• Out of Date Homes: When is it Time to Let Go?

    by Ryan Cox | Mar 31, 2015

    If you’ve lived in a home for a while, odds are you’ll have begun to notice minor discrepancies spring up here and there—leaky faucets, cracked window sills, tricky garage doors, the list most likely goes on. Most of these problems can no doubt be fixed with a bit of home improvement prowess, but over time, you may begin to notice the problems become more complicated, along with the frequency of them seeming to ramp up exponentially.

    While holding onto a home maintains the notion of being a responsible, savvy decision for those wishing to build substantial net worth, it can be equally wise to keep in mind the possibility of moving on and cashing out when it’s prudent to do so.

    The following guide aims to provide a handful of tips on knowing when it may be the right time to sell while your home value is high, move on to greener pastures, and more.

    Depreciating Value

    The most relevant risk to your home’s overall value may also be the most obvious at a glance—given enough time, a home will begin to depreciate in value, even with an appropriate amount of maintenance.  

    Once an aging home has reached a certain point, there’s a realistic chance that the number of problems will exceed your ability to reasonably maintain them, and you’ll begin losing your home’s overall net worth. In turn, you’ll have less potential for liquidating your home’s value as leverage in the future.

           

    Neighborhood Value

     In addition to your home itself, the surrounding area will play a significant role in your home’s value as well. It’s no mystery that neighborhoods go through their own share of ebbs and flows—patterns of renovation and improvement are just as common as a once-good neighborhood depreciating in value over time –this can often mean that the resale value of your home suffers along with it.

    It will be important to keep up to date with the neighborhood and surrounding area of your home, making sure to consider factors of everything from local school quality to increases in crime. If your neighborhood appears to be on a steady decline, selling your home will hold a much better payoff sooner rather than later.

    New and Old Needs

    Over time, the type of living arrangement that will be best for you will most certainly change—it’s important to remember that there’s no “end game” in sight when it comes to home ownership, and the type of home that is best for you will continue to change for as long as you continue being around.

    While many who’ve recently started a family find themselves in need of a much larger, more spacious property, you may be surprised to find in later years that you’ll miss having a smaller space with less to maintain—this is increasingly common with people who have adult kids, or even those that have simply reached an age where they want to simplify or live somewhere more casual.
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  • 5 Things To Know About Amusement Parks

    by Patrick Redmond | Mar 27, 2015
    Friday_Favorites-Amusement-ParksAmusement parks are one of the most quintessential family vacation destinations. Whether you’re moving to a place like Florida, which is full of theme parks, or if you’re planning on asking the moving company for a few extra days on the road so you can hit a roller coaster or two along the way, amusement parks have something to offer everyone.

    But before you head in with your water bottles, fanny packs, and sunscreen, however, there are a few things you should know about amusement parks.

    > Parking Will Always Be Terrible: Don’t waste your time scouring the parking lot for a close spot. They don’t exist. No matter what amusement park you’re visiting, chances are they have a parking lot big enough to hold the thousands of people who will be attending that day. Some amusement parks offer shuttle services so you don’t have to walk too far to get inside, but it’s best if you reconcile yourself to the journey ahead of time. You’ll save more time taking the first parking spot you find and walking than you will by driving around looking for something closer.

    > You Need More Water than You Think: Swimming pools and amusement parks have higher rates of dehydration than almost any other kind of family activity out there. Because you’ll be busy having fun and running around (and want to avoid those long bathroom lines) you might not take the time to drink enough water. Be sure and drink enough fluids. Not only will you have more energy if you stay hydrated, but you’ll avoid a time-consuming trip to the first aid stand.

    > Disney Doesn’t Have the Best Roller Coasters: If it’s high thrills you’re after, Disney and its related theme parks probably aren’t for you. Because Disney caters to younger children and a more theatrical experience, their roller coasters and high-velocity rides tend to be a little tame when compared to their competitors. For the fastest and best rollercoasters, you’ll want to look places like Six Flags or Dreamworld (in Australia).

    > You Probably Won’t Die: Accidents on roller coasters and other rides are fairly rare. Although you can suffer an injury if you don’t follow the guidelines (riding while injured or pregnant, not using the safety harnesses correctly, etc.), the chances of death at a U.S. amusement park is as low as 1 in 150 million.

    > Young Families Might Prefer Week Passes: Most amusement parks offer single tickets for a high price, with extra days offered at a discount. If you have young children, it might be worthwhile to look into these multi-day passes. Because little ones can wear out quickly, families often find it works best to spend just a few hours a day at a theme park (in the morning or after naptime) rather than try to squeeze in a full ten hours.

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  • Unpacking: How to Make It Enjoyable

    by Ryan Cox | Mar 27, 2015
    When you think of the ins and outs of moving—packing, hitting the road, lugging furniture, and unpacking –thoughts of recreation or enjoyment can seem almost like a bad joke. Believe it or not, however, keeping a positive outlook throughout certain parts of the moving process can not only ease the burden of moving, but yes, even give rise to the potential for fun.

