Finding A Good Appraiser Before a Big Move

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Hiring a Top Notch Moving Company & Appraiser

Getting a good appraisal before a major move is important for anyone who needs to be sure their possessions are properly insured and valued. As a result, for someone interested in getting an appraisal, it is important to develop criteria for how to find and hire the right appraiser before you hire a moving company.

Who is Qualified?

Appraisers are formally educated in concepts such as appraisal theory, procedures, principles, law and ethics. They will be up to date with all standards and practices for the career and will be regularly tested and educated on any changes that arise in the field.

As a result, you should not have a problem finding someone with the right credentials to help move your possessions. Just ask to see their qualifications before you make any decisions about who is best for your move. Additionally, you need to be sure that whatever appraiser you hire is well trained in area of expertise needed for your particular possessions.

Keep in mind that not all appraisers have the same qualifications. Some may not have formal training, while others may not be certified in the state to which you are moving or moving from. Always ask the prospective appraiser you may hire to show their education criteria and to be sure they provide a professional profile or resume of their certifications.

How Much Should it Cost?

It is a good idea to avoid anyone who charges a percentage of the appraised value of your items or a contingency fee. This is only going to result in a big conflict of interest, which will reduce the overall ability to trust their assessment of your possessions. Additionally, the IRS does not accept appraisals worked out with such fees. Your appraiser should have a flat fee or hourly rate to do the appraisal.

Choosing Your Appraiser

In the end, when it comes time to choose the appraiser for your possessions, you need to be sure that you choose someone who is well practiced in the field of your possessions, can make a good assessment of value and who is well trained and educated in those fields. Ask for references, check with your realtor and always be willing to get a second opinion if it is called for.

For more information on finding a reputable moving company, read 5 Tips to Hire Reputable Movers in Houston. 

How Do Movers Charge For Services

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Movers Fees Explained

One of the most stressful and often misunderstood aspects of the moving process is how moving companies charge for their services. The two basic methods by which moving companies charge are by hourly rate or by a combination of weight and distance.

If you are moving locally or intrastate you will typically be charged an hourly rate. That hourly rate is set by the marketplace and can change based on the season or the amount of traffic in a given area. Movers that charge by the hour can include many services such as packing, unpacking, art services, and crating. Typically the only additional charges would be for packing materials and liability coverage.

When moving interstate, prices are most often calculated by a combination of weight and distance. The amount a moving company can charge is governed by a tariff. The current tariff was developed and approved by a committee of the Household Goods Carriers’ Bureau; a self-regulating body composed of moving industry executives, and is followed by most interstate movers. The tariff is basically a grid with weight on the vertical axis and distance on the horizontal axis. The intersection of a specific weight and distance determines the price of the transportation component of the move and is referred to as the “line-haul.” While the line haul is usually the largest component of the final bill, it does not include packing materials, packing service, storage, liability coverage or any of a number of accessorial charges.

When getting a bid based on weight make sure you observe the weighing of the truck before and after loading, which is your right. Remember a miscalculation of the total weight by your estimator can result in a final bill that is greater than the estimate. Be sure and go over with the estimator every item that will be moved to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

If you are in the process of researching moving companies in Houston area, please consider C&M Moving company. For more information, contact us here.

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4 Things to Consider When Moving Downtown

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For some, downtown living is the height of luxury, like sipping from a fine glass of champagne. However, there are challenges associated with moving downtown which should be addressed before enjoying the theater, restaurants, and trendy nightspots. Though well worth the effort, some research and footwork will prove helpful when finding movers in Houston to move you downtown.

Preparing for Downtown Movers in Houston, TX

After following several simple steps, you’ll be celebrating with a glass of champagne in your new loft in no time.

1) Hire a professional moving company. Make sure the company has experience with moving in the downtown area. Get them involved as early as possible in order to book the dates you need.

2) Talk to the concierge at your new building. He or she will be able to help make sure the elevators will be available on move-in day. Also, be sure to verify with building management that your mover has insurance paperwork on file. This is a requirement for many buildings before the movers can enter.

3) Talk to your movers and to building management about parking requirements for the moving van. Many streets downtown do not allow parking during certain hours. Your movers may have to obtain a parking permit from management or from the city.

