Tips on Buying a House in a White Hot Market

If you’re currently trying to buy a house, you know that the market is very competitive. Depending on the area, homes are getting snapped up in hours or days instead of weeks or months. While many variables are driving these conditions, one thing is clear – it’s pretty challenging to buy a house.

Fortunately, challenging doesn’t equal impossible. But unfortunately, it can all feel overwhelming if you’re trying to navigate the real estate industry right now. Fortunately, here are some top tips on making it work for you to move to your new home.

Step One: Start With an Agent

Since homes are going so fast, it’s virtually impossible to keep up with new listings as they come and go. Unless you have the time, patience, and energy to manage these listings, it’s best to go with an experienced real estate agent. An agent can potentially secure listings that haven’t gone up yet, and they can help you coordinate elements like home inspections and walk-throughs.

When comparing agents, work with one with experience in a similar market. This way, you can be confident they know how to handle the stress and logistics of home-buying under these conditions.

Step Two: Get Financing and Inspectors Lined Up

Once you’re ready to make an offer, you need to be able to pull the trigger as quickly as possible. So, if you’re waiting on the bank to approve a loan, you’ll likely lose to another bidder. Ideally, you can make a cash down payment, but if not, a pre-approved mortgage loan is far better than nothing.

Also, inspections have to happen quickly so you can close faster. So have your agent line up some inspectors who can offer last-minute walk-throughs. This way, you can avoid potentially unwelcome delays.

Step Three: Be Ready to Compromise

Unfortunately, buying a house in a seller’s market means extra competition. For example, what if another buyer is ready to pay cash immediately for the property? What if a seller is willing to bid higher than you? Overall, you’ll have to determine which concessions to make ahead of time. You know what you’ll accept this way, and you’re ready to bargain immediately. Also, consider when you want to resell and move again. If you’re looking for a permanent home, you’ll have fewer concessions. However, if you’re planning to move within five years, you can be more flexible.

Step Four: Consider Fixer-Uppers

Right now, homes that are move-in ready will go almost immediately. But, even if you catch a listing and can go to an open house, you’ll be competing against many different buyers.

One way to avoid some of these hassles is to focus on homes with some issues. While you want to avoid any financial disasters (i.e., sunken foundation, outdated electrical wiring), figure out which problems you can fix yourself after moving in. Then, you’ll open yourself up to various options that may not sell so quickly.

Get Moving Help for Your New Home!

Once you close on a house, the next step is moving in. We can help you make the most of your new home, so contact us for a free quote.

Moving With Back Pain? What To Do

Moving with back pain can be a challenge! Whether you’ve recently injured your back or simply have a lot of back pain in your day-to-day life, packing and moving boxes gets more complicated when you’re in pain. Fortunately, you can do many things to minimize your pain and get through your household relocation with less stress.

Stretch Before Getting Started

Stretching can help make your muscles more flexible. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure what stretches are safe to perform. If you have a chiropractor, they can show you appropriate, safe stretches. Wisely choosing your stretching exercises is essential since some can be harmful if you have a particular injury or back condition.

Pace Yourself, Start Early

Pacing yourself is crucial when doing something physically intense, like moving. Go slowly to avoid accidents. Take breaks whenever possible to avoid over-using your muscles. Pacing yourself may mean that you’ll have to go more slowly than if your back was in perfect health.

Start early to ensure you have enough time to finish all the work. Give yourself several months to get through the packing process. This will reduce stress and ensure that you can do everything you need to do.

Get Help When You Can

You don’t have to do everything all on your own. In fact, you shouldn’t! Instead, get help from those who are willing, whether it’s a friend, neighbor, family member, or member of your household.

Consider hiring a full-service moving company to get the work done for you. That could save you a lot of trouble and also potential back injury!

Listen to Your Body

Know when it’s becoming too much. If you feel like you need to take a break, take a break. If you need to rest for the remainder of the day, do it. If you think something may have gone wrong with your back, see a doctor. Don’t ignore signals that your back is in trouble: you could do more harm than good.

