Nov. 30, 2020

Why You Should Work With a Buyers Agent

The home buying process can be exciting and fun, but also complicated, stressful, and overwhelming. Maximize your chance of success and minimize the amount of time spent trying to keep track of all the details by working with a buyer’s agent. There is a plethora of benefits to using a buyer’s agent, and here are our top four!

They can find the right properties for you. When starting your search, generally you will already have a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your new home. Your buyer’s agent will have access to extensive search resources and all the new listings hitting the market, so they can ensure you are looking at homes that meet most, if not all, of your criteria.

They know the background. Experienced buyer’s agents have a breadth of knowledge on different neighborhoods in the area. They can let you know what similar homes in the area have recently sold for, if there are any new commercial projects on the horizon, what the nearby schools have to offer, and more.

They are in your corner during negotiations. A buyer’s agent is your advocate when it comes time to put in an offer and negotiate. They have your best interest in mind, understand what you are looking for, and can help you get the best price and terms for the home.

They provide trusted recommendations. Buyer’s agents that have been in the business for several years have likely built strong relationships with professionals in other parts of the industry. Turn to your agent when you are ready to find a home inspector, moving company, lender, and more.

The Fort McMurray Real Estate Group understands the importance of connecting with people. Our caring and honest approach combined with our extensive knowledge of the rapidly changing market helps to guide our clients through the home buying and selling process.  If you have been thinking of buying, contact us and find out how we can help get you into your new home!

Nov. 16, 2020

Buying Your First Home? Know These 3 Things

We love working with first-time home buyers. Helping you find your first home, learn the home buying process, and guiding you from house-hunting to move-in day gives us the warm fuzzies. Here are three things you should know before you start looking.

  1. Work with one real estate agent. It’s best to have one agent who is helping you with your search. Your agent will be dedicated to finding you the right property, and then negotiating on all the terms of your transaction on your behalf. You want that person to get to know you and your family’s needs and preferences, rather than starting over with someone new each time you go look at a house. Keep in mind that the agent who shows you a home is, ethically, the one who should continue the transaction. Also, when you call an agent from a yard sign or advertisement, you are dealing with the seller’s agent. While most real estate professionals are adept at handling both sides of a transaction professionally, it makes more sense to deal with someone you have already taken time to get to know and who has your best interests at heart as the buyer. You aren’t paying your agent; unless otherwise stated, he or she is paid by the seller upon closing. Still, you are hiring someone to work for you, so feel free to interview multiple agents and pick the one that you feel fits you best.
  2. You need to be pre-approved for financing. Unless you are paying cash for your home, you do need to talk to a lender before you start looking at houses. One reason is that it helps you set an accurate price range for house hunting. Looking at homes that you can’t afford to make an offer on just leads to frustration. A mortgage lender will not only tell you what amount you can borrow, but also your projected monthly payment, your closing costs, and what you should or shouldn’t do with your finances to maintain your eligibility throughout the lending process. Another reason for having an up-to-date pre-approval in hand is so you don’t lose out to another buyer. If you find the perfect house, you will want to get an offer in before someone else gets it, and that pre-approval letter must accompany your offer. We would be happy to provide you with names of mortgage lenders in our area who have provided excellent service to our clients.
  3. There are some up-front costs. When you find the right house, and you and the seller have agreed on the price and terms and have signed the contract, you will first need to make your escrow, or “good faith” deposit. This is money you are risking if you back out of the deal for reasons not protected in the contract. Usually it is between 1% and 5% of the sales price but can be more or less depending on what you and the seller agree to in the contract. Your agent will help you with this during negotiations. The escrow deposit counts towards the sales price.
    Next, you should have an inspection of the property done by a certified home inspector. This cost varies depending on the size, condition, age, and features of the home, but is usually a few hundred dollars. You will need to pay this at the time of service. You may elect to pay for other inspections based on the results of the initial inspection. For example, if the inspector notes an issue with the HVAC system, you may need to pay a service fee for an HVAC contractor to look at the system. You want to get as much information during your inspection period as you need to confidently move forward with the purchase.
    An appraisal and a survey of the property will be ordered, but these are usually added to your closing costs and not expected to be paid in advance. However, you may be asked to provide a credit card number to be charged in the event that the closing does not take place. We will guide through all of these steps throughout your home buying journey. Ready to get started? Give us a call!
Oct. 30, 2020

