Wendy Butler | ERA Key Realty


It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.

 First, there’s the financial planning to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. You’ll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.

 After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.

 In this article, we’ll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.

1. Home security

Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure it’s safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering what’s at stake.

Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.

2. Set up your utilities

One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services you’ll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.

3. Self-inspection

You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.

4. Deep clean

It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when it’s empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.

5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves

When disaster strikes, you’ll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, there’s a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasn’t aware of.


Need to relocate from one address to another? In all likelihood, you'll need to pack a variety of small kitchen appliances before moving day arrives. Luckily, we're here to teach you what it takes to safely and effectively pack up your microwave, toaster and other small kitchen appliances.

Now, let's take a look at three best practices for packing small kitchen appliances.

1. Clean and Disassemble Your Appliances

Before you start packing, spend some time cleaning your small kitchen appliances. This will ensure your appliances are neat and tidy prior to storing them in assorted moving boxes.

Unplug a kitchen appliance prior to cleaning. Then, allocate the necessary time and resources to wipe down your appliance's interior and exterior. After you clean your kitchen appliances, make sure they are completely dry before you pack them.

In addition, remove any loose parts from your small kitchen appliances. This will allow you to secure all associated appliance components in moving boxes.

2. Choose an Appropriate Moving Box

If possible, use a small kitchen appliance's original box for moving day. The appliance will fit perfectly in this box, thereby reducing the risk of damage while your appliance is in transit.

For those who failed to save the original boxes for their appliances, there is no need to worry. You can purchase moving boxes in a wide range of sizes, ensuring you can find a moving box that will hold any small kitchen appliance.

In most instances, small and medium-sized moving boxes are ideal for myriad kitchen appliances. Use plenty of packing or sealing tape on the bottom of these moving boxes to ensure the boxes won't fall apart. Also, prepare these moving boxes with packing paper to further protect your small kitchen appliances.

3. Wrap Your Appliances in Bubble Wrap or Packing Paper

When it comes to small kitchen appliances, it always is better to err on the side of caution. Therefore, you should wrap each of these appliances in bubble wrap or packing paper and secure it with packing tape. This will help you minimize the risk that the appliance will get damaged during your move.

If you need extra help with moving small kitchen appliances or other items, it never hurts to reach out to a professional moving company for assistance, either. This moving company will learn about your moving needs and help you plan accordingly.

Lastly, if you require assistance with buying or selling a house, it pays to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying or home selling journey. Furthermore, if you are uncertain about the best ways to prepare for moving day, a real estate agent can offer expert recommendations.

Take the guesswork out of packing your small kitchen appliances – use the aforementioned best practices, and you should have no trouble getting your small kitchen appliances packed up and ready to go for moving day.


An excellent way to estimate the market value of a property is by taking a look at the streets, clinics, offices, nearby homes, and other facilities in the area. A good neighborhood plays a vital role in determining the worth of your home and can have great benefits for homeowners as it supports a steady rise in capital values, while a poor location stagnates the investment values of homes it. Are you looking for a good neighborhood for your real estate investment? Here are some signs that define a great area:

Accessibility 

Locations that are very accessible and close to means of public transport are preferable. The advantage of living in an easily accessible place is connectivity. Connectivity means that you can get to the airport, hospital, train station, worship places, and your workplace within the shortest possible time. This factor makes it easier to deal with the daily routines of living. It also makes the neighborhood more livable.

Bordering Neighborhood 

A good neighborhood that is surrounded by an unhealthy one will be deemed unsuitable. Therefore, it is essential you consider the areas surrounding a community before you make your decision. The best residential buildings are located around prime areas and not places that are underdeveloped with downmarket profiles.

Great Opportunities for socializing 

You should consider a location that gives you ample opportunity to get out of your home and socialize with people. Therefore, a neighborhood with coffee shops, theatre, art galleries, and parks is an excellent area for socializing.

Reduced Crime Rates

An excellent location will have a lower crime rate. That is robbery, theft, burglaries, and other vices are relatively few. The low crime rates in any neighborhood can be due to the heavy presence of security forces, better security arrangements, and the class of people living in that area. You should always go for a city with a lower crime rate for your safety and that of your family. 

Presence of Retailers

A location with lots of retailers is the right place for business. Meaning that numerous potential consumers are living in the area. So, if you can see a lot of retail stores around, it indicates that the city is thriving. Also, the availability of convenience stores makes life easier and more enjoyable for residents.

