Saturday, March 1, 2014

Will a Short Sale Affect Your Credit Forever?

A local couple in middle Tennessee, Kenny and Sarah from Hermitage, recently asked about this very important, yet sometimes difficult, topic.  They said…
“Last year was a very challenging year for us and we ended up having to sell our home through a short-sale with the bank. Our friends did the same thing the year before and were told they would never be able to buy another home again. Can you tell us if this is true? Is our credit ruined forever now? Will we have to rent for the rest of our lives? We would love to be able to buy another home some day.  Please help!”
A lot of people can relate to this situation, and I really appreciate Kenny and Sarah’s honesty because this can be a hard topic that many people find embarrassing to discuss.  But first and foremost, I want people to know that things happen.  I personally have a short sale on my credit because I co-signed for my sister years ago.  I wish I hadn’t done that, but I did, and things happen.  But the good news is that you can buy another home after going through a short sale.
There are probably thousands of people in middle Tennessee who are wondering this very same thing.  For that reason, I like to consult with David Hammett of First Community Mortgage.  David has come up with a way to help people who have gone through a short sale to be able to buy a home again.
The lender has put together a kit of the step-by-step process that will enable them to buy their dream home. The free “Home Buyer Credit Repair Kit” is a great opportunity for people.  This kit will walk you through the process step-by-step; it will tell you what’s important and what needs to be done first so you are prepared to buy again later.
If you’d like one of these valuable packets, free of charge, simply contact me, and I will be happy to connect you with David.  Again, David has been in the industry for years and I have complete trust in his ability to help people realize their American Dream.
When I think about people never being able to realize their dreams again, it hurts my heart which is why I wanted to address this topic today.
Happy Customers of the Week
Teresa from Ashland City had intended to purchase another home after hers sold, but as it turns out, she wasn’t able to do so.  However, we were still able to save her over $7,000 in fees during the process.
Because I promote my “We Sell Homes 4 Free” program so regularly, sometimes people think that’s all we do, but we do so much more – we do everything that any other agency does as well!  So far this year, we’ve saved 35 families over $300,000 in typically collected commissions.
For more information about buying or selling a home in today’s market contact The Mohr Group at (615) 376-4500 or you can reach Monte directly by calling (615) 300-8393.

Discover A Simple Way to Save Thousands of Dollars When Selling Your Home

Are you thinking of buying a home, but you still have one to sell?  Do you wish there were a way to save money in the process of selling? Good news – there is a way to do just that!
Kelly and James in Franklin TN recently submitted the following question about this topic:
“We just saw the end of your recent segment on Channel 4 sharing about your willingness to sell our home for free if we buy our next home with your help.  Please explain how your program works.  My husband says nothing is free, where’s the catch?”
I get this question all of the time, “Where’s the catch?” so allow me to explain how the program came into existence.  About four years ago, when the market was really bad and had tanked out, nobody could sell their homes unless it was through a foreclosure with the bank.  At that point, I wondered what I could do to help people sell their homes during one of the most difficult real estate markets our country has ever seen.  So I thought, “What if I could bring my 27 years of experience to the table for free for the individuals who are going to buy another home, but first have one to sell?”
By doing so, I could help them to lower their cost to sell.  And, if we lower their cost to sell, we can lower their price.  If we lower their price, we’ll get more people in the front door looking at the house.  And if we can get more people in the front door, we’re going to increase our chances of getting somebody emotionally attached to the home; that’s how simple the thought process was.
Now four years later, although the market has changed, we’re going to keep that business model in place because we’re finding out that people really appreciate saving thousands of dollars.  This is a formula that really works.  We’ve sold 35 homes so far this year amounting to a savings of over $300,000 in typically collected commission fees.  Think about that number – 35 middle Tennessee families saving over $300,000 in one year – that makes a very big impact on a lot of lives!
Happy Customer of the Week
Ed and Hilda from Nashville listed with another company and were unable to sell their home.  They took advantage of our We Sell Homes 4 Free Program which saved them over $8,900 in normally charged fees.  As a result of that savings, they were able to drop their price and they sold their home very quickly and got full price in the sale.
For more information about buying or selling a home in today’s market contact The Mohr Group at (615) 376-4500 or you can reach Monte directly by calling (615) 300-8393.

