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google map to real pro systemsMoving Day with Fido:

Tips for Keeping Your Best Friend Calm Amid the Chaos

 

 

Whenever you face a major change in your life, from changing jobs to moving houses, you experience a gauntlet of emotions. You might feel anxious about the unknown, or worried if you’re making the right choice. You probably also feel excited, ready for the adventure that the next chapter holds. But did you know there is another individual feeling all these emotions—and possibly even more than you are?

Look no further than your furry best friend. Dogs feel stress just like people do. Your dog has likely picked up on your emotional oscillation, which makes him feel more anxious. On top of all that, the boxes and busyness probably also has Fido more on edge than usual. His excitement and anxiety is sure to peak on moving day—a day your mind will likely be occupied and engaged elsewhere. Here are a few tips to make sure moving day runs smoothly for your dog:

 

  • Hire a Dog Sitter: Consider hiring a trained dog trainer to sit with your dog on moving day. By choosing a professional, you know your dog is in the hands of someone capable of providing healthy distractions and helping your pup relax. If a professional isn’t an option, think about paying a good friend that your dog trusts to keep him occupied on moving day.
  • Call a Dog Walker: Out of sight, out of mind works for dogs, too. Booking a dog walking pro for a few hours on moving day could be a great way to get Fido out of the house and help him expend some of that pent up nervous energy. It’s not uncommon for dogs to display their stress both physically and behaviorally. You may have noticed your dog is having trouble making bowel movements, or has reverted to destructive behaviors like chewing or scratching. Science shows that walking provides the kind of mental and emotional relief for dogs that will help you reduce stress on moving day.
  • Pre-Move Your Dog: One option to consider is to go ahead and move your dog first. This only works if you’re moving to a new place within the same day, and planning on going by the new house enough times throughout the move to let him out for bathroom breaks. Your dog may feel stressed being alone in a new place, so if you choose this option, you’ll want to make sure to move your dog’s bed, toys, food and water bowls, and other items with a familiar scent so that he is reassured of his new environment.
  • Pick a Safety Spot: Part of the anxiety that Fido feels has to do with the unknown. Prepare a safe space for your dog to observe the action without being in it. For example, you can move everything out of your guest room, leave the door open, and put up a baby gate. Move your dog’s bed, food, water and favorite toys into the room with him so that he can watch the action and still have access to soothing familiarity.
  • Board Your Dog: For a dog that can’t shake the stress, getting him out of the house entirely might be the only way to manage moving day. Take your pup to doggy daycare or leave him with an in-home dog boarding pro while you take care of moving out of your current home and into a new place. Your pup will enjoy a normal, regular day at daycare without the added stress of witnessing a major change take place that could potentially cause unintentional distress.

Moving is stressful enough for us humans, but as a dog-owner, you know that reassurance is crucial during these kinds of major upheavals. Take the time to prepare your dog and work on a moving day scenario that fits his personality and needs.

 

Article provided by Medina at DogEtiquette.info

Dogs And Real Estate - How To Make The Process Go Smoothly

by Connie Erickson

google map to real pro systemsDogs And Real Estate:

 

How To Make The Process Go Smoothly

 

 

 

 

Photo via Pixabay by RealWorkHard

Buying and selling property can be a stressful experience; the financial aspect is a lot to consider in itself, and the timing has to be just right if you’re dealing with your former home while trying to move into a new one. When it comes to making preparations for the move itself--packing, arranging for movers, making sure the post office has your change of address, and preparing for visits from REALTORS and potential home-buyers--the process can be overwhelming.

Throwing pets into the mix can be difficult, as well, only because many pet owners consider their animals to be another member of the family and want to keep them happy and safe during such a major transition. Fortunately, there are many simple ways you can insure your dog is well taken care of before, during, and after the move. Here are some of the best.

Train your dog

Having a well-trained dog means you won’t have to suffer through the awkward jumps, barking, and sniffs when a realtor walks through the door. No one likes to come into a situation where they have to yell to be heard over the yapping of a pup, so even if he’s been trained before, it’s a good idea to go over some simple commands with your dog to make sure he’ll be on his best behavior.

Clean up

When your house goes on the market, you’ll want to make it as presentable as possible so that potential buyers can see themselves living comfortably there. It’s imperative that you clean and remove pet hair, sweep, dust, vacuum, and deodorize furniture and curtains in preparation for buyers, as one of the main reasons a client won’t go for a home is pet odor. Go from room to room and look at things from your pet’s point of view so that nothing is missed. Pro tip: you can place sheets or old blankets on any furniture your pet sits on in order to keep hair and dander off, then remove the sheets just before the appointment.

