Sell Your Place and Move During Christmas, a Pandemic and Increased Restrictions?

Are You Crazy? Why? Reflections and Lessons Pt. Two

MC Fairy's head popping out of a cardboard box, with a red bow on the ground beside the box.

Lesson Number 3: Start Packing ASAP! You Can’t Start Soon Enough!

Thirty-five years ago, Mark and I were moving from Oakville to Dundas. We hired professional movers. As this gentleman was moving our stuff, he turned to me and said, “I don’t know why you are paying to move all this shit! Did you not consider getting rid of a lot of it? You are paying to move junk!” Oh my gosh, here I was in my early thirties and I was sooooooo insulted. “My stuff is not shit!” I thought to myself. I’m paying you to move me, not get your opinion. Guess what, those were some of the wisest words I ever received. They have resonated with me since. Every time we move this burley guy’s pearls of wisdom shame me to take the time to think, “Do I want to pay to have someone move this item. Is it worth paying for the move?”

As soon as you decide to sell, start packing. Yes, even before the agent lists the property. Here are several tips:

  • Sort items into themes or rooms. A good idea to get labels or write with permanent markers on plastic bins in which room the box is to be placed upon arrival to the new location.
  • Pack all breakables with lots of bubble wrap and in small cardboard boxes.
  • Use pillows and bedding to help cushion more delicate and fragile items.
  • Pack all books in small cardboard boxes.
  • Never pack a heavier/hard item as protection for a breakable. It will create more weight and momentum to crush the fragile item. I know from experience.
  • Remember if you are hiring professional movers, they have padded blankets to wrap your furniture, televisions and monitors.
  • As soon as you empty a cupboard give it a wipe, that way you don’t have to think about cleaning later.
  • Use an extra-large plastic bin to carry plants. Create a teepee with the lids if their height protrudes from the top. This can be secured by wrapping plastic moving wrap.
  • A big roll of plastic moving wrap is invaluable in sealing odd shaped items in cloth or plastic bins, also to protect art.
A box tightly packed and wrapped in plastic wrap.

Reflection:

As soon as we could make a decision on the move date, we reserved a mover. In our case it took a couple of months for an offer. Just after Christmas (about a month and a half in) we figured that we were having to get bridge financing, therefore we chose a date to move. We decided we wanted to move sooner and that we were okay leaving the condo empty. Our agent, Lewis Ratcliff, bless his soul, immediately offered to pay to have our place staged. (BTW people this is not cheap! For a two-bedroom condo you are looking at $1000 a month! YIKES!) We disagreed and didn’t want him spending the money, feeling it was a waste (we like looking at places empty), he agreed on the condition that if after a couple weeks it wasn’t working for us, he would get it staged.

A brilliant decision was made by Mark in choosing to hire movers from Comox. Clarke’s Household Movers in Cumberland. We have hired a number of companies in the past and wow this company was the best in 37 years of moves. We liked them so much that I asked them for permission and filmed them while moving.

The same time we made a decision for a move out date, we contacted the bank and got the wheels in motion for financing to scaffold us between our move out date/close of the new place and carrying the old place until the sale. We initiated this 3 ½ weeks in advance of the purchase close date. Typically, in non CoVid times this would have been enough time for this type of financing. (Keep in mind we probably should have started pretty much when we bought given that two weeks were lost due to Christmas holidays delaying regular business). Given CoVid this was a tight timeline and turned out to be very nerve wracking as our bank was ramping up extra paperwork requirements plus were having short staffing issues. The final fund approval came through the day before closing, after the appraisal of the new property was done. Phew!

Super Mark was on top of all the business calls in cancelling utility services and making sure the new services were set up! I can be so organized with so many things but what I procrastinate on is paperwork, forms and dealing with utility companies. Thank You Mark for dealing with all this business ‘stuff’.

Lesson Number 4: Don’t Delay with Banking, Movers and Utilities.

In the best of times, things can seem overwhelming thinking of all the business and banking tied to making a move. During a pandemic it is critical to get on top of things immediately and pretty much count on everything taking twice as long.

