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Electric Heat Pump Benefits

Electric Heat Pump Benefits

Heat pumps are pretty neat as they offer an alternative to running your air conditioner. If your home needs moderate heating or cooling a heat pump is a great alternative because it moves heat from a cool space to warm space, which makes the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house and during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.

On average you save $1,000-$2,000 annually according to energy reports. On top of those savings heat pumps come equipped with filter systems so bacteria spores don’t have an opportunity to settle in your home. Heat pumps are extremely efficient in brand new constructions homes so definitely check out McKee Homes to find your next home with the electric heat pump already installed! To see this electric heat pump feature as well as read about all of our other energy-efficient features click here.

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

4 Tips for Moving with Kids

By Miriam Bornstein of Zillow

Preparing for a move can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve outgrown your space, changed jobs or are moving across the country, there’s no way around the chaos that comes with moving. Although there are lots of arrangements that have to be made to move into your dream home, communicating with your child is the most important step when moving.

4 tips for moving with kids

Whether you’re moving into a rental or buying a home in Raleigh, consider these four tips when moving with kids.

  1. Share the News in a Timely Fashion

Set yourself up for success by having an open and honest conversation with your kid(s) that addresses why, when, where and what to expect before, during and after the move. By sharing the news early, your kids will be able to ask questions, prepare for the move and transition into their new home without feeling rushed. While sharing the news may cause some initial anxiety, allowing more time to openly talk about your move is imperative, as this conversation will set the tone for the entire move.

  1. Involve them

Once you’ve discussed that you’re moving, get your kids involved in the packing process. Ease the stress by ordering a pizza and creating a family wish list of the amenities you’d like the house to include. Maybe you’ve always wanted a modern swimming pool or a Mediterranean-inspired living room. After you’ve established a wish list, tour homes as a family to demonstrate that you value their involvement in the process. Together, you can to turn your wish list into a tangible reality.

  1. Create Excitement

Who says change has to be a bad thing? Empower your kids to make decisions about how they want to decorate their bedrooms, or what part of the neighborhood they want to explore. Finding ways for your kids to envision their home will help ease the intimidation of moving. Once you’re moved in, make time for post-move adventures. If you go on nightly walks as a family in your current home, keep the tradition alive by exploring the nearby ice cream shop or local play structures in your new neighborhood.

  1. Stay in Touch

Because moving is a big change, it’s important not to downplay goodbyes. Ask your kids how they want to stay in touch with friends and then propose ways to do so. Thanks to technology, long distance connections are much easier than in years past. Install Skype for video conversations or create an e-mail address for your child to chat with friends. If your kids are young, whip out the markers and stickers for an arts and crafts project that the whole family can get involved in and mail it to one of their pals.

Although moving has its hiccups, clear family communication is one sure-fire way to alleviate some of the concern. Get excited about the move as a family to help kids cope with the overwhelming fear of the unknown.

Planning For Your Move Part 3 (Packing and Sorting)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 3
by Bob and Sue Russo

Packing and sorting are important aspects of planning for your move. This article will help you prioritize items so you know what to keep with you, what to pack, and what items you might want to consider getting rid of.

Maybe you don’t have an “ugly chicken conversation piece” like Sue, but you get the idea. While you’re packing is the perfect time to do a good spring cleaning. When you pick up something decide which of the following groups your item belongs in:

  • Must Haves: Things you will need in the next few days/weeks. Some of these items will need to travel with you instead of with the movers so keep them handy. See Planning For Your Move, Part 1.
  • Need Later: What you need to keep, but won’t need for the next few weeks. Pack these now. Make sure you label all boxes clearly. What’s in the box and where does it go? For example: KITCHEN- GOOD GLASSWARE.
  • May Not Need: Finally, what you haven’t used for the last six months. Seriously! Think about donating or selling the items that you haven’t used in the last six months. Yes, we know that there will be things that you haven’t used in the last six months that you will want to keep, but this is an exercise to make sure what you move (lift, carry or pay to move) doesn’t just end up in the trash at the other end. (We’re keeping the chicken!)

While you’re doing all the prep work make sure all of your important documents are packed together. If you don’t have a desk file or alphabetized flexible file, now is the time to get organized. Your birth certificate, house deeds, passports, insurance papers, car titles, checkbooks and any other legal documents need to be gathered and these should not be packed for the move. These documents should remain with you during the move.

The final step is to pack the “must haves” we discussed above and referenced in Planning For Your Move, Part 1 (Pack a bag). If at all possible these, as well as your important documents, should travel with you to your new home.

Moving does not need to be stressful and scary. With thorough planning and preparation, moving can be a pleasant and rewarding experience. Stay tuned for the next article in our Planning Your Move Series Part 4 – Day Of.

