November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

thanks

 

 

From our Homesale family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! As you are gathering around the table with family and friends it is important to let them know what you are thankful for.  We would like to take this time to thank you, our customers, for allowing us to service all of your real estate needs!

 

May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and tons of turkey! If you need any last minute Thanksgiving ideas, check out our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board!

 

For real estate information please visit our Homesale website!

 

 

 

 

 

November 24, 2014

Thankful for…… Buyers & Sellers

 

Savory turkey, delicious mashed potatoes, and all kinds of mouth-watering dishes are calling your name. So is hosting or attending another open house worth passing up a slice of pumpkin pie?

Not many people are going to leave the Thanksgiving dinner table to run out and look at for-sale homes. Nor are many people going to try to persuade their real estate agent to hold an open house for showings on a holiday. However, there are pros and cons to selling your home or looking for your next one over Thanksgiving and the other winter holidays.

If you are seriously shopping for a home and have decided to forgo the lines at big box stores, then looking for a home over the holidays can be rewarding.

thankful

 

Thanksgiving weekend   

This Thursday is Thanksgiving and no one can compete with the all-day food fest, and no one in their right mind wants to go head-to-head with Black Friday madness. But this weekend might be another story. If your house is currently on the market, then you certainly want to get it sold before the December holidays arrive and the first big arctic blasts of snow hit.

Thanksgiving weekend may be a smart time to hold an open house. Your home is already for sale, so pack up the leftovers, take down some of the holiday decorations, and take advantage of everyone’s downtime to try to get some of those home shoppers through your front door.

 

 

Less traffic, but serious buyers

The downside is that during the holidays, most prospective homebuyers are focusing their attention elsewhere; family, traveling, shopping, parties..etc. Therefore they may be postponing their home shopping until January, making it their New Year’s resolution to find the perfect place. However, the good news is that the buyers who are looking around the holidays are serious buyers. They may have deadlines by which they need move or are simply determined to buy.

 

Fewer choices, but motivated sellers

If you are seriously shopping for a home and have decided to forgo the lines at big box stores, then looking for a home over the holidays can be rewarding. Most home sellers are acutely aware that the December holidays are fast approaching and the bad weather is on its way. The clock is ticking to get their house sold, and the number of buyers on their doorstep is only going to keep dwindling until buyer interest picks up again in late winter and early spring. All that makes for a lot of very motivated sellers and some great home deal possibilities.

 

Not the best time to list your home … or is it?

Historically, the majority of home sellers will wait to list their homes in January after the holiday season and the New Year’s madness. However, several real estate agents do very well placing houses on the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The theory is that there is far less competition and inventory. Sellers get all of the foot traffic to themselves, as there are fewer homes on the market to preview.

 

fall_porch-door

 

 

The bottom line

No matter where you live, Thanksgiving is the day to enjoy family and friends, not necessarily the day to go looking for your next dream home! But the weekend after is a different story; the quieter period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is the perfect time to consider your next move. Contact your local Homesale Real Estate Professional to help you with your home needs.

 

 

 

 

 

November 20, 2014

9 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New

 

Whether you are planning on selling your home, looking to buy an older house or are looking for a few ways to give new life to your home, here are 9 easy tips on how to give your house fresh facelift.

 

 

1. Clean or Replace Carpetsvaccuum
Transform the room by making the space feel fresh. Deep cleaning vacuums can help remove odors and make your carpet feel almost new. If you want to take on a DIY project, you could try replacing your carpet with new carpet or even hardwood flooring.

 

 

2. Make it Cohesive
As the years go by, it is easy to lose focus or forget about making a room/entire house flow nicely together. An update here and an update there can leave the home in a state of mis-matched chaos. You should determine whether you want rooms to be the same throughout or to each have their own uniqueness.

 

outlet

 

3. Update Outlets, Light Switches & Plates
Small changes such as updating outlets, light switches and plates make a significant difference. Some may have yellowed, been painted over, various shapes & styles through the years. Updating plates can be simple but updating outlets and light switches can be tricky. Therefore, if you are not experienced hire a licensed electrician or find online tutorials to guide you through the process. While you are at it, you should also update old alarms, thermostats and smoke detectors.

