Mortgage escrow / impound accounts are a means of paying future large payments in advance, with smaller monthly payments. Mortgage impound or escrow accounts may be a requirement placed upon you by your lender, here are some examples.
Mortgage escrow accounts are usually set up by a lender who want to insure that you have the ability make annual or bi-annual payments, such as homeowner’s insurance, real estate tax and mandatory flood protection insurance when applicable. In some cases, your lender will allow you to make payments into an escrow account set up by yourself. What are the pros and cons of such accounts?
Mortgage Escrow: Mortgage Impound Accounts
With mortgage impound accounts you have no say in the matter. Such an escrow account is imposed on you by your lender as a condition of the mortgage loan. Your lender will set up the account separate from your mortgage account. That will then be credited with sufficient money to cover payments such as those above.
Your various payments will be added and then divided by twelve to come to a monthly sum. That sum is added to your monthly mortgage repayment, and the appropriate portion paid by your lender into the escrow account. When each lump sum payment comes due, it is paid by your lender from that escrow account. This has two advantages and one disadvantage.
Pros and Cons of Impound Accounts
The major advantage is that you have no need to worry about saving cash to make these annual payments. Your homeowner’s insurance is covered as are your real estate taxes and other mandatory payments such as flood protection in certain geographical areas. Nor need you concern yourself about when they should be paid – your lender looks after that for you.
The main disadvantage is that the cash is tied up. Also you receive no interest – at least not in most states. Some state laws require you to be paid interest,in which case that will be the standard bank rate for your own account less the mandatory rate to be paid by the lender.If your account pays 5% interest, and the mandatory rate payable on your escrow account is 4%, you would lose only 1% interest on the escrow balance, not the full 5%.
Minimum Mortgage Escrow Balance
Where a mortgage escrow account is applied, you should maintain a minimum balance in case your homeowner’s insurance or real estate taxes increase during the year of your mortgage payments. Your mortgage loan year is highly likely to straddle the regular times of year when such increases are announced and take effect.
Minimum balances are set by federal law or by state law and the terms of your mortgage loan contract. The maximum federal requirement is two months payments, although a lower amount could be acceptable according your own mortgage contract or state law. Should your balance be insufficient to make a payment you must pay it in full or can pay the shortfall in monthly payments over the following year.
In certain circumstances you will be obliged to set up an escrow account. For example, if the government has placed a lien on your home for failure to pay taxes, an escrow account will be demanded to ensure that your property taxes are paid. Otherwise, the IRS has first call on funds should its sale be forced.
In summary mortgage escrow is a safe way for you to arrange payment of homeowner’s insurance and real estate taxes. Otherwise known as mortgage impound, homeowners can set up voluntary escrow accounts to avoid having to make such payments in lump sums. More information is available from an independent mortgage advisor.
Balloon mortgages involve the payment of a lump sum to clear the outstanding mortgage loan after a specific period of time. A common form of balloon loan in the auto industry is to borrow a certain sum to purchase a car, and agree to a balloon payment at the end of the loan period.
For example you could borrow $8,000, amortize just $5,000 of this over 3 years and pay the other $3,000 as a lump sum (balloon) at end of the 3 years. This reduces your monthly principal repayment, though not your interest – you still pay interest on the $3,000 over the full term of the loan. Such loans are useful if you intend selling the vehicle at that time for the $3,000 or expect a lump, such as an investment maturing, when the balloon is due for payment.
Balloon Loans and Mortgages
With mortgages, balloons are commonly paid after a set period such as 5 – 7 years. Your mortgage is amortized over the normal 15 or 30 years. However, after an agreed period, the outstanding principal is paid as a lump sum. The lump sum can come from an investment, by refinancing the property, or from the proceeds of selling the real estate.
In other words, if you wish to retain ownership of the property, a balloon mortgage is somewhat similar to an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM.) In fact, many people prefer them to adjustable rates mortgages. So what advantages does a 7-year balloon mortgage offer of a normal 7-year ARM?
Balloon Mortgages versus Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Let’s assume that you are comparing a 7-year adjustable rate mortgage and a 7-year balloon. You make your monthly payments based on a 15 or 30 year repayment period. At the end of 7 years, the balance of the principal still due on your 7-year balloon loan must be paid in full.
Generally you will do that by refinancing your mortgage. With the 7-year ARM, you would renegotiate your mortgage rate. Very similar in appearance, but not quite the same. So what’s the difference?
