Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

Your Post Move Checklist

Most everyone gets consumed by all that needs to be done when leading up to their closing day, but what should you do right after you close and move in? Now that the home inspection, financing requirements and all contracts have been completed and you physically have moved in, what should you make sure you take care of next? Here is some help on items to take care of once you start unpacking.

Inspect belongings

When you hire movers to help you relocate, be sure to inspect all of your belongings as you unpack. Most movers will have a contract stating that they are insured and offer coverage should there be damage to any of your belongings as a result of anything on their end. Check your contract while you review your personal items.

Figure out trash days

With a big move comes a lot of trash. Figure out both when and where to leave your trash for pick up. That also includes recycling and how to dispose of any larger unwanted items.

Update the locks

Who knows who the previous resident gave keys to. Now that you live in the home it is best to keep things safe and change the locks. Now you can keep track and control who has access to your new home.

Register your car

Whether you moved to a new state or one town over you should update your registration. Contact your insurance agent so that you remain in compliance with your policy. Your premium is based on your address so you will want to have that current. Who knows, your rate may even decrease if you are lucky!

Paint now

There is no better time to paint than right as you move in. Before you start unpacking, placing large pieces of furniture along walls or hanging pictures, get that fresh coat of paint up in your rooms. 

Update voting address

No matter if it is for the president of the United States or for a local school board election don’t forget to update your voting address. There is no better way to start making a difference in your community than voting for your officials of choice. 

Check your credit

Your credit report will be accessed during your move for financial confirmation for your loan. Your personal information during a home purchase is often exposed to all necessary parties so it is a wise idea to check your credit report within six months of making a move. Confirm that your address is correct but also check for anything suspicious.

How to Learn Everything About a Neighborhood

Unless you are doing an in town move, researching a new neighborhood is something every homebuyer is going to want to do. If the area is nearby you can certainly go on a fact finding mission and do some grass roots research with an in person visit. However, if you are relocating or if there are more details that you want to find out then there are some great resources out there at your fingertips. Here are some tips for how to learn about a neighborhood.

Walkability

Want to figure out how easy it is to get around on foot in your new hood? Walkscore.com is a great website to see just what is possible and around for you to reach by walking around instead of getting in the car. You may see there is a lot within walking distance that you can enjoy!

Demographics

The U.S. Census Bureau compiles information about an area for things like age, race, population density and even average commute times for an area. Visit census.gov to see what your area of choice looks like.

Schools

Don’t take someone’s word for the quality of your neighborhood’s schools, see for yourself. Greatschools.org will give you a chance to see report cards on schools along with reviews from parents, teachers and the students themselves. 

Crime

If you want to assess the safety of the neighborhood and see what is going on, visit mylocalcrime.com to pull up local crimes from vandalisms to shootings. There is a map function too so you can see exactly which areas are experiencing this activity.

Local Attractions and Information

Most towns have their own website which can be a resource for local happenings. Some feature a calendar of events to help you plan your year. Yelp can also be a good option to find things like which local restaurants may be most appealing to you. 

Find A Similar Neighborhood

Like the area you are living in now for certain reasons? Visit neighborhoodscout.com where you can find your next ideal neighborhood by selecting filters which include lifestyle preferences. If you like where you live now but want to move it can help you find a comparable place around the whole country too!

Things Homeowners Want In their Kitchen Remodels in 2022

Despite what many design experts may say is no longer in style when you may be watching your favorite television renovation show, some homeowners are still doing certain things in their kitchen remodels that are proving to be tried and true. Most everyone wants to do what is in style, but personal preferences and budgets come into play. Here is what homeowners still love to have in a kitchen regardless of whether it is in style or not.

Granite and butcher block countertops

More trendy materials such as quartz or even concrete countertops may be the rage these days, but granite still makes the top 10 list of desirable features among builders. It has been very popular ever since the 1990’s when it replaced formica. The same goes for butcher block too with its warm and inviting tone even if just used for an island counter.

White kitchens

Many new colors are becoming popular this year and often a different shade of green. However, white continues to be a mainstream and safe choice for many where it looks clean, organized and yields a neutral or blank canvas for adding colorful decor. 

Gray tones

For anyone who doesn’t want to do just a safe white, gray tones are still running strong for remodels. It is a practical color that can hide dirt but adds some interest more than white while making things look chic.

Open kitchen concepts

Other than a quick questioning of whether separate kitchens may be best during so much time being spent at home for the pandemic, open kitchens are still a very popular trend. The ability to easily entertain, cook and remain engaged with others is much easier and made possible with this open concept rather than being stuck in a separate room. 

Stainless steel appliances

Despite design pros suggesting matte appliances as the new trend, stainless still remains a timeless and popular choice. Some experts state that even black can be a great runner up to stainless for standing the test of time. 

Tile backsplash

Some trendy backsplash designs have come about including wood, chalkboard paint or integrated stone that melds with countertops. However, tile backsplashes still hold as a popular choice over glass, brick or stone.

 

Common Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make After Moving In

First-time homebuyers can be even more excited as they finally have purchased a home of their own. There have probably been years of built up dreams for all of the things they want to do to a home when they settle in and make it their own. However, there is a typical pattern of mistakes that they can often make as they execute some changes. Here are some common things that are done so you can avoid them.

