Tips on Moving from the City to the Suburbs

suburban-street-1388617Living in the city can be an exhilarating experience. With the diversity of people, entertainment, cuisine, and the unending excitement of urban life, it’s safe to say living in the city is never boring. However, after a while, you may feel the need to slow down and look for a living situation that’s a little more low-key. If that’s the case, you may begin thinking about moving to the suburbs. Although this may be the right solution, it’s a significant transition between two very different lifestyles. But, there isn’t any need to worry because we’re going to offer you some tips on how to handle the move.

As you begin your search, don’t look for a house at first; look for a community. If you find a house you like, that’s great, but if it’s in an area you don’t care for, you won’t be able to fully enjoy your new home. You have to look at the whole community to be sure it offers everything you need. Search for an excellent school district; a simple commute; shopping for food, clothes, and other necessities; and most important, affordable housing. Before you begin your search, make a “wish” list of everything you want in a community. Then, as you do your research, check off your requirements as you find them in the communities you research.

You’ll also want to experience the ambiance of the community you like. You may experience a bit of a culture shock while doing this, but it’s best to research the community now to avoid any surprises later. Remember, you’ve been surrounded by culture and all types of influences, and you may find the suburbs to be limited. But, if you look close enough, you will find some hidden gems in and around town that will please you. As you walk around, take careful notice of the other residents and see how they interact with each other. The way people act with one another will give you a clear idea of the camaraderie you can expect amongst the townspeople.

There’s a good chance that, whichever community you look at, you’ll be checking out the Main Street to see the business scene. Don’t base your decision to move on the downtown area. Even if the town’s Main Street has great stores at which you can see yourself shopping, the street may not have everything your family will need. You’ll probably have to do some shopping in other areas, so get out and visit places outside of town to make sure everything you need isn’t too far away.

Your commute to work should also be a primary consideration when thinking about a move to the suburbs. When you live and work in the city, your commute is rather simple because you have easy access to public transportation. In the suburbs, however, you’ll either use your car for the trip, or you’ll have to make your way to the train station and then switch to the tracks. You should check the main roadways throughout your town if you plan to use your car, to make sure there’s a convenient route to work. Or, if you’ll be using public transportation, study the train schedules to make sure they meet your needs.

If you have children, take time to visit local schools to see that they offer everything your children require. When checking out schools, don’t just focus on test scores. Yes, they can tell you how well a collective body of students is performing, but it’s not indicative of how much attention your child will receive from teachers. If a class is fairly small, the students will really get to know their teacher, leading to a connection that will help the student perform better in the classroom. If you’re making the move to the suburbs before your children are old enough to start school, make sure to take a look at all grade levels in the school district to see ensure your children will receive a quality education from pre-school to high school.

It will take some time to get used to living in the suburbs after being immersed in the vibrancy of city life. Even if you have lived in the suburbs before living in the city, you still may need to do some adjusting. Although going through a major move comes with some difficulties, it will also be fun to explore a new place. The suburbs can offer their own excitement; you just have to know where to look. If you don’t want to move too far from the city, choose a community that will allow you to easily visit the city. That way, you can have a foot in both worlds. Take your time to find a community and house that suits you, and you’ll surely find a place where you’ll be happy.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.



Posted on April 11, 2016 at 1:29 pm
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Move

Yong Couple Moving In-2Making a move is a task that many of us undertake in our lives. The thought of moving may seem like a difficult and emotional process, but it’s something that you will always remember as a transition from one part of your life to the next. You can make this time of you life a lot less stressful when you know the mistakes you should avoid. With everything that goes into getting ready for a move, it’s easy to have a misstep or two. But, we’re going to give you a heads-up of the mistakes to sidestep on your move.

Taking EVERYTHING with You: Before you move, you need to have a thorough look at what you’re actually going to take with you. This means going through all of your belongings and figuring out what you don’t use anymore. You’re going to need as much room in the movers’ truck as possible, so having any space taken up by stuff you don’t need is going to be a waste. Moving all of those unneeded possessions, only to toss them away when you get to your new house, is not going to be a good use of your time. Get rid of your unwanted items through a yard sale, donations, or simply discarding them if you know nobody will get any use out of them, and then focus on bringing only the stuff you know will be used in your new home.

