Friday, February 3, 2012

Moving Questions

I'm taking a quick break from my semi-productive efforts at preparing the house to be put on the market.  For those of you who have experience moving, I've got a few questions.

We are in a situation where our house is stuffed to the gills with furniture and clutter.  I want to install new flooring and fresh paint, but that means moving all the furniture and stuff someplace else.  I'm not willing to pay a month's rent for a storage facility, but I'll be hard-pressed to find space within the house and garage to move things to.  Should I just wait until we get a new house and move all the stuff in there before attempting to install new flooring and fresh paint?

I suspect potential home buyers won't be interested in our house in the condition it is in at the moment, but should I put it on the market anyway just to see if we get any bites and then fix it up later if we don't?

In your experience, did you wait until your old house sold before buying a new house?  Or did you make finding the right new house the priority and only put your old house on the market once you were under contract for a new house?  I'm concerned about the timing of all this, because we don't want to be stuck with two mortgages unless we can rent, and we also don't want to have one house standing empty.  We can hire a caretaker, but that didn't work out so well with my mother's house.  I discovered that the gardener I hired to do the watering let her lawns die.  He mowed diligently, but forgot to adjust the sprinkler system to match the lawns' needs during weather changes.

When you were selling your home, how often did you have to clean it and leave so that a real estate agent could show it?  We're you able to keep your regular schedule and hold down a job while all of this was going on, or was it disruptive?  What types of problems did you experience with your house being shown while you were still living in it?

When you were house hunting, what kinds of things were a big turn-off for you?  Cracked floor tiles?  Cracks in walls?  Cracks in patios and concrete driveways?  Stains on carpet?  Popcorn ceilings?  Pink wallpaper?  Old rotted fences?  Dog hair?  Horse manure piled three-feet high?  Neighbors with junk yards?  I can fix some things, but not all things, so I'm kind of wondering what the priority would be.

Since no one is flipping houses in our area anymore, I know I can't sell this place as a fixer-upper.  Anyone who moves here is probably going to want it to be move-in ready.  When you did move, did you box everything up yourself and hire a moving company to load it into a truck?  Do some moving companies help box everything up?  Did you rent a truck yourself?  We rented our own U-Haul truck the last time we moved, but we were moving just 15 miles down the road and it only took a couple of truckloads because we didn't own that much, but now we have way too much stuff.  I'm wondering about the logistics in moving out of state.

Did you have a yard sale before moving to cut back on what needed to be moved?  Did you move your horses yourself or hire a livestock trucking company to do it?  How many trips back and forth did it take?  Escrow on a normal sale is usually 30 to 35 days.  Have any of you had a longer waiting period?  And how did you get it?  The idea of doing home inspections, preparing to move and trying to sell our old house within a month is mind-boggling to me, so I'm starting to wonder if the hold ups involved in short sales might work in my favor to buy me time.

Anyway, tell me what you think is important to know.  If you want to write an email instead of a comment, my address is in my "About NuzMuz" profile behind the EMAIL link.  Thanks in advance.

16 comments:

Crystal said...

This is interesting to me cause a friend of mine is putting an offer on a house tonight and hoping to buy an acreage. They are waiting till the offer is accepted before listing thier house and they put a clause in saying they have 30 days after the sale goes through to move out. That way they can move and paint and everything. But there is also a clause on the sale house that they can only buy it if thier house sells.

I have moved a lot of times before and I just got friends with stock trailers to help me and we alwys done it ourselves, but it would be kinda nice to get a company to help especialy if moving far away.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I would say Not to list the house now to see if you get any bites. If you are going to fix things before listing it- do it in that order. You can always start high and come down, but if you list at a lower price- house needs work... That is what will stick in peoples minds. The low price and the repairs needing to be made. It will be hard to overcome that even if the repairs have been made.

I don't know about having a yard sale, but a CL ad is there for a while and buyers can look at something at 3 am and shoot you an email to inquire. Moving does make you go through all your stuff and weed out the stuff we hang on to too long, just because.

If you are going to rent it out- I suggest turning it over to a property management company and having everything in writing. Let them deal with things and just send you a check.

Hahaha! Word verif is blessu

redhorse said...

Do the yard sale and purge everything you can live without before you buy or sell. Believe me, you have at least 4 times as much stuff as you think you do.

Eden said...

we just bought a house last week (after looking for a mere 3 years! obviously we weren't pressed to move out and could take our time) we'd walk the outside of a home looking for cracks in the foundation & checking out the condition of the HVAC. we were scared of window units, assuming it meant no central heat and air. If we made it inside, we checked out where floor meets wall for any damage & looked for water spots on ceilings. best of luck!

Dreaming said...

You are so smart to asks questions first! I'll shoot you an email with my experiences.

anita said...

http://diyhomestagingtips.blogspot.com/ This is a handy site for moving/selling your house tips.

Grey Horse Matters said...

