Forget flowers. This year, give your mother something she’s always wanted for Mother’s Day. Something you could never be: A son.
“I think it’s a great idea,” says Natashia Grell, 32, a mother of two girls, 9 and 2.
“There are so many things I could do if I just had a handy … man around the house. Like, install curtains, clean up the yard … unload clutter.”
It’s no wonder Grell’s a fan of Rent-A-Son (rentason.ca), a small business that does just what its name implies.
A regular customer, she’s used the human labour service twice in the last couple of years and says she wouldn’t mind at all if her kids and husband (“not the handiest of souls”) wrapped a big red bow around a “son” and delivered him to her on Mother’s Day.
“It’s great to have someone do all the little things around the house you can’t do yourself,” Grell says. ”And it’s one of those gifts that lasts, unlike a bouquet of flowers or chocolates. And it’s not that expensive, so you can get a lot done.”
That’s just another reason Dustin Kroft, Rent-A-Son’s owner, feels this service makes the perfect present.
For just $20 per hour, anyone can rent a son; each is handpicked by Kroft.
First, the sons are hired to work in Rent-A-Son’s commercial division doing hard labour until they can prove they’re trustworthy, hardworking, reliable and personable enough to be “real” sons.
While it’s unlikely they’ll throw “typical son tantrums” (if they do, fire them!), Kroft likes to see his “sons” graduate and move on to home duty.
“We like to make customers feel like they’re getting family,” Kroft says. “We want to make every customer feel better in their own home.”
Sons range in age from 18 to 30 — to avoid those icky teenage years. Though they’re general labourers, knowing early on whether they’ll be washing dishes, cleaning the yard or installing light bulbs will help Kroft send the right son for the job.
Since the company was founded in 2000, sons have been doing almost anything under the sun to fulfill their temporary parents’ wishes — from heavy lifting to stomping grapes at vineyards to helping cottagers get their summer homes into camp-tastic shape.
For a minimum of four hours, Nick Macheras could be yours.
A brown-haired, blue-eyed, 23-year-old, this “son” is up for anything from dog walking to taking out trash to moving pianos to painting. He’s become like family to many people he’s helped in his two years working 500 jobs as a Rent-A-Son. There are 20 full-time staff and 130 part-timers. Sons can be rented out as single helpers, or in a pack.
“Some people don’t just rent me, they adopt me,” says Macheras. “I’ll go over and they’ll give me cookies; they’ll ask about girlfriends.”
Let’s face it: moving nearly always takes more time and energy than homeowners bargain for. You have a myriad of tasks to complete, from cleaning and packing to organizing the move itself. Fret not! With a little advance preparation, move day can be a smooth and stress-free operation.
While some store information easily in their head as they go along, most benefit from writing down things that need to be done. A simple to-do list helps organize steps that need to be completed and the order in which they must occur. Crossing items off a list will give you a sense of progress; this can provide motivation when everything seems up in the air.
Go one step further. Use a notebook. A three subject notebook allows you to create larger categories of tasks such as “Selling the House” or “Conversations with the Realtor.” Then, segregate specific sub-tasks into the appropriate category. If the notebook has a folder, use it to conveniently store important papers in a single location. Number all boxes and create and store a master list of items in each box. The possibilities are endless.
You have lined up a friend or family member who owns the all-important pickup truck. The pizza order is all lined up. You have penciled in moving day or weekend on the calendar. Empty boxes sit waiting; this is a common moving mistake. There is no need to wait to move until a given day. Yes, the move itself is usually scheduled around work or school, but moving is a process as well as an event.
As soon as you know when M-day will be, start cleaning and packing a little each day. De-clutter and downsize belongings as you go along. When reviewing whether household items are worth the time and cost to pack and move, consider selling or donating them instead. This will also create the necessary space for a staging area in which to store your packed boxes.
What’s more motivating than money? As you survey household belongings, inevitably there will be items that won’t make the cut. If you plan well enough ahead, schedule a garage sale and make some cash on the side. With enough planning, one can even advertise the sale with attractive signs that will ensure an enthusiastic turnout.
It may seem counterproductive, but consider cleaning up the items to be sold. The more appealing they look, the greater the likelihood they can sell for a better price. Few manage to get wealthy off a garage sale, but there is no point in low-balling the amount to be made by not preparing the merchandise in advance. Clean and repair gently used clothing, appliances and other pieces.
Finally, if an item does not seem worth selling but is not ready for the garbage, consider donating them to your local charity store. Remember: a move often costs more than one plans for. Use the sale to help fund the move and that will be one less thing to worry about.
