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If you recently bought or sold a house and plan to move out of state, now is the time to start planning for moving day. By doing so, you can ensure that you're fully prepared to take all of your belongings to your new address.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep for an out-of-state move.

1. Create a Moving Calendar and Budget

Determine how much time is available before moving day. Then, you can put together a list of items that you will need to pack, along with various pre-moving day tasks that must be completed. With this plan in place, you'll be better equipped than ever before to seamlessly navigate the moving process.

Also, don't forget to budget for your out-of-state move. If you craft a budget today, you can avoid the risk of overspending on moving boxes and other moving supplies.

2. Don't Wait to Start Packing

Moving day will be here soon enough, and as such, there is no reason to wait to start packing your belongings.

Enlist friends and family members to help you pack – you'll be glad you did. With loved ones at your side, you can get plenty of assistance as you prep your belongings for your out-of-state move.

In addition, you may want to contact a moving company that specializes in out-of-state moves. If you hire a moving company, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the moving cycle.

3. Cancel Various Services

Reach out to your current utilities providers, along with cable, internet and phone services providers. This will allow you to find out exactly what you'll need to do to cancel various services prior to moving day.

Remember to connect with services providers in your new city or town too. If you contact these services providers today, you can guarantee that all of your essential services can be set up as soon as you reach your new address.

Lastly, if you need help getting ready for an out-of-state move, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent. By collaborating with a housing market professional, you may be able to simplify the moving cycle.

A real estate agent is happy to help you buy or sell a house, as well as connect you with the best moving companies in your area. That way, you can receive plenty of assistance as you count down the days to your out-of-state move.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert insights into the housing market. If you need to find a new house out of state, this housing market professional can help you discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price. Or, if you need to sell your current residence, a real estate agent will help you find the best ways to optimize the value of your house.

When it comes to moving out of state, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the out-of-state moving process.

There’s so much to consider when to comes to buying a new home. The first issue is that of your finances. You need to make sure that you’re preparing financially for the home search, and not just making your list of “wants” for a new home. It’s an exciting time when you’re purchasing your first home, but don’t let the excitement overtake your responsibility. Here’s some tips to keep you on the financial straight and narrow path when preparing to buy a home: Be Mindful Of Your Credit Score There’s many factors that can affect your credit score. Applying for new credit cards is one of those factors. Your credit score will drop a few points every time you have a new credit inquiry or open a new account. If you do get approved for new credit, lenders may have concerns that you’ll spend up maxing out your new approved credit limit on that account and possibly default on your loan. Closing credit accounts is another factor that greatly affects your credit score. You may think that closing unused accounts is a good idea to help get yourself financially ready for becoming a homeowner. This isn’t true. Closing accounts lowers your amount of overall available credit. This means that your debt-to-credit ratio is larger. This lowers your overall credit score. You can certainly make these smart financial changes after you close on your new home. Keep Records When you move your money around, make sure you have records of it. Your lender will want to know about any unusual deposits and withdrawals. You’ll need to prove where your money comes from. All of the cash that you’ll be using for your home purchase should be in one account before you apply for a mortgage. Keep Up With Your Bills Don’t increase your debt. This will have an affect on the very important debt-to-income ratio which is one of the most vital aspects of loan approval. Also, be sure that you don’t skip your payments on bills. Your history of payments is incredibly important as well. Be sure that you continue to make full, on-time payments on all of your bills. Keep Your Job Even though a new job could mean a raise, or a better situation for you and your family, it could delay you in getting a mortgage. You’ll need to have your employment verified along with pay stubs to prove your source of income. Lenders like to see a longer employment history. Keep Saving The biggest up front costs in buying a home is that of closing costs and the down payment. Those must be paid at the time of closing. Lenders may even verify that your savings is on hand. Keep saving steadily and be sure to keep your savings in place.

When choosing a house or condo to live in for the next several years, comfort, convenience, and affordability are among the most important factors to keep in mind. A fourth item that many real estate agents would add to that list is "location."

The location of your next home is crucial for many reasons -- not the least of which is future resale value. Ideally, you want the value of your home to appreciate over time, which will help improve your financial situation. Whether you decide to upgrade or downsize in your next real estate purchase, the equity you've built up can benefit both your lifestyle goals and real estate objectives.

In addition to the investment features of picking a good location for your next home, there are also several other worthwhile advantages.

  • A reasonable commute time, preferable under a half an hour, will help reduce your stress level, enable you to spend more time with your family, and reduce the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle. A short commute can also help you save money on gas, highway tolls, depreciation, and insurance. One way to reduce your driving time is to look into telecommuting possibilities at your job. Even if you have a relatively long commute to work, that can be offset by having the freedom to work from home a couple days a week. Fortunately, more and more businesses are realizing the mutual benefits of allowing or even encouraging telecommuting. While it may be necessary to prove to your employer that your productivity won't suffer when you're working from home, doing so can save you money, lower your stress, and improve your overall quality of life. Let's face it: There are a lot more fulfilling things you can do with your time than getting stuck in traffic jams and feeling frazzled when you return home every night!
  • A convenient location can also mean proximity to shopping, entertainment, recreation, family, friends, and places of worship. Being close to medical, dental, and veterinary services can also make your life a lot easier -- especially when you need to get there quickly.
  • From a health and fitness standpoint, it also pays to live within a short distance to public parks, tennis courts, golf courses, bike paths, gyms, and bodies of water for swimming, kayaking, and other aquatic sports.
  • For younger families, being close to childcare resources -- whether it be a daycare center or nearby (and available) relative -- can also be a major factor in getting to work on time, making sure your children are properly cared for, and minimizing chaos in your life!
While there are dozens of priorities to keep in mind as you search for the ideal location, determining what matters to you the most will help make sure everything falls into place when you settle into your new home.