Waiting Until Spring to Sell Your Home Could Cost You

Every year at this time, would-be home sellers start asking themselves the same question, “Should I sell my home now? Or should I wait until the spring?”  Through the years people have been conditioned to think that their house would not sell in the winter months.  The idea is that their home has more curb appeal in the spring when the grass is green and the flowers are in bloom, therefore they should wait until spring to list their home.  But truth is that if you are serious about selling your home, waiting until springtime to enter the market could end up costing you money.  As the New Year gets underway, here are 5 reasons it’s best to sell right now:
 1.  Less Competition
Every year home sellers flood the market with new listings in the spring.  If you wait, you will need to be more aggressive when pricing your home in order to compete with all of those new listings.  But if you enter the market now, while inventory is lower, you eliminate that competition!
 2.  Serious Buyers
You might be fearful that there are fewer buyers in the market during the winter months.  And, while it’s true that there are a reduced number of buyers, the ones that are out there looking at homes are serious about buying a house.  Historically speaking, although spring and summer months do tend to offer more home buyers within the market, those buyers are not as serious about purchasing a home.  For starters, they have ample time to shop all of your competition; they are not in a rush.  And, although you may have a bigger pool of buyers looking at your property, a fair number of those added buyers are just kicking tires; there are a lot more “looky-loos” during spring and summer months.
 3. Interest Rates Are Still Low
Over the last several years we’ve become complacent with low interest rates, but they will not remain this low forever.  Rates have been ticking upwards and no one really knows what the rates will be in the spring.  Buyers who are in the market now can afford a lot more house while the interest rates are still low.  Once the rates go back up, buyers’ budgets will be negatively impacted as a result.  If you plan to purchase another home yourself, this provides an added benefit to you when you assume the role of buyer in your next transaction.  When spread across the term of a 30 year loan, even a ½ percent increase on your loan interest can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.  The sooner you lock into a low rate, the better off you’ll be.
 4. A Smoother, Faster Transaction
One of the biggest challenges faced by home sellers in 2013 was the time it took to go from contract to closing.  Financial institutions have been flooded with loan requests for purchases as well as refinancing. One benefit to selling your home before spring is that the demand for loans quiets down considerably.  With lenders experiencing less demand, there are fewer delays for both buyers and sellers.  And as the saying goes, time is money.  The sooner you wrap up your transaction, the more money you will save in mortgage interest, property taxes, hazard insurance, etc.
5. Getting On With Your Life
While you may not be able to attach a dollar amount to this last item, there is definitely value in moving on with your life.  Think about the reasons you want to sell; do you want to be closer to family? Are you taking a job transfer?  Does your current health status require a different living environment?  Do you want to get your kids into a better school district?  Whatever the case may be, think about the advantages in being able to regain control of your life’s path.  There is significant value in moving on with your life and pursuing what is truly important to you and your family.

Thompson’s Station Mayor, Corey Napier, on the Future of Real Estate and the Area

Desk Side Chats With Monte Mohr:  I’m here on a cold January morning with Corey Napier, the Mayor of Thompson’s Station, who has agreed to share his thoughts and insights on the future of Thompson’s Station.

