Still Searching for a Realtor?

House Hunters! Are you still searching for a realtor in St. George, Utah?

When purchasing a new home, first-time buyers are tempted to skip hiring a real estate agent. Truth be told, they’re more likely to end up losing money, rather than saving, as expected.  

A professional real estate agent has a wealth of knowledge helping home buyers in many ways. Unfortunately, most homebuyers seem to struggle trying to find the best real estate agents.  

Here are tips to help you find a top-rated real estate agent.  

1. Choose a real estate agent who is ready to represent and work with you:

Honestly, this one should be a no brainer, but I still feel like it’s worth mentioning.  

 It’s unfortunate, but some home buyers fail to understand what matters are finding someone who is ready to be by your side. Not all agents will take care of you the way others will. 

The realtor is supposed to be your representative and ready to meet with you when needs be. Someone you can easily relate with when it comes to negotiating and finding homes for sale in St. George, Utah. Remember that in any business relationship, chemistry is key. 

2. Evaluate your potential real estate agent based on experience.

Although experience is not everything, it is important when looking for a good real estate agent.  

Experience can make a huge difference when it comes to finding an ideal house for sale. 

Choose a realtor who has been selling houses for at least a few years. Finding such a person tells you that you are in safe hands & that they know what they’re doing. 

Don’t be carried away by mere experience, remember that the potential realtor should be someone who can easily relate with you too.  

3. Seek referrals from past homebuyers:

If any of your friends or family has bought a home in the past, ask them to refer a good realtor they found. That should save you some money and time. 

While seeking referrals, make sure their requirements compare to yours. For instance, if you’re looking for a commercial property for sale, only consider references from friends who had a similar requirement for a commercial property.  

4. Search online, read the reviews:

We are in a technology-enabled era, where it’s much easier to share information and experiences. With that being said, you’ll find resourceful reviews online while looking for the perfect Agent. 

From the online reviews, you can tell whether a potential Realtor is going to fit your needs or not. Negative comments should tell you that the Agent is not the best choice. Try to Identify the real estate agents with a positive review and consider them for an interview. 

5. Face to face interviews:

Now, this is the time to hear directly from those that have shown the potential to guide you while house hunting. Ask them questions based on experience, negotiating skills, & availability to make sure it’ll be a compatible partnership. 

Observe their personality & decipher if it’ll be a good match to yours. Make sure to identify a person who is willing to maintain constant communication. Some real estate agents will have limited availability, which may not be good, especially if you need quick assistance.  

6. Find a local expert:

The importance of hiring a local expert is that they give the client a sense of how the local market is at the current time they’re buying, & how it’ll evolve over time.  

That way, the homebuyer can tell when the perfect time is for purchasing a house for sale in St. George, Utah. 

7. Look for loyalty:

Find a real estate agent who will have your best interest at heart.  

Avoid an agent who’s only looking for a quick commission. 

In other words, this has to be an agent who overlooks the commission & will focus on your needs first & foremost. Make sure it is someone who is ready to listen to and understand your requirements.  

Avoid a person who you will have to chase after to get information from. 

To wrap this all up, remember a good realtor plays a huge role when it comes to finding your ideal property. Now that you know what to look for, happy house hunting my friends!  


8 Tips To List Your House & Start Building Your Dream Home

This area is famous for its red rocks & the active outdoor lifestyle it harbors. Millions travel to come see Zion National Park, & many of the surrounding parks every year. Safe to say our Sunny St. George is thriving & more and more people are attracted to it all the time! 

 In this post, we feature eight important tricks to help you list your St. George property for sale. 

1. Involve a qualified real estate agent

When it comes to selling a home in St. George Utah, having a good real estate agent is a must-have. With a market that’s already pretty competitive, you’ll need an agent that knows how to target the market to aid you through the process.  

Why is an agent important? 

  • It’s all about the money: When it comes to selling a home, having any imperfections or small blunders to the property can result in a lower value in the property. A realtor has seen it all and is the best person to advise you through these kinds of projects. That way, you can fix up the property enough to get the most bang for your buck! 
  • A realtor pays attention to detail. I mean, it only makes sense, right? They deal with all the paperwork that you’re probably unfamiliar with on a daily basis & know what to look for, like signing construction agreements with the homebuilders, contracts & more. Having someone with a trained eye with such important documents is a huge asset & can save you a whole lot of heartache & stress in the long run. 
  • Connecting buyers to sellers: When you’re finally ready to put your house on the market after you’ve done all the repairs, your realtors probably already going to have a buyer lined up for you. They’ve got the know-how to attract your buyers before you’ve even finished the roofing! 