4) Walk the route that the movers will be using. Get an idea how far it is from the street to your door. Also, riding the elevators and walking the halls will provide an estimate of the length of time it takes to move your belongings. This knowledge will give you comfort when it seems to be taking a bit longer than it did the last time you moved.

How Were Your Movers in Houston, TX?

Once settled in, take a moment to reflect on your new surroundings. It would be the perfect time to celebrate with a chilled glass of champagne. If we moved you in, let us hear from you! Leave us a review, we’d really appreciate it!

 

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Buying & Moving an Art Collection

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If there ever were a need to mark a moving crate as “fragile”, transporting an art collection would be the best time. Robert McClain, an art dealer, is the perfect person to discuss the issues faced when moving an art collection.

For a serious collector, a painted canvas or sculpture doesn’t only hold an emotional attachment, it represents the time and money  spent looking for a particular artist’s piece. As a point of pride, it’s only fair that the collection be treated as delicately as possible.

Finding Movers in Houston to Address Your Art Collection

The most important issues are who will be moving the collection and how it will be handled. According to McClain, the smallest amount of damage will affect a painting’s value. The best way to avoid damage is a to find a professional art services company because they use archival materials and techniques for safety. When a long distance move is involved, McClain recommends climate controlled transportation and storage. A painting should always be transported in the proper environment.

The Role of an Art Dealer When Moving an Art Collection

If preferred, an art dealer is more than happy to provide guidance and advice on moving your collection. According to McClain, there are several ways an art dealer’s expertise will help. Whether working independently or with a team of interior designers and architects, it is within an art dealer’s realm to determine where to place a piece and how it should be presented.

Tips on Finding Art at a Fair Price

If you love art, McClain asks you to consider what kind of collector you are. If you love art but not the expense, he advises to look for drawings or works on paper by up and coming artists. These pieces are known to be high quality work at a decent price. They also have the potential to be worth much more in the future if the artist becomes a revered name in the art world.

When searching for art, McClain also recommends working with a dealer or gallery with which you feel at ease. Whether answering your art questions or encouraging you to learn more and become educated about the art you wish to collect!

If you know any fellow art lovers, be sure to share this! Even if your friend or family member isn’t moving anytime soon, a passionate art collector could be planning to move an art piece into their home.

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5 Tips To Hire Reputable Movers in Houston

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Make Moving to Houston Easy

Houston is home to NASA, Rice University, Reliant Stadium, and now you. Before moving, the first step is finding a great moving company. We’d like to share five tips for a great move to the country’s 4th largest city.

Ask Friends

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, ask friends and colleagues about their experiences with movers in the area. The association also suggests that consumers check with the Better Business Bureau or other consumer organizations before signing with a mover.

 Ask your Realtor for their referrals.

Realtors usually have a list of several companies that they recommend and often get feedback from their clients as to the level of service performed. Other good sources of moving company referrals include local antique and high-end furniture stores, your interior designer, or even your home builder.

Research your potential candidates for the proper licensure.

The moving industry is a regulated industry and to lawfully operate, a mover must have one of two licenses. To operate nationally, a mover must be licensed by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). To operate within a given state, a mover must have a state license. In Texas that license is obtained through the Texas Department of Transportation.

In order to obtain licensing, a moving company must carry certain levels of both liability and cargo insurance. Full Time employees of licensed companies must have pre-employment background checks completed and must submit to random drug testing. Additionally, licensed movers are subject to certain guidelines when it comes to what they can legally charge for moving services.

First and foremost, when looking for a moving company, you should find a mover with a valid state or national license. Nice web sites and yellow page advertisements do not guarantee a moving company is operating legally. Always verify a moving company’s license.

Select a company that will do an onsite visit.

Estimates done over the phone or online are rarely right and can lead wild variations in the final bill. Verify that the company you choose is an actual moving company and not a broker that will sub-contract your move to a third party.

 Choose a moving company that uses full time company employees to complete the move.

Many companies use contractors, sub-contractors, or even worse, day laborers. When moving your most personal and valuable belongings, you want full time, uniformed, benefited, legal employees who value their jobs and consider themselves professionals.

Have Confidence When Moving!

Armed with knowledge, your move will be a great move. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more information about best practices when moving!

