McKee Homes Partners with Helping A Hero

By Margee Herring and John Rives

McKee Homes Partners with Helping A Hero to Build Home for Wounded Army Veteran SGT (Ret) Jonathan Rivenbark

dedication ceremony

Residents of the Legacy Lakes community in Aberdeen, NC, welcomed new neighbors on Tuesday, August 18, when SGT (Ret) Jonathan Rivenbark and his wife moved into their new home. Built by McKee Homes and provided to the Rivenbark family with only a $50,000 mortgage, the home is part of the Helping A Hero program which works with builders, suppliers, landowners and communities nationwide to provide homes for disabled veterans. The Rivenbark residence features wider door openings and hallways, lower counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, zero-threshold entries at showers and exterior doors, and a sidewalk surrounding the home to better accommodate SGT (Ret) Rivenbark’s disabilities and wheelchair.

“We were delighted to be a part of this worthy effort to provide for our nation’s veterans in a manner that honors their service, supports their families, accommodates their continued recovery and assures their independence,” said Pat McKee, president of McKee Homes. Each Helping A Hero home is provided with a minimal mortgage in planned communities where veterans receive ongoing support from neighbors, home owners associations, and other nearby service and veterans organizations. McKee Homes has previously built three adaptive homes for military veterans, though this is the first time we have partnered with Helping A Hero.

McKee Homes contributed $50,000 toward the price of the home through its Joe McKee Memorial Alzheimer’s Fund. They also coordinated well over $200,000 in contributions of labor, material or both from building suppliers and vendors eager to support the project. Developer Mountain Real Estate Capital donated the lot at Legacy Lakes, near Pinehurst. The Dedication Ceremony at which SGT (Ret) Rivenbark and his wife, Yulia, assumed ownership of their home drew a crowd of neighbors, friends and dignitaries, including Lt. Governor Dan Forest and Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.

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McKee Homes Builds Adapted Housing for Aging in Place

By Margee Herring and John Rives

“Aging in Place” is a growing trend for those growing older.  Studies, opinion papers, and family conversations around the dinner table all agree that those 65 and older prefer, and will benefit from, staying in homes that accommodate independence and keep them connected to neighbors, friends and all that’s familiar.

Special Adapted Housing for aging in place

To that end, McKee Homes is providing adaptive features in homes that help keep residents from entering institutional long term care facilities as they age.  Many aging in place features are hardly noticeable and are designed to accommodate future modifications or needs.  These can include wider hallways and door openings that can later accommodate a wheelchair; door knobs that are horizontal levers, and therefore more easily grasped by arthritic hands; stacked closets that can later become an elevator shaft; or wall construction with blocking for future railings and grab bars.

“Homes built for aging-in-place are simply more thoughtful about accommodating residents’ needs over time,” says Pat McKee of McKee Homes.  And such features also better serve those who are disabled or recovering from injury.  A zero-threshold doorway or shower entry is aesthetically elegant while also creating no obstacle for those whose mobility may be challenged.

Such features were critical for a home McKee recently built for SGT (Ret) Jonathan Rivenbark, an army veteran who was disabled while serving in Afghanistan.  The 2,300 sq. ft. home featured wider door openings and hallways, lower counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, zero-threshold entries at showers and exterior doors, and a sidewalk surrounding the home to better accommodate SGT (Ret) Rivenbark’s disabilities and his wheelchair.  McKee Homes had previously built three adaptive homes for military veterans.

For more information, please visit our Specially Adapted Housing web page.

special adaptive features for wheelchair access in bathrooms

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USDA Loan Fee Increase Scheduled for October 1

By John Rives

USDA loan guarantee fee increase coming soon

How much is the cost of a USDA loan going up? If you are shopping for a new home and are considering getting a USDA loan, you should hurry, as there is a USDA loan fee increase scheduled for October 1. USDA loans are one of the few loans that offer home buyers in rural areas a no-money-down option for their mortgage. The current loan guarantee fee for USDA loans of 2% is going up to 2.75% on October 1, 2015.

According to Bloomberg, an e-mail from USDA spokesman David Sandretti, states the move will enable the $24 billion program “to continue to sustain itself without a congressional appropriation to offset credit-related costs.”

The current guarantee fee of 2% for an $180,000 USDA loan is $3,600. This cost is usually included in the loan increasing the total loan amount to $183,600. When the guarantee fee goes up to 2.75% in October, the new fee for an $180,000 loan will be $4,950. That’s an increase of $1,350, increasing the total loan amount to $184,950.

