9 Tips to Help You Move with Children

alexander-dummer-261098-unsplashThe decision has been made and it’s final: you’re moving. Not only are you moving, but you’re moving with your children. You will be balancing honoring the old home while welcoming the new house. These nine steps will help make the transition of the move as smooth as possible for the whole family.  

  • Family Meeting Time

One of the best ways to prep your children for a big move is to have a family discussion. Let them know why you are moving and that you are there to answer any questions they may have.

  • Purge Before You Pack

There is no time like the present to cut the clutter. You and the kids can go through your belongings and throw out old toys and worn or outgrown clothes. Not everything has to be tossed. There are items that you may not need any more that you can sell.

  • Have a Moving Sale

Once you have combed through every room, you might have a pile of fun stuff to sell at a moving sell. The kids can help with the organizing, inventorying and pricing. You can even take a family vote to decide how to spend the proceeds.

  • Check out the new Place with the Kids

Involve the children with scoping out the new house, neighborhood, community and town. Learning as much as possible before hand will help smooth the transition and get them excited for school, community and other social events and activities.

  • Get Them Excited

You can do this by first making sure that everyone has a job in the move whether it be helping pack, load, unload or unpack. Next have them make room plans. Start with their rooms and if their interested you can move on to shared spaces in the house.

  • Take Them for a Visit (if you’re not moving too far away)

Actually visiting and seeing the new place will get them even more pumped up. Plan to spend an afternoon touring the new neighborhood and doing a walk-through of the new house. You can visit the local public library and your kid’s new schools as well.

  • Spread the move out over a few days

Moving everything in the house in one day makes for an exhausted and grumpy family. We suggest getting into your new house a few days early and moving room by room. This helps with the transition and avoids the need to navigate through a sea of boxes.

  • Enlist multiple babysitters, family and friends for help

Having help both during and after the move will be a life saver. Schedule play dates and other outings so that you can move fast as lightning while the kids are out. It’s always nice to have extra hands (and muscles) helping with the moving portion itself.

  • Have a See You Soon Party

For the kids, one of the most difficult parts about moving is saying good bye to the friends they have made. Throwing a “See You Soon” party lessens the anxiety by focusing less on saying goodbye and more on seeing your friends again. Make sure everyone exchanges contact information and lots of photos are taken during the party.

To Sell Staged or Empty?

living-room-2732939_640During the selling process, home owners face a lot of decision making. If you are fortunate enough to be one of the owners that can move out while showing their house, you can choose between leaving your house empty or staging it for showings. Here are a few benefits and cons of each.


Benefits of Staging

Have you ever noticed that builders decorate their model homes from top to bottom? The living rooms are filled with comfortable furniture while kitchen tables are set with elaborate dinnerware. The staging helps the home feel warm, inviting, clean and spacious. You want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves living there. Realtors, staging professionals and even savvy homeowners can use staging to set their house apart from similar ones that are vacant or poorly staged. This can help with a faster sale.


Benefits of Leaving Empty

Although a vacant house may not look as inviting as a staged home, leaving it empty does offer some benefits. Some may find it hard to visualize the potential of the space while others like picky decorators actually find it easier to envision the possibilities. They feel like they have a blank canvas to work with. Another benefit is that a vacant house highlights that the home is available right away due to the owners already moving on. A clean, vacant house allows buyers to focus on architectural and design elements which can entice a quick sale.


Cons of Staging

Ultimately, staging your home can take a lot of time, effort and money. Even more money if you hire a professional to help you. You can begin the staging process by packing all personal items. Next, make the rooms appear larger and more spacious by removing any excess furniture. Living in a staged home can also take some adjusting. You will be living in a decorated space that must look picture perfect on a moment’s notice. This can be especially difficult for families with children and/or pets. The alternative is staging your house and moving out. But you will still have to leave key furniture pieces in place or rent furniture for the duration of the sale.


Cons of Leaving Empty

Unlike a staged home, a vacant just doesn’t provide that warm, fuzzy feeling that potential buyers crave. Less than perfect quality including scratched floors or stained carpet tend to stand out more in an empty space. Potential buyers may also make offers below the asking price or market value. They might think that you will take a lower offer because the owner is no longer living there and would like to sell sooner than later. A vacant house might sell slower and at a lower price.

Tips to get your yard ready for summer

garden-1680802_1280Summer is coming. Bright lights, new growths, new activities, with all this, some of you must be thinking of changing their home a little bit. The yard is a part of your house that allows you to be creative to your maximum level. Grow new vegetables, plants new flowers and all this will be a part of home maintenance. Are you planning to redo your yard, if yes, following tips may help you in creating an appealing yard in your house:

Create a plan:
Nothing in this world is possible without a proper plan. You need to look for all the important points before you start working on your yard. Do plan and create a list of things you will be doing. Also, include the vegetable or fruits you need to grow this summer in your yard.

Use pest controlling techniques:
With summer season, the pests may also start growing up and getting out of their hiding places. This activity can damage the plants and the vegetables that are present in your yard. It is always better to use the best pest controlling techniques to minimize the damage from the pests.

Prune frequently:
The dead branches of trees and other plants in your yard may not look good. Moreover, they can also damage the health of other plants which is why it is necessary to prune them frequently. Pruning will promote the healthy growth of the plant.

Water properly:
The next thing to do is to water your yard in a proper way. For this purpose, you have to use water pipes or you can also use sprinkles for the consistent watering of the plants. Plants need a lot of water for the growth and heath, the need increases in summer due to a hot temperature which is why you need to pay special attention to watering your plants.

