Category Archives: Moving

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Moving for a New Job

Many people live in small towns where the job market just doesn’t quite fit their needs but they enjoy living there.  Others have a specialty job which may require moving to a new city in order to stay in the career field of choice, especially when tele-commuting is not an option.

These people might be homeowners in the town where they went to college or grew up. The kids are in a good school system and the whole family is connected someway to the community: church, soccer, scouts, volunteer work.

But the job!  A new one comes along, an hour away. What to do? Should you continue living in your current home and commute or should you move? In a large metropolitan area, commuting might be the norm but where your small town is separated from others by miles and miles of highway, moving might be necessary.commute to work

Consider a few things:

  1. the commute time and cost,
  2. the housing market,
  3. the school system,
  4. amenities of each town,
  5. career advancement and financial security,
  6. personal fulfillment.

Commute time and cost

Since the job is just an hour away it might be a great thing to consider the commute, at least temporarily. Make sure you like the job and the opportunity it provides. Sure, you’ll be away from the family 2 extra hours a day but once you get a feel for the job and the new area you can make the determination to move or stay. Be sure you have a fuel efficient car to help ease the pain of the additional gasoline cost during this time. You might find that commuting works for you and your family.

The housing market

Although the new job and your current home are just an hour apart, the housing markets could be very different. One could be robust; the other stagnant. You could find both doing well at the same time.  Review the cost of living in both towns using websites that can give you accurate cost of living comparisons.  Then ask for the help of a real estate professional in each town to give you a market analysis which can also help you decide if moving or staying is the best financial choice.  You need to know if you stand to lose money on your current house or would benefit by selling and moving on.

School system

With the kids in school, comparing the school systems is another important consideration. Also, do you have a high school student nearing graduation? Do you want to pull your children from their current school at this time or can you wait to move after graduation? Consider, too, that if you decide to move just over the state line and the graduating child wants to attend a college in the state you are leaving, you will lose resident status for tuition. On their own, at least in Mississippi, they need to be 22 or married (if younger) to obtain their own resident status. Otherwise they are under the parent’s resident status until a year after they become 21 as long as they are living in Mississippi. Grandparents who live in the same state as the college must take legal guardianship of the student in order to use their residency status and save tuition. There are some loopholes and other states may have different rules but be prepared in case you do choose to move across state lines.

Amenities

Look into the cultural, entertainment and shopping aspects of each town. Consider dining options and grocery stores. Will the children be able to continue their sport of choice? Investigate church options. And, is the new town easy to get around?

Career Advancement, Financial Security, Personal Fulfillment

Talk about this new adventure with your spouse and children. If senior parents are living with you or provide a hand in raising the kids, they’ll need to be in the loop as well. What are the benefits of moving or staying? How will your decision to stay and commute affect career advancement and personal fulfillment.  Getting your spouse and the kids on board and having them ask questions about your decision or even help you make the decision is an important family exercise.  It’s important to find out how your decisions affect the family. It’s important to get their questions and feedback. Lack of communication within the family structure can cause tension which, in turn, can affect your personal fulfillment and job performance.

Sometimes, the situation is an easy no-brainer…move on. Many times, there are so many “what-ifs” that it is a hard choice to make. Should I go or should I stay?  Only you and your family can make that decision, but once made, stick with it. No regrets.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655 | 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 | equal housing

 

 

 

Advertisements

How Many Times Have You Moved?

How many times have you moved in your life? Count the times you moved as a child into that number.

My adventures have included 20 moves in my adult life and 4 as a child. This does not include moving to college and back home since my main residence was my mom’s house during that time. That’s 24 total moves and I’m definitely not done yet.  I started in Towson, MD and currently live in Oxford, MS.

Can you beat that?  I’m sure many of you can so share your number with me and my readers stating where you started and where you are right now.  It’s fun to learn people’s moving habits and where they go.

Here is a map of my major moves. Screenshot_20171010-124313.jpgAs you can see, I’ve mostly stayed south of the Mason-Dixon line.  Some states I’ve moved in and out of a few times.  Several involved multiple moves within the area so I can’t place them all on this little map. These short moves were times we went from a rental to a home we purchased.

Moving is an adventure. The logistics are just a beginning. Then there are people involved; new friendships and business associations. New things to do can keep you busy. I have generally viewed each new location as a vacation, or a stay-cation, but one that is fresh and new.  If you view your new home as a place you may never get to again, you will be more apt to take the time to explore.  For example, neither my husband nor I expected to stay in Illinois very long or ever need to get back to that part of the country so we made sure we went to Chicago and St. Louis. We visited small towns with history along the Mississippi. To make sure I got a particular state on my bucket list, we made day trips or weekend trips out of the way so we could cross a state line.  We hit some state parks, historical centers, ate local food we knew we wouldn’t eat again and found ourselves in some cool places.  When the next move opportunity came, we didn’t regret not exploring.

