Unexpected costs first-time homebuyers should be aware of

Being a first-time homebuyer is an exciting time. But it can also be very stressful, especially when costs start to escalate. While first-time homebuyers typically know to prepare for a down payment, that is definitely not the only cost to consider when buying a home. Home-buying costs add up quickly with numbers that often startle first-time buyers.

Before signing on the dotted line, check out the list below and prepare yourself for all of the costs that go along with buying a home. Continue reading “Unexpected costs first-time homebuyers should be aware of”

Helpful tips for meeting the neighbors after your relocation

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Moving to a new neighborhood can be somewhat intimidating – especially when it comes to meeting your neighbors. One of the most common complaints today is the lack of community and sense of connection people feel in modern society. Busy schedules, social media and even fear are keeping us locked up behind closed doors. Not only is this a big loss in community, but also in overall health.

Studies conducted on longevity and good health show that having friends and a sense of community contribute significantly to greater happiness in life, as well as how long we live. This ability to walk down the street and feel a sense of camaraderie with our neighbors is a simple prescription for greater happiness and health.

The best time to build connections and friendships with your neighbors is when someone first moves onto your block. So slip on your shoes and venture over to the newbies’ home with these simple tips.

Talk to Others

If you’ve lived in your neighborhood for a while, you may already know others on your block. This is an easy way to find out who your new neighbors are before you even say hello. Find out from others if the new neighbors have any children (and their ages), where they moved from or if they have any pets. Knowing information like this ahead of time will make it easier to engage in that first conversation, putting everyone at ease.

Knock on the Door

It’s usually easiest to approach a new neighbor when they are outside – at the mailbox, gardening, etc. But don’t dismiss knocking on their door. Knocking on the neighbor’s door with a freshly baked cake may sound as cliché as it gets, but it produces a sense of welcoming that most are appreciate of. While introducing yourself and exchanging a few pleasantries is definitely enough, if you decide to opt for a welcome gift, here are a few to consider:

  • Cakes and pies (homemade or store bought)
  • Home-baked cookies
  • Indoor plant
  • Vase with flowers

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Supply Food

Moving is physically draining and exhausting. It also creates a ravenous appetite. After a long move, it’s not always possible for the people moving in to go to a restaurant or take-out place – especially if they are new to the area. One of the kindest and most memorable things you can do for your new neighbors on moving day is to provide them with warm food. This is not always possible, of course, but it is the ultimate way to welcome newbies to the neighborhood.

Inform Them of Local Places and Professionals

Neighbors that are not only new to the neighborhood but also new to the area will be seeking information about local places and professionals. A great idea is to make a list for them with all must-have contact information, such as: grocery stores, restaurants, dry cleaners, plumbers, handymen, physicians, etc. This is an invaluable list that your neighbors will be truly thankful for.

Provide Information for Parents

If your new neighbors have children, they most likely want to get their children settled as soon as possible. They will be on the lookout for playmates for their children, sports and recreational activities nearby, and so on. Here are some of the most helpful things you can do for them:

  • Introduce them to other parents and children on the block.
  • Share any knowledge you have about pediatricians, schools, camps and other programs for kids.
  • Provide names and numbers of reliable babysitters.
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Photo via Getty Images.
Throw a Block Party

An easy and fun way to welcome your neighbors to the area is by throwing a block party. You can even host the party jointly with another family in the neighborhood. Have everyone bring a simple dish to share (chips, dip, water, beer). This is a great way for neighbors to get to know each other, especially those who have just moved in.

Welcoming new neighbors may seem difficult, but with these tips you are on your way to creating a long-lasting camaraderie that will make that first hello worth it!

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Pack your kitchen for moving day with these simple tips

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The kitchen is by far one of the most dreaded rooms to pack for a move. Dishes, appliances, odds and ends, and a good 90% of these items are breakable! So how do you get through the risky job of packing your kitchen? Follow our helpful guide below.

Appliances

If you somehow managed to save your appliances’ original boxes/packing, bravo! Feel free to use them while packing them for your move. If you didn’t save the original boxes – you’re part of the majority that tosses them, so don’t worry. Here’s what to do.

First, gather medium-sized packing boxes. Next, ensure appliances (and all of their parts) are clean and dry. Remove all small parts and fragile pieces and wrap them in bubble wrap and packing paper. If you saved the owner’s manual, tape it to the bottom or the front of the appliance – this will make for easier assembly later. Place the main part of the appliance into the box first; then stack pre-packaged, smaller pieces on top.

