It’s finally here, moving day! Whether you’re heading into a new home or apartment, the excitement, and stress that comes along with the process is one that cannot be avoided.

Did you know that moving is consistently rated as one of life’s most stressful events? It ranks right up there with death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, etc. Even if your move is a happy one, it doesn’t lessen the stress that comes along with it. It is still a massive disruption of your routine, combined with all that is familiar to you. And no matter how well you plan, that feeling will not change.

Now, you’ve spent weeks (maybe even months) planning and packing, so when the actual day arrives, you’re bound to be in overdrive. Along with all of things you’re going to have to take into consideration, if you’re a pet owner, add another item to your pre-moving check list.

If you think the process is tough, imagine just how stressful it can be for your pet. Dogs especially can easily become stressed out when there is unexpected activity in the home, or even when introduced to a new environment.

Animals are creatures of habit, and for them, change, no matter how big or small we think it may be, can be both confusing and stressful.

So while you’re planning out the specifics for moving day, it’s important to also plan ahead for your pet. In order to ensure he or she is relaxed, and safe, on the big day, we’ve compiled a few top tips to help make the move a success for all members of your family.

Contact your vet

If you’re moving out of state, or out of the local area, contact your vet to obtain your pet’s medical records along with any current prescriptions. Part of relocating involves finding new doctors and that includes a new veterinarian. Ask your current vet if they can recommend a new doctor before beginning to do so on your own.

Plan Ahead

Prior to moving, it’s a good idea to visit your vet. According to Dr. Rachel Barrack, Founder of concierge veterinary practice Animal Acupuncture, you should make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations. If you’re traveling by air, Dr. Barrack stresses the importance of checking with the airline beforehand to confirm all necessary paperwork prior to the day of departure. If traveling by car, make sure your pet is used to their crate and plan ahead for bathroom and water breaks.

Pack An Accessible Bag for Your Pet

Included in your pet’s to-go bag should be a leash, bowls for food and water, food, medications, wee-wee pads or litter box, bed, and favorite toys so when you get into your new home you won’t be rummaging through boxes, Dr. Barrack points out.

Keep pets away from the action

One of the best ways to help your pet remain calm is to keep them in a quiet area although that might not be possible on moving day. You don’t want them getting underfoot or accidentally getting out. A good idea to consider is either boarding for a night or two or doggy daycare. If that’s an option you’d like to explore, Brooklyn is home to a variety of options. A few local places include:

Keep in mind, before your pet is able to board or spend the day in daycare, most animal facilities require the animals go through an evaluation to ensure they’re a fit, and to protect the safety of all the animals already at the facility. All vaccinations will need to be up to date as well so make sure to find out from your veterinarian which ones your pet will need. And lastly, some months may be more popular than others at the facility, so once you have your moving dates, call to reserve your pet’s spot.

Move the house before you move your pet

Set up as much of your new home as best you can before introducing your pet to his or her new digs. Let them slowly adjust to their new surroundings. Re-introduce familiar objects and make sure to give your pup lots of attention in the process. You can even walk them from room to room to take in the new scents they’re sure to pick up on.

Update information

Once you’re settled, make sure to update your new contact information. That includes notifying your vet, ordering new ID tags, and if your dog is microchipped, calling the company and ensuring they have all of the new and most current information.

Stick to a Schedule

Dr. Barrack stresses the importance of sticking to a schedule once the move is complete. Even though you’re in a new place, sticking to their usual eating, exercise, and sleeping schedule as best as possible will help to minimize the stress.

Most pets love predictability and routine, so a move can throw them into a tailspin. Change can be confusing and stressful so be mindful of their needs as you prepare your move.

And most importantly, Dr. Barrack stresses the importance of being patient. Once you arrive at your new home, it will often take even the most well-behaved pets a few days to adjust to their new surroundings.  Consult with your vet as well on the best ways in which to ensure a smooth transition.

After a long, cold winter, springtime is back and bringing with it bright sun, breezy filled days, and a breath of fresh air. People feel energized and ready to tackle the tasks of cleaning and decluttering.

Spring is long considered the best time to sell a home, but before contacting your local real estate agent, you’ll want to ensure your home is squeaky clean. This goes beyond the general housecleaning chores—you’re going to want to do a deeper dive which is sure to make a huge difference to potential buyers.

