Kamis, 29 Januari 2009

Preparing your old house for sale

If you're selling your duplex house, you have to do several things to ensure its ready for a smooth and easy sale. You can hire an estate agent, interior stager or complete sales teams to sell your house - or you can do it yourself.

Houses are considered to be easiest to sell when they are clean, tidy, free of clutter, and the walls are neutrally toned - some sites and experts suggest painting your walls white, others suggest that you should paint them with pale, neutral, matching colors. If this isn't possible, it is important to make sure your walls are clean - removing clutter and cleaning woodwork and painted walls, can give your room a much needed lift.

If you're de-cluttering, you can also begin packing whilst doing so, but considering some houses sell up to three months before you're planning on moving OR up to a year after you've moved, its also important not to plan to sell straight away, unless your house is in a highly sought after area, and you've got a good, competitive price. If not, you might be in for quite a wait on selling your house - and you also have to find a new place to move to yourself.

Estate agents, and Realtors do a great job of selling houses, but in an ever increasingly competitive market, you have to do very unique things to sell your house - it has been reported that some people are offering new cars, or paying the tax on your house for the first year of your stay in the new house. The housing market is always expanding, but you can't sell just anything - dilapidated houses can't simply be considered 'fixer uppers' and all houses for sale have to meet ever increasing stringent codes - or have new owners that will fix these to meet those codes.

Rabu, 28 Januari 2009

Three Weeks to go

At three weeks to go, you'll hopefully have finished packing your cupboards - you'll be able to start packing any non essential belongings and put them away too. If you're painting any rooms, its a good idea to try to do so in the next few days, so its all ready, and order any packing supplies you want or need. Ordering as far in advance is important because you'll have the supplies on hand.

You can start investigating schools in your new area and list any questions you may want to ask. While considering which the best school in the area is, you also have to consider how accessible it is, whether there's a school or public bus route to take your children there and whether you need to pay for this.

Your quotations should be coming in now too, from those that you've requested them from, and they should be making appointments to evaluate your belongings, to decide what size of van you'll need and how many men you'll need to help you move - or just the size of van you'll need. You should have chosen your new utility provider by now, and have any forms you need to fill out for your bank, so that there's no delays in changing your details to your new home. If you're letting, you should also have a lease by now, with details of what you are going to have to take care of on moving in.

Your Internet is also something you should start closing down, and let them know when you're moving – if they have to come pick up (or move) your equipment, now is a good time to arrange this. Internet service providers have a minimum notice clause, so its good to make sure that you meet this, or you may be over billed, or fined.

Small Office Moves

Moving when you work from home is a slightly more complicated – the home office is doubly hard to move – you're moving your work place AND your house.
So what can you do to make the move easier?

Moving your home office, like any other move, is all about packing the non essentials – if you aren't using your printer much, go ahead and box it, and some paper up – keep it handy so that you can pull it out and use it if you need it. If you do use it, but not your USB, or other parts of your computer often, consider packing them away as soon as you can.
You can also take this chance to clear out or decide whether anything is needing renewed. Got cartridges of ink that you want to recycle? Take them back or get them refilled as soon as you can – then pack em away – its one less job to deal with – and it will save you money if you use them to be refilled (if your cartridge supports that)

You'll also need to consider how you'll fulfill your duties whilst working from home – will you be able to work on your laptop? Or will your Internet connection be completely non-existent for the next month, whilst you close down one house and settle into a new one.

You'll also have to consider shipping issues – if you collect items regularly, you'll need to make arrangements for them – if you've got stock that's regularly sent to you, what will happen in the 'grey' area between your old house and new house, if there is one?

Moving your home office can be frustrating, and tiring, but well worth it in the long run – that corner you claimed in a rush when you started working from home could become a well planned nook in your new house, with a little imagination.

Painting, and Decorating

Painting, decorating and other ways to make sure your house is in a good condition to sell.

House selling has become a very competitive market, and though people are desperate in some areas to buy a house, its important you take care to ensure that the you've done all you can to make your house as attractive, safe and saleable as possible.

It is said that the average house buyer has no vision – which means you need to make their 'envisioning' themselves within the house as easy as possible.
Dark paintwork is a definite turn off – as are stained, worn or smelly carpets – both of which need to be taken care of.

On the latter, you could offer an 'allowance' or remove a fraction of the house costs for carpets – or, if you can, invest yourself and replace them, to allow a possibly higher sale price. Walls should be painted off white, or antique white – or possibly very pale and pastel shades if you're planning on redecorating – you may have no option if your walls are stained, marked or damaged.

Its also a good time to ensure that everything that you've been meaning to repair is taken care of is actually done – a faulty stair tread, banister or fence in the garden may only be a minor annoyance to you, but can be a danger to anyone looking at the house.