Our Top First Time Home Buyer FAQ’s Answered

Mortgage-Related

How do I know if it’s time to buy instead of rent?

If you know where you want to live, have a steady and secure income, and are ready for the responsibilities of homeownership, then it’s a great time to invest in property.

 

How much do I need to save up for a down payment?

A conventional loan down payment is usually 20% of the sales price, but other types of financing require as little as 3.5% to 15%. A mortgage lender can tell you what types of loans you qualify for.

 

How do I know if I qualify for a loan and how much I can afford?

Contact a mortgage lender to get pre-approval for a loan. The lender will ask you some basic questions about your income and debts and can tell you what amount you can be approved for, and how much your mortgage payments will be.

 

What does the lender need from me to give me a loan?

Usually, you are asked to provide your last two tax returns to show proof of income. You should also provide recent bank and credit card statements and proof of your current pay rate. You will also be asked for your social security number so they can run a credit check.

 

What’s the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified?

While often used interchangeably, these terms don’t mean the same thing. Pre-qualification is an estimate of what you may be approved for based only on the verbal information you provide. Pre-approval means the lender has verified your income and debt information and run a credit check.

 

How do I know which mortgage option is right for me?

Your mortgage lender is the best person to advise you on this question. Their products and qualifications change from time to time, so they would know best what products are available to meet your needs.

 

Searching for a Home

What should I do when I see a house online that I like?

Call your buyer’s agent: the agent you are working with to find your home. It’s best that you work with one real estate agent throughout your search because that person learns what you like and dislike and will invest a lot of time vetting properties for you. That person also represents your best interests only. When you call the agent advertising the home, you are dealing with the seller’s agent, so, while they can assist you, they are also trying to get the best price for the seller.

 

Can you show me a house if it’s not your listing?

Absolutely. As a buyer’s agents, we can show you any house listed in our MLS system, and we will contact FSBO sellers on your behalf. As mentioned above, working with us as your buyer’s agent ensures that your interests are protected.

 

How do we write an offer?

When you find the property you want to make an offer on, we will run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help you determine a fair offer amount. We will also guide you through the additional terms of the contract, such as the escrow amount, closing date, and any additional terms you want to be added to the offer. We will write the offer on a contract form and submit it to the seller’s agent.

 

What if I want to back out of a contract?

You always have the right to back out of the purchase, but you may lose your escrow deposit. If the contract is contingent on a property inspection, you usually have the right to cancel for any reason during the inspection period. Once the inspection period has passed, you cannot back out and keep your deposit unless the seller agrees, or an additional term has not been met.

 

What happens if there are other offers on the house I love?

If a seller receives multiple offers on their home, usually their agent will inform the buyer’s that multiple offers have been received and the buyers have another opportunity to alter their original offer to present their “highest and best” offer. Keep in mind that many factors may influence the seller in addition to the offer price, such as the down payment amount, closing date, and inspection terms.

 

What happens when my offer gets accepted?

Once both parties have agreed on all terms and signed the contract, your escrow deposit must be made and you should schedule the home inspection. Your lender will receive a copy of the contract and will begin processing your mortgage application.

 

We’re Under Contract!

What does “under contract” mean?

Under contract means that all parties have agreed on terms, have signed the contract, and the signed contract has been delivered to both buyer and seller. Payment of the escrow deposit is expected but is not a requirement to make a binding contract.

 

What is escrow?