Find out what there is to do in and around Oxford (if you live here) by downloading the “100 Things To Do In Oxford MS Fall 2017”.  Check this list of day trips, too. See how  many things you can do before your next move.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road Oxford MS 38655 | 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 | equal housing

Decorating for the Fall When Your House is For Sale

The smell of Fall is all around. Leaves are changing colors, mums are blooming everywhere, outdoor fire pits and wood-burning fireplaces are sending comforting smells through the air. And depending on what part of the country you live in, you may be spending more time indoors. Traditionally, in America, we decorate our homes more in the Fall — bringing the outdoors inside to enjoy. We decorate for the upcoming holidays at the end of the year as well.

Decorating a house that is on the market for sale can be challenging, especially if the homeowner is prone to extreme seasonal decoration. When a house is staged properly, buyers can see the indoor space in a more practical way, but with seasonal decoration, advent-1821740_1920the potential buyers may not be able to get past your Nutcracker collection or other bric a brac. If they leave your house referring to it as the pumpkin house or the turkey house, you may have lost their attention and probably the sale. They just couldn’t see the house as theirs.

I generally recommend during any time of year that sellers start packing things they will not need in the next few months and place them in storage or the garage. Since they plan to move anyway, why not get a head start on packing? Packing up unnecessary items minimizes clutter so potential buyers can view the house, not the stuff in it.

If you must decorate your for-sale house this Fall, remember this: you are going to sell the house. Everything you pulled out to decorate with needs to get packed again. Think minimal. A simple pumpkin display by the front door or on the fireplace is appealing. Perhaps a bouquet of fall-colored flowers or a pot of mums on the dining table will add a festive touch.

If a Christmas tree is necessary, consider keeping the size of the tree and decoration minimal. A tree too large will make a room look smaller. You want your rooms to look big.

Leave hand-railings free of decoration. It allows buyers to view the railings in their natural and beautiful state. Additionally, some buyers may need to hold onto the railing to get safely up and down the stairs. If garland and stockings block their grip, it’s a safety risk.

Is yours the house in the neighborhood known for the lights and blow-up characters on the lawn? Maybe this year you can start a new tradition in the neighborhood. Chances are that the new homeowners will not carry on your family’s enthusiasm for lighting, so this season, with your house on the market, keep your items in storage and let the christmas-21966_1920neighbors get used to a low-light holiday.  It’s less for you to pack up, too, if the house sells quickly. You will also save money on your electric bill that you can use toward your new home.

When your house is on the market for sale, think minimal decoration during the Fall and Holiday seasons.

 

Eileen Saunders, SRES, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road  Oxford, MS 38655 | 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 | eileen@tmhomes.com | Equal Housing

How To Help Senior Parents Downsize

Helping a Senior parent, or parents, downsize and move on to their next home can be stressful but it can also be a joy. The joy comes from spending the time with them to find out about what they have and why, where it came from and who they were with when it was acquired. There are more memories and stories in that old vase on the book shelf then you might realize.

FAMILY STORIES

I was recently visiting my in-laws and sat with my 80+ year-old mother-in-law for a while. She is filled with stories but the thing that got her really going at that moment was her address book. By the end of the conversation neither of us could remember why she pulled it out but we were both glad she did.

You see, every page had a story on it. There were friends from her childhood and from her first neighborhood after she married. There were family members, dead and alive written in and some scratched out and rewritten several times because they moved. She had doctors and housekeepers, car repair specialists and her hairdresser in that book. There were friends from churches she attended in both her home up north and the one in Florida.

And she told me all about these people and some events that they shared. I learned how nice most were, how comical some could be, and generous they all were.  I also learned about their children, who was in college and who was married.

My mother-in-law had a wonderful time conjuring up the memories to tell me and it brought her alive and happy. She normally is quite happy, but it was great to see her even more elevated.  She has had a great life so far and I’m glad to have been in that room with her at the moment she pulled out her address book.

