House To Home Moving Blog

5 Home Buying Mistakes

1. Not knowing what you can afford to buy
If you haven’t been pre-approved, don’t go shopping. Understand the math of your future home loan or mortgage and know what you’ll qualify for – this will stop you from looking at homes or neighborhoods that are beyond your financial reach. Be aware that pre-qualifications are not the same as pre-approvals. So make sure you know what you can afford with an official pre-approval notice. A real estate agent can recommend lending institutions or banks. Be sure you shop around for the best short- and long-term plans for your particular financial situation.

2. Ignoring the additional costs
Although you may be used to paying rent and utilities, there are more monthly and annual expenses associated with home ownership. Some costs are easy to calculate prior to home ownership like property taxes, homeowner’s insurance or even homeowner’s association fees. But there are a multitude of unforeseen additional costs like emergency repairs or replacements. Along with regular maintenance costs, first-time home buyers should have a clear understanding of just how much it might cost to own and operate the home each month. Most experts advise setting aside about 1%-5% of the cost of the home each year to save for future upgrades and maintenance costs. Although that might sound like a significant amount, knowing that you’ve saved money for emergency repairs will help alleviate stress on your paycheck.

3. Thinking a fixer-upper is easy and cheap
Although a few first-time home buyers purchase a home with the expectation of a full-scale renovation, most home buyers simply want to move in and make it their own. Making cosmetic changes like painting walls, replacing the front door or refinishing floors are fairly easy and inexpensive. But all too often, first-time home buyers see a home as having unlimited potential without understanding how much it might actually cost to renovate. They might also make the mistake of thinking they can do it all themselves. It’s too simple to think that you can tackle major structural changes on your own (unless you happen to be a licensed home improvement professional). If you’re tempted to purchase a home and really want an expert opinion as to potential costs, code upgrades, permits required or other important information, consider hiring a professional general contractor to tour the home with you and give you a realistic cost and time estimate for your desired renovations.

4. Not hiring an inspector
Even if your bank doesn’t require it, you should always have a home inspection contingency on your home purchase. Hiring a licensed and experienced home inspector who will thoroughly inspect your home is an important step on the home buying experience. Regardless of the age and condition of the home, first-time home buyers can benefit from the expert advice of a home inspector. Home inspectors spend several hours assessing a home and provide a lengthy, written report on their findings.

5. Thinking you can do it solo
Although you’ve probably done your homework, it’s always best to hire a licensed real estate agent, especially if this is your first home. Real estate agents know the market, they understand the comps (the competitive prices of comparable homes), and can help you identify the home that will best fit your needs.

Did you know: Moving specific equipment

Shrink wrap: A larger, sturdier version of the plastic wrap you may use in your kitchen, you can use stretch wrap to protect furniture and to bundle loose items such as pillows and blankets together. You can even use it to bundle stacked boxes together, making them easier to move with a dolly. Stretch wrap comes in different widths, with 20 to 60 inches being standard.

Tie down straps: Fasteners also called ratchet straps, lashing straps or tie downs) are fasteners used to hold down cargo or equipment during transport. Tie down straps are essentially webbing that is outfitted with tie down hardware. This hardware allows the tie down strap to attach to the area surrounding the cargo or equipment, loop over the cargo or equipment, and/or attach to the cargo or equipment. It usually also includes a method of tensioning the strap, such as a ratchet.

Door protectors: Quilted furniture pad for protecting door jambs, banisters, doorways and entryways

Wardrobe boxes: Box with Metal Hanging Bar can help you move or store hanging clothes. It features hand access holes for easy carrying. It is made from 100% recycled materials.

TV boxes:  Box that is adjustable to fit many different flat screen TVs. Includes locking handles for easy carrying as well as sturdy handling while transporting. It is also perfect for moving or storing items.

Zip ties: These make it easy to bundle items such as cables and cords, clothing hangers, and kitchen utensils together.

Furniture pads: Adhere these to the underside of heavy furniture and/or appliances so that you can easily slide pieces across hard surface flooring. If you need to slide items across carpet you can use a plastic runner to create a smooth surface.

Rental moving boxes: If you’d like to eliminate using cardboard altogether, you can rent sturdy bins from several services, most of which will drop off and pick up boxes as needed.

Nesting reusable bins: If you suspect you may be moving often during the next few years of your life, you may want to consider investing in your own plastic bins. If you get a variety that stacks together, you can store a large supply of bins in a small space.

Moving blankets: These can be used to wrap and protect furniture and to slide heavy items across smooth surfaces.

Furniture lifting straps: Also sometimes called “forearm forklifts” or “shoulder dollies,” these straps are designed to make carrying large, heavy items much easier.

Dollies: Both regular hand trucks and specialized furniture dollies can make your move much easier. There are also piano  and safe specific dollies. Along with dollies that have floor protection.

