Posted on

20 Easy DIY Home Projects to Spruce up Your Space

Is spending so much time inside making you go stir-crazy? Well with life outside seemingly on hold, this may be the perfect opportunity to make a few easy home improvements to transform your house into a nicer and more refreshed place to spend your days. From adding a pop of color to your front door to cleaning out your closet, here are 20 DIY home projects you can tackle to spruce up your space while you’re hunkered down. 

Put leftover paint to use 

Many of us probably have an extra can or two of paint lying around. So why not use it to add some color, pizzaz, and depth to your rooms with these DIY home projects.

1. Give your cabinets a makeover

Painting kitchen cabinets a fresh new color is a fantastic way to completely transform your kitchen. If you tend to be more adventurous when it comes to color, your cabinets are a great place to have some fun. If you already have a lot of color in the room or if the space doesn’t have much light, it’s best to go with white or neutral cabinets.

2. Make your mailbox the star of your front yard

Your mailbox is one of the first things people see when they pull into your driveway, so why not give your visitors a great first impression. Whether you live in a ranch-style house in Phoenix, AZ or you just bought a craftsman style home in Portland, OR, you can instantly boost your curb appeal by adding a fresh, vivid coat of paint to your mailbox. 

3. Add a pop of color to your front door

Changing out your front door can be expensive, so painting your exterior door is an easy way to give the front of your home a makeover and also save some money in the process. Painting the inside of your front door is also a fun way to add a bold pop of color and some character into your home.

4. Give new life to old furniture

If the paint is chipped or wear and tear has gotten the best of some of your older furniture, a quick paint job can give it a new life. Transform a dated (but functional) dresser, nightstand, or bookshelf with this fun DIY project for a fraction of the cost it takes to replace it. 

Clear the clutter

Getting organized can feel like a major undertaking, which is probably why a lot of us tend to put it off, and then put it off again and again. But since you can’t go anywhere, you might as well spend a morning or afternoon tackling the clutter you typically ignore. 

5. Maximize the utility of unused corners with shelving

Running out of storage space? It’s time to finally make use of the corners in your rooms. Installing floating shelves is one of many DIY home projects you can try to create more space. It’s a simple way to spruce up your wall decor while adding more storage in your home.

6. Clean closets

Chances are, you’ve opened up your closet and grabbed one of the same few items since spending most of your time indoors lately. Now’s the time to carefully clean out your closet and decide what you really need from those you haven’t touched in a few years. Start by taking every item out, setting aside the items you don’t need, and cleaning the inside of the closet. If you’re organizing a closet full of clothes, sort clothes into piles by season. Put clothes that you’re not currently using in the back of the closet, like that holiday sweater. Keep frequently used items in the front for easy access. 

7. Organize photos

In a digital age, it’s likely that most of us have our photos stored online. But for those that still have hundreds of photos stored away in boxes, now’s the time to organize them. Start by grouping photos by date or event. Use leftover flashcards or cut up pieces of printer paper as an easy way to separate groups of photos in boxes. If you already keep your photos organized, think about digitizing them. You can use Google’s PhotoScan app to scan old prints and upload them. Organize your photos online into albums to better keep track of them and finally find that picture of your puppy when someone asks.

8. Rethink bookshelves

Bookshelves may not initially come to mind when organizing, but they can easily make a space feel brand new. Think about taking some of the books you’ve got hiding away in a back closet and swap them with the current selection on your bookshelf. Wondering what to do with that collectible mug? Add it to your bookshelf for a fresh take on your decor. Best of all, it’s a free way to change up your space.

9. Under-sink storage

The last place you probably think to organize is under your sink. From the bathroom to the kitchen, it’s likely filled with near-empty cleaners, dishwashing soap, or even makeup wipes. Set aside 10 minutes to toss out those old household supplies, instantly freeing up space to make way for all that hand-soap and disinfectant you just bought.

10. Organize your pantry

You may or may not have months’ worth of groceries in your kitchen right now. Before things get too cluttered, take this time to reorganize your pantry – move things around to maximize space, group like items together, and throw away expired items. You may want to break down the work into smaller parts to avoid being overwhelmed. For example, instead of cleaning out the entire pantry, just do one shelf or area at a time. It will be so refreshing to see the pantry all neat and tidy with everything in its place.

Transform your space with lighting

Nothing can change the look and feel of a room quite like choosing the right lighting. The perfect lighting can lift your spirits and make your home a more comfortable place to spend time. 

11. Replace your lightbulbs

If you have a few extra light bulbs lying around, go from room-to-room and replace any that are burned out. You can also completely change the ambiance in your home simply by replacing any harsh white bulbs with calming yellow ones. 

12. Switch up lamp shades

Lamps are commonly overlooked in the design of a home, but they add a lot of character and style to a room. So take a look at the shades on each of your lamps. If you have a similar size lamp in another room, swap the shades to give your space a new feel. You can also update a boring old lampshade with a few DIY home projects such as adding fun print or pattern, or a coat of paint. 