There's so much to do to prepare a house for sale. I started with renting a dumpster and throwing away anything that wasn't coming with me to a new house. That really helped. The closets, garage and basement were cleaned out in a few days by just throwing it all out into the dumpster.

Next step was to clean everything. People do like to see a clean house because then it looks like you've taken care of it while you lived there. I'm sure you don't really need to paint just wash the walls and have the carpeting cleaned.

When it went on the market I vacuumed everyday and made the beds and it showed well.

Good luck with all this, I know it's stressful. Hang in there.

Cheryl Ann said...

I have no advice. We haven't moved for 37 years! Our house has rotted fences, manure, trees which need to be trimmed, needs paint...there's no hope the way it is. we would also have to rip out all the carpets and replace them, paint the entire place inside and out, and tear down the front fence. Oh, and then we'd have to reseed the entire front yard! Oye vei!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

It's very wise of you to ask all these questions before such a major move.
My family has never lived anywhere longer than 7 years. Both me and my hubby are military brats, so moving is normal and a part of life for us.
Our biggest moves have been from Maryland to New Mexico and from New Mexico to South Carolina and back to New Mexico again 7 years later.
We have done those cross-country moves with 3 small kids, rabbits, cats and dogs. And we did it all ourselves with just a U-Haul.

These are the questions you asked, and I'll try to answer them here:

1)Should I just wait until we get a new house and move all the stuff in there before attempting to install new flooring and fresh paint?

A. PURGE! PURGE! PURGE! You don't need all that stuff. Get rid of it. Moving has been the best and easiest way for us to downsize and have less baggage weighing us down. All that clutter and junk is exhausting having to deal with, store, and haul around. Live a simpler life and throw most of it away, and sell the rest.
For the nice stuff that you truly value and that adds usefulness and joy to your life, you can rent one of those PODS that they'll bring to your house and park right out front.

2)I suspect potential home buyers won't be interested in our house in the condition it is in at the moment, but should I put it on the market anyway just to see if we get any bites and then fix it up later if we don't?

A. NO! That's taking a huge gamble, because the longer your home is on the market, the bigger chance that real estate agents and potential buyers will think it's not worth their time to look at assuming that something is wrong with it to have it sit for so long. Plus you want to get full value out of your home, so fix it up, clean it up and ask for more money. You can always start high and go low, but you can't go the other way.

3)In your experience, did you wait until your old house sold before buying a new house? Or did you make finding the right new house the priority and only put your old house on the market once you were under contract for a new house?

A.We've bought and sold 4 houses, and leased out one. On one of our houses we worked out a deal to rent our own house back from the new owners for a month until our new home was ready for us to move in (we had the new home built and it took longer than expected). One our last home, we moved into this new home first and left the old home empty (lots of buyers prefer this). We didn't paint or re-carpet that house when we moved out, but the new buyers insisted we do that before they would sign on the dotted line, so that's what we did.
When we moved to South Carolina, we decided to lease out our New Mexico home because we knew we wanted to move back home one day and have a place to move back to, plus the real estate market was terrible then. So we hired a Property Management Company....best money we ever spent. They advertised our property, interviewed renters, handled the rent payments, enforced the rules, managed any repairs and move-out cleaning, and kept our property rented out the entire 7 yrs we were in South Carolina. That was a huge piece of mind...and it was nice to claim all of that on our taxes at the end of each year, too.

Cont....

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

4)When you were selling your home, how often did you have to clean it and leave so that a real estate agent could show it? We're you able to keep your regular schedule and hold down a job while all of this was going on, or was it disruptive? What types of problems did you experience with your house being shown while you were still living in it?

A. This is my least favorite part of selling a home. bah! It's even more difficult if you have kids or pets. You've got to keep the home clean and organized 24/7 so you can be ready at any time for a showing. It's very disruptive and stressful. If you have animals or kids, I recommend moving into your new home first and then listing it for sale, and leaving the home empty for potential buyers to walk through. I you can't, though, be sure to have dog crates kept outside or in the garage for when you're not home and can't take the dogs with you.



5)When you were house hunting, what kinds of things were a big turn-off for you? Cracked floor tiles? (YES! DEPENDS ON HOW BIG..PATCH or REPAIR) Cracks in walls? (YES! PATCH THEM) Cracks in patios and concrete driveways? (YES! Depends on how big. PATCH THEM) Stains on carpet? (YES! STEAM CLEAN) Popcorn ceilings? (YES. Very outdated, and noone wants to deal with removal, so REMOVE IT) Pink wallpaper? (YES! Most people despise wallpaper, and you limit your potential buyers with a color like pink) Old rotted fences? (Not so much. That's not a huge job. But if you can remove the fences, it'll make your property look better) Dog hair? (YES! Vaccuum it up! Keep the dogs in one area to make the cleaning easier on you) Horse manure piled three-feet high? (Uh...yeah! Nasty. Clean it up!) Neighbors with junk yards? (Probably, but what can you do. If you make your property look beautiful, hopefully they'll be too busy enjoying it, to even notice the eyesore next door)
My advice? Rent a Dumpster...and PURGE! PURGE! PURGE!

