Journeys Q & A

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

What are the best sources for details on properties for sale?

  • National metropolitan newspapers
  • Suburban/local newspapers
  • Real estate magazines
  • Real estate agents’ windows
  • For Sale signboards
  • Friends and neighbours

What should I do before attending an auction?

  • Complete any building, pest or strata inspections you desire beforehand
  • It is important to have received your loan approval in writing
  • Complete all your legal enquiries before the auction
  • Ask your agent about the auction process, make sure you fully understand the legal and financial aspects
  • Be aware that, whether the auction is being held in a real estate agent’s auction rooms or on-site, the process is identical

Is there a checklist I can follow when organising the move to my new home?

Regardless of whether you’ve bought a mansion or a cozy studio, moving home can be very hectic so it pays to plan well in advance. Start organising the move as soon as you’ve exchanged contracts.

Eight weeks before the move:
  • Get estimates from different moving companies or truck rental companies, and book well in advance
  • Draw a floor plan of your new house to decide whether furniture should stay or go
  • Use up things that can’t be moved, such as food and flammable products
  • Contact your future local council and start gathering information on your new area

Six weeks before the move:
  • Discuss costs, packing, loading, delivery, insurance and the claims procedure with your mover
  • Make inventory of all of your possessions now determine what can be sold and what can be donated to charity
  • Get copies of your records from doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc. Make arrangements to transfer your children’s school records
  • Go to the post office and obtain a change of address kit and start filling out the cards. Don’t forget about changing the address on magazine subscriptions, catalogues, etc.

Four weeks before the move:
  • If you have contracted to have the mover do all the packing for you, arrange to have this task completed a day or two before loading the truck
  • If you need it, arrange for storage
  • Clean or repair any furniture, curtains, or carpets that need it
  • Hold a garage sale, use the extra cash to splurge a little on your new place
  • If you are moving yourself, work out how many boxes you’ll need. (Many truck rental companies will provide this service)
  • “Do-it-yourselfers” should take stock of non-boxable items. Add 15 per cent to their combined cubic feet (along with total cubic feet of boxes to be loaded) to determine the size of truck you’ll need
  • Assemble packaging materials- furniture pads, packing tape, bubblewrap, Styrofoam, string, rope, crumpled newspapers, scissors, utility knife, large self-stick labels, felt-tip markers, and BOXES

Two weeks before the move:
  • Arrange to cancel utilities and services at your old home and have them installed at your new home
  • Arrange to transfer all of your bank accounts to new branch locations
  • Make any special arrangements to move pets
  • Make arrangements for new telephone service
  • Cancel any direct deposit or automatic payment arrangements on bank accounts you are closing
  • Cancel delivery services

Week of the move:
  • Transfer all medical prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new location
  • If you will need a babysitter, make a booking before moving day
  • Return library books and videotapes
  • Defrost your refrigerator and freezer
  • Arrange to have cash, a certified cheque, or money order ready to pay the driver on delivery day
  • Set aside valuables and legal documents to go with you, not in the van
  • Pack clothing and toiletries to go with you, take a day or two’s extra clothes in case of delay, and pack a ‘first day handy items’ box

Moving Day:
  • Do-it-yourself movers should pick up the truck early
  • Make a list of every item and box loaded onto the truck
  • Let the mover know where you can be reached
  • Before you sign your agreement with the mover, read the conditions
  • Keep it in a safe place until your goods are delivered, charges are paid, and any claims are settled
  • Check your old house to make sure you’ve turned off water, appliances etc.
  • Inspect basement, attic, garage
  • Be on hand to answer questions and give directions to the mover

What are some tips for preparing children in the moving process?

  • Give lots of information about the reasons for moving and let them know what they can expect
  • Tell your children as far in advance as you can, to give them time to adjust
  • Talk to them about how they are feeling, and discuss how you are feeling about the move
  • Listen to what they say and assure them you understand
  • Avoid being overly optimistic, realise it will take time to adjust
  • Focus and explore the positive aspects of your new home together, the neighbourhood, the facilities

What are 3 general tips for obtaining the best sale price when selling my home?

  • The right preparation and a little investment, whether it be on time or money, can deliver significant financial results
  • Write a list of key features that most appealed to you when you bought your home, your agent will incorporate these benefits into your marketing
  • An open house is a great way to promote your home to prospective buyers

How do I prepare my home for bushfire season?

Homeowners and tenants should take the following steps to reduce their bushfire risk:
·       Clear leaves from gutters, downpipes and roofs
·       Check roof vents and screen them with fine wire mesh
·       Check that pressure relief valves on LPG cylinders face away from your home
·       Cut back overhanging trees, mow grass, rake up flammable leaves
·       Don’t dump green waste behind your property, on council reserves or in bushland
·       Check garden hoses are long enough to reach perimeter fences
·       Consider buying a portable, petrol driven pump to use from your pool or fire tank
·       Download the ‘Disaster Watch’ App and any available local fire service Apps
For families considering holidaying away from home during summer, First National Real Estate recommends letting a neighbour know where you’ll be and how to contact you.
Take extra steps like turning off and disconnecting non-essential appliances, close all internal doors, test smoke alarms, and, if you live in a bushfire prone area, check with your local fire brigade for any fact sheets or checklists they may have available.
Taking these simple steps now can make a lifesaving difference in protecting your home, and family from a fire.
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