 

4. Repair Walls
If your house has numerous holes in the walls due to hanging up pictures/mirrors, etc.., and/or have apparent DIY patching, you should consider getting your walls professionally repaired. You could even have your painters fix blemishes and fill the nail holes. Repairing your walls will make them look brand new!

how-to-add-light-to-a-room

 

 

5. Add Light
There are numerous ways to add light to your home beyond light fixtures. You could replace old blinds. Rethink the idea of curtains by making a curtain rod extend past the width of the window, making the window appear larger and not blocking any light. You should also consider adding or replacing light fixtures. Change out light bulbs to newer bulbs that give off a higher wattage and offer a different effect; soft or white.

 

6. Paint
Even though this is an obvious answer, changing the color or even adding a fresh coat of the same color can make a major difference. A current and cohesive paint palette brings the home into the present.

 

7. Remove Dated Fixtures
Updating lights and hardware are easy ways to freshen up your home.

 

8. New Doors/Door Frames
Replace your older doors with newer models. Sometimes older doors no longer fit in the door frame and may not lock correctly. Also adding a new front door will help with curb appeal and can even brighten up your foyer.

hardwood floors

 

 

9. Refinish Hardwood
If your hardwood floors are scratched up and have lost their shine you should consider refinishing your hardwood floors. Choose an appropriate stain and give your floors a makeover. This can either be a DIY project or you can hire a professional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are considering selling, purchasing or even staying put in your current house and want to take on a new project such as updating an older home contact your local Homesale Agent today.

November 17, 2014

Empty Nesters; Tips for Downsizing

 

According to AARP, for the next 18 years, baby boomers will be turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day. This means that a large portion of American homeowners will be reaching retirement age and will have to start thinking about the next phase in their life. Part of this next phase may include packing up their large family homes in favor of spendinEmptyNestg their ‘empty nest’ years enjoying a newfound freedom. When you think about the combination of approaching retirement and your children are off on their own, it may not be necessary to keep so much space. Many couples may have a disproportionate amount of their wealth stored in home equity. Downsizing can be a useful way to convert some of this wealth into liquid financial assets to be used for other expenses. Downsizing can also provide the opportunity to sort through belongings and get rid of things that are no longer needed. Are you ready to make the move? Here are 9 downsizing tips to consider.

 

Have a plan -
Think about what kind of lifestyle you want. Do you prefer an urban setting? Or do you need a yard? Do you want to be part of a community that offers lots of activities and amenities such as golf courses and swimming pools? Or are you a more independent type who seeks out opportunities on your own? You should investigate your options and not limit exciting new possibilities. If you’ve raised your family in the suburbs and don’t want to leave, you could start looking at newer condominium buildings that are close to shops and restaurants. Living in such an area can provide a similar lifestyle to the city while still remaining in the suburbs.

 

Consider a short distance move -
Not everyone wants to move to a warm-weather destination, such as Florida. Many downsizing Boomers would rather stay in their current location. Remaining in the same vicinity would be ideal if you want to stay close to your children and their families. This would make visiting your family easy and holiday gatherings less stressful without the hectic holiday traffic.

 

Age restricted – 
Before moving, you should decide if this next move will be your last move. You should consider whether or not you want to live in a neighborhood with younger families or people who are closer in your age bracket. Whether you want to move into a neighborhood with people your own age who share similar interests or a neighborhood with an eclectic community of people, the decision is up to you and your personal preference.

 

Look for universal design – 
A house should be accessible to those of any age or ability, with features such as wide doorways and flat thresholds. This may not seem important to vigorous Boomers, but it could be an issue in the years ahead. Will you still be able to live in the home as an 80-year-old? Advanced planning in this regard can help ease the transition for health and physical changes in later life. A single-story house may be ideal. Other important features to consider: slip resistant floors, lever door handles, and reinforced bathroom walls that can support grab bars. Another consideration is indoor air quality. Clothes dryers, bathrooms, stoves and fireplaces should vent outdoors.

 

Income – 
The downsizing phase of life usually means you won’t be earning as much money as you did when you were younger. What are your sources of cash? How long will you work? How much can you expect from social security payments, or a pension? Will investments generate enough income to cover expenses? Many Boomers think they’ll sell an expensive house and buy a cheaper in hopes of saving money.

 

Consider a mortgage -
The American Dream may be to live mortgage free, but it often makes sense to have a mortgage, even a small one. Assuming you make a profit when you sell your current home, the proceeds can be invested and used for future living expenses. If you sink all the proceeds from the sale of your house into a new house, you may not be able to generate enough cash to cover expenses. Renting could make sense, too, if rents are less than the cost of owning.