Speak to a Medical Professional

Talk to your doctor to see if lifting is safe for you. For example, if you have a back injury, your doctor may recommend no lifting boxes over a specific weight limit. Knowing your limits can help you avoid further damage to your body.

Lift the Right Way

Lift from the knees, not with your back. Keep your back straight when lifting heavy items, and hold the things close to your body to avoid additional strain on your back.

Pack Wisely

Avoid packing large boxes that are hard to hold. When packing heavy items, like books or dishes, put them into small boxes to avoid making them too heavy to lift.

Hire Professional Movers

You can get through your upcoming relocation without putting strain on your back. Hire professional movers to provide a full-service relocation. This will minimize your time spent lifting boxes. Contact us today to find out more about our services.

5 Ways to Maintain Good Morale at Home While Moving

It can be challenging to maintain good morale while making a residential move. The stress of an unknown future, the hard work of relocating, and knowing you’re leaving behind a familiar place can impact your quality of life. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to maintain good morale while relocating. For example, engaging with your family and turning moving into less of a chore can make your relocation more enjoyable.

1. Let the Kids Help

Moving can be hard on kids as well as adults. Kids often feel powerless when their parents need to move because so much seems out of their control. Let them participate in the packing process if you have children in your house. Give them a say over where their new room will be, and let them play a role in choosing colors to paint the new home. Letting the kids help takes some burden off you (which is good for your morale) and puts some control back in their hands (which is good for their morale as well).

2. Take Time to Have Fun

It’s easy to get caught up in all the work needed when relocating. But don’t let all that work get you down! Instead, take time to have some fun even as you’re packing and doing all the items on your to-do list.

Make a schedule of fun or relaxing things to do outside the house – like going to the park, visiting the beach, or just grabbing a movie. Getting out of the house and doing something enjoyable will help you and the other household members regroup and relax.

3. Make Packing Parties

Make packing more enjoyable. Bring together neighbors who’ve enjoyed living close to you, and make a “packing party.” The people you love can help you get ready to go, and you can enjoy music and pizza. Then, when you’ve completed the work for the day, watch a movie or play games in the yard.

You don’t need to invite someone special to your house to have a packing party. You can also enjoy packing by spending time with the people you live with. Just remember to make the food delicious, and keep the music playing!

4. Have Compassion for Stressed Family Members

Some members of your household will likely find moving to be very challenging. Even if you’re not feeling overly stressed about the relocation, you may know some people who are. Have compassion for the people in your household struggling to maintain their happiness and good morale. By showing them extra love and kindness, you can help relieve some of their stress.

5. Discuss the Fun Stuff Coming in the Future

Don’t forget to look toward the future for all the things you’ll enjoy about your new home! By discussing the fun stuff to come, you give yourself and other members of your household something to look forward to.

Get Your Relocation Off to the Right Start

The easiest way to take the stress off members of your household is to get your relocation off to the right start with a moving company that does the work for you. Contact us today to discuss your relocation.

Things to Look For in a New House When You Work From Home

Recently, working from home has had a significant boost and is more common than ever before. Moreover, as more jobs become available for remote workers, the idea of commuting to an office might be less desirable for some.

Working from home presents various challenges, so it’s good to adapt your living space to improve productivity. So, if you’re in the market for a new house, here are the elements to look for to make working from home that much better.

A Dedicated Work Area

Consider a home with a guest bedroom or home office so that you can maintain a division of work and personal home space. Ideally, you can separate your living area from your work area, making it easier to focus on business tasks. So, then, when working from home, you can avoid mixing your two lives as much as possible.

For example, you can set aside a specific number of hours for “work” and stay in the room during that period. If you need to take a break, step outside your home office for as long as necessary.

Natural Lighting

It’s hard to overstate how much nature can improve our moods and productivity. Working alongside plants and natural sunlight can help you stay focused and motivated. If possible, you may want to have a home with a covered patio or something similar. This way, you can do your work outside without worrying too much about the elements. Just make sure you can see your computer screen clearly.