Movers: Mark’s decision was brilliant! If you are moving out of an area, choose movers that are located in the area that you are moving to. Why? They will be dependent on your review or referral. Their local reputation is important. If you choose a company located in the area where you are leaving, they know you are gone. Research, via reviews, the best company. Ask your realtor for a recommendation. I think better to go with a locally owned smaller company than a large outfit that might tend to layer overage and extra charges.

Banking: We chose to go with Canada Trust as David Chak, customer service representative who we dealt with at the Canada Trust in Dundas, is now working as a mobile mortgage specialist for TD. This means he can service clients throughout Canada for mortgaging needs. David is an exceptionally joyful and optimistic person with excellent people skills. These are critical in maintaining the customer relationship when the rigor and bureaucracy of the banking system can seem unending and frustrating.

Keep in mind that banks right now are over worked with the very active real estate market. In addition, they are being rather conservative in their assessments. Approvals are based on income and incoming cash flow as opposed to what you might have in your investment portfolio. Given the crazy volatile stock market and money markets, investments can change value on a dime, consequently, the banks don’t value it quite as much as we assume. Remember that they want to see a ton of documentation. Make sure you have it ready to access. Also, get on them immediately to get your new purchase appraised, do not let them wait until the eleventh hour.

Last remember, bridge financing needs an offer to be approved, carries a high interest rate, is only used between the purchase of the new place and the sale of your present home. Home equity financing is essentially a power line and because it has the status of a mortgage it requires more paperwork, has a lower interest rate and can be reduced and left after the purchase/sale of the properties against the value of your new property. It can be very beneficial for future expenses.

Utilities: It is really important that you contact gas, hydro, cable/internet providers on both ends.

MC Fairy holding a pocket watch with the word 'When?' above her.

Reflection:

Now that we have settled in Comox and our visit with the full rental van is done, we just have the loose ends. Of course, there is the wait for the closing of the condo on March 31 (take note 31 is 13 backwards…. spooky eh!)

Speaking to the settling piece in Comox, we couldn’t be happier. The building is phenomenal, the area inspiring and above all we managed to unpack pretty much everything. Yes, we have key pieces of art up already. We have a fair bit of art and if it doesn’t get placed it takes up space. Now, some have questioned what’s the rush?

Mark and I are pretty clean but above all we thrive in tidy environments. When things are disarray and messy, it drives us both crazy. There is something soothing about organization. Mark says when things are disorganized, he is anxious. It seems to bring clarity of the mind, balance and allows me to create. At 50 after taking the Glasser Choice Theory training, I realized I have an exceptionally high need for freedom and options. During the training I learned freedom is linked to creativity. I get miserable if I don’t get my fitness in and very restless and unhappy if I go too long without creating. It’s a balance for me. Hence, I need to ensure that for my own selfcare I sometimes have to push myself through the work of organizing so that I can reap the benefits that my soul needs: time to be active and time to create.

What we won’t rush is making some bigger purchases like possibly new seating for the living room or new cabinets. We did purchase cheap and cheerful simple cube shelving to keep organized in the office but otherwise, we will sit and ferment on what we might want to buy and slowly look for bargains (yes, I’m my mother’s daughter and love hunting for a great sale).

Another strategy we have adopted in this final leg of the moving journey, is to get help. Seeing we have the burden/luxury of equity financing, we were able to leave our place and return, taking the time to clean and repair picture hanger holes. We are tired. Yes, we could save money by doing it ourselves, however, our friend in the building hires himself out to do handy work. We asked him if he was interested in doing the nail holes and move-out clean of the unit. He was happy for the job. Phew! We are so grateful! A win-win for everyone. We know our place will be lovingly cared for and in the best possible shape for the new owners.

Many Thanks

Lesson Number 5: Know When to Hold Them and Know When to Fold Them!

To thyself be true! Yes, think about what brings you happiness and if pushing through exhaustion with an extra effort of work will ultimately bring you happiness in the long run, it is worth it! See that light at the end of the tunnel of being moved in and settled. Listen and do what will bring you the most comfort, not someone else. If you need to rush, rush but if you need to take a break, take a break.

