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7 Tips to Help Avoid Common Moving Day Mishaps

Today I have another guest author ready to give you tips on how to avoid costly moving day mishaps. Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.


 

Moving is exciting! It’s also stressful and tiring. If you throw a few blunders into the mix, the event can quickly go from becoming a pleasure to being a pain. Here are some tips for keeping your moving day positive.Image courtesy of Pixabay hand truck

Hire help. One of the best things you can do is hire a moving company to assist with your move. You’ll be exhausted even with help, so paying someone else to do the grunt work will literally take a load off. If you’re nervous about allowing a stranger handle your fragile or valuable items, one solution is to hire a company that drops the moving truck at your house, you pack it, they deliver it for you to the new place, and then you unpack. You still do some heavy work, but at least you’re relieved of the driving duty.

Another great service: hire someone to assemble furniture for you. Assembly can be a headache, especially if you’re in the middle of pointing to where boxes go and living out of your suitcase. Opt to get help through a trusted service like HireAHelper.

Arrange ahead. Good moving services get booked up well in advance, especially during summertime. Some experts recommend locking in your mover months in advance. Also, note there are some moving companies who are fly-by-night. Check references and go with a trusted service. Make sure you read through estimates and paperwork carefully, as some companies may hide fees in the fine print. Then once you’ve reached your destination, read the inventory sheet carefully and ensure all your items are present.

Don’t take it all. Most of us have more “stuff” than we really need. Take a hard look at what you own, and do some decluttering in advance of the move. Less belongings will mean less to pack, less to move, and less to unpack. Besides, if you’re staging your home for a sale chances are you need to reduce clutter anyway. If you opt to store items in another location during your home sale, box them in an organized manner. Label appropriately and store them in a way that will be logical when it comes time to move.

Last-minute packing. This is a big no-no. Don’t wait until the morning of the move to pack your kitchen, or any other rooms for that matter. You won’t be able to do a good job since you’ll be rushed and you’ll add to the chaos of the day. Some experts suggest allowing eight to 10 weeks to pack up your home.

Keep necessities handy. Think through what you may need when you get to your new location. Keep some fundamentals in a convenient location; include basic tools and cleaning supplies. You won’t want them at the back of the moving van or buried under boxes.

Secure items. Don’t pack in a manner that allows things to shift out of place. Falling items can not only become damaged, they can hurt someone. Secure your belongings with ratchet straps, shrink-wrap, and rope as needed. Also, ensure your heavy items are packed low with lightweight items higher.

Don’t rely on Mother Nature. Be prepared if the day turns out to be inclement. Have tarps, plastic sheeting, towels and plastic bags at the ready. If you need last-minute additions you can drop by a local home center for supplies, but it’s best to have some items accumulated just in case.

Also, Better Homes & Gardens recommends considering the time of day you decide to schedule the move. Chances are you will be better off planning around rush hour or big local events.

Moving success! Moving can be both exciting and overwhelming. Do some planning to avoid turning your moving day into mayhem. With smart strategies in place, your move should go smooth as silk!

Renovating your bathroom

Earlier this week I posted a CAR Infographic about remodeling…and here is a great blog from the folks over at Houz about remodeling a small bathroom. If you live in the Rancho del Mar subdivision in American Canyon then you know how tight the spaces are. These folks can relate and look at what an amazing job they did!

 

Beware the remodel…

Thinking about taking out a home equity line of credit to fix the kitchen that is too small and too cramped? Take a look at this info graphic by CAR before you do.

Surviving-the-Remodel-hi-res

I think that what amazes me most is that only 3% of couples contemplated separation. I remember watching my parents go through the remodel of our guest bathroom and how ugly that was…the funniest part? They went on vacation and weren’t even around!

Communication is key, however. But make sure that you’re talking about it first – not halfway through the project.

Monthly American Canyon Market Recap

The American Canyon real estate market is fast and you better not wait too long or you’ll miss out completely.

