Blog :: 04-2013

Tips for Moving with Kids



You've found your dream home, taken a new job, or just decided it was time for a change of scenery. Now it's time to explain what it all means to the kids. The following tips will ease the transition and help get the little ones excited about their new home!

1. Plan a Family Meeting: This is the time to sit everyone down and talk about the upcoming transition, what it means for the family and what to expect. Moving is stressful for kids and they will no-doubt have lots of questions. Staying upbeat and positive will go a long way in easing their minds. Plan with the kids how to keep in touch with their friends, give them details on their new school and let them know that their opinion matters. A little empowerment will go a very long way.

2. Include the Kids in the Home Search: Ask what is important to them in a home...a big yard? A play area? Keep their input in mind and take the kids along when you find houses that really interest you. The more involved they feel, the easier the move will be for the whole family.

3. Yard Sale: Moving is the perfect time to purge unwanted items and old clothes or toys the kids have outgrown. Let the kids keep the money from their own items and plan a shopping trip together once you've settled in to your new home. It will give them something to look forward to and be excited about. Items that don't sell can be donated to shelters, making them feel good about supporting other children. Win, win!

4. Research: Find out as much as you can about the new area you'll be moving to. If your kids have after school activities they enjoy now, try to find comparable programs in the new town and enroll them. Routine is important for kids and keeping the hobbies they love will make them feel more secure. Plus it's a great way for them to meet new friends!

5. See You Soon Party: Before the big pack-up, have your kids friends and parents come over for one last get together. Create an address book for the guests to sign, with a space for messages and contact information. Plan visits with other parents to keep the kids in touch. Losing touch with friends is a big concern for kids so giving them a way to keep in contact will be a big stress relief. 

6. Room Design: Once you've moved, let the kids choose the theme/color scheme of their new room--make it fun! Ask them what they would like their room to look like and go shopping together. A day of shopping, painting and designing will be fun for them and create great first memories in their new home. Having their own sanctuary space that they created will be the best thing for their peace of mind.

7. Explore!: When you've settled, plan a family adventure day to scope out the new area together. Do a little research first to find places that will get the kids excited. Making them feel comfortable in their new surroundings is the key to a successful transition.

Before long your family will be adjusted and loving your new home!


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      10 Tips to Make Your Home Sparkle This Spring!



      Spring has finally arrived! This is the time of year to clean up and start fresh.

      These 10 steps will leave your home sparkling and ready for entertaining all Spring and Summer long!

       Inside Your Home:

      1. ORGANIZE- Closets, drawers, bookshelves...these places always seem to collect clutter. Now is the time to sort through and remove any items you no longer wear, use or need. If you are thinking of selling your home, this is especially important. Home buyers will be looking in all of the nooks and crannies of your home. The extra space you gain from de-cluttering and organizing will make your spaces look larger and more attractive!

      2. Appliances- Is your stainless steel looking a little lack luster? What about the oven you have been meaning to scrub? Cleaning your appliances may not be the most exciting task, but it will certainly make a big impact. A fresh, clean kitchen will always impress potential home buyers.

      3. Walls- Does your paint look like it's been through battle? Grab a sponge and bucket of soapy water-a little elbow grease will likely remove the worst of the marks. If you are able to touch up any scuffs and scrapes with extra paint afterwards, that is even better! Or, if you're feeling adventurous, maybe it's time to try out a new wall color! See Benjamin Moore's best selling paint colors for inspiration!

      4. Floors- A lot can be said for a thorough sweep and vacuum's ability to change a room for the better. If your home is heavily carpeted, Spring is a great time to invest in or rent a rug a couple of hours your home will be looking like new! Don't forget about your throw rugs too, maybe your "welcome" mat is looking a little, well, unwelcome? Winter salt and mud season in Vermont certainly take their toll on door mats, now is a perfect time to replace them and freshen up your entryway!

      5. Throw Pillows- Changing up the pillows on your couches, chairs and bed is a fast, relatively inexpensive way to change your rooms seasonally. Even swapping one or two couch pillows will be a refreshing change!

       Exterior & Garden:

      1. Windows- If you're like most Vermonters, the first mild day makes you want to open your windows and let the fresh air in! Maybe in doing so you realized your screens need some TLC. Consider taking them off to clean and repair any damages; screening and repair kits are available inexpensively at hardware stores. Giving your glass a thorough cleaning will finish off your windows and let you breathe that fresh air a little easier.

      2. Garage- Much like closets and drawers, garages are often overwhelmed with clutter. Organizing and removing any unnecessary items will make the space more functional and appealing to any potential home buyers.

      3. Wash/Paint/Stain- Winter tends to leave the exterior of our homes a little lackluster. Try washing your siding first and then touch up any paint to bring the exterior of your home back to life. Snow and ice also takes its toll on decks. Pressure washing is a good place to start but re-staining or painting your deck could make all the difference.

      4. Patio- If you have a patio, sweeping and repairing any stones moved by weather will be a good preparation for Spring and Summer. Bring your outside furniture and grill out of storage and you will be set for entertaining!

      5.  Lawn/Garden- With the snow finally melted, the remaining fall leaves have made their presence known. Your lawn may need a raking to rid those old leaves and allow fresh, healthy grass to grow. If your home has gutters, it is worth your while to check those for leaf build up as well. If you keep flower gardens, weeding, edging and adding fresh mulch will instantly bring them back to life. Adding a few potted plants to your newly washed deck or patio will amp up your curb appeal and make your home the envy of the neighborhood, and unforgettable to interested buyers.

      Vermont: The Nation's Healthiest State!



      It's no secret that Vermonters are proud to live a healthy active lifestyle and now our hard work has been recognized!

      2012 Marked Vermont's fourth consecutive year at the top of Americas Health Rankings Charts! Over the past decade our states ranking has steadily risen to the top making us our nations leading example of healthy living. We are lucky to live in a state with an abundance of opportunities for physical recreation all year. Many Vermonters revel in the beauty and adventure awaiting in our own backyard--and the results are apparent in our overall health and well being.

      Not only are Vermonters physically fit, but we are also mentally strong. Our high level of education, especially our high school graduation rate, has helped set us apart from the national average. We are also lucky to boast a low rate of infectious disease, high public health funding, a low rate of uninsured citizens and plenty of medical professionals per capita. These benefits combined with our exceptionally low crime rate mean Vermont is not only a safe place to live, but a happy and healthy one as well.

      Congratulations Vermonters! 

      Real-Estate's Positive Impact in Vermont

      Church Street


      The National Association of Realtors has released some interesting economic findings on real estate's impact in Vermont. The money that is spent before, during and after a home sale/purchase directly impacts our communities--in a good way! When a home is listed, a sort of economic ripple effect begins-Realtors, Attorneys, Appraisers and Inspectors are hired to assist with the sale. Once the home is purchased, Movers, Painters, Landscapers (and more!) are often utilized to make the transition as seamless as possible. Furthermore new, excited homeowners inevitably shop for furniture, appliances and other items while getting settled. In fact, on average home buyers spend nearly $6,000 on such things shortly after their purchase and around $4,000 more on improvements during the following two years.

      All of these purchases sink money back into our state's economy, helping us all in turn. With the housing market on an upswing, Vermont can expect even greater benefits in the coming months. If you're interested in buying or selling now may be the right time for you--a Signature Agent would love to help you decide!

      The complete NAR report is available HERE


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