Excellent Wi-Fi

Some homes are better suited to transmitting Wi-Fi than others. As a rule, concrete and brick houses can block or interfere with your signal, making it harder to maintain a strong connection. Also, where you live can make a difference. As a rule, rural areas have less access to wireless internet, while cities and suburbs are much more Wi-Fi friendly.

Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling

If you work from home, you have to consider how the weather changes throughout the year. However, while an office likely has central air, does your home? If not, you could wind up melting in the summer and freezing in the winter. So, you should consider opting for a house that comes with a central HVAC system. Also, since you’ll be home more often, you need to be sure your utility bills won’t skyrocket as a result.

Pro-tip: change your HVAC filters and get the system inspected at least once per year. Ideally, a month or two before the coming season. For example, if winter is around the corner, get it inspected in October or November.

Get Moving Help Today

Once you find your perfect work-from-home solution, you’ll need help moving into your new house. Fortunately, we can make the transition as smooth and streamlined as possible. We can even pack your boxes for you and help you settle into your house. Contact us today to find out more.

How to Create a Moving Budget

Proper planning is critical to ensuring a smooth residential relocation. Creating a realistic budget is part of that planning. Here are some tips on creating a moving budget.

Take Inventory

Moving costs generally depend on how far and how much you have to move. Your first step is to decide what will go with you to your new place. List everything that will go, beginning with oversized items such as a piano or large sofa. Go from room to room with your list to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Develop a Budget Template

Once you’ve listed items, you can determine estimated costs. Then research average moving costs for professional movers in your area. Remember to include distance, the amount of stuff you have, and additional charges for specialty items such as artwork, pool tables, and pianos.

Once you’ve done your research, you’ll interview at least three experienced, reputable moving companies and obtain their estimates or bids. Then, you’ll revise your template, as necessary, depending upon these estimates.

Even if you plan to do most of the work yourself, you’ll still have costs, such as truck and equipment rental and transportation. Also, when you consider these costs, be sure to include the value of your time, especially since you will likely need to take time off from work. In most cases, hiring professional movers to do most or all of the work is most cost-effective in the long run.

If you need to store items, list an estimate for that. Also include deposits that you may have to pay for apartments or utility costs and short-term housing expenses, if necessary.

Once you’ve estimated costs, add at least 5 percent for contingencies.

Plan for Everyday Expenses

You’ll still have to pay most of your everyday expenses while you are in the process of moving. Every day expenses include school lunches for kids, dog-walking, and groceries. So be sure to budget for those when you calculate how much you can spend on your move.

Find Ways to Save for Your Move

You want to be sure you have enough money to pay for a reputable mover and buy or acquire appropriate boxes for packing. You can trim money from categories in your household budget to use for moving expenses. For example, if you typically eat out in restaurants, consider eating at home more or choosing less expensive restaurants. Put off buying new clothes (you’ll have less to move) and consider buying some household items and groceries in bulk.

Create an Emergency Fund

Despite the best budgeting, sometimes emergencies occur. For example, you may need to make a quick repair in your new home or find you need to make your old home spotless. You may need to take more time off work to help yourself or your kids get settled. If you buy or build a home, you may need to spend more time in temporary housing.

Having an emergency fund can help you deal with these unexpected costs. The emergency fund generally equals about three months of expenses.

Ready to Move?

Having a moving budget in place will make your experience less stressful. As you prepare for your move, select the best professional movers for your needs. Contact us today for a free estimate. We have the experience and know-how to tackle your move.

Making a New House Feel Like Home Through Your 5 Senses

When you move into a new home, you will likely appreciate all of the unique elements of your new place. But sometimes, to make your new house feel like your new home, you might crave some familiarity from your last location. The key to truly creating a cozy and comfortable feeling for you in your new home is to engage each of your five senses.

Check out some of the ways to make your new house feel like home by engaging your senses.

1. Create Familiar Visuals

Part of making the new place feel like home is to make it look like home. While you may not have enough time to unpack every belonging right away, you can work on some essential areas. For example, your new place will feel a lot like home if the room you wake up in looks like a familiar place. Therefore, it can be a good idea to get a few things unpacked in your bedroom, such as pictures or decor you would typically have on the walls.