The escrow money, escrow deposit, or good faith deposit is money that is offered with an offer, or as soon as an offer is accepted, to show the seller that you are serious about moving forward with the purchase of the home. Because you forfeit this deposit if you back out of the purchase for any reason not allowed for in the contract, the larger the escrow deposit, the more seriously your offer is taken.

 

Do I need an inspection?

We always recommend that you have a home inspection done. In the scheme of things, paying a few hundred dollars to have peace of mind that there are no hidden dangers or problems is well worth the money.

 

How much are inspections?

The cost of the home inspection depends on the size of the house and additional inspections requested, such as septic tank, insurance four-point (HVAC, plumbing, roof, and electrical,) wind mitigation, and radon. An average home inspection, without additional inspections, is about $300.

 

What if my loan doesn’t get approved?

If you have gone through the pre-approval process and have been forthcoming with all the information requested by your lender, it’s unlikely you will be turned down, but it does happen. Make sure you do not change jobs, purchase big-ticket items on credit, take out a car or boat loan, or open any other new credit accounts while your mortgage is being processed. If your loan does fall through, talk with your lender about changing to a different loan type.

 

When can I start moving?

When you have the keys! When you are financing your purchase, it takes four to six weeks for your loan to be processed. Once the lender gives the all-clear, closing is scheduled. You will sign your loan documents and both parties will sign documents transferring ownership to you. Unless other arrangements have been agreed upon by both parties, the sellers should have completely vacated the home when they sign the closing papers. You can have your belongings ready to move, and a moving company scheduled before you go to closing. At closing, you will receive the documentation you need to provide utility companies with proof of your new residence.

 

If you have been thinking of buying, contact us today! The Fort McMurray Real Estate Group understands the importance of connecting with people. Our caring and honest approach combined with our extensive knowledge of the rapidly changing market helps to guide our clients through the home buying process.

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 15, 2020

5 Reasons Why Fall is a Good Time to List Your Home

Thanking about selling your home but not sure if the fall is the right time of year? It’s actually a great time to put your home on the market. Here are some of the benefits of listing your home in the fall.

  • There is Less Competition. Typically spring and summer are high season for listing family homes, as people want to move over the summer before the new school year starts, so listings usually decrease in the fall, which means less competition and higher sales prices.
  • Great Weather for Buyers. When the heat of the summer is gone and cool crisp days return, people just want to be out and about more! That may be especially true this year, as we have all spent more time at home during COVID. With precautions put into place, buyers can safely visit your home this fall.
  • Fall Enhances Curb Appeal. Spend the summer taking care of any external repairs that need finishing, then you can celebrate fall by planting some fresh flowers, staging you or front porch with potted mums, pumpkins, and a fall wreath, and carry the theme inside with fall scented candles.
  • Buyers are Serious. Fall and winter buyers tend to be more serious. They may need to move by the end of the year, or they want to get settled before the holiday season. The demographics of buyers may shift towards younger professionals, first-time home buyers, empty nesters, and retired people, who have more flexibility over when they move than people with schoolchildren and are therefore more likely to be serious when they do go looking.
  • Increased Corporate Relocations. Similarly, companies that relocate employees regularly sometimes take advantage of the fall market, knowing they can get better deals on moving expenses. Companies also make tend to make personnel changes in the fall as that often corresponds with their new fiscal year.

Locally, inventory is low and buyers are highly motivated so if you have been thinking of selling, now is a great time!  Contact us for a free home evaluation! 

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 30, 2020

Fall Decorating on a Budget

There is something about decorating for fall that gives me the warm fuzzies! It may be the promise of cool, crisp evenings with brilliant sunsets, or the fact that fall decorating is all about creating a cozy atmosphere in your home. The fun thing about fall decorating is that it’s easy and inexpensive. Here are a few of my favorite fall decorating ideas that are easy to accomplish on a shoestring budget.

