How to Prepare for Closing Day

A family sits on the front porch of a home

Buying a home can be a challenging experience. If you are in the process of purchasing a house or property for the first time, you are likely feeling a little overwhelmed. There are a lot of different steps in the process, and each one can present its own obstacles and frustrations. But at the very end of the whirlwind experience is the day that every person involved is looking forward to—closing day!

Closing day is when the ownership of the home or property is officially transferred to you as the buyer. It’s the ultimate reward for the energy, work, and finances you put into the process. It’s the day when you are handed keys to your new home. However, despite this being a great day, it is a day that requires preparation and a little know-how. Your lender or real estate agent will likely send you information to go over what to expect and what you will need to do to make sure closing on the home goes smoothly. In the meantime, take a look at some of our tips to ensure a great closing experience.

1. Breathe and Prepare

The first thing you should do as you approach closing day is breathe and remember what this process is for. It will be over soon, and you will have a new home or property as a result. If you talk to anyone who has purchased a home, they will agree on at least one thing—it’s stressful! So take some time every day to try and relax. One way to keep the experience from being so stressful is to prepare. There is so much information available on closing on a home, that you will have no issues preparing yourself on what to expect. You can watch videos, read articles, or talk to your closing attorney to arm yourself with knowledge.

2. Stay Vigilant

Even if your application and documents have gone through all the underwriting stages and everything has been accepted, it is not the time to make any other significant moves that could potentially be a red flag to your lender. Here are a few things you should not do before the closing day:

  • Move large sums of money around.
  • Change jobs or addresses.
  • Apply for other loans or lines of credit.
  • Spend a lot of money.
  • Allow any bills or outstanding balances to go to collections.

It is a good idea to keep your credit score stable and your available money, job, and address as consistent as possible until the entire process is complete. Once you have signed your closing documents, you are free to spend or move your money around as you wish.

3. Make Sure You Have All Required Documents and Items

Your closing attorney will provide you with the list of everything you will need to physically and/or digitally bring with you for closing day. It would help if you went through this list a few times to ensure that you have everything you will need. Here are a few things that you will likely be asked to bring with you:

  • A valid photo ID
  • Proof of homeowner’s insurance
  • A cashier’s or certified check for closing costs. Some will allow a wire transfer prior to the closing appointment.
  • Your closing disclosure that is given to you by your lender.
  • Your agent or lawyer to represent your interests.

4. Plan to Arrive Early and Stay Awhile

We recommend planning to arrive at least 20 minutes early so you have some time to relax and breathe before going into your closing appointment. While it is the last thing you must do before you are handed keys, it also can be the most stressful. You will sign your name more times than you can imagine, told a lot of information that is hard to remember, and see some big numbers (we are talking about that new monthly payment!) that could be overwhelming.

You should also know that this final appointment is not a fast one. It would be best if you planned to be there for at least one hour, possibly longer. You should review the closing documents before the appointment if you are able. Then, you can bring a list of questions for your agent, lawyer, or the closing attorneys.

5. Celebrate

All papers have been signed, closing costs have been paid, and the keys have been handed over. Congratulations! You are now a homeowner! Take lots of pictures and take some time to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment. The process was stressful, long, and complex, but the end was worth it. Now onto home projects and moving in. The fun part begins!

Zippy Shell Can Help You Move into Your New Home

We hope these tips are helpful as you get ready to close on your new home. If you are looking for a moving partner, be sure to give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We offer flexible storage and moving solutions for every situation. After the harrowing journey of buying a home, we can help make the move easy and stress-free. Call for your free estimate today!

The Pros and Cons of Living in an Apartment or Condo

A real estate agent in a room with two young people

Is the apartment or condo life for you? Both are similar in structure, being an individual unit within a larger residential building, but ownership is the main difference between an apartment and a condo. An apartment is rented while an individual owns a condo. Whether you decide to rent or buy, there are significant pros and cons of living in a multi-family dwelling instead of a single-family residence.

Benefits of Living in an Apartment or Condo Community

  • Less Maintenance – Does the thought of spending your free time cleaning, maintaining a home, and doing chores leave you feeling frustrated and empty? Mowing the lawn, pressure washing the driveway, weeding the flower beds, and cutting back the shrubs will all become a thing of the past in an apartment or condo.
  • Reduced Utilities – Living in an apartment or condo usually means reducing the square footage of your living space which should equate to lower utility bills.
  • Amenities – Many complexes offer upgraded amenities to what you would find in a single-family dwelling. Things like a pool, fitness gym, walking trails, pet spa, tennis courts, clubhouse, beefed-up security, and even a coffee shop can be found on site.
  • Community – Often, living in an apartment or condo complex fosters a greater sense of community. When you live in such close quarters with your neighbors, it is easier to get to know them and spend time with them.