While the guarantee fee which is a one-time fee charged by all government mortgage programs including USDA, FHA, and VA is increasing, the annual fee (monthly PMI) for USDA loans will remain the same at 0.50 percent.

The USDA has invested more than $117 billion to support rural home ownership but the home loan program was temporarily halted in 2010 when the USDA ran out of money. Last year, over $19.9 billion was invested by USDA which helped approximately 140,000 families purchase homes in rural areas.

If you are considering buying a home with a USDA loan, you can save money by purchasing the home before October 1 of this year. For more information on which McKee Homes neighborhoods qualify for USDA loans and details about the loans, contact us at 910-672-7296.

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The Difference Between Due Diligence and Earnest Money

By Wendy Wahl

due diligence and earnest money

If you are shopping for a home and are hearing terms you aren’t familiar with such as due diligence money and earnest money, you might be wondering what the difference between the two is, how they affect you, how much they will cost you, and if you can get your money back if the contract is cancelled. This article should help answer some of your questions starting with the difference between due diligence and earnest money.

Due diligence money is given to the seller by the buyer to put a home for sale on hold for the buyer. It is considered compensation to the seller for potentially missing out on another interested buyer while the home is on hold. This time gives the buyer a chance to review documents and get inspections on the home before they purchase it. It also eliminates the risk of someone coming along and swooping that home right out from under the buyer while they are getting inspections and making sure the home doesn’t have any major problems.

Deciding how much due diligence time is needed requires thinking about how long it will take to schedule appointments for inspectors to come out and inspect the home and how long it takes to review documents like the HOA rules and regulations. During the due diligence time the buyer is able to cancel the contract for any reason, or no reason at all. Due diligence money is non-refundable after the due diligence time period has expired. The good news is the money is typically credited towards the purchase of the home at closing.

Earnest money is “good faith” money. The buyer is showing the seller they are serious about buying the home. If the seller is unable to fulfill the contract the buyer will get the earnest money back. If the buyer is unable to fulfill the contract the seller can keep the earnest money. Earnest money is refundable if the contract is cancelled within the due diligence time period and is credited toward the purchase at closing if the sale goes through.

In general, there is no definite amount set for due diligence or earnest money. The amount of earnest money paid could be a percentage of the purchase price but typically is at least $1,000. Due diligence money isn’t a set amount either but is usually enough to compensate the seller for the time their home is off the market. Both of the monies paid, will be decided between the buyer and seller and written into the contract.

For more information, please visit http://www.ncrec.gov/Brochures/EarnestMoney.pdf
North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract, standard form 2-T Revised 1/2015

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Laminate Floors vs. Engineered Hardwood Floors

By Amy Kahler and Charmaine Simmons

Laminate flooring is fast becoming a popular choice for homeowners across North America because of its durability and cost effectiveness, both important aspects to consider in today’s economy. Laminate is also more environmentally friendly and easy to install.

Engineered vs Laminate

The core of laminate flooring is made of highly pressurized wood fibers, agricultural waste and resin. A decorative paper is added to the surface and covered with a durable melamine resin. The special backing creates a moisture barrier, making it the ideal flooring choice for kitchens, bathrooms and basements.

Laminate typically has three rating levels, based on the use of the room it will be installed in. Low-use laminate is perfect for the bedroom or similar rooms that have low traffic. Average-use is made for the rooms that the whole family frequents, but where the flooring wouldn’t receive as much abuse, such as living rooms and dining rooms. High-traffic laminate is designed for just that, heavy traffic. This rating is ideal for rooms where durability is most important, such as kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms.

Many people look to solid hardwood because of its natural beauty and use of all natural materials. This type of flooring is comprised of solid pieces of wood, but homeowners may want to consider which room they are planning to place it in. Solid hardwood floors do not hold up to water and moisture well. When placed in a high humidity environment, the boards will warp and buckle over time. Homeowners should check to see if the materials were obtained in a sustainable forest in order to maintain an environmentally friendly project.

Although engineered hardwood is made similar to laminate (with a high density core), its top layer consists of a thin piece of natural wood covered by several layers of veneer. Both engineered hardwood and laminate flooring are comparable in durability, but there’s a distinct difference in price-point. Laminate varies in price from $1-$6 per square foot whereas engineered hardwood costs anywhere from $5-$15 per square foot, depending on the finish and type of wood. That’s a considerable difference especially if you’re planning to cover hundreds of square feet.