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Storage & Preservation of Fine Clothing

Houston Storage and Preservation: Fine ClothingPreparing for a move is the perfect opportunity to take inventory of your wardrobe. Send all soiled garments to a high-quality cleaner. Have repairs made to any damaged pieces and replace missing buttons. Decide which items you no longer need and donate them to your favorite charity or arts or group — theater groups especially can repurpose a variety of clothing items.

Most moving companies use “wardrobe” boxes to move clothes from residence to residence. Little preparation is needed if clothes are to be boxed for short periods. But if you’re going to be putting items away for a long while, you’ll need to store them for proper preservation.

Long-Term Storage Tips

  • Do not store clothes in plastic bags – natural fibers need to breathe
  • Store clothing in breathable, bleach-free muslin bags or drape muslin over the shoulders
  • Use acid free preservation boxes
  • Place tissue in the shoulders and arms of shirts, blouses and suites
  • Pack clothes loosely in container to avoid creasing and wrinkling
  • Store clothes in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight to protect from humidity and fading

Couture purchased today, if cared for properly, will be the vintage of tomorrow. You never know when you’ll want to re-wear a certain outfit — perhaps the trend will return, or it may even become a valuable collector’s item! Taking the necessary steps to preserve and store your fine clothing items will extend their life for decades.

If you have any questions about your upcoming move, call C&M, a Houston storage and moving company at (713) 839-7677. C&M Moving and Storage specializes in “white glove moving,” transporting Houston’s finest art, furniture, and antiques.

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New App Makes Buying a House Easier

 

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Moving to Houston: Big City, Big Task

While moving is exciting, we know that looking for a house is a giant task. Recently, Trulia created a mobile app to narrow down your search for the best open houses. It’ll save you time and energy as you view the outside, interior, and even the neighborhood of the home! Navigate a potential new home easily from the app and find out important information such as the average price of other homes in the same neighborhood, schools, and crime. Once you find your new home, be sure to download “The Fine Art of Moving”. Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list!

Experience Happy Hunting When Searching For Your New Home

From the Article: Get Some Of Your Sunday Back: Our Redesigned Apps Make it Easier Than Ever to Identify the Must-See Open Houses

We’ve all been there: you scan your phone throughout the weekend looking for open houses, only to be disappointed when you actually drive through one of the neighborhoods (this part of town doesn’t seem too safe) or notice that the home you’re in doesn’t quite look like the one you saw online or on your mobile app (the bedrooms are so small!). You aren’t alone. It’s a common problem that we at Trulia wanted to help solve. And that’s why we’re excited to announce the redesign of our iPhone and Android apps, just in time for the spring house hunting season.

Continue reading the article by clicking here.
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Opening the Vault: Exclusive Estate Sale

Houston Estate Sale: Cabinet ArmoireHave you ever wondered what wonderful treasures lie unclaimed in a huge furniture and antique storage warehouse? For the first time in over a decade, C&M Moving and Storage is opening its vaults! Come and see rarities such as a 19th century hunt scene ice box, a search light from an old New England lighthouse, and a pair of Greek marble goddesses as well as many other unique items both new and old.

Join us for C&M’s estate sale:

Thursday, May 15, 2014
10:00 am
88 Jensen Dr.
Houston, Texas 77020

You’ll be able to find a trove of collected treasures and rare, vintage furniture including:

  • Houston Estate Sale: Bedroom Setarmoires
  • bureaus
  • cabinets & credenzas
  • chairs & chaises
  • chests
  • glassware & pottery
  • dressers
  • headboards & bedframes
  • fine art & sculptures
  • lamps
  • mirrors
  • rugs
  • tables
  • …and more!

Houston Estate Sale: ChaiseC&M Moving and Storage serves interior designers and residential customers in the greater Houston area. The company and its founder, Ron Merrill, have been profiled in both local and national media including Entrepreneur and Southern Living magazines.

The type of furniture you’ll find at this exclusive estate sale will be of the finest, highest quality, featuring high-end, luxurious, and valuable antique pieces. This isn’t your ordinary estate sale…and it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss!

Visit the Facebook photo gallery to see more pictures. Be sure to like our Facebook page and RSVP for the estate sale. Share the links with your friends!

Organize Before Hiring a Moving Company

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The plan seems simple before you move: hire a moving company. However, moving day will go much more smoothly if you get organized several days ahead of calling the movers. The starting point includes developing a to-do checklist, which will guide you through the whole moving process. Putting together a questionnaire for the movers ensures that you and the company are on the same page, and a designated file for moving-related documents will help you stay organized. Finally, taking photographs of your home will also help with organization; for example, they will provide evidence in the case of an insurance claim.