“One of the best things you can do is purge all of your unwanted junk that’s collected in your house over the years,” said Yvonne Regan, Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.  “I would recommend you do this a few months in advance of the pack and load date.  Most experts will say if something hasn’t been used in about a year and it’s not sentimental, get rid of it. This clean-out can be very liberating and cost effective. Your household-goods weight load will be less, saving you money with the movers, and of course, less items will mean less boxes and packing supplies.  And, if you were to hold a yard sale and possibly sell these items, you can even make some money to help defray some of the cost of moving.”

Using Old Boxes: As you’re packing your stuff away, it’s understandable you’ll want to use some boxes you have around the house, instead of spending money on new ones. However, it would be in your best interest to forgo boxes you’ve stored around the house and purchase unused ones. Any boxes you have around the house are probably dusty and not as strong after having other possessions stored in them. You don’t want to be carrying a box packed with your belongings, only to have them fall through the bottom and possibly break the items or hurt yourself. For any items that are very breakable, make sure to have enough bubble wrap in which to encase them before you place them in a box. With multiple items in any box, you don’t want them hitting against each other and causing damage. After the bubble wrap serves its purpose, you can embrace your inner child and pop the bubbles!

Choosing a Moving Company at the Last Minute: When preparing yourself for a move, you have to take into consideration that the late spring and summer are typically the busy season for moving, especially because you have families with children who want to move to their new home before the start of the next school year. A lot of the best moving companies get filled up with appointments early, so as soon as you know the date, call the moving company to book your move. If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of not getting an appointment when you need it, and then you’ll probably have to resort to a lesser company.

“Moving companies get extremely busy at certain points of the year,” said Regan. “The moving season really heats up in the summer from May through Labor Day, and the moving companies can be booked solid. You have corporate transferees and families moving to settle in before the school year starts, as well as government and military personnel moves. I recommend you book with the moving company way in advance. Or, if you’re moving on your own, reserve your rental truck as soon as possible. Targeting mid-week or in the middle of the month may be best in terms of availability. If there are any delays or changes in your moving date, contact the company right away.”

Forgetting to Ask for an Estimate: Before you choose the moving company you would like to work with, it’s important you first receive an estimate, especially because there are two kinds that are offered: binding and non-binding. A non-binding estimate provides you with an idea of how much the move is going to cost, based on how far you’re moving and the mover’s estimates of your contents and the size of your house. The estimate is given in writing, and you can only be charged 10 percent more than the original estimate. With a binding estimate, you have a legal document that explains all of the charges, which can’t be changed unless you ask for add-on services, such as the movers having to climb multiple flights of stairs they didn’t have previous knowledge about. Prior to making your final decision, it’s recommended you receive at least three estimates, and also ask about any hidden fees. If you’re already spending money on the move, you certainly don’t want to be hit with any unexpected expenses. But, don’t be afraid to spend extra money on a reputable mover because if you find a moving company that charges significantly less than others, it’s probably safe to say they don’t offer top service.

Not Asking Your Moving Company If They Have Insurance: You also can’t forget to check that your moving company has insurance. Once you get to your new house, you don’t want to have any problems arise when you’re so close to finally settling in, so if a mover accidentally damages any valuable items upon the move, you want to make sure the company will be able to pay for them. If your moving company has insurance, I guarantee it will allow you to relax more. After you look into the insurance details of your movers, review your home insurance to make sure it covers your possessions as they move from one residence to another. If you need it, moving companies provide customers with deals on any extra insurance you may want. Lastly, you should inquire if your mover has insurance for workers’ compensation. If you have a small moving company helping you out, which typically has less than five employees, there’s a chance they won’t offer this, which means you’ll have to pay for an injury if a mover gets hurt. In the end, find out as much as you can about the moving company’s insurance, and use that as one of the deciding factors as to which company you choose.