Thanks to today’s technological advances, laminate flooring has come a long way from the boring designs and feel of the 1980s. Homeowners can now enjoy a floor that looks, feels and sounds like real wood without having to empty their wallet.

Source: http://www.house-energy.com/Floors/Laminate.htm ; http://cleanmyspace.com/hardwood-vs-laminate-vs-engineered-hardwood-floors-whats-the-difference/

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How To Replace an HVAC Air Filter

Bob and Sue’s Home Maintenance Tips

Part 1: How to replace an HVAC air filter
By Bob and Sue Russo

The “return air intake” in your home sucks the air from inside your home back into your HVAC unit, which keeps your house toasty in the winter and cool in the summer. If the air filter is clogged, your HVAC unit needs to work harder to keep you toasty or cool and your utility bill will take a hit. Note:  You may also hear the term “return air intake” referred to as the “cold air return”. Old-time, northern transplants may use the second term, because they are more accustom to using furnaces. If you have a new home in North Carolina you have an HVAC system. This article with video will show you how to replace an HVAC air filter in just a few minutes.

We just heard a story tonight about a young couple that called their HVAC repairman because their house wasn’t staying a comfortable temperature, only to find out that they needed to change their air filter. They were charged $100 for this service. You can do this yourself for just a few bucks.

The return air intake has a filter that (according to most manufacturers) should be changed monthly but you can purchase filters that are rated to change once a month or every three months.  The return air intake filter reduces dust particles in your home, so if you can write your name in the dust on your coffee table, you’re probably overdue.  Another dead giveaway, is if your return air intake looks like the photo on the right below. YIKES!

HVAC air filter cover

You might want to put this job on your calendar just like you would a doctor or dentist appointment. We change ours about every three months because we buy three-month filters.

If you have a large or multi-level home, you most likely have more than one return air intake.  The same information will apply to all of them.

(PLEASE NOTE In some older homes, the air filter is located directly in the HVAC Unit or furnace. Please refer to your owner’s manual for your HVAC Unit or furnace if you do not have a filtered return air intake as shown above.)

To change the filter, please follow the steps below.

  1. Locate your return air intake and open the door by releasing the clips usually located at the top of the frame.The disposable air filter rests just inside the frame.
  2. Make note of what size filter you have. Ours is 20 x 25 inches. You will need to do this for every return air intake in the house. They may not all be the same size.  Leave the filter in place, close the door and latch…we’re ready to go shopping.
  3. Go shopping! You can buy air filters at Target, Walmart, Home Depot or Lowes etc. We like to buy several and have them on hand. We personally prefer to use the mid-priced filters, but you can buy washable filters for a little more money.

HVAC air filters

We just got back from shopping and realized how confusing this would be for first time home owners. Here’s the net of it. Any of these filters that are the right size, in our case 20 x 25 inches will work. The bottom shelf of this display shows the least expensive filters. These filters need to be changed on a monthly basis. The middle and top shelf filters are three-month filters. The only difference between the middle shelf filters and the top shelf filters is price and how much gunk they actually filter out of the air in your home. We have tried the higher priced filters, but in our experience they clogged up faster and seemed to diminish the air intake slightly. (We are not professional HVAC repair people, so if this point troubles you, you can always refer to your HVAC manual to see what they suggest.)  There is one more option that we have never tried; washable filters. The mid-range filters that we buy cost about $4.00. The washable filters cost about $10.00. With the washable filters, instead of changing the filter, you remove them, separate the screening from the frame and hose the screening off until it runs clear and then reinsert the same filter. This idea sounds like it would be good for the environment, but we looked these up on several HVAC sites and they were not recommended. They indicated that your filter traps bacteria and fungus as well as dust. Rinsing these off does not remove the bacteria and fungus. If you really want to go green there were some suggestions to get around this, for example buy two sets of filters for every return air intake in your home and alternate the washed filter out every other change.  Since we lack the experience with washable filters we would suggest that you follow the recommendations in your HVAC owner’s manual. If they tell you not to use them…don’t use them.   

We should also note that most HVAC Manufacturers don’t recommend HEPA filters because of the dense filtration material used in HEPA filters. Your HVAC units may not be sized to handle the pressure dropped caused by a HEPA filter. The more your filter filters, the harder your HVAC system needs to work. This could cause wear on your HVAC unit and/or your house may not stay so toasty or cool.  Your best bet is to go with the least expensive standard three-month filter. 