The wrong decor

One common mistake is choosing the wrong decor that goes against the style of your home. For example, if your home is a mid century modern by its design, you should avoid going with Victorian traditional decor where it will clash.

Not testing paint colors first

This is very important to do exactly where you will be painting. For example, color swatches may look nice when looking at them inside the store or inside your home, but if they are going to be for the exterior of your home then look at them outdoors in the natural light. Do test spots on the house with sample jars first.

Mismatching furniture

It can be tempting to purchase a chair that is nice looking and in your budget. However, think about all of the items you have and consider how it will go with your existing theme. Some things can be accent pieces or pushed, but make sure they complement each other well so they don’t look out of place.

Throwing out too much

It is easy to get excited and want to start fresh when you move into your new home. Some think about getting rid of all of their old furniture and getting new pieces once moving in. However, not only can this get expensive but you may find you could use select pieces like a bookshelf for example to fill in some space. Start with what you have and then make edits as you go.

Pretty versus practical

Always prioritize necessities first before simple wants. Be sure your home’s major systems are in good working order and take care of any needed servicing before spending money on a nicer looking bathroom vanity or the like. You will need money on hand for the important stuff first.

Impulse buying versus planned

Some buyers will simply make a purchase of a furniture item solely because they like it at the moment. Other things need to be considered though like measurements to see that it will fit in the room, get up the stairs, etc. for example. Make a plan before you set out and go shopping for best results.

 

Inexpensive Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Today, many homeowners are interested in ideas for things that increase the value of their homes especially if they can do them on a budget. Certain home improvement projects can be done yourself which will save you more money while making your home an even nicer place to live. Regardless of if you are interested in giving your home a facelift or if you are prepping for a sale, here is a list of DIY ideas that can increase the value of your property.

Paint – A room that is freshly painted using a neutral palette will not only look presentable but will also appeal to a larger audience if you are considering a sale. Lighter and brighter colors for smaller rooms can help create an illusion for more space.

Window Treatments – Don’t invest in the cheapest blinds possible, consider upgrading to nicer wood blinds or even fabric drapes with decorative hardware. The enhanced function can oftentimes bring color and elevated style into your room’s decor. 

Front Door – Is your front door plain and lackluster? Consider upgrading it to a decorative one with detail or a glass insert. This is one of the first and last things that all buyers will see when they preview your home.

Fixtures – Update your dated or worn fixtures. This can include switch plates, outlet covers, doorknobs, curtains and light fixtures. These items can be inexpensive but bring your home into modern day looking fresh. 

Closet Systems – An organized closet will appear larger and more spacious. Consider installing  a storage system that will keep all of your belongings organized. 

Ceiling fans – Keep your air fresh and circulating by adding in ceiling fans. This can provide enhanced aesthetics while the function is an added value for keeping things cool. 

Bathrooms – Don’t forget your bathroom fixtures. Old and outdated fixtures can really make your bathroom look tired. Towel bars, shower heads and even vanity hardware can all make a difference when replaced with new styles. 

Crown Moldings – Add crown moldings to your ceilings. This will add character and luxury at a small cost. The wood can be purchased at most local hardware stores and installed with a nail gun. As long as you have the tools and put in the effort, this can be an inexpensive way to add great value.

Door Mat – It may sound insignificant, but a large and new door mat will give a warm and welcoming introduction of your home. 

Hardware – Old hardware can make your cabinets appear dated and sometimes cheap. For not a lot of money you can purchase some modern knobs and pulls that will give the whole room a much needed improvement. 

 

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Neighborhood

Selecting the best neighborhood for you goes hand in hand with finding the right home to purchase. Many buyers will weigh features such as public transit, school ratings and proximity to parks. Other factors including budget, taxes, assessed values and operating costs will also be considered.  However, while some of these factors are important there are other things that you may want to consider as you learn if a neighborhood is right for you. Here are a few tips to assist you in your search. 

High barriers to entry: The zoning restrictions for a community and patterns for development can be a good indicator for what to expect for the future. In other words, communities that are more strict and preserve their culture are typically more desirable places to live.

Pricing predictability: An effective approach for forecasting how a home will retain its value is to see how it has performed in past cycles. It certainly is not possible to exactly anticipate how the future will affect pricing, but you can definitely see historic data and trends that may show how well an area will weather a volatile market. 

Rate of homeownership: Another helpful gauge is the percentage of owner-occupied homes in the neighborhood. Generally speaking, owner occupied dwellings are more likely to be upgraded over time. These improvements add value while creating stronger ties within the community. 

Safety: Communities with a higher rate of owner occupants also result in safer communities as residents become more invested in their neighborhoods. Research has found that there is a link between above average rates of homeownership and lower than average crime rates. For a full crime report visit the local police station in your neighborhood of consideration. 

Historical context: Long term residents and businesses in a neighborhood often feel a sense of pride in preserving their community. Historic preservation can help maintain a neighborhood’s character and value as we have seen in select areas across the United States. 

A wise idea is to spend just a few hours perusing public records and meeting neighbors. A small investment of your time can be very valuable in making a smart purchase.