Confused About the Economic Recovery? Here’s Why.

As we continue to work through the health crisis that plagues this country, more and more conversations are turning to economic recovery. While we look for signs that we’ve reached a plateau in cases of COVID-19, the concern and fear of what will happen as businesses open up again is on all of our minds. This causes confusion about what an economic recovery will look like. With this in mind, it’s important to understand how economists are using three types of sciences to formulate their forecasts and to work toward clearer answers.

  1. Business Science – How has the economy rebounded from similar slowdowns in the past?
  2. Health Science – When will COVID-19 be under control? Will there be another flareup of the virus this fall?
  3. People Science – After businesses are fully operational, how long will it take American consumers to return to normal consumption patterns? (Ex: going to the movies, attending a sporting event, or flying).

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, says:

“Although the uncertainty of the crisis means forecasts of economic activity are more unclear than usual, we expect that most of the economic damage from the virus will be contained to the first half of the year. Going forward, we should see a recovery starting in the second half of 2020.”

Confused About the Economic Recovery? Here’s Why. | Keeping Current Matters

This past week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released the advanced estimate for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2020. That estimate came in at -4.8%. It was a clear indicator showing how the U.S. economy slowed as businesses shut down and consumers retreated to their homes in fear of the health crisis and of contracting COVID-19.Experts agree that the second quarter of 2020 will be an even greater slowdown, a sign more businesses are feeling the effects of this health crisis. The same experts, however, project businesses will rebound, and a recovery will start to happen in the second half of this year.

Bottom Line

As time goes on, we’ll have more clarity around what the true economic recovery will look like, and we’ll have more information on the sciences that will affect it. As the nation’s economy comes back to life and businesses embrace new waves of innovation to serve their customers, the American spirit of grit, growth, and prosperity will be alive and well.

Cost of Moving

How much does it cost to move?

The average cost of moving is around $1,500. While moving costs can range from $500 to $10,000, a big cross-country move can easily cost upward of $15,000. These ranges are so broad because the cost of moving ultimately depends on the distance you’re moving, how much stuff you have and when you’re relocating.

You’ve found the perfect new home across town or across the country, and you’re ready for a fresh start — you just have to get all your stuff there. Moving can be more expensive than most people realize, but if you know what you’re getting yourself into, you’ll be much more comfortable navigating the many cost variables of a move. Some homeowners opt to take on the task themselves by using rental trucks or containers, which can significantly cut expenses but will cost them time and physical labor. Others opt to spend more and have a professional mover take on the often stressful task. Whichever route you take, there will be moving costs involved, so educate yourself for the smoothest possible relocation experience.

To stay within your budget, consider the number of items you have, how far you’re moving and the timing of your relocation. Moving is labor-intensive, so it’s a good idea to contact multiple moving companies to get a few different quotes for their various services to decide which is the best option for you. If you opt to have a professional do all of the work, find a moving service that specializes in local or long-distance moves to ensure you’re getting a fair price and experienced laborers.

A local move costs an average of $1,500. Also referred to as an intrastate move, this type of move involves any location within 100 miles of the starting point. Since local moves can usually be done in one day, local movers generally charge by the hour. The more stuff you have, the longer it will take and the more it will cost. Moving items from a one-bedroom apartment may take three to five hours and cost anywhere from $250 to $500, whereas moving items from a four-bedroom home can take 10 or more hours and run upward of $3,000.

How much does it cost to move long-distance?

A long-distance move costs an average of $5,000. This type of move involves any location more than 100 miles from the starting point, and is often an interstate move. Because you could be moving 200 or 2,000 miles away, the cost range varies greatly. Moving across the country can cost you $10,000, while moving to the next county over may run you just $1,000. Typically, long-distance movers charge by weight and distance. Experienced movers have a good idea of weight based on the size of your home and are often able to give you a close estimate for the overall cost.

How can I save on moving costs?

While professional full-service movers are worth their weight in gold, you may not have piles of cash lying around to get the contents of your home from location A to location B. The two biggest ways to cut down on moving expenses are renting your own moving truck and renting a moving container. Below you’ll find a little information on how each method works, in case you’re looking to save money.

Money-Saving Tips

Renting a Moving Truck: If you want to go the ultimate DIY route, look into renting a moving truck and packing, driving and unpacking everything yourself. It’s a lot of work, but if you have the time and strength (and a few good friends) and want to save on moving expenses, it’s the way to go. Truck rentals vary depending on the size of truck you need, and rental companies typically charge daily or hourly rates as well as for mileage and fuel, so the quicker you can get everything done, the less you’ll have to pay. For a local move, you could pay as low as $50 or over $2,000, depending on the factors mentioned above.

Renting a Moving Container: If driving a big truck filled with all of your precious belongings sounds too daunting, try renting a portable moving container instead. You can pack up everything at your own pace and let the company pick it up and transport it to your new location. Then you can leisurely unpack as you please, depending on how long you want to pay to rent the pod. Portable moving containers are generally rented by the month, giving you ample time to pack and unpack. You’ll then pay a per-mile fee for the distance the storage pod has to be moved. Long-distance moves start at around $800 and go up from there, whereas a local move should yield an average price of $500 to $800 total.

If a DIY move is not for you, there are still ways to cut costs while getting the full-service experience.

Moving Cost Factors

Amount of Belongings: The more stuff you have, the more it will cost you to move. Regardless of whether your movers charge by weight or by the hour, having less to move can save you money. Long-distance movers typically charge by weight, so make sure to learn what the rates are and try to keep your household goods within the lower ranges to help keep costs to a minimum. If you’re moving locally, bring what you can in your own car to make the move go a little bit quicker.

