Advice from those who have bought a home or moved with CP requested.

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Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 3/18/2012 12:32 AM (GMT -6)   
My family is going to be moving in the next few months. We are looking for a home, and I am dreading packing, moving, and unpacking.

We also have never bought a home before, and don't know the process we are getting into. The two realtors we met were not really interested in helping us. We want a home that is affordable on one income, modest-sized, and one level if at all possible. This way, if I don't improve enough to work we can still afford it, and I won't have much more space to clean. It seems that most of our areas realtors are not very interested in helping us and it feels like its because we won't score them a large commission. I understand, but am offended that we will get poor service for using our heads and living within our means.

Does anyone have advice on what to look for in a realtor? What to avoid? We are checking taxes owed on every property, are getting a home inspection on ones we like before making an official offer, and checking neighborhoods and mortgage, insurance, and tax rates. We are even getting some first-time home buyers help from our local bank.

How about some advice for packing, unpacking and moving? We will have help from many friends, and belong to a Christian mission group that helps less fortunate people, fire victims, and those who have lost their homes and apartments property to refurnish and supply linens and kitchen goods, small appliances, dishes, and even knick-knacks, TVs, and lamps. They are generously allowing us to use their trailer and box trucks, and providing several pieces of furniture that we will be needing. We are blessed.

I worry about how much I will be able to help move. Packing and unpacking I guess, organizing and directing? My sons and I have begun going through closets and the house, donating what we don't need and others could use, throwing out trash, and packing away things that aren't necessary for daily living. Like household records, framed pictures, out of season clothes, coats, boots, decorations, canning supplies.

Any suggestions on how to make the whole home buying and hunting and moving easier for me? We aren't picky and don't have many demands, running water, a bathroom,(praying for 2 turn ) heating and cooling, and a good feeling for home.

SO why do I feel so anxious? things are rough emotionally right now, for me, so that may be adding to it. I see my doc this week about the anxiety and depression. he may be able to help.

Thank you, friends, in advance.

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw
Pelvic adhesive disease, IBS, SI dysfunction, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, 11 pelvic surgeries for pain, adhesions, endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, and ovarian remnant syndrome.

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 3/18/2012 4:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mindy,
I don't have any solid advice, since I have never done the whole buy your own home thing..I was blessed to be given my home by my mother...but...the packing and moving items is something I can honestly say I understand quite well!
My biggest suggestion is to box things for every area in medium to small boxes and label them very, very well.  This includes not only the room they belong in, but the general items in the child1's name....socks...
I know that seems so silly, but we are living out of those boxes now and I've had to go purchase items that were "packed" by my sisters or by the lady who helps me clean.  She broke some items too by just putting them in boxes without making sure they were packed correctly and by just plopping them down on tables where they didn't belong.  It also took up a great deal more space than necessary and we have had to move the belongings multiple times.  We didn't expect to do that, but were forced to because of more damage or because we had to have everything two feet off of a wall around one side of a large room to jack the floor up...then had to move everything back to have access to the heating/air vents on the other side.
I have found that my personal friend who helped was the absolute best!  She asked about every item (and that is where you come in here)...telling the packers exactly what to put in each box and how to lable them and then where to put the box in storage.  Without her help, I would have been completely lost.   She asked about every item and allowed me to make the decisions.  If family cannot do this your way, then get help from a friend because it will make all of the difference in the world later when you are looking for things that you need right now.  (((one of my sisters bagged up my daugter's school library book and put it in a suitcase in the top of a closet that we had no access to for almost a month...there were many tears until I found that book this week, so please make sure you pack away the non-essentials first)))
Good luck Mindy...this too shall pass...
That is what keeps me going from day to day and i hope you will find some solace in the same phrase..
All my best!

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Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 3/18/2012 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure what advice to offer, but I wanted to commiserate as my wife is very eager to move and I am resisting. Since I'm at home 6/7 days, I'm in charge of hiring all the handymen, painters, etc. to get our house ready for the market and if all goes smoothly, we'll have it up for sale in about 6 weeks.