Dishes/Glasses

Dishes and glasses are the scariest and most tedious thing to pack. You don’t want to rush through packing them because you risk finding box after box of broken dishes and shattered glass after you move. To tackle these items, try this:

Place two layers of bubble wrap/packing paper on the bottom of a box. For dishes, wrap each piece with a thin layer of packing paper. As you stack them inside the box, place an extra layer or bubble wrap/packing paper between every three dishes. For glasses/mugs, wrap each piece individually. You can use bubble wrap or packing paper, but if you want to save these supplies, try using T-shirts or other similar clothing items instead.

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Silverware

Sorting silverware into separate boxes may seem more annoying than anything, but it’s a good idea to make sure it doesn’t share a box with any items that may be breakable – it will also make unpacking more organized. To pack silverware, first start by sorting it into specific types – big spoons with big spoons, small forks with small forks, and so on. Wrap each type with a rubber band. Once all items are sorted and banded together, place them into a shoebox and tape it shut.

Pots and Pans

Ahh … good ol’ pots and pans. While they may make cooking possible, they sure can be a pain to store and pack. To find the correct sized box, grab your biggest pan and place it into a box – horizontally and diagonally. If the lid fits securely to the pan, the box is the right size. If it doesn’t, the box is too small. Once you have the perfect box, begin stacking your pots (without lids) inside. Then wrap lids with packing paper and place them inside the box beneath pan handles.

Other Items

So what do you do with all of those other items in your kitchen? Instead of just dumping them into a random box, there’s a much more efficient solution. Wrap all other items with a single sheet of packing paper. Then, inside your already packed kitchen boxes, tuck each item into the unused space. This will help fill up the unused space in your packed boxes, as well as save you from using more boxes than necessary.

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Important Steps to Take Post Moving Day

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Prior to moving day, you have spent a great deal of time planning, organizing and packing. When the big day finally arrives and the moving truck pulls up ready for action, you are probably more than ready to get the long, strenuous and stressful day ahead of you over with so you can kick back and de-stress in your new home. Continue reading “Important Steps to Take Post Moving Day”

Moving to a New City: Helping Kids Adjust

A solo move to a new location can be tough. A family move… well, that can be an adventure – and a huge challenge! Moving with kids poses many unique challenges, and as parents, our job is to support our children through this difficult time. Though boxes and tasks may be piling up around you at rapid speed, take the time to look at some of the things you can do to make moving easier for your kids. Continue reading “Moving to a New City: Helping Kids Adjust”

6 Signs It’s Time to Move to a Larger Home

Finding the perfect home can be harder than expected. You want it to be in a location you like with features you love. You also want it to have enough space to accommodate your family and lifestyle. A house that does not have enough space to properly fit everyone and everything can be a terrible problem, leading to chaos and stress.

Are you wondering whether you and your family should move to a larger home? Here are some signs that will confirm that it’s time for a bigger home. Continue reading “6 Signs It’s Time to Move to a Larger Home”

Be an efficient packer with these 5 tips

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You’ve found a new place to live. You’ve collected more boxes than you know what to do with. Now all you have to do is pack. Easier said than done, right? As everyone knows, packing is one of the worst parts of moving. But, it must be done. While packing probably seems like a mindless task – it is just throwing things into boxes after all – there is actually a right way and a wrong way to do it. Here are some must-know packing tips to help your move go smoothly. Continue reading “Be an efficient packer with these 5 tips”

Moving with Kids: Mistakes to Avoid

Relocating to a new home is a big decision – especially if it involves moving your entire family. Make it easier for everyone, especially the kids, by avoiding these common moving mistakes.
Continue reading “Moving with Kids: Mistakes to Avoid”

Best safety locks to ensure you have a safe relocation

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A big worry people have during their move is the safety of their possessions. This is of utmost concern during the transportation process – a time that makes it very easy for possessions to be lost or stolen. Continue reading “Best safety locks to ensure you have a safe relocation”

Top packing tips for a temporary relocation

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If you read our previous blog, you learned some reasons as to why you may face a temporary housing relocation – moving for school or work, or to help a family member in need. But once you have secured your short-term living accommodations, what exactly should you take with you? In this blog, we will provide you with tips on how to pack for a temporary move. Continue reading “Top packing tips for a temporary relocation”