Blog Category - Home Buying

Our Columbia Communities Fit Your Lifestyle and Budget

Categories: Columbia, Home Buying, Lake Murray | Posted: September 25, 2018

McGuinn Hybrid Homes ColumbiaFrom the very beginning 33 years ago, McGuinn Hybrid Homes has been a local homebuilder who appreciates the uniqueness of the region’s cities and towns, the lakes and parks, and the people who call it “home.” We understand that there is no “one-size-fits-all” for that perfect home. That’s why we build our Columbia communities to fit your lifestyle and budget.

For some people, a four-bedroom single-family home is the right choice, while others want a something smaller.  Maybe a lakeside location is preferred, or a quiet place in the Columbia countryside. A community with amenities adds a resort vibe to the lifestyle. And the peace of mind that comes with buying a warrantied, energy-efficient home presents an added value, right?

Mariner’s Creek

Mariner’s Creek is a community of single-family homes that will fit the first-time homebuyer and a growing family, with floor plans from 1,861 to 2,829 square feet of indoor living space. Live in Lexington, SC, near Lake Murray while being near I-20, I-26 and a short drive to Columbia, SC. Recreation is just as close with a variety of cultural events, theaters, festivals and the state museum in close proximity! The students in your family will benefit from the quality education provided by the Lexington One School District, which includes the highly rated Lake Murray Elementary School, where students test far above the state average according to

Let’s get moving on your new home. Start by looking at the floor plans at Mariner’s Creek  and we can talk about personalizing it for your style and needs.

Centennial at Lake Carolina

Does the image of your next home include a waterfront view? The Lake Carolina area is popular with lake-lovers—for fishing, boating, swimming, water sports, and an amazing view! McGuinn Hybrid Homes’ community, Centennial at Lake Carolina, provides the many advantages of living in a large, award-winning neighborhood with amenities that include its own swimming pool, park, and well-lit walking trails. Within Centennial at Lake Carolina, you have a smaller community and the privacy that affords. Our single-level, energy-efficient homes offer 1,506 to 1,700 square feet—perfect for the homebuyer who is just starting out or re-sizing their life.

Fall is a great time of year to move, and we make it easy with a selection of brand new construction homes available now at Centennial:

Each home features our outstanding energy-efficient features, so that your home isn’t just beautiful, but so smart!


Perfectly named, Woodlake provides wooded landscapes surrounding a scenic pond. You’ll experience the serenity of country living, with downtown Columbia just a short drive from home.

Woodlake’s amenities enhance the neighborhood’s appeal. The clubhouse with outdoor fireplace, swimming pool, playground, and tennis courts make it easy to plan a staycation, get together with family and friends, and build friendships.

We have two single-family homes that were recently completed in Woodlake, so you can move right in:

McGuinn Hybrid Homes has a portfolio of thoughtfully-designed floor plans for Woodlake, as large as 3,022 square feet, so we can build the one that reflects your dream.

Maximize the value of the right home in the right place. Columbia, South Carolina, offers a relaxed lifestyle all year-round, with the ideal balance of country living and urban amenities. Talk to McGuinn Hybrid Homes about our new home communities, floor plans, available homes, and the opportunity for us to build on your land.


Meet Jenn Davis: The Voice of McGuinn Hybrid Homes

Categories: About McGuinn Hybrid Homes, Home Buying | Posted: August 28, 2018

McGuinn Homes Jenn Davis

Life doesn’t always lead you where you expect. Those twists and turns often make life more interesting. We reaped the rewards of a twist of fate when Jennifer Davis responded to our call for an Online Sales Manager (OSM). In just a short time, she has added so much to our team. Since she is the first one you’ll probably connect with when you contact us, we thought you should meet Jenn Davis the voice of McGuinn Hybrid Homes.

One of the most interesting details about our OSM is that she is a classically trained vocalist. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance from Bethune Cookman University (in her hometown of Daytona, FL). She then continued her studies and received a Master of Music in Opera Theater from the University of South Carolina. When she’s not using her voice to help homebuyers zero in on the right community, Jenn performs as the lead vocalist in both a rock band and a cover band. From opera to rock? With her natural talent, Jenn can segue from one genre to another.