corey 213x300 Thompsons Station Mayor, Corey Napier, on the Future of Real Estate and the Area
A Little Background on Thompson’s Station
Thank you for inviting me to have a chat. We have a number of really wonder things going on in our part of the world. We are blessed as a community, and we have good challenges and opportunities ahead of us. We are not wrestling with some of the negative aspects of communities that are not thriving, that are trying to figure out how to keep their young people living in their community and how to keep the infrastructure going without shrinking tax base.
So when you think about where Thompson’s Station and south Williamson County are really positioned in the heart of middle Tennessee, with all the good things that are goi
ng on in this larger community, Thompson’s Station is in the process of figuring out what it wants to be when it grows up. How do you create a sense of place?
Thompson’s Station has been around a long time; it was a land grant to a number of Revolutionary War heroes. And over time, Thompson’s Station grew into a crossroads with the railroad here, and you might have seen this if you’ve ever visited our little downtown area, it was one time known as the millet capital of the world.  Well millet kind of fell out of favor I suppose with other grains and wheat products and so forth over time, so it’s ironic that millet is once again being looked at as a grain to help with health and to feed the people in the poor areas of the globe. That’s a little unknown fact about Thompson’s Station, is that for years we had an agricultural base.
A Community at a Crossroads
Back to Thompson’s Station and where it sits now; it really is a crossroads community. We can go down  a couple of different paths: we can embrace rapid growth and probably the sprawl that goes with it, or we can try to control our destiny by creating a sense of place so people will want to choose to live here. And so I often ask folks, “What do you like in a small town?”  Because that’s what we want to be – we want to be a small town in a greater metropolitan area.
If you say, “What are the qualities that would encourage you to live in a small town?” you get a list of items. And if you ask, “What are some of the things you don’t like about a small town?” you start getting that kind of feedback, and what emerges is a community that has its own distinct personality and one that truly has a sense of community in so far as people are connected.  People get out of their houses, they interact with their neighbors, and they seek out opportunities to give back into their community. All of this is still very possible with Thompson’s Station because we’re still just a “white piece of paper.”
Planning Our Community
A lot has been invested in our comprehensive land use, planning, our zones and our codes to encourage a certain type of build out in our community; because we know growth is coming. So we’re na├»ve to think that if we just ignore it, it will go away. Spring Hill is not going away with all of its growth. Franklin with all of its growth is not going away. And here we sit between the two.  Hwy 840 is now open and you start to see the ramifications of the east/west traffic connecting to I-65 and highways 24 and 40. So that means we better say, “let’s get ahead of all of that as much as we can, figure out a way to control the growth, encourage growth to pay for itself and not bet on those who are coming to be good fiscal stewards of what we do have, as well as being good stewards of what is a beautiful part of the world.
And so when people say, “What draws you to Thompson’s Station? Why did you come here?” the emerging theme that comes to me from a lot of people, is that they are close to everything while being away from it all. We’ve been interviewing for new town administrators and one of the candidates actually said something along those lines. He said, “You’re close to everything, but you can get away from it all.” And I think that’s what a lot of folks are choosing when they buy into this part of Williamson County. You can choose Leiper’s Fork, you can choose Fairview, Nolensville, Brentwood, or Franklin; some of those have a very defined personality as a community, but others don’t.
Our community has articulated a vision of having lots of contiguous green space – green space that can be used by the entire community –not walled off behind a gated community.  We don’t want little slivers of green space that may or may not have practical functions for the community.  We want to create a gathering place where we can build on this mythology of a small town, and if we do it correctly, we’re going to have something amazing down the road.  We don’t want to wake up in 40 years and say, “We got it wrong. Now let’s go back and see if we can fix it.”
A Vision For Our Future
If we create the sense of a little vibrant, downtown area, and if we have this contiguous green space – we’re working really hard on a 400-500 acre contiguous park, it would be south Williamson’s Central Park, it would be our Percy Warner Park – that’s the vision we’re fighting for.
That’s what a lot of folks want. How do you have a healthy, engaged community? Not only physically active with hiking, or jogging, or community gardens and those sorts of things that you can do on the park land, but also from a mental health standpoint. If folks know their neighbors, if they are engaged in seeing them at the local restaurant, or they’re engaged at a local ball game with their kids, or there’s a downtown festival at the park, I think that’s what a lot of folks are looking for, and they miss it because right now they come home, they don’t get out of their houses and they go stir crazy.
If we give folks the option to be a connected community, both physically, through the form of connected trail ways throughout our community as well as various venues and social activities, and volunteer charitable activities.  All of this is part of the “the stew” that becomes your community. We talk a lot about that in Thompson’s Station. What is it about us that is going to make us unique and special?
Future Growth and Development
If you have a choice of living anywhere in Tennessee, middle Tennessee, or Williamson County, you start to narrow it down; what are the attributes that you’re buying into? A lot of these things are foundational things that we have in place right now. We have dedicated trail ways, we just purchased 100 acres in the last year and we’re probably going to add to that in the next couple of months which will give us 200 contiguous acres. We are working with federal grant money, we’re working with the school system, we’re working with Spring Hill, we’re talking to Franklin about how to create this idea of multiple stakeholders where it’s not just one particular interest; it’s not just one developers interests.  They are here and they’re building and that’s great, then you have the homeowners who move in and they have their own interests.  You also have the land owners – people who are sitting on 5, 10, 20, 100, a couple hundred acres – who have a place in our community.
So how do you get all of these people to table? How do you get them to buy in? Because when they “buy in” to their community, then you get a lot done without a lot of money.  That’s another big thing, is this public/private collaboration. So for instance, if we take this park idea and say Thompson’s Station stands for contiguous green space and controlled density around our commercial roads; we keep this green core around our town, and then people will say, “I get it!” Then they’ll say, “Well what can you do at this park?”
You can put in trail ways, horse paths, community gardens, bird sanctuaries, or a learning laboratory where the kids from Heritage and Independent High School can gather and partner with corporations that are yet-to-come. Let’s just say Mars for example; if we partner with Mars or someone else who is working on dog health or human/dog health combined, and they are a zero landfill company, what can we learn from them? How can we partner with them? You’ll get people utilizing that park in ways we haven’t even thought about. Maybe we’d have a humungous compositing arrangement that allows for the food residue from the cafeterias of these schools to be taken there. Then we can create organic matter than can be put on the community yard. If we’re using a non-end point discharge sewer system, how do you use that water? How do you drip that on fields in an age when people are very worried about water?
So there are these opportunities towards sustainability and it really comes back to controlling our destiny. There’s a little bit of this “Field of Dreams” thing – build it and they will come! But once they come, you’ve got to get them engaged. You’ve got to say, “get out , participate, and be a part of this!”
Defining Our Priorities
Magic happens when you can define 2-3 priorities that everybody can get behind. So our priorities now are: What should we be doing with our little downtown area? Right now the government owns a lot of that land and the buildings in that downtown area. Maybe we need to free that up for private businesses to be able to open; things like small offices or other retail establishments. People will have a place to come on the weekends and there are things to do. If it’s right by that park they can spend 2-3 hours getting their exercise in, maybe see a few neighbors, maybe learn something while out on the trails and enjoy what is some of the prettiest topography in all of the country.
There are multiple “win” opportunities, but I keep calling Thompson’s Station “Tennessee’s Village Green.”  This is a concept that we are a village in the bigger and ever increasing metropolitan area of Nashville. We are a little green oasis where people can basically have it all; they can have their own community and they can have the type of things that lead to a very high quality of life. But it’s going to take a lot of us working for years to come – well after I’m gone. So for those of us who have been involved for a number of years have likened what we’ve been doing to putting foundational stones in place. Then as people come, you just add to that foundation.
The Future of Transportation
In 15-20 years we’re going to have a lot more people here so transportation is going to continue to be a biggie – there’s no way around it. But why can’t we work regionally – and we ARE with Spring Hill and Franklin – to try and be smart about ways we’re moving people around which may or may not involve people getting in a car. There’s been a lot of talk about a light rail coming north to south through middle Tennessee. My guess is there’s a good chance it will come through Thompson’s Station. As we think about where to direct growth, we say it’s probably good to have some higher density, so let’s put it where there’s a good chance the light rail could pick up those folks and bring them into Cool Springs or Nashville.
