Are you Looking for a House or a Home?

DSCN4282Are you looking for a house or a home? This question seems redundant. Is there a distinct difference between a house and a home? Houses exist everywhere, they are easy to find. Finding a home is more elusive.

Looking out my kitchen window I can see two houses across the street. Opening my KW app (download the app here) on my phone it’s easy scroll “nearby houses” with photos and prices of houses in Williston. Jumping in my truck and driving to Shaw’s at Maple Tree Place I pass village houses, neighborhood houses and a condominium community all within my four-mile drive. These are all physical places where people live.

A house is a building where people live. Location, size, bedrooms, bathrooms typically define a house. For example, a friend may call and ask me to look for a 4-bedroom house within walking distance of UVM Medical Center. Moving involves changing your physical location from one house to another. Often, when showing a house I am asked, “Why are they selling?” In all cases, it’s simply because they are moving.

DSCN4717When it’s time to change your physical location, or move to a new house, many real estate agents will engage you in a “Buyer Consultation.” Notes from this meeting include your wants, needs, and wishes for your new house. Most of the time, this involves the components or features of a house. For example, small yard, space for a garden, privacy, flat driveway, ½ bath on first level, walk-out basement, two-car garage, pool, etc. Most important, though, is your preferred location. Discussions about location involve a particular lifestyle that will, eventually, lead to finding a home. Another conversation follows involving personal questions. These are lifestyle questions, which, may sound intrusive or prying, but this is what I need to know to help you find a home. To assist in this quest for a change in location, there is a need to assess your lifestyle. Hence, the need to tell me about yourself. From parrots to parties, please “tell all.” No need to feel self-conscious as I am not judging you, just trying to help you find a home. Include your preferred forms of recreation, shopping, eating, traveling, exercising, etc.

Finding a home is more elusive than finding a house. The word “home” elicits an emotional connection to a physical place where one reads, cooks, relaxes. Your home does not need to fit the physical definition of a house. It can be an apartment, a boat, a trailer, a cabin, a room over a garage, or a yurt.

600x600bb-85If you’re still skeptical, watch one of my favorite HGTV shows, Love It or List It. A simple premise of “should we stay or should we go?” The “Love It” portion involves designer Hilary. “List It” features David a real estate agent. While it may seem counterintuitive for me to cheer for the “Love It” part of the show, let me explain. David finds them a physical house that seems to meet their expressed need to move. Yet, the physical house that he finds does not meet their lifestyle needs. Either the commute is too long, the schools have changed, they are no longer near their favorite gym, restaurant, juice bar. In the end, the talented Hilary has revamped their living space to make it truly a “love it” and the place that they call “home.” In conclusion, the perfect house may not be the perfect home.

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5 Tips to Make an Easy Move

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P: The Chicago Greenbox

Moving is stressful! Sure you are super excited about your new digs, but getting all of your things from point A to point B can be a pain. Follow our 5 tips for a stress-free move:

Use boxes wisely. Assign a set of boxes to each room, then pack like items together – glassware, linens, decorative items, etc. Make sure to clearly label each box with the room they are going to and what items are in the box – that way there will be zero confusion about where stuff belongs and you won’t need to open every box to find the silverware!

Pack for “a trip.” Pretend you are going on a 2 week vacation and pack a suitcase for each family member. That way, everyone will have what they need to function while things are packed away in boxes just before, during, and after the big move. Don’t forget to include valuables and important documents.

Get the essentials. To avoid several trips to the store on move day, buy everything you need for cleaning and organizing ahead of time. Get multi-purpose cleaner, paper towels,  a broom, shelf liners, furniture pads, etc. It also doesn’t hurt to include paper plates, plastic utensils, cups, and napkins for your first meal before unpacking. Pack everything in one box and keep it in your personal vehicle so you know where it is and can easily access it on move day.

Couple Moving Into New Home And Unpacking Boxes

P: iStock

Set up key areas. Once all of the boxes are in, start by unpacking the rooms you need to use to take good care of yourself. Set up your bed and put on the linens, stock the bathrooms with supplies, and unpack the kitchen.

Schedule breaks. You may just want to power through and get all of the boxes unpacked, but stopping to eat, taking a quick stroll through your new neighborhood, and going to sleep at a reasonable hour will keep you calm and energized.

Follow these tips for a smooth transition that will turn a traditionally stressful event into one of excitement!

Ready To Make The Move?

P: keydoorsolutions.co.uk

P: keydoorsolutions.co.uk

You’ve found the perfect new home, made it through negotiations and are finally ready to close! Now, what about getting all of your stuff to your new digs? Moving can be stressful, so here are a few tips/ideas on how to make the process run as smooth as possible.

Have a yard sale. Downsizing before you move will make the process much simpler and likely cheaper. Go through your house and gather everything that you have not used, or perhaps have even laid eyes on, in at least a year. Looking forward to purchasing new furniture? Great! Sell your current set on Craigslist. Movers base their prices on the amount  of stuff you are moving, so if you have less to put on the truck you can keep more money in your pocket.

Do your research when choosing a moving company. Before you load your entire home’s contents onto a truck, make sure you trust the movers and aren’t getting scammed. Check http://www.protectyourmove.gov for information on how to avoid scams and search for registered movers. Ask around for recommendations,

Do a final walkthrough. Check every drawer, cabinet and closet to make sure you haven’t left anything behind. Survey the space for any damages – if you dinged the walls moving your furniture out be sure to fix it before you leave, you don’t want to haggle with the buyer or lose your deposit on a rental.

P: jenniferfieldsrealestate.wordpress.com

P: jenniferfieldsrealestate.wordpress.com

Unpack your new home. All of your boxes have made it to your new house, but now unpacking everything may seem like a daunting task. Don’t put it off, you’ll feel much more settled and at home once your belongings are in order. Take it one room at a time – start with the kitchen since it tends to be the heart of any home, and you will be able to cook for yourself and ditch the takeout.

Get to know your new neighborhood. Explore your area and find your nearest grocery store, post office, bank, pharmacy, etc. Go to your new town office and register to vote in your new district. Talk to your new neighbors to get recommendations on the best places to eat in the area.

Announce your move. If you haven’t already, go to the post office to get a change of address form, or file it online for $1. Let your friends and family know your new address – you can send personalized announcements from a number of online print shops. If you’re up for it, throw a housewarming party! Use evite.com to create an invite to email to friends, family and neighbors to get everyone together to celebrate your new digs.