It might be her skill at performing that strikes a high note with our customers. Jenn is always upbeat, friendly, and, most of all, passionate about helping others.

“I love the helping aspect of the job,” says Jenn. “I get to help a homebuyer find their dream home.”

As McGuinn Hybrid Homes’ Online Sales Manager, Jenn is the first point of contact for anyone inquiring about the single-family homes, townhomes, communities, buying process, and anything else they want to know before deciding to take the next step. This role requires that she work with a wide range of homebuyers, as well as just about everyone on our team.

When we have an event to organize, Jenn steps up to handle that as well as her other duties. She has successfully orchestrated open houses, community grand openings, and the company’s anniversary party.

So, in addition to being a talented singer, Jenn is a proficient juggler!

Lessons from an insider

Jenn joined McGuinn Hybrid Homes in June of this year. She brought prior real estate agency experience, but had most recently worked as a pharmacy scheduler and district administrative assistant for CVS Health. Now, working so closely with homebuyers, she has gained insights into the process and offers these tips:

  • Check your credit report and score. You can get a free credit report once a year. Make sure all the information is accurate; dispute any errors. If you want to improve your credit score, talk to a lender for suggestions. Higher scores qualify you for better interest rates, so it could be truly worth your while to work on this goal.
  • Get pre-approved by a lender.Take this step before you begin searching for a new home, to save time and shop with confidence. The pre-approval letter advises the seller that you can secure a loan for up to a specified amount.
  • Determine how much home you can afford. Look at your budget and decide what you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. Just because you qualify for a certain amount doesn’t mean it fits with your personal financial plans.
  • Find the right real estate agent. Don’t be afraid to interview multiple agents. The agent will be your sustenance throughout the whole process and you want to make sure that the person you choose is knowledgeable, and understands and respects your goals
  • Review the HOA rules and fees. Homebuyers sometimes fail to fully understand property restrictions before choosing a community. Learn all of the homeowner’s association rules and fees.

Put Jenn Davis to work for you! Contact her to learn more about McGuinn Hybrid Homes—our process, commitment to energy efficiency, financing a new construction home, and our new home opportunities. Whether you choose a single-family home or townhome in one of our communities in the Columbia, SC, region, or we build on your land, Jenn will be instrumental in paving a smooth path to purchase.

Ready to Build On Your Lot? We Are, Too!

Categories: Home Buying | Posted: August 13, 2018

build on your lot

The image of your dream home isn’t just the home itself. The property plays a big part in fulfilling that sought-after vision. In some cases, you can find the perfect place—either already existing or in a community where a home builder has just the right floor plan for you. But if you’ve located a homesite that presents the ideal backdrop for your new construction home, and it’s in the Columbia, South Carolina, region, McGuinn Hybrid Homes can help to make that dream a reality. Ready to build on your lot? We are, too!

Here are some helpful tips and advice to consider before moving forward.

Find a builder who is both experienced and willing.

You might assume that any home builder can and will build on a homesite of your choosing. Some builders won’t construct a new home on a site they don’t own. They focus solely on the communities they’re developing.

You should also search for a builder who is experienced with developing a site like yours. You need someone who is knowledgeable and skilled at working with an unimproved lot. Ask to see photos of homes they have built on a comparable lot. Discuss the construction challenges they faced and how they managed them. Ask each builder these questions before making your choice!

Do a walk-through with your builder before you commit to your property.

You see scenic views and a beautiful home with meticulous landscaping.

An experienced builder sees the way the home should be sited, where the drainage must be, and how much excavation is going to be necessary.

Review your land selection’s “buildability”. Will you incur additional costs for a foundation here? Will it be costly to access utilities? Are there easements or zoning issues that could prevent you from building or, at least, present an obstacle?

Let your builder explain any limitations presented by the property and offer solutions before you purchase the land.

Consult your builder about the floor plan.