Tackle those forgotten about cleaning projects

Since you’re spending so much time inside, you’re probably noticing all of the overlooked cleaning projects around the house. If you tackle them now, you’ll be rewarded with a living space that feels brighter and refreshed.

13.Cleaning rugs and carpets

By now, you’ve probably noticed that your carpets and rugs might not be in the same state they were when you moved in or had them replaced. Maybe you don’t even remember the last time they were properly cleaned. Even if you can’t hire a professional to clean your carpets, you can likely rent a carpet cleaner from your local hardware store or carpet cleaning company.

14.Clean under your bed

When was the last time you looked, let alone cleaned under your bed? This is one of those DIY home projects that everyone needs to tackle. The space under your bed is a breeding ground for everything from dust to forgotten items. If you use the space under your bed for storage, like seasonal clothes or extra bedding, make sure you’ve stored those items in vacuum-sealed bags to prevent moisture and mold buildup. Bed skirts also collect dust so throw those in the wash while you’re busy vacuuming underneath. 

15. Clean tile grout

Refresh your entire bathroom by cleaning and brightening your tile grout. Cleaning grout requires two things: a grout brush or sponge and a suitable cleaner. While there are plenty of store-bought grout cleaners available, it is just as easy to do this with ingredients you already have on hand, such as vinegar and baking soda. 

16. Pressure wash your home’s exterior

Get some fresh air and restore your home to its former beauty by pressure washing the exterior of your house and hardscape areas. You can even bring back to life patio furniture and cushions.

17. Deep clean the refrigerator

With the extra groceries you’ve probably bought lately, it’s time for a refrigerator clean. First things first, throw out any leftover takeout or expired items. When cleaning your refrigerator, use a surface-safe all-purpose cleaner for the exterior and warmer soapy water for the interior. Be sure to wipe down surfaces before putting your items back inside. Keeping similar items grouped together when refilling your fridge will make finding your favorite condiment or coffee creamer easier to find. 

Rethink your wall design 

Redoing your wall design is a fast way to transform the look of your living room, bedroom, or really any space in your house.  

18.Rearrange or hang up a gallery wall

If you’ve always wanted to try to create the perfect gallery wall, this is the time to go for it. If you already have one, change it up to revive the space. Try pieces here and there: a new mix-up might surprise you and showcase your photos and art in an entirely new light. 

19. Use empty frames

Go through the house, pull out any empty frames and put them to good use. Dust off those old photographs and display them proudly or find some printable art online. Hang your frames throughout your home or place them on tables, dressers, and desks.

20. Put old fabric swatches to use

When we think of fabric, we usually think of curtains, linens, or pillows, but there are plenty of DIY home projects you can do to turn a basic piece of fabric into a statement piece of wall art. So dig up any fabric swatches that you have laying around the house and put them to use. You can wrap the fabric around a canvas, hang it in a frame, and much more, letting your creativity soar.

Read More

Posted on

Make Your Home Shine With These 15 Homemade Cleaners

With cleaning supplies dwindling down at just about any store, you might be searching for alternative ways to keep your house clean. Fortunately, you can easily create a variety of homemade cleaners with a few basic supplies you likely already have in your home. So, the next time you need …

Read More

Posted on

5 Ways to Create a Self-Care Sanctuary in Your Home

With each week that goes by, things are drastically changing as we try to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. Most people are working from home, businesses are creating new ways to provide for their customers, and most states are issuing stay-at-home orders. So whether you’re living in Dallas …

Read More

Posted on

Planning to Sell Your Home? Here’s How to Increase and Protect Home Value on a Budget

If you’ve been living in your home for a while, chances are a lot of little things go unnoticed. And now that you’re also probably finding ourselves at home more often these days because of the coronavirus, you may have begun to notice these things, like faded paint, …

Read More

Posted on

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell While Social Distancing

Trees and flowers are beginning to bloom, birds are jubilant with song, and you’ve noticed these things only because you’re most likely sitting at home in isolation. If you were thinking about selling your home before this whole coronavirus (COVID-19) scare happened, luckily, you still can. In fact, …

Read More

Posted on

5 Essential Home Office Design Tips for Working Remotely

There’s a sense of freedom and relaxation that comes with working from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to wake up as early to commute. Your furry friends can lay by your side as you keep working on your proposal. You can stay in your …

Read More

Posted on

10 Home Improvement Projects to Tackle Before Moving Into a New House

Congratulations on your new home! We all know that moving into a new house is stressful, and the last thing you probably want to do is add more things to your to-do list. However, it’s actually best to tackle some home improvement projects before all the boxes and furniture get in the way. So if you want to save money, time, and hassle down the road, here are 10 home improvement ideas to consider before making the big move.

front of new house

1. Change the Locks

First and foremost, it’s important to keep your family and your new home safe. So before moving in, be sure to call a locksmith and have your locks changed. You never know who might have a spare key and it just isn’t worth taking the risk. When the locks are being installed, don’t forget the back door and garage door locks, as well as any sheds or other buildings on your property.

2. Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Older homes may have textured “popcorn” on the ceiling, an unsightly trend that makes the interior of your home look dated. It’s also important to note that these types of ceilings may contain asbestos – which makes removing it an even greater priority. It doesn’t matter if you live in Phoenix or Atlanta – if your house was built before the 1980s and has popcorn ceilings, it is highly recommended to have a professional test and then remove it.

couple painting home improvement project

3. Paint the Interior

Adding a fresh coat of paint is a simple and affordable home improvement project that can add color and personalize your space quickly. It also helps defend your home’s surfaces from wear and tear. Whether you do the work yourself or hire someone to do it, it’s a lot easier to paint an empty room. Plus, redoing your walls before moving day means you don’t have to live with the smell of drying paint in your home.

Remember, choosing paint isn’t just about the color. The finish of your paint, from matte to gloss, can dramatically change the look of a room. If you have a paint color in mind, bring home samples with a few different finishes, to see which you prefer.

4. Make Electrical Upgrades

You can do these upgrades anytime, but everything is easier to get to in an empty room. If you’re moving into an older home, especially one built in the mid-‘90s or before, consider installing extra electrical outlets or upgrading the existing ones. Many older homes don’t have the electrical capacity for the number of electronics and powerful devices that many people use today. Additional outlets in your rooms can make it easier to arrange furniture, including computers, speakers, gaming systems, and will make room for everyone to plug in their phones. Consider also making electrical upgrades to allow for programmable thermostats and light fixtures.

Living Room in Home Interior

5. Replace the Flooring

If you’re moving into a brand new home, you may not need to make any improvements to your floors. However, if you’ve bought a home with carpet or tile that you hate or hardwood that needs to be refinished, this is a perfect time to make changes. If you put it off you will have to deal with moving all of the furniture out of the way. And who wants to move furniture twice? When the flooring is being updated, the contractors can also replace baseboards and any other trim work to match.

6. Install Fencing

The house you’ve just purchased may not have adequate fencing for your pets or children. If so, this is a great time to consider adding it. Fencing can provide safety for your family, conceal a swimming pool or hot tub, protect landscaping, give you privacy, and much more. It’s also a desired feature by many. So when it comes time to sell your home years down the line, this home improvement project may increase its value and make it stand out in the local housing market.

7. Call Pest Control

Even if you don’t see bugs, mice, or other pests in your home, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there or that they won’t decide to move in. You can prevent ants, roaches, and other insects from making your home theirs by bringing in a professional pest control company. Here’s something you may not realize – if your neighbors all have chemical pest barriers, and you don’t, then colonies of insects may relocate to your house, simply because it’s more readily accessible.

You may also wish to have quarterly inspections for larger pests like mice or squirrels if you live in an area where they are prevalent. Besides the “ick” factor, these animals can be very destructive to your house, creating holes in the walls or roof, ripping out insulation, and leaving disease-causing droppings.

easy home improvement: upgrading your kitchen appliances

8. Deep Clean

Whether you do it yourself or hire a service, all homes can benefit from having every nook and cranny scrubbed, especially the bathrooms and kitchen. Don’t forget to include cleaning the cabinets and drawers, too. This may also be a good time to install shelf liners and any drip-protectors to preserve the life of the cabinets.

9. Add Storage Options in Closets

You may wish to replace wooden clothing rods with aluminum ones or install shelving and shoe trees. Pantries and storage closets may need extra shelving and organization too. If you have a tight space, additional shelves up to the ceiling can help you keep organized and your space less cluttered.

10. Remodeling an Entire Room

If you’ve ever redone part of a home, especially an area that is used often like a kitchen or bathroom, you know that it can be a major inconvenience. You could end up cooking meals outside or having everyone in the family getting ready in one bathroom. So if you already know you will be doing some remodeling, consider doing so prior to move-in. Also, before moving forward with your remodel, be sure to discuss with your contractor if your home improvement project will require a building permit.

Source: Redfin Blog

Posted on

The Ultimate Guide to Relocating – Before, During, and After the Move

So, you’ve decided to take an exciting new step in your life and relocate. You may be feeling stressed and overwhelmed with the scheduling, packing, and expenses that go into moving – after all, relocating is considered one of the top stressors a person will experience in their life. Whether you’re relocating for a job, moving closer to family, or just wanting to start over, important steps in the relocation process can often be overlooked. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to relocating, including steps to take before, during, and after the move.

relocating graphic

Before Relocating


Learn about your new city/town

Become better acquainted with your new community by researching the local culture, weather trends, cost of living, public transportation, while also finding out how much house you can afford in different neighborhoods. If you have any relatives or friends who live in the city, reach out to them for any suggestions or advice. Familiarizing yourself with the new area will help you begin thinking like a local in no time.

