Tips to Get Settled In A New Home

Moving into a new home? We know how exciting it can be! We’ve compiled a list of a few things you can do after your move to make sure your experience is comfortable. The hardest part of a move is getting settled in, after that, you just’ll need to handle a few loose ends that sometimes get forgotten about until the last minute.

CHECK MAJOR APPLIANCES
Be sure to check all the appliances to ensure everything is still in working order after the move. You want to make sure nothing was broken in the move or stopped working suddenly. Look at things such as your stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator, and microwave. If you brought any appliances yourself and you used movers, you’ll want to make sure everything still works as soon as possible, since mover’s insurance companies give a limited timeframe for when you can make a claim.

CHECK ALL OF YOUR BOXES & FURNITURE
Be sure to go over all your boxes and furniture to make sure nothing got damaged during the move. Be sure that everything has arrived and nothing got lost in the process. If you notice something is missing a month later, it may be too late to file a claim with the moving company. Even if you don’t plan on unpacking everything as soon as you move in, just do a quick review and inventory everything you brought to protect yourself and your belongings.

SET UP UTILITIES
Did you remember to set up your utilities before moving in? There’s nothing more frustrating than moving into your home to realize the lights don’t work. Make sure you’ve gotten with all of the necessary utility companies to have everything turned on in time for your move.

REGISTER INTO A GOOD SCHOOL
You may have already known to look for a school for your kids prior to your move, but if you haven’t yet found one, be sure to research all the schools local to you to find the right fit for your family. The sooner you can find the right school and register, the easier and less stressful it will be to get them in and settle.

REGISTER YOUR CAR
If you’ve moved to a new state or country, you’ll want to make sure to register your car in your new hometown and update your driver’s license, tags, and plates.

CONNECT TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Join sites like Nextdoor.com or get a subscription to your local magazine/newspaper to stay in touch with what’s going on in your neighborhood. Be sure to also join local community Facebook groups. You can find out about events or concerns relating to your community.

GETTING YOUR MAIL
Have you updated your address for all the people you’ll be expecting to get mail from? Like your bank, friends, family, and services you still pay for after your move. Check with the post office to have things redirected to your new address while you work to update your info with everyone else.

FIND THE RIGHT PROFESSIONALS
If you’re moving far from your last home, you’ll want to have the right connections. Find a new doctor, dentist, vet, handyman, plumber, etc. Add them into a contact book that’s easily accessible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST
If you’re moving to a new country, 911 won’t be the local emergency number. Make sure you have all the correct numbers in the case of an emergency. This can also include doctors, the local police station, a vet, etc.

INSURANCE COMPANIES
More than likely, you handled home insurance and home warranty during the purchasing process. If you haven’t, be sure to get those taken care of right away. You’ll also want to get your auto, health, and any other necessary household insurances sorted for your move.

Any other questions or still looking for your next home, call me and I can help!

Posted on April 4, 2019 at 7:29 pm
Allison Higgins | Category: first time home buyer, help | Tagged , , ,

7 Things to Look For When Touring an Open House

You’re in the market for a home, you have gone to Kinlin Grover Open House Listings and checked out the inventory, you’ve put together a short list of potential properties and you are going to call me to go tour the homes with you! 😉  The pictures online look amazing, you have found a couple with the exact amount of rooms and bathrooms you need and the square footage is what you want. But while the pictures online can say a lot, seeing a home in person truly speaks volumes. Visiting a property is your first opportunity to “kick the tires”. While you are out there scoping out the prospective homes don’t overlook these 7 critical areas:

The Neighborhood

You have to remember you are not just buying a house, you’re buying a neighborhood too. And that may be the most important thing you cannot get a feel for online. During the visit be sure to pay attention to the traffic sounds and speeds, the condition of other homes in the area, and whether or not there is plenty of access to your families amenities like shops, parks, or malls.

Privacy

When you look out the windows what do you see? When you step into the back yard how much privacy to you want to have and do you feel like it is comfortable for you? Depending on the season, like in the Winter it will feel less private but check to see how many trees or shrubs will potentially grow in.  Always remember that you can add privacy shades and shrubs to help with this if you are in love with the house 🙂

The Home’s Exterior

Take a walk around the entire perimeter of the house; you might be surprised at what is hiding along the sides out of sight. Is there deferred maintenance? Pay close attention to the exterior paint. Does it look fresh or is it chipping? Do the roof shingles look like they need replacing? Ask when the roof was last done if it is an older home. What is the condition of the gutters or any other key items on the exterior?

Having Good “Flow”

One thing pictures online do not show is the flow from one room to the next. Do they feel well laid out? Are they spacious enough for your needs? The hub of the home is typically the kitchen, is this an open and inviting space?  The way one room opens to the next is important when it comes to making the most of the space you got.  You can also think of the layout when looking around. Are the bedrooms all on one floor? Is the master bedroom set apart from the rest? Is there space to put an office or a gym? Make sure you have your list of needs, wants and extras ready to go when looking at each home to see if you can check off the boxes!

Smells or Stains

The nose knows. Check out the basement and even the attic. If you smell something not so great you may want to ask  more questions. Water stains in the ceilings and along baseboards in the basement could be signs of flooding or water damage, make sure to take note.

Light and Air

When you’re in the house is there a lot of natural light? Is the house designed in a way that allows for good air flow.  Not only is sunlight and fresh air enjoyable, but opening those windows and catching a breeze can help cut down on utility bills during those mid summer months.  Then think about Winter, do you notice any drafty windows or doors that may be a problem? Take a look at the condition of the windows, take note and question how old they are.

Closet Space

Is there a lot or a little? Will the home’s storage space keep you organized and accommodate all your stuff? I know that some homebuyers, this is a deal breaker, so it’s better to check now before you fall in love with the rest of the house. This is the one thing that I did not think of when looking at our home. I figured it out and declutter on a seasonal basis to keep from over storing items. So it actually keeps me more organized having less closet space!

 

I hope these tips help make your Open House experience an exciting and enjoyable one! If you need any help looking for your next home please know that I would love to be your Realtor!

Contact me anytime with questions or comments.

 

 

 

Posted on May 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm
Allison Higgins | Category: first time home buyer | Tagged

Real Estate, Where do you Start?

It is coming up on 4 years that my family and I have been in our new home. We bought out first home together as a married couple and bought new construction. Being a first time home buyer was a whirl wind of decisions and delays. But through it all I learned a lot and was so thankful for our amazing Realtor. She was not only a trusted family member but she was on top of every challenge and step in the process.

After going through this process it  made me appreciate real estate professionals more for all of the behind the scenes details that they take care of.  This was part of my motivation for getting into real estate and becoming a Realtor. I wanted to be that person that people know and trust with doing an amazing job in the process of buying or selling their home.

If you have been thinking about buying or selling but are just not sure yet, sign up for my email series “The 7 Secrets to First Time Home Buying” and learn more!

Message me today and get started!

 

Posted on May 16, 2018 at 10:47 am
Allison Higgins | Category: first time home buyer