Moving


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According to a recent article by RISMedia, additional results from a new retirement study conducted by Gray Hair Management, one of leading career coaching, networking and job search resources for professionals with base salaries of $75,000 to $300,000+, reveal that 70% of America’s corporate executives plan to pursue hobbies, travel or golf during their retirement years, and half are planning a post-retirement relocation.

Gray Hair Management’s 2007 Executive Retirement Survey was conducted in December 2007 and included almost 1000 senior level executives age 40 or older. And according to the article, results related to retirement age, financial readiness and top retirement concerns were reported earlier this month, revealing that 75.2% of America’s corporate executives plan to retire after age 60 and only half believe they are on course, financially, to retire at their planned retirement age. Additionally, health care and finances top their list of retirement concerns.

Leisure Pursuits

Contrary to reports that most baby boomers plan to work or start businesses during retirement, Gray Hair Management found that the majority of corporate executives (70.4%) plan to pursue hobbies, travel or play golf in their retirement days. Specifically, 30.9% said they plan to pursue hobbies, 25.9% plan to travel and 13.6% plan to play golf. However, 9.1% plan to start a business, 5.7% plan to go back to school, 5.4% plan to do volunteer work and 3.8% plan to work part-time (primarily as teachers or consultants).

“As baby boomer executives postpone retirement until their late sixties, seventies and beyond, it appears that most plan to enjoy leisure pursuits, rather than work, in their post-retirement days,” said Scott Kane founder and managing director of Gray Hair Management. “For those who plan to work after retirement, they will pursue volunteer opportunities, entrepreneurial ventures or part-time work as teachers or consultants.”

Retirement Relocation

The Gray Hair Management retirement survey also found that 50.7% of corporate executives plan to relocate when they retire. Almost 40% (38.5%) cited climate is the biggest reason for their planned post-retirement move, while 23.5%% want a smaller home, 17.5% said they need to downsize financially and 13% want to move closer to family.

Of those who plan to relocate after retirement, 74.4% plan to move out of state, with 8.5% planning to move to Florida, 7.6% to Arizona, 2.7% to Texas and 54.1% to other states. Additionally, 12.4% plan to move within their existing city/area, while 5.6% plan to move out of the country.

For more information, visit www.grayhairmanagement.com. Full Story

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RISMedia recently reported that the two key factors driving more than half (55%) of renters to move in 2008 are relocating for a job and reducing the cost of rent, according to a national survey from Apartments.com to current renters. Almost half of renters (48%) surveyed said they are moving to another city or state.

These 2008 moving trends also collaborate with recent workplace findings that fourteen percent of employers are willing to pay to relocate new employees, from another area to their company location, this year compared with last year, according to a joint survey by CareerBuilder.com and Apartments.com.

For renters planning to relocate this year, Forbes, in its 2008 report of the Best And Worst Cities For Renters, lists the following cities as the most affordable for renters:

1. Columbus, Ohio
2. Indianapolis, Ind.
3. Kansas City, Mo.
4. San Antonio, Texas
5. Cincinnati, Ohio
6. Saint Louis, Mo.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
8. Houston, Texas
9. Dallas, Texas
10. Salt Lake City, Utah

Ninety-five percent of renters surveyed plan on moving in 2008. Only seven percent are moving to buy a home, and almost all are scaling back on overall moving expenses. Seventy percent will not hire a professional moving service. Story

After your clients find their dream home, it’s easy to assume that they’ll be eager to box up their belongings and settle into their new abode as soon as they can get a moving truck. Here are some tips from RISMedia that you can share to make their moving experience hassle free:

1. Make sure that your moving quote is based upon a visual survey.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when booking a move is assuming that a phone quote is guaranteed. The only way to obtain a binding quote is to have your household goods visually surveyed by a moving company. Make sure that you get the quote in writing.

2. Read all documents before signing.
Once you have been provided a written quote, make sure you read before signing. The quote should document weight, distance, and services to be rendered. If you have verbally discussed any special services make sure that those needs are reflected in the estimate.

3. Make sure you have adequate valuation coverage.
Standard coverage for interstate moves, which all carriers are required to provide, is 60 cents per pound. This amount will be inadequate if an expensive item, such as a plasma television, is damaged in your move. Additional insurance can be purchased through the carrier or through your home insurance policy.

4. Use a reputable mover for your move.
The number of choices available for your move is enormous. Make sure that you are using a reputable mover who is licensed, bonded, and insured. A reputable mover will not ask for a deposit up front and will have moving trucks with their own company name on them.

5. Make sure the mover can contact you.
If you are planning to have your phone disconnected the day of your move, make sure that the moving company has your cell phone number or another way to reach you. This is also applicable for your new residence.

Here’s a list of our favorite real estate-related websites and services (in no particular order) that we came across in 2007:

And here’s looking forward to a great 2008!!! 🙂

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Real estate Web site Zillow.com launched Zillow® Smart Search, a dynamic new version of its search system, along with enhanced Neighborhood Pages that make it easier than ever for consumers to zero-in on homes most relevant to them and become smarter about the characteristics of surrounding areas.

According to the company, Smart Search uses patent-pending search technology that tightly integrates Zillow’s vast amount of real estate data with its mapping technology to provide users meaningful results through an intuitive, dynamic display. The technology enables Zillow visitors to customize their searches and view results in real time across multiple regions, simplifying real estate search in ways not previously available.  