 

RECORDING MEMORIES

There are things you shouldn’t get rid of … memories. And, I believe the address book is the story book of our memories. When going through your senior parent’s things, get a joyful mindset, do it with them, ask questions and make notes. We all have cellphones these days so why not take a photograph of some items with your parents holding them for your memories? Make some notes using your voice recorder or, better yet, record them telling you about special items. If you have a writer, like the Samsung Note phones (my phone of choice and so handy), write out your notes. When the entire process of going through their items to downsize and move on it complete, you have great photographs that you can us to make a photo book. Companies like Snapfish, MyPublisher, your local big-box drug store, and several apps on your phone can help you make a great memory book. Just be sure to add photos of your notes, too, so you have the whole story. Retain an SD card with the photos and downloads from the voice recorder, in case you need to make more copies at some point in the future. Then you have a great collection to pass on to your kids; a family history.

SENIORS VS. MILLENNIALS

Seniors are more likely to want to keep things than Millennials. In other words, Baby Boomers helping aging parents downsize and move, need to understand that what your parents have is not likely to be passed down. However, the memories would be great to hold, and can be stored digitally, too. The old sofa, china set, art display will most likely not be embraced by the Senior parent’s family members so help your aging relatives understand that they don’t need to save it all. Downsizing and getting rid of things can be good for the parent and a relief for the children.

I recently explained this to my 80+ year-old mom. She still has her parent’s old couch and several other items displayed in her house. She was once a contestant on The Price is Right, in the 1950s, and still has her furniture and accessories that she won. She’s hoping to pass them on to me and my brothers. She also has 3 large, plastic tubs in an extra bedroom upstairs with smaller items she wants each of us to have.  Do we want them? Only time will tell.

While you are working through the “memories” items, decide what to get rid of and how. The “HOW” includes, appraising and selling, holding an estate sale, giving some things now to family members. Then, with the “what’s left” pile of items, these either go to your parents new home and stay with them, get donated or consigned, or thrown away.  If you aren’t doing any of the heavy lifting or appraising/consigning immediately, make sure you schedule a time to have this done, so the process doesn’t get drawn out. There is also the chance that if you wait too long, you’ll run out of time before the big moving day and get stuck moving unnecessary things or having them go to storage … or your garage. Tackle this project head on with a sense of urgency, but enjoy your time with your parents as you work along side each other.

SENIOR RESOURCES

Need some help? I am a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and member of the Seniors Real Estate Specialists Council and can provide assistance as you go through this process with your aging  parents. There are great resources for you on the SRES Council webpage and you can find local assistance if you or your parents live outside of the Oxford Mississippi area, where I am located.

If I can offer one piece of unsolicited advise to you as you help your parents: help them with joy in your heart.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655  662-404-0816 / 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

Moving Checklists

Moving?

Look on the internet, especially Pinterest, and you are likely to find hundreds of Moving Checklists, that is lists filled with activities to help you get your household packed, shut down and moved to a new location.  These checklists tell you when to do what before you move. Most are 6-week lists and a few start sooner and give you more lead time.

I have moved over 15 times in 25 years and pretty much have my own way to prepare. I don’t believe that you need to take your time and do certain things each week.  I do understand that some people, who haven’t moved often, will need a little more guidance, but most events on the checklist can be done at one time.  If you know the date of your move, sit down at once and make all of your phone calls or fill out your internet forms to end or move services, let the teachers know, order doctor and prescription records and more. Do it all at once, then focus on other things.

Because of my experience as a mover and as a professional real estate agent, and because of my own opinion that not all lists are perfect for everyone, I have made my own to share with you.  These lists give you things to do as soon as you plan the moving date. Where most lists end the day of the move, my Moving Checklists end a  month after the move is complete. There are plenty of things you don’t need to do before you move, but need to be done in the first month at your new residence.  Remember, these lists were made based on my personal experience. If you need to tweak them a bit, feel free.

My checklists come in two designs: one is made specially with sentimental value for the Oxford MS mover (moving in or moving out). The other has a garden design and can be used by anyone. The In-Town Moving Checklist is one sided while the Distance Moving Checklist is two pages, or two sides, long.

You can download them here:

In-Town Moves Garden Design:

In-Town Moving Checklist garden-page-001

In-Town Moves Oxford:

In town moving checklist Oxford-page-001

Distance Moving Checklist Garden Design:

Distance Moving Checklist Oxford:

Later this year (2017) my book, tentatively titled The Ultimate Guide to Moving, will be available both in bookstores and online.  It’s an adventure in moving with lots of tips. The book, with the use of anecdotal experiences, is also a commentary on moving over the years and how it has changed. These in-town, long-distance moving checklists and more will be a part of the book. For now, I’m passing these along to anyone who needs to move in a short amount of time, like I usually had to do, and needs some organization to ease the overwhelming task ahead.

And if you are moving to Oxford, download my 100 Things To Do In Oxford MS and get busy enjoying this great little college and retirement town in Mississippi.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655   662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344  Equal Housing