Keep in mind that moving is stressful for just about everyone and I've heard it said that it is one of the three our four most stressful events in life -- not just because of the obvious, but like territorial animals, we have a sense of our own space and when its order that gets decimated, it causes considerable anxiety.

My wife uses a time-release xanax when she's dealing with stressful events. It doesn't make her sleepy. but prevents the anxiety that otherwise can overwhelm her. Maybe a script for some could help with the ordeal.

One financial suggestion I have is to not buy a house (except on contingency) until your house sells. Unless, of course, you're comfortable enough to handle two mortgages or your existing house is paid off.

Oh, one more suggestion: don't trust home inspectors, especially those recommended by a realtor. In my experience, they will typically ignore lots of issues and approve the house because they get most of their work from realtor referrals and a realtor wouldn't recommend a home inspector that could threaten the deal.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray

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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 3/18/2012 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am sorry I have never bought a home, I love apartment living, and my credit sucks, and apartments are very easy to clean. 
But I do have some advice for getting those things you need for a household, Thrift Stores, I am not kidding, I furnished all of my apartments with either things people gave me or thrift stores.  We (my girls and I) moved alot when they were young, I dont remember staying anywhere more than a year to a year and a half, maybe two years tops.  But back then I could do a much better job than I could do now.
I am now the person that just sits and waits for the apartment, or in the case of my daughter who is getting married, I will be moving in a house, but her husband to be has moved each place we have lived in by himself.  He is a bit of a macho man, but ya gotta love somebody that can do that.
I will sign off as I cant help with anything else and dont want to take up space, Good Luck, take care,
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 3/20/2012 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Cogito, RetiredMom, Kathy, Thank you very much for your advice! We live in a mobile home right now, which is not in good enough shape to sell to anyone. The roof needs repaired and that would cost more than the home is worth. We are batting around selling it really cheap to someone who knows and signs a contract, that they were aware of the roof replacement need, or simply donating it to our local fire department for training purposes. That is one thing less to worry about. We won't move until we have it all figured out.

RetiredMom, We have started packing nonessential items like books, DVDs, knick knacks, anything that is not used for everyday. All is getting labeled, and we are using small to medium boxes with lids taped down. The kids are not liking the weeding out we are doing, but they have so much stuff!

My husband realizes that he and the boys (13 and 14 this summer) are going to be doing much of the lifting and moving. I can help unpack and pack some, but take frequent breaks and bend very little. He laughingly said he would leave my chair and ottoman for last, so they can simply carry me to the truck in my favorite chair, and back into the house again! Funny image to think about anyway.

It could be so much worse, and as you said RetiredMom, it will pass. Cogito, thank you for the suggestion of the time released xanax. I will ask my doctor about that one to help with the anxiety. Keeping that down will make the whole process better, I think. There are so many things to keep track of and get done, its getting overwhelming.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw
Pelvic adhesive disease, IBS, SI dysfunction, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, 11 pelvic surgeries for pain, adhesions, endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, and ovarian remnant syndrome.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/20/2012 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
HI Mindy, I see you have been getting some good tips here already. Especially about labeling boxes and box sizes. Years ago, I would have said: the bigger the box the more it can hold but now that definitely isn't how I would do it now... Proper planning will take a lot of stress out of the move. And every move needs a good Director to tell people where your stuff goes. So even sitting in a chair at the door and telling each person coming in the door where things go is of great help. Your hubby and sons may like the bigger boxes but you will probably get the honor of handling quite a few things once you get moved so definitely stay with sizes you can handle for the most part unless your sure someone will be available to move a bigger box.

Whenever I have moved before I always went around and got boxes from my local grocer to pack in. Now a days a lot of the stores compress the boxes just as soon as they are empty, so it might help if you go by and find out when they usually get their shipments and ask if they will keep some back for you. Most places I've been to were always happy to help you out. Just be there when they say to or they won't keep them long taking up space in their receiving area. I usually ask for them to keep the boxes Eggs come in for me. They are a good size. And if you start right away trying to get some you can have quite a few before you have to pack up. Also having the same size box it makes it easy to stack them in a box truck.