Not Checking Out the School District: If you have children, you’ll want to see if the area to which you’re moving has a school district you approve of. Then, if you like it, you have to make sure it has openings, as you don’t want to move to a new neighborhood and have your children be without a school. Once you pick a district you prefer, keep in contact with them to make sure everything is in order for your child to attend come September. A school may be one of the last things on your child’s mind (I should know, as I was young once), but it should be one of the first things on yours. You want your child to have a bright future, and that begins with finding the right school.

Thinking Your Belongings Will Arrive When You Do: This is a mistake to avoid if you’re moving to a whole other part of the country. Don’t assume the movers will be at your doorstep waiting for you when you get there. If you’re relocating a long distance away from your old home and you arrive at your new home well before the movers, it’s best to have an emergency kit on hand that has enough essentials to get you through a few days. You should include toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, extra clothes, and anything else you think you may need to tide you over until the rest of your belongings arrive. It’s an inconvenience to have to wear the same outfit two days in a row, so imagine what it will be like having to do so for longer than that.

Packing Your Tools and Work Gloves Where You Can’t Get to Them: During your move, make sure you have your work gloves and tools easily accessible, instead of having them buried in a box. You won’t only need them for opening boxes, but you may have to remove a door from it’s hinges if you need to get a sizable piece of furniture through. When you arrive to your new home, you want to get all of your belongings inside as quickly as possible, so you don’t want to waste time searching for your tools if they are buried beneath everything else. Having them at the ready will allow you to quickly and efficiently unhinge any doors if necessary.

Not Hiring a Real-Estate Agent: One last mistake to avoid is not using an agent. Having the help of an agent will make the moving process a lot simpler. They have been through hundreds of these cases before, so they will be able to provide you with the information you will need in order to make sure everything goes according to plan during your move. With everything you have to think about when planning a move, it wouldn’t hurt to have some professional help at your side to give you advice. It will help you relax and will give you more assurance that everything will work out.

There’s a lot that goes into planning and making a move, and we know there’s much to remember. But, if you keep a clear head and an optimistic attitude, this task will be easier than anticipated. It’s all about time management, and the more time you allow yourself to prepare, the more focused and less worried you will be about not getting everything done. This is a part of your life that will lead to an exciting change in your life, so despite all of the work that goes into this endeavor, enjoy it!

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.



Posted on March 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , ,

How to Manage a Cross-Country Relocation

A cartoon family driving through the desert in a cartoon car carrying a load of tall stack of boxes and a chair that is strapped to the car.

In the past, we’ve focused on things you should consider when planning to move. However, when you’re considering a move across the country, there are several other things you have to think about in order to be fully prepared for the transition. Obviously, moving cross-country is a bigger change than moving to the next state over or merely a few towns away. There’s a lot of planning involved and more factors to take into account to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here are some tips to assist you if you’re planning a cross-country move.

At the start of the process, you should ask for help from a professional as early as possible because they will be able to tell you exactly what you need to know as you go forward with preparing for your move.

“A realtor is a great resource and can provide you with a wealth of information about the price of homes in your area of interest and so much more,” said Yvonne Regan, Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “Our relocation department and agents at Rand Realty help our customers and clients find a qualified realtor anywhere in the country by utilizing our own broker network. Having a realtor in place before you visit an area is a key stress-reliever and timesaver. He or she can help you preview homes in your budget and put you in touch with other experts, such as mortgage lenders, home inspectors, school and city officials. They are the experts in their respective areas and can provide you with resources to help you in your home search.

“And, if you are planning to finance a purchase, I would also recommend you get pre-qualified by a mortgage lender,” said Regan. “This way, you know what your purchasing power is before you begin your home search. Knowing what you can afford will also help you narrow down your choices.”