Advantages of an ARM
Some people choose an adjustable rate mortgage to protect against future rate rises. The interest rate of an ARM would likely rise by less than that of a refinance. That is because there is generally a maximum rate attached to an adjustable rate mortgage, but not on the refinance when the full interest rates at the time would apply.
Another advantage of the ARM is that the balloon, involving refinance, will be subject to refinancing costs. The ARM will not since it is not a refinance. Another aspect of the ARM that arises because it does not involve financing is that it doesn’t matter if your credit or FICO score has plummeted in the intervening period.
Mortgage refinance to pay a balloon would be subject to a higher interest rate, or even refused completely if your FICO score has dropped much below 600. You would then likely face foreclosure if you cannot raise the cash for the balloon. In fact, some lenders will refuse to refinance a mortgage loan if any payments have been missed during the previous year.
Advantages of Balloon Mortgages
If you have been repaying your mortgage on time for the seven years, a balloon mortgage is easy to refinance. Once the period is up and the balloon becomes payable, refinancing is organized at the current mortgage rate at that time. Setting up and implementing an ARM is more complex, particularly when the seven years are over and the rate is reset.
Additionally, the mortgage rate of a balloon mortgage is lower during the initial seven year period than that of an ARM, because adjustable rate mortgage rates are capped. That means a higher rate is generally applied at the beginning to compensate for this. Balloon mortgages are therefore more affordable in the early years when new buyers might be earning less.
Which is better: ARM or Balloon Loan?
Balloon mortgages carry more risk because any inability to refinance if you are unable to pay the balloon payment, may cause you to lose your home. The one situation where the balloon mortgage wins over an ARM is if you intend selling up after the initial period and paying the balloon with part of the proceeds.
Cash or mortgage: which is best? Is a mortgage better than buying your home outright? On the face of it there is no question. Surely paying cash for your home, meaning buying it outright, beats taking a loan every time. You have no interest to pay and no monthly payments to make. So does the question end there or is there more?
Of course there is more. Before you can make any financial decision you must cost out the various options. Never make assumptions, even where the answer appears obvious. Many people have come unstuck by doing that in any walk of life. So let’s examine the options carefully, and be prepared to be surprised.
Cash or Mortgage: What Are the Savings?
First what is your return on investment (ROI) for paying cash to purchase your home outright? It is the interest you would have paid over the life of your mortgage, and that you have now avoided paying.
You cannot include your home as an asset or saving, because you would also have had that with a mortgage. You cannot include the principal sum paid for your home, because you would have paid that in any case, even if over 15 or 30 years. Your saving is the interest. Calculating exactly how much better off you would be by paying cash for your home or taking a mortgage is complex so we shan’t go through all the calculations.
Mortgage Interest Paid
Let’s say you took a mortgage of $250,000 over 30 years at a fixed rate of 3.5%, you would pay a total of $154,149.60 interest. That is the savings you must make to break even. But how do you calculate your potential savings, and what figures do you take into consideration in your calculations? When making the cash or mortgage decision, we are assuming that you have the $250,000 available to either invest or use to purchase your home. Fundamentally, we are comparing investing this cash in bonds, securities, stocks and so on with investing it in your real estate.
First, by paying a mortgage, you will have your $250,000 cash in hand, plus you will be paying $1,122.61 monthly. To compare cash or mortgage using these figures, you would have to invest your $250,000 over 30 years of the mortgage. For cash, the $250,000 will be spent so you would only have the $1,122.61 to invest: that’s the sum you save on mortgage payments every month for the same 30 years. We then compare your net worth at 30 years when the mortgage is paid off using various investment interest rates.
When is it Best to Pay Cash for Your Home?
What the ultimate calculations show is that the lower the return on your investments, the more likely it is better to pay cash. The break even point is when the investment rate return equals the mortgage interest rate. The lower the investment rate, the more profitable it is to pay cash rather than take a mortgage.
So, cash or mortgage? Cash if the investment rate is low, but mortgage if the investment rate is higher than the mortgage rate. That is because in the one case (mortgage) you are being paid interest on $250,000 invested at the investment rate, while in the other (cash) you are saving interest on the $250,000 loan at the mortgage interest rate.
However, paying cash gives you immediate 100% liquidity, which may be useful in the event of an emergency. Also, your home is your own and cannot be repossessed. For some, these benefits themselves are worth paying cash irrespective of the relative financial comparisons.