Are you constructing a new property for sale in St. George Utah? 

2. Budget Before You Build

Lack of enough funds is one of the leading factors why so many construction projects take longer to complete or end up not getting finished at all. To avoid delays caused by a lack of enough funding, you need to budget well.  

When budgeting for a new property, here are some tips to help you do it effectively: 

  • Use project budgeting specialists
  • Involve the stakeholders
  • Research cost of materials and estimated cost of labor
  • Budget for unexpected costs
  • Cross-reference costs with friends and colleagues who have completed similar projects recently 

It can be challenging embarking on a construction project without proper budgeting only to hit a financial deadlock. I’d highly recommend you talk to an experienced construction budgeting expert for tips on how to avoid having that experience.  

3. Research the current trends in St. George real estate

If you end up putting up a property that has outdated features, it is going to be harder to sell it. You’re going to need to consider current construction trends, even if you don’t care for them. Involving a qualified real estate agent will help you save your time too. They have a trained eye for this stuff & know-how what the markets looking for. 

4. Finding the right land to build on

Sadly, you can’t put up residential properties anywhere you want. The zoning laws guide property developers on what you can & can’t build where. A real estate agent understands the zoning laws and can help you find a suitable location for your project, which will also be eye-catching to the market & easier to find a future buyer. Just another reason why having a Realtor can save you some trouble! 

5. Get the necessary permits

If you don’t end up getting all the proper permits before starting your project, you’re going to land yourself into hot soup with the authorities. Make sure the designs and the structural plans are approved for the area you’re trying to build in because they can differ from one place to another. Getting a qualified consultant can help you in the compliance process, and just know Authorities will carry out periodic inspections to ensure the property developers complied. It’ll be helpful having someone to help you stay out of trouble. 

6. Hire a professional home builder

There are various reasons to hire a professional homebuilder, which include:

There are various reasons to hire a professional home builder, which include: 

  • Ensures timely project completion 
  • Guaranteed results 
  • Ensures project stays within budget 
  • Sort legal issues & paperwork 

7. Sign a contract agreement with the home builders

There are various reasons to hire a professional home builder, which include: 

  • Ensures timely project completion 
  • Guaranteed results 
  • Ensures project stays within budget 
  • Sort legal issues & paperwork 

8. Stay involved

With proper representation, you’ll receive timely project reports. Even if you’re busy with your daily schedule, having a consultant or an assistant to keep you updated on your project is a must-have. This way, your project will be completed without delays and within the budget! 


Need to sell your house? Here's how to let go.

