What to Know About Cross Country Moving Including Tips


Tips For Moving Across The Country

You’re moving cross country, and you’ve got to figure out how to successfully move your life from here to there.

You may have just completed the process of closing on a house and now you need to move to stage two of the relocation process.

Well, a lot of folks have done this, and you can use their knowledge to get this right. Here are some things you need to take care of for this move.

Follow this guidance and some other moving tips and you’ll be in good shape.

Tips For Moving Across The Country

Insurance Is Vital

One thing you must obtain before moving is insurance. It’s one of the most important long-distance moving tips to consider. The road is not predictable. If you’re going to hire movers, be sure to purchase enough insurance for your peace of mind.

If something happens to your things, you can at least replace them, thanks to the insurance coverage.

Pest Inspection

It’s important to do a good pest inspection of your belongings, especially outside furniture. Of course, one reason you should do this is to avoid taking pests with you. Another reason you’re doing this is that pests and insects shouldn’t leave the area.

Each state tries to ensure that pests from other regions don’t invade their territory. Look for government-provided pamphlets that discuss regulations regarding pests so that you know what to look for before you pack.

Purge Items

A great piece of moving advice is to get rid of items you no longer need or want. You should go through your belongings before you pack. Chances are there’s a lot in there you don’t need anymore, and that means you can leave those things behind. Make sure you’re honest during this process.

Don’t mistake things you need to keep versus things you’re just keeping because you spent money on them. The more you take with you, the more you’ll end up spending on moving. Donate or sell what you can and throw away what can’t be of use to anyone.

Make a List

Be sure to write down everything you’re packing. This is good for you, and it’s good for your insurance. Knowing what you’re taking should make it easier to ensure everything arrived at your new home.

It might even be a good idea to take a few pictures of your items, just to be sure nothing is damaged during the trip. This part is going to take some time, so start on the list as soon as you can.

Use Professionals

Professional packers are vital for a cross-country trip. These folks will help ensure that everything is packed safely. They’ll use proper packaging material and cushions to make sure that even the most fragile items you’re packing are secure.

Again, a long trip is unpredictable, so having cushions and fasteners, and other tools movers use to secure items is important.

It may feel like you’re doing too much, but you’ll be happy when you arrive at your new place and see all of your belongings in one piece.

Get Estimates

Don’t hire the first movers you find. It’s better to talk to a few people and get a few quotes to see who’s going to provide the best service.

Cheap isn’t always better, so make sure you pay attention to what benefits they will offer you.

It might be a good idea to check out the reviews of each company you’re considering to make sure you’re making the right decision. Be sure to check out 3rd-party reviews and not just the ones on their website.

One of the most significant mistakes when selling a home is not carefully planning out your move in advance.

Be Organized

If you hire professionals, they should organize your belongings for you, but if you don’t, you’ll have to do this yourself.

The easiest way to organize your packing is to separate everything by room. Label the boxes that go in one room so that by the time you get to your new place, you only have to place each box in the right room.

It’ll be easier for everyone to unpack if you take the time to organize your belongings. Again, it’s going to take some time, but it’ll be worth the effort.

Keep Essentials

Once you get going with your packing, it might be easy to get carried away a bit. This is something you don’t want to do because you might end up packing essential items that you’ll need to have handy.

You want to keep your social security card, birth certificate, driver’s license, and other important documents with you. These are things you might need as soon as you arrive at your new place.

You should probably pack some essential clothes, too, just in case your movers don’t get there on time.

Get Sitters

On the day you move into your new place, it would be a good idea to get some sitters. You’ll want sitters for your pets and kids.

A lot is going on during this time, and it’s best to keep young kids and pets out of the way. If your kids can help, then, of course, they should stay with you, but if you’re just going to worry about them the whole time, it’s better to have them stay with professional sitters. Things will go much smoother if you do this.

Clearing The Move-In

If you happen to be moving into an apartment or a complex, then you need to make sure you clear the move-in with the building manager. Yes, this is something you have to do beforehand to avoid any issues on the day you’re moving in.

Some building managers only allow folks to move on specific days and specific hours.

Sometimes, you have to reserve elevator use to move in. Talk to the building manager before you arrive so that everything goes smoothly.

The last thing you want is to have the movers waiting outside when they should be moving your stuff in. This will end up costing you more money. Having a successful move all boils down to being prepared in advance.

You’ve got plenty of tips to help you move cross country. It’s not going to be easy to do all of this, but if you start early enough, then you’ll be okay. Don’t delay and start your planning now. Your mind will be at peace if you do.

About the author: The above article on what to know about cross country moving was written by Nancy Zafrini. Nancy is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage in NYC. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.

What Are Your Options for Selling a House With Code Violations?


How to Sell a Home With Building Code Violations

Do you suspect there may be some building code violations at your home? There are many tasks that need to get done before you sell your house, and making repairs is one of them.

Obvious repairs include checking your roof and fixing water leaks, but some other repairs might not be as apparent — like code violations.