My listing at Rio del Mar sold at $415,000 which was $45,000 above asking. There were 4 total offers. It’s at the entrance of the Rancho del Mar subdivision and boasted a huge back yard and an additional 500±sf of living space. It has some foundational and drainage issues which dragged the original list price down but which made the offers all that much more remarkable. Last fall a home on the other side of the creek in the 100 block of Los Altos struggled to sell at full price (~$400,000) even though it was turnkey. What a difference 6 months make.

Higher end homes are not selling quite as fast but there is definitely still a market for them. This is good news as the original investor in Canyon Estates continues to look for someone to develop them. I still think that a $1M home in the AC will be difficult without something happening with Broadway and/or Watson Ranch.

Even though there were double the amount of homes on the market year-over-year for March, the inventory still fills tighter than it has been for a while. Homes priced in a traditional first time home buyer price range are still going fast. Overall, there is only a little over a month’s worth of inventory (the amount of time it would take to sell all active homes). This data backs up the “feeling” that we are in a fast market right now.

AC Months of Inventory

What this chart doesn’t show is that of the 19 homes on the market, at least 7 are either businesses or should be looked at as commercial potential – especially those along Broadway/Hwy 29. If you’re interested in one of the many properties for sale along Broadway, make sure that you talk to Brent Cooper over at the City before you start trying to put up a development that the property isn’t suited for…those non-conforming homes are a big issue.

The good news for buyers is that the median selling price for a home in American Canyon has stayed relatively stagnant over the first quarter. AC Median Avg SoldI am continuing to see Rancho del Mar homes drag down the home prices in McKight Acres, Napa Square, Napa Meadows, etc. The Rancho homes that are selling for a premium (mid-to-high $400,000’s) are turnkey and recently remodeled. Sellers in the mid-market that aren’t willing to do the same are taking a hit on it and the homes are lagging…there’s a lesson here if sellers and listing agents are willing to listen.

 

114 Rio del Mar – Just Listed

Welcome to 114 Rio del Mar!

Offered at $370,000 and exclusively listed by Richard Peterson with BHHS Drysdale Properties.

Large 3 bed, 2 bath, 1537±sf bungalow in Ranch del Mar. Wide open kitchen and large family room with exposed beams. This house is great for entertaining. Home situated on 0.18 acres and has a huge backyard with a built-in brick BBQ. Newer roof and sewer lateral. Home has a water filtration system. Close to Hwy 29 and shopping.

Read this Before Upgrading Your Master Bath!

Every day I get asked about what type of renovations homeowners should do to increase the value of their home. Master bathrooms aren’t usually at the top of the list when it comes to a return on investment – although it can make the home more comfortable to live in in the long run. Houzz.com put together this list of 7 questions to consider when planning your master bathroom upgrades.

Make sure that you start with #7 first though…asking the right questions.

Vallejo January Market Roundup

Vallejo continues to be one of the hottest markets in the country and why not. Investors are going in and rehabilitating older homes so that the sparkle once again. It continues to be an appealing destination for Millenial first time home buyers working in San Francisco or the East Bay.

Inventory continues to be a problem but it isn’t falling which is good news. Median sold price is up 17% from last January.

Vallejo median sold

It remains to be seen whether or not the current stock market correction will have unexpected ripple effects on the lower price points. My biggest concern is that the correction will make move-up buyers even more wary as there are fewer and fewer homes on the market in the upper end.

There’s a lot to be excited about the future of Vallejo and that message is starting to kick up additional interest. Large swaths of the areas West of I-80 are architecturally interesting, particularly in the Heritage District, St. Vincent’s Hill and downtown.

The city is continuing to transform itself with a burgeoning art scene (check out the 2nd Friday Art Walk each month!) and food scene – if you haven’t checked out the League of Chefs shame on you. All of these add up to a bright future and continue strong increase in housing prices.