When you make a down payment on a home it has a significant effect on most aspects of home purchase. Your real estate deposit is more important than you likely believe. Here are some factors that relate to the amount of mortgage down payment you make and the closing costs you may have to pay.
The closing costs you face when you sign the contract can be high. They range from just over $3,000 on a $200,000 home to over $5000 – New York tends be at the higher end of the scale as you would expect. The spare cash you have available at this time will have to be split between your closing costs and your real estate deposit or down payment.
There is little you can do to reduce closing costs. The larger components of your closing cost when buying a home tend to be:
• Title search & Title insurance
• Broker, originator or Lender fees
• Mortgage processing
• Attorney fees
• Application fees
• Tax services
• Document preparation
• Points if purchased (1 point =1% of purchase price & reduces interest rate by 0.25%)
Apart from points, which is based on anything from 1% – 3% of the purchase price of the property, these closing costs are presented in an approximate order of decreasing cost. There are other minor costs, such as postage and courier, flood verification, credit report and employment verification. In most states these minor components of your closing costs vary from $80 each downwards.
Paying Closing Costs and Down Payment on a Home
These must be paid cash at closing before the title deeds can be passed over from the seller to you, as the buyer. Even if you have agreed with the seller that they pay the closing costs, this money will likely not be available to you until after closure. You have to pass a cashier’s check over for all costs, including the down payment, before the deal is completed.
The source of the down payment on a home is important. It can be borrowed but you must be qualified to borrow that money. Your family must gift the money to you, backed up by an official gift form stating that repayment is not required. A credit card is not permitted because it has not been qualified.
Perhaps you will be in a position where you are asking the seller to pay all or part of your closing costs. To do this, you will agree to make a higher offer to include the closing costs. The seller then pays these costs in cash. The mortgage will then be arranged to integrate these costs with your mortgage, and paid monthly as part of your mortgage repayment.
Firstly, you must make sure that the loan you have arranged allows you to do this. Secondly, the amount of closing costs permitted to be amortized in this way depends on the size of your real estate deposit.
The Larger the Mortgage Down Payment the Better
You should make as large a down payment as you can in order to allow more closing costs to be paid by the seller. Lenders will not allow the seller to pay a large proportion of the closing costs if you only pay a small down payment. The reason is generally to ensure that the capital you have available is used for house purchase and that closing costs are amortized only if you then make a large down payment on a home.
The down payment does more than reduce the amount of your mortgage, and hence your monthly repayments. It may also enable you to arrange for the seller to pay more off your closing costs in return for a higher price. This enables you to amortize more of the closing costs. It generally pays to pay as large a mortgage down payment as you can.
The closing costs and down payment on a home must be paid by means of a bank or cashier’s check. A wire or direct ban transfer might be allowed. The money must come from a qualified source. Any money from your family or others must be gifts, and covered by a gift form stating that it need not be repaid.
What is APR? It stands for Annual Percentage Rate, but what does that mean? You will see the term on every quotation for finance or credit cards you receive. It is one of those ubiquitous terms that very few people actually understand. What confuses many is the APR is generally higher than the note rate stated on the same quotation!
This confusing term has been designed by the government to enable you to compare the cost of various financial products irrespective of other variables. The annual percentage rate is not actually the interest rate you will pay over a year. It is a completely artificial term that has been calculated using a complicated formula.
The calculation of the APR, and the need to disclose it, is regulated in the USA by the Truth In Lending Act (aka Regulation Z,) and must be disclosed along with an amortization schedule within three days of an application being made for a mortgage.
What is APR and How to Use It
If the only difference between loans was the APR, then the cheapest loan would be one with the lowest annual percentage rate. The problem is that this is not the only difference between different loans. A mortgage might include set-up fees, discount points and home owner’s insurance to mention just three of many possible additional costs.
The result is that it is very difficult for ordinary people to compare different loans, credit cards or mortgages. Another potential problem is the question of one-off charges applied when a loan is offered. The APR calculation can assume that this payment is spread over a number of years rather than calculate an APR for year #1 then another APR for all succeeding years.
A major problem with the annual percentage rate is that it is time dependant, and individual rates are meaningless unless quoted for the same time period. The APR for a 15 year mortgage cannot be compared to that for a 30 year mortgage. The differences you see are not the true cost of differences between taking a mortgage for 15 and 30 years.
Is The Annual Percentage Rate Pointless?
