We moved in! Finally! It’s been a long couple of months living with family, but the end result was worth the wait. We have our home and we are already in love!
Closing is relatively quick and painless, except for the closing costs part. Your mortgage broker and/or title company will provide you with an estimate of closing costs. These costs will include: pro-rated taxes, first year of homeowner’s insurance, HOA fees (when applicable), title insurance policy, recording fees, attorney fees, courier fees, and often times a home warranty fee.
Many closing costs are negotiated in your offer process. For example, a buyer may ask a seller to pay for certain things- title policy and warranty, for example, or a specific amount. Ask your Realtor for guidance on what fees are traditionally paid by each party in your area and what the market conditions are. These factors play a part in what is/is not likely to be accepted by a seller. Remember, unless it is an extremely competitive seller’s market, it doesn’t hurt to ask! The seller can counter back if they feel you’ve asked for too much. Unless they have better offers or are just offended for some reason (maybe your paint allowance request foreshadowed plans to paint over their favorite colors and upset them), then they’re unlikely to reject the offer entirely. Most sellers actually want to sell their house and are willing to negotiate.
Some loans allow you to roll closing costs into the loan, meaning you will finance them and increase your monthly mortgage payment. If your payment won’t be affected too much, this is a good option, since cash is good to have on hand during a move! But if you can pay closing costs, you will keep your monthly payment lower, and that’s always a good thing, too. Look over your financial situation to help with this decision and consult your loan officer. This is not an option with all loans.
Now, moving. Oh the pain! If you have the funds, movers are so worth every penny! But, like us, you may be a little tapped out by the time you have closed and may want to keep your cash for other projects. We opted to DIY our moves, since they were happening in phases due to our closing dates, and because we paid most of our closing costs up front. We used a Pod service, which was very convenient. We had a container delivered to the old house, where we packed it up tight (see previous posts). They picked it up, stored it, and then we called once closing was scheduled to have them deliver it to the new house. This is a great plan if you will not close on a purchase immediately after your sale and need short term storage or if you’re moving out of town and won’t be buying right away. I highly recommend it! The monthly storage fees are higher than a typical storage unit, but the fact that we eliminated extra work and a truck rental to move into storage made up for it. Just be realistic about the amount of stuff that will go into the container. We underestimated quite a bit.
We had to rent a truck since we had things in a neighbor’s garage, and the apartment we stayed in. We had to load all this stuff up and unload it at the house. Since the pod couldn’t be delivered right away (due to the short notice we gave them, they were booked) we had a day in between the first move and pod unloading to rest. This actually worked out very well. We didn’t completely exhaust ourselves and actually had some energy to begin painting and unpacking.
Before moving out of the old house, I packed a “day one” basket, which I took with us. I put things like toilet paper, cleaning products, soap, all the screws and fasteners from furniture pieces that were taken apart, paint swatches, and tools. These were all things we needed right away and wouldn’t want to forget or lose track of! There is nothing worse than moving all day and then not being able to put together a bed or couch to relax on afterwards! Or realizing mid-move that your bathrooms are un-stocked and you need to go! You don’t want to have to figure out where the nearest store is at that moment!
I also picked up some ready to eat foods that didn’t need refrigeration on our way to the house for the first time, along with paper dishes and plastic silverware. Our refrigerator was being delivered the following morning, but we needed to eat breakfast. I got individual serving size boxes of cereal for the kids, with milk boxes, and microwaveable oatmeal bowls for the adults. I also got some snack food. We opted for pizza delivery for dinner the first night. Sure, we could have stayed at the apartment again one more night. We almost did. But we were too excited! It would be like waiting to open new toys from Santa!
So, we are beaten up and bruised, but we have our furniture and boxes inside!
We would have liked to take a few days to paint before moving in, but again, we wanted to get settled in right away, so we dealt with the stuff first. I did buy paint for the main areas of the house right away, though. The office, kitchen, hallway, and powder room will get paint this week.
Here are some pictures of the empty house and moving process. Soon, the design and decorating fun will be in full force!
The Pod during the loading process. We wedged things in tight and used blankets, towels, and cushions to protect furniture. We also tied rope to hooks on the studs between sections for extra security against shifting.