Drawbacks of Living in an Apartment or Condo Community

  • Smaller Dwellings – Space comes at a premium in apartment or condo life. You may be at a point in your life where “bigger is not always better” and “less is more.” But it would be beneficial to look at how you use your living space to determine if everything would fit your new life. Think about any hobbies that require an open-air space like a patio or garage, as those are much harder to find in these communities.
  • Additional Fees – The lack of maintenance and excellent amenities usually come with a price tag in the form of HOA fees or rental fees. You will need to decide if the ease of living and added extras are worth the added fees. Factor these costs into the complete financial summary of each option.
  • Noise Level – Sharing walls, floors, and the ceiling with neighbors can come with its own set of challenges. Many communities have clear expectations of noise regulation hours. Are you willing to abide by the noise regulations and do you have reasonable expectations for the noise levels of your neighbors?
  • Lack of Control – In an apartment or condo, you will not have complete control over decisions regarding building repair, building upgrades, and even some community issues. Many people enjoy not worrying about these items, but others find the lack of control too hard of a pill to swallow. 

Zippy Shell is the perfect solution for those looking to downsize or move into a smaller space. With portable storage, you can forego the hassle of having to drive your extra belongings to a storage location. A storage unit can be delivered to your home, where you can load your belongings into it directly. You can cut your work in half by only loading and unloading one time into portable storage containers versus multiple times with self-storage. Contact us today for answers to any questions you may have!

Should You Buy a Home In Your 20s?

A couple shows the keys to a home.

Being in your 20s usually means having an entry-level salary, college loans to manage, and a desire to have the freedom to enjoy life while you are young. Does that make it the best time to buy your first home? Depending on your circumstance, this stage of life may be the absolute best time to buy your first home. The following questions will help determine your best path forward.

  • What are the benefits of purchasing a home in your 20s?
    • Annual rent hikes will be a thing of the past when you own your own home. Consistent, reliable payments come with homeownership.
    • Think of all the home customization you can do when you own your own home. You want your home to match your personality, and owning means you can integrate the things you love into the decor and design of your new home by painting, upgrading, and renovating.
    • Successfully navigating a mortgage at a young age can help you establish a solid credit history leading to more significant financial opportunities later on.
    • Homeownership can come with several significant tax advantages that can help you lower your tax burden
  • Are you financially secure? Most financial planners recommend that homeowners make a down payment amounting to 20% of the sale price. Depending on the market and the home you choose, this could be a large sum of money. Of course, there are ways around this by paying private mortgage insurance or applying for down payment assistance. Some types of loans only require anywhere between 3-5% down. There are also closing costs to consider, and they typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Closing costs are paid in addition to your down payment at the close of the sale.

Additionally, owning a home means planning for unexpected home expenses. Unless you buy new construction, an emergency fund to pay for home repairs such as roof damage or water leaks will be needed. Using a mortgage calculator to see how much your mortgage will likely cost is a beneficial tool. Make sure you factor in the costs of maintenance/repairs and your regular monthly expenses like utilities, food, phone, car payment, and more to determine your budget.

  • How is your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio? Your ability to get a mortgage depends on your credit score, your debts, your income, and the home you’re looking to purchase. Mortgage companies will look to see that you have stable employment, solid income, and the funds to cover the mortgage for which you are applying. Mortgage lenders usually require borrowers to have a minimum credit score, and they look at your credit utilization ratio.
  • Do you plan on staying in the area for a few years? Even if you are unsure if your current location is where you want to live permanently, it still may be financially beneficial to purchase a home. There are waves in the housing market, but most properties will appreciate over time, even a short amount of time. You need to be willing to stay in the property long enough to cover your closing costs and any upgrades you make after a resell. You can also plan to rent out your first home for some passive income if life necessitates that you make a move.

Just remember to do your research, and your first home purchase does not have to be your “forever home.” If you have a move coming up this fall, give Zippy Shell a call. We would love to explain how our moving and storage services can help you achieve a smooth and stress-free move. We look forward to hearing from you!

What You Need to Know About Virtual Home Tours

A real estate agent does a virtual home tour

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. It has undoubtedly changed the way we buy and sell homes. Virtual home tours have become much more popular since the start of the pandemic, and we think their popularity will be sticking around indefinitely. Virtual home tours can give potential buyers a perspective on the layout and flow that can’t be portrayed in still photos. If you plan to put your home on the market, check below to find everything you need to know about using a virtual home tour to get your home in front of more eyes.

