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Relocation Connection: 10 Tips

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Ten Tips on Relocation

I have moved nearly two dozen times, and have this down to a fairly painless operation. What complicates a move more than anything is having all kinds of things you don't need. So, I simply do not accumulate things I don't need.

But since most people do accumulate, this first tip makes a world of difference. All of these tips work very well.

  1. Lighten the move. Go through your closets, drawers, and cupboards one at a time. Identify those items that are worn, don't fit, or don't go with anything else. Give them away or throw them away. This also means you should delay any planned purchases until after the move. That delay also improves your cash flow, which is critical for funding purchase of a new home.

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  1. Go Modular. Everything you store on a shelf or in a cupboard is something you must pack and unpack. However, if you use free-standing cabinets (especially for the garage and basement), you can wheel everything right out to the moving van. You would need to pack only glass items.

  2. Sell that second car. Don't be in love with your vehicles. Put the money from sale of the second car into a special fund for buying its replacement. This not only simplifies the move, but you don't pay property tax on an old car at the new location. Also, if you are making only one car payment you stand a much better chance of getting the cheapest loan possible.

  3. Suspend subscriptions. You aren't going to have time to read all those magazines, etc., while you are moving. So, as you get each one, write and request a 4-month suspension. After your move, those items will start arriving again. Cancel the ones you haven't missed, and give a change of address for the ones you want to keep.

  4. Prequalify. Pay down any debts you can pay down, and start doing so as soon as possible. You may need to sell some securities or other property. Paying off loans by starting with the smallest one first has the most dramatic effect on your cash flow and your credit. Apply for a loan before you even go house hunting.

    And get a statement showing you are prequalified for whatever amount the bank approves. Prequalified buyers have significant advantages over other buyers.

  5. Make connections. Talk with a Realtor in your new location long before you make the move. A simple phone call will usually do the trick. This establishes a relationship. These Relocation Services will help you find a Realtor.
  6. Find the airport. Generally, you are best off living between your place of work and the airport. If you don't travel much for your job, then locate your home closer to "lifestyle amenities." Your Realtor will help you understand what locations work best, if you first...

  7. Make out a profile. To help your Realtor match your lifestyle and new home location, make a list of your interests, passions, and requirements. You may want to locate near a particular church, school, museum, shopping center, recreational center, etc. Think about the inconveniences in your present location. How would you fix them by moving within the area you know? Pass this information on to your Realtor.

  8. Check out the new place. A lot of experts advise you to spend the night in your proposed new home before buying it. This is just about impossible. Instead, visit the area's police department and explain you want to know about the kinds of calls the neighborhood gets because you would like to move there. Drive through the neighborhood during the day, and see how it looks. Check out the lawns, the condition of the houses, and the traffic patterns. Stop and talk with people, if they are outside, and get their impressions. Drive through it at night, and see how that makes you feel.

  9. Make a punchlist. Don't rely on inspectors to tell you everything that's wrong with the home you are about to buy. They focus on the safety and infrastucture, not the usefulness of the place--and even then, they miss a lot of things.

    To overcome this, meet with each inspector and explain you are willing to pay extra for a complete inspection. You want them to pull receptacle covers off--especially for DIY add-ons--and look for things that aren't right.

    Make sure the range wiring is large enough, the GFCIs are wired right (just pushing the test button is no guarantee) instead of daisy-chained in ways that make resetting the ones in the garage or outside a pain, gaskets on outside receptacles are good, there is a water line for the refrigerator, etc.

    Tell them you want them to be extremely picky, and then to rate each item as an 1 ("must fix"), an 2 ("advise fixing"), or 3 ("would be nice to fix"). Use this list when negotiating on the house, and when determining if you really want to buy it after all.

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