Your home and your land will co-exist. You want them to do so in complete harmony, right? Before you decide on a new home design, talk to your builder about the features you want that could impact the way the home is sited, like a front porch that accommodates seating, the view you want from your kitchen, large windows to stream natural light, a side-loaded garage, and the position of the driveway, to name just a few. If your land has slopes, some designs will fit better than others.

Builders like McGuinn Hybrid Homes offers new home designs to build on your lot. We’re experienced with our plans so there’s no risk of errors in the plan. We won’t run into one of those moments where a measurement is off or a wall needs to be moved. There is no learning curve when you choose a builder’s plan.

McGuinn Hybrid Homes is a Certified Master Builder with more than 30 years of building experience. We’ve developed a diverse portfolio of designs that we can share with you, each one backed by our new home warranty. Let’s discuss how to personalize the one that fits your style and your land, and the exceptional energy efficiency that’s built into each one. Contact us to bring your dream closer.

Design Trends for Home Plumbing Fixtures

Categories: Buying a New Home, Columbia, Home Buying, Homeowner tips, SC | Posted: July 20, 2018

McGuinn Homes Plumbing Fixtures

Home fashions don’t begin and end with paint, wallpaper, and home decor fabric. Every year, manufacturers of everything from appliances and carpeting to cabinet hardware come up with new designs. Design trends for home plumbing fixtures are no different. Styles, colors, and features are updated every year. If you’re preparing to choose details for your new home, McGuinn Hybrid Homes has some design ideas to consider.

Plumbing picks in the kitchen

Your choices for plumbing features encompass many decisions in your kitchen and bathroom: sinks, faucets, shower head, and tub.

In the kitchen, homeowners are looking for deep sinks, most frequently in farmhouse and undermount styles. Although stainless steel remains a popular choice, manufacturers offer many others that enhance the look of your kitchen: composite granite, enamel-clad cast iron, copper, soapstone, fireclay, quartz, porcelain, and solid surface.

For the kitchen faucet, hands-free is a desirable choice, accompanied by the pull-down feature. The black matte finish has gained popularity, as it works with a variety of kitchen styles. Still, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze maintain their position as the top choices in finishes for kitchen plumbing fixtures.

A pot-filler faucet near the stove is a nice option for the busy cook. Save yourself the time of stepping over to the sink while you’re cooking with this convenient feature, which is mounted to the wall and is hinged to pull it back and forth.

Best in bathroom fixtures trends

The spa experience keeps getting better, thanks to so many advances in bathroom plumbing fixtures.

The rain shower head remains one of the most in-demand bathroom plumbing fixtures. These oversized fixtures—picture one as wide as 20 inches in diameter—can be mounted to the shower’s wall or ceiling and provide a gentle but generous flow. You can also add electronic controls to pre-set the water temperature, spray, flow, and even music, if you’ve incorporated that feature into your luxury shower as well.

Bathroom sinks have gone so far beyond basic that they can look more like artwork than plumbing. Wall-mounted sinks lit with LEDs, uniquely shaped basins, and vessel sinks made from wood, stone, glass, and metal add style and luxury to your bathroom.

The bathroom faucet—sink and tub—reflect the same shift toward matte black finishes, oil-rubbed bronze, and brushed nickel, with chrome-plated brass keeping a firm grip on its long-standing choice for this room. The single lever style sink faucet is preferred over two handles, and a water-sensing feature is a good option for conserving water without compromising water pressure.

The tub is no longer a luxury—and you have more choices in bathtub styles, shape, and features than ever before. The freestanding tub presents a beautiful focal point and comes in different shapes, like oval, rectangular, and round. Clawfoot bathtubs reflect the return of this vintage design, and are now available in a wide spectrum of colors. Jetted tubs provide the relaxing spa experience. Walk-in tubs are ideal for people with special needs. Corner tubs accommodate bathrooms with limited space.

Our design professionals are ready to guide you through every detail in your new home. McGuinn Homes builds energy-efficient, single-family homes and townhomes around Columbia, South Carolina. Take a look at our floor plans and communities or take advantage of the option for McGuinn Homes to build on your lot. Your dream home starts here!