 

Watch the taxes – 
Many Boomers consider moving out of state to places like Florida that have no income tax, in order to lower their overall tax bill. But don’t forget other hidden costs, such as travel back and forth to visit family. Also, you may be eligible for a tax free gain on the sale of a house. Any gain, up to $500,000 for a couple, is tax free. “It is one of the most generous provisions in the tax code,” says Bob Meighan, vice president at Turbo Tax, a software tax preparation company in San Diego, Calif.

 

Make a smart move – 
Before the move, focus on how you want to live. Think through your new lifestyle and which items will make that possible. If you’re moving to a community that provides outdoor maintenance, you won’t need the shovels and lawn mower. Think about using the extra room in the new place for the hobby you’ve always wanted to start, instead of saving it for guests who rarely visit. Look forward, not back.

 

Downsize thoughtfully – 
If you’re selling a house, you’ll probably spend time de-cluttering the place so it looks good for prospective buyers. But don’t stop there. You can sell unwanted items on craigslist or eBay, have a garage sale or even give items away on the website Freecycle.org. Remember to save family treasures that can’t be replaced. If you don’t have room for all the treasures, give them to family or friends who can appreciate them.

 

In the end, choose what matters to you at this stage of life by knowing more about who you are and who you are not. If you are not ready to move again, then walk that direction. Talk with yourself and your partner about what roles you will play in making a downsize happen. Pull up those resources you need to enjoy the life you are heading towards. If you have decided that it is time to move, contact your local real estate agent at Homesale Realty. Cheers to embracing the idea of changing the scenery and designing a new stage set for your future!

 

 

References: 
Chicago Tribune
Wall Street Journal
Trulia
November 13, 2014

5 Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Whether you have just moved into your new home or have been a homeowner for a while, hosting a holiday party is stressful. You want to impress your guests and the last thing you need is a problem you can’t fix. Imagine you’re preparing to host your holiday party, and you’re past the point of no return. The veggies and meats have been bought. Guests are already braving busy airports and crowded highways to get to your home—and then your oven won’t turn on. Your home-cooked meal has quickly turned from a 5-star dinner to take-out.

That’s just one of many hosting nightmares that can end your holiday gathering before it even begins. Thankfully, some of the most damaging mishaps easily can be avoided. We collected five of the most prevalent issues and give you preventative tips to steer clear of a disaster.

 

Problem: The oven

oven

Source: http://www.coloribus.com/

For any holiday occasion, the oven is the most important appliance in your house. If it fails to work, the centerpiece of your meal could go from roast beef, ham, duck, or Tofurky to Peking Duck from the local Chinese takeout joint.

  • There are any number of reasons a stove can break, but one common cause of disaster is easy to prevent. Don’t self-clean your oven until AFTER the holidays. You risk blowing a fuse or a thermostat, and tracking down an oven technician around the holidays can be tough.

 


Problem: The kitchen sink clogs

sink

Source: http://www.gettyimages.com

The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers. The prime cause of this clog-a-thon is the mistreatment of drains when cooking holiday feasts. We hope your Thanksgiving went well, and that you avoid clog-a-thons for the rest of the holidays.

  • Fats and cooking oils can solidify in your pipes, so never dispose of them in your kitchen sink.
  • If you have a garbage disposal, make sure it’s running before anything goes in it, and never feed it any stringy, fibrous, or starchy foods like poultry skins or potato peels.
  • To fix, don’t rely on chemical drain-clearing products that can harm your pipes. Use a snake instead, available for $15 at your local hardware store. Best to keep one on hand.

 

Problem: The heat goes outdog

 

As the party’s host, you’re supposed to hang guests’ coats—not apologize to them for having to keep them on. A lack of heat can stop a holiday party dead in its tracks.

  • The key to avoiding freezing your party to a standstill is regular maintenance of your HVAC. Every 90 days, a new one-inch pleated furnace filter should be installed. If you haven’t done it in a while, now’s a good time to replace it.
  • Also inspect insulation on refrigerant lines that are leading into your house. Replace them if they’re missing or damaged.

 

 

 

toilet

 

Problem: The toilet stops up

Toilets have a way of clogging up at the worst times, such as during parties and when you have overnight guests. This is especially true if you have a low-flow toilet from the early 1990s.

  • Don’t flush anything other than sewage and toilet paper down the toilet. And there’s nothing wrong with putting up a polite note to remind your guests to do the same.

