10 Summer Moving Tips

 

Sponsored By Move Inc

How to prepare for a seamless transition

If you’re moving this summer, the busiest season for moving, you know how daunting it can be. But if you create a blueprint for your move, the transition from house to house will go more smoothly.

Here are 10 things you can do to prepare for a seamless transition.

1. Full serve, partial serve or a do-it-yourself move. Can you do it alone or should you hire a licensed moving company for a full-service or partial-service move? This is one of the first and often most difficult questions soon-to-be moving households face. The answer depends on your lifestyle, household size, budget and amount of time you have to get everything accomplished. Get written quotes from at least three licensed moving companies so you know you’re getting the best deal based on your specific moving needs. Moving yourself or doing a partial-service move? Packing calculators can make it easier to estimate the amount of boxes and packing materials needed.

2. Plan to unpack BEFORE you pack. Take photos of each room in the new home before you arrive with furniture, plants, appliances and family in tow. Write down on a clip board where each item should go in your next home before packing, and carry it with you on moving day. List out the major items that need to be assembled first. As you place each item in its new room, cross it off the list and you will be one step closer to enjoying your new home.

3. Be strategic about packing. If you have more than a month to ‘pick up and move’, start early. Complete a free change of address and schedule utilities ahead of time at Moving.com. Start packing early. Whether it’s one room, one cabinet or a drawer at a time, weed through what may be years of accumulation. As you’re going through your belongings, divide everything into these helpful categories: donate to charity, give to a friend, recycle, trash, pack now, or keep handy until moving day. You’ll be surprised at how much you can donate, recycle or give to friends. And, you’ll not be overwhelmed with the task at hand three days before you move.

4. Moving is NOT child’s play. Plan ahead. Consider daycare on moving day, or get help from a friend or family member. Provide lunch or some other appropriate thank you gesture if you do call in a favor. If that’s not an option, prioritize setting up safe places for your children to play in the new home on moving day so they’re not underfoot. This will help everyone remain happy and calm on moving day.

5. Don’t fight with Fido. Sometimes we forget that all the packing and constant in-and-out of visitors is stressful for animals. Consider checking your pet into a daycare facility, or setting up a time for a friend to take them or check them into pet day care. Don’t let your four-legged best friends get lost in the shuffle and remember to make day-of moving arrangements.

6. Keep track of small parts. Some items need to be broken down into pieces when moving, but do you know what to do with the small screws and washers that you end up with? Rather than tape them to the furniture, which can result in losing them, put everything in a baggie that is clearly marked and sealed. Keep all of the separate baggies together in one box on moving day and personally take it with you to your new home.

7. Take pictures of electronic hook-ups. Hooking up TVs, DVRs, home theater systems and computers can be challenging. Before unplugging any wires for the move, take a photo of the connections, print them out and label them in detail. This will create fewer headaches when setting up technology in the new home. Keep track of all loose wires using baggies or boxes that are clearly labeled, and personally carry these easy-to-lose items on moving day.

8. Packing cleaning products and toxins. Products such as detergents, pesticides and paint are heavy and unwieldy to pack. Dispose of as many as possible before the move in an eco-friendly way. Call your city’s waste disposal department for guidance on proper disposal. For items that must be transported, pack them in a small box within a larger box for protection against leaks. Don’t overstuff boxes with these items! Consider marking these boxes in a different color, and seal them extra tight. Keep them separate from the rest of the boxes, particularly if you have kids and pets.

9. Consider getting full value insurance protection. If using a professional mover, it may cost a few dollars extra, but it provides peace of mind and eliminates later annoyances. Investing in full value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made at current market value, regardless of age. It’s important to note that the required minimum coverage of 60 cents per pound would not cover the replacement cost of more expensive items such as a flat screen TV if damaged in transit.

10. Know your rights. If using a professional mover, research your rights as a consumer with either the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for interstate moves or contact the state agency within the state in which you reside for moves within state. Also, enlist the help of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or local law enforcement if the moving company fails to live up to its promises or threatens to hold your belongings hostage. FMCSA requires interstate movers to offer arbitration to help settle disputed claims.

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5 Questions to Ask Your Home’s Inspector

 

By Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Most home buyers feel like they are bona fide real estate experts after all the studying up on loans and neighborhoods, online house hunting and open house visiting it takes just to get into contract on a home these days. But for all but the most handy of house hunters, getting into contract and starting the home inspection process only surfaces how little you actually know about the nuts and bolts and brick and mortar of the massive investment you’re about to make: a home!