Code violations often occur when homeowners do not take out the proper building permits when doing when making improvements or repairs to their property.

This is one category of fixes that might make your head spin, and it can be daunting to figure out which ones you need to make and which ones can be passed on to the next owner of your home.

The answers will depend on the value of your home and how much it might cost to remedy these code violations.

You’ll also want to have a clear picture of any fines that you might have to pay for not fixing violations and whether or not a buyer will want to take those on.

You definitely want to do your research about possible code violations in your home, before putting it on the market.

Here is an overview of your options for selling a house with code violations, with expert tips from realtors, to help relieve some of the stress involved in the process. 

Sell House Code Violations

What Does it Mean if a House Isn’t up to Code?

Building code violations range from simple fixes to major repairs requiring a professional’s expertise. Building codes protect public health, general welfare, and safety with different rules by county, state, and even nationwide, such as with the National Electric Code (NEC), focused on safe electrical design, installation, and inspection of all types of electrical equipment.

This code is frequently updated and that means that even a functional electrical system may not be up to code if it hasn’t been updated during the last few years.

Code violations are not only a problem to address because they can make it more difficult to sell your home, they can also lead to fines.

For example, homeowners can accrue citations, violations, and fines for not cleaning their pool, forgetting to mow the lawn, and generally not maintaining their property following homeowners’ association requirements.

In fact, city fines for code violations can even accumulate by the day, meaning that the expense of fixing code violations could be less than the fines that result from a house that isn’t up to code. 

Remedy The Code Violations Before You Sell

One obvious choice, if you have the financial resources, is to bring your house completely up to code before selling it.

A Realtor can advise you on whether this is the best way to go, making considerations for the market value of your home, the return on investment for making repairs, and the possible cost of fines for not being in compliance with code rules.

Some code violations are definitely worth addressing as they may be relatively easy to fix — like making sure ceiling-mounted smoke alarms are at least 4 inches away from walls and wall-mounted alarms are 4 inches to 12 inches down from the ceiling. However, others may be better left to the next owner, especially if they are going to mean a huge job in terms of time and money.

For example: If you have a piping issue and need to re-plumb your house, that may be a greater expense than you want to take on. A contractor can be a necessary asset to figure out the fixes that are a must. 

Offer Buyers a Credit or a Lower Price to Account for Code Repairs

In the current housing market, sellers are finding buyers lining up for homes because there is not enough supply to keep up with demand. That means it could be easier now to sell a home with code violations.

You may find that buyers are willing to compromise and accept a credit or lower price which takes into consideration code violations. Not every house will fit this scenario, but if the violations are minor repairs, or are relatively easy to fix, you may be able to skip making them before selling.

If you do decide to let the buyer foot the bill for code violation fixes, there is more than one way to come to a compromise. Some sellers might offer buyers a credit at closing, considering the expense to make repairs on the home, as long as the code violations don’t pose a safety or health threat.

What’s key is to let buyers know upfront about all of the code violations that are present in your home, and then lowering the price accordingly — working with your agent and a contractor.

A similar solution is selling your house as-is at a lower price, with buyers knowing that they will need to make repairs. This can be done with a traditional sale, where the buyer finances the purchase with a mortgage, or to a cash buyer, which is a special type of buyer that may not be purchasing a house to live in. 

Sell Your House as-is to a Cash Buyer

If you are trying to sell a house with code violations that affect your home’s livability or that would be cost-prohibitive to fix, you may be better off selling it “as-is” for cash.

Cash buyers are the most likely type of buyer to accept a house “as-is” with code violation fixes. One of the most common categories of cash buyers is iBuyers. iBuyers are institutional investors, national house flippers, or startup ups, which are in the business of purchasing homes directly.

While you are likely to get less for your home with this type of buyer than going the more traditional route of selling your house, if you have a lot of code violations and don’t want to deal with them before selling, this may be the way to go.

A real estate agent can help you figure out how much you might get for your home from a cash buyer vs. a traditional sale.

While a real estate agent is your best source, you can start by doing your research on HomeLight’s Simple Sale Platform, which partners with over 100 nationwide pre-approved iBuyers to connect sellers with cash buyers.

Selling a house as-is to a cash buyer is often faster than a traditional home sale, which is another advantage if you need to move quickly. 

Code violations don’t have to mean a long process before you can sell your home. Depending on the violations you could opt for a quick fix, or pass the repairs on to a buyer.

There are so many variables to consider that it’s wise to research the fixes and the cost to remedy them before making any decisions about how to proceed. Selling a home in bad condition almost always means you’ll net less money so you have to decide if it’s worth it.

The right solution will depend on your specific situation and a real estate agent and contractor can advise you about different options from making the repairs, offering buyers a discount with some repairs still needed, or selling your house as-is.

With more than one option, the key is to consider your timeline and goals for your sale and then weigh how you can make your home sale fit in with them. Selling a house with code violations is definitely possible, with, or without, making all of the repairs ahead of time.