Financing Your Home With a Builder’s Preferred Lender

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying | Posted: July 11, 2018

McGuinn Homes Preferred Lender

Is there a benefit to to financing your home with a builder’s preferred lender? Buying a new construction home is not a complex situation, but it’s different from purchasing an existing home. Not every financial institution has the knowledge and experience to navigate this process. At McGuinn Homes, we want our homeowners to enjoy the entire process, from selecting their home to finalizing the purchase and moving in. We pay close attention to every detail, and we want to be sure the lender does the same.

Close on schedule.This might sound like a “given”, but we’ve heard about too many situations where the lender failed to get the necessary documents together on time. Not being accustomed to the building process, they might overlook a critical step. The result? A delay in closing and possibly an increase in the mortgage rate if your lender doesn’t lock it in. Financing a home isn’t something you want to trust to someone who is just learning about new construction homes.

A human voice.While you’re juggling the details that go with buying and financing a new home, you want to speak to a person, not voicemail. McGuinn Homes chose Southern First Bank as our preferred lender because they have proven they will respond to our customers. When you have a question—on a weeknight, weekend, and even a holiday—you can reach your lender.

Fair appraisals.Appraisers are human. They make mistakes. But an incorrect appraisal can determine whether or not you can close on the purchase of your new home at the price you agreed upon. If an appraisal comes in above the purchase price, the buyer has the choice of paying the higher price or walking away. Our preferred lender has experienced appraisers who fairly assess the value of your new home.

Special incentives.The trust that builds the relationship between the homebuilder and the mortgage lender creates another opportunity for the homebuyer. Incentives like paid closing costs and special financing programs for a builder’s homes can be available only through a preferred lender, because of the respect for one another’s integrity.

When we say “preferred lender”, it’s because these mortgage professionals have consistently performed to McGuinn Homes’ high standard for professionalism and personal service. We  recommend Southern First Mortgage because they’re as invested in your experience as we are! Contact them to learn more about your financing options, and talk to us to find the right home in one of our communities or build on your lot around Columbia, South Carolina.

Discover Your Ideal Southern Lifestyle in Lexington, SC.

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying, SC, Uncategorized | Posted: July 6, 2018

McGuinn Homes-Lexington SC

Southern living means warm hospitality, beautiful weather, and home-cooking that is unrivaled for creativity and flavor. When you’re ready for the best of a relaxed lifestyle that also gives you plenty to do, South Carolina should be your target. Then, zoom in on the capital, Columbia, and head west for 15 miles to reach your destination, Here you can discover your ideal southern lifestyle in Lexington, SC—with some help from McGuinn Homes.

With a population of only 25,000 people, Lexington is the largest town in the county, although it’s a small town by all other standards. People who live and vacation here take advantage of many things to to do and the plentiful sunshine that lets them grab as much outdoor time as they want. Spending a day on Lake Murray could mean anything from boating to paddleboarding, or maybe catching some bass that has made this 48,000-acre lake a legendary fishing spot. You might want to hike the Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve in Lexington, one of the best in the Midlands. Maybe catch a live performance or outdoor movie at the Icehouse Amphitheater. Lexington also provides a variety of parks and gardens where you can wander or treat yourself to a picnic or a quiet escape by a koi pond.

Students gain a quality education in Lexington, too. GreatSchools gave the district’s schools top ratings for student performance and progress.

McGuinn Home is a local home builder with deep roots in this area. Our homes, townhomes, and communities represent the most desirable locations. In Lexington, we offer three premier new home communities.

Mariner’s Creek

This quiet community features just 97 homes in all. We’re presenting a variety of floor plan choices for your new home here, ranging from 1,861 square feet to more than 3,500 square feet of living space. Our new home designs for Mariner’s Creek reflect classic architectural lines, with elegant interiors that blend an open concept with private spaces, like luxurious owner’s suites. We have 21 homes to complete the neighborhood, which is just two minutes outside downtown Lexington.

Pleasant Springs

The affordable homes in this friendly community start in the mid-$150,000s—an incredible value for homes that are not only extremely energy-efficient, but also spacious, well-appointed, and close to the award-winning Lexington One schools, the best of the best! With two-story and single-level homes that offer from 1,491 to 2,835 square feet of living space, you can find the floor plan that presents the perfect fit for your lifestyle.