Our Long-Term Goals
So getting back to the planning aspect of things, let’s not think about today and what might mean dollar signs, or impact fees, or other things that a city might get immediately.  Rather, where is the right place for things to go? And for our town, the vision a number of years ago was that there was certain zoning areas based on a comprehensive land use plan that directs the conversation with developers, homeowners, and elected officials so they can have a better conversation. They can say, “Hey, that’s a good idea, but it would really be better over here.” Or, if they really want to develop this piece of property, and it lends itself to being better developed, then they have to give us at least 50% green space per our ordinance.  Or why don’t they go get us the cash and/or find us the green space that makes sense so everybody can use it as opposed to just trying to carve out an odd spot on a property to develop it.  We want to be mindful of that and it’s called transfer of development rights; where you can transfer some of you density to certain areas and in return you give cash or land. And, “oh by the way, that land might be good for our sewer system.”
And so when you start thinking about how you grow a town efficiently without slapping everybody with a tax increase, sometimes it’s just getting the right people around the table saying, “let’s not just look for one win, let’s look for 2 or 3 wins.” I think that’s been part of our ethos in Thompson’s Station. We’re an itty-bitty community with a 4 million dollar per year budget with a lot of tenant growth pressure. There’s pressure increase on our sewer system, and you know, as the sewer goes, so does the town go.
Dealing With the Demands of Growth
So how do you work with these developers who are interested in your area and say, “If you want to come here you have to be part of the solution, because we are not going to jack up our tax rate just to bring you a sewer.” There is a level of discipline that I think has served us well.  We’ve probably got 5-10 years worth of build out yet in the larger subdivisions in Thompson’s Station; places like Tollgate, Bridgemore, Canterbury, and a few other small ones.  As those fill out we’ll increase the tax base and so forth, and so on, but there’s this concept of stair step investment; at some point you just have to suck it up and make it a larger investment. But let’s not make that decision any sooner than we have to because we had a ring-side seat to learn some lessons during this last recession.
Lessons Learned
We sat here with subdivisions with 2%, 5%, 10% occupancy and there were homeowners that plopped down a lot of money for their home, only to see so much of their home equity evaporate. And on top of that, to add insult to injury, everything around them was going bankrupt; the builders were going bankrupt, there were snakes in the tall grass next their house, the infrastructure in the subdivision on the way into their house was crumbling.  So developers, homeowners, and the town all learned lessons about not getting so far down the path. Then what happened was we all got back around the table to ask how we could get started again.
So where we sit today from a build out standpoint is, we set a record in housing starts; we had about 180-190. In the dark days of recession (2008) we might have had 3-5, just to put that into perspective. We think we can do another 200-250 provided monetary policy and mortgages stay reasonable.  It’s good to see the trades working again and houses being built in the subdivisions. Some of the discussion for us as it relates to the housing product and stock relates to the build out and the concept of when they started x,y, or z subdivision the paradigm was a 3,000-4,000 square foot home at $200 a square foot build out. Well those weren’t really selling for a few years, but you could sell a house that was 2/3 the size and maybe $125-$150 per square foot, and the houses started moving. So there’s been this adjustment to the market; that’s helped some people and it’s hurt other folks, and there are folks sitting in our town that will probably have to be here a long time to get back some of their investment.
But I think that if we get it right from a quality of life standpoint, and you bring in the parks, then we continue to become a more and more desirable place, so those homeowners are going to come back just fine. And we can do so without speculative plays by consumers or developers; we can have a controlled and manageable, steady uptick in home prices.  Because Spring Hill is running out of land in Williamson County, which has been the preference for development, and Franklin is moving down the I-65 corridor with Berry Farms, and here’s Thompson’s Station that straddles 840 and basically controls 2-3 major interchanges on 840 and we’re going to continue to be in the sights of those that want to develop and/or invest, like Mars or Shelter, with a big commercial investment.
Leveraging Our Prime Location
So I really see our community developing out as a place that is a good option to Brentwood or Cool Springs, from an office complex standpoint.  Mars is probably a good example again, where you have might have manufacturing facilities throughout Tennessee, but Thompson’s Station is a good choice for your headquarters because of the ease of getting to those facilities for administration; put your headquarters here and you can get to the east or west parts of Tennessee, or the southern part of the state pretty quickly.
And conversely, people that live in Murfreesboro or Franklin and so forth, can get to this part of the world pretty quickly in reverse commute. So I see that the home prices have stabilized, they went up, and at one point last year Thompson’s Station had the highest increase in home values year-to-year. I don’t think that’s sustainable, but I do think that we’re in a growing corridor, and by us publicly articulating that we’re investing in our community and that we’re being good fiscal stewards of our money, I think people can count on having a stable tax base and buying into a good school system.  Hopefully they see a community with a sense of purpose that generally knows where it wants to go.  So for those whose home value is a big part of their retirement or their “nest egg”, if they are making a long term investment in Thompson’s Station, I want them to see the fruits of their investment down the road. But there might be more density in Thompson’s Station than some had originally anticipated in various areas, but all the while we maintain an atmosphere where chickens can cross the roads, we have cows as neighbors, and yet people can come together and have a good bluegrass jam downtown on a plaza that’s yet-to-be-built.
We have things going on in our community center and park year round so there’s some magic yet-to-be crafted for this community. As people from all over the world move here – it’s amazing – there are people from a variety of countries living here that have moved here with American companies or their foreign companies. You find a lot of folks that have purchased here have regional sales responsibilities for big companies. They could live anywhere, but they choose here for a reason.
Quality of Life In Our Community
And of course we have trailing grandparents whose kids and grandkids are in and around Williamson County, and this is a good spot. So from a housing stock standpoint, you’re probably going to see a mixture of things that have targeted seniors, but I think as we’re seeing with Franklin, you don’t have too many old folks in your community. They might not clog up your school system, and they might spend a lot of money, but it may not be creating quite what they expected when they thought about a good mix of ages, demographics, and incomes. And it becomes too much of an expensive place for young people to live.  I think that’s something we’re challenged with in Williamson County; how do we create a live, work, play community in Thompson’s Station where you’ve got the “20-somethings” jogging with their kids in the park, and yet grandma and grandpa are over there walking their dog, right?
So over time I would really love to see Thompson’s Station develop not only as a bedroom community to Nashville – because it will be, and it will inevitably be described as one – but also as  its own distinct community where people can choose to live here, work in a local company, and walk or ride their bike to work. They don’t have to go to Nashville unless they want to go see a Predators or Titans game or the symphony.
Thompson’s Station will appeal to a certain type of person; if you like the downtown, urban environment, then it’s a good thing that Nashville has that going on. There’s a process that’s distinct: you can live out in the country because we all like the small town country feel, but we’re going to have a number of the amenities that you like in progressive towns.
The Impact of Telecommunications
One other thing that has yet to be articulated, and we might get started on this year, is coming up with a better telecommunications mission statement for our town. Chattanooga has a “super wi-fi” thing going on; they wanted to have the biggest fiber optic pipe going into everybody’s home in Hamilton County. I think we can learn from that with our jobs in the future where we work from our homes. If we create an environment where people know they can do their work, and their kids can learn online, that’s one of those things that you might see from a tangible standpoint, but it will make a huge difference in the types of companies that will locate here. And parents are making choices about where they can educate their kids, and if they choose Williamson County, they can choose Thompson’s Station because we “get it” and we’re being progressive about telecommunications, and activity.  And we’re working with the school system on lots of hands-on learning things – not just theory, but things they can apply in some of these projects out in the park.
That could be huge and it will be something that helps create stability. Like I said, we’re still early with all of this in certain respects, but I think we’ve made some good progress we’ve got a comprehensive land use plan and that articulates a lot of the key values of our community and that open space, being involved, and volunteering, and connectivity with trail ways, and so forth. So if we can continue to honor that and build around it, I think we’re going to end up with something incredible