While you may think of your dog as another member of the family, it’s important to remember the many problems that could occur if your pet is home while buyers are walking through. They could have allergies or a fear of dogs, or your pet might forget his manners due to the stress of having new people in his home and nip at hands. The easiest--and safest--way to go is to have a friend take care of your dog while buyers are walking through or during open houses, or take him to a pet resort for the day. Not only will this insure everyone’s safety, it will keep buyers focused on the home and not on thoughts of potential pet damage and odors. Check out dogvacay.com to find a pet sitter near you.

Leave him at home

If you have a small dog who normally travels everywhere with you, reconsider when you’re looking for a new home. You may be tempted to bring him along to a potential new house to see how he’ll react to the space, but in the long run it’s best if you just leave him at home. This is because you never know what sort of situation you might run into during an open house or walk-through, including owners who are allergic to dogs or kids who are afraid of them. They might also have a dog of their own, which could potentially create problems. Let your pup stay home while you scout out locations and wait until you have the keys to let him explore.

Hire the right movers

Hiring the right helpers for your big day is imperative, especially if your dog is of a breed that is typically aggressive. Make sure the movers are okay with working with your pet and communicate with them about how to interact with him and whether he’ll be in a kennel or kept in one room on moving day. This is a good way to keep everyone safe and to insure your dog won’t get loose during all the commotion.

Remember that moving is a big change for most pets and can cause anxiety in some, so make sure you show him lots of love and attention during this time to cut down on his stress. Help him get acclimated to the new home by placing his food and water bowls and bedding in places that are similar to where they were in your former house.

Article provided by Medina at DogEtiquette.info

 

 

 

Door County Vacation Home Arrival and Departure Tips

by Connie Erickson

google map to real pro systemsDOOR COUNTY VACATION HOME ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE TIPS

You purchased your Door County vacation home to enjoy life.  I am attaching a wonderful checklist from Gene Sunstrom of Second Opinion Home Inspections to help make your vacation home ownership simpler.

 

DOOR COUNTY VACATION HOME ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE CHECKLIST!

 

 

 

 

 

Selling Tip #2 - The Clean Factor

by Connie Erickson
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The Clean Factor

Most people are turned off even by the smallest amount of uncleanliness or odor when buying an improved property.  Sellers lose thousands of dollars because they do not adequately clean.  If your house is adequately cleaned you will be able to sell your home faster and net hundreds if not thousands of dollars more.

In preparing a house for sale, I encourage my sellers to attend to the small items, as that is what a major impression.  Ceiling fans should be washed and sparkling.  In going into the mechanical areas, I tell my sellers that if these mechanics are washed off with soapy/sudsy water, it gives the buyer the impression that this seller really takes care of their home.  Light fixtures are another area of extreme visibility, and rarely one which sellers clean on a regular basis.  Not only should this be done inside, but also on the outside lights of the property.  It is also important to clear and eliminate the spider webs.

Unless your property is sprayed by a spider man on a regular basis, I have found that the windows, and screens, become coated with spider webs and small pieces of debris like leaves.  Additionally, spiders have a tendency to defecate on the frames of the windows, and leave little spots all the way around.  Again, this attention to detail makes a huge difference.  Most agents have difficulty addressing odors in the house to their sellers.  One of the particular difficulty is that of pet odor.  Sellers who have pets in the home do not smell them.  Cat urine can be even more offensive in nature, Sellers today are even removing the pet food dishes at the time of the showings.  While most people loves pets, they are totally turned off by pet odors, and whether we as pet owners realize it or not, those smells do exist in your home.

If you are a smoker, it is a kiss of death.  A smoker’s house, in most cases, will stay on the market forever.

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5 more things you need to know before buying Door County real estate:

 

 

  • Working with a seasoned REALTOR like myself (going into my 3rd decade!), enables you to take advantage of my vast amount of knowledge which aids you in the purchasing decision.‚Äč
  • In Wisconsin, a REALTOR is a member of the Door County Board of REALTORS and as such, participates in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  A REALTOR is an extension of the seller through this association with the MLS and therefore, represents the seller.  You can, however, contract with an Agent to represent you in a Buyer Agency Contract.  I highly recommend this. 
  • In hiring a home inspector, you should choose one who does inspections in the area where you are purchasing.  The home inspector’s job is to point out problems that could require costly repairs now and down the road.  We have excellent inspectors in Door County, and typically the Inspection Contingency addresses structural, mechanical and safety and health issues.  If you need any testing performed (ie:  radon), you must mention that in the “Testing Contingency” in the Offer to Purchase.  This is not covered in the “Inspection Contingency”.
  • Aim for a property you can actually afford.  Have an initial consultation with a REALTOR to discuss your buying power.  It is a total waste of your time and the REALTORS to look at properties that are too expensive…..not to mention how unfair it is to the Seller who takes the time to prepare the property for your viewing. 
  • In my opinion, there has never been a better time to buy Door County real estate.

