Preparing Child for a Move

Guide to Create a Budget for Your Move

Moving is stressful enough, but moving with kids can take the stress level to an entirely different level.  It is important that your final destination/new home be located in a good neighborhood, with safe and accessible recreation options, plus in-district or near decent schools.  Sometimes, it can even be beneficial to find a desirable school in the area and work backward to find a house near that specific location prior to moving.

There are more options for schooling than ever before, and it helps if you can at least narrow down the type of school that would be the best match for your child.  Private and public are two common options from which to choose, but independent and charter schools have also been gaining in popularity more recently. Once you have determined the best classification of schooling for your child or children, visit the school websites of those located in your desired neighborhood to get a rudimentary understanding of the school’s policy and procedures.  If you like what the school has to offer, you will want to follow up with determining the education quality and student performance.  There are many educational websites that can provide you with standardized test scores and even rankings that may aid your decision.  If class size is an important determining factor, find out the ratio of students to teachers, and see if it conforms to your standards.  Sports and extracurricular activities may also be important to your family, so be sure to research what options are offered to ensure your child’s needs are met.

Guide to Create a Budget for Your Move

Finally, if you feel like you have found a good match, set up a phone or webcam meeting with the principal.  A lot can be garnered from an actual meeting of sorts during which your specific questions are answered personally.  This is also a good time to follow up on finding information that was not listed on the school’s website.  Many people like to take this time to find out about security measures and what is done to ensure student’s safety while in school.

If you do have the opportunity to visit the school with your child, definitely take advantage of a tour.  Because your child will be the one actually spending time there, a visit can help to support and reinforce your decision, as well as let your child feel more comfortable in the new surroundings on his/her first day of school.  It will also allow you to view the chemistry between teachers and students, and know what to expect once your child does begin to attend.

Finally, making a move that benefits your child should not be ALL about academics.  Check out the neighborhood you are considering and make sure there is a bevy of accessible options for recreation prior to committing.  Local parks can appeal to kids of all ages, provided they are well-maintained and safe.  Shopping malls and restaurants also offer safe destinations to convene for teenagers, and can provide a welcome respite for family outings.  Above all, listen to your child!  Moving is not only hard on you, so you must take into account the rest of the family’s feelings when determining a location.

 

Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net / digitalart

Tips to Hire a Professional Moving Company

Tips to Hire a Professional Moving CompanyWhen making a long-distance move, it is more often than not beneficial to enlist the help of professional movers if you can afford to do so.  However, movers tend to be part of an industry known for shoddy work ethic, sketchy business practices, and outright scams.  There are some key points that you will want to verify and address before hiring a professional moving company if you want to avoid doing business with a less than reputable company.

Phone Protocol

One of the first points of contact you will have with a mover will more than likely be by phone.  Be wary of those that don’t answer using the company name, but instead use more generic terms like, “Moving Company” or “Movers.”  Without a name in your arsenal, it is much harder to locate reviews, information about the company, and hold them accountable for what they offer and promise.

In-Person Inspection

It is also in your best interest to request an onsite inspection prior to having the company provide you with a quote.  This is the most accurate way for a mover to assess the cost, and if they would rather quote you sight unseen, it could be an indicator that the quote will not be accurate come moving day.  Having the company perform an in-person inspection also allows you to view their professionalism and see if you feel comfortable entrusting all your valuables and possessions into their care.

Cash-Only/Large Deposits

You should also be suspicious of companies who request cash-only payments ahead of time, or require large deposits before services are rendered.  A legitimate company would not expect or require you to pay in cash or demand money prior to providing a service.  This can be extremely dangerous, because there is nothing to stop the company from taking your money and running, without following through on their guarantee.

Online Reviews

Although, there can be a number of reasons a company may receive a negative review, extensive history of unsatisfied customers is definitely cause for concern.  Online review sites, as well as the Better Business Bureau, are all good places to do a little research in order to determine a pattern of service with the company you are considering.

Extremely Low Quotes

If you are completing proper due diligence and calling for multiple quotes from different companies, it is tempting to go with the lowest promised price to save money.  However, if the quote is drastically lower than others you have obtained, there is definitely cause for concern.  Moving companies are not by nature inexpensive due to the vast undertaking each job requires, and a company promising a rate too good to be true, may be just that-too good to be true.

Visit Business

Finally, take some time and visit the company’s headquarters or local office.  A reputable company will have trucks proudly bearing the logo/name of the company to maximize exposure while on the road.  A less than reliable company may only have plain trucks, or even rental trucks at their disposal.  A visit to the company also gives you a chance to see their employees in action, and peruse the office to make sure everything seems on the up-and-up.

By following these simple tips, and watching for red flags, you should be able to enlist the help of a great moving company that fits with your needs perfectly.

 

Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Stuart Miles

Essential Guide to Create a Budget for Your Move

Guide to Create a Budget for Your Move

Moving can be a stressful and expensive process, so it is especially helpful to be as prepared as possible before embarking on this extensive undertaking.  One way to do this is to create a budget ahead of time, so you can account for all expenses, and not be surprised by the cost when it comes time to make the move.  There are three main categories of expenses you will encounter for most moves; costs before the move, costs during the move, and costs after the move.  It is important to take into account each kind to come up with a comprehensive budget that encompasses all.

Costs before the move can include last month’s rent or final utility bills, early lease termination fees, and any incidental repair costs for your old home.  You will probably also want to factor in packing supplies, such as boxes, a handcart, or even preassembled moving kits.

Moving Budget and Expenses

Expenses during the move will probably be the largest you incur of the three divisions.  More than likely the highest amount you will be faced with is the cost of movers, and whether or not it is beneficial to hire professionals.  It is wise to obtain multiple quotes for this before making your decision, as you will want to make sure you find the best deal.  You may also need to include mover’s insurance, and possibly a tip for the movers, depending on your preference.  Another option would be to rent a moving truck or van and do most of the heavy lifting yourself.  You would still want to take into account the cost of the rental, the price of gas, and the need to purchase or rent additional tools, such as a loading ramp if you choose this route.  If you are flying to your final destination, factor in the cost of an airline ticket, as well as transportation to/from the airport.  Finally, another “during the move” expense would be the cost to transport your vehicle with a reputable auto shipping company if you will not be driving it yourself.

Finally, costs after the move will include all of those associated with your new home, such as rent, security deposits, parking permits, and utility costs/deposits.  You will also want to factor in the cost of meals (take-out or otherwise) as you get situated, in addition to your first grocery trip at your new location.  Oftentimes, people plan on making large purchases, such as new furniture or appliances, upon arriving, so take all of those expenditures into account as well.

After you have totaled up all of the easily predicted costs associated with moving, you will want to add an additional 10% which can comfortably cushion your budget to prepare you for unexpected expenses.  Armed with this number, you will now have a ballpark figure to shoot for when preparing and beginning the moving process.  The more information you have prior to your move, the better equipped you will be in the case of unforeseen obstacles during the move itself.

 

Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Stuart Miles