Make Moving with the Family Easier

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Today is the third component in our ongoing guest blogging. I’d like to welcome Alexis Hall. Alexis is a single mom to three kids. She created SingleParent.info to provide support and advice for the many families out there with only one parent in the household.

How to Make Moving With Children Easier and Happier for the Whole Family

Moving to a new home, and often, to a new city entirely, is simply a part of life. Making a move may feel simple when you’re single or a couple without kids, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you have children. If your family is planning a move, know that it can be an overall positive experience using these tips to help along the way.

Finding Your Family Home

As you start searching, you may come to realize that your ideal home is different from what you wanted before having kids. Before making any big decisions, spend a little time researching the best prices and neighborhoods in your region. The average sale price for homes in Fairfield, CA, is $475,000.

With this information in hand, start your home search with a few key points in mind:

Get to Know the Neighborhood: The neighborhood your family ends up in is just as important as the house itself. Think about your family’s lifestyle and what matters the most to you. Do you want a neighborhood that is within walking distance to schools or parks, or are you OK with being in a less walkable neighborhood if the streets are quiet and ideal for children? Besides your own unique needs, there are several ways you can tell if a neighborhood is thriving and an overall good place to be. Drive or walk around to see if people are out on the streets walking or biking, if houses tend to look like they have been improved, and if you see churches and signs of city services.

Put Practicality Over Emotions: Buyers often fall in love with a home that feels just right, but then they realize that it doesn’t actually meet their family’s needs. Families with children should look closely at a home’s floor plan and yard. Think about whether you want all the bedrooms on the same level if you have small children, or if you want a flat yard for outdoor play. It’s completely OK to have a “feeling” about a house, but don’t let a feeling cloud your judgment.

Managing the Move

Moving can be scary and highly emotional for children. The best approach is to communicate about it with kids as soon as you know you’ll be moving and to keep the conversation going. Kids need to process their feelings about the change. One idea from Scholastic is to encourage them to write in a journal or draw pictures about the move. Kids who are old enough can also get involved in packing. Give them some independence in making choices about how they pack.

Don’t forget that while you are doing plenty of research into your new home and neighborhood, your children may not know what to expect. Spend some time helping your kids get familiar with the new area. Talk about what your new neighborhood has that they will love, and start exploring the area together, if possible. For young children especially, talk about what won’t be changing too. Make sure they know you’re bringing all of their possessions to the new home.

Settling In

When you first move into the new house, unpack your children’s rooms first so they start to get a feel for their own space surrounded by things that are familiar. In the days and weeks to come, help kids adjust to the change by keeping your schedule as routine as possible. You can also do some special family activities in those early days to start creating positive memories in your new home and neighborhood. The Art of Happy Moving blog suggests going to your local library or setting up a lemonade stand to get to know the neighbors.

While moving with children isn’t always ideal, it doesn’t have to be traumatic. You know you’re making the right move, and it will be best for everyone in the long run. There will still be bumps in the road, but these tips will help your whole family bounce back and adjust with less stress.

Photo credit: Pexels

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!

AC City Council to Appoint 5th Member

This year American Canyon turns 25. As we look back on how much this city has grown in the last quarter century, it’s important to keep in mind where we want to be in the next 25 years.

Next Tuesday, February 7th @ 6:30pm, the City Council will appoint their fifth member. There are currently five candidates: former Councilmember Joan Bennett, Tony Heuschel, Doug Lindsey, Arvind Nischal, and David Oro. One of these five individuals will help lead us into the next phase of our history.

I encourage you to make time to go next Tuesday to see the candidates. We have a number of important issues in our city including Watson Ranch, traffic, water, economic development, housing developments (including the Village at Vintage Ranch), our budget over the next two years…

As a City, we are teetering on a precipice and it’s important that our leaders – once and future – hear our views and our ideas. This coming Tuesday is a good place to start. I hope to see all of you on Tuesday.

Rich

American Canyon Market & Tour 1/13/17

The American Canyon market is starting to heat up already. After a torrid December, January looks like it is going to be extremely busy as well.  21 homes are in contract, 10 of which are pending (although I’m hearing that one of them is off the market today!) make it look like it will be another strong month.

In my monthly newsletter to American Canyon residents, I said that Rancho del Mar will be a bell-weather subdivision. For most of last year, these older homes sold in the mid-$330,000 range and were just starting to creep up. With two homes coming on the market on Carmel – one at $398,000 and the other at $413,000 – it looks like prices are ready to jump.

Without a doubt, one of my favorite homes on the market right now is 200 Carmel Dr, at the corner of Carmel and Rio Grande. It’s listed by fellow BHHS Drysdale office-mate Kasama Lee and offered at $413,000. A converted garage adds much needed extra living space. For photos and more information about the listing, click here.

 

It’s easy to show so if you’re even a little bit interested, go ahead and give me a call @ (707) 853-0797. I expect this one to go fast!

Open House this Weekend!

I’ll be holding 4517 Paseo Drive open this Sunday from 1 -4pm. Great home in Cordelia with one of the largest lots in the entire development. New build (2015) and the owner has put in over $100,000 in upgrades.

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