Joseph D. Federico's Blog
When you’re relocating you search for a property and learn the real estate market in your new area. Are you also looking at what the general cost of living is in your new city? The cost of living can be very different from state to state and city to city. Here are some common daily expenses you may want to research as part of your relocation planning.
The cost of groceries and home goods can vary drastically from place to place. If you’re moving to a new city or state your general cost of goods may increase or decrease depending on where you move. This is a cost many people don’t consider when thinking about the affordability of a new area. The price of milk might be 50% more or even double the cost from where you live now. The same shampoo you purchase in California might be half of the cost in Arizona. A change in sales tax will also make a difference in what you pay for goods. To gather information about how this may impact you, check into a few retail stores in your target area (or online if you can’t be local) and make some price comparisons based on the products you purchase regularly.
Gas prices can make a difference to your monthly costs. On the coasts, prices can be as high as $4.00 or more per gallon, but in the Midwest and South prices can be under $2.00 a gallon. If you’re moving to a location where gas prices increase consider those additional fill-ups when determining what commute you can manage. Is it most cost-effective for you to live further away from your workplace in a less expensive home? Does it make more sense to find a home closer to work allowing for a shorter commute or the use of a public transportation option? Consider also the amount of time you’re willing to spend on your commute each day.
Food and Entertainment
The amount you spend on entertainment and dining each month may change when you move. In some places a higher minimum wage is set for service industry workers, so a lower tip percentage is common. In other locations the service industry wage is quite low, so a higher tip percentage is the norm. Explore the activities you enjoy while you house hunt to get a better idea of what differences you might experience in your new location.
Finally, the cost of general services can affect your bottom line. From your new hairdresser to housekeeping services to home repair companies you could see a change in pricing. If you frequently use these types of services or would like to, consider how the average cost for them fits into your monthly budget.
These cost differences may not seem like a big factor, but they can impact your monthly expenses. If you’re moving to a more affordable place you may save enough on basic goods and services that you can increase your mortgage budget. However, if you’re relocating to a city with a higher cost of living, you may need to revisit your monthly budget to see what you can really afford.
Moving into a new home can often be a frantic, exhausting task. Matters are made worse if the house you are moving into wasn’t cleaned thoroughly after the previous movers left.
However, the best time to clean a house is before you move in. This is due to the fact that cleaning shelves is easier before they’ve been filled, and vacuuming carpets is simpler if the house doesn’t yet have any furniture.
So, in this article we’re going to show you the best way to clean your new home before you move in to avoid having to move objects around once you’ve brought them inside.
Before moving day
The idea moment to clean your new home is before the moving truck arrives. If possible, pick a day after the previous owners have moved out that is close to your move-in date. Bring all of your cleaning supplies with you, including cloths, towels, a duster, vacuum, hardwood floor polish, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and so on.
It might be tempting to just start scrubbing as soon as you’re inside, but first take a moment to walk through the house and make a list of all the cleaning tasks you would like to accomplish before moving in.
Not only will your list help you determine how long you’ll need to clean, but it will also give some organization to your day and keep you on track.
On or after moving day
You don’t always have the luxury of being able to clean your new home beforehand. If you’re moving across states or are on a tight move-in/move-out schedule, you might have to clean your house as you move in.
In this case, the best solution is to organize your boxes and furniture by room. Then, when moving them inside, put them in the corner of a room in a neat pile. This will leave access to most of the room so that you can clean before putting things away.
Make sure you and your family are on the same page in terms of organizing items on moving day. If you have family members who start unpacking boxes, let them know they could be more helpful by picking up a duster or cleaning some windows rather than putting items in their future places.
Room by room cleaning
There are some rooms in your house that require special attention. Let’s start with the kitchen.
When it comes to cleaning your appliances (refrigerator, oven, microwave, etc.), it’s a good idea to spray on some degreaser or baking soda/vinegar solutions in advance to let them soak and loosen up any debris before you start scrubbing them. Soaking them all at once will help you save time cleaning.
The bathroom poses a challenge when moving in for two reasons. Since bathrooms tend to be small and crowded, it can be hard to work inside of them if there are boxes in the way. To avoid this, stack all of your bathroom items outside in the hallway or in the bathroom closet while you clean.
Moving to a new home quite literally uproots your entire life. From moving day on, you’ll be learning to navigate your new home and rebuilding your daily routines.
The first week in your new home is both the most excited and the most chaotic. Boxes are likely still scattered around the house, you’re constantly forgetting where the light switches are, and trying to figure out how to arrange your furniture.
With all of these changes going on it can be easy to get overwhelmed in your new home. That’s why we’ve put together this list of things you should do in your first week at your new house to get settled in and prepared for your new life.
On Moving Day
Day one of your move can only run so smoothly. As a result, it’s important to try and relax throughout the day. Remind yourself that you don’t need to unpack and arrange everything today. It’s also a good idea to keep a checklist of everything you need to accomplish on moving day, whether that’s paying movers, handing over keys, or turning on utilities.
Since the majority of your belongings will likely be in disarray for the next few days, you should make sure you have a box of your daily essentials clearly labeled that you can unpack first. We’re talking about toothbrushes, toiletries, and anything else you’ll absolutely need to get your day started.
The First Week in Your New Home
Once you’ve made it past the first day the hardest part is over. It will soon be easier to get a good night’s sleep in your new bedroom, and your morning routine will run more smoothly.