We designed this McGuinn Homes neighborhood and the homes for people who want to enjoy the Lexington lifestyle. Summerlake is just minutes from Highway 378, making it easy to get in and out of Columbia. But with community amenities that include a lakeside location, resort-style clubhouse, swimming pool, pocket park, playground, fully stocked fishing pond, and nature trails, you have many reasons to stay home! You can move in quickly here, with several personal selection ready homes now available and others under construction. Or look at our portfolio of floor plans, from 2,003 to 2,835 square feet.

Thinking of another location in Lexington or around the Columbia area? McGuinn Homes will build on your lot, providing you the quality construction that includes the exceptional energy efficiency of our hybrid homes! Contact us to experience the comfort, convenience, and enjoyment that comes from choosing the right home in the right location.

Questions to Ask Your Builder

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying | Posted: June 20, 2018

McGuinn-Ask Builder
Building a new home is exciting, especially when you partner with the right homebuilder. If you’ve never had to make this choice, here are some questions to ask your builder.

How long does it take to build a home?

The answer will depend on the builder’s ability to navigate such issues as weather conditions and efficiency with the construction team. Discuss the entire homebuilding process and determine roughly how long each step will take once you choose the lot and homesite.

Will you build on my lot?

Some homebuilders only work with land in their communities. If you own land or have property in mind, it’s important to find a builder who is willing and able to build there. McGuinn Homes welcomes the opportunity to build your home, your way, on your lot.

Are you licensed and insured?

Don’t even consider a builder who lacks either the correct licensing or insurance. Without having proof of both, you risk working with someone who doesn’t follow safe and ethical practices.

Do I need to secure a construction loan?

Ask any prospective builder about financing a new construction home before you make a commitment. McGuinn Homes works with lenders who understand the process of building a home. Once you are pre-approved for the total cost of the home (including the lot), you only need to provide earnest money (a deposit) to start the construction. When the home is completed, the remainder will be handled through your mortgage at closing.

Will you use the plans I provide?

Using someone else’s plans is a risky proposition for a builder. There may be issues with the plans that aren’t immediately apparent, which means you’re responsible for the cost of fixing any problems that arise from faulty plans. Choose from the builder’s selection of plans and discuss the changes you’d like—making sure they are doable and within your budget—before proceeding with the purchase.

Do you guarantee your work?

A reputable builder offers a warranty on the structure, so ask for a copy of the builder’s warranty. McGuinn Homes, for example, offers a one-year warranty from the date of closing. We do a detailed walk-through with you to make sure you’re satisfied before taking ownership. If necessary, we make warranty repairs after 30 days and 90 days, and then at 11 months, before the warranty expires. Our tradespeople (electrical, mechanical, HVAC) also guarantee their work, and all appliances, flooring, and systems are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

How often do I get construction updates? And can I visit the site while my home is being built?

You will have a McGuinn Homes representative who provides weekly progress reports and is available to answer your questions. You can visit the worksite but, for your safety and our schedule, we ask that you call in advance and arrange a time so that our crew can stay on task.

What kind of energy efficient features do you include?

Energy efficiency adds lasting value to your home, so be sure your builder is knowledgeable on the processes and materials, and includes them in your home. McGuinn is proud to share our eco-friendly approach to building a home that conserves energy, provides a comfortable environment, and saves you money.

We’re a homebuilder specializing in single-family homes, townhomes, and communities around Columbia, South Carolina. See what our homeowners have to say about the McGuinn Homes experience and contact us to learn what we can do for you!

Move into Hampton Forest in Columbia, SC, with a special bonus

Categories: Buying a New Home, Columbia, Home Buying, SC, Uncategorized | Posted: June 4, 2018

McGuinn Homes always builds value into each home and community. Our homes are exceptionally energy efficient, which delivers lasting value in energy savings, comfort, and convenience. With our current incentive for new home buyers, you can now move into our Hampton Forest townhome community in Columbia, South Carolina, with a special bonus. These new construction homes feature a move-in package that include an ENERGY STAR washer, dryer, and refrigerator, as well as blinds for your windows—at no extra charge!