Save Money While Selling Your Home After the Holidays

Are you thinking about putting your home on the market after the holidays? Real estate  expert, Monte Mohr, is here to explain how you can reduce your costs and still get great service.
Martha in Nashville wrote in and said…
“I’m a widow, and I need to sell my large home to downsize. Would your We Sell Homes for Free Programwork if I’m selling a $500,000 home and buying a $100,000 home? Or, do I have to buy an equal or greater valued home?”
That’s a really great question; a lot of people may be wondering this because a lot of baby boomers are trying to downsize. It doesn’t matter if she’s selling a million dollar home and buying a $50,000 home, she still gets the same high quality service, along with the marketing power that goes along with the We Sell Homes for Free Program. So bottom line – it does not matter.
Another question came in from Ben and Kristy in Franklin. They asked…
“We are putting our home on the market right after Christmas and love the idea of saving 3% when selling, but we do not know anything about selling a home. Is your program just another ‘discount’ program, where we have to do everything ourselves? We need the savings, but we also need a professional to help us through the process!”
I really appreciate that question because there are discount efforts out there that kind of leave you on your own. They put you in the MLS but kind of leave you on your own. Our program is different; ours is a full service effort. A one thousand percent full service effort. Now, when I first started, it was me, myself, and I, and I had a part-time assistant. But now, when people hire us, they’re getting 10 full-time specialists in those arenas. We’ve got three excellent buyer specialists. They’re just- all they do is help people negotiate homes. We’ve got two amazing administrative ladies. I love them. They’re both excellent. They make sure you get to the finish line properly. We have a sales expert. We have a full-time appointment setter. And, one of my favorite people, of course, is my marketing guru here, Nathan. I mean, he does an amazing job. He truly does; he studies marketing all the time. And, my all-time favorite, of course, whom I married recently, is my Operations Manager, Connie. Connie – I love you!
She does an awesome job, as well, overseeing the whole picture. So, not only are we doing all this for free, but you get 10 specialists in that whole process, and we have an easy-out agreement. So we’re going to go work for you for free, and you can fire us at any time.  There’s no catch, no smoke or mirrors.
Happy Customer of the Week
Karleen from Franklin said, “I saved $8,800 by using Monte and his We Sell Homes for Free Program. I am so glad my daughter saw him on Channel 4!”
And we are too!
For more info on buying or selling a home in today’s market, give Monte and The Mohr Group a call at 615-376-4500. You can also call Monte directly at 615-300-8393. You can find them online at 

How Often Do Americans Move And Why?

how-often-why-americans-moveHow many times have you moved in the last 5 years? None? Once? More than once?
Moving within the same country is a fascinating and yet complex phenomenon which can have a huge impact on the demographics and the economies of the affected areas. It’s interesting to know how often these relocations occur and what the usual reasons behind each move may be.

How often do Americans move?

Americans are considered to be highly mobile. Each year, tens of millions of people in the US relocate from their place of birth or current residence to another location within the same city, county, state, country or abroad. In fact, statistical data show that the average American moves once every 5 years.
The reasons behind each move are much more personal and unique than mere numbers.
The reasons behind each move are much more personal and unique than mere numbers.
According to the information provided by U. S. Census Bureau, out of a population of 307,243,000 people over age 1, 35,918,000 Americans moved between 2012 and 2013. That’s an overall percentage of 11.69 percent.
And out of those 36 million people,
  • 23,150,000 moved within the same county,
  • 6,961,000 moved to a different county within the same state,
  • 4,770,000 moved to a different state, and
  • 1,036,000 moved to a different country.
The percentage of the individuals who relocate annually has actually dropped down 2.5 percent in the last 10 years (40,093,000 people moved between 2002 and 2003). The reasoning behind this drop in mobility may stem from the fact that America’s population is aging (the older people don’t move that often), the increase of two-earner households (it’s more difficult to relocate when both partners need to change their jobs), or from the indisputable detail that Americans are not switching jobs as often as they used to.