Another issue is that most online APR calculators assume that a loan will be retained until the full term has run. If you sell your home during the 30 year period, the APR quoted becomes meaningless. The actual interest will then be higher than that quoted. Is the APR in these circumstances pointless?
Not quite. You can still use it to compare the same mortgages offered by different lenders over the same time period, as long as you understand that it applies only if the same fees, interest rates and other charges are the same for each mortgage being compared. It will be of little use in comparing different mortgage products offered by the same or different lenders.
So many people misunderstand its use that it has become a confusing term useful in part only to those that do not sell their home until the mortgage has been fully paid up over the agreed time period. It has limited use in comparing mortgage products, but is the only genuine way to carry out such a comparison.
So What is APR?
What is APR then? It is a synthetic figure derived by taking all costs involved in a particular mortgage product into consideration and calculating an average annual percentage rate over the entire period of the mortgage loan. It becomes invalid when charges vary and if the borrower sells the property before the mortgage has been paid up over the original period (e.g. 15 or 30 years.) However, it does enable some degree of comparison to be made between similar mortgage products.
People tend to consider bridge loans when they realize they should have arranged one! Bridging loan finance is often the last thing on their minds when they are trying to deal with the 101 things involved in selling one home and buying another.
You have decided sell your existing home and purchase another. Maybe you are relocating to a different area, or need an extra bedroom for a new arrival to the family. You have been house-hunting and have found a beautiful home that meets your needs perfectly. The home is gorgeous, neighborhood amenities perfect and the price is good.
Somebody has made an offer for your existing home and you are all set – only they can’t close until they sell their old property. You have made a good and acceptable offer to the owner of your new home. You state that the offer is contingent upon you selling your existing home. Their response? ‘Sorry, but that is no good!’ They have another offer they will have to accept. It’s slightly lower than yours, but they have no choice.
The Need for Bridging Loan Finance
The result is all too familiar and entirely predictable – so why do so many people fail to act until it is too late? The situation is so common that most countries have their own terms for them: queues, chains, contingencies. . .
Fundamentally, you can’t buy your new house until you sell your old house. Your buyer is in the same situation, and so on down the chain. Right at the top is a poor couple trying to sell their own home, but can’t until the guy at the bottom of the chain can sell his, and buy from the next up who can then buy hers and so on. They feel they have no option but accept the next best offer – and you lose out!
Bridge loans can resolve all of this. If the person selling the house you want to purchase is ready to move on, but needs your payment to enable them to do so, then bridging loan finance could be the answer. Bridge loans are temporary loans that bridge the time gap between you paying for your new home and selling your old. They enable you to jump out of the queue or chain.
The Advantage of Bridge Loans
One thing you could have done was to get an offer on your existing home first. Get that settled and accepted, and then looked for a new home before closing date. Then there would have been nothing to stop you closing your old and new houses and moving in immediately. Too late for that now!
However, if the equity on your old home covers it, you can apply for a bridge loan. Using bridging loan finance, you can make your down payment, pay the closing fees and move in to your new home. Yes, there are fees to pay and interest rates are high, but you don’t lose the dream home you thought you had.
Bridge loans are useful if you have no other source of spare cash. Because they are secured by equity, the funds are qualified by lenders to be used for the down payment. There are other sources of cash funds you can use, such as a 401K or ‘gift’ from a relative. If necessary, however, your bank will probably offer bridging loan finance at relatively low cost – or even your mortgage lender.
Bridge loans are one way to break your link in a chain and pay the down payment for a new home while waiting to sell or close on your old home. If you or your partner has fallen in love with a fabulous new house don’t lose it through a lack of forethought. Bridging loan finance may be your answer.
Like it or not, your credit report will be examined each time you apply for credit of any kind. This might be viewed in the form of a condensed ‘credit score’ which is a numerical measure of your credit-worthiness. It might also be inspected in full, so it pays for you to take advantage of the free annual credit report that credit reference agencies must provide on request.
These are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, each of which is obliged to provide you with a free annual credit report. Every time you apply for credit, whether for a credit card, store credit, a car loan or a mortgage, a credit search will be card out. This fact will be stored in credit records that are included in your credit report. Too many such credit searches can negatively impact your credit sore, or FICO score.
Each time you are successful with a credit application, the date that the credit was opened, the account number and lender, credit limit, amount of credit used and monthly payments will be passed by the lender to the credit reference bureau and included in your credit records.