Plan ahead for move day and treat it like a process as well as an event. When you realize that you are ready to set up the new abode while bidding goodbye to the old, you may be surprised to find yourself smiling and not scowling.
How to avoid moving scams
Have you decided to relocate? Awesome! Think about all the opportunities that come with a new town – a major change will do you good. But while you’re bound to have good things ahead, we advise you to err on the side of caution. What are we talking about? Well, specifically, about hiring moving companies. While most of them are good, honest businesses, you’re bound to run into some dishonest people. After all, that’s the way it is in any business – but it’s avoidable if you have all the information. And that’s exactly why we’re here. We’re going to give you all the tips you’ll need to avoid moving scams.
Yes – there are many folks out there who will try to pretend they’re running an honest moving company. But in reality, they’re just trying to put one over on you with a dirty moving scam. These are people that want to snatch your money and not do any hard work. Or simply do it badly and get extra money out of you. That’s why there’s no such thing as being too careful while you’re picking a moving company! And if you’re going to avoid moving scams, you’ll need to know the most common ones out there:
Unregistered moving operation – You may encounter movers that don’t actually work for registered and legal moving companies. While they may actually do their job, you’re still dealing with people working illegally, and thus you’re much less protected by laws and regulations on moving.
You don’t want to hand over your money to scammers!
Okay, we know what you’re thinking – knowing about what moving scams are is all well and good, but how do you actually avoid one beforehand? Knowledge after the fact won’t do you much good right? Don’t worry – we’ll help you learn how to find the right person for the job.
Like most other business communities, moving companies are also operating under a number of laws and regulations. Essentially, this is what separates scammers from real, legit movers. But how to tell them apart? Well, here’s something you should be on the lookout for, if you want to avoid moving scams while hiring movers. According to regulations on a federal level, all licensed movers have to give their clients a document called Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. There’s a lot of very useful information in there, and you can see why illegal moving companies wouldn’t want to give you this. So, if you’re dealing with fraudulent movers, they will avoid doing this at all cost.
Okay, we believe that you’ve realized how important it is to avoid moving scams by now. Remember something – when you’re hiring movers, you’re letting someone who’s basically a stranger into your life. And into the most intimate part of your life: your home. These people will be given access to your most personal and valuable possessions. And let’s not forget: you’ll be giving them a lot of your personal information as well. That’s precisely why we insist on being extremely careful. You need to do a lot of research while looking for Canadian movers – this will ensure you don’t end up hiring frauds!
You’ll have to be diligent in your research to avoid moving scams!
And when you’re presented with an incredibly affordable moving estimate – be careful! Don’t settle for it immediately thinking you’ve got a great opportunity. Make sure you check out if the moving company in question has a license. And if they don’t, these aren’t really the people you want handling your property. Also, you shouldn’t really trust a moving company that’s ready to give you an estimate during a phone call, without physically inspecting your premises. References are also something you’ll need a lot of. Make sure you find references from other customers for anyone you intend on hiring.
If you’re hiring a moving company, your relocation is actually first and foremost a business deal. Realizing this is crucial if you want to avoid moving scams – because you’ll go into this with the right mindset. What do we mean by that? Well, specifically – we’re talking about the need to pay extreme attention to details.
First of all, let’s discuss the contract that defines the legality of your relocation with a moving company. And do you need a contract in the first place? The answer to that question is – yes, absolutely, and without question. Really, at the end of the day, this is the only way you can truly avoid moving scams. It doesn’t matter how well-mannered and pleasant the movers are – you still need to protect your interests using law. A handshake agreement really won’t do the job here. And on the other hand, no professional moving company would even think of doing business without a contract themselves. Really, no-one who is serious about any service profession would conduct business without legal guarantees.
Secondly, also make sure you don’t sign anything without reading it first. And most definitely don’t sign a half-blank contract, which the movers will ‘fill in later’. That right there is almost certainly moving fraud. And lastly, don’t ever sign a contract that seems vague and unclear.
Your contract is the key to business security!
Figure 1: Moving insurance – all you should know about it. alt. Calculator, pen and paper.
If you are planning on moving in the near future, you should definitely consider your moving insurance options. And for many reasons. Moving isn’t only complex and stressful, it can also be quite risky. And especially if you decide to do it yourself. But, if you prepare well in advance, the chances are you will move smoothly and in a safe manner. Continue reading and learn all you should know about moving insurance, and moving in general!
If DIY moving a good idea, and why not?
Moving might sound like an easy task to pull off. And if you have done it in the past, you might remember it differently, but let’s be honest – moving is everything but easy. You will have to cover many aspects before actually moving. And when we say many, we mean a lot of them.
