by Monique Higginson | Apr 27, 2018 | Moving, Moving Tips, Real Estate Tips, YourHome
Moving? These are our 7 tips for an easy move
Here are 7 tips for an easy move that will make the day go extra easy. We’ve owned over 21 homes and moved countless times. Here are some things we’ve discovered that make the move easier. From things you can do in advance to strategies for the day of, these tips will save you hassle and headache and ensure that your friends helping you move still like you when it is over.
1. Purge, purge, purge
Our number one item tips for an easy move? The more stuff you get rid of, the less stuff you have to pack, move and then unpack. A move is the BEST opportunity to get rid of the clutter.
Go through your books, clothing, kitchenware and garage and challenge yourself to get rid of anything that is old, outdated, broken or that you didn’t even know you owned.
2. Pack stuff that won’t be needing right away first
Another one of our tips or an easy move is to pack the things that you don’t need right away. Things that you don’t use regularly should get pack up first and unpacked last.
3. Have a system for labeling your boxes
As you are packing up, label your boxes – which room they are going to and also which order they need to be unpacked. Especially be clear which boxes have things that you’ll need right away – so that you can unpack them quickly.
4. Take inventory
One of our biggest tips for an easy move is to take inventory. As you are packing up, label boxes and list what is inside. This is critical for moving companies as they will want to know exactly what is in a box if it goes missing.
5. Be ready for your movers
No matter if you have professional movers showing up or friends who are willing to lend a hand, be ready for them when they arrive. If you are still tossing things into boxes, the day of a move, the likelihood that things will get damaged, accidentally get tossed or go missing is much higher.
Plus you’ll annoy anyone who is standing around waiting.
6. Don’t go grocery shopping for a week before you move
Eat up all your perishables, clean out your fridge and freezer, and also some of your pantry. Unless you are moving a very very short distance, you can’t take it with you
7. Have a moving day “kit”
Have some essentials ready to go, set aside with easy access – things you’ll need right away in your new space. It will save you time, money, and multiple trips to the store.
These are things that you don’t want to dig through boxes of stuff to find after a long day of moving.
Some things to include:
Clothes, toiletries, medication and personal items that you will need right away when you arrive – enough for a few days.
Linens – at least sheets, pillowcases, a shower curtain and towels for the bathroom and kitchen. Nothing is worse than not being able to take a shower after a move because you don’t have towels or a curtain.
Some snacks and drinks for you and your moving team
Cleaning supplies, light bulbs, toilet paper, paper towels, rags garbage bags. You’ll likely arrive and have to do some (hopefully) light cleaning and as you unpack you’ll have some trash right off the back.
Anything tips for an easy move that you’d add to the list?
Some additional resources and tips for a easy move:
by Monique Higginson | Apr 21, 2018 | Relocating to Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City, Things To Do In Salt Lake City, YourLifestyle
8 affordable things to do in Salt Lake City – some of them are even FREE
This is a list of our favorite affordable things to do in Salt Lake City – some are right in the heart of the city and some are a little further out. PLUS we asked some of you what your top affordable things to do around town and got some great suggestions! So, if you are new in town, just relocating to the Salt Lake City area or are a local and just need some inspiration to get out, here you go:
1. Visit one of Salt Lake’s public parks
We have some amazing public parks in Salt Lake City – they offer everything from running trails, scenic spots to sit and read or picnic, playgrounds and splash pads for kids, and so much more!
Here are some of our favorites:
- Liberty Park – with the Tracy Aviary, multiple playgrounds, volleyball courts, pavilions with tables and a beautiful lake.
- Memory Grove – one of the most scenic parks in Salt Lake City, this park has a meditation chapel, all kinds of trails, City Creek running through the center and a trail up into the hills that connects with the Bonneville Shoreline trail.
- Sugar House Park – this park also has a creek and a pond right in the center of the park. There are several playgrounds, some wide-open fields, a rose garden, a connection to the Parley’s trail, and one of the best-protected jogging paths in the city.
2. Visit the main downtown library
We have an award winning library in downtown Salt Lake. Really. It won the 2006 library of the year award for its stunning architecture and design. That’s why it is on our list of affordable things to do in Salt Lake City!
Check out a book, attend a free class or lecture. Check out a movie screening. Grab a coffee and play with your kids in the children’s section. Visit the art galleries or just hang out on the plaza outside.