So, you hire a home inspector, but it seems like they’re speaking an entirely different language – riddled with terms like “serviceable condition” and “conducive to deterioration” – about your dream home! Here are 5 questions you can use to decode your home inspector’s findings into knowledge you can use to make smart decisions as a homebuyer – and homeowner.

1. How bad is it – really? The best home inspectors are pretty even keeled, emotionally speaking. They’re not alarmists that blow little things up into big ones, nor do they try to play down the importance of things. They’re all about the facts. But sometimes, that straightforwardness makes it hard for you, the home’s buyer, to understand what’s a big deal and what isn’t so much – the information you need to know whether to move forward with the deal, whether to renegotiate and what to plan ahead for.

I’ve seen things categorized in home inspection reports under “Health and Safety Hazards” that cost less than $100 to fix, like replacing a faucet that has hot and cold reversed. And I’ve seen one-liners in inspection reports, like “extensive earth-to-wood contact” result, after further inspection, in foundation repair bids pricier than the whole cost of the home!

In many states, home inspectors are not legally able to provide you with a repair bid, but if you attend the inspection and simply ask them whether or not something they say needs fixing is a big deal, nine times out of ten they will verbally give you the information you need to understand the degree to which the issue is a serious problem (or not).

2. Who should I have fix that? I always ask this question of home inspectors, with dual motives. First, very often, the inspector’s response is – “What do you mean? You don’t need to pay someone to fix that. Go down to Home Depot, pick up a ___fill in the blank__, and here’s how you pop it in. Should cost you $15 – tops.” And that’s useful information to know – it eliminates the horror of a laundry list of repairs and maintenance items at the end of an inspection report to know that a number of them are really DIY-type maintenance items. Even buyers who are really uncomfortable doing these things themselves then feel empowered to either (a) watch a few YouTube vids that show them how it’s done, or (b) hire a handyperson to do these small fixes, knowing they shouldn’t be too terribly costly.

And even on the larger repairs, your home inspector might be able to give you a few referrals to the plumbers, electricians or roofers you’ll need to get bids from during your contingency period, which you may be able to use to negotiate with your home’s seller, and to get the work done after you own the place. Dropping the inspector’s name might get you an appointment booked with the urgency you need it order to get your repair bids and estimates in hand before your contingency or objection period expires.

And same goes for any further inspections they recommend – if neither you nor your agent knows a specialist, ask the general home inspector for a few referrals.

3. If this was your house, what would you fix, and when? Your home inspector’s job is to point out everything, within the scope of the inspection, that might need repair, replacement, maintenance or further inspection – or seems like it might be on its last leg. But they also tend to be experienced enough with homes to know that no home is perfect. Many times, I’ve asked this question about an item the inspector described as “at the end of its serviceable lifetime” and had them say, “I wouldn’t do a thing to it. Just know that it could break in the next 5 months, or in the next 5 years. And keep your home warranty in effect, because that should cover it when it does break.”

This question positions your home inspector to help you:

· understand what does and doesn’t need to be repaired,

· prioritize the work you plan to do to your home (and budget or negotiate with the seller accordingly),

· get used to the constant maintenance that is part and parcel of homeownership, and

· understand the importance of having a home warranty plan.

 

4. Can you point that out to me? Often, when you attend the home inspection, you’ll be multi-tasking, taking pictures of the interior, measuring for drapes or furniture, even meeting the neighbors, or fielding several inspectors at a time. Worst case scenario is to get home, open up the inspector’s report and have no clue whatsoever what he or she was referring to when they called out the wax ring that needs replacement or the temperature-pressure release valve that is improperly installed.

Your best bet is to, at the end of the inspection and while you’re all still in the property, just ask the inspector to take 10 or 15 minutes and walk you through the place, pointing out all the items they’ve noted need repair, maintenance or further inspection. When you get the report, then, you’ll know what and where the various items belong. (One more best practice is to choose an inspector who takes digital pictures and inserts them into their reports!)

5. Can you show me how to work that? Many home inspectors are delighted to show you how to operate various mechanical or other systems in your home, and will walk you through the steps of operating everything from your thermostat, to your water heater, to your stove and dishwasher – and especially the emergency shutoffs for your gas, water and electrical utilities. This one single item is such a time and stress saver it alone is worth the lost income of missing a day of work to attend your inspections.