So, you are about to move. And you are thinking about doing it all by yourself. Or even paying your friends with pizza to help you. But, is it a good idea? Can you do it all by yourself? And even more importantly, can your friends help you with every aspect of your relocation?
Well, the correct answer is – no. Your friends can’t help you with every task that comes your way. And especially when it comes to preparation. It is time-consuming and overwhelming. And even more importantly – it needs to be done right. That is if you want to move in a safe manner. Moving insurance won’t help if you don’t help yourself.
Figure 2: Make sure you come prepared. This way you will make the best calls. alt. Laptop. coffee mug, phone and a woman working.
Planning your time is of utmost importance. There are many tasks that need to be completed before you actually relocate, and the only way to pull it off is by making a good strategy. Playing it smart is your best option. So, get your notebook and start writing things down. Everything that comes to your mind. This will prevent losing track of things. Use your time wisely and think about your relocation in advance.
This part is really important. Because of moving insurance, and many other things. One of them being your own wellbeing. Yes, your precious belongings can get damaged when moving, but consider your own health as well. You don’t want to end up in ER after getting injured while moving large and heavy items. You will want someone who you can rely on to take care of your relocation. And who better than www.rentason.ca? By hiring a professional mover, you will ensure your own, and the safety of your belongings. And even more importantly – you will move stress and hassle-free.
You probably already have home insurance. But does it cover your belongings when moving? The best thing you can do is to contact your insurance company and ask them a few questions. This way you will get all the information that you might need when relocating. Insurance claims come in different sizes and shapes, so getting well informed about your own deal might be a good idea.
Figure 3: What does your home insurance policy cover? alt. Icons.
No one wants this to happen. But, if it does, it is not the end of the world yet. All you have to do is to contact your insurance claims adjuster and let him/her know what happened. They will take it from there. And if you don’t have such person on your team we suggest you check out a-zclaimsadjusters.com – adjusters that can help you no matter what.
There are many different options you can choose from, but you should get well informed in advance. Every moving company offers different deals, and you should make sure you get the best one. The coverage you get depends mostly on what you are ready to pay and the mover in general. Two basic deals are:
Basic coverage is based on the weight of your belongings. In the event of loss or damage, a mover’s usual liability is around $0.58 per pound. And if you choose this option for your relocation, and something goes missing or ends up damaged in the process – you will get the same amount of money in return, no matter if it is an antique statue or a refrigerator in question.
Additional moving insurance coverage is a bit different. And in order to get one, you will have to follow certain rules. Different movers have different requirements, but in most cases, it means that you will have to hire a mover to pack your belongings. And it is quite logical if you think about it. Only a professional mover can pack your belongings in a safe manner. By choosing additional coverage for your move you will ensure your belongings safety in more than one way, and as you can conclude – it is a much better option.
Figure 4: You have more than one option here. Make sure you make the right call. alt. Doors.
Opting for a professional moving company is the best way to ensure your belongings when relocating. By doing so, you will get more than one option for moving insurance. And remember – you can’t get it if you decide to move all by yourself. Also, make sure you check it with your insurance company, your belongings might be covered even when relocating. Make sure you come prepared, and there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.
In Canada, 85% of people over the age of 65 are “overhoused.” This means that they have more bedrooms and space than they realistically need. This is why many people look to downsize their homes, and look for somewhere that is more suited to their needs, and easier to manage. Here are four tips for moving home later in life.
Budget for the future
If you are retired, or no longer working, then it is extremely important to budget for the future. Many people look buy a smaller home in order to release the equity in an existing home. This money can provide a good lump sum to live off, or invest elsewhere. When you move, take stock of your assets, and consider how long you need them to last for. A Retirement Budget Calculator can help you work out how much money you will need weekly, that way there will be no surprises.
Do you really need to keep it?
Back in 2011, Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up took the world by storm. It was a book with simple principles – if an item doesn’t bring you joy, then don’t keep it. It encouraged entire generations to clear up, to declutter, and to get rid of the miscellaneous objects that they had been unnecessarily storing for years. Think about the items that you have in the loft – apart from perhaps the faux Christmas tree, how much is up there that you have simply forgotten about? Think about all the items that you have kept “just in case.” It is entirely likely that that time will never come, and you’ve just been storing stuff unnecessarily. If you don’t need it, let it go.
Downsizing your home means that you may need to be more creative when it comes to storage. This could mean installing purpose-built cupboards, or utilising the space underneath the stairs. Alternatively if there are larger items you want to keep, but you don’t necessarily need in your home, it might be worth renting a storage unit – they might cost less than you think.