Find the best neighborhood for you

The best way to truly get a feel for every neighborhood is by simply visiting and spending time in each one. While you’re exploring, keep in mind what qualities are important to you and don’t hesitate to jot down the pros and cons of the area. Perhaps you value restaurants and shops within walking distance, parks and schools nearby for convenience, or just the quirkiness of a quaint neighborhood. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you’ll be able to compare information like median home prices, walkability, crime rates, and school reviews and rankings.

Lean on your realtor 

It’s the real estate agent’s job to support you through the homebuying process, so take advantage of their neighborhood expertise and industry knowledge. Your agent will be aware of housing market trends, potential red flags, or anything else you may have concerns about. When it’s time to make an offer, they will help you make a good offer price and assist with the negotiating process. Buying a home is a big decision and can be an emotional process, but working with an agent you trust will give you the support you need.

Budget for moving costs

People have a tendency to underestimate just how much relocating will cost. Expenses can add up quickly, and you could end up way over your budget before realizing it. Prepare financially by taking the time to create a list of all expenses throughout your moving process, and any purchases you’ll likely make immediately after. To avoid any surprises, you may also consider including potential costs you may incur during the move. This can include anything from cleaning and repairs, moving and storage fees, child or pet care, utility set-up, and additional furniture.

Research storage options

If you are choosing to move some of your belongings in stages or looking to store items for an extended period of time, you’ll need to consider all of your options and factor in storage costs. Research storage companies and compare rates while keeping in mind the length of time you’ll be storing items, the size of the storage space, and any additional services offered, such as central air/heat and surveillance. Or maybe you’re interested in the portable storage option, a popular alternative among those storing belongings for a short duration. The company will drop the container off and once you’re done packing your belongings, you have the option of storing the container at the facility or shipping it to your specified location.

Research moving companies

Hiring a reliable moving company to do the heavy lifting can relieve some of your stress, and generally results in a safer moving process. Moving companies typically offer different levels of services – full service, basic service, and specialty services – so it’s important to weigh the prices and options when deciding who to work with. Full service will handle everything from packing, moving, and unpacking. If you opt for basic service, you’ll be responsible for packing and unpacking, while the movers will handle transporting your items. It’s true you’ll save money upfront by handling everything yourself, but you may find that it takes significant time and effort.

Ask for a quote in writing, and don’t forget to double-check customer reviews, licenses, and credentials – knowing you’re working with a reputable company will provide peace of mind. Even if you’re relocating from Sacramento to New York City, their job is to transport your belongings from point A to point B safely.

Decorate with purpose

With the help of an interior designer, you’ll get expert guidance and can make your new space feel like home even prior to moving in. Examine the floor plan or blueprint to find what works best with the layout of your new home, and begin creating your masterpiece. Not only will you get amazing results and save time, but your interior designer can help your vision come to life while staying under budget. Moving into a space that already has a touch of your style can even support an easier transition.

beautifully decorated kitchen

Update your mailing address and retrieve important documents

Before relocating, remember to forward your mail and notify banks and credit cards of your new address. If you have kids, inform the school district of your upcoming move, and request transcripts in advance for a smooth transfer. Don’t forget to retrieve medical records, and cancel any subscriptions or memberships – anything from gym memberships and magazine subscriptions to utilities, electricity, cable, and internet. Consider creating a moving checklist to revisit while you’re packing and on moving day.

Organize and Declutter

Set aside a binder for move-related paperwork so you’re able to access any documents quickly. Before packing, remain organized by creating a detailed inventory of your belongings noting the condition, location, and size of the items. This will help you get a better idea of how much you’ll actually be moving and if any belongings require specialty packing services because of their size or fragility. Also, if your belongings are damaged during the move and you need to submit an insurance claim, an inventory list will come in handy. You can also begin to sort through your belongings and decide what items you’ll keep, discard, or donate. If you’re downsizing, don’t be shy when giving items away – consider organizing a garage sale or donating to a charity. 

Hire a cleaning service

Before getting settled into your new home, save time and start fresh by hiring a cleaning company to clean your new home before all your belongings are moved in. Sometimes the previous owners of your new home hasn’t done a thorough clean and are not required to, so paying for a cleaning service will allow you to focus on packing and moving safely while the cleaners take care of tidying up your new home. They’ll be sure to leave your home spotless, cleaning everything in and out of sight, and especially those hard-to-reach corners.

Sell your home

Before listing your home on the market, be proactive by hiring a home inspector, then make any repairs or minor updates necessary. The time you would save sure beats having to do repairs during the negotiation phase when the homebuyers hire out their own home inspector. Also, research the U.S. housing market and homes that have recently sold in your area to get an idea of what your home is worth and how competitively you should price your home. This will just be an estimate, so don’t forget to hire a professional to get your home appraised. Make your home stand out by hiring a cleaning service and working with a staging company to prepare your home for professional photos and open houses. Staging your home to sell with professional listing photos will, on average, sell for more. 