When it’s time to sell your home, whether due to financial necessity or another reason, it can be hard to let go. This is especially true if you have lived in a place for a long time and have a lot of memories tied to it. Maybe you brought your first child home there or it was the first house you bought with your significant other.
It’s completely normal to feel sad about leaving a home that you have loved, particularly if you aren’t leaving willingly. If you are selling because you need the money, because you’re getting divorced, or because you have a new job in another location, this can make it even harder to let the old house go. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process easier on yourself.
Focus on what you gain
Start by remembering what you stand to gain from selling your home. If you need the money, think about the debt you can pay off by selling the house. If you’re struggling to pay the mortgage, consider what your life will be like without that stress every month. Consider the freedom you’ll have, the better pay or office environment waiting at your new job, or the way you’ll be better able to focus on other goals and values.
This may feel forced at the beginning but make yourself list these things out. It will help to write them down where you can see them. Then, when you start to feel down about moving, look at your list and remember why you chose to sell in the first place.
Redefine “home”
You may find that your real home is wherever the people you love are. This may be your spouse, your parents, your kids, or friends who are like family. When you think of home in terms of people rather than in terms of a place, it can make it easier to leave a house that you have loved.
Neutralize the home early
Most realtors suggest making your home less personal so that it will appeal to potential buyers. This means removing family portraits, framed diplomas, and anything else personalized that screams you. While their intent is to make it easier for potential buyers to see themselves and their own things in your home, it can also help you let go, too.
Sure, it’s hard to take your memories down off the wall. Once you’re used to not seeing them there, though, you’ll find yourself beginning to detach emotionally from the home. Slowly, you’ll realize that you carry your memories within yourself — they don’t require the house. If you’re really struggling to let go of your home, it may be a good idea to do this earlier rather than later. That will give you more time to detach and will help you see your home as a product to be sold.
Say goodbye
Give yourself the time and space you need to say goodbye to your home in your own way. This will look different for everyone. You may want to throw one last big party at your house. On the other hand, you may want to kick everyone else out and spend time alone in each room, remembering the things that happened there and why you hold those memories so dear.
Some people find that it helps to go through some sort of goodbye ritual. They may want to burn sage in every room or say a prayer or blessing. The important thing is that you find something you feel is right in helping you make peace with saying goodbye and moving forward.
Let yourself grieve
Grief is not a process you can complete overnight. Even if you effectively say goodbye to your house, you may find yourself thinking of it and feeling sad for a long time after your move. Instead of pushing these feelings away and telling yourself that they aren’t helpful, let yourself feel them. You may experience more than sadness, as grief can take make forms; anger, confusion, frustration, and more. Acknowledge these feelings, recognize that you won’t feel this way forever, and give yourself proper time to get over your loss.
It can be hard to leave a house you loved, but with time, your heart will heal and move on. Remember that one chapter closing means another is opening, so try to take an optimistic point of view in embracing the next adventure. You’ll have a new place to call home, which means you get to make new memories there with the people you love. Eventually, you’ll look back on your old home with a fondness that comes without sadness.
By Sarah Winfrey