Prioritise your time
When you are choosing your new home, it is important to think about how you want to spend your time. It is all very well having a place with a big garden, but unless you are planning to spend a lot of time maintaining it, the garden might become more of a burden – eating into your personal time. If you are retiring, this is the ideal time to take stock of what you really want to do with the free time that you are going to have. This is why it’s important to choose a new home that is going to be right for your needs. Bigger isn’t always better.
Downsizing your home later in life can give you the financial stability to retire comfortably. You will be able to then enjoy your new found free time.
When Bill and Maggie Wilson started their search for a new home, they knew exactly what they wanted – a run-down house with outdated interior and room for landscaping. Tucked away in the leafy neighborhood of Calgary, they found it. The Wilsons knew they could fix many of the foundation problems, with a bit of sweat, savings, and a lot of paint. In return, they transformed an old home with sparse grass into an oasis with $50,000 worth of improvements.
Buying a house can be fun, but not all homes are created equal. According to the Genworth Canada First-Time Homeownership Study, 9 out of 10 first-time buyers are millennials looking to remodel versus renting or buying brand new. Renovating is a great opportunity to use your creativity and try DIY projects. While simple changes like wall colours and cabinet tops are easy ways to improve your renovation, turning a fixer-upper into a home often involves more than that. So, before you move into your home, consider these tips to help make your investment worth it.
Determine the Actual Condition
You may be set on moving in the home while you renovate, however, it is important to consider the actual condition of the home. Is it safe to live in? Will your kids be safe? If your home is undergoing a damp issue, the level of moisture in the air may lead to mold– making it extremely dangerous to live in. Make sure to analyse the home and find accommodation elsewhere until the problem is resolved.
Financing A Fixer-Upper
While you might be able to finance small projects with credit, homeowners and buyers can apply for a loan or refinance the home. This may also include the cost of its renovations with a single mortgage. Whereas, there are construction loans that require you to refinance into a new loanonce the renovations are complete. To qualify, the home must be at least one year old with the minimal renovation cost of $5,000.
Living On-Site while You Renovate
Living in a home that requires plenty of work can be stressful for anyone. It can be difficult to determine how to live a normal life while trying to meet deadlines with your general construction manager. The first and most important thing to do is to establish a timeline. That way, you can keep track of projects and allow the work to progress, unhampered.
Lastly, if you live near family and friends, don’t be afraid to ask for help – especially when moving. Whether it may be a helping hand, using their basement for storage, babysitting or pet sitting your dog – reducing the number of distractions will allow you to focus on the most essential projects first without doing the non-essential tasks beforehand.
Homeowners may have more work to do when trying to move and sell a home simultaneously. There may be a variety of challenges that spring up when attempting this unique feat. There is much to do when listing, marketing and selling a home. It is an extra burden to attempt to move during this stressful period. What should Toronto homeowners know about moving and selling a home during the same stretch of time?
Toronto homeowners who want to sell their home have to proceed through a number of steps in order to achieve their goal. It will be necessary to prepare a home for sale, make necessary repairs and home improvements, stage a home and price a home well for the market. It can take longer to finish with required repairs and if a home is not priced right, it may linger on the market, costing homeowners extra time, money and effort.
In addition, one may receive an offer on the home and the buyer may fail to get approved for a mortgage loan or as they proceed further, may back out after a home inspection or other issue. This forces a homeowner to go back to showing and attracting potential buyers. Selling a home in a competitive market by itself is not always as straightforward as one may hope and owners may have to make additional repairs after the home is inspected in order for the sale to go through. Therefore selling a home while also moving may not be the best choice for those attempting to do so for the first time. It may be more profitable for some to sell a home before buying another.
As one speaks with their agent or real estate lawyer, they may understand that certain contingency clauses may be inserted into a contract. Sellers may benefit as they can, in certain situations, continue to show their home, even though the home may be under contract. Certain actions are expected to occur within specific timeframes. If a contingency is not met, an opportunity arises for either party to break the contract. Canadian contingency clauses may include:
It helps a seller to look for a buyer who has already been pre-approved when it comes to a home mortgage. As it can take significant time to sell a home, one may want to know whether or not the buyer has their home on the market. One needs to gauge the seriousness of any buyer to close on a sale and be able to finance the purchase of a new home. Even with pre-approval on a home loan, an applicant may not receive a home mortgage loan.
As a Toronto-based agent shows a home to potential buyers, it is beneficial to keep it showroom ready. However, this may be more difficult when attempting to also move. Sellers may need to take steps to organize their home, throw or donate unnecessary items and properly store desired items in such a way as not to create an eyesore or a hindrance to an agent. Some may be able to organize items in boxes and shelves in basements or a garage. Remember that potential buyers do want to see into closets and other storage spaces. It may be useful for some sellers to rent storage for their larger items and boxes during this transitional period.