When you’re planning a move, you have to figure out how you’re going to pack up all of your belongings. The level of difficulty for this task depends on how far away you plan to move. If you’re only moving a few miles away, or maybe even if you’re moving to the next state over, it will be rather easy to rent a moving truck and some movers, pack up your things, and be on your way. When you’re moving cross-country, however, it’s a little harder. The best thing to do is figure out the essentials you will be needing, but can still fit in the car; and then, you can sell everything else. This way, you don’t have to worry about renting a truck and moving crew to help you, which can cost quite a bit of money if you’re going cross-country. Then, when you arrive at your new home, you can purchase new furniture.

If you plan on bringing a lot more with you to your new home and end up renting a truck, you’ll be packing a lot of your belongings in boxes. Once you finally know what you’ll be bringing, begin taking inventory of your belongings. Given that there’s a lot going on during a preparation for a cross-country move, there’s a probability that some of your stuff may get misplaced. In order to prevent this, take stock in everything you have with you. That way, when it comes time to pack it all up, you know what you’re supposed to have. After you pack everything away, make sure to label your boxes. That way, when the boxes are taken into your new home, you will know in what rooms they should be placed, and you won’t have to waste time going through each box to know where the contents are supposed to go.

You may not have considered this when planning a move, but as you’re doing so, you can expect your calendar to fill up with appointments. Besides going for an appointment with your doctor and/or dentist, there’s the matter of catching up with your friends and family before moving. You don’t want to leave town without saying good-bye to them, so you’ll want to make sure you set aside some time on you calendar for them. I know it’s not like you won’t be seeing them again, but if you’re moving cross-country, you won’t be spending as much time with them, so you should spend time with your friends and family before you make the move.

Speaking of appointments, to-do lists are also important to have. There are so many things to keep track of when you’re planning a cross-country move, such as choosing what you’re going to take with you, hiring movers, forwarding mail, and updating business accounts (Updater, a web application Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty now offers, can assist you with the latter two tasks). I remember to-do lists were a huge help when juggling academics and extracurriculars in college, and one of the great pleasures in life is crossing off tasks you go from day to day. With something as significant as a cross-country move, making a to-do list (or several) is really going to help you in keeping track of what needs to be done. When you consider how much work goes into a move as big as this, it will make this undertaking simpler if you write down all of the tasks that require attention before you get ready to step out the front door and begin your journey to your new destination. You’ll have so much going on during this process, there’s a chance an objective or two may slip your mind, so having a to-do list will help preventing such a risk.

Seeing as there’s so much to plan when coordinating a cross-country move, there’s the matter of giving yourself enough time to get all of the preparations done. In order to do this, it’s recommended you provide yourself with at least two months to get everything in order. There’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than waiting until the last minute to begin work on a time-consuming task, which I’m sure many of us have done one time or another. Makes you nervous to think about, doesn’t it? As soon as you know you’ll be making a cross-country move, start your planning immediately. Don’t procrastinate like you probably did with a term paper or two in college. Get everything you need to get done as soon as you can, and then if you think of anything near the last minute that needs to be done, you’ll have many of the other tasks out of the way at that point.

Moving cross-country is different for families, as opposed to an individual mover. Because of this, it’s important everyone in your family knows what’s going on with the transition.

“Moving is stressful for everyone in the family, including children,” said Regan. “My advice is to talk with your children about the move as far in advance as possible, and also be supportive and patient, as they will need time to adjust. Arrange to take the children on a tour of the new home and neighborhood as soon as possible. Show them all the recreational areas and fun things that the new area has to offer. Setting up playdates for your children and signing them up for sports teams or other fun activities will keep them busy and help them adjust more quickly.”

In conclusion of this blogpost, I’ll leave you with the last important piece of advice: stay calm. Yes, there’s a lot you have to get done when prepping for a cross-country move, but losing your sanity isn’t one of them. As long as you give yourself enough time for the task and have a clear idea of what needs to get done before you’re ready to drive off, you’re sure to have a smooth transition as you make your travels to your new home.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.




Posted on March 4, 2016 at 10:11 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

How to Find the Neighborhood That’s Right for You

uptown sunset street blockWhen you’re looking for a new house, you can’t just focus on what kind of house you would like; you also have to think about what kind of neighborhood you want to live in. If the house of your dreams is in the neighborhood of your nightmares, what’s the point of buying that property? There are many factors to take into consideration when looking for your desired neighborhood, so here are a few you should remember.