To be best prepared for the first week in your new home, we’ve prepared a checklist of important items to tackle so that you’re fully settled in as soon as possible.
Familiarize yourself with the home. Safety should always be your first priority, even at home. Take the time to find out where your circuit breaker is, your water main valve, light switches, fire extinguishers, and so on. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, or just change the batteries so you know the exact date they were changed.
It’s also a good idea to develop a fire escape route. Since you and your family aren’t as familiar with the layout of your new home as your old one, it’s important to understand where the best exits are in case of an emergency. Pick a landmark outside that you’ll meet at in case of a fire.
Change your locks. A top priority for your first week should be changing out your locks. Not everyone is careful with their keys and discriminate in who they give them to. Whether you choose to hire a locksmith or buy and replace the locks yourself, it’s better to get this task accomplished sooner rather than later.
Deep clean. You won’t soon have another opportunity to clean a house that isn’t filled with meticulously arranged furniture. The first week in your new home is a good time to clean the carpets, scrub the corners of each room, and do a thorough cleaning of your refrigerator and cabinets. It’s tempting to start putting items where they’ll go as soon as you arrive, but cleaning first will save you time later. The same principle applies for painting your walls.
You’ve closed on your new house, moved all your boxes, and started planning how to arrange your furniture. Your family can’t wait to settle in and regain a sense of normalcy after the chaos of moving. But before you get back to your normal routine be sure to add these tasks for new homeowners to your to do list. Each takes just an hour of your time and will help you to stay on top of maintenance as well as familiarize yourself with your new domain.
Start by finding out where your main water shutoff valve is located. This is not something you want to have to find when you are in an emergency. In colder climates, it’s most likely to be found in your basement and if you are in a warmer climate you should find it outside. If you keep a binder for home updates add a note of the location within.
Make sure your attic insulation is the correct depth. You want at least 6 inches and even more in northern states. Ensuring that your insulation is the correct depth will help you to save money throughout the year on heating and cooling costs. If you’re attic doesn’t have the correct depth or is damaged be sure to have it replaced as soon as possible. Oftentimes you can get incentives for improving your insulation and thus creating a more energy efficient home.
Check the temperature of your hot water heater and be sure it is set at 120 degrees tops. If you have an older model add a hot water heater blanket to help retain heat. If you find that your heater leaks you want to replace it immediately. A small leak can quickly lead to a major one, flood your home and cause serious damage. Again, be sure to keep note of the month and year you replaced your heater or which year your current model is.
Replace air filters right away so that you will know when they’ve last been replaced. Add monthly reminders to your calendar to stay on top of this quick maintenance task. You can make this task even easier by buying them in bulk. If you love to be organized label them for each month so you know exactly when you’ll next need to replace them.
Change all of the locks on your home. This is simple enough to do on your own and is an easy proactive safety measure for your family. While one hopes there are no lingering keys out in the world of your home, you can’t be sure of who may have a spare key.
Take note of any cracks in your basement. If you find any mark their length with a piece of masking tape and mark with the current date. Watch closely to see if the crack spreads beyond the mark. If you find that the cracks are lengthening be sure to get them taken care of by a professional. This is a serious repair you don’t want to wait on.
Buying a new home is an exciting time. Especially after you’ve closed on the house, can begin to move in and start settling into your routine. Before you get too comfortable be sure to add a few tasks to your to do list. Familiarizing yourself with your new home right away will help you stay on top of maintenance and have peace of mind.
Finding the ideal moving company to help you transport your belongings from Point A to Point B should be simple. However, no two moving companies are identical. And if you select an inferior moving company, you may encounter many problems when moving day arrives.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding the perfect moving company.
Now, let's take a look at three red flags to consider when you evaluate moving companies.
1. Lack of Experience
Search for moving companies that boast many years of experience – you'll be happy you did.
Moving companies that possess comprehensive industry experience understand the ins and outs of moving day and may be better equipped than rivals to deliver the best results.
Typically, a moving company that has extensive industry experience will employ friendly, knowledgeable professionals. This business also will provide fair prices and personalized support, ensuring you can get the assistance you need to seamlessly and effortlessly get your personal belongings to your new address.
2. No Licensure or Insurance
Regardless of whether you're moving within the same state or out of state, it is paramount to employ a licensed, insured moving company. By doing so, you can minimize risk of damage or destruction of your personal belongings.
Remember, a moving company will be responsible for transporting your appliances, electronics, furniture and other items to a new location. And if you fail to employ a licensed, insured moving company, you might struggle to protect your belongings in the event of an accident during transport.
Ask moving companies for verification of licensure and insurance. This will enable you to work with a moving company that will do everything possible to safeguard your belongings on moving day.
3. Poor Customer Reviews
What are past customers saying about a moving company? Take a look at customer reviews, and you can gain a better understanding of what it's like to work with a moving company.
In many instances, an online search of a moving company will allow you to learn how this business stacks up against the competition. Or, a moving company may even provide customer reviews on its website.
Of course, don't hesitate to reach out to a moving company to ask for client referrals, either. This will enable you to obtain first-hand insights from previous customers so you can select a moving company that will meet or surpass your expectations.
For recent homebuyers or home sellers, your real estate agent may be able to help you identify moving company red flags as well.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with moving day. As such, he or she may be able to help you find a top-notch moving company and ensure you are fully prepared for your upcoming move.
When it comes to finding a moving company, there is no need to worry. Consider the aforementioned warning signs, and you should have no trouble choosing a first-rate moving company to help you out on moving day.