During the Move


Pack strategically and stay organized

It’s common to begin packing and realize that you’ve accumulated far more than you’ve ever imagined. In this situation, staying organized and creating a plan of attack is essential. While tossing everything into uncategorized boxes may be the quickest option, unpacking identical boxes will create unnecessary work. Instead, label your boxes strategically using stickers, a numbering system, or even color-coding.

About three weeks before relocating, pack non-essential items that you won’t be needing during the move, such as decorations and books. One week before moving day, begin packing the essentials, with the exception of enough plates and silverware for everyone in your household. Be sure to label “open first ” on a few of your boxes containing bedding, toiletries, towels, and tools, and a “valuables” box including birth certificates, fragile belongings, and passports.

orange tabby cat in moving box

Drop kids and pets off at day-care

Heavy furniture, tools, and sharp objects are safety hazards for kids. So if family and friends don’t live nearby, arrange for child-care and/or pet-care on the day you’re packing for your move. This will help reduce the number of distractions and stress, and you’ll be able to focus your attention on ensuring a smooth transition.

Collect receipts of all transactions

If you’re starting a new job or relocating with your current employer, the company may offer relocation assistance helping to cover any expenses you’ve incurred during the move. Depending on the agreed-upon contract, the relocation assistance could cover things like gas, storage unit rentals, and moving services, so it’s important to save all of your receipts from the moving process to confirm the transactions.

Check-in with yourself

It’s common for people to experience moving anxiety and relocation depression, especially when relocating. We tend to underestimate the toll moving can have on our bodies, physically and mentally. Activities like napping, journaling, exercising, and refueling with food and drink can change your mood and give your body the break it needs. Your health comes first so be sure to listen to your body and recharge when you need to. On moving day, don’t hesitate to ask for additional help from family and friends.

Settling into Your New Home


Unpack

If you’ve labeled your boxes and can identify the contents of each, unpacking should be a breeze. Be sure to check all boxes and furniture for any damages associated with relocating, especially valuables and appliances such as the stove, dishwasher, washer or dryer. Refer back to your inventory list to make sure nothing was lost in the transition. To avoid becoming overwhelmed when you’re unpacking, focus on one room at a time, and if possible, even one box at a time. 

Perform a general safety check

Even if you hired a home inspector during the homebuying process, it’s important to perform a safety check throughout your new home. Change locks on the doors, be sure all windows lock, and perhaps look into installing a new security system. Other precautions include checking the electrical system and water pipes, the fire and smoke alarms, and the air filters and HVAC systems.

Register to vote and update your driver’s license

Visit the DMV with a couple of forms of identification – like your current driver’s license, social security number, and proof of residency – to obtain a new state driver’s license. Pay attention to time restrictions as some states require you to update your driver’s license within a certain time-frame. You may be able to kill two birds with one stone by registering to vote while at the DMV. Otherwise, register online or visit the local town hall to update your voter registration.

Find new services and professionals

Find new healthcare providers, including a new dentist, doctor, veterinarian, day-care, and optometrist. Research different options to find one that is best for you and your family’s needs. When you’ve chosen, keep the contact information handy, and make sure all family members know where these numbers are located.  

Contact insurance companies

Insurance provides financial security and peace-of-mind in case an emergency happens, so confirm that you’re still covered under your current policies. If not, work with an insurance agent for new house, auto, and health insurance policies. More than likely you’ll be required to get new homeowner’s insurance, or at least update your current information on the existing policy. 

Explore the neighborhood and meet new friends

Get a better sense of your surroundings by walking, biking, or driving around the area. This is a good way to find the nearest grocery stores, parks, libraries, and pharmacies. And once you’re all settled, introduce yourself to your neighbors. Ring their doorbell and simply say hello, partake in neighborhood gatherings, or even host a housewarming party.

park in the fall

Check-in with your kids

Moving can be tough on kids and could possibly affect their mental health. They may have concerns of their own that you’ll need to talk through with them – like their first day at the new school, leaving their friends, or missing their previous home. Explain that the feeling of uncertainty is only temporary, and illustrate the move as a positive shift. Make sure your kids are comfortable in the new spot, maybe even unpack and decorate their room first. Stay consistent with any daily routines they’ve developed and don’t forget to stay positive so your children will too.

No matter your reasoning to move, relocating is no doubt a stressful task, but staying organized, planning ahead, and using your resources can help. Follow this guide so you can focus on what is important, enjoying your new adventure.

