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Local News and Information Archives for 2024-02

5 Steps to Take Before the Move-in Date

Moving into a new home can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. Before the boxes are unpacked and the furniture is arranged, there are several essential tasks to tackle to ensure a smooth transition into your new space. Here are five important things that often get overlooked when moving into a new home:


Switch the Locks
Security should always be a top priority when moving into a new home. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, burglars look for easy targets and locks are critical to keeping your family and your property safe. If you bought an existing home, you never know who may still have keys to the current lock, from dog walkers to previous tenants. Hire a locksmith or purchase new locksets and handle the replacement yourself. This simple step will provide peace of mind and ensure that you are the only one with access to your home. 


Set Up Utilities
While most people don’t forget this step, it often gets overlooked causing delays in service. Ensure that all necessary utilities and services are set up and running smoothly in your new home before moving in. Since most companies require advanced notice and installation appointments can take a few weeks to schedule, contact each provider well before your move-in date to transfer existing services or set up new accounts. Additionally, make sure you understand how to operate any systems in your home, such as the thermostat, security alarm, and irrigation system. Being proactive about setting up utilities and familiarizing yourself with your new home's systems will help prevent any surprises down the road.


Changing Your Address
Update your address with the post office, banks, credit card companies, utility providers, insurance companies, and any other relevant organizations. You should also change your mailing address on all subscription services so you don’t miss out on Amazon deliveries or the latest show on Netflix. Setting up mail forwarding with the post office can help ensure that you receive any mail that's still sent to your old address. The USPS also offers many great services for new homeowners including Informed Delivery and special discounts from area retailers and services that come in handy for home improvement or design projects.


Deep Clean
Before fully settling in, take the time to give your new home a thorough cleaning or hire a cleaning service. Even if the home is new or the previous owners cleaned before leaving, dust and dirt can accumulate while the house was empty and being viewed by prospective homeowners. Scrub the floors, wipe down surfaces, clean the bathrooms and kitchen, and dust hard-to-reach areas. Don't forget to clean inside cabinets and closets as well. A deep clean will help you feel more comfortable and make the space truly your own.


Learn How Your Home Works 
Adjusting to a new home comes with its own set of challenges, but being prepared for unexpected issues is key. Be sure to take note of where the circuit breaker and water shut-off valve are located during walkthroughs so you’re ready for power outages or the occasional leak. Likewise, take a few minutes before the move-in date to locate and test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


Moving into a new home is an exciting milestone, but it also requires careful attention to certain tasks to ensure a smooth transition. For a list of professionals to help you make your move as stress-free as possible, visit the members directory here on the HBAGC website. 

Find Your Inspiration the 57th Annual Tri-State Home Show

We’re just one week away from the Tri-State Home Show, Feb 16-18 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Celebrating 57 years, the Home Show is the perfect opportunity to plan your dream home, shop for furnishings or get quotes for your next remodeling project. Sponsored by EPB Fiber Optics and J103 Radio, this year’s event is also featuring an all new Tiny Community featuring the latest innovations and inspiration, along with hundreds of local vendors. "It's the easiest way for homebuyers or homeowners to go and see all the products available in the home industry and local community, with over 300 local businesses in one room," shares Raquel Schrumf, HBAGC Executive Officer. "If you like to multitask, there's no better place."


Homeowners are always amazed with the abundance of ideas and valuable resources offered by a diverse array of local experts in home interior and exterior design. Instead of investing endless hours in the search for ideal products or services, the opportunity to engage directly with numerous local companies and explore product displays all within a single venue proves to be a time and cost-saving advantage. Brian Gray with J103 Radio shares, “In one weekend you can accomplish what can take months if not more to do…. interview local businesses, get pricing and test products. “ 


Wandering through the aisles not only allows homeowners to unearth the latest trends in design and home improvement, but also provides insights ranging from adding a "wow" factor to your home to discovering strategies for reducing utility bills through energy-efficient solutions. Prospective homeowners can also benefit by connecting with new home builders and gain invaluable advice from financial advisors, loan officers and contractors. 


With interactive displays, multiple giveaways and concessions, the 57th Annual Tri-State Home show is a great event for the whole family. For ticket information, vendor map and all the details to plan your weekend, explore homeshowchattanooga.com


Young Adults Embracing Change: Tri-State Home Show Offers Path to Homeownership

In a challenging economic landscape marked by record-high inflation rates, rising interest rates, and increasing housing costs, young adults are defying the odds and stepping into the realm of homeownership. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the share of young adults aged 25-34 living with their parents has decreased to 19.1%, reaching a decade low. This shift indicates a positive post-pandemic trend of young adults embracing independent living despite economic challenges.


Customarily, young adults up to age 35 compose approximately half of first-time home buyers, making their choices pivotal for household formation, housing demand, and the overall housing market. The recent decline in the percentage of young adults residing with parents is a promising sign for the real estate landscape. The present 19.1% translates to 8.5 million young adults seeking independent living arrangements.

Interestingly, historical data from NAHB/Wells Fargo’s Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) suggests that, pre-pandemic, the rising share of young adults living with parents correlated with worsening housing affordability. Conversely, improving affordability was associated with a declining share of young adults continuing to reside in parental homes. However, the post-pandemic world has disrupted this correlation, with young adults forging ahead into independent living despite challenges in housing affordability and the rising cost of living.


For young adults aspiring to purchase a home, several key considerations can pave the way for a successful venture. Financial preparedness is paramount. Establishing a budget, saving for a down payment, and maintaining a good credit score are crucial steps. Exploring first-time homebuyer programs, whether at the government or local level, can also provide valuable assistance through down payment support or favorable loan terms. Understanding diverse mortgage options and aligning them with individual financial goals is another vital aspect, requiring consultation with mortgage professionals for optimal insights.


Affordability should take precedence over the allure of a dream home. Considering factors such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs ensures a realistic and sustainable investment. Prior to finalizing a purchase, a comprehensive home inspection is critical to identify potential issues, safeguarding against unforeseen expenses in the future. Additionally, building an emergency savings fund is wise, considering the unexpected expenses that may accompany homeownership.


For those eager to delve into homeownership or enhance their current living situation, the upcoming 57th Annual Tri-State Home Show offers an invaluable opportunity. Scheduled for February 16-18 at the Chattanooga Trade Center, this event unites industry experts, real estate professionals, and home improvement specialists, providing attendees with insights into the housing market, information on financing options, and practical tips for home maintenance and improvement.


Whether embarking on the journey of purchasing a first home or seeking ways to enhance an existing living space, the Tri-State Home Show, sponsored by EPB Fiber Optics and J103 Radio, presents a comprehensive platform for navigating the complexities of homeownership. For more information on the upcoming Home Show and links to help you navigate your first steps into home ownership, visit homeshowchattanooga.com.