Jeffrey Harrington's Blog
Moving to a new home is difficult for everyone. Children, pets, not even you are immune to the stresses of adjusting to a new life. But moving can also be a great experience. They can help a family grow closer together, discover new interests and hobbies, and create new memories together.
In this article, we’re going to give you some moving tips that will help you and your family make the most of your decision to relocate, and maybe give you a new optimism to endure the stressful process of moving.
Making a move easier on your pets
When our pets are sick or upset it can be heartbreaking for us. We can’t use our words to explain that everything will be okay. Generally, pets are resilient and can often adapt easily to a new environment. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to help make it easier for them.
To introduce your pet to their new home, take them for a visit before the move, if possible. Let them sniff around for a while and get comfortable with the place, assuring them that there is no danger there.
On moving day, have your pet stay with a relative or pet-sitter for the day so they don’t get lost or trampled on during the hectic moving process.
Once you’re all moved in, let your pet explore the new home freely, making sure their toys, bedding, or litter box are all within their reach.
Helping kids cope with a move
A move can be particularly stressful for children. Oftentimes moving homes means changing schools, leaving old friends and making new ones.
Before you even begin looking at homes, try to get your child involved in the process so they don’t feel powerless. Encourage them by showing them fun things to do in their new town, like nice parks or their favorite stores. Get them involved in planning out their new room, like how it will be painted and decorated.
In terms of school, try to time your move so that your child can make some friends before the school year begins. Plus, explain to them how easy it is to stay in touch with old friends through email, Facebook, or whatever method is appropriate for their age. Find out if there are children in your new neighborhood, or a club or sport that your child can join to help them make new friends.
Don’t neglect your own anxiety
While it’s important to help our family deal with the new move, it’s also vital to take care of our own needs. Make sure you spend time on your own interests and try to avoid isolating yourself from others during this stressful time.
If you’re starting a new job, take note of whether or not you’re bringing that stress home with you and try to set aside time for yourself to do the things you like to help you unwind. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, be sure to reach out to your spouse, a friend, and/or a counselor.
If you and your family take the time to help each other, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a fun move and enjoy your new home together.
Have you ever watched a home television show and found yourself admiring the size of a kitchen? It’s easy to get drawn to tall, wide cherry wood kitchen cabinets, the type of cabinets that go from just below the ceiling to a foot above the kitchen sink. Before you know it, you’re actually counting the cabinets. You may also start to wish that your home had those very same kitchen cabinets.
Then, there’s the trendy kitchen island, stylish marble designs adding a welcomed décor to a kitchen. Wide bay windows bring in lots of natural sunlight. Rare ceramic or tile floor colors and designs truly set a kitchen apart, as do spacious pantries that are hidden behind a simple kitchen door.
These habits could make you hate your kitchen
Keep watching those home television shows and you might miss a lot of good in your house. You might start creating a mental list of “what I wish I had in my house” items. One of those items could quickly become the wish for a larger kitchen. But, a larger kitchen may not solve your space and design wants.
Certain personal habits could make a large kitchen too small for you. What you do regularly in your kitchen could also tarnish the appeal of the room. Among those habits are:
- Not taking full advantage of the existing storage space in your kitchen – Loosely stack pots, pans, kitchen utensils and food boxes in your kitchen and you could lose a quarter of the space in your kitchen cabinets.
- Using your kitchen pantry as a place to store your washer and dryer – In addition to making your kitchen feel too small, if you put your washer and dryer in your pantry, your kitchen could feel too hot and stuffy during spring and summer months.
- Leaving expired or outdated canned foods in cabinets and cupboards
- Using your kitchen counters as a storage area for automotive, household cleaning and reading products
- Piling dirty or recently washed laundry on kitchen counters or on the floor in kitchen corners
- Allowing pets to turn your kitchen into a play area
- Limiting your dining room to a place that you only use during major holidays
Wide, open kitchen floor space gives you more room to cook, especially if you love to cook from scratch, using plenty of earth grown seasonings, spices and grains. This space can seem hard to come by if your house has a small kitchen. Yet, moving may not completely solve your kitchen space challenges, especially if you fill empty space at your house with decorations, boxes and clutter.
Do this and even a bigger kitchen may feel too small. Similar to how people who live in small homes learn to make the most of each square foot of space at their residence, train yourself to value and get the most from your entire kitchen. Make smart kitchen storage decisions. Prepare meals in your dining room and cook them in the kitchen. By not limiting cooking to your kitchen, you can see how your current kitchen can meet all of your food preparation needs.