Source: Redfin Blog

Posted on

The Ultimate Guide to Relocating – Before, During, and After the Move

So, you’ve decided to take an exciting new step in your life and relocate. You may be feeling stressed and overwhelmed with the scheduling, packing, and expenses that go into moving – after all, relocating is considered one of the top stressors a person will experience in their life. Whether you’re relocating for a job, moving closer to family, or just wanting to start over, important steps in the relocation process can often be overlooked. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to relocating, including steps to take before, during, and after the move.

relocating graphic

Before Relocating


Learn about your new city/town

Become better acquainted with your new community by researching the local culture, weather trends, cost of living, public transportation, while also finding out how much house you can afford in different neighborhoods. If you have any relatives or friends who live in the city, reach out to them for any suggestions or advice. Familiarizing yourself with the new area will help you begin thinking like a local in no time.

Find the best neighborhood for you

The best way to truly get a feel for every neighborhood is by simply visiting and spending time in each one. While you’re exploring, keep in mind what qualities are important to you and don’t hesitate to jot down the pros and cons of the area. Perhaps you value restaurants and shops within walking distance, parks and schools nearby for convenience, or just the quirkiness of a quaint neighborhood. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you’ll be able to compare information like median home prices, walkability, crime rates, and school reviews and rankings.

Lean on your realtor 

It’s the real estate agent’s job to support you through the homebuying process, so take advantage of their neighborhood expertise and industry knowledge. Your agent will be aware of housing market trends, potential red flags, or anything else you may have concerns about. When it’s time to make an offer, they will help you make a good offer price and assist with the negotiating process. Buying a home is a big decision and can be an emotional process, but working with an agent you trust will give you the support you need.

Budget for moving costs

People have a tendency to underestimate just how much relocating will cost. Expenses can add up quickly, and you could end up way over your budget before realizing it. Prepare financially by taking the time to create a list of all expenses throughout your moving process, and any purchases you’ll likely make immediately after. To avoid any surprises, you may also consider including potential costs you may incur during the move. This can include anything from cleaning and repairs, moving and storage fees, child or pet care, utility set-up, and additional furniture.

Research storage options

If you are choosing to move some of your belongings in stages or looking to store items for an extended period of time, you’ll need to consider all of your options and factor in storage costs. Research storage companies and compare rates while keeping in mind the length of time you’ll be storing items, the size of the storage space, and any additional services offered, such as central air/heat and surveillance. Or maybe you’re interested in the portable storage option, a popular alternative among those storing belongings for a short duration. The company will drop the container off and once you’re done packing your belongings, you have the option of storing the container at the facility or shipping it to your specified location.

Research moving companies

Hiring a reliable moving company to do the heavy lifting can relieve some of your stress, and generally results in a safer moving process. Moving companies typically offer different levels of services – full service, basic service, and specialty services – so it’s important to weigh the prices and options when deciding who to work with. Full service will handle everything from packing, moving, and unpacking. If you opt for basic service, you’ll be responsible for packing and unpacking, while the movers will handle transporting your items. It’s true you’ll save money upfront by handling everything yourself, but you may find that it takes significant time and effort.

Ask for a quote in writing, and don’t forget to double-check customer reviews, licenses, and credentials – knowing you’re working with a reputable company will provide peace of mind. Even if you’re relocating from Sacramento to New York City, their job is to transport your belongings from point A to point B safely.

Decorate with purpose

With the help of an interior designer, you’ll get expert guidance and can make your new space feel like home even prior to moving in. Examine the floor plan or blueprint to find what works best with the layout of your new home, and begin creating your masterpiece. Not only will you get amazing results and save time, but your interior designer can help your vision come to life while staying under budget. Moving into a space that already has a touch of your style can even support an easier transition.

beautifully decorated kitchen

Update your mailing address and retrieve important documents

Before relocating, remember to forward your mail and notify banks and credit cards of your new address. If you have kids, inform the school district of your upcoming move, and request transcripts in advance for a smooth transfer. Don’t forget to retrieve medical records, and cancel any subscriptions or memberships – anything from gym memberships and magazine subscriptions to utilities, electricity, cable, and internet. Consider creating a moving checklist to revisit while you’re packing and on moving day.

Organize and Declutter

Set aside a binder for move-related paperwork so you’re able to access any documents quickly. Before packing, remain organized by creating a detailed inventory of your belongings noting the condition, location, and size of the items. This will help you get a better idea of how much you’ll actually be moving and if any belongings require specialty packing services because of their size or fragility. Also, if your belongings are damaged during the move and you need to submit an insurance claim, an inventory list will come in handy. You can also begin to sort through your belongings and decide what items you’ll keep, discard, or donate. If you’re downsizing, don’t be shy when giving items away – consider organizing a garage sale or donating to a charity. 

Hire a cleaning service

Before getting settled into your new home, save time and start fresh by hiring a cleaning company to clean your new home before all your belongings are moved in. Sometimes the previous owners of your new home hasn’t done a thorough clean and are not required to, so paying for a cleaning service will allow you to focus on packing and moving safely while the cleaners take care of tidying up your new home. They’ll be sure to leave your home spotless, cleaning everything in and out of sight, and especially those hard-to-reach corners.