Hampton Forest is conveniently situated near Downtown Columbia, Fort Jackson, Shaw Air Force Base, USC School of Medicine, and I-77, so you can easily get to everything you need. Whether you’re commuting or heading out for fun, Hampton Forest puts you just a short drive to everything that Columbia has to offer.

The townhome lifestyle presents the spaciousness of a single-family home, with the low-maintenance of condo living. Your two-story townhome at Hampton Forest provides 1,200 square feet of interior living space that smartly utilizes every area—for style, storage, and comfort. Look at our Maybank floor plan to see how we’ve designed two bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and an open floor plan to maximize your living space. With details like granite countertops, fully fenced-in back yard, and exterior brick façade, your Hampton Forest townhome is truly distinctive.

We’ve also enhanced the experience of living at Hampton Forest with the community amenities. The clubhouse includes a resort-style swimming pool and cabana, plus an outdoor fireplace for evenings by the pool. We’ve incorporated a theater room in the clubhouse, outfitted with a surround-sound, wide-screen and 16, theater-style seats. You can even reserve the room for your private party.

McGuinn Homes currently has a limited number of new townhomes available at Hampton Forest right now. You could close in just 60 days, with a monthly mortgage that’s probably lower than your rent. Use our mortgage calculator to see what you could be paying for a brand new townhome in a premium location!

Contact us to take advantage of our special move-in package of a free washer, dryer, stainless steel refrigerator, and window blinds.

What You Need to Know About Financing a New Home

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying | Posted: April 10, 2018

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Buying a new home is exciting, but at McGuinn Homes, we find that homebuyers have as many questions about the mortgage process as they do about home building. To make it easier on you, here’s what you need to know about financing a new home.

The first step is to secure pre-approval from a mortgage lender. Once you know how much of a mortgage you are pre-qualified to obtain, you can shop for a new home with confidence. A pre-approval can be done easily over the phone with a qualified lender. You’ll need to provide some basic information, including your annual income, proof of employment, bank statements, and your two most recent tax returns. The lender will check your credit report as well. Your credit score will not only make the difference in your loan approval but also the interest rate. A higher credit rating often earns a lower mortgage rate.

While you’re talking with the lender, discuss the different mortgage programs available. McGuinn Homes rely on the mortgage experts at Southern First. The Southern First team will give you in-depth insight into the mortgage process and programs, so you can choose the one that best suits your financial situation. Finding the right loan can actually save you thousands of dollars, so it’s essential to invest some time in understanding your options.

One of the benefits of working with a builder’s preferred lender is their familiarity with the construction process and how it impacts the financing. A skilled lender ensures that your closing documents are in order and ready so that your closing happens on time.

Once you’ve chosen your homesite and floor plan, we’ll finalize all the details and determine the purchase price. Then you provide a deposit and apply for the mortgage you’ll need. The pre-approval is a pre-qualifying step, not an actual mortgage application review. You might need to submit additional financial information and documentation for the underwriters. A good mortgage professional will guide you through the process, answer your questions, and keep you updated. That’s another reason McGuinn Homes recommends Southern First. Our customers have been so happy with the assistance and communication they’ve received from these mortgage professionals.

A few weeks before the scheduled closing on your new home, your lender will give you a detailed list of the funds you’ll need to bring to closing. These fees vary, depending on the property you’re buying, where it’s located, and the lender and services. For example, your closing costs might include the fee for home inspection, survey, appraisal, attorney, title search, and transfer taxes.

Closing typically takes an hour or two. You’ll sign the documents, receive the keys to your new home, and start your new life as a homeowner.

If that journey brings you to South Carolina, check out McGuinn Homes’ energy-efficient new home communities throughout the Columbia region. As a custom home builder, we’ll also build on your lot, handling every detail, including permitting and site preparation. For an enjoyable home buying experience, talk to McGuinn Homes.

