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Photo by: Isaac Babcock - Think you'll get it done fast? Overestimating can save a lot of stress.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Jul. 9, 2015 6 years ago

Christina Rordam: The emotional toll of moving on

There's a dark secret no one talks about when it comes to buying or selling a home: it can be really really stressful.
by: Christina Rordam

There’s a dark secret no one talks about when it comes to buying or selling a home: it can be really really stressful. Moving in and of itself isn’t the most fun activity. Lifting heavy boxes, coordinating movers, planning for the cable guy to come out, are not exactly items on anyone’s bucket list. It’s probable that things aren’t going to go precisely as planned and may take longer than anticipated and/or cost more than budgeted. It’s all good nine times out of 10 once the dust has settled but couldn’t we be doing more to emotionally prepare for the onslaught of surprise bills and manual labor in our near future as we ready ourselves to relocate?

I say YES! I’m personally and professionally like a Girl Scout, always preparing and planning for all scenarios. Yet when I moved last fall I was slapped with a big reminder that when there are multiple third parties involved in a decision as big as a real estate transaction – specifically of your own home – things can get hairy and fast. So I’m sharing with you a few pieces of advice to keep in mind or on a list the next time you decide to buy or sell.

1) The rule of 20 percent

Now this is just something I like to use as a personal guideline. Many will find this to be overly cautious but I say better safe than sorry. Planning on a moving cost of $1,500? Add 20 percent to that and set it aside. Remodeling the kitchen cabinets? Budget an additional 20 percent of whatever the quote you’ve been given is and keep that money ear marked for that purpose, just in case. Maybe you won’t need that much of a financial cushion in every area of your move, and hopefully not at all, but you get the idea. Expect the unexpected and keep a little piggy bank stocked for just that occasion and you’ll enjoy peace of mind whether you need it or not.

2) Have a plan B…and C

So things happen in real estate. Mostly awesome and fantastically life changing things, but sometimes not so much. Don’t leave anything until last minute if at all possible (I know, occasionally this is unavoidable).

The last thing you want is to have the movers and everyone coming late in the day only to learn that the buyers of your old house are late or that they didn’t wire their funds in time and so you can’t actually move in until the following afternoon. Better to try to be early and leave yourself a little wiggle room when you can. Utilities are pretty simple to coordinate and set up, cable and internet can be flexible most times, and even if you have to wait a bit it’s ultimately alright.

Again, if you can give yourself an extra day or two to get set up and or get out of the home you are in, all the better.

3) Don’t overschedule the week of your move.

Yes we know, you have lives! But cut yourself and your busy schedule a break. The world wont stop spinning if it doesn’t have you doing everything you normally do during this important time of transition. When in doubt simplify or delegate. They even have people to pack your things for you if you must. Or if you just really hate it like me.

4) Ask for and allow friends and family to help!

This one was hard for me. I like to take charge and be in control! But it’s OK to need help sometimes and anyone willing to lend a helping hand when you move or get ready to is probably a great person — so let them help you! If you’re not getting any offers bribe your tribe with free food and booze!

5) Label your life!

Labeling your boxes of belongings is such a no brainer, but really doing it and labeling it correctly are game changers. I just started shoving my collection of shells into a box marked “Master Bath” towards the end, but do as I say and not as I do! Correct labels help movers and help you delegate when said friends you’ve bribed with pizza and wine are helping you settle in to your fabulous new abode.

Most of all just be prepared to have things change, sometimes last minute, and give yourself a break before, during and after. It can be traumatic even if you do everything right so be kind to yourself. A little help, planning and preparation and you’ll be loving your new space in no time.

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