Sell your home

Before listing your home on the market, be proactive by hiring a home inspector, then make any repairs or minor updates necessary. The time you would save sure beats having to do repairs during the negotiation phase when the homebuyers hire out their own home inspector. Also, research the U.S. housing market and homes that have recently sold in your area to get an idea of what your home is worth and how competitively you should price your home. This will just be an estimate, so don’t forget to hire a professional to get your home appraised. Make your home stand out by hiring a cleaning service and working with a staging company to prepare your home for professional photos and open houses. Staging your home to sell with professional listing photos will, on average, sell for more. 

During the Move


Pack strategically and stay organized

It’s common to begin packing and realize that you’ve accumulated far more than you’ve ever imagined. In this situation, staying organized and creating a plan of attack is essential. While tossing everything into uncategorized boxes may be the quickest option, unpacking identical boxes will create unnecessary work. Instead, label your boxes strategically using stickers, a numbering system, or even color-coding.

About three weeks before relocating, pack non-essential items that you won’t be needing during the move, such as decorations and books. One week before moving day, begin packing the essentials, with the exception of enough plates and silverware for everyone in your household. Be sure to label “open first ” on a few of your boxes containing bedding, toiletries, towels, and tools, and a “valuables” box including birth certificates, fragile belongings, and passports.

orange tabby cat in moving box

Drop kids and pets off at day-care

Heavy furniture, tools, and sharp objects are safety hazards for kids. So if family and friends don’t live nearby, arrange for child-care and/or pet-care on the day you’re packing for your move. This will help reduce the number of distractions and stress, and you’ll be able to focus your attention on ensuring a smooth transition.

Collect receipts of all transactions

If you’re starting a new job or relocating with your current employer, the company may offer relocation assistance helping to cover any expenses you’ve incurred during the move. Depending on the agreed-upon contract, the relocation assistance could cover things like gas, storage unit rentals, and moving services, so it’s important to save all of your receipts from the moving process to confirm the transactions.

Check-in with yourself

It’s common for people to experience moving anxiety and relocation depression, especially when relocating. We tend to underestimate the toll moving can have on our bodies, physically and mentally. Activities like napping, journaling, exercising, and refueling with food and drink can change your mood and give your body the break it needs. Your health comes first so be sure to listen to your body and recharge when you need to. On moving day, don’t hesitate to ask for additional help from family and friends.

Settling into Your New Home


Unpack

If you’ve labeled your boxes and can identify the contents of each, unpacking should be a breeze. Be sure to check all boxes and furniture for any damages associated with relocating, especially valuables and appliances such as the stove, dishwasher, washer or dryer. Refer back to your inventory list to make sure nothing was lost in the transition. To avoid becoming overwhelmed when you’re unpacking, focus on one room at a time, and if possible, even one box at a time. 

Perform a general safety check

Even if you hired a home inspector during the homebuying process, it’s important to perform a safety check throughout your new home. Change locks on the doors, be sure all windows lock, and perhaps look into installing a new security system. Other precautions include checking the electrical system and water pipes, the fire and smoke alarms, and the air filters and HVAC systems.

Register to vote and update your driver’s license

Visit the DMV with a couple of forms of identification – like your current driver’s license, social security number, and proof of residency – to obtain a new state driver’s license. Pay attention to time restrictions as some states require you to update your driver’s license within a certain time-frame. You may be able to kill two birds with one stone by registering to vote while at the DMV. Otherwise, register online or visit the local town hall to update your voter registration.

Find new services and professionals

Find new healthcare providers, including a new dentist, doctor, veterinarian, day-care, and optometrist. Research different options to find one that is best for you and your family’s needs. When you’ve chosen, keep the contact information handy, and make sure all family members know where these numbers are located.  

Contact insurance companies

Insurance provides financial security and peace-of-mind in case an emergency happens, so confirm that you’re still covered under your current policies. If not, work with an insurance agent for new house, auto, and health insurance policies. More than likely you’ll be required to get new homeowner’s insurance, or at least update your current information on the existing policy. 

Explore the neighborhood and meet new friends

Get a better sense of your surroundings by walking, biking, or driving around the area. This is a good way to find the nearest grocery stores, parks, libraries, and pharmacies. And once you’re all settled, introduce yourself to your neighbors. Ring their doorbell and simply say hello, partake in neighborhood gatherings, or even host a housewarming party.

park in the fall

Check-in with your kids

Moving can be tough on kids and could possibly affect their mental health. They may have concerns of their own that you’ll need to talk through with them – like their first day at the new school, leaving their friends, or missing their previous home. Explain that the feeling of uncertainty is only temporary, and illustrate the move as a positive shift. Make sure your kids are comfortable in the new spot, maybe even unpack and decorate their room first. Stay consistent with any daily routines they’ve developed and don’t forget to stay positive so your children will too.