How to prepare for a home inspection

How to prepare for a Home Inspection When Selling Your House.
You’ve decided to sell your home and you’ve been working diligently with your REALTOR, home stager, mortgage lender, and contractor to get everything perfect so that you can sell your home for most money and move on to your next home.   With eager anticipation, you wait for a good offer while your home is on the market and then, you get a great offer.
You’re excited and you start thinking about the money that you will make off of your home sale and begin shopping online for your next home.  Then, you get an email from your REALTOR showing 9 major items that the home inspector found while examining your property.  Your buyers want all these items fixed before they will buy your home, or the deal is dead.  This scenario happens all too often in real estate.
This is an easy situation to avoid!   You need to personally do a full home inspection yourself to make sure that you are aware of the potential issues that will come up on an inspection report when selling your home.  This will keep you from the ultimate shock of your buyer’s repair requests.
Here are some items that you can check and repairs prior to putting your home on the market:
1.) Windows/Screens: If there are any cracked/broken windows, damaged or missing screens, they may be written up in the report. Don’t panic. Just repair or replace what you choose in order to keep it off the report. If any double glass panels are “fogged” due to the seal being broken, it will probably be noted as well.
2.) Peeling Paint: Paint doesn’t last forever. It’s important to identify if your home needs new exterior paint before selling. Look for cracked, chipping, or bubbling paint around the exterior of the home, and areas where moisture builds up.
3.) Cracked Caulk: Caulking is important to seal a home from extreme weather conditions. For this reason, many home inspectors will look for cracked caulking around doors, windows, and water areas. This is an easy one to fix. Just purchase some high-grade caulking that fits the application needed and take care of it before the inspector shows up.
4.) Siding/Trim: Check for any loose boards that need to be refastened or replaced before a home inspection. If replacing exterior siding, be sure to match it to the original color and texture to leave a uniform look.
5.) Decks & Fences: Check for boards that need to be replaced, and see if any railing is loose. Check the framing of the fence for loose panels, and secure them back in place as needed.
6.) Positive Drainage: Make sure there is nowhere directly around the outside of the house that rainwater could flow TOWARD the house. Water should do just the opposite for the first 3 feet. This might mean a little shovel work. Also, make sure that downspouts pour 3’ away from the house or into a tray that does the same.
7.) Gutters: If the gutters are in need of cleaning, that may end up on the report. It’s best to clean the gutters before listing your home for sale. This is particularly important if you have a two-story home that overlooks gutters from the upper level windows. Clean gutters send a message to the buyers that the home has been well maintained. It’s an easy chore to knock out.
8.) Roof: A bad report can be at the top of the list of things buyers fear. You could be proactive and ask your agent to have a roofer give you an estimate on minor repairs (a tune-up). If you decide to do the repairs, you can then ask for a “Roof Certificate”. This will help put the buyers at ease.
9.) Air Conditioner: The unit on the outside of the house should be free of leaves and bushes to allow it to cool properly. Simply clean the area around the outside units to ensure that they are not obstructed by debris.
10.) Garage Door: Do a simple test. Open the door, have someone hit the button to close it, then wave your foot in the path of the infrared beam (electric eye path near the ground). It should stop then reverse the door back to open position. Next, repeat this -except instead of waving your foot, grab the door with both hands and make it stop. It should offer some push against you then reverse back to open position. The inspector will most likely perform both of these tests.
11.) Heating/Cooling/ Water Heater: If you’re located in Colorado Springs, check if all these items have an orange sticker on them from Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. It should have a date of their inspection on it. This is an important item and will be red flagged by the inspector. If you are missing one and the item has been properly installed, it’s easy to remedy. Call PPRBD at 719-327-2880 to schedule an inspection; there is a relatively small fee. If it passes, you will get the orange tag by the inspector right then. If it fails, you can ask your agent to help you find a licensed contractor to make repairs/changes. The inspector will turn on both of these systems just to note if they run. Remember to always replace the furnace filter, no matter what month it is.
12.) Showers/Tub Surrounds: These often get written up for cracks in the grout, or caulked joints. This can easily be fixed ahead of time if you are handy. Just match the grout color and texture and re-grout the damaged areas to make the tile look new again.
13.) Ceiling Fans: Most home inspectors will test every ceiling fan in the home to make sure that they all work properly. Be sure that you replace any broken fans before listing your home for sale.
14.) Light Bulbs: Replace any that don’t work. Yes, they will actually check all lights (not lamps).
15.) Electrical: For about $10, you can get an outlet tester at any home improvement store. This will inform you of any outlets that will fail the inspector’s test (yes, they test every single one, inside and out). Some of these testers have a button to check GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlets. GFI outlets are usually located at wet areas: garage, exterior, baths, kitchen, and laundry depending upon the year built, because of changing codes. These outlets can also be protected by one device:
either a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet or
circuit breaker located in your main electrical panel.
Speaking of the panel, make sure it’s easily accessible. All switches, outlets and junction boxes must have cover plates without cracks. There can be no exposed “Romex” (home in-wall wire). It must be in a metal or plastic conduit.
16.) Plumbing: Fill all sinks halfway, then pull the plug to see if they drain normally. If slow, it might just need the P-Trap to be cleaned. Check in cabinets, under all sinks for any moisture on the bottom, supply lines or valves (use a dry paper towel and check by wiping).
17.) Toilets: All toilets will be flushed and noted. If there is a leaking sound before flushing, it’s probably the flapper valve. These cost $5-12 and need no tools to install. Toilets will also be checked for secure mounting (they shouldn’t move).
18.) Safety Detectors: There are 2 types – A Carbon Monoxide detector is required within 15’ of any bedroom, and at least one per level of the house. The Smoke detector is required inside each bedroom, in the hallway of bedrooms, and at least one on every level. It’s a good idea to replace batteries and push the test button (earplugs anyone?).
19.) Stairs: The balustrade (entire baluster system) will be checked for sturdiness. If any of it is loose, you might want to have that repaired before inspection.
20.) Kitchen Appliances: The inspector will run the dishwasher through its cycles, turn on all range/cooktop burners, oven, vent fan & light and if included in the sale, check all functions of the refrigerator. Repair or replace any appliances as needed.
A Few Extra Items to Be Aware Of:
Radon, Mold, Meth, etc: There are several possible tests beyond the home inspection that your buyers may want to have performed. In Colorado Springs, radon tests are very common, while the other two mentioned are rarely requested.
Windows: All windows will be opened, closed and re-locked. Hard movement or failure to lock will be noted. Some of this can easily be improved by cleaning tracks/guides and using a clear spray silicone from a hardware store.
Interior- General: The inspector will note each room for things like moisture stains, drywall cracks, loose flooring, or uneven floors.