Although your condo has served you well for many years, now may be a great time to look to move out of your condo and into a new home.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why you might want to sell your condo, including:
1. Your condo is too small.
Your condo was large and spacious when you initially moved into it a few years ago. However, as you have accumulated items and your family has grown, your condo now lacks the space you need.
If you find that your condo is too small for your family, there's no need to worry. In many instances, a condo offers a great starter home, and it is common for people to look to upgrade from a condo to a house.
Lucky for you, interest in condos is rampant across the United States. This means you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your condo if you ever decide to sell it.
2. You want to capitalize on a seller's market.
The housing market fluctuates constantly. As such, when a seller's market arrives, it may prove to be the best possible time to maximize the value of your condo.
In a seller's market, there is a shortage of quality properties available and an abundance of homebuyers who are searching for their dream residences. Meanwhile, if you own a top-notch condo, you may be able to add it to the real estate market and receive a hefty sum for your property.
To learn more about how a seller's market works, consult with a real estate agent. This real estate professional will be able to educate you about the ins and outs of a seller's market. And if you decide to list your condo, your real estate agent will be able to help you price it competitively from the get-go.
3. You want greater flexibility to complete home improvement projects.
Let's face it – your homeowners association (HOA) does an excellent job to maintain your home's exterior, but it would be great to have the flexibility to complete a home exterior project without the HOA's approval.
Condo living involves trade-offs. Typically, condo owners will pay HOA fees that guarantee walkways are shoveled in winter, lawns are cut in spring and summer and other day-to-day home maintenance tasks are performed regularly. On the other hand, if you want to repaint your home's exterior, you'll likely need the HOA's approval to do so. And if you decide to add a fresh coat of paint to your home's exterior on your own, you will probably receive HOA fines and penalties.
As a homeowner, you'll never have to worry about asking an HOA's permission to update your house's exterior. Instead, you can paint your home any color you'd like, plant a garden in your front yard, install a swimming pool in your backyard and much more any time you choose.
Ready to add your condo to the real estate market? Employ a real estate agent, and you can boost your chances of optimizing the value of your condo.
Your mortgage isn’t the only expense that can put a hole in your wallet. There are several hidden costs that come with owning a home. If you’re not aware of these costs, they can sneak up on you and quickly put you in a position where you can no longer afford your home. However, if you are caught by surprise when these bills arrive, there are seven steps that you can take to reduce the costs.
7 easy ways to save money as a homeowner
Utility bills are one of the biggest expenses that you’re responsible for as a homeowner. If you’re like many Americans who own a house, included among your utility bills are electric, telephone, gas, water and cable bills. By themselves, these bills equally add up to $250 to $300 a month.
Save money on utility bills by cutting out a service that you don’t use or moving to a less expensive service provider. Other ways to save money on utility bills include moving to a lower priced telephone package and only paying for cable channels that you actually use.
Here are six more ways to save on home expenses:
- Water your lawn during the evening. It helps the earth to absorb water better, eliminating the need to use more water during the heat of the day to keep your grass from turning brown.
- Perform regular maintenance on your house. Clean the gutters and repair cracks in your driveway and sidewalk when you see them instead of letting these damages get so big that they cost you hundreds of dollars to fix.
- Rid of pests immediately. Pests can chew through your walls and damage furniture.
- Work with your homeowner’s association to have them care for property around your home. Don’t take these projects on yourself if you don’t have to.
- Bundle your homeowner’s insurance with your auto and life insurance. Ask the insurance company agent to give you a discount based on where you work and how long you have been a customer. Some employer’s offer discounts on insurance to their employees.
- Install your own security alarm system. Depending on where you live, a security system that you buy from a housewares store might do the trick.
Another way to save on the cost of owning a house
Regardless of where you live, property taxes will probably rise at some point. The best way to save on property taxes is during the home buying process. Ask your real estate agent to find you a house that’s located in a thriving area that doesn’t have an enormous property tax attached to it. Let your real estate agent do the legwork for you. Don’t just look for a house that’s located in an area that has reasonable property tax rates. Go with a house that’s in an area that doesn’t experience frequent property tax increases.
If you’re a first time homeowner, you might be shocked at the hidden costs of home ownership. The sooner you familiarize yourself with the additional costs,the sooner you can prepare to meet the expenses. Knowing about the hidden costs of owning a house could also prevent you from getting in over your head and taking on more mortgage than you can afford.