6)Did you box everything up yourself and hire a moving company to load it into a truck? Do some moving companies help box everything up? Did you rent a truck yourself?

A. For all 3 of our cross country moves (MD-NM, NM-SC, SC-NM), we rented the largest U-Haul they make and used the back our truck for the rest. Whatever didn't fit, we gave away to friends, sold or tossed. I can't accentuate enough about how important this is. PURGE! PURGE! PURGE! More than 60% of the stuff you own is junk you don't need. All that stuff weighs you down, makes your life more complicated, and costs you more than you'll ever known(both monetary, physically, and emotionally). Get rid of it. Stuff is not important, it's your life, your freedom, and your family that matters most.

7)Did you have a yard sale before moving to cut back on what needed to be moved?

A. That's one option, but we gave most of our stuff away via Freecycle, and to our friends that helped us pack up and move. We just told them, if you see something you like, just ask, and you can probably have it. That was a great way to show our appreciation for their help and helped us by getting rid of more junk we didn't need. The rest of the stuff, just toss it. Rent a dumpster and get rid of it.

8)Did you move your horses yourself or hire a livestock trucking company to do it?

A.We didn't have a horse or llamas when we moved, but I would probably hire someone if we moved now, especially for a long distance move. It's just peace of mind with all the other selling, buying, packing, unpacking, and moving stuff you have to do.

My biggest advice to share: PURGE! PURGE! PURGE!

~Lisa

gowestferalwoman said...

and to add to everyone else's good comments - watch A & E Hoarders on the internet at night while sorting things - its amazing how motivated you will be in "purging" the extras LOL!

Linda said...

When we put our house up for sale we did a deep cleaning and weeded out all the unnecessary junk...gave a bunch of furniture to the kids. Then we painted almost every room and got rid of every "funky" color--like my daughter's lime-green. We did rent a storage space and we also boxed a lot up and put it in the garage. The bathrooms, believe it or not, had urinals and though they'd always turned us off, we didn't really care...we pulled them out of the wall and patched it up, the put shelves up to hide where they'd been. We did a lot and showing the house was always a pain. I'd have to clean, clean, clean and then leave...then do it all again. If you could buy another house first, that would be ideal, but we had to have the money out for our next down payment. Since we had 6 horses, 3 goats, dogs and cats...it was a bear to move everything and we have since decided we'll never move again.

strivingforsavvy said...

I totally agree with Lisa! The more you fix things up and clean things out the better. Your house will look bigger and better to the buyers that come through. Remember, you can have a real estate agent or two come out and give you advice on what to do and how much they think it will sell for.

Laura said...

Lisa's comments were really good - so I won't repeat what she wrote in great detail.

We are right in the middle of hoping to buy/sell right now as well (short distance move though) and our realtor has told us the following:

purge, declutter and super clean. Have pets? Clean and take the pets out with you when the house is being shown.

paint if you can. sell or donate extra furniture.

Putting your house up for sale will be disruptive. You will have people walking through the house being super critical (I'm saying that because that is how I have been when we looked at some homes recently).

We are hoping to put in a conditional offer on a home and one of the conditions is that we have to sell our house first. We cannot afford two mortgages and don't want to get into that situation. We also don't want to sell this first, then be forced to buy something because the closing date is looming.

We have one big repair issue that we have been debating - our hardwood floors are really scratched from the dog - and our realtor said that fixing them would be best and make the house show better and probably sell faster. If we don't fix them, the house will still sell, but it may take longer and we won't get as good of a price.

Good luck! It will be tough, but imagine you guys in your new home! That is what is motivating me to pack up the basement and clean everything up!

Laura said...

just thought of another answer...

you asked about how often you have to clean and leave for showings - well that entirely depends on how many viewings you get. I am under the impression that you have to live a bit differently (ie - more tidy) while the house is on the market, so that you can be ready to do a viewing. You can request that the realtor add a clause to give you as much notice as possible before a viewing.

I will be holding down a regular job while doing all of this, so I'll let you know how that goes! I may have to take a day off here and there, but I expect to be doing the work on weekends and evenings...

Anna said...

When I was house hunting I had a few turnoffs. First, if the house wasn't the only one for sale on that road, and they were in close proximity, I questioned the reason why. Weird neighbors, maybe a group of kids were causing problems? Second: carpet. I HATE CARPET! It gets filthy, you spend time cleaning it more than you do enjoying it. Does anyone TRULY enjoy carpeting??? Another: There HAS to be a backyard. I laughed when people proclaimed "SPACIOUS BACK YARD!" and you come to find that their idea of "spacious" requires only a postage stamp width of space.
Yippee.
I really hope you and your furry children find the right place.