Most new home buyers look forward to all the happy memories that will occur under the roof of their new home. Did you know there are ways you can set up your new home to help promote a more happy day to day environment for your family? Keep reading for tips and routines you can put in place to get more smiles and quality time with those you love most. Make the bed. Each morning have your family members make their beds. It seems like such a small task but it can actually help to improve happiness and productivity levels. By making your bed first thing in the morning you are already starting off the day with an accomplishment under your belt. This can help you feel more motivated to complete other tasks throughout the day. It also helps build feelings of productivity which can lead to tackling more tasks successfully, Plus, let’s be honest a clean and tidy room just makes you feel good! Everything in order. Speaking of clean and tidy, clear clutter every day. Clutter is chaos and can actually cause stress and decrease happiness. Take a few minutes before leaving a room to put it back to how it was, a.k.a how it would be arranged if you were to have some guests over. After all, why just keep a clean and tidy home when you only have guests over? You spend the most time in your home and deserve to have it at its best. Display your memories. Hang lots of family pictures and put sentimental items out on display. If you have children display the artwork they are proud of for all to see. Keeping all these happy memories out on display will remind you of the good times you have spent with your family and lead to good feelings. Invest in joy. When you go shopping invest in pieces that will help to promote moments of happiness for your family. Whether it’s movies and large tv screen to enjoy them on or lots of indoor and outdoor games for family game nights. You know your family best so think of what you have the most fun doing together and items that can assist in making those moments happen more. Buying a new home is an exciting time and one filled with anticipation for the memories to be made within its walls. Set your home up to make those happy times even easier to make by eliminating chaos and investing in activities you family loves to do together. And don’t forget to take pictures of your new memories along the way!

What do buying a house, opening a credit card, and getting approved for an auto loan have in common? They all depend on your credit score.

Building credit is a multifaceted undertaking. In a way, this is a good thing--you wouldn’t want lenders to base their opinions solely on one aspect of your financial history. The downside is that understanding just what makes up your credit score can be difficult.

To complicate matters further, there isn’t one standard method for scoring your credit, and different credit bureaus each use their own criteria.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the factors the major credit bureaus use to calculate your credit, and give you some ways you can boost your credit.

But first, let’s talk about some of the implications of having a good credit score.

Why credit matters

Typical credit scores range anywhere from 250 to 850. The three main reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Most lenders use a combination of those scores that is reported by FICO.

Most credit reports will rank your category from “bad” to “excellent.” Here’s an example of what a credit ranking might look like:

  • Excellent: 750+

  • Good: 700 - 749

  • Fair: 650 - 659

  • Poor: 550 - 649

  • Bad: -550

U.S. legislation makes it possible for Americans to receive a free report of their credit score and to challenge and correct the score if it contains inaccuracies.

If you’re thinking about buying a house, opening a new line of credit, or taking out a loan of some kind, then the provider will likely run your credit score. Those providers are going to want to see a return on their investment, so they’ll charge interest.

If you have a high credit score, it tells the lenders that you are a low-risk investment, and therefore they can offer you a lower interest rate, saving you money in the long run.

Components of a credit score

There are five main factors that credit bureaus take into consideration when formulating your credit score. Not all of the factors are treated equally. Your ability to pay your bills on time, for example, is considered to be more important than the types of bills you have. Here’s a breakdown of the five components that make up a credit score:

  • 35% - Bill and loan payments

  • 30% - Current total amount of debt

  • 15% - Amount of time you’ve had credit (since you took out your first loan or opened your first credit card)

  • 10% - Types of credit (cards, loans, etc.)

  • 10 % - New credit inquiries

Quick tips for building credit

It takes time to build credit and improve your score. So, if you’re hoping to buy a home within the next few years, now is the time to start working on your credit. Here are some best practices for building credit:

  • Set up autopay for your bills to avoid late payments. Even if the service doesn’t offer autopay, you can likely set up recurring payments through your bank.

  • Settle outstanding debt. Avoiding debt that you can’t pay off will only hurt you more in the long run. Call your creditor and see if they offer debt relief programs. More likely than not they’d rather work with you to ensure they receive some repayment rather than none at all.

  • Start budgeting the right way. New budgeting software like Mint and “You Need a Budget” are easy to use and link up with your accounts. They’ll help you monitor your spending and start paying off debt.

  • Don’t open new lines of credit close to when you want to take out a loan. New credit inquiries can briefly lower your credit, especially if you make more than one. Viewing your free credit reports doesn’t count as an inquiry, so feel free to do that as often as needed to check your progress.

  • Get credit for bills you’re already paying. You can report your monthly rent payments, switch bills into your name that you contribute to, or take out a credit builder loan. All three will help you build rent without changing your spending habits.