Top 5 in Real Estate Network® Members are dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date, helpful real estate information. This monthly newsletter, "Real Estate Matters," offers articles on a range of topics that will inform you in your real estate pursuits.

How to Ensure Smooth Moves

If you’re one of the many who have recently taken advantage of the first-time or move-up home buyer tax credit, there’s a happy move in your future. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the stresses of moving cast a cloud over the excitement my clients feel about heading to their new home, making for a nightmarish experience instead of a momentous occasion.
Thanks to my network of leading real estate professionals, the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, and my relationships with top moving experts, I can offer several tips to make moving a more streamlined, more palatable experience:
• Put your move details in writing.
Use a large notebook or binder to centralize all the important details of your move. It should contain detailed lists, including an inventory of boxes. Supplement this with a computer printout of box contents and e-mail it to yourself and a couple of other trusted sources as a back-up.

• Order boxes and moving supplies as far in advance as possible.
It’s never too early to start packing as we all have items that are not currently in use—think winter clothes, your baseball card collection, holiday decorations. Moving companies may allow you to return unused boxes, so order more than you think you'll need, by 20%. Invest in the right tape to keep boxes securely fastened, some new Sharpie pens, and labels to color-code your move.

• Document your AV details.
Take photos and notes on how your media equipment is set up: television, sound equipment, computer equipment, etc., in order to avoid an AV nightmare in your new home. Label all remotes and wires as well.

• Plan for your pets.
Moving can be particularly stressful for animals. Consider leaving them with a friend or at a reputable pet boarding service.

• Plan for valuables and critical documents.
Most homeowners insurance will not cover property in transit, so consider insuring certain items separately. Take photos for documentation to support loss or damage claims, and carry irreplaceable and legal items, like passports and birth certificates, with you.

• Choose a reputable moving company.
Good companies that can guide you through the process will have a proven track record. Ask your friends and your real estate agent for referrals.

• Keep your moving receipts for income tax deductions.
In many cases, moving expenses are deductible from federal income taxes. If you are moving because of a change in employment, you may be able to claim this deduction even if you do not itemize.

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