Asking your friends to help move

Consider NOT asking your friends to help you move. If you’re at the stage of life where you and your friends are busy with fast-paced professional jobs during the week, it may be time to stop asking your nearest and dearest to give up evening or weekend time to help you move.

Offer to trade them a comparable favor. No matter how kind-hearted, no one really wants to work several hours in exchange a beer and a slice of pizza. If your friends are unlikely to move soon themselves, offer pet or child care, help with a home renovation, yard work, or anything else you can think of that might suit their needs.
Don’t ask them to stay all day. Can you move most of your stuff yourself and just ask friends for a few hours of help with the heavy stuff? Do it.

Know exactly what you want them to do and communicate clearly. Everyone benefits when you help make the process as efficient as possible with good project management.

Don’t stand around while your friends are working. Don’t disappear to the back room with your phone or wander across the way to talk to your neighbors. If your friends are working, it goes without saying that you should be, too.

Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Moving or downsizing as a senior citizen isn’t like any other move. It’s a transition that requires much more planning and help than a move completed in your twenties or thirties. You often have to worry about moving not just a few years of stuff, but a whole lifetime’s worth–not to mention items that belong to your parents, children, and even siblings. A lot accumulates over a lifetime, which makes downsizing as a senior a challenge far beyond a standard relocation.

Find the right home for your current and Future lifestyle. Make sure your home–new or otherwise–is equipped not just for issues you have now, but for potential health concerns you may have in the future. You may not be up to the task of renovations in another ten years.

Get your senior downsizing strategy figured out. Downsizing can mean a lot of things, so having set goals, limits, and a determined strategy will make a big difference.

Clear out the tough-to-reach areas. Before you can dive in and get decluttering, you may want to get all your stuff together first.

Enlist your children to help with downsizing. When tackling downsizing as a senior, “don’t go it alone” is the number one tip to follow. That could mean hiring a professional organizer, working with a motivational coach, or, depending on what you’re decluttering, getting help from someone who’s a bit more personally invested in your decluttering efforts to help.

Give your items a second chance by donating them. Once you’ve sorted through what’s wanted and what’s just clutter, half the job is done. The second half is taking it where it belongs.

Bring the feel of your old home to your new one. One of the hardest challenges of moving or downsizing as a senior is letting go of the home you know and love. But the touches that make your home feel that way can be brought into your new home.

Pro Packing Tips

Save money by packing your self! Here are some great tips for helping you with that process. If time is more important to you, House to House Moving does offer packing and unpacking services.

General Tips

  1. Tape the bottom of every box; tape the top closed tightly when full. Run two strips of tape along the side and one strip down the center. (If the box is still not strong enough, apply more tape on the sides.)
  2. Use small boxes for heavier items; larger boxes for light weight, bulky items.
  3. Wrap small and/or fragile items individually.
  4. Stuff the top, bottom and sides of boxes with paper. This helps prevent shifting, rubbing and possible breakage.
  5. Stack boxes to the top to prevent them from being crushed. But don’t pack fragile items too tightly. Stuff with paper.
  6. Label the contents of every box and the room where it belongs. Group boxes together that belong in the same room. 

Don’t Pack These Items

  1. Money, securities, valuable papers or jewelry. Keep them with you.
  2. Flammable items: aerosol cans, paints, gasoline, etc.
  3. Perishable times: frozen foods, produce, plants, etc.
  4. Soaps, polishes or medicines.
  5. Kitchenware or other heavy items in boxes with dishware.

Dishware and Glasses

  1. Use double corrugated boxes.
  2. Cushion the bottom with rolled up paper.
  3. Wrap each piece individually.
  4. Bundle flatware in groups of three and wrap the bundle.
  5. Don’t place one layer of dishware directly on top of another; separate with a layer of stuffed paper.
  6. Cushion the top and sides with paper to prevent shifting. The steadier the contents, the less the chance of damages is.


  1. Put hanging clothes in wardrobe boxes.
  2. Place shoes in medium size boxes. Use paper to protect and keep pairs separated.
  3. Place non hanging clothes in medium size/linen size boxes.


  1. Use a picture box.
  2. Line bottom of box with paper.
  3. Place picture in box, then stuff front, back and along the top with paper.
  4. It is sometime possible to pack more than one picture in a box.
  5. Packing of pictures is always required for long distance moves or moves into storage.
  6. On a local move there is no need to pack your large pictures. The movers will deal with them on the day of the move.


  1. If possible, pack in original cartons. If not, pack each item in ample amounts of bubble wrap and/or white paper.
  2. Color code wiring with color stickers and colored cord wraps for easy re-installation.

Pressed/Engineered Wood Furniture

  1. Furniture made of pressed/engineered wood and/or particle board is not designed to be moved once it has been assembled. It therefore may not survive transport nor be repairable (since the glue and bracing hardware become compromised).
  2. You can always disassemble such furniture yourself prior to the move; we will then safely move the parts to your destination location where you can reassemble them.

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