Blog. Valuable Tips and Advice: Home buyer tips

Make Moving a Breeze with these 10 Simple Steps

If a move is coming up in your future, you may be stressed out trying to figure out how to coordinate all of the details and do everything that needs to be done. It is important to be well organized and do as much as you can in advance of your move so that you have time to focus on the last minute things when needed and don’t get overwhelmed. How do you even know where to start? Follow these simple steps to a successful move.

1. Start by gathering all of the packing supplies you will need. Find or purchase boxes, tape, markers wrapping materials. When you are packing, it will slow you down if you have to skip different things because you don’t have the right supplies.  and

2. Research the actual move and make the necessary reservations you need. You will need to either book a mover or reserve a moving truck if you plan to do it yourself. In addition to the actual vehicle, you will need, if you plan to move, make sure you have people lined up to help you and possibly a backup if something falls through. If you are putting items in storage as part of your move, make these arrangements as well.

3. Plan a schedule for packing. Determine which room you should pack each day or week, so you get everything done on time. Don’t forget last minute packing that will need to take place as well. Designate a box or two for each room to pack the final items that you will be using right up until your move.

4. Spend an afternoon coordinating utilities and other transfers that need to be scheduled. Whether you need new utilities set up, things turned off or just a transfer, work on this several weeks in advance to ensure this is scheduled appropriately and allow yourself plenty of time to handle any paperwork requirements that are necessary.

5. Set aside a box for important items that you will need access to at all times. This box will need to stay with you and not get packed in a moving truck.

6. Moving time is the perfect time to purge. If you don’t want something or won’t have a place for it in your new home, sell it or donate it so that you don’t have to move it.

7. If your move is a long distance move, make sure to obtain copies of school and medical records to take with you.

8. If you have pets, make any special arrangements needed for them. It may be a good idea to arrange a friend to keep them for a day or two when the move is taking place. With the door open so much, if they are prone to escaping, having them somewhere safe may be helpful and one less thing for you to worry about.

9. Take time for meals and keep some snacks and drinks on hand during the move. I promise the move will be stressful. If you are hungry on top of that, it will feel way worse than it is. Take short breaks when you need to so you feel better.

10. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Accept any help that is offered to you and asks for more help if needed.

If you need a recommendation of professionals to help you with your move, give me a call. Moving is hard, but if you allow yourself the time you need to make preparations and use this list as your guide, it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

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Why Buy a Home Warranty?

When you are buying a home, your real estate agent will likely offer you a home warranty to purchase. As you are making so many decisions to go along with buying a house, you may not really understand what you are purchasing or not purchasing.

What is a home warranty and how does it work?

Think of a home warranty as insurance on the working parts of your house. Like insurance, everything isn’t covered but many things will be and each home warranty will detail the items that are and are not covered. Suppose your air conditioner stops working. What would you normally do? Without a warranty, you would try to find someone to come look at it and make repairs and hope they know what they are doing. With a home warranty, you call the home warranty company and they will send a professional that has previously proven to be a reputable contractor. You will pay a small service fee according to your warranty and the warranty company will cover the rest. If the item can be repaired, that is covered and if it has to be replaced, that is covered too. In the end, you pay a lot less for the repair.

How much will a home warranty cost?

The cost of a warranty will normally run between $300-$500 depending on the size of your home though with really large homes and some add on options, the cost could be slightly more. The fee covers your property for one year. In addition to the upfront cost of the home warranty, you will also pay a service fee each time you use the warranty. Service fees typically range from $50-$100.

Think of a home warranty like health insurance for your home. You pay something up front for the peace of mind of knowing things will be covered if something breaks and then lesser amounts when you need something. Like health insurance, all items aren’t covered under a home warranty so it won’t cover everything that goes wrong but it will cover some of the larger items.

What a home warranty is not?

A home warranty is not to cover routine maintenance items such as a new roof, new carpet or new light fixtures. It also will not cover something that is damaged in a storm, fire or other catastrophe. Your homeowners’ insurance policy would cover that.

If you aren’t sure where to purchase a home warranty, you can find many options online or ask your real estate agent for a recommendation. Even though you may not be buying a home right now, they can still offer you advice on a home warranty. Home warranties are renewable each year if you want to continue the coverage. While some years, you may not use it at all. If you have something break, you will be thankful for coverage to cover the majority of your repair costs. Think about the last home repair you had to make and the cost of it. If nothing else, a warranty will allow you to budget your costs so you have fewer unexpected financial surprises when it comes to taking care of your home.  

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image by fran1 from Pixabay.

The Pros and Cons of Investing in an Older Home

Many home buyers are drawn to newer homes that can be customized to meet their needs, have never been lived in and come with great neighborhood amenities like pools, clubhouses, fitness centers and walking trails. Maybe this is just what you are looking for but if you would rather have a home that is full of character and charming details that you can’t get in a new home, buying an older home may be the right thing for you.

First, let’s evaluate the pros and cons of buying an older home.


Older homes are often located close to the center of town putting you in great proximity to the heart of the city and all it has to offer. If you like the vibe that downtowns offer with museums, restaurants and shopping, you may love being close enough to walk to dinner with your neighbors on a Saturday night or meet friends for brunch and a gallery opening.