2. Make the House Smell Like Home

Science tells us that scent, emotion, and memory are closely intertwined. Therefore, the more a new house smells like a home, the more it may be perceived as such. If you’re moving into a new build, the smell of new construction might make you feel content, but it’s possible some the scent of your new home doesn’t elicit positive emotions.

Try using the home fragrances you usually use, preparing a meal with familiar herbs, or even simply doing a few loads of laundry with your usual fabric softener. 

3. Add Familiar Sounds

What does home sound like to you? Every location and house can have its own collection of sounds. For example, maybe you could hear birds singing in your previous house when you opened the kitchen window. If those sounds are missing, consider doing something to make the environment sound more familiar, such as playing bird songs on a speaker.

4. Cook a Favorite Meal

Food stands at the center of everyday life, but we often don’t realize how much familiarity it brings to our lives. If you have yet to prepare a favorite meal at your new house, doing so may make the place feel more comforting. Whether it’s the family’s favorite entree, a yummy dessert that you’ve frequently prepared in the past, or simply grilled cheese sandwiches, pick something that tastes familiar and enjoy it in the new house.

5. Check the Thermostat

The more the new house feels like the old one, the faster it will feel like home. Sometimes, this may only be a matter of adjusting the thermostat to ensure the temperature is close to what you are used to. No matter the HVAC system, all houses can have temperature variances and drafty areas. If you have to adjust the thermostat a few degrees to make the place feel more familiar, it’s worth it in those first few days in the house.

Get a Free Moving Quote from the Pros

Moving can be a little emotionally challenging. However, when you have help from professional movers, you can have time to focus on what’s important: making a new house a home. Contact our team to get your free moving quote today to get started.

How to Help Kids Remember Their Old Home After Moving

Moving can be a difficult time for kids, especially young ones. Relocating to a new home is a time of uncertainty when kids might be fearful of change, forgetting their old house, and missing their friends.

Making the transition involves letting children feel sad about the move, even if they’re also happy about the change.

Here are a few ways to help your kids with their relocation, remember where they were, and keep it a part of their childhood memories.

Take Pictures

Kids often rely on visual things to help them remember. So before you leave, take pictures of various rooms of your house, your neighborhood, and maybe a few neighbors.

It doesn’t have to be meticulous or complicated. If you’re short on time, take a picture of your child’s bedroom, a photo of your house, and call it good. Follow tips for taking good photos, so you end up with lovely images. 

Make a Storybook

For kids, it can be difficult being in a constant state of transition. They may have some sense that they are leaving, but they don’t know what to expect. Making a mini scrapbook can help them process it.

The beginning of the book can be about the home you’re leaving and end with images and things about your new one. Start with a photo of your child in their old room. Then, gradually expand outward until you show your old home, your new neighborhood, and your new home.

Tell Stories

Even children who are in elementary school may have very few memories of their old home after moving. They will be more likely to remember their old house if you tell stories about it.

Make a brief list of your favorite things about your old home, like a big backyard or shady tree in the summer. Then, talk about those things on occasion, and help your kids situate themselves in the stories. Keeping that context for them makes it easier for your kids to put everything in the proper order.

Visit When Possible

Moving represents an interruption in life for many kids. They might have to change schools, make new friends, and meet new neighbors. Parents can help the transition by contacting good friends, especially if visits are possible.

Don’t force it if it doesn’t feel natural or practical. Driving by your old home on occasion can feel nostalgic, or it can feel awkward to some. It’s better to visit your old neighborhood as a way of seeing your old neighbors or letting your kids visit their friends.

Stay Positive

As with many things, kids are sensitive to parents’ negative energy. If you’re dying to leave your old home, they will probably pick up on that. So it’s better if you can stay optimistic about the process.

Instead of describing your old home negatively, present your new home positively. You may be in love with it already, but your kids could need a little more time. Keeping a balance allows them to retain fond memories of their old life while building good ones for the future.

