Today I'm happy to have a guest post by Tim Johnson from Relocation.com, take it away Tim:
When I bought my new apartment at the tippy-top of the market, a wise person gave me a sage piece of advice (not the same guy who advocated buying at the top of the market, btw):
If you want to get any work done on your new home, do it BEFORE you move in.
This might seem obvious, but moving is a stressful time, and you'll be amazed at the amount of things that will be competing for your attention and time.
So between your closing and the time you move in, taking care of a few things at your new home will save you a ton of time, energy and expense going forward.
* Clean it: Of all the tasks associated with moving, this is probably the last thing you'll want to do at your new home, so consider a professional cleaning crew. They'll do a better job than you will, and you'll be less stressed.
In particular, have them focus on the bathrooms. To put it gently, this is an area that you'll want to be sure to erase any evidence (seen or unseen) of previous owners. This is a must if you're buying a foreclosed or a short-sale property.
* Buff it: If your new place has hardwood floors and they need some work (or will likely need work soon), do it now. In addition to the workers needing unencumbered access to the floors, the floors will also need time to dry out.
* Paint it: It's much easier painting an empty room than moving the furniture into the center of the room, covering everything in plastic, and then waiting several days for the place to air out.
* Make it energy-efficient: Aim for the obvious stuff: install energy-efficient doors and windows, do any caulking that needs doing, install green-friendly thermostats, and consider some extra insulation.
* Enviro-proof it: Look at your kitchen and determine the most efficient places to set up recycling bins. Many local governments now mandate recycling vigilance - and will fine you if you don't play by the rules.
* Remodel it: If you know you want to redo the bathroom or the kitchen eventually (and you're still solvent from your move), think about having that work done now. Both projects create a lot of noise and dust, so it's good to have them completed before you move in. And how cool would it be to have a brand new kitchen or bathroom at your new place?
Finally, now that you've done all that hard work, here are some tips for protecting your investment when the moving companies arrive with your stuff on moving day:
1. If you're concerned about your floors or carpets, ask the moving company to lay down protective material to protect them. You might have to pay for it, but the expense is worth it.
2. If it's raining, your movers might be able to set up an indoor and outdoor crew, so there's no rain or mud being tracked into your home. Ask them about it.
About the author: Tim Johnson is the managing editor of Relocation.com, the leading online consumer resource for moving services. Read his blog on Relocation.com/blog, or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/timjjohnson