Planning for Your Move Part 2 (Lists)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 2
by Bob and Sue Russo

We have found that creating lists is a vital part of the moving process. List are helpful for a variety of reasons. Creating a detailed list of everything that you need to do will help reduce the stress of the move. If it’s on the list, it’s off our mind until you complete the “to do.” You can keep this list on a piece of scrap paper, your iPad or smart phone if you like, but we have found it very helpful to go “old school” on this one. We purchase a “move” composition notebook, which serves as a temporary file for all our move documents and receipts.

making a list

Yes, just like the type of notebook we used in school. Write down everything you need to do in this notebook. The more detailed you are in your list, the less you need to think about it on the spot. Don’t just say, “call utilities”, write them all out. For example:

  • Does my new home have the same cell service (depending on the move you may need to change providers).
  • Create staging area for our packed boxes.
  • Call old cell provider and cancel service.
  • Call new cell provider and establish service.
  • Cancel old electric service.
  • Call new electric service.
  • Add line item for every utility both old and new.
  • Clean out master bedroom closet (we will talk more about this in item 3 below).
  • Add line item for every room and closet in your home.
  • Take donated items to the Salvation Army.
  • If you are not making a local move, check your calendar for all future appointments and cancel them.
  • Do you need a referral for doctors, etc. in your new area?
  • If you are moving local, and are not planning to hire someone to help, tell friends and family the date you are moving (hopefully you have some volunteers).
  • Don’t forget to check ISP, TV, insurance, USPS address change notice, notify bank regarding address change (some bank documents will not get forwarded), etc.

You get the idea! You may be thinking you can handle a lot of the utility transfers online, but based on our experience some providers insist on talking to you regarding canceling or starting new service. Can’t tell you how many hours we’ve been on hold with utility companies. (Maybe you can be cleaning out the closet while you’re waiting on hold.)

When you make contact with old and new providers, make a note next to your line item in your notebook such as: method of contact, date of contact and results of contact, for example, I called on Monday, June 10 at 11:00 and was on hold for 20 minutes, got tired of waiting and hung up.

This does help! When your significant other asks, “did you call the internet service provider?” You can say, “yes I called on 4/30 at 2PM and they said they do provide service at our new location.” Don’t you look smart. Good for you!

Okay, so one of the best reasons we like the detailed list idea, is the satisfaction we feel when we cross items off the list. If you clean out a closet today or called one utility, cross it off your list! If you leave it on there, it might feel like you didn’t accomplish anything, when in fact you actually did.

Making a list is a tried and true practice. Our teachers and councilors alike have told us if it’s on your mind, write it down. We take this advice to heart when it comes to planning a move.   We recommend that you do the same. Happy planning!

Planning for Your Move Part 1 (Pack A Bag)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 1
by Bob and Sue Russo

Moving can be a stressful experience. We have made many local as well as cross country moves over the years. We’d like to share some things that we have learned that may help reduce this stress. One of the first things you should do when planning for your move is to decide whether you will be moving yourself or if you are going hire a mover. If you are going to be moving yourself, start gathering boxes. You can buy boxes and packing tape at Lowes or Home Depot, but it costs about $3.00 for one large (18”x 24”) packing box. To save money, start collecting boxes from friends, family, the liquor store or any other source you have for free boxes. Doing this could save you up to a few hundred dollars. You can also get end-rolls of news print paper from the local newspaper printing department for about $1 per roll to use as packing paper. It’s the same paper they use to print the newspaper but it’s clean and free of printing. If you hire a mover, the mover will generally supply boxes, packing materials and tape to you as part of their package.

Whether you decide to use a professional or move your things yourself, it’s important to remember to pack a bag.

To avoid the embarrassment of having to wear a Hawaiian shirt that may only be appropriate in Hawaii or the possibility of walking around with “mossy” teeth. It’s important to pack a bag for each family member a few days before you move. You should think about it as if you are going on vacation or a business trip for a week. Make sure you think about everything you would need. Don’t forget the cosmetics, medicine, cell phone chargers and little Susie’s favorite blanket. These items should stay with you, not with the moving truck. You may also want to pack a few basic items for the kitchen, like the coffee pot, especially if you are making a local move.

When you get to your new home it’s important to bring these items in first. They should be placed in a safe spot that will not get buried under a pile of boxes. You may need to eat take out for a few days, but at least you’ll have clean clothes and fresh breath. If you plan ahead you can ease the stress and not end up like Bob on his first day in his new home

There are a lot of other things that will help you make the transition from one home to another home go as smoothly as possible. Stay tuned for more Planning Your Move Tips from Bob and Sue.