Like the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and when it comes to your home, you’re going to want to “wow” potential buyers from the moment they arrive.

The outside of a home is just as important as the inside and oftentimes, buyers will have already formed an opinion before they’ve made it to the front door. Which is why landscaping, even if it’s minimal, of the front and back property should be on your to-do list.

Whether you’re looking to put your home on the market now, or just want to clean away winter’s mess, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get started.

 

Outside Cleanup 

Stage the Backyard

Steam Clean Carpets

 

Let in the Light

Deep Clean Kitchen and Bathrooms

Declutter & Organize

 

Buying a home is not something to be taken lightly – or something to be entered into without preparation. Whether you are in the market for a $100,000 home or a $1,000,000 mansion, you need to prepare carefully and make sure everything is ready to go.

The home buying checklist below can help you get started and reduce the chances of an unpleasant surprise down the line. Taking care of these items before you start shopping is an important part of the home buying process.

Set a Monthly Housing Budget

Setting a realistic monthly housing budget is essential, and it should be the first step on your checklist. Financial experts recommend that the total cost of housing, including the mortgage payment, real estate taxes, maintenance and upkeep, should be no more than a third of your gross income.

You can use an online mortgage calculator to estimate the cost of your monthly mortgage payment and use it to determine a price range when you start to shop for a home. Remember it is best to err on the low side and buy less home than you can afford rather than stretch to make the monthly mortgage payment.

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score will help determine the interest rate you pay on your mortgage, or if you qualify for a mortgage at all. If you do not yet know your credit score, make it the next item on your home buying checklist.

Many credit card issuers now include credit scores on their monthly statements. If yours does not, just contact the credit reporting agencies to get a copy of your most recent score.

Research the Local Neighborhoods

You will probably be shopping in more than one neighborhood, so it is important to research the local area thoroughly. Look at things like school graduation rates, trends in violent and nonviolent crime and home values as you select neighborhoods and make your home shopping list.

You want to buy in an up-and-coming neighborhood and avoid declining areas. The more you know about which neighborhood is which the easier it will be to make a wise decision.

Find a Great Realtor®

Once you have all your ducks in a row and know how much you can afford to spend, it is time to start interviewing local real estate agents. You want an agent who knows the local area and has specific expertise in the type of home you have in mind.

Look for a Realtor® who holds all the required licenses and has attained the necessary accreditations. Once you have selected a great agent, you can get on with choosing the right home for yourself and your family.

If you are selling your home, it pays to know what modern buyers are looking for. The right amenities can make a world of difference, helping your home sell more quickly and for a higher price.

Part of selling a home is giving the buyer what they want. Here are some of the things modern buyers crave.

Modern Lighting

The right lighting can make any home look better, and upgrading your lights could make a world of difference. Something as simple as installing new spotlight on the front door or a set of solar-powered lights along your front walkway will enhance your home’s curb appeal and give would-be buyers a good first impression.

Updating the lighting inside your home is a smart move as well. Replacing your old light bulbs with new and brighter LEDs will make your home look airier and more inviting and save you money at the same time.

A Wireless Security System

Security is an important consideration for the modern home buyer, but many homeowners have come to dislike old-line security companies and hard-wired systems. Modern buyers are looking for a better solution – one that can be easily moved from home to home. Investing in a wireless security system can make your home more attractive to would-be buyers and even boost its selling price.

New Energy-Efficient Windows

Replacing the windows is a difficult job, one that few buyers will want to tackle. That makes a home with new and more energy-efficient windows more attractive than ever.

If you have recently replaced your old windows with newer models, be sure to let the Realtor® know. Today’s buyers love energy-efficient windows, and they know that those new windows will save them money every month.

A Home Office

These days a lot of people work from their homes, and the presence of a home office can be a big plus for those buyers. Adding a standalone office to your home prior to putting it on the market probably does not make sense, but if you already have one make sure it is prominently highlighted in any marketing materials.

Built-In Storage

Ample storage is an important consideration for modern home buyers, and built-in storage solutions are very popular know. From recessed bookcases built into the bedroom walls to shelving units incorporated into the garage, the presence of these storage solutions can be a major selling point.

Knowing what buyers are looking for is one of the best ways to sell your home quickly. The more attractive your home is to would-be buyers the easier it will be to sell. The amenities listed above are in especially high demand, so be sure to point them out to all potential buyers.

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