    The following guide provides a number of ways you can set out to make your unpacking process a more enjoyable experience. Remember—you’ve gotten through the worst of it, and all that’s left to do now is decorate the rooms in your new house and enjoy!

    Keep a Good Attitude

    It may go without saying, but you most likely won’t manage to enjoy your unpacking process at all unless you make it a point to do away with the residual negativity that tends to sink in around this time during your move—after the past day or two you’ve probably had, it only makes sense that you’ll have come down with feelings similar to heavy jet lag.

    Making a mental note to be more optimistic during move-in day can go a lot farther than you think—simply making the effort to maintain an upbeat attitude will often mark the difference between making good first day memories in your new home and resenting everything about the next 24 hours.

    Refreshments Go a Long Way

    This can be as important for you as it can for any friends or family members whose help you’ve recruited during the move. If your arrival features a decent selection of snacks, drinks, pizza and the like, the odds of it feeling like a fresh, enjoyable experience can effectively skyrocket.

    Try and look at it this way—something like pizza can ultimately run you as little as $15, but can be the make or break factor in determining whether you have a dreary, stress-dominated move-in day. Is fifteen bucks worth having an awful day over?

    Stick to a System

    Having a basic system (or two) in place for moving in your goods can not only save you a great deal of headache, but can create a rhythmic vibe that lessens the burden, and stress, of moving chores. Even something as simple as color-coding boxes intended for different rooms can make the difference between chaotic, random hustling and the type of labor that you can enjoy in-between small-talk, jokes, or even simply listening to music.

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  • Fun Family Activities in Florida

    by Patrick Redmond | Mar 26, 2015

    Florida Family ActivitiesOf all the destinations in the world, Florida is probably the most family-friendly. With the largest collection of theme parks that cater to the younger crowd, beaches along every stretch of the coast, and a rich history that can infuse a little education into your day, there’s never any shortage of things to do. Depending on what your goals are and what part of the state you’re living in, here are a few family activities you can look forward to.

    > Orlando Theme Parks: It’s impossible to talk about family activities in Florida without mentioning Orlando. From DisneyWorld and SeaWorld to Universal Studios, you could easily spend several weeks (and several thousand dollars) enjoying all this city has to offer.

    > Kennedy Space Center: For that perfect combination of excitement and education, you can’t go wrong with a trip the Kennedy Space Center. Even if there isn’t a launch happening while you’re present, there are plenty of exhibits and displays to draw in tourists and give the whole family something to look forward to.

    > Everglades National Park: Florida’s scenery is incredibly unique, and it’s worthwhile to visit some outdoor spaces that aren’t part of your neighborhood park. The Everglades National Park is a good place to start, and you can choose between activities like nature drives and hiking to more tended gardens. This park is huge, though (the third largest in the lower 48 states), so expect to choose a specific destination within its borders before you arrive.

    > Daytona International Speedway: This famous NASCAR race track has been open since 1959, hosting the Daytona 500 and regular car and motorcycle racing events. Plan your visit to coincide with a big race or simply stop by to see the layout—if your family likes racing, this is a must-visit site.

    > Fort Taylor: This Civil War fort is located on the southern tip of Florida and is well worth a visit. Not only are the views and nearby beaches enticing, but this fort played an important role in U.S. history and can serve as a great educational visit. (Visit during one of the regularly held Civil War reenactments for an even richer experience.)

    Of course, not every family outing has to be a big one now that you’re moving to Florida. After an initial settling-in period, most families shy away from the bigger tourist destinations in favor of a quieter lifestyle.

    Fortunately, there’s plenty to keep you active. Because of the great weather year-round, Florida is an ideal destination for activities like swimming, tennis, miniature golf, beach activities, and team sports. In fact, Florida is well-known among local families as one of the most competitive youth hockey markets, so there should be plenty to keep you occupied!

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  • Ask the Professors: How Important is Relocation to Attracting Talent

    by Ryan Cox | Mar 25, 2015

    Developing a solid and loyal team for your company is arguably one of the most important aspects of running a successful business, so it makes sense to spend a great deal of time interviewing potential employees and finding that perfect fit. On the flip side, candidates also need to be able to find a company that suites their needs and passions in order to really tap into what you need to be a strong team player. This then brings up the question of relocation.

    When it comes to relocation, this is usually the most stressful for those candidates coming right out of college, so we talked with several professors from around the US and asked them to answer the following question:

    How important do you think offering relocation is to attracting talent?


    We talked with a variety of Professors and got several different angles on this question, including everything from their own personal experiences with relocation, the experiences they see students go through, and well as their own knowledge as a Professor of Business or their work with other companies in the past. Below are some of the excellent answers we received:

    Robin Cheramie. Kennesaw State University Chair and Associate Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship.