 

 

Source: http://www.mwra.com/03sewer/html/toiletnottrashcan.html

Problem: The fridge doesn’t coolevil puppet

Without a properly functioning refrigerator, your meat could get contaminated, your dairy-based treats could go sour, and you may not be able to save your leftovers. To avoid discovering a warm fridge after it’s too late, take these simple precautions.

  • Get a thermometer for your refrigerator to make sure each shelf stays below 40 degrees and you can be aware of any temperature changes.
  • Also make sure the condenser coils located on the back of the unit or beneath it are free to breathe. Coils blocked from circulating air by cereal boxes atop the fridge, or dirtied by dust or pet hair can prevent a fridge from keeping cool.

Source: http://www.furrypuppet.com
 
November 10, 2014

America Recycles Day – November 15th


americarecycle
November 15th is America Recycles Day. This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the monetary, energy and resource savings provided by recycling. This is also a great way to improve education about what is recycled and motivate people to recycle more. Since the first ARD in 1997, recycling has continued to grow across the nation. Recycling puts resources back into our economy.

 

It is time to join the movement and keep America beautiful. Visit the official America Recycles website to get more information on taking your own pledge to recycle, organizing a community event, and to discover more about the organization.

smallsteps

Reasons to Recycle –

  • Recycling is the easiest thing we all can do 365 days a year to save energy, conserve natural resources and create green jobs
  • Our national recycling rate is 34.5%
  • Avoids greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing more than 33 million cars from the road each year
  • Sends 87 million tons of material to a useful second life instead of the landfill

 

greenGive a second life to materials

  • Steel – Food cans could become part of a bike or even a bridge.
  • Aluminum – Your soda cans could become part of a stadium. Venues like the Baltimore Ravens football stadium are made with recycled aluminum.
  • Glass – Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a television for 20 minutes.
  • Paper – In 2012, Americans trashed enough paper to cover 20,500 football fields in paper…. three feet deep.
  • Plastic – The amount of plastic bottles recycled in 2012 provided enough raw materials needed to make nearly 8 million XL t-shirts

 

 

When it comes to recycling, every community is different. Check with your local solid waste & recycling programs to confirm that they accept these recycling practices.

  • Plastic bottle caps are usually recyclable along with the bottle
  • Although you can’t recycle your whole pizza box, you can tear off and recycle the top half – as long as it is grease free!
  • Reduce and reuse first to shrink your environmental footprint.
  • Recycling is not just in the kitchen. Don’t trash your shampoo bottles and toilet paper rolls just because they are in the bathroom.
  • Metals are among the most valuable materials in the waste stream and almost all recyclers welcome aluminum and steel cans
  • Reduce unwanted mail by unsubscribing at CatalogChoice.org.
  • 100 million wireless phones go out of use each year, according to the U.S. EPA. Donate your out-of-use cell phone to a local charity or find a drop-off facility near you.
  • Purchase products that contain recycled materials to keep them in demand.
  • Practice the 4 R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle, recover.

 

As our population grows so does our level of consumption, which is why it is so important to for us as consumers to exhaust all our efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover items before throwing them away. Let’s continue to keep America beautiful! Do all you can to find a “new home” for your unwanted items.

“What is the use of a house if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?”
– Harry David Thoreau

November 6, 2014

Pre-qualification vs. Pre-approval

Mortgage-loan-payment-calculatorThere has been some confusion among those looking to buy a home and qualify for a mortgage loan regarding the difference between a mortgage pre-approval vs a pre-qualification letter. Indeed, they sound pretty similar, so hearing these terms before or during the hectic time while considering buying can only add to the confusion for novice buyers.

It is important for you to know the difference between the two so you can plan accordingly when purchasing your first home. Whether you are buying a home in Pennsylvania or Maryland, home sellers want to know you have the ability to buy their property. The best way you can assure the seller that you are qualified to purchase their home is to have your pre-approval letter.

**You should get your pre-qualification and pre-approval before you even start looking for your next home. You do not want to be viewing homes that you think you can afford when, in fact, they are out of your actual approved mortgage amount.**

 


Pre-qualification

Acquiring a pre-qualification letter is the first step in the mortgage process and it is fairly simple. As the buyer, you may not have sufficient funds to purchase a home for cash, however this defines most buyers. As a result, your ability to purchase a home depends on your ability to borrow money.  You will have to provide your bank or potential lenders with your overall financial picture, including your debt income and assets. This can be done over the phone, in-person or via the internet, and there is usually no cost involved.  After evaluating your information, a lender will be able to give you an idea of the mortgage amount for which you qualify. This initial step allows you to discuss any goals or needs you may have regarding your mortgage with your lender.