Wire Fraud

Not long ago, fraudsters had to rely on the telephone and make hundreds of calls to try to hook a hapless, gullible, lonely retiree or lonely heart to perpetrate a scheme. The old-fashioned phone call is still employed as a means to contact prey, but today, with the awesome power of the internet to find potential victims, a fraudster’s work can be done online with a few fake postings of pictures, a tale of woe, a promise of untold riches or promise of everlasting love — and all of this can be written with bad grammar and spelling. If you get such messages or solicitations to send $10,000 to a stranger, delete them right away. Don’t become a victim of wire fraud.
Red Rock Real Estate encourages you to use the old method of using a check for your earnest money deposit and when transferring funds for your closing, work closely with your escrow officer at the title company to obtain wire transfer information.

Halloween safety for ownowners

Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners

Adequate light is essential for visitors and trick-or-treaters to see where they are going. If you plan on welcoming trick-or-treaters, leave the porch light on.
Make sure your property is well lit.
Replace burned-out bulbs in exterior lights. If needed, install additional lights in the front yard to avoid someone tripping over something he or she can’t see. If you won’t be home for trick-or-treating, turn your lights off to discourage children from approaching your property.
All lighting should be grounded. 
You don’t want to overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or movable decorative objects. All outdoor lighting should be grounded, including low-voltage outdoor security lights and any Halloween lights. Be sure and only use covered electric outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
Keep walkways clear. 
Make sure all walkways and the front yard are clean and clutter-free to prevent falls. Put your car in the garage. Lock your garage doors. Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and stairs. Move bikes, garden hoses, potted plants and skateboards away from areas that are likely to be walked on by groups of people. Decorative items and jack-o-lanterns should also be positioned at a safe distance from crowds to prevent people from knocking them over or tripping on them. Remember, kids often run from house to house and they don’t always stay on sidewalks, so, if you’re setting up a display, make sure it is well lit and visible. If you’re building a lawn display make sure to keep walkways clear. And don’t run cords over sidewalks where people might trip over them or hurt themselves.
When it comes to jack-o-lanterns, safety first. 
If you plan to use candles in your jack-o-lanterns, keep them far away from primary walkways. This will help cut down on the fire hazards, such as costumes, props or decorations catching on fire. A great alternative to open flames is to use battery powered light sources or light sticks.
Make sure your little trick-or-treaters are visible to drivers. 
Add reflector strips to your child’s costume or have them carry a flash light or light stick to make them more visible at night. This will not only assure they are seen by drivers but will also help you keep an eye on them if they get ahead of you.
Keep your pets inside. 
Pets are easily frightened on Halloween, so keeping them inside will protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.
Assure you have home security. 
If you will be away from your home during Halloween, don’t forget to set your security alarm system before you go. This is a prime time of year for mischief and burglaries.  To increase your home’s safety, you can also activate motion-sensitive lights and alert your neighbors that you will be away.
Test Your Smoke Alarms. 
With jack-o-lanterns being a popular staple of Halloween, don’t forget to test your smoke alarms well in advance of the Halloween celebrations.


Welcome the 31st Annual Huntsman Senior Games to St. George

Huntsman Senior Games 2018
The HUNTSMAN WORLD SENIOR GAMES, as it is known today, began in 1987 as the World Senior Games, an international senior sports competition. Founded by Daisy and John H. Morgan, Jr., the Games began with their vision of an international sports event for men and women ages 55 and better. Both agreed that the golden years were better when good health and physical fitness became a way of life, not an occasional hobby.
In 1989 Jon M. Huntsman, Chairman of the Huntsman Corporation, became the Games’ principal sponsor after recognizing that the Games not only fostered lifetime fitness, but also expanded Utah’s economic vitality. A proud supporter of the Games, the Huntsman family continues to open the Games personally, with a warm welcome to the athletes and the lighting of the torch in traditional Olympic fashion during the Opening Ceremonies.
Since its inception, the Games have been open to all men and women meeting the age requirement. The second year of the Games the age requirement was reduced from age 55 to age 50 to include more athletes and to encourage those looking at retirement to become involved in a personal fitness program or team sport.
A small full-time staff works year-round and is joined by more than 2,500 eager seasonal volunteers to host 30 athletic events over a two-week period each October. Headquartered in Southern Utah, the HUNTSMAN WORLD SENIOR GAMES has become a renowned event among serious athletes from Japan to Russia and from Alaska to Australia. Scores of countries have participated in the GAMES, where peace among nations is fostered through friendly competition.
In addition to athletic events, the Games promote health by providing lifesaving health screenings for cancer-breast and prostate. Screenings also detect other serious health threats–glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and decreased bone density. Volunteer medical and nursing students assist with the screenings and generous sponsors provide diagnostic equipment and services.
Band concerts, dances, and awards socials for each sport are also part of the package, bringing athletes and guests together in a social atmosphere where they share in, and congratulate each other for, their achievements. This important aspect of the Games emphasizes the celebration of success for all participants, whether or not they win a medal.
An overview of the Games would not be complete without mentioning our volunteers–thousands of adults, youth, and children who donate innumerable hours to make this two-week event a treasured experience for all. From sport directors to entertainers, each volunteer plays a valuable role in the success of the Games.
As time marches on, the HUNTSMAN WORLD SENIOR GAMES will continue to host this one of a kind celebration promoting worldwide Peace, Health, Friendship, and as founder John Morgan reminds us, “Fun! Don’t forget the Fun!