Which brings me to the last point, sometimes we think we need to do it all ourselves to save money or to carry that stoic independent pride. Sometimes it’s just better to say, “Uncle!” and ask for and or pay for help. We did this in hiring our friend to help us have the condo we are selling in great shape. We also did this in hiring professional movers. Long gone are the days of saving money by moving ourselves. Moreover, we wouldn’t be able to forgive ourselves if anyone hurt themselves helping us move, so we could save money. The expenses are all part of the journey. As a friend of mine says, “Ya, have to go big or go home!”

Thinking

Summary: To Move or Not to Move?

We are very happy with our decision to move up island. We love the area, and it will be a better fit for our lifestyle for the next ten years. It was a decision rooted in magic and mindful analysis of the future. As one of the articles below reference, the pandemic has not only ignited existential thought for many, it has also inspired approximately half the population to think about moving.

Financially is it a good time? First you need to think about your selling market and the one you are buying into. Single detached homes in rural communities are the most desirable. We know of someone who lives in a suburb of Toronto who had 23 offers on his place and got just under $130,000 over asking, and I think this was pretty much immediate after listing. In this case you better have a place to go to or you will experience the stress of trying to find a place. In contrast, the condo market, although still active, has softened a touch, as such, you will probably be on the market for a longer time and get below asking price. In our case we got 93% of the initial asking price…97 % of our price change set at $725,000. Now for us, the next layer of stress was negotiating closing dates. In our case we had a place to go to and it required financing to bridge us over the gap. Interest rates are exceptionally low so this might be a great time for you to trade up. Just be warned that the real estate world is intense right now. Are you up for the wild ride

Is moving during a pandemic easy? No, I would say there are more challenges than in our world of the past. There are new safety protocols, your realtor of choice is more important than ever, picking the right movers is critical, allowing for more banking time, it may cost a touch more given delays or CoVid surcharges and ultimately you have to mentally be up for the challenge given all the background stress of the pandemic. Mark has made a declaration; he is not moving again. This is it!

Good luck dear friends in making your critical decision. Remember the stress of the move shall pass and then you have the joys of nesting in your new home and discovering your new residential area. Godspeed!

Quick Take Away Links:

A Great Realtor

Clarke’s Household Moving

Related

Sell Your Place and Move During Christmas, a Pandemic and Increased Restrictions?

Are You Crazy? Why? Reflections and Lessons Pt. Two

Lesson Number 3: Start Packing ASAP! You Can’t Start Soon Enough!

Thirty-five years ago, Mark and I were moving from Oakville to Dundas. We hired professional movers. As this gentleman was moving our stuff, he turned to me and said, “I don’t know why you are paying to move all this shit! Did you not consider getting rid of a lot of it? You are paying to move junk!” Oh my gosh, here I was in my early thirties and I was sooooooo insulted. “My stuff is not shit!” I thought to myself. I’m paying you to move me, not get your opinion. Guess what, those were some of the wisest words I ever received. They have resonated with me since. Every time we move this burley guy’s pearls of wisdom shame me to take the time to think, “Do I want to pay to have someone move this item. Is it worth paying for the move?”

As soon as you decide to sell, start packing. Yes, even before the agent lists the property. Here are several tips:

  • Sort items into themes or rooms. A good idea to get labels or write with permanent markers on plastic bins in which room the box is to be placed upon arrival to the new location.
  • Pack all breakables with lots of bubble wrap and in small cardboard boxes.
  • Use pillows and bedding to help cushion more delicate and fragile items.
  • Pack all books in small cardboard boxes.
  • Never pack a heavier/hard item as protection for a breakable. It will create more weight and momentum to crush the fragile item. I know from experience.
  • Remember if you are hiring professional movers, they have padded blankets to wrap your furniture, televisions and monitors.
  • As soon as you empty a cupboard give it a wipe, that way you don’t have to think about cleaning later.
  • Use an extra-large plastic bin to carry plants. Create a teepee with the lids if their height protrudes from the top. This can be secured by wrapping plastic moving wrap.
  • A big roll of plastic moving wrap is invaluable in sealing odd shaped items in cloth or plastic bins, also to protect art.
MC Fairy's head popping out of a cardboard box, with a red bow on the ground beside the box.
A box tightly packed and wrapped in plastic wrap.
A living room filled with boxes and moving supplies.