Since pre-qualification is a quick procedure and is based only on the information you provide to the lender, the amount you pre-qualified for is not a sure thing; it is just the amount you might expect to be approved for.

 


Pre-approval

Pre-approval is the next step, and is a much more in depth look at your financial status/borrowing power. You will have to complete an official mortgage application (there is typically an application fee), and also supply the lender with the necessary documentation to perform an extensive check on your financial background and current credit rating. A mortgage pre-approval is a written conditional commitment that is issued by a lender following a comprehensive analysis of a borrower’s overall creditworthiness; verification of income, verification of employment, available financial resources, as well as the evaluation of other areas typical of a credit evaluation process.  From this, the lender can provide you with the specific mortgage amount for which you are approved. You will also have a better idea of the interest rate you will be charged on the loan.

With pre-approval you will have a better understanding of the homes you can financially afford. This means that you are closer to receiving a mortgage loan commitment from a lender than with just a pre-qualification letter. You will have an advantage when dealing with a potential seller, or another buyer putting in an offer. In the eyes of the seller, you are considered a “strong buyer” with your pre-approval status.

Pre-approval is also a very helpful bargaining tool in negotiating a better deal with a seller. Overall, a pre-approval will give you greater confidence in the home buying process and provide you with more leverage when negotiating with sellers.

 

**It should be noted that neither a “pre-qualification letter” nor a “pre-approval” are viewed as an absolute commitment from the lender. A lender will still have to look closer to assess property appraisals, verify the information collected and re-check your credit report before agreeing to issue the loan. However, having this pre-approval is about as close as you can get to knowing you will receive financing.**

 

Gaining Confirmation

The final step in the process is called a “loan commitment”, which is only issued by a bank when it has approved you, the borrower, and the house in question. This means the home should be appraised at or above the sales price. The bank may also require more information if the appraiser brings up anything he or she feels should be investigated (i.e. structural problems, accessibility issues, outstanding liens or litigation in progress). Your income and credit profile will be checked once again to ensure nothing has changed since the initial approval.

A loan commitment letter is issued only when the bank is certain it will lend, so the commitment date on your purchase contract should be closer to closing rather than the date of your offer.

 

If you would like more information please contact your local
Homesale Real Estate Agent or our Homesale Mortgage Affiliates.

 

 

Source: 
O’Connell, Brian. “Pre-Qualified Vs. Pre-Approved – What’s The Difference?” Investopedia. Investopedia, LLC, 2014. Web. Nov. 2014.
November 5, 2014

Preparing for Winter

Winter weather is on its way! Whether you are preparing to sell or purchase a home, it is important to keep your house warm throughout the winter months (especially if you have showings). However, keeping your home warm can be costly. Here are a few tips on how to winterize your home without breaking the bank.

 

Nov 14 IOV - Ecard (1)

 

 

November 3, 2014

7 Things to Avoid Before Purchasing a Home

 

If you have been approved for a mortgage for your next home, you might be assuming you can breathe easy now and concentrate on packing. Not quite yet though.mortgage

While most of your hard work of building a good credit profile and gathering savings for a down payment and closing costs is behind you, it’s important to remember that the lender will recheck your credit just prior to your settlement date and will also need confirm a few details such as your place of employment to make sure nothing has changed.

That’s the key phrase—“nothing has changed.” You will want to maintain the same credit profile you had for the loan approval until your mortgage paperwork is completely signed.

Source: money.aol.co.uk

 

Avoid the following actions to ensure a smooth settlement:

 

1. Don’t apply for new credit: It may seem natural to apply for a credit card at a home improvement store or a furniture store when you are about to become a homeowner. It’s almost become cliché in the mortgage industry, but the warning still bears repeating: Don’t buy a truckload of furniture until after your loan closes. Applying for credit can lower your credit score. Not only will you lose a few points because of a credit inquiry, but if you are approved for new credit, a lender may worry that you will spend up to your new credit limit and then default on your loan.  If you absolutely need to obtain new credit or accrue debt before closing, talk with your loan officer as soon as possible.