  1. Hit your local nursery, grocery store and fabric store for fall color. Place potted chrysanthemums, pansies, croton, purple fountain grass, or flowering kale on your front porch, in your foyer, or around your fireplace to add color. Tuck some mini pumpkins, Indian corn, or gourds around the base of the plants. Instead of spending money on pots, wrap the plant containers in fall print remnants from the fabric store.
  • Scavenge your yard for fresh ornamental cuttings. Put on your gardening gloves, grab your cutting shears and a basket, and head outside for some free décor. Fall leaves, small branches, ivy, ornamental grasses, flower blooms, pinecones, and seed pods make great accents. Arrange cuttings on your mantel or dining table with LED flameless candles and small gourds, or place branches and blooms in a large mason jar or vintage pitcher.
  • Get creative with pumpkins. There are lots of fun things you can do with a pumpkin besides carving a jack-o-lantern. Try painting some pumpkins in fall colors that coordinate with your home’s decor. Or wrap a few large pumpkins in light strands to light up your front porch. Make pumpkin topiaries by stacking three or four on top of a plantar, largest to smallest, and wrap then in garland or light strands.
  • Go antiquing for cheap accessories. Your local antique market or thrift stores can be a treasure trove for great fall finds. An old wagon, a wooden ladder, woven baskets, ceramic jugs, aluminum tubs, antique picture frames, straw hats, and vintage farm tools all have a rustic fall flavor.
  • More ideas for fabrics. You don’t need a sewing machine to make use of fall fabrics. Many fabric stores stock fall prints or have remnant pieces for quilting. Fold a couple of yards of plaid fleece like a throw blanket and drape it over a chair.  Wrap your throw pillows in a yard of a fall print and secure it with craft ribbon or safety pins. Fold the raw edges under and iron to make a simple table runner. Wind strips of fabric around a grapevine wreath or use them to tie big bows around your pumpkin stems.
Posted in Home Trends
Sept. 14, 2020

Seller’s FAQ’s

When is a good time to sell?

An easy answer is when it’s best for you! Obviously, if you are closing on a home purchase, moving for work, or want to get settled before the new school year, you have a timeline you need to work with. But, if you have the luxury of choosing when to sell, there are a few considerations. Spring is traditionally a time when there are more buyers looking, but you may also have more competition. Fall, and closer to the holidays, is a good time to get a higher price from buyers that need to move before the new year. Watching the market is always smart. A seller’s market, meaning there are more buyers than sellers, is always a good time to list.

What is my home worth?

Determining your home’s market value is one very important reason to use a real estate agent. I will do a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help you set the correct listing price. I look at recent sales of comparable homes, similar homes that are under contract, and homes that are listed in the same price range of your home. Then I compare features of the homes including the size, style, number of rooms, age of the home, amenities, condition, lot size and placement, and the location or neighborhood. (Note: the tax appraiser’s assessed value of your home has nothing to do with the market price.)

How do I determine the right listing price?

What your home is worth and what you should list it at are not the same. You always want to have room to negotiate with buyers, so setting a “firm” price to avoid the negotiation process is not usually a good strategy. Neither is setting a very high price to “see what we get.” Setting an unreasonably high price usually results in longer time on the market, which does not look good to buyers and will frustrate you.  Many sellers ask about the price that Zillow or other real estate websites give for their home. These are not reliable because these sites are only taking into consideration very general demographics.

How long will it take to sell my home?

The length of time on market will depend upon the market in your area at the time of listing and whether the home is priced realistically. I am always working to get you the highest price in the shortest time possible. On average, a home that is priced right goes under contract in two to three months. If you need to sell fast, that should be reflected in the list price.

How much will I pay in commissions?

The standard real estate commission is 6% of the sales price, split between the listing and selling sides. Commissions are not paid directly to the agents, but to our brokers. They collect fees for marketing your home on MLS and other websites, administrative costs, insurance fees, and required fees for storing your transaction records as required by law. My broker then pays me for representing you in the transaction. As your agent, I will work very hard to represent you ethically and with your best interest always the priority. If you have any questions about the commissions, I’d be happy to talk with you further.

