Karen Majalian | Brookline Real Estate, Boston Real Estate, Newton Real Estate


There’s few things in life that are more exciting than closing on your first house. All of the money that you saved and the paperwork that you have filled out has finally come together so that you can now say you’re a proud homeowner. 


Before you start planning your housewarming party, there’s a few things that you need to do with your new home and its contents.


Copy The Closing Paperwork


Undoubtedly, there were dozens of pieces of paper that were handed to you during the closing on your new home. You should have an extra copy of everything that was signed. While the local registrar of deeds probably has a copy of everything filed there as well, it’s always a good idea to have extra copies of these papers.


Lock The Doors With New Keys


You’ll need to change the locks when you move into a new home as soon as possible. Many different people had the keys to the home while it was still on the market. Also, before the home was even put up for sale, family members could have passed sets of keys amongst family and friends. The lock category also includes securing sliding doors, electrical boxes, and windows accordingly. 


Put Your Name On It


You’ll need to place your name on a variety of things including your mailbox, the trashcans, the buzzer, and anything else that is property of you and your new home. If it won’t pose a privacy issue for you, it’s better to claim what’s rightfully yours early on to ease confusion. 



Put Up Curtains Or Cover The Windows


There’s probably 1,000 other things that you would rather do when you move into a new home than put up some curtains. Yet, this is so important to your privacy. Without curtains or window treatments, all of your home and its contents are exposed for the outside world to see. Until you have a chance to settle in, you can even use boxes or towels to cover the windows. This is used initially for a security measure to deter thieves and nosy neighbors.


Meet The New Neighbors


It‘s a good idea to know who is living around you. For one, you’ll be aware of any suspicious activity that’s happening in case you see strange people hanging around the area. It’s good to know who you live next to and what you might have in common with them. At the very least, you’ll have a new friend. They might even water your plants while you’re away on your next vacation. 


Don’t forget to change your addresses as well. That’s always one of the biggest hassles about moving. Take the right measures for safety and comfort when you move into your new home for a smooth transition


Moving to a new home can be both exciting and stressful -- especially if pets and young children are involved!

Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies for avoiding frayed nerves and keeping problems to a minimum.

Cultivate a Positive Mindset: Making a conscious decision to remain cool, calm, and collected throughout your move will set the stage for a more relaxed experience for everyone. Since stress and irritability can quickly spread from one family member to another, it's up to the parents to set a positive example for the kids. When you resolve to be patient and optimistic about how things are progressing, you'll tend to be more resourceful, encouraging, and solution oriented.

Be organized: Creating a priority list of tasks that need to be completed by a target date is an excellent strategy for staying focused and on schedule. There are a lot of details to attend to when you're moving, so it's usually necessary to have a written plan and a checklist of things to remember.

Here are three ideas to consider for avoiding confusion at your new home: Clearly label all boxes; make sure that screws and other fasteners for dissembled furniture are stored in an easy-to-find clear bag or container, and take a photo (for easy reference) of cable and Internet connections before disconnecting your TV, sound system, and computer equipment. That way, when everything needs to be reassembled and reconnected at your new home, the process will go much more smootly!

Some people tend to just throw odds and ends into boxes, hoping that all the "pieces of the puzzle" will somehow magically fall into place at their new home. Unfortunately, when you pack your belongings in a haphazard manner, frustration is always the end result.

If you really want to be super-organized, consider drawing a "furniture map" of each major room. That way, you can give copies of the plan to the movers and hopefully streamline the furniture setup phase at your new home. Another efficiency tip is to color-code your boxes to help make sure the right moving boxes end up in the correct rooms.

First-Day Survival kit: Since it's highly unlikely that you'll unpack all your belongings and supplies on the first day, it's always a good idea to pack toiletries, medications, a first aid kit, and cleaning supplies in an easy-to-reach place. Other things you might want to have handy in the car for the first day at your new home would be a vacuum cleaner, pet food, dog leashes, toys for the kids, stuffed animals, games, healthy snacks, and cold beverages.

Miscellaneous Priorities: Digital photographs and computer files can be securely stored on a portable hard drive or a free cloud storage service available through Google or Dropbox. As far as small valuables, such as laptops, jewelry, mobile devices, and important documents, it's generally recommended that you transport those items with you in your car -- preferably in a clearly marked box.


Everyone is looking for something different when it comes to finding the ideal home. While some people prioritize architectural styles and curb appeal, other house hunters place the most value on the quality of the school district and proximity to jobs.

Neighborhood quality is also a significant factor in house-buying decisions. What exactly does "neighborhood quality" mean, though? Although definitions may vary, the characteristics that are typically considered to be desirable include a low crime rate, relatively light street traffic, a minimal amount of "noise pollution," and neighborhoods in which houses and properties are consistently well cared for and in good condition.

If peace, quiet, and tranquility are high on your list of house-buying requirements, here are a few other items you might consider adding to your "wish list."

Space between neighbors: While it's generally a good thing to get to know your neighbors on a first-name basis, you don't necessarily want to get to know them too well -- or vise versa! In other words, it's nice when you can sit out on your back porch without having to be too concerned about being overheard or needing to edit your conversations. If privacy is a top priority for you, then you might want to limit your search to properties that provide a comfortable buffer zone between houses.

Greenery and privacy hedges: A residential street with green, well-tended lawns and mature, leafy trees is not only visually appealing, but it's also a sign that people take pride in their property and care about the neighborhood. Homes for sale that offer a "park-like setting" on a nice street can be the ideal environment for creating a private, backyard refuge.