  1. Okay now comes the easy part….Installation! Open the door on the cold air return and remove the old filter. Place the new filter in so that the arrows for “air flow” are pointed into the opening. Guide the filter back into the frame and close the door and latch. That’s it!

HVAC air filter installation

Enjoy your beautiful new McKee Home! Bob and Sue

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Do Tankless Water Heaters Save Money?

By John Rives

You may have heard or read something recently that mentioned tankless water heaters as an energy efficient “green” alternative to the traditional tank heaters. Tankless water heaters are often advertised as being more energy efficient and a good way to save money each month on energy bills. So, do tankless water heaters really save money?

tankless water heater

There is much conflicting information on the subject and it’s very important to read the fine print when it comes to making a decision about which type of water heater is best for your purposes. Is your main goal to use less energy or to save money?

The simple answer is that it is unlikely that a tankless water heater will save you money when you consider all the costs involved. However they may run more efficiently, though even that is not guaranteed, and depends on how they are used.

The initial cost to buy and install tankless water heaters can be up to three times the cost of traditional tank water heaters, and they require regular yearly maintenance unlike traditional tank heaters.

Tankless water heaters have many moving parts and electronic components making them more prone to needing repair as well, so even if they do save money each month on heating bills, it is unlikely that you will ever recoup your costs to buy, install and maintain a tankless water heater.

Depending on individual use, a tankless heater may save up to 20% on electricity or gas per month, however they can sometimes cost more to operate than a well insulated tank water heater. The best way to save money on hot water is to insulate the hot water pipes between the water heater and the fixtures to keep the heat from radiating away while the hot water is moving through the pipes.

There is a common misconception that tankless water heaters deliver instantaneous hot water but that is not the case unless the water heater is installed very close to the plumbing fixture being used. It takes the same amount of time for hot water to travel through the pipes with either type of water heater. Traditional tank heaters actually have hot water ready to go while the tankless heater has to turn on and start heating the water when it detects a demand, so in fact most tankless water heaters will take longer to deliver hot water than a traditional tank water heater.

Pros: Tankless water heaters can be more energy efficient, are compact and take up less space than a traditional tank water heater and can provide continuous hot water over a long period of time.

Cons: Tankless water heaters are more expensive and mechanically complicated than tank water heaters and are not able to deliver as much hot water simultaneously as a traditional tank water heater.

Each situation is different and there are many factors to weigh in determining which type of water heater is best for your purposes. Do tankless water heaters save money? The bottom line is you may be able to lower your monthly electric or gas bill with a tankless water heater, however it will take a long time to recoup your initial costs, and with regular maintenance costs, it’s unlikely you will save money when all costs are factored in.

For more information about the pros and cons as well as energy costs of tankless water heaters, please refer to the following article:

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/are-tankless-water-heaters-waste-money

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Things to Do with Kids in Fayetteville – Part Two: Indoor Activities

By Joan Ritcher and D’Andra Bennett

Summer is here and that means finding something for the kids to do other than texting and playing video games. Whether your child likes sports, animals, music, technology, nature, reading or academics — or has other interests — there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Fayetteville! These activities are great for those days you are trying to beat the heat.

 child climbing on a wall in an outdoor climbing center

Athletic / Sports

  • The Climbing Place is the largest indoor rock climbing facility in North Carolina. You and your kids can literally climb the walls with over 70,000 climbing holds, 60 top ropes, a massive overhang area, a 300-ft. gym traverse and thousands of square feet of bouldering surface as well as a top-out boulder.
  • Triangle Rock Club is one of Fayetteville’s premier indoor climbing gyms with bouldering and belaying available for all skill levels. The youth programs encourage kids to set and accomplish goals, conquer fears and venture out and try new things, whether your child is an adventure seeker or merely looking to try out the ropes of a new activity.
  • Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving is the closest thing to true human flight as you soar on a column of air inside a vertical wind tunnel. The Youth League teaches kids the aspects of bodyflight while learning in a team environment. For ages two and up.
  • Round-A-Bout Skating Centers feature roller skating, in-line skating and video arcades at two locations in Fayetteville. The 71st Place location also offers Round-A-Golf miniature golf.
  • The Hit’n Mill is a 10,000 sq.ft. indoor baseball and softball training center that also provides instruction and guidance in the principles of teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance and commitment.