Your Credit Report and Credit Score
Your credit score is calculated using the information contained in the report. That is why it is important that the information it contains is accurate. Mistakes sometimes occur, so you should check it over at least every year- with each of the credit bureaus named above. If you spot anything that you disagree with, you can request that the record be removed or amended. However, you must have documentation to back up your claim.
For example, your report might state that you are associated with somebody else living at the same address, such a close relative. Perhaps your son got into problems with his credit card, but has since left home. You can request that the adverse credit records relating to him be removed from your report. If anybody has defaulted from your address, this could affect your own ability to get further credit. It is important that you are aware of every record held in your file.
Harmful Credit Records
The following factors can be particularly harmful to you, and can severely affect your ability to get loans, credits cards or mortgages:
- Late payments: coded to show how many times you have been late with monthly payments, and how late each was
- Credit default: credit that has been turned over for collection
- Court judgments against you for bad debts
- Excessive credit searches or inquiries: these indicate that you have been applying for too much credit
- Credit refusals – where lenders have refused your credit applications
- Overextended credit, where you have taken on more loans than you are able to repay
- Garnishments from your paychecks – where deductions have been made from your paycheck at source to cover unpaid loans
- Credit issues connected with your address – family or others living at the same address as you
Each one of these will affect your ability to be offered credit in the future. When you apply for any form of credit, the lender will first check your credit report. They will be particularly seeking out these red flags.
They might simply check your credit score, but might also check both, particularly if your FICO score is less than optimum. This is a score between 400 and 900, which should ideally be at or above 680. If it is above 620 you may still be offered a mortgage, but at or below this will likely prompt a potential lender to scrutinize your credit report.
Amending Inaccurate Records
That’s why it is important that the records held by the credit reference bureaus are accurate. If you disagree with any particular record, you should contact the bureau who will likely send you a form to complete. Once you have submitted the form, the bureau has 30 days in which to investigate the matter.
If you have provided irrefutable evidence, or if the original creditor/lender can no longer offer evidence verifying the record, then the bureaus will change it. It is well worth making the attempt if you feel the record to be inaccurate.
Your credit report is very important document, and contains the same records that determine your credit score (FICO score.) It is important that you understand the information that it contains, and that you check it for accuracy. Adverse records might not prevent you getting a loan, but your interest rate will be higher than average and the amount you can borrow might be reduced. Make sure it is accurate.
The Credit Bureau numbers are:
- Equifax (800) 685-1111
- Experian (800) 311-4769
- Trans Union Corporation (800) 888-4213
The FHA streamlined 203(k) loan is different from the standard FHA 203(k) loan for distressed homes in that it is designed for minor changes to your new home that will cost no more than $35,000 to complete. Major remodeling is out, but you can still carry out minor cosmetic alterations to your home using this loan. Do not confuse the FHA Streamlined 203(k) loan with the FHA Streamlined Refinance: they are different entities.
You can borrow between $5,000 and $35,000 dollars, which is added to the mortgage when you purchase the property. You are not permitted to make any structural alterations to the property since these are not classed by the FHA as being ‘minor’ alterations. So what can you use the loan for?
FHA Streamlined 203(k) Loan: Permitted Changes
You can use an FHA Streamlined 203(k) loan for a wide range of alterations and repairs to your new home. You can use it to replace old guttering and downspouts, Replace existing HVAC units, to repaint the entire property, to rewire or replumb the property, for new windows and doors, to waterproof the entire home, including the basement, to repair or replace a septic tank and improve accessibility. You can also have roof repairs carried out.
However, you cannot use the finance to install luxury items such as granite worktops, pools, hot tubs or Jacuzzis. You cannot carry out any structural repairs or structural additions such as new rooms – you can add porches, patios and decks, however.
All repairs and additions must comply with local building regulations, and any local authority zoning codes. They must also meet HUD’s minimum quality requirements.
Applying For the Streamlined 203(k) Loan
Once you have chosen the home you want to buy, make a list of the improvements or rehabilitation work you want to carry out. When you have the purchase contract written out, you must state that the purchase is contingent upon an FHA Streamlined 203(k) loan being approved. Fail to do that and you may be forced to purchase the property regardless.
You will then need a costing for the work from a recognized contractor who should give you a contracted cost for you to pass on to the lender. The contractor must be qualified to carry out all the work contracted. You can use a maximum of two different contractors.
When the appraisal is carried out, the total value of the house will be calculated as if the work had been carried out. You must make sure you are qualified to borrow the asking price of the property plus the cost of the work.