Organization is the Key to a Stress-free Move

Instead of being stressed when moving, stress your organization abilities. Create a checklist and stick to it. Get with your moving company early on and make sure they are as organized as you are! Prepare a questionnaire for your mover which lists your expectations. For example, “I expect my movers to be timely, clean, organized, etc.”

It’s a good idea to start a “move file.” Use it for estimates, receipts, and other documents related to the move. Also, check with the IRS, some of your expenses may be deductible.

Photograph the contents of your home. Make a complete descriptive inventory. Save all of this information onto a disc and store it in a safety deposit box. This is invaluable if there is an insurance claim. It is also great reference material.

If you have high value art and antiques, consider having them appraised and photographed prior to the move. Make sure you have adequate levels of insurance coverage for the move. Check with your home-owners insurance provider to see if your current coverage includes insurance for the move. If not, consider purchasing a consumer moving policy.

Get Everything Cleaned Like Brand New

This is a good time to have all of your carpets picked up by professional carpet cleaners. You may want to have upholstered goods picked up, cleaned and the pillows re-stuffed. Plan on having a refinisher come to the house, after the move, and touch up all of the little scuffs and scratches that have happened over the years. Finally, have professional drapery installers remove, clean, store, and re-install all draperies. When you move to a new space, you want to start fresh.

Now is the time to get rid of old clothes, kid’s clothes, toys, stuff that you don’t want or need, before the day of the move. Work your way room by room deciding what to dispose of.  Use up cleaning products and frozen foods, these things are difficult to move.

Pack an Overnight Bag

Once you’ve gotten down to what you want to move, be sure to pack an overnight or two day bag including all your medicines, child’s medicines, school uniforms, etc., and keep it within easy reach. The last thing you want is to be searching for something among the many boxes. Items such as jewelry, coin and stamp collections, stock certificates, family portraits, guns, insurance documents, passports, and computer data discs should be packed in an overnight bag and placed in your personal vehicle for moving.

Now You’re Ready to Call the Moving Company

Many people list moving among the most stressful events of their life. Getting organized is a great way to alleviate the stress, and we wish you the best in your move. Make sure to share this on Facebook or Twitter; you never know who is going to be moving in the near future.

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Budget a Move Effectively

budget a moveThere are a number of ways to budget a move effectively. You can spend a great deal of time preparing for your move, but if you don’t budget what is going to cost beforehand, things can get out of control rather quickly, making it much harder than necessary to pay the full cost of your move. So, make sure to research the costs and know what it will cost to cross county, state, or national borders when you move next.

Repairs and New Items

To start with, what is it going to cost to set up your new housing arrangements? You might need to make repairs, buy new appliances, have utilities installed or replaced. Things like this are fairly common when moving into a new home, and even if something is not a vital repair, you may want to consider having it done so that it does not become a major issue in the future when you’ve been living there for some time already.

Rental Costs

If you are moving into a new apartment or rental space, how much is the move in cost – what does it cost to pay your deposit and do you need to pay a first and last month’s rent? Additionally, what storage and utility costs are added on to the rent? These are all factors that will affect your overall impression of where you end up living. You need to be sure you can afford whatever they include.

The Move Itself

Finally, make sure to consider the cost of the move itself. Too many people get caught up in how much it will cost to set up their new home that they forget a move can be a pricey experience. You need to hire a moving service or rent a truck. You’ll need to buy packing containers and other moving supplies. You’ll need to pay for insurance or valuation to protect your possessions. You need to hire professionals to unhook things like your gas stove or your freezer and prepare them for shipping. Then there is the cost of the trip itself, including plane tickets or gas, tolls, meals, hotels, and anything else related to the drive or flight.

In short, a move is an expensive endeavor and one that will require a great deal of time spent researching and preparing. If you do not take that time and ensure that you have properly laid out what is required of your pocket book, you may be in for quite a shock.

When the moving consultant does your estimate, they will gladly provide you with a detailed breakdown of the estimate so you can see what is beings charged for each individual service. To obtain a free estimate from C&M Moving and Storage, call 713-839-7677 and we can set up an appointment for an on-site survey.