One Thing You HAVE to do After You Buy a Home

Recently, my family and I woke up at 2am to the kitchen CO detector screaming that there was a problem. I walked around the kitchen, opened the back door and kitchen window to let things air out and then back to bed. At 4am the alarm right outside all of the bedrooms went off. This time I was able to figure out that something didn’t smell right. I had a hunch that it was the heater because it was old and…well…I hadn’t cleaned it recently.Smoke Detector

Turns out that my hunch was right. It was the old 1957 wall heater that came with our home. I smelled gas and so I called PG&E to come to turn off the gas leading to it. It took me awhile but I finally found a company that services wall heaters. Rich Jeffries with Creative Comfort Systems (707.373.0134) out of Vallejo was our savior. According to Rich it was one of the 10 worst of his career…

Heaters (and AC’s) should be serviced once per year. PG&E will come out for free once per year to make sure that everything is ok with your heating unit. You can take the additional step of having someone like Rich come out (if you have a wall heater) or another HVAC company if you have central Heat or AC. These companies will clean the filters and make sure that the units are running efficiently.

I sold two homes last year where both of my clients told me horror stories about how filthy the filters were. I highly recommend having a company come in – prior to move in if at all possible – and service your HVAC system.

Moving Today Could Change Your Tomorrow

Death of a loved-one is never something that we want to think about; but for many of us it is a closer reality than we want to admit. Today I welcome guest author Lucille Rosetti. Lucille is an expert in the field of loss and bereavement and kindly agreed to pen a guest piece. She has a book titled Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved coming out this spring.


The decision to move from your home after the loss of a spouse, parent, or child is one of the toughest you’ll ever make. There are so many emotions that go along with moving, but when coupled with leaving a part of your life behind, it can be very intimidating. But a change of scenery and a fresh start may be just what you need to heal.

Is it time to go? After losing a loved one, there are so many reminders each day that things are not the same, even if the backdrop is. If you find it difficult to imagine yourself in that environment without your loved one, you may do well to give yourself a new place to call home. People move for many reasons, including, according to Unpakt, to get a fresh start and combat financial issues, which you may have if your spouse has passed away. When your reasons to leave outweigh your reasons to stay, you’ll know it’s time.

Cleaning and saying goodbye. One of the hardest parts of the moving process is cleaning out the home before packing your boxes. Combined with the emotional struggles associated with going through our loved one’s belongings, this can be almost crippling. In order to move forward, you’ll need to let go of some personal belongings. Start with items that don’t have any direct emotional connection, such as old shoes and books that haven’t been read in years. You may wish to donate clothing or household items to a local shelter or community center so that these things can bring joy to someone else. Purge as much as you can but hold onto sentimental treasures. Pocket Sense warns to be careful when tossing paperwork, as the decedent must have taxes filed on his or her behalf.

Once you decide which personal keepsakes to hold onto and which to donate or sell, consider hiring a cleaning service to help you clear things out before you pack. HomeAdvisor reports that the average cost for a one-time interior house cleaning is between $115 and $241 and takes about four hours.

Buying and selling, don’t go it alone. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to partner with a real estate agent that can help you manage the buying and selling process. U.S. News & World Report’s experts explain that there are several ways to effectively sell your home quickly. But since you also want to get the most out of your investment, you’ll also need the advice of a Realtor®, who can offer suggestions on which projects to complete and the best way to stage your house to make it as inviting as possible for potential buyers. On the buying side, an experienced agent can help you find a new neighborhood close to amenities that add value to your life. The agent can guide you toward financing options and will be able to point out issues you may not have considered, such as high homeowner’s association costs or proximity to higher-crime areas.

Another thing to consider when moving is hiring a professional moving service. This will help ease some of the pressure and ensure safe transport—or financial compensation in case of an accident—of your furniture, electronics, and other household goods.

While it’s overwhelming, know that things will settle down, and you’ll soon be able to see the horizon over the hills. Moving can offer you the chance to rebuild your life and write a new chapter for yourself. The biggest obstacle is overcoming your emotional attachments and letting go of the guilt of leaving your home. You deserve to be happy, and your deceased family member would encourage you to do what’s best for you.

This Psychology Today post by Kristen Meeholf offers additional advice on how to create a new life after loss. 

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Image via Pixabay