Betsy Hines Realtors, LLC | Marshfield Real Estate, Scituate Real Estate, Duxbury Real Estate


When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.

 However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.

If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.

 Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.

Legal reasons for cleaning your old house

As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.

These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.

An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.

Cleaning your house

The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.

In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.

Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.

Cleaning checklist

It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:

  • Sweep all floors

  • Vacuum all carpets

  • Wipe down cabinets, shelves

  • Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.

  • Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom

  • Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable

  • Remove all nails from walls

  • Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed


There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.

Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.

In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.

Cost of living

Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.

Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.

Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.

How’s the weather?

Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.

To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.

School scores

It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.

Safety

Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.

When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.

The CDC provides health data for 500 U.S. Cities. And, if you’re worried about lead exposure, this interactive map from Reuters has you covered.


If you recently bought or sold a home, you likely need to move quickly to pack up your family's belongings. In fact, you may have only a limited amount of time to get your child's toys packed up and ready to go to your new address.

Ultimately, packing a child's toys can be quick and simple – here are three essential packing tips for toys that every parent needs to know.

1. Make a List of Your Child's Toy Inventory

If your child has a wide selection of big and small toys, you may want to make a list of toys that need to be packed up prior to moving day. That way, you can ensure that all of your child's toys will make it from Point A to Point B.

As you create your list, think about the toys that your child uses frequently. If possible, you'll want to avoid packing these toys until the last possible moment.

On the other hand, you can immediately start packing toys that your child rarely uses. Pack up as many toys as you can, and you may be able to minimize stress as moving day draws closer.

2. Involve Your Child in the Packing Process

Packing can be a stressful process for kids and parents alike. Fortunately, you can involve your child in the packing process to help your son or daughter prep for moving day.

In many instances, children can pack up toys on their own. Kids may require supervision while they pack, but with the help of their parents, these children can get their toys ready for an upcoming move.

With the right approach, packing can be a fun bonding activity for parents and kids. Together, parents and children can pack up toys and other items and ensure all of a family's belongings can safely be transported from one destination to the next.

3. Pack and Label Your Moving Boxes

Parents will want to guarantee that no toys are broken or damaged during a move. As such, it is essential to use bubble wrap, packing paper and other packing supplies to ensure all of a child's toys remain intact.

Furthermore, parents will want to make it easy for kids to find their toys as soon as a family reaches its new address. If you use bright markers to label moving boxes that contain a child's toys, your son or daughter can instantly unpack his or her toys and start getting settled into a new home.

If you need extra help getting ready for a move, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. In addition to helping you buy or sell a house, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best moving companies in your area.

Don't leave anything to chance as you prepare to move to a new location – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble packing up your child's toys.


If you recently bought or sold a house, you may have only a short amount of time to pack up your belongings and get your family ready for moving day. As such, you'll need to tell your children about your upcoming move to ensure they can prepare accordingly.

Ultimately, informing your kids about your move can be difficult, especially for families that have lived in a particular city or town for many years. Lucky for you, we're here to help you minimize the stress commonly associated with telling your kids about moving day.

Here are three tips to ensure you can stay calm, cool and composed when you inform your kids about your decision to relocate.

1. Speak with Your Kids As Soon As Possible

The longer that you wait to tell your kids about your move, the tougher it will become to break the news to them. Thus, as soon as you decide to purchase or sell a home, you should tell your kids.

Remember, the sooner you speak with your children, the sooner they can start planning for the future. You also can discuss any moving concerns with your kids and ensure they can receive your full emotional support as moving day approaches.

2. Plan Ahead for Your Family Discussion

In most instances, kids will have lots of questions about your decision to move. As a parent, it is your responsibility to dedicate the necessary time and resources to respond to all of your kids' queries.

Consider your children's perspective before you inform your kids about your decision to buy or sell a house – you'll be glad you did. If you plan ahead for a discussion with your kids, you may be able to anticipate potential questions and be ready to provide thoughtful responses.

3. Be Honest

No parent has all the answers, all the time. And if you face children's questions about your move and are uncertain about how to respond to them, you should not hesitate to speak from the heart.

It may be impossible to have answers to all of your kids' questions about an upcoming move. However, if you're honest with your children, you can provide them with plenty of support throughout the moving cycle.

When it comes to discussing an upcoming move with kids, both parents and their children may get emotional. Fortunately, parents and children can work together to support one another and ensure all family members can reap the benefits of a successful transition to a new address.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to discuss an upcoming move with your kids, you can always consult with a real estate agent. In addition to helping you navigate the homebuying or home selling process, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about the best ways to inform your children about your decision to buy or sell a residence.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can take the guesswork out of telling your kids about your upcoming move.


It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.

 First, there’s the financial planning to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. You’ll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.

 After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.

 In this article, we’ll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.

1. Home security

Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure it’s safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering what’s at stake.

Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.

2. Set up your utilities

One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services you’ll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.

3. Self-inspection

You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.

4. Deep clean

It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when it’s empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.

5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves

When disaster strikes, you’ll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, there’s a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasn’t aware of.




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