  • Before scheduling someone to film your virtual home tour, it is crucial to set the stage. To prevent potential buyers from getting distracted, you should remove all personal memorabilia, such as family photos, collections, hobby items, and personal hygiene items. Your goal is to help prospective buyers visualize the space as their own. Virtual home tours give a 360-degree view which means clutter can’t be hidden in one corner of the room like in still photos, so all the clutter has to go. Clutter also makes rooms look smaller and distracts buyers from seeing the beauty of the space. Make your home look more prominent and more desirable by editing down to just the basics. A perfect amount of furniture and items left on display will give viewers a grasp of how particular objects can fit into the space without creating too much of a lived-in look.
  • Create your virtual tour exactly how you would move through the home, beginning at the front door. This means you need to spruce up your curb appeal as this is your chance to make sure that the first impression is good. As the tour moves through the home, be sure to include every aspect for the viewers. Potential buyers want to see it all in a virtual home tour. Be prepared to show inside closets, storage areas, and cabinets. It is best to show every nook and cranny in the video.
  • Lighting is everything. Open the curtains and let the natural light illuminate your home. Compare footage taken at different times of the day to determine when your home looks its best. You can also layer in some additional light by turning on lamps and accent lights to cast a cozy vibe.
  • Highlight the best features of your home. Think about your favorite features or what attracted you to your home in the first place. Was it the beautiful view, the modern kitchen, the spacious outdoor area, or the custom-designed master bedroom closet? Whatever it was will probably be of great interest to potential buyers. So give extra time and attention to these areas during the tour.

It may prove helpful to store excess items off-site to give the illusion of space in your home before filming a virtual home tour. We can deliver all-steel, weatherproof storage containers to you for all your storage needs. If you want a simple way to store your stuff, look no further than Zippy Shell.

Moving before the school year starts with your kids

Most families choose to move over the summer, that way their kids don’t have to transfer schools during the school year.  When the time comes when you move and your kids have to finally transfer, it may be very hard on them.  Use some of these tips to help ease the move.

Try to keep as many old items as possible

This includes furniture, comforters, toys, and anything else from your old home.  Buying new furniture will make the kids feel even less at home than they already are.

Replicate

Coming off of this, replicate the rooms from your old home.  If possible, set up your furniture in the same directions as they were previously.  You should also try to organize your kitchen cabinets in a similar way so that the children don’t get confused.

Keep a routine

Eat your meals at the same times as you did before.  Little things such as meals and tv time can go a long way to make them feel comfortable.

Help them get situated

Have them meet some of their teachers as well as your new neighbors to get to know the people they will be around most.

Get involved

Sign your child up for community activities or sports teams to get to know more kids their age.  They will end up making lots of new friends as well as finding something they enjoy doing.

Be there for them

Let them know that you understand how difficult this process is.  It is very hard to go through and you just have to be there for them and help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Store Your Items with Zippy Shell While Selling Your Home

A customer in the Piedmont Triad area was in the process of selling their home. Prior to putting their house on the market, they needed to declutter and resurface their floors. They needed extra storage space to keep all their belongings during the renovation and home selling process. During the renovation, Zippy Shell delivered three storage containers to their home and loaded up all the belongings that needed to be stored.
Until the day they moved to their new home, Zippy Shell safely stored their items at one of our secure climate-controlled storage facilities. Zippy Shell then delivered their items right to their new home, where we helped them unload everything and bring it into their new home.
Zippy Shell allowed the customer to make the process of selling their old home and moving into a new home as smooth as possible.  If you are looking to sell your home and need extra storage space while doing so to make your home as presentable as possible, get a quote with Zippy Shell today!

Store your Stuff with Zippy Shell During your Move!

A customer in the Piedmont Triad area needed storage in between home closings. Once they moved out of their home, they needed storage space for the period they were transitioning to their new home. Luckily, Zippy Shell was able to deliver two portable storage containers right to the customer’s home. Our moving and storage professionals loaded up the shells and brought them back to our climate-controlled storage facility.
Once the customer had moved into their new home, Zippy Shell safely delivered their storage units! The shells were unloaded in less than 2 hours and the customer was pleased we had the ability to pick them up the same day. This efficiency allowed the customer to make a smooth transition into their new home.
If you are moving to a new home, have Zippy Shell help you do it.  We can help store and transport your belongings at your convenience.  Get a quote here today!

Moving and Storage in the Piedmont Triad Area

A customer was relocating to the Piedmont Triad area and needed storage during the move. They contacted Zippy Shell of the Piedmont Triad to help them move their belongings. Zippy Shell arrived at their residence and loaded up all their items into a portable Zippy Shell storage unit. Zippy Shell transported the storage units the long distance with no hassle. The items were loaded in a timely manner and moved very quickly. During the move, the items stayed safe and arrived undamaged. Upon arrival to their new home, Zippy Shell unloaded the customer’s belongings quickly and placed them exactly where the family needed.
If you are moving into or out of the Piedmont Triad area, contact Zippy Shell to get a quote for your move! We can help you move your items across a short or long distance with ease and no worrying about the safety of your things.