Why do Americans move?

Here the typical reasons why Americans relocate to other areas:

Job-related relocation

Companies, like people, are also trying to cut overhead costs by relocating to another city, state or foreign country. This change means that the company’s employees and their families will also have to move as well if they would like to keep their current jobs.
Moreover, finding a better job in another area within the country or abroad is a strong incentive for most to relocate. Or if the commuting time to work approaches or exceeds an hour one way, some people would prefer to move closer to their workplace than to waste two hours, at least, in traffic every single workday.

Home becomes too small

In the majority of cases, the homes of first-time owners feel smaller and smaller with each newly-added family member. And therefore, a move to a larger house with more living space becomes a necessity.
The grass could actually turn out to be greener on the other side.
The grass could actually turn out to be greener on the other side.

Home becomes too big

Downsizing is a good option for people whose children have moved out from the family home. If all of a sudden the maintenance of a large house gets to be a burden and the maintenance costs start climbing, relocating to a smaller home should definitely be considered.

The grass is always greener…

People tend to want the things they don’t have. So, a bigger and more luxurious home in a beautiful place with pleasant climatic conditions is a logical choice for any individual who can afford it.

Marital status

When couples move in together or get married, it’s only natural that one of the parties relocate to the other person’s home. Sadly enough, break-ups are a good reason for people to want to move away.


After a lifetime of hard work, most retirees feel that they have earned their ticket to a warm, beautiful and peaceful place where they can enjoy the remainder of their lives. And no matter whether the move will be to a retirement community or to any of the top retirement destinations abroad, the best way to decide if such relocation is the right choice for retired people or not is a long-term vacation of several months to the selected destination. Such a vacation will help them see if a permanent move there will fit their new lifestyle.

Neighborhood is no longer the same

Some neighborhoods change for the worse economically or socially, or even both. In fact, the change in the immediate surroundings may be so drastic that people will perceive the living conditions as intolerable and be forced to find a new home elsewhere.

Health issues

Long flight of stairs may prove quite a challenge for elderly people.
Long flight of stairs may prove quite a challenge for elderly people.
People with physical ailments, such as back or knee problems, will find it hard to climb up and down the stairs of a two-story house on a daily basis. Therefore, a one-story home will be much more practical in such cases. Or, for various reasons, the aging population may choose to enjoy a much more tranquil lifestyle at assisted living housing.

Pursuing a dream

And there are those who have had the itch to change their lifestyles drastically and put their time and effort into realizing a life-long dream of theirs – to travel and explore the world, to pursue a hobby or to just be less dependent on material things. These are the people who are willing to relocate frequently in search of the right place and the right people, in search of the calling that will help them find new meaning in their lives.
All things considered, statistical data remain nothing but mere numbers. The reasons behind each move are much more personal, unique and more often than not – complicated.
And whenever the time to relocate to a new location comes around the corner and asks for you by name, the first step of the preparation process is usually to get an idea of how much the move will cost you.


Downsizing Your House to Apartment in Four Easy Steps

Downsizing a houseHouses are convenient – besides being able to have a room for each member of the family, you got the attic, basement, garden, garage, sometimes small buildings in the yard as well. And there is so much room to kep plenty of things! But what happens if for some reason you have to downsize your house to an apartment? You can have plenty of rooms, yes, but still you won’t have so much space. And if you have many things and you want to keep the majority of them what do you do and how do you organize such a move? Nothing to worry about – we’re here to help. Here is our article with our for easy steps with tips that will give you the advice that you need for downsizing home to apartment.

Step 1

Downsizing a home for money
If you downsize your home to save money, you will have to take some time to decide what you will take from your house.
It really won’t be easy sifting through your things when downsizing your home but it has to be done. You cannot take everything to your new home and even if you want to leave nothing behind, it still means using storage. Where else would you keep all of your household items which you won’t take to your apartment? Go to every premise in your home downsizing home to apartment and decide what is to take, what is to be thrown away and what you will do with the rest. We’ve given you plenty of ideas in previous articles like Holding a Moving Sale Tips and How to Get Rid of Unwanted Items when Moving so we won’t go over this topic again. If you are downsizing home to save money then you will probably choose to have more items separated for sale, donation, etc. and less things to go to your new home.

Step 2

Organize the items’ moving process. Once you have prepared what you will be moving divide it into two piles – stuff which will be relocated to your new home and stuff which will go to storage. When downsizing home size it is very difficult to leave everything you have right now, isn’t it? That is why storage is a convenient option in such cases. If you’re downsizing home for money then probably you will choose to avoid storage in order to save money. If you will be needing storage, this is what to consider. The downsizing process will be easier to organize if you know what to do with each item that you have. This is also one of the benefits of downsizing – you will have less items to take care of, less things to dust from the shelves, less items to repair, etc. And that can save you effort, time and money – costs from maintenance.

Step 3

Using storage to downsize
If you want to keep many of the things you have in your house but there’s no room for them in your apartment, use storage.
Get the movers going. Especially if you will need storage when downsizing home size you will be needing professional help to assist you with your move. If downsizing home to save money then you can ask for a quote and limit yourself to relocation services only unless your company is paying for your move. Getting a reputabe mover for your move is important even if you will be using only some of the moving services. Downsizing your home will be easier if you have professional assistance on your side. There are often heavy items in a home, antiques, things that are difficult to move like piano, so who will handle all those things? A moving company can not only do that for you, but it can also give you tips and a rough estimate of your home downsizing costs.