Arcades / Laser Tag / Miniature Golf

  • Omni Family Amusement Center is the largest fun center in Cumberland County, offering over 100 games for the entire family. You can also play miniature golf at Mountasia Golf & Games next door and indoor golf at Pirate Black Light Golf.
  • Putt-Putt Fun Center provides fun for the entire family, including Putt-Putt golf, go karts, bumper cars, bumper boats, batting cages and arcade games. They also offer group pricing, party packages and daily specials.
  • Chuck E Cheese’s is a great place to take the kids for everyday fun or for special occasions. It features games, rides, prizes, food and entertainment that children of all ages will love.

Museums

  • Fascinate-U Children’s Museum is a hands-on children’s museum in downtown Fayetteville where children can explore and learn through sight, sound, touch, role playing and interaction with each other and their environment.
  • Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum is the hub for history in downtown Fayetteville. Located in the beautifully restored 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot, the museum has two floors of engaging exhibits from pre-history through the early 20th There is a model train room, steamboat interactive and re-created station agent’s office. The Museum Annex next door continues Fayetteville’s story with automobiles and airplanes, including vintage cars and a re-created 1920s gas station.
  • Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex is Fayetteville’s premier historical facility, including a museum with exhibits of North Carolina’s rich history; the 1897 Poe House, a late-Victorian house museum; and Arsenal Park, the remains of an ordnance factory that served both the Federal and Confederate governments.
  • Airborne & Special Operations Museum preserves the extraordinary feats by airborne troops and special operations forces with artifacts, life-size dioramas, AV displays and a new motion simulator.
  • Airborne Division Museum presents the history of the 82nd Airborne Division from World War I with artifacts, military aircraft and war memorials.

Spectator Sports

  • The Rogue Roller Girls are Fayetteville’s premier women’s flat track roller derby league. Bouts are held May through October in a family-friendly environment.
    Crown Arena, 1960 Coliseum Dr, Fayetteville, NC

Misc.

  • Fayetteville has nine different public library branches with ongoing events and activities for kids and teens. Go to Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center for more information.
  • The Little Gym offers a diverse selection of summer programs filled with movement, music, learning and laughter for every stage of your child’s development from four months to 12 years.
  • Megaplay Play Center & Party Venue is a new indoor children’s playground and party facility in Spring Lake. A two-level play structure has a variety of activities such as a four-person wave slide, bridges, obstacles and spinning plates, as well as an area with soft play rides and inflatables and a space just for toddlers.
  • Monkey Joe’s is an indoor bounce house facility that offers bouncing, sliding and jumping fun for kids 12 and under. The Mini Monkey Zone offers age-appropriate activities for toddlers.
  • Play Date is a convenient hourly drop-in childcare facility that provides various activities addressing the cognitive, social and physical development of children 12 months to 12 years.
  • Greg’s Art Pottery & Gifts is a paint-your-own-pottery studio in downtown Fayetteville where your children can paint their own pottery or take a pottery class. Starting this summer there will be Children’s Punch, Paint & Party events – drop off your kids while they paint a canvas painting.
  • Just Claying Around gives your kids a creative outlet where they can paint their own pottery masterpiece. Come as a family or drop the kids off for Kid’s Night so you can have some well-deserved time to yourself.

There are many activities in Fayetteville to keep your child busy and satisfied, you just have to look around the corner!

Additional source of things to do with your kids in Fayetteville:
http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/forkids/index.html

 

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Things to do with Kids in Fayetteville – Part One: Outdoor Activities and Summer Camps

By Joan Richter and D’Andra Bennett

Summer is here and that means finding something for the kids to do other than texting and playing video games. Whether your child likes sports, animals, music, technology, nature, reading or academics — or has other interests — there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Fayetteville!

happy-family-on-their-bike-lr

Outdoor Activities

  • Fayetteville has several parks, trails and recreational facilities. Check out Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation for current information on programs and activities.
  • Cape Fear Botanical Garden has 80 acres of forest and meticulously preserved nature areas of the region’s indigenous plants, trees and wildlife. Many garden areas, including a Children’s Garden and Butterfly Stroll, provide unique educational experiences for young and old alike.
  • Carter Blueberry Farm is the largest pick-your-own blueberry farm in Fayetteville. Grab your kids and some baskets and get ready to enjoy an afternoon picking some of the freshest blueberries in the area!

