Relocation Tips for Move-Ins

Real estate moves can be taxing and stressful. So many evolving pieces, tons to keep track of, a new unfamiliar area, a new job, etc. We understand this is an exciting time but also a scary one. Where are your new favorite things going to be? Pet parks, playgrounds for the kids, gyms, restaurants, shopping, public trans, so many things you were familiar with, that you will have to re-acclimate yourself to. We are here to help make the housing decision as stress-free as possible. Along the way, maybe we can even help you find those restaurants, playgrounds, and other local amenities that may be of high priority too! Working in MD, VA, and DC, we can help you find the best location for you and your family. No matter if you are looking for something that feels like home currently, or making a big change altogether, we know where that is! Here are some general tips we have picked up along the way that can help you keep track of vital parts of your move and make the transition easier. 


The Process

We start by gathering information on a needs assessment form. This lets us know your "must haves" and "nice to haves" so we can start to prioritize locations, parking, commute times, pet needs, school systems, price range and more. We will schedule appointments in the most direct route possible to cover the most ground and give you a wider variety of options to chose from. We point out pros and cons of each home to help you arrive at the best possible location for you and your family. Once the right property is located, we will walk you through the application process or sales contract and help with negotiations. We have a trusted list of vendors that are ready and willing to assist. Many of these we have even been able to secure discounts for as part of our relocation package. Finally, we will be with you at the walkthrough and closing stage to ensure everything goes through smoothly. 


Preparing for the move

Once you have gotten your lease signed or are officially under contract to purchase (Congrats!!) you will need to start the push to move everything over to the new residence. Here are some of the items you won't want to overlook: 

- Utilities, get those utilities set up in your name! Failure to do this can be extremely costly and inconvenient. The companies will sometimes take several days from the time you call to be able to establish service and the if there is a service disruption, where the prior occupant has let service lapse, you may be responsible for a "reconnect fee". Make sure you know your providers and get this executed asap. You  can do this weeks in advance and have it slated to turn over to your name on moving day or the date you become responsible for the home (lease start or purchase dates). Gas, electric, water, cable/internet, trash service (where applicable) and alarm monitoring (if desired) are all utilities or service providers you can set up ahead of time or at least schedule to meet with you the day of your move. 

- Change all your personal credit cards, banking info, subscriptions (news papers, meal delivery plans, Amazon or, etc. to your new address. As part of this check to ensure your bank has local branches at your new home. Even large banks don't have a presence inn every city and you don't want your nearest branch to be 20 miles away! 

 - Make sure you get your renter's or homeowners insurance coverage in place prior to the closing or lease start date. Did you know that you are supposed to have any lender required homeowners insurance in place within 7 days of contract acceptance? Failure to do so technically puts you out of contract compliance. 

- Change your address with the post office and let all your friends and relatives know you are moving too (accept for those that maybe you don't want to hear from!) 

- If you just closed on a home or are leaving a rental unit, make sure the settlement company or prior landlord has your new address for reimbursement of water escrows or security deposits. 

- Register with the HOA or condo association of the new home where applicable. You are paying for those amenities, you want to make sure you have access to them! Pools, gyms, community rooms can all be great to have use of but they will not be accessible if you aren't registered. 

- Research and locate a new primary care physician, dentist, eye care in your new area and make sure they receive all your medical records. 

- Research and locate a new Vet for your pets if applicable. Make sure you get their records transferred. Know your new local areas pet laws, does your new county require a pet license? Some areas may not allow you to use their pet parks unless your pets are licensed. 

- Scout out your new area, where are the grocery stores, parks, play areas, schools, restaurants, gyms, running/biking trails, and anything else that is important to you. This is great to know at least a little prior to your move. Once you are dealing with moving/unpacking you won't want to have to search for these things.


Packing Tips 

- Do you have movers coming? Try packing your stuff in numbered boxes (don't write what it is on the box). Keep a key that only you have stating how many boxes you have and what the contents of each of them are. You can also write on the boxes which room they will be going into to so the movers put them in the correct place. Keeping a generic number on the boxes may keep unscrupulous movers from peeking inside. 

- Use tamper tape so you know if someone has accessed the boxes in transit. There are many reputable moving companies out there but there are also many movers who are not. Even a good moving company can hire a bad apple. Having a good inventory is key in case of issues with missing or damaged items. If you go to file a claim with the moving company, this will be key to getting reimbursed or taken seriously.  

- Try packing large knives in pot holders , run any loose cables and cords through an old paper towel holder before looping them (this helps to keep them separated and untangled), pack necklaces in egg crates (each in its individual hole (this keeps them from getting tangled)

- If you have A.D.D. like I do, moving can seem like utter madness! So much going on and so much to keep track of. Make it easier on your self and pack one room at a time. This will help you see the progress and gives you that hope you might need to keep pushing through. If you start packing 5 different rooms all at once, it is easy to become disorganized and feel like you are not getting anything accomplished. 

- If you are using professional movers, allow them to pack the fragile items. Typically a mover will only be liable for damaged items that they packed themselves.

- Pack a separate first night box. Almost like you are going on vacation, you will want clothing and toiletries of course, but also paper towels, toilet paper, bed linens, cleaning supplies, a flashlight, lightbulbs, disposable plates, glasses and cutlery, any medications you are taking, towels, and trash bags. This should make those first couple of nights much more manageable. Maybe even a pack of playing cards but that could just be me! 


On Moving Day

- Carry enough Cash or traveler's checks to cover travel expenses. Yes, there are still some places that don't take credit. You also can save at most gas stations by paying in cash! 

- Carry valuables and important documents on yourself or use a registered and insured carrier. Make sure you have your photo ID. 

- Let close friends and relatives know your route, including overnight stops. Keep in touch with them so they know you are arriving safely.

- Double check closets and drawers prior to departure to ensure you didn't forget anything. 

- Remove all trash and debris from home prior to departure and turn all keys, fobs, and openers over to the new buyers or prior landlord (if a landlord, make sure to get a receipt for the keys and exit condition report)

At Your New Address

- Check  your services to make sure they are all working and were transferred without issue (water, electric, gas, cable/internet service, alarm).

- Check pilot lights if your gas is on but burners, heat, fireplace, or hot water aren't functioning. If the pilots appear out, call a service tech or the landlord if you are not comfortable checking and reigniting yourself. If you smell gas in the home, don't turn anything on, just leave immediately and call the gas company. 

- Review operation of all appliances as well as plumbing and lights in the home to ensure everything is functioning. If there are issues, make your landlord aware immediately. Check for damages from the prior tenant prior to moving in. If you are buying the property, this will be covered in your pre-settlement walkthrough with us! 

- Visit the post office to get any packages or mail that was on hold for you during your transition to the new home (if applicable)

- Bring your animals into the new home slowly to introduce it. Make sure they are on a leash for the first few days when outdoors. Animals can become bonded with their homes and even if they aren't know to run away, may try to head back "home" until they are comfortable in their new surroundings. If there is a fenced rear yard, try staying out there with them for an hour or two to help them get acclimated. Try to have someone home with them most or all day for the first few days. 

- Take care of your drivers tasks (new address, new license, change state registration, vehicle inspections). There may be a penalty if you don't register your car within 5 days in certain states. In DC you will need to also register for your parking zone permit if you will be street parking. 

- Register to Vote using your new address

- Register children at new schools if applicable

- Introduce the family to your new place of worship if applicable

- Update emergency  telephone numbers for police, hospitals, fire departments, vets, doctors, etc.