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Archive for June, 2015|Monthly archive page

Ready to Relocate? Avoid Hiring a ‘Rogue Mover’

In Buying a Home, Houston Energy Corridor, new homes houston energy corridor, Relocating to West Houston, West Houston on June 30, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Ready to Relocate? Avoid Hiring a ‘Rogue Mover’

Are you ready to relocate? If so, a new Better Business Bureau report warns folks to be very selective before hiring a mover to avoid common problems, some of which may or may not be illegal.

Every year BBB and law enforcement officials hear about “rogue movers” who demand an additional and unexpected payment before releasing possessions to their owner. In addition, consumers may also be held responsible for additional charges if the moving company puts belongings in storage pending payment of the final amount.

Consumers across the country filed more than 8,000 complaints against moving companies last year, according to BBB. So in this first of two reports on the subject, we’ll look at a few warning signs that might indicate your mover is up to no good.

The most common disputes in the BBB database involved damage to or disappearance of personal belongings, difficulty obtaining compensation for damage, a final bill well in excess of the original quote and damage to apartments, homes and condos caused by movers during the process.

Anyone with a truck and a website can claim to be a mover, and unfortunately, the moving industry is plagued by con artists who don’t adhere to best marketplace standards for honesty and ethical conduct.

So Better Business Bureau recommends consumers watch for common red flags before hiring a mover:

  • They prefer to give you an estimate over the phone, sight unseen.  That preliminary estimate will likely be lower than the actual cost when the job is over.
  • They demand a large sum of money before the move. However, it is not unusual for a mover to ask in advance for $100 or $200 to make sure you don’t cancel and leave them hanging the day of the move.  Usually, the bill must be paid in full the day of the move.
  • Be wary if you cannot find a local address, contact information and proof of licensing or insurance on their website, or
  • If they use a generic truck.

The BBB recommends consumers thoroughly research prospective moving companies at before selecting one.

If your planning a move to West Houston contact

Connie Vallone 713 249 4177  Broker Associate First Market Realty

Houston Energy Corridor Homes

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.By John Voket


How to Avoid Costly Repairs with Inexpensive Maintenance

In Buying a Home, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Investment, Selling your home on June 1, 2015 at 1:53 pm

In our quest to help homeowners save money while avoiding the disruptive headaches of costly repairs and breakdowns this summer, your RIS Consumer Confidant sought the advice of Summer Mandell at The Texas Association of REALTORS® (

Mandell says first-time homeowners can avoid some costly mistakes by doing routine home maintenance that protects their investment. Check out her basic home-maintenance checklist to help get started.

  • Check gutters regularly to make sure they’re properly attached and clear of sticks and leaves. Also confirm the flow of water from your gutters is away from your home to avoid foundation damage.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly. Experts also recommend changing batteries when you change the clocks in the fall and spring.
  • Change filters in your home at intervals recommended by your HVAC manufacturer, especially if you have allergies or pets.And arrange for seasonal checks on the heating and cooling system to avoid emergency repairs.
  • Hire a tree-service company to inspect trees on your property to identify weak limbs that should be cut before a storm.
  • Toilets that run and faucets that leak when not in use are wasting your water. Sometimes you can fix these problems yourself, but hire an expert if you’re in doubt.
  • Check the water supply hose to your washing machine, which can leak and cause expensive damage.
  • Clean the dryer vent regularly – not just the lint trap – which should be cleaned often, too. Clogged dryer vents can be a fire hazard.
  • Clean around the vents and coils underneath and behind your refrigerator to support its efficiency. Also check for gaps when it’s closed to make sure your cool air isn’t being wasted.
  • Check your doors, garage door, windows, and any places where pipes and wires enter the structure for gaps and cracks. Replace weather-stripping that’s missing or in disrepair and add caulk where needed to keep heat/cool in and keep bugs and small creatures out.

Questions?  Contact Connie at or (713) 249-4177.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.