Reflection:

As soon as we could make a decision on the move date, we reserved a mover. In our case it took a couple of months for an offer. Just after Christmas (about a month and a half in) we figured that we were having to get bridge financing, therefore we chose a date to move. We decided we wanted to move sooner and that we were okay leaving the condo empty. Our agent, Lewis Ratcliff, bless his soul, immediately offered to pay to have our place staged. (BTW people this is not cheap! For a two-bedroom condo you are looking at $1000 a month! YIKES!) We disagreed and didn’t want him spending the money, feeling it was a waste (we like looking at places empty), he agreed on the condition that if after a couple weeks it wasn’t working for us, he would get it staged.

A brilliant decision was made by Mark in choosing to hire movers from Comox. Clarke’s Household Movers in Cumberland. We have hired a number of companies in the past and wow this company was the best in 37 years of moves. We liked them so much that I asked them for permission and filmed them while moving.

The same time we made a decision for a move out date, we contacted the bank and got the wheels in motion for financing to scaffold us between our move out date/close of the new place and carrying the old place until the sale. We initiated this 3 ½ weeks in advance of the purchase close date. Typically, in non CoVid times this would have been enough time for this type of financing. (Keep in mind we probably should have started pretty much when we bought given that two weeks were lost due to Christmas holidays delaying regular business). Given CoVid this was a tight timeline and turned out to be very nerve wracking as our bank was ramping up extra paperwork requirements plus were having short staffing issues. The final fund approval came through the day before closing, after the appraisal of the new property was done. Phew!

Super Mark was on top of all the business calls in cancelling utility services and making sure the new services were set up! I can be so organized with so many things but what I procrastinate on is paperwork, forms and dealing with utility companies. Thank You Mark for dealing with all this business ‘stuff’.

Lesson Number 4: Don’t Delay with Banking, Movers and Utilities.

In the best of times, things can seem overwhelming thinking of all the business and banking tied to making a move. During a pandemic it is critical to get on top of things immediately and pretty much count on everything taking twice as long.

Movers: Mark’s decision was brilliant! If you are moving out of an area, choose movers that are located in the area that you are moving to. Why? They will be dependent on your review or referral. Their local reputation is important. If you choose a company located in the area where you are leaving, they know you are gone. Research, via reviews, the best company. Ask your realtor for a recommendation. I think better to go with a locally owned smaller company than a large outfit that might tend to layer overage and extra charges.

Banking: We chose to go with Canada Trust as David Chak, customer service representative who we dealt with at the Canada Trust in Dundas, is now working as a mobile mortgage specialist for TD. This means he can service clients throughout Canada for mortgaging needs. David is an exceptionally joyful and optimistic person with excellent people skills. These are critical in maintaining the customer relationship when the rigor and bureaucracy of the banking system can seem unending and frustrating.

Keep in mind that banks right now are over worked with the very active real estate market. In addition, they are being rather conservative in their assessments. Approvals are based on income and incoming cash flow as opposed to what you might have in your investment portfolio. Given the crazy volatile stock market and money markets, investments can change value on a dime, consequently, the banks don’t value it quite as much as we assume. Remember that they want to see a ton of documentation. Make sure you have it ready to access. Also, get on them immediately to get your new purchase appraised, do not let them wait until the eleventh hour.

Last remember, bridge financing needs an offer to be approved, carries a high interest rate, is only used between the purchase of the new place and the sale of your present home. Home equity financing is essentially a power line and because it has the status of a mortgage it requires more paperwork, has a lower interest rate and can be reduced and left after the purchase/sale of the properties against the value of your new property. It can be very beneficial for future expenses.

Utilities: It is really important that you contact gas, hydro, cable/internet providers on both ends.

MC Fairy holding a pocket watch with the word 'When?' above her.
A neatly packed bookshelf.
My Hero
Many Thanks

Reflection:

Now that we have settled in Comox and our visit with the full rental van is done, we just have the loose ends. Of course, there is the wait for the closing of the condo on March 31 (take note 31 is 13 backwards…. spooky eh!)

Speaking to the settling piece in Comox, we couldn’t be happier. The building is phenomenal, the area inspiring and above all we managed to unpack pretty much everything. Yes, we have key pieces of art up already. We have a fair bit of art and if it doesn’t get placed it takes up space. Now, some have questioned what’s the rush?

