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First Time Homebuyer Tips for Moving from an Apartment to a House

Chris is wearing DSTLD Jeans and Cole Haan shoes, Diesel is wearing a Frenchie Bulldog harness, and An is wearing a dress from @shopsydnesummer and André Assous Rebecca Leather Espadrille Wedges.

After our last three moves between cities and different apartments, I thought we were pros at this process but wow was I underestimating the difference between moving as renters and moving as homebuyers, especially during a pandemic. That’s why we enlisted the help of actual professionals, like NorthStar Moving Company, and learned so many new tips along the way that I wanted to share in case anyone else might find these helpful! 🙂

  • As renters, the new apartments we moved into before were always freshly painted and professionally cleaned beforehand. As homebuyers in a competitive sellers market, many properties are selling as-is and we found ourselves having to decide what to do with old carpeting and patching up paint, as well as addressing any inspection issues that arose. If you can, plan to have a few weeks of overlap between your closing date and terminating your apartment lease, like we did. Having this extra time gave us a chance to have these things addressed as well as time to hire a cleaning company to have the home deep cleaned and sanitized before we actually moved in. The last thing you want is your boxes, rugs and furniture, all placed on top of someone else’s dirty floors and dust!
  • Speaking of which, when we’re inside our own homes, we don’t always think about the need to wear PPE, but with a move during a pandemic when different vendors will be in and out, it’s especially important to keep everyone safe and healthy by wearing masks and keeping the space well ventilated while others are around even at home. We really appreciated that our moving team at NorthStar came fully prepared wearing their own masks, which made the situation even more reassuring. We made sure to keep all the windows open in our new home and also had extra masks available, as well plenty of hand soap in the bathrooms, and sanitizer in convenient places.
  • When Chris and I made the decision to become homebuyers during possibly the worst market for buyers ever (lol), we faced a lot of new challenges of a sellers’ market that weren’t always as common as they’ve now become. Thankfully we had the awesome real estate team at Redesign Residential to help us navigate through that process. Some of these challenges included the possibility of having to negotiate a “leaseback” where the seller would stay in a home for a predetermined amount of time after the close of the sale, essentially rent free while we would continue paying for our own housing and the new mortgage at the same time. This can be anywhere between a couple weeks to months or even a full year depending on the demand in the area you’re shopping in! Luckily, the home we ultimately purchased didn’t need a leaseback, but some of the homes we previously made offers on did, so there were a few weeks where we thought we would have to navigate a move in the midst of one of these leaseback situations. While some buyers have the option to stay where they are, we would have wanted to rent somewhere else in between so we found that our best option would have been to pack up and store our furniture and belongings. That’s where pros like NorthStar Moving Company come in! They offer storage options that are the perfect solution for those with a delay between homes. We would have moved out of our apartment, had NorthStar store our furniture and belongings, and rented somewhere temporary in between until our home was ready to move into. This could also be a helpful option for other situations like new home builds, or those selling their homes, before buying a new one.
  • We quickly realized that a single family home has way more possible entrances and exits than most apartments do, so it was essential to create a safe space for family pets. Since we had a big team of movers helping us, we wanted to make sure Diesel was both safe and out of everyone’s way. Using baby gates and play pens, we designated our upstairs bonus room area as his, and kept water and toys accessible to keep him entertained. Since this area is near the top of our stairs, it was easier for me to stay with him while also directing the flow of furniture and moving box traffic.

Photos by Chris Dyer.

Special thanks to NorthStar Moving Corporation for partnering with us once again, and helping us with this major move!!

An Dyer

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