    Employers, ultimately, want to hire highly qualified candidates and offering incentives to your top candidates may help the employer in the selection process. More and more employees are willing to relocate; however, they may be willing to turn down a job offer if help is not provided with these expenses. Employers do not always advertise their willingness to pay for relocation; therefore, candidates should ask for this in the negotiation process. Many employers are providing less relocation packages but may consider these expenses for the 'right' employee. Even if an employer is only willing to pay a 'lump-sum' toward relocation expenses, it could be more than the competitor is willing to pay. If so, then the qualified candidate would be more willing to accept a job offer with the employer paying for some of the expenses over no expenses being paid at all.

    Thomas J. Armitage. Adjunct Professor of Public Relations at Utica College.

    It’s hard to find great talent. As someone who lives in a small area but works in a big industry, I’ve seen how challenging it can be for businesses to find fitting individuals for very specific positions. I think it’s extremely important for companies to have relocation perks within an offering. In addition to greatly extending the talent pool beyond driving distance of your location, it also shows your level of seriousness in qualified candidates and can make a big impact in employee satisfaction. In this social world we live in, it’s much easier to find openings for very niche positions. But without relocation, it can be hard to fill those gaps with the right people. 

    Sheila Baiers. Human Resources Management Professor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

    Relocation packages are directly tied to supply and demand of good talent.  In the 70's, 80's and even early 90’s is was very common.  When unemployment rates started becoming higher, it was the first thing companies cut back on in their recruitment. Now you will pretty much see relocation on the 2nd or 3rd tiered jobs, meaning the higher up the food chain the better the package. It is still important but it is definitely not as common or as lucrative as the 80's. This is a pretty complex subject due to the fact that in the past you had to sell your house you could not just walk away from a mortgage.  Now people can and do just walk away from a mortgage.

    Karen Freberg. Ph.D, University of Louisville

    I think offering relocation for talent depends on the situation of course. I think starting off on a good foot with support to make the move and transition easy is always good. If the move goes well, this sets the tone for the overall culture and experience for the professional and company.


    Cristina Picozzi. Assistant Director of Annual Giving at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    I’m currently a fundraiser for an engineering school in New England and as someone who relocated for their position, having a package at my level wasn’t necessary to pique my interest in the position. My position is considered entry level, so when I was offered the job three years ago I knew that there was a small chance of relocation package. I do believe that if it had been a higher position and the qualifications needed were greater, I would’ve expected something to help ease the financial burden. I will say, however, that my move was from New York to Massachusetts, a four-hour relocation is a bit different than if I was moving across the country, but it worked for me.

    Apryl Brodersen. Ph.D., Associate Professor, Management Department, Metropolitan State University of Denver.

    Offering relocation assistance can offer a huge competitive advantage to companies trying to attract top talent, particularly for key positions. Your “best and brightest” candidates don’t always live where you do. These will also be the candidates with the most options – they’re likely already employed, so you must first need to convince them to leave their current job. Even if they’ve already decided to make a move, you will still need to convince them to choose YOU over the other opportunities they’ll undoubtedly have.

    Moving is a timely, costly, and stressful experience. In making a decision to come work for you, candidates will most definitely weigh whether accepting the job will be worth the upheaval that comes with relocation. Offering some sort of assistance will help alleviate some of this pressure. More importantly, it sends a strong message to candidates that your company values, invests in, and commits to its people from the start.

    Channing Lawson. Assistant Director of Young Alumni & Student Programming at University of North Carolina Greensboro.

    I work with young alumni and students, but I do have a student interactive component that might help best answer this question. I started applying for jobs well before I graduated even, and it was a huge strain when they asked me about relocation because that was one thing I couldn’t manage on my own. I was a recent grad and didn’t have much money after student loans, so I remember thinking that if there was any way they could have done a relocation package, even 200 or 300 dollars, that would have really helped. I don’t know how everyone else feels, but a relocation stipend would open many door for many different people with great talent.

    I applied for jobs from California to London to Canada and Australia. I’d love to work at any of those places other than Kentucky because I’m young and it’s the right time to move around and see the world and work with different people. However, when companies don’t offer a relocation package then that’s out of the question, and that’s too bad because I had the drive and passion to make it happen, all I needed was a way to move. I’m sure many others with talent are in the same situation.

    Beth Kahlich. Digital Marketing Expert at The Search Engine Academy.

    As a board member of the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association (DFWSEM), I have contact with a wide range of company owners. We have all been noticing a shortage of experienced talent in the local market lately—great news, the economy is doing better! However, this shortage has caused many companies to rethink their hiring practices, and I definitely think relocation is an option that is on the table. Really, I believe it has to do with the size of the company. Larger companies are more likely to offer relocation, such as paying for moving expenses. Smaller agencies will have to determine if this is a wise use of their overall human resources budget, but if the talent is right, they may consider offering such an employment package.

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