Pro Movers Can Help With the Transition

Helping kids process the overwhelming feelings from a move is a great idea. Contact us for a quote to learn more about simplifying your upcoming move.

How to Set Up Home Utilities Before Moving In

Relocation day brings many variables to consider, but one of the most important is ensuring that you’ll have working utilities when you arrive at your new home or apartment. Without electricity, running water, or garbage service, it’ll be hard to enjoy your new place. Fortunately, getting your utilities set up is pretty straightforward. Let’s break down the various steps involved. 

Step One: Determine Your Providers

The first step to setting up new utilities is to find out who will be in charge of your service. Look up the different utilities (e.g., electricity, water, and garbage) and add your new town if you’re unsure. For example, you can look up electric services in Los Angeles. Be sure to know all of the utilities you’ll need, including: 

  • Electricity
  • Water and Sewer
  • Internet
  • Natural Gas
  • Garbage

For example, water and garbage might be part of your rent if you’re moving into an apartment. However, if you’re moving into a house, you’ll have to set up everything yourself. 

Step Two: Figure Out if You’re Transferring or Starting New Service

If you’re moving across town, you might be able to use the same company for your utilities. In that case, you just have to transfer the service from one address to another. However, if you’re moving out of state or to a new country, you’ll have to set up utilities with brand-new companies. 

In either case, you’ll need to provide the utility company with your date of cancellation and new start date for service. Realistically, you want to have these dates overlap a little bit for some extra safety. This way, if anything shifts or changes with your moving plans, you’re not stuck without service in either location.

So, for example, if you’re planning on moving on the first of the month, you can set your cancellation date for the third and your new start date for the last day of the previous month (provided the previous owners have canceled their services and vacated.) When doing this, make sure to ask if you’ll have to pay any extra fees for adding a few days. If so, you might need to limit the overlap, so you don’t spend more than necessary. 

Step Three: Double-Check Your Utilities on Moving Day

As you’re moving into your new place, be sure to test all of your utility services. Most of these will be easy to check, as you can turn on the faucet or a light switch. However, keep in mind that the previous owners might still have service, so just because something is working doesn’t mean that the utility is under your name. Instead, call your utility provider to verify that your account is set up for your new address. While this step may seem redundant, it’s better to be sure than to experience an outage because of a lack of service. 

Step Four: Don’t Forget to Cancel Your Old Utilities

After your stuff is moved to your new home or apartment, be sure to call your old provider to verify that your account is canceled. If you’re transferring service from one address to the next, you don’t have to do this step. Again, this process might seem redundant, but you don’t want to wind up with a bill for service that you’re not receiving. 

Get Moving Help Today

Setting up utilities is one part of a much larger puzzle. So don’t let the moving experience stress you out! We’re here to help with expert services and benefits. Contact us today to see what we can offer. 

Inexpensive Ways to Boost Curb Appeal to Help Your Home Sell Quickly

First impressions of your home matter, especially when trying to sell a home before a relocation. However, boosting curb appeal can go a long way towards impressing potential buyers. Houses with good curb appeal can increase a home’s value by 7% or more, and it doesn’t involve emptying your bank account or taking out a home equity loan. Here are five inexpensive ways to boost your home’s curb appeal and help it to move faster on the market.

1. Paint (or Replace) the Front Door

Ideally, you want the front door to be in tip-top shape. In many cases, all this requires is a new coat of paint if the door is still in good condition. However, replacing it would be a worthwhile investment if a door is warped, dented, or otherwise damaged. In addition, a home’s front door is its welcome mat (which, btw a new one would also be an excellent inexpensive addition), so you want it to look its best.

2. Invest in Landscaping

A little landscaping goes a long way. Homeowners that take the time to keep their lawns, gardens, and other outdoor spaces tidy demonstrate to buyers that they take pride in their homes, both inside and out. Easy remedies done either by hiring a professional or by taking the DIY route include:

  • Routine mowing
  • Spreading new grass seed to fill in “bald spots”
  • Pruning trees and shrubs
  • Adding color with florals
  • Spreading fresh mulch
  • Removing weeds and dead branches

Are you selling a home in the off-season? In that case, you’ll want to clear fallen leaves, keep any snow neatly plowed, and add seasonal plants to your entryway, along with these five additional tips.

