Sarasota Realtors Robert and Valerie Orr
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Checklist For Home Buyers

Right now in Sarasota, it's truly a fabulous time to buy a home. Conditions are still right for buyers, but, probably won't last much longer. Though the Federal Reserve announced it would not change its key rate strategy and raise interest rates, it will inevitably do so. In addition, home values, while on the rise, still remain affordable for buyers. Combine these with the facts that credit score modeling has loosened, banks are eager to lend, and it's little reason why the first eight months of this year have recorded historic sales.

Smart Tips to Get Ready for a Move

Once a move is imminent, it’s time to start planning, and acting, because time won't be on your side. One thing that makes moving so labor intensive is the sheer amount of stuff transported from one location to another. There's an excellent chance you have a box or two or more, stuffed-full, and stuffed-away in a dark corner, remaining out of sight, out of mind. That being the case, it's high-time to start purging and letting go of what you don't need and/or no longer use.
Finally, after so much excitement, stress and anxiety, the house hunt has come to an end. But the story isn’t over yet. Rarely does a buyer get a place that is truly in “move-in” condition. By the time you’ve signed a contract, you have lots of ideas about how you’ll live in this home, how you’ll customize it and what work needs to be done. --Zillow

Pack boxes with like items and be sure to label each one clearly, including the contents and the destination room. In addition, start using-up frozen food, dry goods, and perishables at least 30 to 45 days from moving day. As soon as possible, call the local utility providers to learn what schedule can be expected to accommodate your arrival. Don't procrastinate because you shouldn't chance having to wait a day or more after you've arrived to have important utilities connected. Another thing you can do to make staying organized, is to sort and label cords for various devices.

Lastly, pack a box and/or bags of essentials. These should include: plates, paper towels, utensils, cups, trash bags, box cutters, basic hand tools, plenty of batteries, light bulbs, bath towels and toiletries, snacks, and some ready-to-go entertainment for the first night or two.

Home Buyers Move-In Checklist

You've no-doubt seen at least some of the above listed moving tips to help make the process a little more streamlined and less stressful. However, it's what you should do right after you move-in a new property that you will not typically read about:

  • Find the main water shut-off valve and electrical panel. The last two emergency situations you want to be unprepared for are an electrical problem, or a water leak. You should locate these immediately after arriving and let everyone in the family know precisely where each is and how each works.

  • Change all the locks in the house. It doesn't matter if you're moving into a new construction house that's never been occupied, or a resale of a recently built home. You simply don't know how many duplicate keys are out there and shouldn't leave peace-of-mind to chance. Of course, exterior locks are the most important when it comes to security, but if there are any interior locks, those should be replaced as well to ensure all keys work.

  • Test all smoke detectors and check fire extinguishers. No matter the current condition of the house, accidents do happen. It's vitally important to know if your smoke detectors are working and if the home is equipped with at least two usable fire extinguishers. Test the smoke detectors and replace batteries if needed, and check the gauges on the fire extinguishers. If you are unsure, call the local fire department's non-emergency line.

  • Learn the layout of your new home. You've probably bumped into this or that trying to maneuver through low light or dark rooms in your current home. Now, multiply that many times over and that's what you'll probably experience in your new home. So, walk consciously through your home when it's well lit a few times to begin to learn its layout.

  • Hang window treatments. If your new home doesn't have any window treatments, you'll definitely be unable to ignore it when you and your family become a sudden curiosity to the whole neighborhood. Hang window treatments as early in the day as possible so you have privacy after the sun goes down.

When you're ready to buy a home and need to find the right property for your lifestyle and needs, speak with a real estate professional to learn about your options.