Mark and I are pretty clean but above all we thrive in tidy environments. When things are disarray and messy, it drives us both crazy. There is something soothing about organization. Mark says when things are disorganized, he is anxious. It seems to bring clarity of the mind, balance and allows me to create. At 50 after taking the Glasser Choice Theory training, I realized I have an exceptionally high need for freedom and options. During the training I learned freedom is linked to creativity. I get miserable if I don’t get my fitness in and very restless and unhappy if I go too long without creating. It’s a balance for me. Hence, I need to ensure that for my own selfcare I sometimes have to push myself through the work of organizing so that I can reap the benefits that my soul needs: time to be active and time to create.

What we won’t rush is making some bigger purchases like possibly new seating for the living room or new cabinets. We did purchase cheap and cheerful simple cube shelving to keep organized in the office but otherwise, we will sit and ferment on what we might want to buy and slowly look for bargains (yes, I’m my mother’s daughter and love hunting for a great sale).

Another strategy we have adopted in this final leg of the moving journey, is to get help. Seeing we have the burden/luxury of equity financing, we were able to leave our place and return, taking the time to clean and repair picture hanger holes. We are tired. Yes, we could save money by doing it ourselves, however, our friend in the building hires himself out to do handy work. We asked him if he was interested in doing the nail holes and move-out clean of the unit. He was happy for the job. Phew! We are so grateful! A win-win for everyone. We know our place will be lovingly cared for and in the best possible shape for the new owners.

Lesson Number 5: Know When to Hold Them and Know When to Fold Them!

To thyself be true! Yes, think about what brings you happiness and if pushing through exhaustion with an extra effort of work will ultimately bring you happiness in the long run, it is worth it! See that light at the end of the tunnel of being moved in and settled. Listen and do what will bring you the most comfort, not someone else. If you need to rush, rush but if you need to take a break, take a break.

Which brings me to the last point, sometimes we think we need to do it all ourselves to save money or to carry that stoic independent pride. Sometimes it’s just better to say, “Uncle!” and ask for and or pay for help. We did this in hiring our friend to help us have the condo we are selling in great shape. We also did this in hiring professional movers. Long gone are the days of saving money by moving ourselves. Moreover, we wouldn’t be able to forgive ourselves if anyone hurt themselves helping us move, so we could save money. The expenses are all part of the journey. As a friend of mine says, “Ya, have to go big or go home!”

Thinking

Summary: To Move or Not to Move?

We are very happy with our decision to move up island. We love the area, and it will be a better fit for our lifestyle for the next ten years. It was a decision rooted in magic and mindful analysis of the future. As one of the articles below reference, the pandemic has not only ignited existential thought for many, it has also inspired approximately half the population to think about moving.

Financially is it a good time? First you need to think about your selling market and the one you are buying into. Single detached homes in rural communities are the most desirable. We know of someone who lives in a suburb of Toronto who had 23 offers on his place and got just under $130,000 over asking, and I think this was pretty much immediate after listing. In this case you better have a place to go to or you will experience the stress of trying to find a place. In contrast, the condo market, although still active, has softened a touch, as such, you will probably be on the market for a longer time and get below asking price. In our case we got 93% of the initial asking price…97 % of our price change set at $725,000. Now for us, the next layer of stress was negotiating closing dates. In our case we had a place to go to and it required financing to bridge us over the gap. Interest rates are exceptionally low so this might be a great time for you to trade up. Just be warned that the real estate world is intense right now. Are you up for the wild ride

Is moving during a pandemic easy? No, I would say there are more challenges than in our world of the past. There are new safety protocols, your realtor of choice is more important than ever, picking the right movers is critical, allowing for more banking time, it may cost a touch more given delays or CoVid surcharges and ultimately you have to mentally be up for the challenge given all the background stress of the pandemic. Mark has made a declaration; he is not moving again. This is it!

Good luck dear friends in making your critical decision. Remember the stress of the move shall pass and then you have the joys of nesting in your new home and discovering your new residential area. Godspeed!

Quick Take Away Links:

A Great Realtor

Clarke’s Household Moving

Related