SW Michigan Real Estate 


Moving Tips

The home is yours. Your contract states when you can take possession of your new home. Ask your agent if you will get the keys at closing or after the deed is recorded. Along with the keys, you should receive garage door openers and security alarm codes if those are included. Then you are ready for the moving van, unpacking boxes and hanging pictures!

Vals Tip: A storage space can come in handy when moving.

Have the keys to your new home, Now what?

When closing is finally complete and the keys to your new home are in your hand, there are several things you will want to do to make your move as smooth as possible. If your schedule allows, plan on a day or more to get your new place ready before the boxes come through the door. Then move through the following checklist.
  • Change the Locks - You really do not know who has keys to your new home, so changing the locks gives you assurance that you are the only one with access. New deadbolts are the smartest choice, and installation is not expensive.

  • Locate the Mains - Find the location of your new home’s breaker box. You do not want to put this off until an incident leaves you fumbling in the dark looking for a flashlight that is still packed away. If the breakers are not labelled, get this done to save guesswork later. Finally, find the main water valve to your new home.

  • Pest Proof - Setting off a bug bomb or having an exterminator spray before you move in is a good plan. Even if you do not see any crawly things, they are likely there, and you don’t want to share your new place with them.

  • Deep Clean - It will never be as easy to clean your new house again as when it is empty. Wipe out cabinets and add shelf paper if you like. Dust baseboards and window sills. Have the carpet steam cleaned. Run a phantom load through the dishwasher and washing machine. Wipe out the refrigerator, freezer, and oven.

  • After the Movers Leave - Inspect everything after the boxes and furniture have been moved into your new home. Unpack the essentials first, including towels, bed linens, toiletries, and enough clothes for the next few days. Find the coffee maker and pet supplies. A few bumps and scrapes are likely during unpacking, so unpack a few basic first aid items. Make the beds. Other things for your “open first” box: toilet paper, trash bags, paper towels, kitchen basics and scissors. Once all those are done, you can move onto everything else from organizing closets to hanging pictures.

  • Let Everyone Know - Now that you have a New Address, complete your Change of Address notices, and mail them to the following. Keep in mind that the post office will forward your mail for up to one year, but they do expect that you are sending notices to everyone who sends you mail.
  • Post Office
  • Friends and relatives
  • Magazine and mail order subscriptions
  • Professional organizations of which you are a member
  • Clubs, social or civic organizations with mailings
  • Charge accounts, insurance carriers, and creditors
  • Driver’s bureau to receive tag notices
  • Voter Registration officials


Do not Forget the Needs of Your Furry Friends!
Do not transport your pets much farther than they have safely traveled in the past without consulting your veterinarian. To transport animals by air, you need an airline-approved animal carrier. A moving company can inform you of any state regulations for pet entry, vaccination or quarantine procedures. Ask about regulations, licenses, tags, etc. for pets. Also, do not forget to obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records.

Moving Expenses

Some moving expenses are deductible on your taxes.Keep detailed records of all moving expenses if your move is job related. Many expenses, including house-hunting trips, are tax deductible. If your move is 35 miles or more from your home, you can deduct your family’s travel expenses, including meals and lodging; the cost of transporting furniture, other household goods and personal belongings; food and hotel bills for up to 30 days in the new city if you have to wait to move into your new home; and the costs associated with selling your old home or leasing your new home.

Note: There is a ceiling on deductions which is outlined in detail in the IRS’s Publication 521, “Tax Information on Moving Expenses,” available free for the IRS offices.

Vals Tip: After you have unpack is a good time to do a Home Inventory for your insurance company.

Let Valerie Bomberger, ABR with REMAX Harbor Country help you in the home buying process and answer questions on Making the Move.



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