What do I need to do to get my home ready to sell?

I recommend that you give the home a thorough cleaning– get rid of anything you aren’t taking with you, declutter surfaces, take care of repairs, make sure the major mechanical systems are in good operation, have the exterior pressure cleaned and the landscaping spruced up. You may also consider repainting if it is overdue or if the home is painted in dark or bold colors.

How will the showing process work?

We will decide together on how to handle showings. We can set parameters as to the hours and days that showings are allowed, and how to notify you in advance. Homes show best when the homeowner is not present, but if this is not possible, we will work together to create the best experience for the buyer that also fits your lifestyle. Usually we use an electronic lockbox that allows buyers’ agents to access your housekey. These boxes also notify me any time they are opened, so no one is accessing your home without my knowledge. If you have pets in the home that need to be tended to during showings, we will work out the best way to handle them. Furthermore, I will try to get feedback from each showing and pass that information back to you.

Should I consider FSBO or a flat fee listing service?

I strongly discourage those routes, not only because I want to help you sell your home, but also because they can be a huge burden and don’t get you the best price. Buyers know that when a home is sold FSBO or on a flat fee service, that the seller is paying little or no commissions, so they will offer less. Consider that when you sell your home by yourself, you will have to be present for all showings, and you won’t have someone to advocate for you through all the steps of the contract and closing process. If something goes wrong, you’ll want me in your corner to prevent problems or save the deal, so you don’t have to start over.

What marketing will you do to help sell my home?

Hands down, our best marketing tool is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) This is the database all real estate agents use when searching for properties for buyers. And buyers are using websites like Realtor.com, which is why all my listings automatically show up on these websites. My broker will list your home on our company website, and I may also use additional avenues such as open houses, brokers’ opens, and direct mailing, depending on your home and market.

Should I offer incentives like a home warranty, closing costs, or selling agent bonus?

Incentives are something I like to consider on a case-by-case basis. There are certain circumstances where it may be smart to offer an incentive. Some incentives can be offered from the start. For example, if your home is in an area that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, we may offer an incentive to agents to bring us a buyer. Or if you know the appliances are at the end of their lifetime, you may offer a home warranty to help the buyers replace them. Other incentives, like helping with closing costs, are better used during the negotiation process.

What do I need to disclose?

It’s smart to disclose any issues right up front. Your buyers will have the right to inspect the home, so it’s best they not be hit with bad news after going under contract. If you know of problems with the appliances, plumbing, electric, HVAC, roof, foundation, property lines, or deed, these need to be listed on the Seller’s Disclosure. If there are repairs that you can have done before listing, go ahead and take care of those. Anything that cannot be remedied before listing should be considered when setting your list price.

What happens if my home doesn’t appraise above the contract price?

It sometimes happens that a home does not appraise at or above the contract price. When this happens, we go back to negotiations to determine if we can save the deal by adjusting both the sales price and the terms of the contract to the satisfaction of both buyer and seller. Usually we are able to work it out and save the deal. You always have the right to refuse to lower the price to meet the appraisal, but it’s usually in your best interest to try to work with the buyer to resolve the issue as the next appraisal could result in the same valuation. If you are concerned about the appraisal value, go ahead and have your home appraised before setting the listing price.

How do you negotiate multiple offers?

A multiple-offer scenario is a fun position to be in as a seller. I will help you through the negotiation process to select the right buyer– and that is not always the one with the highest offer. We need to consider how strong the offer is, whether they are offering cash or financing, how much they are financing and what type of loan they are using. How much they are offering to put in escrow and the terms of the inspection process are indications of their commitment to the deal. You may also draw on sentiment: are they buying your home as an investment or a place to raise their family?