No matter your reasoning to move, relocating is no doubt a stressful task, but staying organized, planning ahead, and using your resources can help. Follow this guide so you can focus on what is important, enjoying your new adventure.

Source: Redfin Blog

Posted on

9 Ways to Attract Millennial Homebuyers

Millennials are currently the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. and will continue to revolutionize the housing market for years to come. As more millennials pursue homeownership, it is important to revitalize your home in order to attract multiple offers from this surging demographic. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable upgrades and simple ways to spruce up your home to appeal to millennial homebuyers and sell your home quickly. 

1. Updating Your Kitchen and Bathroom

The majority of younger buyers looking to see if they can afford to purchase their first home. They most likely won’t have the money or time to redo a kitchen and bathroom. Millennial homebuyers will be looking for an updated kitchen. A kitchen that includes new countertops, fresh cabinets, and hardwood floors. Updating your cabinets is a great way to spruce up your kitchen, or even give it a whole new look. Younger buyers are also looking for a bathroom with new tiling and modern fixtures. By hiring a team of professionals, and putting some money toward a kitchen and bathroom remodel, you can attract more millennial homebuyers to your property. Not only that, but you’ll probably recoup a lot of your costs in the selling price of your home. 

2. Creating an Open Floor Plan

Millennials are attracted to large, open spaces. Larger spaces that can be used to entertain guests or as multi-functional rooms are favorable with millennials. Essentially, they don’t want to feel like their family or friends have to be sectioned off in different parts of the home. If you are already planning on remodeling your kitchen, you may consider tearing down a wall or two to create a more open look. 

3. Choosing Low-Maintenance Materials

Millennial homebuyers are interested in low-maintenance homes. They are not looking for a fixer-upper the way Gen Zers and other past generations were. Millennial homebuyers don’t want to spend their time on significant repairs, home-maintenance or even cleaning their homes. They prefer things that will last and are easy to maintain. Consider choosing low maintenance materials. These materials include quartz countertops, full-sheet materials like back pained glass, and quartz backsplashes to eliminate grout lines for easy cleaning. As well as installing vinyl, sealed concrete or hardwood floors in your kitchen and bathroom to provide the new homeowners with durable, easy to clean surfaces. 

4. Adding Smart Home Technology 

Adding technology to the home will excite millennial buyers into purchasing your home. Many millennial homebuyers are interested in looking at homes that can manage all their home devices from one place. A smart home ecosystem has many benefits. Including, remote control functions, increased home security, and increased energy efficiency. These functions will allow homeowners to conveniently control their home from anywhere as well as reduce their energy bills.

5. Installing Energy Efficient Appliances 

Millennials care about the environment and will even pay extra to protect it. Younger homebuyers want appliances designed to help reduce power consumption, reduce environmental impact, and contribute to a healthier planet. 75 percent of millennial homebuyers want energy Star-rated appliances in their homes. They also want these appliances to save them money and have the latest features and technology to make everyday tasks easier. 

6. Adding a Home Office 

Creating a space that can double as a home office is intriguing to many millennial homebuyers. Many do commute to work, especially if you work in a big city like New York. But there is also an increasing number of millennials working from home at least a couple days a week. Creating this space allows these millennial homebuyers to have a designated area where they will be able to work from home easily and comfortably. 

7. Painting your Home 

If you need to freshen up your paint, and want to appeal to millennial homebuyers, opt for neutral colors on walls, trim, and baseboards. Colors such as light grey, cream, and other soft neutrals are preferred. If you have children and their rooms are all shades of bright green, blue, and pink consider painting those to match the rest of your home. Having this neutral base will make your home easy to stage and design. It also will bring a more simple, sophisticated look that millennial homebuyers find alluring.

8. Purchasing a Home Warranty 

You may also want to consider purchasing a home warranty for your buyer. Many home warranty companies offer “listing coverage” that you can easily turn into a year-long plan for a homebuyer to repair or replace worn down systems and appliances. Many millennial homebuyers find it enticing to have a company do the groundwork of calling a contractor and scheduling repairs for them.

9. Highlighting Proximity and Walkability to Market Your Home

A “walkable community” means a home is near public transportation, grocery stores, restaurants, local businesses, and public services. Homes receive a Walk Score based on how many errands can be accomplished on foot. Millennial homebuyers are very interested in homes that have a great location. 56 percent of millennials and 46 percent of baby boomers prefer walkable communities with a range of housing amidst local businesses and public services. If your home is considered walkable, you’ll want to market it that way. By doing so you will attract more buyer interest, and you’ll potentially be able to price your home higher. 

As time moves forward, millennials are beginning to make up a bigger population of homebuyers than ever before. As the playing field of buyers changes, it isn’t a bad idea to update your home to cater to the larger homebuying demographic. Following these tips can help provide you with more bids from potential buyers, and possibly sell your home quickly and for more money. 

Source: Redfin Blog