st george utah real estate

Why a Kitchen is so Important in selling a Home

When selling a home, it is always important that your house looks appealing to prospective home buyers. When someone looks at your house for the first time, they usually see the kitchen. For most home buyers this will be the central area for entertaining guests.
When you put your home up for sale there are some great ways you can help make your kitchen a great seller for your house. Here are some tips and tricks for sprucing up your kitchen and making it a second salesman for your house.
Clear the kitchen of Clutter
When you have lived for a while in your current home, you have probably accumulated a lot of things that show your personality. Things like plants, magnets, and other things that mean a lot to you. However, when selling your home, you have to remember that prospective buyers won’t always agree with your same style. It is important for the kitchen area to be clean and clear so a buyer can imagine their style in your kitchen. If there is too much personal style in your kitchen, a buyer may see too much work going into getting their way and may be turned off.
Put a Thorough Cleaning into the Kitchen
As a current home owner, you may have neglected a lot of areas in the kitchen that need some TLC. While you may not have used the oven a lot, get in there and give it a rigorous scrubbing and it can make a huge impression. Sweep and mop the floors to give a brighter shine on the floors. Clean out cabinets that make have been neglected for a while. Most importantly, cleaning out the refrigerator can give a buyer some fresh perspective of the house.
Take Care of any Maintenance Issues:
If there are any lights out, get them changed. When looking at the refrigerator, check out the refrigerator for any leaks, and get the ice machine fixed or filters changed. Check below the sink for any leaks or plumbing issues. Find out if any doors or windows need repair or fixing.
Lighten Up the Kitchen
The warmth that any buyer will feel toward the house will be in the lighting. Not only is it bright, but is warm and inviting. A family will see themselves being in a well-lit kitchen as opposed to dark, dreary place. Just by putting lots of light it will make your kitchen seem larger and a more attractive place to be with guests.
Use Fragrance to Entice
Kitchens are used for baking and sometimes smells can hang around. If the scent is enticing, people will be more likely to go to that place. Don’t overpower with fragrances. Subtle smells are the best. A great tip is to cook something with a great smell before inviting people to look at your home.
Your kitchen is often the key to selling your home. Make sure that buyers have a positive, memorable experience that will entice them to buy your home and the house will sell itself.