Step 4

What else do you have to do when downsizing home for money? If this is the reason for your move then it is necessary to consider what mortgage you will be using and will you be getting a home loan. It is ok to do these things once you have a plan and know what you are doing. Make precise and accurate estimations of your incomes and expenses in order to take the best decision. When downsizing home to save money it is not easy to say goodbye to the things you have and plan your finances, but focus on the fact that you are doing it for the better for yourself and your partner/ family.

Downsizing with style

Don’t give up and keep your hopes up when downsizing your home to a condo. After relocating remember to get to know the area, look for ways to make new friends and ways to adapt to this huge change in your life. Doing that will alleviate the consequences from the move like the cultural shock eventually. Once you have your mind set to it and you choose to look for the positive side of it, downsizing home to apartment will seem much less stressful to you, more entertaining and exciting! If you want more help and tips for your move, we have plenty of great articles in our Resources section which are all free for you to use.


Moving out of State Temporarily: Full List to Do

Move out of state temporarilyFor one reason or another it has happened – you’re moving out of state temporarily. Now here comes the question – how do you plan to handle your personal belongings in the meantime? We have prepared for you a list that will help you do the job more easily. In order to organize your move to a different state, we suggest that you take a look now at the info we provide here in this article. There is no reason to be concerned or worried what you’re going to do. Once you get advantage of the help here in our article, you will surely do much better and you will have a better control over the situation.

Moving to another state temporarily

There are so many things you need to plan and having in mind that you are leaving state and then coming back, that means more to organize than a regular relocation from one place to another, that does not onvolve moving back. There are a few major decisions that you need to take. Here is our advice on your temporary move to another state.
  • What are you going to do with your home? If you are renting, what does your contract say about vacating the property? Actually, to a large extend, it just comes down to how long you will be gone. If it is one year, then there is no point to pay two rents at two different places, right? Whether yes or no, you have to make your calculations and plan which option is better for you. If you choose to leave the rental unit, get your security deposit back and search for a new place to rent in the different state where you will be moving to in the meantime. If you will be gone for a couple of months only, perhaps it would be better to end your contract and then sign a new one once you’re back. If you own a home, is it worth selling it and buying one back again when you return to state? Unless you are relocating to another state for a few years, then it perhaps doesn’t make much sense to do that. You can rent your home and make some money out of it while you are away.
    Move temporarily out of state
    Get movers to help you organize both of your moves (to another state and back): that way when relocating you will have professional help!
  • Driving license and car registration. Check the regulations at your state about it and at the state where you will be moving to – unless you won’t be driving, of course. Have in mind that there are different requirements in the different states regarding how long you have your license and how long you are staying at the state of your destination. Also, check the regulations that utility companies apply when you want to transfer or disconnect utility services.
  • Records. Collecting records is necessary, especially if you will be moving to a different state for a longer period of time, like a year or two. If you have a vet and if you are taking kids with you, that also means taking vet and school records with you.
  • Get your move organized. As soon as you know you’re moving temporarily out of state, get the organization started. Call a few movers from our database and ask for free quotes. Of course, it would be even better if you could get home visits for a visual estimate. A cross state mover might offer you this service free of charge but not necessarily.
  • Best would be to have it all planned as soon as you can and if possible – all at ones. Do you know when you are returning? If you have a set date for your return to your home back to state then you can arrange that date with the moving company as well.
  • Adapting to the new place. Remember that every move is related to a change in life and its circumstances – if you are going to a place with a different climate, different way of life, you may have a tough time adapting to the new place. Frequent changes of the environment cause stress which is also something that you need to handle. We have a great guide on how to handle stress when moving on this link.
When moving out of state temporarily work your way through the different tasks by following our list. Also, we have plenty of guides, lists with tips and advice, checklists that will help you move – ALL FREE in our Resources section so get advantage!


Top Things to Think about before Moving Checklist

Checklist with top things to think aboutWhen it comes to relocating, most people remember the most obvious things to think about – packing, getting a mover, finding a new school for the kids, changing the address with the post office, etc. But there is much more to a move and of course, there are things that are so important and can make a great difference, but people rarely remember about them. So we are not going to discuss no-brainers like how to find reliable movers, how to pack furniture for storagemoving to a rental specifics, etc. What are the things to think about before moving out which will make your relocation smoother, easier and simpler?