Arcades / Paintball / Laser Tag / Miniature Golf

  • Fun Fun Fun Arcade & Laser Tag is a great family entertainment spot with over 100 games and rides, laser tag, miniature golf and batting cages.
  • Putt-Putt Fun Center provides fun for the entire family, including Putt-Putt golf, go karts, bumper cars, bumper boats, batting cages and arcade games. They also offer group pricing, party packages and daily specials.
  • Black Ops Paintball, started by combat veterans, is a safe, unique and exciting experience for people of all ages and skill levels. Play a variety of the most popular paintball game types on many different playing fields, as well as enjoy birthday parties or group outings. Minimum age is 10 for paintball and six for laser tag.
  • Black River Paintball offers an exciting playing and training experience on a variety of fields, many of which are developed around movies and video games. They also offer packages for birthday parties or other private groups.

Water Parks

  • Fantasy Lake Water Park has something for the entire family, including tarzan swings, slides, pedal boats, jump tower, diving board, swings, water volleyball and basketball courts, and an area specifically for kids three to 11. Out of the water there’s a basketball court, picnic areas, pool tables, horseshoes and a sandwich shop.
  • Lake Waldo’s Beach has a lake, swimming pools, lazy river, water slides and rope swings, in addition to picnic and camping areas and an RV park.

Athletic / Sports

  • ZipQuest Waterfall & Treetop Adventure is one of USA Today’s top 10 zip lines, right here in Fayetteville! Children 10 and over can zip through the woods while learning about the flora and fauna of Carver’s Falls. (Children 10-15 must be accompanied by an adult.)
  • There is also a variety of bowling lanes and martial arts schools in the area.

Spectator Sports

  • The Fayetteville SwampDogs are a summer collegiate baseball team with plenty of kids’ activities both on and off the field, including Kid’s Camp for children ages five to 13, Field of Dreams for Little League teams, and Fun-Go’s Homerun Haven with bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals and a prize wheel. And between innings kids can participate in the many on-field promotions.

Summer Camps

There are many activities in Fayetteville to keep your child busy and satisfied, you just have to look around the corner!

Additional source of things to do with your kids in Fayetteville: http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/forkids/index.html

 

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Planning for Your Move-Part 4 (Moving Day)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 4
by Bob and Sue Russo

Moving day is finally here. You’ve gathered boxes, made lists, sorted items and packed a bag. But did you remember what to put in the bag?

From the video you can tell that Bob thought barbecue-stained beer shirts with holes in them were the way to go. Maybe he just planned to party. We also failed on the moving company-inventory process or Bob’s shirts would have made it to our new home!

The inventory process I am referring to can be tedious and time consuming, but it is well worth the effort.

Inventory Process When Using a Moving Company-

  1. The moving company places a numbered tag on everything that’s being moved (boxes, furniture, lamps…)
  2. The moving company creates an inventory list of every item going into their van.
  3. When the van gets to your new home, you will be handed the inventory list.
  4. You will check off the items as the movers bring them into your new home.
  5. Check the inventory list to be sure all items are accounted for.
  6. Sign receipt indicating that all items are in your new home, only if all items are accounted for.

When you signed the contract with the moving company, you had a choice of getting “full replacement value” or a “flat rate by weight replacement value.” The “flat rate by weight” replacement-moving fee will be quite a bit cheaper. If you do choose this option and your item gets lost, you will be reimbursed by the weight of the item, not its actual value. We have always chosen this option and historically it has worked out for us, however our last move from Florida back to North Carolina did not go so well. We had both, a long distance moving company and many willing family members to help unpack in our new home. The “inventory” person changed several times and one of us (Bob) signed off on the inventory as being okay. We lost several sentimental items as well as many decorative pieces…oh and as Bob mentioned, he doesn’t have any summer tee shirts. Remember, checking inventory and making sure furniture is placed in the right room are extremely important. It helps to have one “go to” person for each job.

If you have decided to make the move without the help of a moving company, I hope you have some help! If you have followed the process in Parts1-3 of the Planning Your Move Series, you have labeled each box with its contents and location (for example grandma’s clothes/upstairs room to the right). Doing this will ensure everyone knows where to place each box and will eliminate hearing, “where does this go?” over and over. Keep the stronger people moving boxes and let the other people start unpacking. We do the kitchen first and work from there.

Don’t forget to stop by the store on your way to your new home and pick up some food for your helpers. Deli meat, chips, cookies, paper plates, napkins and liquid refreshments will do nicely. As a courtesy, we also provide food and beverage for the professional movers.

No matter how careful everyone is. Moving boxes and furniture into a home may cause scuff marks on your walls or baseboards. A Magic Eraser or the generic version will do the trick!

Don’t worry if you got a little ding in your wall. We’ll tell you how to fix that later.

You’ve got this! Enjoy your new home! Bob and Sue

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