Cost of Ownership

Buying an older home may allow you to stretch your real estate dollar further than with new construction. The home may also come with window treatments, blinds and other things you don’t think about but would need to purchase in a new home that saves you money over having to purchase them right away with new construction.


Uniqueness of the Home

Cookie cutter neighborhoods are just that. The houses all look like they are cut from the same mold or one of a few molds. This is what you find in most new neighborhoods. Do you want your home to look like everyone else’s or have a unique style of its own?

Established Neighborhoods

Older homes are in established neighborhoods meaning you won’t have constant construction going on around you and have to contend with construction traffic and the noises and sights of it every day. Trees that have been around a while provide great shade as opposed to saplings that need years to mature. Now, let’s consider the flipside.


Since the home is older, you are more likely to be surprised by a major problem than with a new home. Plumbing repairs, foundation issues, HVAC replacement…all of these are items that have to be dealt with periodically and are expensive. If you buy an older home, make sure to select a home inspector with experience in older homes to perform your inspection.


Older homes were built with different features than new construction homes today. Walk-in closets, master suites and bonus rooms were not prevalent in prior generations so if you are wanting some of those features, you will need to choose a newer home or make some changes once you own the home.

Investing in an older home can be a great choice for the right person. Just remember what you are getting into when you buy an older home and be ready for the good and the bad. Contact me today to discuss your options and start trying to find your dream home.


Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Photo courtesy of glynn424/



Moving Up to Your Next Home

Deciding to move to a new home is a big and important decision. It means listing your home, showing your home, selling your home, finding a new home, packing, moving and furnishing a new home. It may make you tired just thinking about it and it can be a long and stressful process. With the right agent to work with, the process of selling your home and buying another can be exciting and even fun.

Here are four signs that it may be time to sell your home and find a new one.

Do You Need More Space?

Ten years ago, two bedrooms and one bathroom felt spacious to you and your cat when you finished college and moved out of your parent’s house. Then you got married, had a child (or two) and your home stayed the same size and you now work at home so your kitchen is for eating working, homework and free time. Sure you can add on to your home but that can be expensive and take a long time to get it right and you will definitely be inconvenienced in the process.

Have Your Priorities Changed?

When you buy a home at different times in your life, your priorities may be very different. When you first got out of college, you wanted to be able to walk to the gym after work or to brunch on Sunday mornings and now you want a backyard to hang out, a place to walk your dog and room for the kids to play. Priorities change and your home won’t change along with you.

Does Your Home Need More Work than You Want to Take On?

Your home may have been in good shape when you bought it and while there may not technically be anything wrong with it, after 10+ years or however long it has been, it could definitely use some updates to make it the home you want it to be. If it just isn’t right for you anymore and you aren’t interested in spending years and thousands of dollars to fix it the way you want it, you may consider purchasing a newer home that has the updates and features that you prefer already.

Are You Spending Too Much Time in the Car?

You may have changed jobs many times since you purchased your first home and no longer live anywhere near your office. If you are spending countless hours each day and week driving back and forth to work, it may be time for a change. The savings you will have in time that you can do something else with along with fuel and vehicle maintenance savings can really add up and may ever allow your housing budget to expand.

You may have answered no to all of these questions but still are ready for a change. That is ok too. We all know when things aren’t right for us anymore and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. If your house is no longer your dream home, call me and let’s discuss what we can do to sell your current home, what you are looking for in your next home and how I can help you make that a reality.

are making the best decision for you and not one that will benefit someone else.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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You Don’t Have to Wait Until Spring to Buy a Home

As Spring arrives, buyers that want to buy a home this year will start seriously searching in an effort to beat the spring rush of buyers that are watching and waiting to grab the perfect home as soon as it hits the market. Should you wait to have choices of homes or start looking now? The right answer is to do what’s best for you and here are some thoughts to help you decide.

While more homes will start hitting the market the further we get into spring, the drawback is that more buyers are also looking at that time too. This creates more competition and can drive up prices when sellers receive multiple offers on a property. Even if no one else is interested in the home at the exact time you are, because so many buyers are looking at homes then, sellers might not be willing to negotiate very much since they may feel like more buyers will come along soon.

Agents will get much busier in the Spring as so many people want to look at houses meaning they may have less time to spend with you. This may mean you miss out on the hot new listing when it goes under contract before your agent has time to show it to you. Start looking now while your agent is less likely to be over scheduled.

Because there are fewer buyers looking at homes right now, sellers may be willing to negotiate more. With few buyers scheduling appointments to see their home, a seller will take your offer more seriously knowing it is very likely that they may have to wait until Spring for a buyer if they don’t work out a contract with you.

Just like real estate agents get busier in the Spring, so do the other professionals that will be necessary when you buy a home. Closing agents, home inspectors and mortgage lenders along with other professionals will have very busy schedules making it harder for you to get the attention you need from the top tier experts.

Industry experts predict mortgage rates will slowly rise as we get further into 2019, meaning you will likely pay more for the same house this summer as opposed to now when there is less competition and lower rates.

Ultimately, none of this matters if this isn’t the right time for you to buy a home or you can’t find the right home for you. Make sure you are making the best decision for you and not one that will benefit someone else.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image courtesy of tumisu/

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited
Cell: 404-509-4255
25 years serving Bartow, Cobb and Paulding Counties

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RE/MAX Unlimited 5205 Stilesboro Road #110 Kennesaw, GA 30152 | 770.419.1986