3. Go camping
There are some great campsites within a very short drive of Salt Lake City. Some that less than an hour and you’ll feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. OR if you are willing to drive a bit further you can find some great spots in Central and Southern Utah and in the National & State parks.
Camping is one of the best affordable things to do in Salt Lake City – but in the springtime, always be sure to check the weather before you go. It is less affordable if you have to pack up in the middle of the night during a major rainstorm and then get a hotel (speaking from personal experience).
Here are some good resources for campers:
4. Visit a food truck
Salt Lake City is known for its food scene. BUT eating out isn’t always affordable. So our version of keeping things on a budget is to visit one of Salt Lake City’s numerous food trucks.
There are so many great choices and (sadly) no one complete list of food trucks in Utah, but here are a couple of places to start:
BONUS: Here are our top places to eat out in Sugar House. Just in case you need a little night out on the town.
5. Go for a bike ride
Another one of our affordable things to do in Salt Lake City is to take your bike out for a ride. Don’t have a bike? No problem! Salt Lake City has a bike-share program in the downtown area. There are quite a lot of protected bike lanes in Salt Lake City and lots of urban trails that lead to mountain or canyon trails and Salt Lake is a destination for road cyclists as well.
Here are some of the top bike trails around Salt Lake City:
- Bonneville Shoreline Trail – this mountain bike trail runs along the Wasatch Front where the ancient Lake Bonneville used to lap against the mountains. You will find trail runners and even horseback riders on this trail.
- Jordan River Parkway Trail – paved, flat, easy and running almost the entire length of the Salt Lake Valley, this trail runs along the river with lots of parks and protected wetlands to see along the way. This is a great trail for families.
- Antelope Island – road cyclists love biking across the 7 mile causeway to Antelope Island (pictured here from the air) in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. Yes, there are antelope there. And bison. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a bald eagle or two. There are also great mountain biking trails on the island. Wear sunscreen and bring bug spray.
6. See some art
Salt Lake City is full of art museums, galleries and studios. Plus there are some great (FREE) events that are focused on artists and creators.
Two of our favorites:
- Salt Lake Gallery Stroll – taking place the 3rd Friday of every month. Gallery Stroll connects artists, galleries, and the community in a downtown-wide art event.
- Sugar House Art Walk – taking place once a quarter, this walk covers locations all throughout the heart of the Sugar House business district (including the Market Source Real Estate offices).
7. Go for a hike
A hike is one of the best affordable things to do in Salt Lake City… it’s always free! There are numerous hiking trails around Salt Lake – and for every skill level. From basic strolls that you can take with the youngest kids to strenuous all day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips.
Always pack plenty of snacks, lots of water, sunscreen, a small first aid kit and sunscreen when you go hiking in Utah. Also be aware of weather conditions and wildlife.
Here are a few handy hiking guides:
8. Go swimming
Swimming (inside or out) is nearly always affordable. It’s fun, relaxing and a great family activity.
We have some really great choices here in Utah for both:
- The Faimont Aquatic Center – Right in the heart of Sugar House. This indoor pool offers swim lessons, classes, a lap pool and a leisure pool with a 2 story slide and a beach entry. It is also right in a park – so you can go swimming and then visit the park as well.
- Liberty Park Pool – open only in the summer, this outdoor pool in the one of our favorite parks!
- Some swimming holes in Northern Utah – if you want to really have some fun in the great outdoors.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our list of affordable things to do in Salt Lake City! Have anything to add? Let us know!
Please Note: We’re continuing to post about local businesses, events, and area attractions; however, things often change due to COVID-19 restrictions. So please, double-check before you visit any of our recommended spots to confirm availability, accessibility, or any restrictions. Stay safe. Be well. And support Local! Thank you.
by Monique Higginson | Apr 14, 2018 | Home Maintenance, Real Estate Tips, Staging, YourHome
They say first impressions are important – and the exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see. That’s why staging the exterior of your home is just as important as staging the interior. Here is our project list for getting the outside of your house ready beyond just curb appeal.
Staging the Exterior of Your Home: Repairs
The first thing you need to ask when getting your home ready to sell is if there are any obvious repairs that need to take place. Walk around your house with a critical eye. Look at the paint, trim, siding, roof, window casings, doors, foundation – is there anything that looks old, chipped, damaged or rough?