houses for sale in st george utah

Top 10 Things to Buy Before You Move into Your 1st Home

The first couple of nights in your new home will be exciting and memorable. Make sure that you are prepared to make those memories good ones by having these 10 things readily available.
Coffee maker-Waking up that first morning in your new home the last thing you will want to do is leave!! Running down to Starbucks won’t be nearly as alluring as starting to settle into your new morning routine.  Make sure that you have filters and coffee grounds as well.  Bonus points if you unpack two coffee cups the night before so you won’t have to fumble around in the bubble wrap to find them.
Fire extinguisher- Let’s face it stuff happens. New stove, new cooktop, and maybe even a new fireplace.  Even though you may think it could never happen to you, a small fire may have your new home dreams up in flames, if you aren’t prepared.
Cutting boards and knives- Whipping up a tasty meal in your brand spanking new kitchen usually is top of the list for most new homeowners who love to cook. Having your supplies on hand will make it so much easier, and cutting boards are essential to protect your new surfaces.  Picking up a few flexible cutting boards is a quick fix and very inexpensive.
Bath Mat and Towels- Hopping out of the shower can be chilly and slippery if you don’t have the basics. Your first home calls for fluffy new towels and definitely a bath mat.  Depending on if you already have décor themes in mind these could be the first steps to making your house into a home.
Corkscrew or Wine Key- Before turning in on even your very first night a little celebration is in order. Whether or not wine is your go to beverage of choice, it is a very common new home gift.  Have an easy to use corkscrew or wine key on hand to open a bottle for yourself or for friends and maybe a few glasses (your morning coffee mugs work great too)!
Curtains- new builds and most existing houses tend to come without curtains and other window coverings. Curtains start to build the character you will bring to the home but also keep out the light early in the morning, or the peeping eyes of curious neighbors in the evening.  If you haven’t settled on paint or accessories, just get a few inexpensive curtains to cover up for now.
Plunger and toilet brush set- You never know when nature’s call won’t be well received by the plumbing. Make sure to have a plunger and toilet brush handy just in case.  Especially if you are moving into an older home that may have older pipes.
Vacuum- While you hope that nothing is broken in the move, you want to be prepared.  A good quality vacuum is a must for any home.  They come in many different styles with different functions such as cordless, wet/dry capabilities, or the fancy robot ones that drive around all by themselves.  No matter what kind you are leaning towards, invest in a good vacuum that will last a while.  This is one item you will ALWAYS have in your home so don’t just buy the cheapest option or you may end up replacing it often.
Document Holder- Having a safe and consistent location to keep all the documents you will receive when you first move is critical to being able to stay on top of all the must do’s you are likely to have. An expandable file with write on tabs make it easy to keep your incoming documents organized and accessible.  Documents you may need to keep track of are your loan documents, utility set up paperwork, and lists of important number for your new area.  (You never know when a mean Chinese craving will attack in the middle of unpacking!)
Crock Pot- Slow cookers are a great way to have a hot meal on hand at the end of the long days ahead.  Toss some meat, veggies, and sauce or stock into the slow cooker in the morning and forget about it.  By the time your stomach is rumbling for some dinner, you will have a hot and ready meal you don’t have to go out or order out for.
Having just a few things when you move into your first home that will help make the first couple of days easier, will make all the difference.  Especially because mom and dad’s towels aren’t likely to make the move with you and probably weren’t at the top of your list of awesome stuff to get for your new space.
What are some of the items you would add to your list?  Does your top 10 differ much from ours?

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Tips when Downsizing your home

When your kids have flown the coop and your family home is starting to feel a little empty, it’s time to consider downsizing your abode.   While this can be an emotional roller coaster for some the thought of cutting back on maintenance and costs is a welcome reprieve for others.  Before you start packing your boxes and planning your next big adventure, consider these tips in finding the perfect empty nester home.
Give yourself plenty of time.  Don’t wait until the home has become too much to run or your finances mandate the move.  Be sure to think about all the options and leave yourself plenty of time to research your move and everything else it will affect.   When you are rushed to sell your home, and move into another you may find that what you end up with isn’t really the best option for you.
Look into senior living communities.  Moving to a senior community doesn’t mean you have to give up privacy or freedom.  Many senior communities are such just because they place age restrictions on the residents who live there to better cater to the demographic of the neighborhood.  Typically a senior community will have a schedule of activities to keep you active and a large group of potential friends.  Some even offer a large clubhouse the you can use for large family get togethers, so you can still get the entire family together.
While you are considering what type of community you want to live in, keep in mind the area as well.  Will you have easy access to stores?  Will you be changing churches or gyms?  Can your family visit easily or is it all the way across town?  While you definitely will be making new friends wherever you go think about how accessible you will be to visit or retain old ones.
If you aren’t planning to buy all new furniture when you move be sure to confirm your existing items will fit in the new space.  Measure all the furnishings you plan to move with you and that they will work in the smaller space you will have.  You would hate to move in and then realize you have no place to display a beautiful heirloom piece.
When the time comes to make the move to a smaller home there are many things to keep in mind.  These tips may not have been items on your list but they are important to consider.  There are many resources out there for seniors when it comes to housing and financing options.  Be sure to contact a professional in your area to help make your downsizing plan today.