3. Install a New Mailbox or Spruce Up an Existing One

A mailbox is one of the first things home seekers see as they pull up to the house. If the existing mailbox is dingy, replace it with a new one. However, freshen its post with fresh paint or stain and add new house numbers if the box is in good condition. Another way to boost its appearance is to frame a small garden around the mailbox and plant some color or pretty groundcover greenery.

4. Clean Up the Driveway and Walkways

Driveways with oil spots or other stains are unsightly. Apply a good cleaner or other remedy to clean off concrete surfaces and give it a power wash. For a blacktop driveway, have a professional come clean and reseal it.

5. Clear Out Gutters

Gutters stuffed with leaves and other debris not only look terrible, but they can also lead to destructive events affecting the home. Routinely clean out gutters and ensure rainwater and melted snow can flow easily. If water backs up, it can lead to sagging gutters, water flow inside the home, algae growth, and, eventually, mold problems. Buyers who see overflowing gutters will likely think the house is poorly maintained.

Moving Made Easy

Homeowners looking to make a quick sale on their house can help the process by boosting the curb appeal of their home by making a few minor, aesthetic changes. If you want to sell your home quickly without breaking the bank, try the above tips because buyers see more worth in homes that look nice.

Are you looking to move to your new home? Contact us today for a free quote! We’re happy to work with you within your selling and buying timeline.

Tips for Announcing Your Office Relocation

Changing offices can be an exciting moment for a business. Ideally, the move is happening because of growth and success within the company, necessitating a shift to a more significant, better location. 

That said, relocating your office comes with many hurdles to overcome. One critical factor to consider is announcing the relocation. Here is a four-step plan to make this announcement successfully. 

Step One: Plan Logistics and Prepare Answers to Questions

Determine the move logistics before making the announcement (if possible). The primary reason for doing this is to answer any questions that may come up. 

Some issues that employees may need to know about include: 

  • Timeline – How long will the transition take? 
  • Operations – Will the move disrupt the company, or will everything be business-as-usual during the move? 
  • Accommodations – What will the new space look like, and how will it benefit the employees? 

Step Two: Notify Employees Well In Advance

Your staff members will need time to adjust to the new location. So, it’s best to notify them as soon as possible. Ideally, you can announce the news at least a couple of months before moving. This way, there’s enough time to address any concerns and work out any kinks that you may not have considered. 

When notifying employees, be sure to bring everyone on board simultaneously. If possible, use a company-wide event to share the news. Alternatively, an internal memo or notification can ensure that all employees know what to expect. Then, they can reach out to managers or supervisors for more information. 

Step Three: Publicize Your Move

Changing addresses can be time-consuming for businesses because you need to update the details across various channels. In addition, everyone from vendors to clients will need to know where to find you. 

Before publicizing the transition, list all the different entities that need this information. Start with crucial elements like financial institutions and vendors. Anyone who sends you mail should know as soon as possible. 

From there, you can publicize your move online through social media and other channels. However, you should only make the public aware of front-facing offices, such as storefronts and customer service centers. 

Step Four: Get Feedback From Employees

Finally, after you announce your upcoming transition, be sure to ask employees what they think. This feedback can be valuable because workers may bring up issues you missed. In addition, you want to frame the move as a positive relocation and highlight the benefits that employees can expect. Doing this will make the shift more efficient since everyone will be on board and enthusiastic about the change. 

Another benefit of soliciting feedback is that you can notify individuals and teams about what they need to do before, during, and after moving. Coordinating all of your employees can be challenging, so you want to bring them up to speed as quickly as possible. 

Get Moving Help Today

If you’re getting overwhelmed by your office relocation, let us help! We can assist with the planning and completion, whether you’re moving down the street or across town. Contact us to find out more!