PCS’ing and Pets

IMG_1792I think the hardest part about keeping up a blog about military relocation and PCS’ing is the number of topics to choose from! Over the years I have discovered that there are so many areas of our lives that are impacted by frequent moves – even ones you wouldn’t normally consider. When we moved from Fort Sill, Oklahoma to Presidio of Monterey in California we discovered that our French Bulldog Bubba was prone to anxiety attacks while travelling. He would get carsick and woozy and begin to hyperventilate. My husband, needless to say, was thrilled when Bubba had to sit on his lap through New Mexico and Arizona in the middle of summer with the window open!

Since that time, we have PCS’d twice more with pets. If I had known then what I know now, I would have done the following:

  1. Make sure all shots are up to date and keep copies of EVERYTHING with the records you are travelling with
  2. Check if your pets need to be licensed at your new place of residence
  3. Micro-chip! Pets have been known to wander off  and get lost when they are enroute or at the new location. And don’t forget to update your contact information.
  4. Find a good kennel and vet in your new town. Word of mouth is the best way to identify these. Feel free to drop me a comment if you want to know more about those in my area.
  5. Get pet prozac if you think they’ll need it! You can take the edge off your pet’s anxiety with a quick trip to the vet for a prescription.
  6. Be sure you plan your route carefully – stay in pet friendly hotels. This one is a biggie because not all base lodging allowed pets when we made our trek cross-country. Here is a helpful link

Those are my top six! In addition are the obvious – enough food for travel, water bowls & bottled water, & don’t forget their leashes! Happy Traveling!

New or Resale Home? Which is the better deal?

This home has been barely lived in, but is a resale and priced better than new.

If you are on your way to Macdill Air Force Base and are looking to buy a home, you are likely wondering if it is a better deal to buy a new or existing home. The answer is: it depends on what you are looking for. Right now there are new developments popping up everywhere and builders are offering great incentives to homebuyers. Step one is always going to be to find a good realtor who will negotiate on your behalf with selling agents and builder reps. Remember – there is no charge to you as the buyer and the other side has representation so why shouldn’t you? Here are a few points to consider when making your decision:Pros For New Construction:

  • Builder may pay closing costs
  • Realtor can negotiate upgrades
  • May have special incentives for military
  • Can be customized to suit your lifestyle
  • Shiny and new! You are the first to live here!

Cons For New Construction:

  • You will have to buy window coverings
  • If in a new community, you could be living with construction in the area for a Very long time
  • Taxes for the first year are on land only and you could see a significant increase the next year
  • You may have to pay for the upgrades you want at the builder’s prices
  • Your closing costs could be higher because there are fees the builder does not pay that a seller would

Pros For Existing:

  • Seller may have already put in the upgrades you were looking for (such as a swimming pool)
  • Seller may have more incentive to negotiate price, repairs and closing costs
  • Window coverings are usually included
  • The neighborhood is likely established with mature landscaping
  • You don’t have to find temporary lodging while the home is being built

Cons for Existing:

  • Home may have blemishes (scuffed walls, stained flooring)
  • You will likely have to pay some of the closing costs and/or prepaids
  • There may be hidden defects (always do your inspections)
  • The home must appraise

Every family has different needs and wants that can be met through new or existing homes. Talk to your real estate professional for help in  identifying the right type of home for you.

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