If you have children, or are planning to have children, one of the most important aspects you need to think about is school districts. When looking at schools, make sure they will meet your children’s needs and will provide them with an environment in which they will be able to learn and grow. Moving to a new house can be difficult for children, so transitioning to a neighborhood with a school district that shows promise for your children will help them assimilate into the surroundings of their new school. Although the Fair Housing Act doesn’t allow realtors to provide information to buyers about specific schools, realtors can still share links to websites that offer ratings for schools and local schools systems.

You also have to make plans as to how you wish to commute to work. Do you plan on driving? Is it easier to take mass transit? No matter how you travel, the proximity to your workplace is an important factor when considering a move. After all, who wants to move to a new home and have to experience a long commute to work? I certainly don’t, and I’m sure you don’t want to either. Of course, if you plan on taking a train, you can afford going a bit of a distance. But, if you plan on driving, a short travel time between your house and work will be a major convenience.

Safety is usually a top concern for people who want to move to a new neighborhood. When bringing your family and yourself to a new neighborhood, you want to be certain you and they will be safe. When researching new neighborhoods, you can visit real estate sites for details pertaining to crime and safety, or you can call the local police department. Although houses are expensive, you can’t put a price on safety, so conduct as much research as you can into what the crime statistics are in a neighborhood you’re interested.

It also helps to determine the distance you’ll be from loved ones when you move. If you’re moving from a town that has many of your family and friends living there, you’ll probably want to move to a neighborhood that has a relatively close distance to them. You’ll especially want to think about this when taking the holidays into consideration. We all know traffic is a pain when traveling during these times of year, so take some time to think about this as you determine how far you would like to move.

You should also make sure your prospective neighborhood has a variety of activities, entertainment, and restaurants for your weekends. When visiting a neighborhood, dedicate some time to exploring its culture by visiting its downtown area, parks, libraries, and performance venues to see if the area offers enough options for things to do on a day off or night out. Do some research to find out what local and fun opportunities your new neighborhood can provide for you.

Proximity to banks, post offices, grocery stores, and other necessities is also something to research. Wherever you live, you want to have these places within reach. Think about if you want to drive 20 minutes somewhere whenever you have to deposit a check, mail a package, or purchase food. Before you visit a particular neighborhood, make a list of all of the places you would like to be close to your house, and when you get to that neighborhood, see if the area includes what you have on your list.

Just like looking for a house, you have to make sure a neighborhood fits your criteria of what you need. By taking a relaxing walk or drive through a neighborhood, you can explore the area and see if it’s the type of place you would want to live in. As I said before, even if you get your dream home, you won’t be able to enjoy it if it’s in a neighborhood that doesn’t meet your needs. It will take some time to look at the neighborhoods that interest you, but it’s a fun and necessary step in the home-searching process, one that will help you find the best town in which to make a new beginning.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.



Posted on December 14, 2015 at 9:32 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

How to Help Your Children Adjust After a Move

new homeAfter moving from a home in which you’ve spent several years, to a home in a completely different location, it will take some time to get used to the new surroundings. Although it might be a little easier for adults to get accustomed to the move, it could be a little more difficult for children to come to terms with it because they are used to the routines and familiarity of their previous home life. It could take some time for them to get used to their new settings, but there are ways how you can assist them with this major transition.

One of the main challenges your children will go through is adapting to a new school with having new teachers and making new friends. It can be hard for children to assimilate into a new school, but you should encourage them to have fun with it. A really easy way for them to make new friends is to join any clubs or athletic teams that will give them the opportunity to meet people who share similar interests. Although they might be hesitant at first, this is a time to be supportive of your children and encourage them to come out of their shells. Also, despite being in a new environment, if your children continue to be a part of the same extracurricular activities that they were involved in at their previous school, it will add some comfort to the process of meeting new friends as they will be a part of something that they enjoy and are familiar with.

