Tips for Move-In Day

May 09, 2023

As construction starts on Cotton Farms homes, excitement will begin to build for the new homeowners. What was once a drawing on a blueprint will become the home of their dreams, ready for the making of endless memories. As the move-in day nears, making an action plan that touches on potential issues can alleviate much of the stress that arrives with the boxes and bins that carry a lifetime of belongings.

Start planning early! Before papers are signed or the first shovel hits your new homesite, ask questions. Knowing what to expect throughout the building process will alleviate any delays as the final details are tweaked. Communication between the builder and the buyer should be strong, ensuring that both understand each other’s schedule and expectations.

Schedule a final walk-through prior to move-in:

  • The final walk-through allows the buyer to identify any issues that should be addressed by the builder before taking ownership.
  • Look for the little things such as paint touch-ups, cabinet doors that aren’t level, or missing house numbers.
  • Ask for a detailed explanation of utilities. Find out where the whole-house water cutoff is located, understand the labeling system on the breaker box, and ask for a demonstration on all appliances.
  • During this final walk-through, take detailed notes and provide a copy to the builder after. This will ensure that all parties are clear on any tasks to be completed prior to move-in.

Prepare for closing:

  • Throughout the building process, collect all items needed for closing, including loan documents and a cashier’s check for what is owed.
  • Brokers, banks, or both should provide a detailed list of necessary items to streamline closing day. Ask early about anything that is not clear.
  • Prepare to be flexible! Finalizing a home sale may include minor delays. Anticipating a shift in signing those final documents will reduce the stress of a delay.
  • If able, build in some overlap between leaving your current home and moving into your new home. This will allow more time to move in or set up utilities.

Don’t forget utilities!

  • When purchasing an existing home, there is often wiggle room in the transfer of utilities from the previous owners. With brand-new construction, this is not the case.
  • Make a list of your current utilities then reach out to the relevant companies to find lead time and policies on installation. They may wait until you take ownership of the home (another great reason to build in an overlap).
  • Many utility companies require advance notice. Schedule early!

Personal housekeeping:

  • The endless to-do’s tallied by a move often cause homeowners to forget to update personal information with relevant agencies.
  • Reach out to your company’s human resource team to submit an address change on your employee profile.
  • Provide banks, insurance providers, and medical facilities with new details.
  • Schedule an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles to update your driver's license.
  • Submit a mail forwarding request to the post office but remember, it is a temporary fix. As envelopes arrive in your new mailbox, reach out to entities that come with the yellow “forwarded” sticker to provide an official address update.
  • Gradeschools require updated student address details, typically within a specified timeframe. Make sure the transportation office is also updated in case of a need for bus number changes.

Create an unpacking plan:

  • While construction is underway, begin mapping out how each room will be used. As packing begins, think ahead to move-in day by creating a clear labeling system. Consider assigning each new room a color and label applicable boxes with the same color. This will lessen the time spent directing movers.
  • Order plastic or heavy-duty butcher paper to cover those beautiful, brand-new floors. Moving day causes a lot of foot traffic and protecting hardwoods from scuffs or carpets from spills will be worth the investment.
  • Load in furniture first! Moving large, clunky items is much easier if there are no boxes or bins to navigate. If you have pieces that will need to be assembled, assign someone to handle that task while others continue bringing in smaller items.
  • Unpack in order of importance. No need to unpack winter clothes if your move takes place in the summer - save that box for later. Boxes of holiday decorations? Focus on dishware and cutlery instead.
  • If opting for a moving company, reach out to several for quotes well in advance of your move. If opting for an assist from friends or family, order a lunch delivery (including plenty of water) to keep their energy high.

Day of:

  • As you move into your brand-new home, be on the lookout for anything that may need changing in the future or that creates a question for the builder. You may find a light switch that appears to be out of use or you may realize that your furniture is not sufficient to fill your spacious rooms. Move-in day is a terrific time to take notes only - rather than stressing about future updates.
  • Consider boarding your pets for a few days to reduce their stress and give you the opportunity to welcome them home on a quieter day.
  • Take breaks to meet the neighbors! Often, when the unpacking begins, those living in the homes next door will appear for a meet and greet. Stop and say “Hello!” You may even pre-print a few notecards with your name, number, and email address to pass out to your new friends.
  • Schedule a stopping time. Once keys are acquired, your forever home will be with you, well, forever. No need to finish all those move-in tasks within the first day. Save some end-of-day time to relax, explore, and enjoy your new neighborhood. You deserve it!

Building a brand-new home is an exciting project but it can also be stressful. Eliminate some of that stress by having a solid move-in plan kept in a notebook or spreadsheet that is easily accessible to all family members. Cotton Farms will be welcoming new Fuquay-Varina residents soon. Contact the team today to begin the building process on your dream home and then, start planning for move-in day!