Its hard to sell your house without help, but one of the biggest tips you can take to ensure your house sells is to make sure you've removed your 'imprint'. Looking at the house impartially, remove anything that screams 'my personality' and 'my personal space'.

Things like photos, pieces of unique artwork, and ornaments and more can be removed before people come to view the house. Remember – they want to buy the house, not feel how you lived there, so if you haven't finished boxing up your non essentials by the time you start showing them the house, its time to consider whether you really need the clutter still unpacked – or whether its time to put it in the bin.

Packing Time

Most rooms take around two days to pack, but sometimes you also have to do other 'chores' such as repairs, painting, or replacing old or worn items before moving. Some people do that whilst planning to move, others move out and leave their house for a landlord or landlady - others still move from one housing association house to another.

It’s important to also remember that you will NOT want to pack your whole house in a week, given the choice. Packing is dull for most people - it takes a lot of time that you might want to spend elsewhere. And while it, and de-cluttering while you go, is an essential aspect of moving, there are a few things you can do to make the time go faster.

Clear out your biggest cupboards first - you can store boxes and other packed items in there - and those cupboards may just be full of clutter too - once you've cleared the cupboards, sweep and wipe down the surfaces and then use those cleared spaces for the boxes you're not using now and won't use until after your move. Pack items you know you won't need first - it might seem obvious, but packing up and pouting away your winter clothes in summer, or putting away your hobby stuff stored in the bottom of your closet is a must.

It means you're not living out of boxes for the duration of your packing, and it also means that you'll be able to store those boxes. Get rid of your children's old clothes and toys BEFORE you pack - its easy to pack around small children, harder to sneak their favorite outgrown things into the bin whilst they aren't looking.

It’s important to remember though that space wins over sentimentality, every time, and if you're going to keep something ensure its for the right reasons. Packing might take a while, but remember, if you're organized and mark your boxes while packing, your unpacking won't take nearly as long.

Selasa, 27 Januari 2009

Packing Fragile Items

Fragiles are some of the hardest items to pack. From ornaments to dishes, antiques, photos and lights, you'll need to consider what you're packing, and how best to transport them.

Large photos, framed items and paintings other wall based items are easiest wrapped in bubble-wrap and then placed carefully in a safe place – they'll need to be monitored carefully when moving, as anything falling against them could cause serious damage, tear or break them.

By far and away, the most awkward items to move are computer monitors and TV are the hardest to move – unless you've kept their boxes, you'll find it very difficult to either fit them into a box that you have acquired, or find that you need the boxes for other things. These can be wrapped in sheets or dust covers and placed, with padding around them, in the van once the boxes are in. Most removal companies bind layers to stop them from shifting or falling, so you can secure your monitors, and computers in the same way.

Fragile items, such as ornaments and dishes can go in polystyrene bead lined boxes, or be packed in bubble wrap, but its important to remember that this will cut down on the volume of the items you can fit into the box, and its still no guarantee that they will survive the move.

Careful packing does minimize the risk of things being broken, but one of the only ways to actually ensure that you have no breakages whilst moving is to take them with you, or, if hiring a firm, allowing them to pack.

Newspaper is a great buffer item, but remember, the ink may rub off when you're in transit, giving you another chore at the other end. You can get white “newsprint” paper from most box suppliers, which is considered to be best for packing and wrapping fragiles.

Moving Day

The day of your move is all about getting you out of one house and into the new one – if you've hired a company, all you'll need do is oversee them, or stay out of their way entirely. If you haven't, its important to have some strong family members and friends on hand to help you shift everything into your van.
Empty one room at a time, and ensure the cupboards (if they are walk in) are also empty – once its done, sweep, mop or vacuum, and do one final pickup then close the door. Make it clear to the others helping you that sealed rooms are finished with, so that people aren't trailing dirt into rooms that are finished and clean.

Moving day itself will probably pass in a blur, so its important to try to savor your final moments in the house you're leaving. You'll probably have many memories, good and bad, there, and full closure on that period in your life is important, so that you can move on.

You'll want to keep a couple of boxes, or bags spare and on hand so that you can catch anything that you've missed, that's been knocked into a corner, or essentials that you've kept out for the move – the latter should be marked clearly so that you can find them at the other end.

Keeping your kettle, mugs, coffee, tea, toiletries and baby supplies (if you've got a small child) separate from your packed belongings might be a good idea, as is keeping any essential work, moving, utility or ID documents in a safe place during your move. The latter will ensure that they don't accidentally go astray, or are placed somewhere that you can't find them.

You should take a final meter reading, and where appropriate, shut down any water, electricity or gas supplies if no one is going to be in the house for a few days after you.