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Whether you’re moving down the street or to a different state, it’s important to make sure your pets are prepared for this change. There are several practical things to consider while getting your pets ready for your move. Since you already have a lot to keep track of between packing and planning for moving day, keep the following tips handy to ensure that your pets are fully prepared.

Stock Up on Supplies Before Moving Day

Making sure you have plenty of food for your pets means you’ll have one less thing to worry about on moving day. Plan to purchase enough food to last for at least a couple of weeks after you arrive. If your pets take any medication, ask your vet about stocking enough of it to last for a few extra weeks.

Update Microchip Information and ID Tags

Pets can easily become stressed during a move. With unfamiliar people coming into and out of your home to load or unload the truck, there’a a higher risk of having anxious pets bolt out the door. Before moving day, update the information associated with your pets’ microchips and ID tags in case they get lost.

Stay Current on Vaccines

Making sure your pets have updated vaccines can give you peace of mind if they happen to run off during the transition into your new space. Being updated on vaccines is also helpful if you plan on boarding your pets on moving day. Boarding them may help prevent them from getting lost or feeling overwhelmed.

Visit Your New Home Before Moving Day

If possible, bring your pets over to your new home before you move in. Keep dogs on a leash to make sure they stay safe, and bring cats in carriers that you can easily get them in and out of. Bringing them over before moving day can give them a chance to wander around and explore each room while your new home is empty and quiet. 

Tire Your Pets Out

Tired pets are less likely to act up if they’re feeling stressed or anxious as moving day approaches. In the days before your departure, spend quality time with your pets and keep them active. Run around the yard with your dogs, bring them to the local dog park or take them for extra long walks around the neighborhood. Use toys to keep your cats active and playful. Spending some time with your pets every day can help them feel less anxious about the changes going on around them, such as having boxes all around instead of familiar items. 

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Buying your first home is a big decision; one that involves a lengthy process of saving money, building credit, and planning the next phase of your life. However, owning a home comes with one major payoff: home equity.

Simply put, home equity is the amount of your home that you’ve paid off. However, it does get more complicated when we bring in factors like the market value of your home and how it shifts over the years.

In this article, we’ll discuss home equity and what it means for you as a homeowner. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when you finally make that last payment on your home or when you decide to sell.

Home equity and market value

As I mentioned earlier, home equity is more than just the amount you’ve paid toward your mortgage. Like most markets, the housing market shifts over time.

Most homes slowly increase in value over time. In the real estate world, this increase in value is called appreciation.

However, that doesn’t mean that your home is simply going to increase in value indefinitely until you decide to sell. As you will find out (if you haven’t yet already), owning a home can be expensive. Houses age and require upgrades. If you fail to keep up with the maintenance of your home, its value can diminish.

How to build equity

The most important thing you can do to build equity is to make on-time payments to your mortgage. Making extra mortgage payments will help you build equity even faster.

One method of paying extra on your mortgage that many people are adopting is to make bi-weekly payments. Twenty-six bi-weekly payments comes out to 13 full payments per year, the equivalent of making one full extra monthly payment.

The second method of building equity is something that you have less control over: appreciation. However, if you stick to a maintenance schedule for your home and keep it in good repair, you’ll most likely benefit from appreciation over the lifespan of your mortgage.

What can I use home equity for?

The most common way to use home equity is as a down payment or full payment on your next home. First-time buyers who don’t have a 20% down payment saved often buy a starter home and then later upgrade as their family grows and their needs change. In the years that they own their first home, they build enough equity to make a full down payment on their second home, avoiding fees like mortgage insurance.

Many homeowners planning on retiring in the near future use their equity toward their retirement home, often turning a profit in the process. If you plan on downgrading for retirement and have fully paid off your mortgage, you can often use your equity to pay for your next home in cash.

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