Sometimes when staging the exterior of your home it helps to stand back at the street and look from the point of view of a buyer that might be driving by. What can they see? Where are the rough spots? What are the best features of your home that you want to highlight?
Staging the Exterior of Your Home: Pressure Wash Surfaces & Wash Windows
Homes collect dust, grime, dirt and pollution. Your house may look like it needs a coat of exterior paint, but it *may* just be dirty! When staging the exterior of your home, removing the layers of dirt from your house and driveway and walkways will make it look fresh and new again.
When staging the exterior of your home you should even look at cleaning any patio furniture and potted plants – they get dusty too.
You can DIY a pressure wash, but it might be worth your time to hire a professional.
Staging the Exterior of Your Home: Fix Any Pet Damage
One important aspect of staging the exterior of your home is fix any damage caused by your dog! You may love your dog – but the next owner of your house won’t want to deal with any yard problems.
Some things to look for:
- Scratched fencing, scratched wood on the deck or scratches on the back door
- Bare patches in your lawn or dead grass
- Holes dug in the garden
Ideally, there should be no sign of your dog (or cat) when prospective buyers come to call.
Staging the Exterior of Your Home: Think Green
During the summer, greenery makes all the difference. Make sure that the front lawn is green, weeded and trimmed. Flower beds should be manicured and freshly planted and weed-free. No one wanted to move in and feel like they have instantly have weeding to do. Finally, adding some potted plants to the porch is a nice touch and a way to go the extra mile.
Staging the Exterior of Your Home: Little Touches
A few extra touches will make a BIG impact:
- Replace or refresh the hardware on the door
- Make sure that any fountains, fire pits or spot lights are turned on
- Make sure that blinds or shads look clean and well cared for
- Refresh your home address signage – make the numbers big and easy to see from the street
- Leave your lights on at night – it allows people to drive by and see the house in its *ahem* best light in the evening
Some additional resources:
by Monique Higginson | Apr 6, 2018 | Home Maintenance, YourHome
Need a contractor? Here are the 3 questions to ask a contractor BEFORE you sign a contract!
As a homeowner, hiring a contractor to do work on your home can be stressful and time consuming. A lot can go wrong. To help you, here are our top 3 questions to ask a contractor that you may not have considered. These questions will help you save some time and energy in finding a contractor that is the best fit for you.
1. Ask to talk to references
Our number one on the list of questions to ask a contractor is: Ask for references. And reviews on Yelp or Houzz don’t count. Ask to speak to someone on the phone that your contractor did work for in the past year. A reputable contractor will be more than willing to let you talk to a satisfied customer.
Some things to discuss:
- What type of work did this contractor do for you?
- What was your experience with your contractor? Did they deliver on the agreed upon work?
- Were they able to stick to project timelines or did they communicate about any unanticipated delays?
- Did they stick to the budget or discuss any unexpected expenditures or overtime?
- How would you rate the quality of their work?
- Would you hire them again?
While you are at it, you can ask to see photos, portfolios or do drive-bys (for exterior or landscaping) of their work.
2. Ask About Payment
Another one of our questions to ask a contractor is all about the money. Always get a clear (written!) answer on payment and the fee schedule. It is good to get full clarity on payment BEFORE the work starts.
Some things to ask about:
- Do you require a deposit? How much
- Who pays for materials and supplies?
- When is final payment due? Is it when you finish the work, within 30 days, etc.
- How do you invoice? Is the invoice itemized?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
Estimate vs. Quote?
Another question you will want to ask: Is this an estimate or is it a firm quote? Keep in mind that an estimate is just a guess based on what they think a job might cost. A firm quote is much more definite (assuming of course there are no major surprises or add-ons to the job). Again, be sure to specify and get all quotes in writing.
3. Ask to See Their Credentials
Another one of our questions to ask a contractor has to do with making sure they can safely provide you with the services you need.
Always ask for:
- License and any certifications
- Proof that they do background checks on their employees
- Proof of insurance – you don’t want to be liable if someone is injured on your property
- And if it is a major remodel you can even ask to be added as co-insured on their carrier
Remember, your contractor is going to be working in your home – you want to be sure that, like any guest, you feel comfortable with them being there.
Finally some resources:
If you have any thoughts on questions to ask a contractor, let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.