As for moving in regular trucks, To me that is the worst way anyone can do it simply because running back and forth to unload and load is time consuming and cost a considerable amount of fuel if you have very far to go. I would suggest getting the Biggest Uhaul or Similar Box Truck and do a one day rental on it. They usually aren't real expensive to do local moves in. Have seen some in the past for $19.95 with unlimited miles. Just have to fill tank back up when done.

Have everything ready to load and packed before you pickup the truck. Pack it all in the Truck at once and make only one trip to move to the new place. Believe me that is the way to go if you can.

Like I said, Be the Director at the new place and tell them what goes where even if you do have it marked on the box you may need to tell them where to set the heavy boxes so they are not in your way. I have even went as far as Hanging signs at the new house on the doorways to show which is Bedroom 1 (BR1) Bedroom 2 (BR2) and so forth.

As far as Realtors go; I always find one by asking Friends and Family who they recommend if available. But there are many good sites online you can search for houses and have a Selling Realtor assigned to them. Once you do get a Realtor they should guide you. It is best to get a Pre-Approval letter for a loan. Realtor should guide you as to how to go about it. That lets Realtor know you are a serious buyer and also lets them know what price range home you can afford based on your income, savings, and other factors.

Oh, Keep out your blankets so you can drape them over furniture you don't want scratched up.

I kinda agree and disagree with Cogito about Home inspectors. I have a Son in law that is a Home Inspector, He is a very reputable one and has more business than he can handle because he is known for being very thorough. His loyalty lies with the person who has hired him and not the Realtor. I do agree some Realtors may feel like Cogito says and not want a Inspector to point out things and mess up their sale. So getting one not referred by the Realtor could be a good thing. But to place them all in a box and say they are untrustworthy is not a good statement. A good home inspector will inform you of everything he finds and give you a report showing all the details with pictures to support their findings. A good one will go up on the roof, in the attic, and under the floor checking for problems. But be sure and take a good look around for potential problems yourself before buying and remember it is Buyer Beware even if you do use an inspector.

Good luck and hope my comments help you.
You don't stop laughing when you grow old
You grow old when you stop laughing !!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/20/2012 1:31 PM (GMT -6)   
One other thing.. Write FRAGILE on at least a couple of sides of the boxes containing breakables and wrap breakables in layers of Newspapers prior to placing in box.. :-)
You don't stop laughing when you grow old
You grow old when you stop laughing !!!

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 3/20/2012 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I like to label the boxes by what is the most important to be opened first too. If its kitchen stuff, I mark it kitchen and if its stuff I will need right away I always wrote open me first, lol. That told me whatever was in the box was something needed now not later. I did this in every room that way the not important stuff could be left for later.

I think looking online is a good idea and talking to friends/family. We used a guy that was self employed, he was licensed, bonded and insured. He worked hard to find a home that we liked and was in our price range. He can also get you pre-qualified for a loan, then you know what bracket to be looking at that you can afford. Keep in mind when buying a home, usually the taxes go up every year, homeowners insurance and the value of the property. When this happens the house payment goes up the next year too. I also refinanced the house after we were in it a bit and put it on a 15 yr note instead of a 30 yr note. At that time it increased the monthly payment $50 a month so it was worth it. When I refinanced it, it knocked off 10 yrs off of the note and it also saved us $57,000 by doing this.

I do recommend staying out of a two story house because if the house is total electric like ours and a 2 story, its hard keeping it cool in the summer even with a new unit and I have a high electric bill year round. We have so much wasted space being in a two story because we don't like climbing steps plus I have two bad knees. We have three bedrooms upstairs and a bath and it is rarely used. My desktop is upstairs but I bought a laptop not ago so I am downstairs now. We do have one bedroom downstairs and a full bath.

Happy house hunting. It really is a buyers market and you should be able to get more house for the dollar. Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 3/20/2012 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
…good information…and Dale covered it all pretty well! And Stray I second the second story house, plus you will be fixing leaks and re-roofing it will be expensive.

…and make sure you pick a house that the future maintenance & cost will be low as can be.

….and above all, you don't want a house with water problems! I hate that! I guess I got off subject a little! smilewinkgrin

SE wink
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Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 3/20/2012 5:15:02 PM (GMT-6)

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