Posted in Home Trends
Aug. 31, 2020

12 Tips for Decorating a Large Wall

 

Have a large wall space that needs some décor but worried it will cost you hundreds of dollars in art? Not necessarily! Here are some ideas for filling a large wall without emptying your bank account.

  1. Take individual pictures of your family members and have large prints made in black and white. Add to the size of each photo by adding a photo mat, then frame them in inexpensive black frames and hang them in a row across the wall.
  2. Let your kids be the artists. Purchase large canvases and let your children paint their masterpieces. Or take artwork they have already done at school or at home and mat and frame them.
  3. Use floating shelves hung at various heights and topped with photos, vases, ornaments, books, candles, or mementos.
  4. Use plants to fill in empty spaces. You can place potted plants or succulents on floating shelves, use planters or hanging baskets made to attach directly to the wall, or make a DIY vertical garden out of an old wooden pallet.
  5. Use mixed media such as large woven or wooden trays, tapestries, or metal sculptures.
  6. Hang a collection of quirky clocks, different sized mirrors, graphic signs, old album covers, vintage prints, painted empty frames, or crosses.
  7. Stencil your wall with a graphic design, a tree, vines, or a floral pattern, or favorite inspirational quote.
  8. Reduce the wall space and soften the room by framing the wall with false drapery panels hung on either end of a sofa or pair of chairs.
  9. Light it up by attaching LED string lights in a pattern or hanging pretty wall sconces at various heights.
  10. Reduce the wall space by placing a potted tree or folding decorative screen in front of part of the wall.
  11. Search antique malls for vintage architectural pieces that can be hung on the wall, such as old window frames, an antique door, intricate fireplace screen.
  12. Create your own graphic by covering large frames or canvases with patterned fabric remnants and hanging them in a row or collage.
Posted in Home Trends
Aug. 13, 2020

The New Construction Process

The New Construction Process

If you are interested in buying new construction, know that the process differs somewhat from buying a pre-owned home. I can help you through the process!

1. Decide on Your Builder & Homesite.

If you are looking at a particular neighborhood, find out if there is one builder or if the developer allows you to bring in your own builder. If you are looking at building on a lot that is not restricted to a particular builder, it’s important to research builders in your area to find one that is reputable and stands by their work. Meet with builders before you make your selection. It’s important that they are organized and communicate well.

2. Obtain Pre-approval or Proof of Funds.

Builders or developments often work with particular mortgage companies and will offer discounts on closing costs for using their “preferred” lender. Whether you use the builder’s lender or someone else, you will need to get pre-approved for financing. If you are not financing, obtain proof of funds from your financial institution.

3. Sign a Contract with Your Builder.

Builders use their own contracts that are similar to a regular sales contract, but include additional terms specific to the building process, such as at what points during building the contractor gets paid, and what options you have to choose from. Your agent can help you interpret the terms of the builder’s contract before you sign.

4. Secure a Loan.

Once you sign your contract, the lender will need to get started on your loan application. It’s important that you provide them any information they ask for in a timely manner.

5. Select Your Options.

There will be a lot of decisions to be made throughout your build. Being prepared with your choices at each stage will help keep the build on schedule. Most builders have someone who will work with you to let you know what stage they are on and which decisions are coming due and when they need to be made. If your build is custom, you will need to do a lot of research into finishes, fixtures, colors, hardware, and appliances so you know what you want and what you can afford.

6. Home Walk Throughs Throughout the Building Process.

You will need to check on every phase of construction to double check that everything is done according to plan. Even the best builders have miscommunications, mix-ups on orders, or problems with installations. Plan on visiting the home daily once it gets dried-in.

7. Optional Inspection.

Even though your home is brand-new, you might still want to have a home inspection done. Sometimes an inspector will catch something that slipped past the contractor and code enforcement.

