Keep in mind that this is your first home, but it doesn’t have to be your forever home. You can make this home your own and personalize it regardless of if it has everything you want on your list.

If you have any questions about purchasing your first home or if you need any recommendations from lenders to properties, please do not hesitate to give me a call.