By Brentnie Daggett
Our country faces challenges all the time. Whether it's a recession, natural disaster or, yes, even a global pandemic—no matter what's happening in the world, life still happens. Today, many families find themselves needing to move at a less than ideal time.
Moving is always stressful, but moving while trying to navigate certain restrictions and safety regulations can quickly become an overwhelming undertaking. While many may attempt to reschedule their moves to less turbulent times, some families can't delay the process. Maybe you sold your home before the pandemic hit and now are left to figure out the best move.
If you find yourself needing to move during these challenging times, here are some tips to make the process as smooth as possible:
Get Rid of What You Don't Need
Decluttering and downsizing is something you should implement during any move, no matter the state of the world. Many of us have recently been spending more time at home due to stay-at-home order; use the downtime as an opportunity to go through your belongings and get rid of what you don't use, need or want anymore. Don't waste time and money by moving items to your new location that are just going to get tossed out soon anyway.
The safety of your family should always be your top priority. Complete as many necessary tasks as you can virtually to avoid traveling when it isn't safe to do so. Many real estate professionals have been offering virtual home tours during the pandemic, and this practice is something that is likely to continue moving forward. Communicate with your agent via video chat, phone and email as much as possible. Important paperwork and other steps involved in the closing process are often allowed to take place online during times of crisis.
Assess Your Financials
Any nationwide emergency will likely impact the economy, putting many Americans in a state of unease. Today, the country is facing massive economic upset and widespread layoffs; according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. officially entered a recession this February. Before you fully commit to moving, make sure you understand your financial situation and what you have to work with monetarily.
Ask yourself: what'll my income look like over the coming months? How much cash and credit capacity do I have? Do I have a plan in place to stay on top of my bills? With these answers, you can start to get a sense of how your budget will change and if you can afford a move.
Keep an Eye Out for Deals
Times of crisis can offer the best investment opportunities for those who are prepared. When the masses shy away from investing in real estate due to economic uncertainty, it might just be the best time to buy. When the housing bubble burst in 2008, most were running away from the market, but the smartest investors made tremendous deals during that time. Because real estate tends to slow in uncertain times, sellers are typically more willing to negotiate. Today's mortgage rates are at a record low so, while it may seem stressful, now may actually end up being the best time for you to purchase a new home.
Do What You Can on Your Own
Services you might typically use like shipping and professional movers are likely to be disrupted along with most other industries. To avoid paying hefty service fees or endure long wait times, and to ensure the safety of your family and workers, you might consider tackling as much of your move on your own as you can. Consider doing your own packing and moving, and realize that if you're shipping any of your belongings long distance they may take longer than expected to arrive. If you do need to pay for assistance, research different companies and ask questions about how their operations have changed during the pandemic.
Moving is no easy feat, especially when turbulent times put a strain on your plans. Do your research, educate yourself and make sure safety is your top priority!
Brentnie Daggett is a writer and infographic master for the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist landlords and renters alike. To learn more about Daggett, and to discover more great tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com.