Things to think about before moving out of home

  • Is there a housing assistance program for the area you are moving to? We have a long list with city moving guides which you can consult to get info for the area where you will be relocating to. One of the top things to think about before moving out of home is saving on this matter. Or you could also arrange to have your company payfor your move. Negotiate with your employer to see how far possible this is.
  • If you are relocating to an urban area, check the availability of the infrastructure, that is how accessible is the road to your home by a moving truck, is there a parking place available, is the door automatic or do you have to hold it to keep it open, etc. This is one of the very obvious things to think about before moving in but it is difficult to have everything in mind when relocating, especially long distance, right? Accessibility of the place is a minor but important detail. Did you know that if the road to your home is too narrow for the truck/ van to reach and it has to spot further away from your new place, you may be subject to an extra tax from the moving company? Nothing to worry about – we’ve got all the hidden moving taxes and fees explained on this link.
    City landscape
    Is your new home close to important amenities like supermarket, hospital, church, etc.?
  • Do you receive any sort of benefits? If so, then you need to contact the instituion(s) to let them know you will be moving. They will need your new address and may also ask you for the date of your relocation.
  • Another one of the things to think about before moving in or out is to get to know the public transport to your new home. If you won’t be using your car, how will you transport the luggage that’s going to be with you to your new home? How is your family going to travel? Logistics is not a main thing to consider when relocating but it is a baisc thing you cannot avoid planning unless you want trouble.
  • Another one of the important things to think about before moving in with someone is who’s going to be living with you. If you have your family then things get easier. If you are going to be looking for a roommate, then perhaps this guide Moving in with Roommate Tipswill be useful.
  • If you have a pet that you wish to move with, is it allowed in your apartment building/ complex/ rental unit to take it with you? When choosing a new home this is one of the main things to think about before moving in, if your pet is important for you.
  • Where are the places of necessity and places for fun – are they close to your new home? That refers to post office, gas station, supermarket, hospital, bank, school, theater, opera, bars, churches, restaurants, sports centers, etc. It is good to be aware of those before you move because when you relocate you will know where to go depending on what you need right now.
    Apartment complex relocation
    Does your apartment complex provide a place for the moving truck to park while it unloads?
  • If you want to make changes to your new home, one of the things to think about before moving in with someone or alone is deciding on the look of the place. If you want to remove walls in your home to make it look bigger for example you need to consult your landlord what you are allowed to do and once you’re leaving, do you have to make the same changes back? Speak to the apartment manager to take a decision.
  • Meet your neighbors. In cases of emergency who can you count on and who can you rely upon if you don’t know anybody where you’re moving? One of the things to think about before moving in and deserving good consideration is making friends with your neighbors or at least becoming good acquaintances with them. It is good to have friends but either way having someone close that you can rely on can be beneficial for both sides.
As you can see, this list contains things to think about before moving out that lots of people skip. Would you be able to remember them without this article? We know moving is tough and that is why we strive to make it simpler and easier for you. If you found the free info in this checklist useful, why not share it in your social network profiles so that others can read it too?


Moving to Riverside, CA, Guide – Must-Know Facts & Tips

Moving to RiversideRelocating a home is always stressful to a certain extend. Thinking about a new place, new job, new friends and a different environment can get everyone a bit anxious. That is why we have our city moving guides which you can consult. The next guide we would like to present to you is about moving to Riverside, California. If you will be relocating to this area or you plan to, then this guide is for you. With useful info about the city, introducing you to this great place, and moving tips and advice, this guide offers what everybody would need to know for their move to Riverside. Knowing the destination of your move is important because you need to prepare for what’s coming – not only regarding the relocation process, but also psychologically. Here are the facts to face when relocating to Riverside, California.

Relocating to Riverside, California – Facts & City Info

Here is a photo from the Festival of Lights. It is fun to live in Riverside, isn’t it!
Riverside is the county seat of the Riverside County, California, it’s situated about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. It has a population of 303,871 people. It offers lots of attractions like the Riverside Sports Complex, hosted by the University of California, Riverside, the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, the California Museum of Photography, the Fox Performing Arts Center, the California Citrus State Historic Park… And these are just a few of all the interesting places! Riverside offers a lot of fun things to do, lots to see and a variety of job opportunities in different sectors.
  • There are 28 neighborhoods for you to choose between in the City of Riverside. The most dangerous areas that you should avoid are the Casa Blanca, Eastside, and Arlanza neighborhoods. Although Riverside’s crime rate has been steadily dropping since the 1970s, it’s good to beware and be careful when choosing your new home there.
  • The climate is semi-arid mediterranean – summers are hot and dry and winters are mild and relatively wet. In summer, the average temperature is about 90 °F but it often surpasses 100 °F. In winter the temperatures vary approximately between 50 and 60 °F. January is the coldest month and August – the hottest. Most of the rain comes in the winter and early spring. So if you like mild weather, then this is a place for you.
    Woman on computer
    If you liked this article, please spare a moment to share it!
  • Several years ago the Riverside area had great air pollution but it has considerably decreased already thanks to the work of the local municipalities and counties with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
  • The transportation in the city – you can learn in details about it at the City of Riverside website.
  • The Parent Navel Orange Tree, from which all American West Coast navel orange trees are descended, has its home in Riverside.
  • If you are interested in festivals and events, there is a long list of them organized in Riverside like the Riverside Dickens Festival, the Riverside Airshow, the Riverside Municipal Airport, the Legends of Riverside Film Festival, the Riverside International Film Festival, the Riverside Festival of Lights, etc. – to name just a few of them.
  • When it comes to job opportunities, you have many options; the largest employers are the public institutions and in the education sphere but this is not all that you can choose between!
  • Cost of living is a little bit above the average for the USA.

Getting the best moving services – Riverside

Whether you need moving pods, storage or a moving truck, you can look for California movers here and Riverside moving companies providing them on this link. Before hiring a particular Riverside moving company check the ratings and reviews that those movers have in our database. What Riverside moving stories were you able to read? You do know that reviews can help you a lot when choosing a mover, right? A reliable Riverside moving company will have mainly positive reviews and successful stories of people who have hired them.
Evaluate what your needs are when moving to Riverside – how many things will you be taking, will you be shipping your vehicle or you would prefer to use the city transportation, and think of the institutions that you will need to contact in relation to your move (post office, banks, your kid’s school, utility companies, landlord, etc). Your work regarding your relocation to Riverside, CA, is a lot and cannot be included all in one article like this one. That is why we have plenty of guides, lists with tips, help and advice that you can use for your move – follow the links below or explore our Resources section.