Fireplaces: Even if a fireplace is not on your "must have" list, it's a relatively inexpensive luxury to have and enjoy during the holidays and when the temperature drops. Regardless of the climate in which you live, there are going to be plenty of wet, cloudy, or snowy days during the winter months. When the weather turns chilly, there's nothing like a crackling fire in the fireplace to infuse your home with a cozy, relaxing atmosphere!

Large windows: Large bay windows, picture windows, and floor-to-ceiling windows not only let in a lot of natural light, but they also help you enjoy views of your neighborhood and backyard. That combination of sunshine, green foliage, a well-landscaped property, and the smell of freshly cut grass can set the tone for a relaxing home environment -- both indoors and out! Along those same lines, a sunroom can also be a highly desirable feature in a new home you're considering buying.

Although there are a ton of things you can do to enhance the beauty and relaxation value of your next home, the starting point is to find a peaceful neighborhood and a spacious, nicely landscaped property on which to add your own personal touches.


Rents can rise in cities and jurisdictions that are experiencing growth. It's one of the double edge sword effects of a growing economy. Let a major corporation move a department or division into a city and the need for more housing can increase.

Rent costs lean on growth and healthy economies

When this happens, apartment management companies and individual house renters may start to see dollar signs. Let a housing shortage be created after a company moves into the area and rents could increase by several hundred dollars a month.

Major events like the Olympics, a growing number of conventions being hosted in a city and large international government events being held in a city also see rent costs spike. The events attract so many people to an area that everyone can benefit.

Retailers, apartment management firms, individual house renters and transportation companies can all come out ahead when local economies grow. That's the smooth side of the sword.

On the sharp side of the local economic growth are rents that rise so high that many people can no longer afford to live in expanding neighborhoods, places where these people may have been born and lived for years.

Take action to keep rents from rising

Although you may not be able to keep rents from rising out of your reach, there are steps that you could take to keep rents from pushing you out of neighborhoods that you want to live in. The first step that you could take is to speak with managers at apartment homes where you currently are renting or where you want to rent.

Clearly communicate to apartment managers that you want to remain in the apartment home but that you won't be able to do so if rents continue to spike. If apartment managers that you speak with tell you that they are unable to do anything about the increases, ask to speak with a business leader at the apartment management company that owns the rental space.

You may get better results if you simply ask for the website or contact information of the company that manages the apartments. Negotiate with the business leader to see if he will make concessions for you. If you're a loyal renter, they just might do that.

There's more that you could do to lower rents

Other steps that you could take to lower rents also lean on communication. Some steps only require a bit of creativity and openness to change. Among these steps are:

  • Ask to have a washer and dryer included in the rent
  • Go for a one bedroom with a den instead of a two bedroom apartment
  • See if you can get utilities like water, sewage and trash at a reduced rate
  • Lower your water consumption
  • Get a stove, dishwasher, refrigerator and freezer included in the rent
  • Have a portion of your utilities included in your rent

Just because rental prices rise doesn't mean that you don't have options. If you stay open to speaking with apartment managers, you could negotiate a lower rental price. Being a good tenant, someone who pays her rent on time, helps.


As the seller of your home, you truly have the driver's keys. You have leverage regarding the final say on how much you are willing to accept for your house, when you will put your house on the market and the types of buyers you're willing to negotiate a deal with. Dates and times for when you will showcase your home during open houses is another sell deliverable that you have say in. This type of power could lead you to think that you have ultimate control over the house sell process.

Stop asking house buyers to bend too much

Think like this too long and you could start losing the chance to land a good house sell. At the worse end, your expectations as the house seller could become unreasonable. But, how do you know if you're asking for too much as the seller?

After all, it is your house. You have history at this property. It's not just a place to eat sleep and entertain for you. Your house holds your family's memories. It might be the place where you spent time with loved ones during the final days of that loved ones earthly experiences.

Babies might have been born or raised in your house. If you look, you might still be able to see the height marks that you penciled on den or kitchen wall as you tracked your child's physical growth. Weddings, birthdays, graduations and festive holiday and cultural celebrations may have been hosted at your house several times a year.

It's hard to put a price on those types of memories. They truly are priceless. But, these are your personal memories. House shoppers don't have these memories of your house to relish.

To house shoppers, your home is a dwelling, a place where they can create brand new memories.If you allow the memories that you created at your house to influence pricing too much, you could set unreasonable expectations.

A good realtor could help you to avoid this by conducting extensive market research on your house and similar area houses. For example, your realtor could run a comparable report that compares the amenities, square footage, house structure and outdoor space alongside houses located within a five mile radius of your property.

How you might be too demanding as a house seller

Demanding that house buyers wait weeks to move into your house after the deal has been signed is another sign that you may be being unreasonable. Not thoroughly cleaning your house after you vacate and removing appliances from the property that you told house buyers they could have as part of the deal are other signs that you are being unreasonable.

The latter is also a sign that you are not ready to let go of your house psychologically or emotionally. Most of all, not telling house buyers about major issues at your house is a sign that you are being unreasonable.

At first glance, keeping major issues at your house a secret might appear to save you the money of repairing those items. But, should those issues show up during an inspection or within a few days after buyers move in, your reputation could be damaged.

You could also be legally liable for the cost of the repairs. To avoid being unreasonable during the home sell process, put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Treat house shoppers and house buyers to the same level of respect, honesty and transparency that you would want to receive if you were shopping for a house.




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