8. Closing day!

Closing day on new construction differs slightly from a pre-owned home in that there is often a “punch list” of items the builder is responsible for finishing up either on closing day or shortly afterwards. This may include cleaning, touch-up painting, installing landscaping, or changing out locks. You should have the opportunity to go through the house with the builder shortly before closing to add items you notice to the punch list.

Posted in Home Trends
July 31, 2020

Staging Strategies for Your Home

 

Staging your home is all about putting the best foot forward for potential buyers. By highlighting its most desirable features, you can draw more interest for your home and leave a lasting impression that is sure to help you sell it more quickly. Here’s what you should keep in mind as you prepare for your next open house or viewing!

Help them visualize it as their own. Make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home by removing personal memorabilia, knick-knacks, and photos. Instead replace them with simple décors, such as paintings, nature images, and plants.

Think sleek instead of comfy. Modern-day buyers are leaning toward modern, crisp, clean interiors over comfy, homey looks. When staging your home, keep a minimalist mindset, and incorporate bright colors and metal accents.

Deep clean the small spaces. It's obvious to say you should clean your home before viewing, but don’t forget to cover your bases by deep cleaning the small spots. Take time to scrub porous areas like grout that may hold on to stains and baseboards where small pet hairs and dust love to cling.

Spruce up your landscaping. The first impression your home gives to potential buyers is its exterior. Ensure you have a freshly mowed lawn, neat hedges and shrubbery, bright flowers, and a clean driveway.

Set the mood. A home is so much more than just the way it looks, so you need to appeal to the other senses. Prior to having potential buyers over, set the mood by burning delicious smelling candles and selecting an upbeat, happy soundtrack to play in the background.

When you're ready to take the next step toward selling your home, we are here to help. Our comprehensive marketing plan will get your home seen by thousands of motivated buyers.

Posted in Home Trends
June 29, 2020

Tips for Relocating to a New Town

 

Moving is always hard work but moving to a new town can be exceptionally hard, even when you are excited about your next chapter in life. As your real estate agent, I can refer you to an agent in your new town to help you find your new home, and also give you referrals for other services you will need, such recommendations for hotels, restaurants, child care, and pet boarding while you get settled.

To help make the logistics of your relocation as smooth as possible, here are some to-do items you may not have thought about yet.

  1. As soon as you know you will be moving, start to organize your belongings, getting rid of things you don’t want to take with you.
  2. Collect used packing materials like boxes and bubble wrap to reduce what you will need to purchase.
  3. Start packing items you don’t use daily, like family mementos, holiday decorations, books and décor accessories.
  4. Get an estimate from moving companies and schedule a tentative date with the one you choose.
  5. Visit your new town, if possible, and arrange a driving tour with a real estate agent that can show you different neighborhoods, shopping centers, and the locations of hospitals, schools, churches, and recreational facilities or parks.
  6. When you know what school district your children will enroll in, visit the schools your children will attend to meet the principal and tour the grounds.
  7. Once you know what neighborhood you will be living in, join Nextdoor or the neighborhood Facebook page to keep abreast of what’s happening there.
  8. Locate and pack your important papers and ID’s so that you know where they are at all times.
  9. If your company is offering you relocation services, make sure you know all the terms. Often, they will cover items you might not think about, like the cost of shipping your car or professional organizers to help you unpack. They may also be negotiable in what they cover.
  10. Save all your moving expense receipts. If you are moving 50 miles or more from your old job to start a new job, your expenses may be tax deductible.
  11. Make a list of services you need to terminate in your old town and services you need to initiate in your new town.
  12. If you have doctor, dentist, veterinary, or hair appointments scheduled ahead of time, call and cancel them.
  13. Remember to transfer subscriptions for things like magazines, food deliveries, and mail-order prescriptions.
  14. Change your delivery address on your Amazon or other shopping accounts so you don’t accidentally ship items to your old address.
  15. Schedule an appointment to transfer your automobile registration and driver’s license if moving to a new province.
  16. Meet new people, experience new food and places and you certainly won’t be bored!