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Working With A Real Estate Agent

Although TV shows make house hunting look effortless, most prospective homeowners have plenty of questions as they get started. However, with the right real estate agent by your side, things don't have to be so stressful. My husband and I have purchased seven properties over the years, and we couldn't have done it without the help of our realtor. In addition to finding us property that met our needs, our real estate agent also answered our questions and calmed our nerves along the way. We decided to create a website to help people know what it is really like to purchase property and to work with a realtor, so that you are ready to embark on your own adventure.

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2 Tips For Shipping Your Belongings

by Natalie Jensen

Are you moving to another country? Before you pick up an electronic translator or start shopping for region-appropriate clothing, you need to start thinking about how you are going to get all of your stuff overseas. Here are two tips for shipping your belongings, so that you don't end up dealing with a police investigation or steep fines:

1: Watch Out For Prohibited Items

Believe it or not, those bright red signs posted all over your local shipping warehouse aren't just suggestions. To limit the transfer of stolen or dangerous goods, there is a long list of items that you might have a tough time shipping by land, air, or sea. Here are a few things that you might need to leave behind or seek a permit to ship:

  • Firearms: If you are a hobbyist or keep a gun in your home for protective reasons, you might pack your unloaded guns along with the rest of your household belongings. Unfortunately, shipping guns can be complicated, and you might need to have your weapon shipped by someone who has a Federal Firearms License. The rules regarding gun shipments vary depending on where you live and how you use your weapons, so it is important to check with your shipping company before you start packing.
  • Cleaning Supplies: That drain cleaner might not seem dangerous, but if it breaks open and mixes with other chemicals on an airplane, it could explode. To keep shipping equipment and their operators safe, never ship chemicals or cleaning supplies. 
  • Pets: For liability reasons, some shippers refuse to transport personal pets. You might need to hire a separate shipping company to move your pet to your new city, or leave your friend behind with a family member for a while.  

Oftentimes, people get lax and figure that bending a few rules won't be that big of a deal. Unfortunately, you could be subject to serious fines or criminal penalties if you are caught. For example, you might have to deal with a $250,000 fine and up to a year in prison if you are caught shipping firearms without a permit in the United States.

2: Become Familiar With Country Regulations

After selling your guns and arranging a temporary living space for your dog, you might feel like you are in the clear to load up shipping containers. However, each country has their own list of guidelines regarding incoming shipments. Here are a few strange items that are prohibited from countries around the world:

  • Canada: Don't even think about shipping your stamp collection to your new home in Canada. The country prohibits the transport of Canadian postage stamps unless they are printed in black and white, and contain a defacing line running through each stamp. 
  • Germany: If you love to play games with your family, you might be surprised to learn that Germany doesn't allow you to ship playing cards unless they are in an unsealed package.
  • England: Do you collect comic books? The United Kingdom prohibits the transfer of horror comics, as well as any good made in a foreign prison. 
  • China: Because China is a communist country, you can't send any printed materials that could harm the politics of the nation. You might have to leave your history and political science textbooks in a storage unit back in the states.

Although regulations on playing cards and comic books might seem extreme, some nations have even stricter rules regarding shipped materials. Before you move to another country, research the shipping regulations thoroughly. Breaking the rules could land you in hot water during your move, or make it hard to work in your new country.

Being familiar with shipping rules might help you to streamline your location and keep your moving expenses to a minimum.  

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