 

2. Don’t close any credit accounts:You may be feeling that this is a good time to get your financial house in order by closing unused credit accounts or transferring your debt to a new credit card with a zero-interest balance transfer offer. While that’s a smart move financially, it’s a bad one for your credit score because you lose points when you have a higher usage of debt compared to your limit on one credit card and to your overall credit availability. Wait until your closing is complete before you make these changes. 

 

3. Don’t shuffle around your dollars & cents:Your lender will need the most recent bank statements before you go to settlement, so if you have any unusual deposits you will need to provide complete documentation of where the money came from. If possible, it’s best to move the cash you will need for your home purchase into one account before you apply for a mortgage. If not, make sure you have complete and accurate records readily available.

 

4. Don’t increase your debts:In addition to your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio is extremely important to a loan approval. If you take on more debt you could be in danger of going above the maximum acceptable debt-to-income ratio. Along with increasing your debts, do not co-sign on a loan. It is especially risky during the mortgage lending process since you will be financially liable for someone else’s debt.

 

5. Don’t skip a payment or make a late payment: One of the most important elements of your credit score is your history of on-time in-full payments. Payment history comprises about a third of your credit score. 

One solitary 30-day late payment can clip 60 to 110 points from your credit score. Maybe not a huge deal if you had an 800 score, right? Possibly. However, if that 30-day late payment is a mortgage or rent payment, some lenders will boot your application altogether. Many will require at least 12 consecutive months of on-time payments in order to qualify for a home loan. So don’t get so caught up in your move that you forget to keep up with paying basic bills.

 

6. Don’t buy a car: You may be feeling that a new car would be a nice addition to the driveway of your new home. Resist that feeling. Even if you can easily afford a new car, the depletion of your savings or the addition of a new car loan could derail your mortgage application. Wait until after you have moved to switch to a new car.

 

7. Don’t change jobs if you can help it: While a job change could mean a raise or a path to a better future, it could also delay your settlement. Your lender needs to verify employment and will need paystubs to prove your new income before your loan can go to settlement. Lenders crave stable, reliable income that’s likely to continue.

Lenders are likely to slam on the brakes if you take a new job in a different field, or if you decide to start your own business. Or even if you get a promotion but see some or all of your income shift to a commission basis.

The bottom line: Any change to your employment is significant. Keep your loan officer in the loop, and ask questions when in doubt. The last thing you want is to waste time and money on a home loan you have little chance in getting approval.

 

*****In other words, no matter how hard it is at this exciting time, it’s better to do nothing than to do anything.

 

Sources: Realtor.com & Yahoo.com
October 30, 2014

20 Moving Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier

Moving from one house to another can be stressful and exciting all at the same time. Staying organized, making lists, and planning ahead make the whole process a lot easier, but so does having a few handy packing tips and tricks up your sleeve!

 

move

1. Make a Packing Supplies Basket

 

Put together all of the things you need for packing in a basket so you aren’t constantly trying to remember where you put the tape. This way you can carry it around with you and have everything at your fingertips. You might want to include: packaging tape, labels, scissors, Sharpies, a screw driver, baggies, and a utility knife.


Source: A Bowl Full Of Lemons

 

2. Make your last Grocery Trip Two Weeks Prior to Moving

The more food you end up using before moving, the less you’ll have to throw out.

 

mirrora   

    3. Masking Tape on Mirrors

Use masking tape to place a large X on your mirrors and glass frames. It won’t prevent it from breaking, but it will absorb shock and keep the glass in the frame in the case that it is dropped or shuffled in the moving truck.

 

 

 

Source: Martha Stuart

 

box handles

4. DIY Box Handles

Make picking up and lifting heavy boxes a little easier by cutting handholds in two sides of the box with a utility knife! Leave the top flaps of your triangular cut-outs attached and simply fold them in

 

 

 

 

Source: Martha Stuart

 

5. Use soft items for Padding & Space Fillers

Place stuffed animals, pillows, sheets, blankets, and other soft items in trash bags and use them as padding next to fragile items in the moving truck. It also helps fill up irregular empty space in the truck so your belongings won’t shift around during the move.

 

6. Defrost Your Refrigerator

Plan ahead! Don’t forget to defrost, towel dry, and clean your refrigerator 24-48 hours before moving day. This will help prevent a stinky, wet mess.

 

7. Take a Photo of Your Cords

Before you disconnect them to be boxed up, take a quick snapshot of the cords on the back of your television and other electronics so that you can remember where they all go!