Specifically, Smart Search offers:

Geographic boundaries. No need to scroll through pages and pages of data, Smart Search presents information at-a-glance through a map-based display that now includes boundaries at the state, county, city, ZIP code, and in many cases, neighborhood levels. Choose to view all homes, or those that are for sale, recently sold, or have a Make Me MoveTM price and further narrow searches with details such as number of bedrooms or price range. Results will identify the number of homes that match each search within the boundaries.

Dynamic, real-time updates. Designed to handle complicated and simultaneous queries, Smart Search enables users to alter search parameters or zoom in or out on the map and see results update on the fly, without the need to refresh.

Detailed Snapshots. See quick-read details of a specific area via a pop-up window. Based on the criteria, this could include population, median sale price and the Zindex® home value indicator. Unlike most real estate sites, Zillow tracks data on nearly all U.S. homes, not just those that are currently on the market or have recently sold, which is helpful to those looking for broader perspective on a particular market.

Improved results for multi-unit buildings. It is now far easier for users to find details about condos or multi-unit buildings through the initial results page. A special icon denotes these types of homes so users can easily identify a specific type of home.

“Smart Search sets a new standard for online real estate search and solves one of the biggest challenges on the Internet today by taking an enormous amount of data and displaying it in a way that is easy to digest and meaningful to each of our users,” said David Beitel, chief technology officer at Zillow. “At Zillow, we recognize one size does not fit all when it comes to homes and we’ll continue to introduce cutting-edge technologies and resources like Smart Search and neighborhood pages to help users customize their experience and quickly locate relevant information in a simple and seamless way.”

Zillow also launched more than 7,000 re-designed neighborhood pages in more than 130 cities nationwide, incorporating valuable user feedback. These revamped pages provide an in-depth look at a neighborhood, integrating public demographic information as well as data that is unique to Zillow like the Zindex and home value trends across neighborhoods and other regions. These pages now include snapshots on Affordability, Homes & Real Estate, People, and Discussions, a popular forum Zillow introduced earlier this year to help community members ask questions and have conversations with current or potential neighbors.

The company says that the neighborhood pages are also now easier to find, accessible through the home page, through links embedded in Smart Search results, and on individual home detail pages, which Zillow provides for more than 70 million homes nationwide. Zillow Blog

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Serious home buyers are always ready to make a purchase when they find the right home at a good price. That’s why the holiday season is just as a good a time as any to sell a home-in fact, it can be a great time.

Home sellers need to seize the opportunity by preparing their home, so that it is ready to show a buyer at anytime. RISMedia gives us four good reasons to either put a home on the market right now during the holiday or keep it on the market if it already is listed with a real estate firm.

1. Homes look their best during the holidays – Right now, many homes look more inviting than at any other time of the year. Holiday decorations and the clean look of homes, without clutter, make properties look more inviting inside and out. Live evergreens and scents of the season remind buyers of the warmth they are looking for in their new home.

2. Less competition – Most home sellers believe the holidays are too distracting to sell or buy or home so they take their house off the market. Less competition, in fact, makes it a good idea to do just the opposite because your home is more likely to be seen.

3. More serious buyers – Buyers shopping for a new home at this time of year are ready to act, and these are the kinds of buyers a seller truly wants to attract. Like everyone else, homebuyers have a long list of things to do during the holidays. If they are making time to visit homes in December and early January, it is quite clear they are ready to make an offer.

4. Strong connection between home and holidays – There’s no better time for buyers to see themselves in a new home. It’s the holidays and for many homebuyers the season inspires images of friends, family and home. The reality is that people buy homes in December and even during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

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Seniors are among those most likely to move, as they downsize or head off to sunny retirement digs. Yet moves can be especially hard on them, with heavy lifting and countless details to deal with, from emptying an attic to reconnecting an entertainment system. The folks at Springwise point us to Adrienne Simpson, founder of Smooth Mooove, who has staked her claim in what could become an attractive new industry. Like so many entrepreneurs, she recognized a business opportunity after personally discovering a need. While moving her parents from Georgia to Michigan, she searched without success for a specialized company that would be able to help. Thanks to Simpson’s hard-knocks lessons, Smooth Mooove’s clients can now choose from a lengthy menu of services within three basic moving plans. Services range from cleaning up vacated homes once all household items have been loaded on a truck, to hanging drapes and shopping for new items for a client’s new home. Although any move is costly, Simpson says Smooth Mooove can actually save time and money. Since family members often have to take time from work to help a parent move, the company isn’t just marketing its program to seniors, but also to corporate clients, as an employee benefit for children of aging boomers.

Smooth Mooove, based in Stone Mountain, Georgia, joins a growing list of concierge-like services focused on seniors, including other moving companies that are starting to serve this market. As populations age throughout the industrialized world, the need for similar services will expand, creating plenty of room for new competitors to differentiate themselves through innovative services or by segmenting the senior market in any number of ways. Plush retirement communities, for example, might contract with a moving service as an added inducement to buyers. In the end, the success or failure of moving companies for seniors—as with any high-touch service enterprise—will hinge on how well they manage the details. And, equally important, on the respect, consideration and care given to their clients in the process.