On approval of the loan and the work, the mortgage will be closed as normal for the combined cost – the price of the real estate plus the cost of the repairs. That cost cannot now be changed, and must be carried out for the stipulated price.
The sum approved for the work will be placed in an escrow account, together with an additional 10% – 20% contingency to be used only if needed and approved. The contractor can receive 50% at the start of the work and 50% on completion. The total spent is amortized into your mortgage, so need not be repaid separately.
That is fundamentally how the FHA Streamlined 203(k) loan operates. It is much simpler than a regular 203(k) and quicker to have approved.
Moving with pets takes a bit of pre-planning. The following tips on relocating with pets will help make the transition as stress-free as possible for those loved ones that have no idea what is happening to them. Moving from familiar territory and smells that they are comfortable with to an alien landscape can be terrifying, even for wild animals let alone domesticated pets.
Whether your pets are cats, dogs, birds, reptiles or even spiders, they can all take badly to a change of scenery. They live in a different world to ours, and while some of the more domestic creatures, such as cats and dogs, will react positively to your presence and reassurance, others will not.
It is not unknown for cats to go back to their old home, because that is the territory they regard as theirs. Dogs are less affected in this way, and relate more to you as a family that cats will. Here are some tips on moving with pets that will help the transition to proceed as smoothly as possible.
Prior to Moving With Pets
Before you actually leave, keep to your pet’s regular routine. Make this day like any other – right up to the time they have to leave. Keep them to their regular diet. Animals don’t appreciate ‘going away treats’ in the same way as your children would. In fact, they are more likely to puke up en-route if you feed them with anything they are not used to eating.
Unlike your children, your animals do not know they are moving. Relocating with pets is a different problem to children. Sure, both may be leaving their friends behind, but an animal’s home environment is more important than its family. When you read of cats or dogs finding their way back to their home after being lost on vacation, they are not returning to you. they are returning to their ‘neighborhood.’ To the part of the world they know and feel safe in.
Tips on Relocating With Pets
That’s the background of the effect of a geographical move to animals. Here is how to prepare for the move properly:
Get a strong pet box, cage or carrier that is large enough for your pet to move around in. When moving with pets, a lot depends on the method of transport. It is easier to travel with a pet by car than by plane. If you are flying, you are advised to have the trip arranged by an animal carrier. It is less stressful to animals if you take them with you on the flight, rather than travel long distances by road using an animal courier service.
If you are driving, the animal must be kept in a box or cage. A cardboard box is cruel, but whatever you use make sure there is plenty air available for the animal to breathe. Pets can become extremely distressed and hyperventilate when traveling long distances. A plastic or wire mesh cage is best. Your pet can see you or the kids. It can be petted to calm it, but is not recommended with excitable dogs.
Restraint With Frequent Stops
Dogs can be restrained by a lead on the back seat. While many dogs travel well in cars, it only takes one unrestrained movement to lead to a driver losing concentration or control. Keep this in mind when you have pets in cars.
Make sure you stop frequently. Bowels tend to loosen when animals are frightened or stressed. If this happens don’t blame your pet – the animal did not choose to move! Keep plenty paper towels handy – and air freshener. Take your cat’s litter box with you and also a cat harness -even if it purchased only for the move. The harness will give it a welcome walk out of the vehicle.
Never let your cat run free, believing it will stay with you. Cats are less obedient than dogs, and that might be the last you see of an upset cat! In fact, dogs can also be unpredictable during long car journeys, so keep them on a lead when you open the door at service stations. Birds and spiders will simply disappear!
Flying and Moving Home Out of State
If you are flying, check with the airline before buying your tickets. Some will not accept animals and charges made are variable. Make sure you know your airline’s policy, or you might have non-refundable tickets from a budget airline that does not carry animals!
If you are moving out of state or even abroad, make sure you know the regulations that apply. Some countries such as the UK insist on quarantine for up to 6 months, unless the animal has been vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days before travel, and also meets certain other veterinary requirements. Check with your veterinary surgeon before making travel arrangements.
The airline might also require a similar form of ‘pet passport.’ Different states have their own regulations for moving pets across the state line. In short, when moving with pets first make sure that your pet meets any specific health or vaccination regulations between states, countries or even with respect to the airline.
Relocating with pets is not always easy, but at a minimum try to keep your pet as free of stress as possible. If your journey is only a few hours your vet can sedate the animal, or even give you the drugs to do so yourself just prior to departure. This makes moving with pets much easier – for you and for your pet.