6 Effective Tips For Cleaning Your Basement


What to Know About Cleaning Your Basement

Do you want to know how to clean your basement? Who wants to waste time right?  Your basement seems like the perfect place to keep everything you no longer use. Homeowners oftentimes store old furniture, sporting equipment, and childhood boxes in this room.

The main goal is to get it out of sight. This storage strategy can work well until you realize that your basement is a huge mess. 

Why do you need to clean your basement? Perhaps you are thinking about selling your property soon.

If you live in an area with high demand for real estate, companies that buy houses may be sending you offers hoping that you will bite.

If you don’t have plans to sell, you may simply want to protect the valuable items that you store in your basement.

One way to do that is by keeping things tidy and clean. Here are some useful tips that will make your basement cleaning easy, fast, and efficient.

Cleaing basement tips

1. Organization Is Your Foundation

Many homeowners are surprised when they realize that you do not need most of the items in your basement.

Realistically, how often will you use this ‘stuff’? For easy cleaning, start by organizing everything. From there, it can help determine what to keep and what to toss. Place your items into four categories:

  1. Keep
  2. Throw Out
  3. Sell
  4. Donate

How can you determine what item belongs to which category? This is arguably the most challenging part of this process. You need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I really need this?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Do I already have a replacement for this in my house?
  • Can this be more useful to someone else than me?
  • How important is this item to me and my family?

The answers to these questions will help you to figure out what to do with everything in the basement.

Another great technique is to grab ahold of that item and determine if you feel any emotion when you hold it. You can place it near your chest, and then your heart, to help decipher how special that item truly is to you.

Of course, you will want to keep things that are sentimental. With proper sorting and organizing, you create the baseline for how your basement will look. This opens up the opportunity for easier cleaning over time.

2. Remove Items From the Basement

After organizing your basement items, it’s time to remove what’s not needed out from this room.

Depending on how many items you are throwing out, you can consider renting a dumpster so you can easily throw out items that are getting tossed.

Taking things out of your basement is a lot of work and there will be some heavy lifting involved.

Don’t be shy about asking for help. Do you have neighbors or friends in town that are open to helping you move things?

You can even hire a cleaning and moving service to help with the whole process. Lastly, make sure that you coordinate transportation of items to donation service sites when needed.

There are charities that will take heavy furniture and clothing off your hands. Many of them will visit your home for free!

As for items you plan to keep, decide if you want them to remain in the basement or take them to another room in the house.

For items that are leaving the basement, you can move them before officially starting to clean. This will give you enough space for cleaning.

For the items you would like to sell, you can move them to the garage or any other part of the home temporarily. If you have plans to sell doing all of this will be part of the home staging process anyway.

3. Work in Sections

Depending on where you live, a basement can be one of the largest rooms in the house.

Cleaning it out entirely can feel daunting. It is better to divide it into sections. You may use painter’s tape to map out each area, or simply compartmentalize it within your head.

Dividing it into small areas makes the cleaning job easier to mentally digest and prepare for.

If you need to complete this cleaning job over multiple days, don’t forget where you left on. Also, make sure that you clean things in a logical order. For example, sweep before mopping, and dust before wiping.

4. Thorough Cleaning with Proper Supplies

There’s a chance that your basement has not been swept, dusted, or washed in a long time. Over this time, dust and dirt have gathered on all surfaces in the place. It’s common to see cobwebs on the walls and in the corners of the basement. 

You will need to clean the whole place from top to bottom. Gather your brushes, mops, washcloths, and cleaning detergents together.

Working in sections to clean all areas thoroughly. Each surface may require different cleaning supplies and materials.

Make sure that you are prepared and have the adequate things needed for the entire job. Once you have these cleaning supplies, it’s easy to restock certain ones as needed.

5. Add Lighting

Oftentimes, basements become and remain dirty because homeowners cannot actually see the dirt. Does your basement have any small windows or natural lighting? If not, that’s ok.

You can add lighting throughout your basement, which will allow you to see better when cleaning it.

Consider recessed lighting for a stylish, modern look. If you don’t use your basement for more than storage, you can add a few regular overhead lights along any exposed beams.

Maintaining a clean basement becomes much easier when the proper lighting is added.

6. Get Creative on How to Use Your Basement Space

A clean basement is inviting and will give you the extra space you need in the house. If you decide on how the basement can be used, that will help you stay accountable when the time comes around to clean it.

Think of creative ways of using this clean and fresh-looking space. If you have been looking for an extra room, get all the things you need and turn this into your vision.

You may be dying for a play area the children can use, an entertainment room, or a quiet study room. Regardless of your ultimate plans, a clean basement is a perfect start.


Similar to other rooms in your home, the basement needs to be kept clean and organized.

Many people tend to forget this space over time and clutter gathers. With these simple cleaning tips, you will get the job done fast. Keep up the good work and clean the basement often like any other part of the house.

Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of how to go about cleaning your basement quickly and efficiently.