Moving Tips: A Checklist For a Smooth Move

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying, Homeowner tips | Posted: March 1, 2018

Moving Tips

Are you just in the planning stages of choosing a new home? If your move might bring you to the Columbia, South Carolina, area, McGuinn Homes would like to show you our new home communities, move-in ready homes, and floor plans. We will also build on your lot. With so many ways to help you find your new home, talk to us first!

You’re getting ready to move to a new home. Whether you’re moving close by or far away, to a larger or smaller home, the process of getting your precious belongings from here to there requires planning and organization. Follow these moving tips and use them as a checklist for a smooth move.

Ruthlessly purge

As soon as you know a move is in your future, start reducing your load. Empty your closets and cabinets to see what is lurking in there—unused, unnecessary, expired, and otherwise ignored. Sort out your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t wear or use. Donate or discard it. Remember, you pay your movers by the weight of the load so having them transport more than you need or want will cost you.

Gather packing supplies

Collect boxes, plastic containers, packing tape, and wrapping material. You can often find used moving boxes on sites like Craigslist and Facebook—a great way to reuse and recycle! Ask friends who work in companies that might have empty cartons. Order rolls of bubble wrap and stock up on packing tape (buy more than you estimate because you’ll use it). As you’re purging your household, pack up anything that isn’t currently an essential part of your daily life, so you’ll have less to do when the moving date gets closer.

Choose a mover and reserve the date

Moving companies are busier at certain times of the year, so if you’re planning to move in spring or summer, book a mover as soon as you know your schedule. Be sure to ask these questions before you choose a moving company:

  • Will you come to my home and do an on-site inspection before giving me an estimate?
    • If the answer is “no”, choose someone else. No one can offer an accurate estimate without looking at your belongings.
  • Do you have a license number from the U.S. Department of Transportation?
    • Another deal-breaker! Check here to confirm it.
  • Will you include in writing a “not-to-exceed” price?
    • Without this threshold, you’re liable for more costs than you anticipate.
  • Can you guarantee pick-up and delivery on the dates I’ve specified?
    • A reputable moving company follows a process that ensures you won’t be left waiting on either end. Be sure to get any guarantees in writing.
  • How much of a deposit do you require?
    • More than 20% is unreasonable.
  • Do you require cash payment or could I pay by credit card or check?
    • Never pay in cash!
  • Are you currently a member in good standing of the state’s moving association?
    • This group holds members to high standards.
  • Will your moving trucks be clearly marked with your company’s identification?
    • You’d be surprised what some companies consider acceptable. Don’t let anyone transport your valuable belongings when in an unidentifiable vehicle.

Reduce your shopping for household items

As your moving day gets closer, your goal is to have less food and supplies to be packed. Use up the perishables and avoid the temptation of sales. Make a list of supplies you’ll need when you arrive at your new home so you don’t need to transport them.

Organize your personal records

Gather your important documents for home, school, medical, insurance, pets, prescriptions, and other valuable records. Carry them with you or have them sent to the appropriate resource (e.g., your new doctor or veterinarian, your child’s school).

Contact the utility companies

Alert your current providers (electric, water, cable, phone companies) that you will terminate service and give them the date. Advise the utility companies for your new home when you will require service to begin.

Plan your travel

If you’re driving, have your car serviced to avoid any problems during the trip. For air travel, make arrangements as soon as you know your travel dates. If you’re also transporting pets, check the airline’s restrictions. Certain breeds (e.g., bulldogs, pugs) cannot be flown on commercial airlines because of the risk to the animal.

Change your address

It’s easy to change your address online. Visit Allow at least a few days for the request to be initiated.

Pack by priority and value

Organize containers with items you’ll need immediately on your arrival, like a change of clothes, prescriptions, medical equipment, and personal care in a suitcase. Bring a box of bedding and towels, and pet supplies (dishes and food). You should also label moving boxes according to priority so that the movers know which ones you want unloaded first. Anything of high value should be carefully packed. Bring smaller items, like jewelry, with you on your trip. Do not identify the contents of a box by its specific contents if you have valuables inside. Instead, mark the box with the room location and add an asterisk or number so you know what’s packed inside.

Confirm with the mover

Call the mover a week in advance of the scheduled moving date to confirm the schedule.