 

5 Things You Need to Know When Buying Door County Real Estate

by Connie Erickson
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5 Things You Need to Know

When Buying

Door County Real Estate

 

1.  NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY!  During the winter, there are less people visiting Door County; the leaves are off the trees, so you have more depth to your vision and perception; the interest rates are fabulous; and purchasing now can assure your enjoyment at the beginning of the Spring/Summer!  Door County’s real estate inventory is fairly good, and offers several opportunities.

2.  YOU NEED TO BEGIN BY SHORING  UP  YOUR CREDIT.

3.  WORK WITH A LOCAL LENDER.  I ALWAYS recommend that a Buyer or a Seller looking to finance or purchase property go to a local financial institution.  After three decades in this business, I can almost guarantee a Seller or a Buyer looking to finance property, that if they don’t go to a local lender, they will have trouble and their transaction will most probably not close.  A good REALTOR can suggest several local lenders to which you should apply, and through which your transaction would close with relatively few kinks.

4.  LOOK FOR PROPERTIES THAT YOU REALLY CAN AFFORD!  I do not find that this to be a problem with a second home purchaser…they are very responsible regarding seeking financing and having a financial institution give them a pre-approval.  However, I have found this to be more prevalent of an issue with those looking to own a business up here.  It is ALWAYS a very important and necessary step to talk with a lender BEFORE one starts looking.  This sets the stage for a WIN down the line.

5.  GET PROFESSIONAL HELP!  Even though the Internet gives Buyers unprecedented access to property listings, the Internet cannot give the Buyer the insight necessary to make an educated buying decision.  Buyers are always better off using a local professional real estate agent.  I recommend discussing the benefits of Exclusive Buyer Agency Representation.

Why should I test my well?

by Connie Erickson
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Why should I test my well ?

 

As one of Wisconsin's 900,000 private well owners or private well water consumers, you probably use ground water for doing your family's laundry, drinking, cooking, bathing and watering your garden. Municipalities are required to test their water supplies regularly to ensure the water is safe to drink. Since there is no requirement to test a private well except for bacteria when it is first drilled or the pump is changed, you are responsible for making sure your water is safe.

Most private wells provide a clean, safe supply of water ; however, contaminants can pollute private wells, and unfortunately you cannot see, smell, or taste most of them. Consequently, you should test your water on a regular basis. The decision on what to test your water for should be based on the types of land uses near your well.

There are many tests that can be performed. The most common tests in the Door County area are Coliform Bacteria, E-coli Bacteria, Lead, Arsenic and Nitrate. It is very important to realize that comprehensive water testing once a year should be as important as changing the batteries in your smoke detector. Here is a little known fact. In 1994 a Wisconsin survey found 23% of all wells tested were positive for Coliform Bacteria and 2.4% tested positive for E.coli. This survey was statewide.

Keep your water safe. Maintain your well and pressure system as you would any other part of your home and property. There is nothing more important than safe drinking water. Lots of questions ? If you or have questions, feel free to contact me. I can answer most of the questions. Further, I can make site visits to advise home owners on how to feel confident that they have a system that is compliant and operating correctly.

Robert Larsen
Master Plumber 226224

DNR. Licensed Pump Installer 4328

I would like to acknowledge the Wisconsin DNR. Bureau of Drinking and Groundwater for contributing to this blog.

Robert Larsen is one of my recommended vendors.  For more information on well water testing, septic testing or any plumbing issues, you can contact Robert at:


Englebert Larsen Plumbing and Pump Service
920.743.4261 - 920.868.2488

[email protected]

 

 

COMMUNICATION IS KEY IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION!

by Connie Erickson
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I was recently reminded of the importance of communication in a transaction between the Buyer and their REALTOR (and Seller and their REALTOR). We had an accepted Offer to Purchase.  The Buyers were working through another REALTOR and I was working with the Sellers.  Throughout the negotiations and then after the Offer was accepted, it was apparent that there was very little, if any, communication between the Buyers and their REALTOR  The deal ultimately fell apart because of the Buyer’s lack of understanding of the Offer process.  I felt these Buyers really wanted the property, but were left in the dark when it came to procedures.