Packing: If you have the time and patience to pack your own belongings, you could save yourself a few hundred dollars. It you go this route, try to track down free or discounted packing supplies, like cardboard boxes and padding; they’re easier to find than you think! If you need the help of the pros, this service is sure to add to the cost of your move. However, if your time is more valuable to you than money, it might just be worth it to have the professionals pack up your home — they’re experienced in proper packing techniques and will have all of the boxes and supplies needed for the job. Specialty items, like high-value artwork, large objects or fragile pieces may cost more, as they are more difficult to handle, so you might consider taking these with you separately.

Unpacking: Some moving companies will unpack all or some of your boxes for you. While most people prefer to do this themselves as they nestle into their new home, some find it extremely helpful and time-saving to have pros do it. Did you or the mover have to break down large pieces of furniture before the move? Put them back together yourself, if possible, to save a few bucks.

Insurance: While movers should be careful with each and every one of your belongings, accidents do happen. Most companies will offer the option to insure your items for an extra fee, which would cover any damage in the unfortunate event that something awful happens to them. If you have any valuable items in your move, either take them yourself or splurge for the extra cost of insurance to make sure you’re covered.

Moving Date: Movers are in the highest demand on weekends and the beginning and end of each month, as most people cannot or do not want to take off work for a day, and most leases start or end then. If you can afford to miss a weekday of work or wait until the middle of the month, you’ll likely be able to save on the moving rate, since companies are less in demand at those times. A summertime moving date will also likely cost you more than an off-season move, as families with children tend to uproot when school is out.

Tax Deductions: Did you do a big purge and donate some of your household goods to charity? If so, make sure to get a receipt so that you can deduct your donations from your taxes when tax season rolls around. Also, if your move was work-related, you may be able to write off some of your relocation expenses.

Ready to start the moving process? Find a moving company near you

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What You Can Do to Get Your House Ready to Sell

Believe it or not, there are lots of things you can do to prep your house for a sale without even going to the store.

Tackling small projects from cleaning the corners you may normally skip to tidying up your yard are easy and necessary wins if you’re thinking of listing your house and making a move.

Your real estate plans don’t have to be completely on hold even while we’ve hit the pause button on other parts of daily life.

How Technology Is Enabling the Real Estate Process

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Today’s everyday reality is pretty different than it looked just a few weeks ago. We’re learning how to do a lot of things in new ways, from how we work remotely to how we engage with our friends and neighbors. Almost everything right now is shifting to a virtual format. One of the big changes we’re adapting to is the revisions to the common real estate transaction, which all vary by state and locality. Technology, however, is making it possible for many of us to continue on the quest for homeownership, an essential need for all.

Here’s a look at some of the elements of the process that are changing (at least in the near-term), due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, and what you may need to know about each one if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home sooner rather than later.

1. Virtual Consultations – Instead of heading into an office, you can meet with real estate and lending professionals through video chat. Whether it’s your first initial needs analysis as a buyer or your listing appointment as a seller, you can still get the process started remotely and create a plan together. Your trusted advisor is still on your side.

2. Home Searches & Virtual Showings – According to theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), the Internet is one of the three most popular information sources buyers use when searching for homes. Your real estate agent can send you listing information and help you request a virtual showing when you’re ready to start looking. This means you can virtually walk through the homes on your wish list while keeping your family safe. As a seller, you can still have virtual open houses and virtual tours too, so as not to miss those buyers looking to find a home right now.

3. Document Signing – Although this is another area that varies by state, today more portions of the transaction are being done digitally. In many areas, your agent or loan officer can set up an account where you can upload all of the required documents and sign electronically right from your computer.

4. Sending Money – Whether you need to pay for an appraisal or submit closing costs, there are options available. Depending on the transaction and local regulations, you may be able to pay by credit card, and most banks will also allow you to wire funds from your account. Sometimes you can send a check by mail, and in some states, a mobile escrow agent will pick up a check from your home.

5. Closing Process – Again, depending on your area, a mobile notary may be able to bring the required documents to your home before the closing. If your state requires an attorney to be present, check with your legal counsel to see what options are available. Also, depending on the title company, some are allowing drive-thru closings, which is similar to doing a transaction at a bank window.

Although these virtual processes are starting to become more widely accepted, it does not mean that this is the way things are going to get done from now on. Under the current circumstances, however, technology is making it possible to continue much of the real estate transaction today.

Bottom Line

If you need to move today, technology can help make it happen; there are options available. To learn about the specific regulations in your area, contact a local real estate professional to discuss your situation, so you don’t have to put your real estate plans on hold.

Not-White Kitchens With Character

 Gray and Oak Wood

Designer: Stephanie Flemming of Flemming Interiors
Location: Chicago
Size: 300 square feet (28 square meters); 10 by 30 feet

Homeowners’ request. A warm and clean space with better storage solutions. Prior to the renovation, a peninsula perpendicular to the range wall divided the kitchen and eat-in area. Designer Stephanie Flemming removed the peninsula to create a more open plan, then added a 30 continuous feet of cabinets on the back wall, drastically increasing storage.

Cabinets. The lower cabinets are custom-stained rift-cut oak. The upper cabinets are painted in Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore. “Because there are 30 feet of cabinetry on one wall alone, we wanted cabinetry that was still light and bright but felt warm,” says Flemming, who used Houzz to gather inspiration photos for this project. “We achieved this by incorporating wood tones with the gray upper cabinets and using a light-colored countertop and backsplash.”

Other special features. Marble backsplash in herringbone pattern. Custom metal range hood. Custom glass-blown chandelier over eat-in table. Brushed-brass pendants.

Designer tip. “I like to mix up the hardware between the drawers and doors in a kitchen,” Flemming says. “It helps break up the space and makes it more interesting.”

Cabinets: Gravel Lane Design Studio

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