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Pack This, Leave That: First-Time Homebuyer Moving Tips

Posted by South Dakota Housing Authority on Sep 30, 2016 9:52:37 AM

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Let’s face it – moving can be a stressful ordeal. (Unless you’re a fan of packing and unpacking, in which case, have fun!) The truth is, it can be a big source of stress, particularly if it’s your first time buying a home.

Luckily there are many ways to ensure your moving process as a first-time homebuyer is a positive and low-stress situation – and it’s all in planning ahead.

Enlisting help

It’s time to level-set – are you game for doing your own moving or are you interested in enlisting help? (And we’re talking about the professional variety, rather than the friends and family who “willingly” volunteer, though those are always helpful.) When it comes to deciding whether or not a moving company is in the cards, make sure to shop around and check local review sites to get the best crew. And be sure to do the same if you’ve decided on the do-it-yourself option – check out van or truck rental companies in your area and determine which offers the best bang for your buck. Any excuse to draft a pro and con list is a good thing.

Storage needs

Sometimes the timing doesn’t work out just right. If there’s some down time between your move out and your move in, make sure you have temporary storage lined up for the meantime. Examine your options, from space rental to pods (to your friends’ basements), your budget may determine what the best option is. (Pro tip: The benefit of a pod storage system is that your storage container is brought to you, versus having to transport it to an offsite location.)

Transferring responsibilities

Whether you’re moving from an apartment to a home, a townhouse to an owned property or any other rent-to-own transition, getting utilities and services transferred out of your name (and into your name, in the new location) is a key priority. It’s beneficial to ensure your utilities are cut off as close to your move-out as possible, as many companies will prorate what you’re billed if it’s mid-month (and every penny counts when you’re a first-time homebuyer). Remember to check off your transfer list necessities like electric and gas, as well as internet, cable and garbage. (Pro tip: Don’t forget to have your mail forwarded just in case – the USPS has a handy change-of-address form for just that!) 

Unload the excess

Sentimentality can get in the way of purging a lot of the time when it comes to the “keep, throw or donate” game. But there’s really no better time to unload some of your excess belongings than when you’re moving. Save yourself the trouble of packing it in a box and hauling it to your new house and decide whether you truly need it (or how long it’s been since you’ve even used it). Drop off excess clothes to consignment shops, bring extra books to the local library – whatever is available in your city and can help ease the volume of boxes in your move.

A South Dakotan's Guide to Buying Your First Home Vol 3

Topics: Homeownership