When you move a significant distance away from your previous home, it will be difficult for your children to visit their friends. When this is the case, have them take advantage of Skype or FaceTime to keep in touch with their friends. Instead of just calling on the phone or texting, your children can use these applications to enjoy a face-to-face conversation with a friend. This will help your children feel better connected to their old friends and will make their conversations a little more special than if it was just a conversation with voices on the phone or words in a text message.

If you have children who are in pre-K or kindergarten, set up playdates between your child and a friend in their class. Younger children may not have as many extracurriculars outside of the classroom, so this will give them a chance to socialize with a friend when not in school and help build stronger friendships.

You should also help your children find fun things to do around the neighborhood. No matter where your family lives, your community is bound to have different events going on that could attract any age. As a family, encourage your children to discover what the town has to offer, helping them get to know many other families within the town.

Most importantly, you should sit your children down and talk with them about why you had to move and why it was good for the family. Depending on how old your children are, it might take a bit of time for them to understand the necessity behind the move. If they don’t seem receptive to the reasoning behind the move at first, they will eventually warm up to it as they start to make memories of their new lives. If need be, provide your children with some space so they can be alone with their thoughts and process the change that is occurring.

Emotionally, moving to a new home can be one of the most difficult things a person can do, especially for children. It’s a period of leaving behind what you have all come to know and starting a new chapter in your lives. This can be a challenge for children, but not one without its silver linings, so remind your children to always try and find the positives in a big life change. If they do that, then they will surely come to love their new home.

To learn more about Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on July 2, 2015 at 10:51 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,

How to Make Friends When You Move to a New Neighborhood

homes and families connected neighborhoodsMoving to a new home can be one of the most exciting chapters in your life, but it can also bring a few transitionary challenges, one of which is that you’ve moved away from your friends in your previous neighborhood. Although this may seem hard at first, today’s technology will allow you to keep in better touch with them, and you now have an opportunity to make a whole new set of friends. Here are some ways to establish friendships with the residents in your new neighborhood.

One of the first things you should consider is throwing a housewarming party. An event such as this will surely attract several neighborhood residents to your house. If you know a few of your guests better than you do others, you can ask one of the former to introduce you around to some of the neighbors you’re not yet too familiar with as a way to create more friendships. Other than food and music, you should include some fun games that require teamwork, which will therefore strengthen the connection between you and your new neighbors.

If you have young children, and if some of your neighbors do as well, you can set them up on a playdate. Not only will this help you bond more with your neighbors, but it will help your children establish new friendships as well. Also, if your children and your neighbor’s children go to the same school, you can volunteer with other parents to chaperone at any school functions or join the PTA. When you and your neighbors have children, this will also give you the chance to go to any local family-friendly events that you all can enjoy together.

Another way you can connect with your neighbors is to try and find common interests. This will open a whole host of opportunities where you can bond over hobbies you love, which will make those hobbies more enjoyable when in the company of friends. If you all like community service, find an organization at which you can volunteer. If you like to exercise, you can go on daily runs, bike rides, or join a gym together. If you’re sports fans, catch a game. When living in a sizable neighborhood, you’re very likely to find at least a few other people who enjoy what you enjoy.

You might also want to think about establishing a weekly or monthly tradition, such as a movie night, game night, or date night. Creating traditions will give you and your friends something to look forward to in the middle of your busy schedules and will provide you all with a chance to spend time with each other if you haven’t done so in a while.

The workplace is also a possible spot where you can make new friends. You can connect with your coworkers by assisting them with certain tasks, and you can also connect with them on lunch breaks or at work events. As you get to know your coworkers when assimilating into your new career surroundings, this could lead you to spending time with them outside of work, such as taking part in some recreational activities.

Getting to know everyone is all part of the moving process, and it can also be the most fun. While meeting your new neighbors might seem a little intimidating at first, you have to remember that they were in the same position as well when they moved to that neighborhood. All you have to do is be friendly, and then everything else will fall into place.

To learn more about Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.



Posted on May 28, 2015 at 11:31 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,