My husband and I have been seriously looking for a new home for the past 3 ½ years. Not only did we complete every possible DIY project on our “starter home” (We are DIY-oholics and looking for our next fix) but we found out our family was growing and would soon need more space.
We had a seemingly impossible list of “musts” (yes, we would be the people you would become annoyed with on “house hunters”) We needed at least an acre of land, but still needed to be in an neighborhood with sidewalks for our little girl that was arriving soon. Close to our jobs, an immaculately clean house that my even Grandmother would approve (the smell of Lysol still reminds me of her to this day)…and don’t forget our budget.
We looked and looked and looked……and put in offers. And were out bid. So we looked again..and put in offers..and were out bid. This cycle went on…and on…so much so that we stopped looking seriously. I thought it was a sign from the man upstairs to be happy where we were and that a new home wasn’t in our cards. So we bought new furniture to freshen things up and embraced where we were.
But, we still yearned for a new home. So we browsed on Zillow in our spare time. Then, one day it happened. We found it. Our dream home…thought it didn’t meet all of our criteria we casually put an offer in. The offer was accepted. Finally.
Meanwhile, back at home, we were “embracing” where we were at….buying new furniture, rejiggering knick-nacks….painting walls….basically our house was a hot- mess express. Suddenly this hot mess of a home had to be put on the market. Within 7 days. Because no one likes two mortgage payments.
Our house sold a day before it was listed on the market, for full asking price, and we moved into our new home 30 days later.
Here is how we did it:
- It takes a village.
Now is not the time to be shy. I am fortunate to have my immediate family close by, though rarely ask them for favors. Guess what? I asked them for all sorts of help during this time. “Hey, can you watch Evie (our daughter) for a couple hours while we _____ on the house.” “Hey, can you help us ______ , it will only take 30 minutes and we will treat you to dinner after.” Your friends and family will be more than willing to help- especially if you lure them with food and drink.
- Act like a grown up
You’re not moving from one dorm to another – so tell your SO/husband to put down the phone and dial a favor into his Frat brothers another time. Hire professionals. No you don’t need a professional painter to do the touch up paint in your kitchen. But hire professionals where it matters: Realtors and Movers. And…don’t just hire your Aunt Betty because she is family and has been selling houses for the past 60 years. Finding a good realtor is kind of like finding a good attorney. You want someone who is straightforward, confident, and has your best interests at heart. Oddly enough, we ended up hiring up a cousin who is a realtor. Normally, I don’t like mixing business with family, but in this case it worked out because she possesses all the qualities listed above. Again, our house sold before it even hit the market.
When it comes to movers, call around to get quotes. And just because they are expensive doesn’t mean they will be good. We used a “budget” mover and they did the job more efficiently than a higher price mover that I have used in the past. I made sure to communicate my concerns in a courteous way prior to the move (hey, this is a family heirloom-i.e. old and fragile- can you take extra special care on this piece) and they delivered…literally. We also bought them coffee in the morning and lunch. Again, asking nicely and luring people with food goes a long way.
- Get your sh*t together
Quit bothering the produce guy at your local grocery for boxes and invest in packing supplies. 50 bucks and a trip to Lowe’s and I was in business with packing paper and boxes that were uniform in size. This makes it quicker for the moving company…and time is money- we saved $400 from our original estimate because they were able to move so fast. Go from room to room and pack like items in the same box and clearly label them (i.e. Kitchen items: non-essential or picture frames) That way when they get delivered to your new home you know exactly what is in each box. Also, chances are you aren’t going to put pictures/knick-nacks etc. in the same room as in your old house. This makes it easy to create a staging area for pictures and knick-nacks in your new house that you can “shop from” to decorate your new home.
- Focus on the essentials
My mother always told me to set up your kitchen first when moving into a new home. Even if you are eating carryout the first week, or are thirsty you will at least know where a fork or glass is. Make a bucket of cleaning supplies so you can easily carry it from place to place in your new home- and clean as you unpack. Create a tote bag with important paperwork you will need to have handy, as well as pens, scissors, your checkbook and some cash to tip movers, service workers, etc. Finally, if you are moving with children, make sure to clearly label and setup their room and toys first. This will ease the stress of transitioning from your old home to the new. Your little ones will also have a way of entertaining themselves while you are tackling other things.
What moving tips do you have?