It is SOOOO IMPORTANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR REALTOR.  The REALTOR is there to guide you through the transaction.  Most people do not buy and sell real estate every day.  I DO!  Because I do, I can help you through the maze of writing the Offer, negotiations, inspections, financing, appraisals, zoning, offer deadlines, etc.

The best advise that I can give you, is to WORK WITH A REALTOR WHO COMMUNICATES WITH YOU CONSISTENTLY! 

 

Home Inspection - What will it Cost?

by Connie Erickson
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When purchasing a home, having a home inspection is a good way to insure there are not major defects with the property and it's a good way to learn about the property you are purchasing and how things work. Below, Gene Sunstrom of Second Opinion Home Inspections, answers common questions that I receive from Buyers.

 

 

1) What is the cost associated with home inspection?

The inspection fee for a typical single-family house varies as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as radon testing or thermal imaging. The cost of a home inspection for an average home of approximately 2,000 square feet would be $300.00.

While finding out the cost of a professional inspection service is a great idea, a far better idea would be for customers who call to ask "What are the qualifications of the home inspector who will be inspecting my home?" because the answer to that question can determine how much a home inspection can save you both short and long term.

2) How long does it take?

The length of time that a home inspection takes varies with the size, age, additional testing, etc. A 2,000 square foot home normally takes from 1 ½ - 2 hours on site and an additional 1 hour to complete the written report.

3) Should Buyer be there?

We encourage the buyer to attend the inspection if possible; this provides an opportunity for the inspector to explain first hand issues discovered or possible suggestions to reduce maintenance on the home in the future.

It is often not practical for the buyer to attend; most home inspectors now have reports that are computer generated with digital images to accurately display problem areas or recommended improvements outside of the structural integrity of the building. These reports can be generated within hours of the onsite inspection and delivered by email to buyer and the buyer’s agent.

For answers to specific questions, you can contact Gene Sunstrom at:

[email protected] or visit his web site: www.secondopiniondc.net

5 Steps to Obtaining a Mortgage

by Connie Erickson
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Today’s stricter lending environment means that processing a mortgage application is more complex than ever, given the number of steps that lenders, underwriters, and mortgage insurers must all complete before home buyers truly have their financing in place.

To help ensure the process goes smoother, you can also take steps of your own. It’s a good idea to discuss the process with me, I'm an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), even before shopping for homes. By planning ahead, you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate and move forward on a purchase—and avoid any unpleasant surprises regarding your mortgage.

1. EVALUATE AFFORDABILITY
Lenders and mortgage insurers look at a variety of factors, but the two most important are your monthly mortgage payment and your total debt loan, relative to your gross income. As a home buyer, it’s also important to consider additional expenses, beyond your mortgage payment, that can impact how much home you can afford. Depending on your situation, these other expenses could include property taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, home maintenance expenses, homeowner association fees, parking expenses, and utilities.

2. DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS
Deciding what type of mortgage is best for you depends on your personal situation, your financial scenario, and your future plans. For example, if your down payment isn’t large enough to qualify for a conventional loan, an FHA mortgage can be an excellent option. Alternately, you may qualify for an attractive program offered at the national or local level. Mortgage programs are always changing, so ask me about current options.

3. INTERVIEW LENDERS
I can provide several recommendations, based on past home buyers’ experiences. Rates and fees are typically very competitive between lenders, so it’s often more important to focus on other factors including the level of service provided and how well they’ve executed transactions for other buyers. The type of mortgage you are seeking may also impact your choice of lender, since some are more familiar with certain mortgage programs than others.

4. GET PREAPPROVED
Completing a loan application with one or more lenders will help confirm whether your intended mortgage financing plans will work out as hoped, or if you must modify your plans. It’s important to understand since pre-approvals are contingent upon the lender receiving full documentation; your pre-approval does not guarantee that you have a mortgage. Still, it’s an important first step that will also put you in a better negotiating position with sellers.

5. COMMIT TO A LENDER
As soon as you are under contract to purchase a home, commit to working with one lender to complete your mortgage application. You will probably be charged a fee at this point because this is when the lender starts incurring processing expenses on your behalf. Show your lender that you are serious about working in partnership with them by submitting all the required documentation as quickly as possible.

Following these five steps will greatly improve your results in getting a mortgage. Count on me to provide more detailed information on each step on the process and answer any questions.

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Connie Erickson
Door County Realty, Inc.
Po Box 340 - 4027 Main Street
Fish Creek WI 54212
Office: 920-868-2075
Toll Free: 888-678-3949
Fax: 920-868-2425

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