Create a combo:
Your yard will look more appealing if a combination of a flower bed and vegetables can be seen. It will provide a great appearance to it at the same time, you will be able to consume healthy food. You can select the colors of the flowers in accordance with the vegetables to create a soothing color scheme.

Separate some time for mowing:
It is important to properly mow the grass in your yard as it will give a complete look to it. Moreover, it is also essential to maintain the life of your plants. However, there are some important things that should be considered when it comes to mowing, it is best not to cut more than one-third of the height.

These are the tips that can be followed to prepare your yard for this summer season. However, you can also include your own creativity by adding up a fence that is decorated according to your taste or setting up a good yard furniture.


Reference links:

Tips for Getting Your Yard Ready for Summer

9 tips to prepare your garden for summer

Appliances that have tax benefits

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Appliances that have tax benefits

Tis the season of taxes! Although you still have some time to get your taxes filed—mark April 15th on your calendar—it is never too late to begin to prepare for them. As you get you w2s, 401K, and other paperwork in order, now is the time to also look at the appliances around your home which qualify for tax deductions and see which ones you can write-off on your taxes (for either this year or next year).

  • Water heaters. Heating the water in your home can take up 14-25% of your home’s energy, so now is the time to look into replacing your water heater with an efficient electric or gas one. Also, you may be eligible tax credit (up to $300) so give ENERGY STAR® a call and find out what you qualify for.
  • Windows & doors. You can lose a lot of heat through windows and doors, especially if they are past their prime. If your windows and doors are releasing too much heat from your home, why not look at replacing them with ones that are energy-efficient. With the tax credit, you are eligible to have 10% of the cost up to $500 for the door, $200 for windows. To learn more, here.
  • Insulation. Another area to look at which can lower your gas bill and make you eligible for a tax credit of 10% (up to $500). To find out if you qualify and to get more information, check out these ThermWise Contractors.

Have something to add? Tell us about it below in the comments. If you’re ready to buy your first home or make the move to your next dream home, give us a call today! We are here to answer your questions and support you on your homeowner journey.

Tips and tricks for keeping mosquitoes away

We all love the summer. Hanging outside—hiking, camping, fishing, and just spending time outdoors.

However, witcanstockphoto26101491h the hot months, this is  also a time when the mosquitoes come out. This summer, combat mosquitoes and protect yourself from the West Nile Virus with these simple, natural  tips.

  1. Incorporate mosquito repellent plants. There are a bunch of plants out there that repel mosquitoes. Some of the best ones to include in your backyard are: Lemongrass, Marigolds, Rosemary, and Catnip.
  1. Bug zappers or mosquito repellent lamps. OFF! and other brands provide mosquito repellent lamps and candles to help keep these pesky insects away.  Take some time to do your research and decide which option and product works best for you.
  1. Add a bat house your backyard. Bats can eat up to about 1,000 insects an hour. Install a bat house to your backyard to attract bats your home and say goodbye to your mosquito problem.  

You can also help keep mosquitoes from reproducing by taking these precautions:

  1. Throw out old tires, buckets, or unused plastic swimming pools (any containers that hold water) which can be a nesting ground for mosquitoes. Look around your home and eliminate any standing water that might be around your property, this can also include water troughs, ditches, and any seepage from cesspools and septic tanks.
  1. Change out stagnant water from birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week. For the first 10 days, mosquitoes spend their time in water. Mosquitoes eggs require water to hatch and, once they hatch, feed off the organic matter in the water.
  1. Irrigate lawns and gardens to ensure there is no standing water. Verify ditches flow smoothly and don’t contain stagnant water which can produce a huge number of mosquitoes. If you notice ditches don’t flow, report this to a Mosquito Control or Public Health Office. You won’t want to try to fix this yourself as some ditches and such may be protected by wetland regulations.

Have something to add to the list? Tell us about your best tips and tricks for keeping mosquitoes away.

Reconnect With Summer With These Films

Now that the snow is on the ground, officially declaring it winter, now is the time to burrow in and dream of those warm summer nights. Grab some popcorn, a blanket, and enjoy these magical movies to reconnect with your childhood. popcorn-707364_640

  1. Now and Then. This is a fun throwback movie to 4 preteen friends and the summer where childhood innocence fades and true friendships are strengthened.
  1. The Sandlot. A classic and favorite of many, enjoy a fun night of baseball, scary stories, sleepovers, and doing whatever it takes to get your crush to finally notice you.
  1. The Parent Trap. Lindsay Lohan is perfect in the remake of the classic 1960s film as twins discovered each other for the first time in years and plot to reconnect their parents. There are so many laughs and mischief in this film, the whole family is sure to enjoy it.
  1. Ernest Goes to Camp. Enjoy a night of zaniness with this far-fetched movie about juvenile criminals going to Summer camp. With crazy adventures, this is a great movie to watch to remind you of summer.
  1. Little Giants. Remember your first crush? This is for all the tomboys out there who’ve fallen in love and try to catch their crush’s attention.

What is your favorite summer, childhood movie? Tell us below or on Facebook.

Utilize Your Storage Space

There are a lot of pros and cons to living in a smaller space. Each space provides its own challenges, but the key is to learn how to utilize the area effectively; which means, sometimes you have to get creative.window-839824_640

Build storage in your home by making every space work for you. Incorporate adjustable wall mounts in the laundry room, include a bookshelf or storage chest. You can also add storage under your bed, rolling drawers, or find furniture for dual purposes. With larger items, use them in your decor by hanging them on the wall when not using.

Through utilizing your storage and organization, you can live comfortably in your small space. Find ways to upcycle, recycle, and donate the items you no longer want.