Well, we sold our house! It’s official, we closed, we moved, and we turned over the keys. We are currently staying with family until we close on our purchase. As mentioned previously, a low appraisal killed the deal on our perfectly-planned purchase. We have another in contract that did appraise for the sales price and that we actually like better! Plus mortgage interest rates went down again so, temporary homelessness aside, it’s working out for the better.
We opted for a Pod since we have the gap and couldn’t move directly from one house to the other. It was great, except for the fact that once we began loading up, we realized we really should have ordered 2. We had it packed floor to ceiling and filled in every inch of space like a game of Tetris. Instead of calling for another, we talked a neighbor into renting us half of their garage! Desperate times call for desperate measures!
When moving, be prepared for last minute issues and sore muscles. Keep a box or basket of tools and cleaning products out until the very last minute. I also prepared a basket of essentials like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand soap, an extension cord, etc. to bring in the first day in the new house. Also, pack up things you’ll need right away, like phone chargers and laptop cords in an accessible place or take them with you. If they’re being used until the last minute, they can easily be misplaced!
Don’t forget to keep certain files accessible for your mortgage. Your lender can give you a list, but usually this will include tax returns, homeowner’s insurance quotes, bank statements, documentation of all income and debts, etc. You also need to have a laptop or place to go to access online records and communicate. Many real estate contract and loan documents can now be e-signed, but some will still need a physical signature.
The tools and cleaning supplies came in handy! Although we hired a professional crew to do the final cleaning, we found some hidden carpet stains that needed immediate attention and had to replace a faucet that decided to spring a leak 4 hours before we were due to deliver the house! I highly recommend hiring a cleaning person or crew. It wasn’t a huge expense but was so worth it! After moving furniture and packing for days, we could barely move, so it would have taken an entire day to do what these few wonderful people did in 2 hours. Things will always pop up at the last minute, too, so be sure to plan to finish early. That way you give yourself some time for the unexpected. And yes, you’ll feel like stuff is just appearing out of thin air. I have no idea where it all comes from! It always feels like there’s twice as much as you think it will be.
Plan ahead by packing a few boxes each day. We started with decor and out-of-season clothes, then worked our way to the things we used occasionally. We left things like dishes until the very last few days. Label well and put your boxes in one room that can go unused or the garage for easier moving.
I you’re going to be in a temporary living situation, plan ahead. Confirm with the family or friend you’ll stay with and set ground rules, or get quotes for extended stay type hotels, short therm apartments, or houses for rent. Be sure to ask for all quotes in writing and ask about deposits and what the fees include and don’t include. Pack what you need for that time and for the mortgage process. Don’t forget about this or you could really be in a hole! Finally, get a PO Box at a post
office that is convenient for you and forward your mail to it. Stay on top of accounts and pay bills online. You don’t want to fall behind due to mail forwarding delays, especially when you’re applying for credit.
If you’re moving right away, be sure to arrange for utilities to be transferred or turned on when needed and ask for a letter of credit from your former utility company, which might be accepted in lieu of a deposit. Also, verify which appliances are staying. If you need something essential, like a refrigerator, shop in advance since same day delivery is not always available and might be a hefty additional cost when they are!
We close in a couple weeks on the new home and then the fun and design talk can really begin!