 

8. Pack Plates Vertically

platesSource: apartmenttherapy.com

Pack vertically like records. When packing vertically, don’t forget to create a barrier between each plate. You could place newspaper or even a foam plate in between to protect your delicate glass and ceramic plates. Place one in-between each place to prevent them from chipping or breaking.

 

9. Press n’ Seal Will Be Your Best Friend

Dresser drawers are like their own moving boxes — this will keep you from having to unpack and re-fold their contents. It’ll also make moving the actual dresser much more manageable. Press’n Seal is also great for keep jewelry displays intact. You can also use plastic wrap to keep items in their place! No sense in emptying your drawers or silverware tray when you can use plastic wrap to keep drawers shut or smaller items in their intended container

plastic bags

 

10. Use Sandwich Bags

Keep sandwich bags handy for holding any small parts of things you have to take apart, like curtain rods or mounted flat-screen TVs. Tape the sandwich bags to the back of the item they correspond to. ALSO: use this method with the cords for your electronics.

 

 

 

11. Rolling Luggage

If you’ve got them, use your rolling luggage bags for really heavy items like books. Now you can avoid the heavy lifting and simply roll the bags onto your moving truck.

 

 

clothesgarbage

12. Put Hanging Clothes in Garbage Bags

Keep them on the hangers while still protected in garbage bags! This saves the hassle of taking them on and off of the hangers. It also keeps your clothes all together in the order you had them hung, less wrinkled, and ready to hang up when you get to your new home. You can also put the bag on the opposite way; hangers go in first. Just poke a hole for your hangers to fit through the bottom of the bag. You can’t fit as many clothes in this way, but they stay in better form, and you can tie the bottom off with the drawstring closure. Label each bag and then you can hang them up where they belong before easily ripping the bag off.

 

 

Source: Wicker House Blog
glassware

 

 

13. Use Wine or Beer Cases to Carefully Store Stemware and Glassware

Visit your local bar, restaurant, or winery, and you’re bound to come home with several empty wine box cases! The inserts in these boxes are perfect for protecting glass cups, wine glasses, and vases

 

 

14. Enlist in the Color Coding System

Pick a color code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Label the door of each room with the corresponding sticker/tape so that movers know where to place the boxes.

 

15. Read the Fine Print 

If you hire movers make sure you read the fine print and find out if there are any weird rules. For instance, some movers will only move things in boxes, not garbage bags. Which means you’ll be paying them extra for unnecessary boxes at a marked-up price.

 

16. Change Your Address

Two weeks prior to moving make sure you change your address. This might seem like a no-brainer for important things like utilities and cable but don’t sweat the small stuff. You will want to change the address on your credit cards, bank account, magazine subscriptions, and all other mail.

 

17. Utilize Everything!

Think outside of the box! Use your pot holders to safely hold knives, store socks inside of shoes and boots, use the inside of your washer and dryer for storage — anything you can think of to fill up empty space. This will save much needed room on the truck.

 

18. Pack The Truck Like An Expert

mvoeSource: My Move

****For those who are moving themselves and not a moving company here is a simple way to pack the truck. Depending on the items you are moving, and how much, there are different techniques to packing a moving truck, but there are also the basics that will help you pack fast and efficiently.

 

19. Pack A First-Night Box

Chances are, you’re not going to be able to unpack and organize everything the first day of your move. You will want your essentials within easy access. Pack a labeled box/bag with all of your first-night essentials and load it into your own vehicle.

*You might want to include: toilet paper, toiletries, medications, snacks, basic cleaning supplies, COFFEE and coffee maker, a first-aid kit, a utility knife, pet supplies, a night light for the kids, bedding, disposable plates, cups, and utensils.

It is also a good idea for each member of the family to pack a small bag that contains personal belongings that they might need for the first couple of days. Just pack as if you’re going on a short trip! This way everyone has a change of clothes and anything else they might need.

 

And lastly……….

 

20. Have A Sense Of Humor

Relax! You’ll get there eventually. Moving day is probably the easiest excuse to get frustrated. Remind yourself before the day starts that everything will be ok.

 

A little planning will help you and your family to navigate the thrills and frustrations of moving and get you well on your way to having fun and making memories in your new home!

 

Relocating to Maryland or Pennsylvania? Take a look at our relocation services to help you with all your needs in the search of a new home.

 

 

 

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