Real estate investment requires proper planning and the location where you have your property has a remarkable effect on its market value. You should take note the qualities mentioned above before choosing a suitable neighborhood for your real estate investment.


Furniture pads are materials that are used by movers or individuals to cover the furniture to prevent nicks, scratches, and dust during a move. 

They are also called moving pads or moving blankets and are usually wrapped around furniture and secured with tape or rubber bands to keep them in place. Furniture pads can be purchased for personal use, rented from moving companies/truck rentals, and provided by professional movers when employing their services for a move. 

Furniture pads can be self-made too by using thick blankets and comforters. The downside to this method is that the blankets and comforters might not be reusable after the move. 

Reasons to use furniture pads:

It protects furniture 

It protects furniture from dirt. The furniture, moving from the old home into the truck to the new house, can quickly accumulate dust and other forms of dirt over the course of the journey. Hence the need for furniture pads.

It protects the floors 

It protects the floors of the home from getting scratched. Dragging heavy furniture like dining tables and chairs, which are too heavy to be carried across the floors will ultimately lead to defacing the surface but with the use of furniture pads, the floors are protected, and the base of the furniture is also protected. It also protects the paint on the walls of the house from getting scratched and peeled off.

It makes moving easier 

Moving heavy furniture becomes a lot easier in that rather than using a cart to move the furniture around, the furniture can be easily slid across the floor from place to place.

It prevents breakage 

It protects the legs of furniture like tables and chairs from damage since the legs of the furniture are known to be fragile. Adding extra padding will keep them sturdy during the transition. 

It acts as a buffer 

It acts as a buffer between various furniture in a moving truck. When your furniture is loaded into a truck and is in transit, it is inevitable for these pieces to move from side to side, bump into each other and scratch against other items. This movement can cause the wooden furniture not only to lose its quality but to also result in it reducing into a pile of dust. Using furniture padding prevents this and ensures that furniture is moved from one end to another with no scratches.

Furniture pads should be used during a move since they protect your furniture and the places they come in contact with from being damaged. In fact, it is a necessity as they also help to avoid the stress of discarding expensive furniture and having to buy more.


All communities have increases and decreases in population, demographics, and times when several (or very few) homes are on the market. Sometimes, it's merely that the stars aligned for several homeowners at the same time. Once in a while, because the market is particularly hot, many of the owners hope to cash in on the rising prices. In a few cases, however, it is a BIG. RED. FLAG.

Proceed with caution.

Getting in early to a neighborhood that is on the cusp of gentrifying—of becoming that trendy place where everybody wants to live—can be a savvy move for personal homebuyers and investment purchases. But just because the neighborhood next door made the transition doesn’t always mean this one is next up.

If you can purchase several homes in the neighborhood, you can try to force the upward change, but if you’re buying your first family home, take heed of a few signs that a community has headed down instead of up.

Lots of homes for sale.

As noted above, sometimes it’s just a fluke that several homes go on the market at once. Other times, it is because some community event triggered it. This event could be a school district redistricting so that students no longer qualify to go to the school they planned for, an increase in a local tax, because the water/sewer lines need upgrading but the city isn't budging, or an increase in homeowner association dues.

Association woes.

Speaking of homeowner associations, sometimes it's not the dues, it's just the restrictive rules. If all the houses look identical; if the color palette seems to be within one or two hues; if the turf is all the same grass, the neighborhood might have a super-controlling association. While many folks are fine with tightly-defined rules, you'll want to know going in so that your dreams of a minty-green paint over all that red brick aren't dashed on the rocks of the rulebook and covenants.

School shuffling.

If the school district is moving the lines, it's important to know before you invest. The changes might be in your favor, in which case: get right in there and make your move. But if you had old information on where your kids would qualify to go, you need to know.

Different demographics.

In older neighborhoods, an aging population may be in transition out. If so, that might signal the perfect time for younger families to move in, upgrade, update, and upscale the homes into this decade. One way for you to know for sure is to speak to people that know. Talk to the neighbors when you go to that open house. Drive along the streets at the end of the workday to see who is coming and going. Stop by in the morning for a look at how many kids are heading to the school bus stop.

Your local real estate specialist pays attention to trends and can tell you how many homes have sold within the last few years, so use their expertise before making the leap.




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