This is a continuation of my moving experience from KC to Chicago. You can find part 1 here. Part 2 is (and seems like always will be) an ongoing process. Below are the details.
Step 8: Finding a New Home
When we left off, we were just loading our stuff onto the POD and moving up to Chicago.
Luckily, we have a friend who was most gracious as to allow us to take over her townhouse while we searched for a new home. This allowed us to save money on rent and utilities though I’m positive it drove her a bit nuts. Because we were living with a friend in tight quarters, we wanted to get a quick jump on home searching.
We found a great realtor who showed us about 20 properties in 3 days. Like most home searches, some of the homes we saw had good potential and some we shouldn’t have even walked in. The process of searching for a home is much more relaxing and less stressful than trying to sell your home. We could finally go in and “critique” other people’s homes in order to find exactly what we wanted.
Over the course of 3 days we managed to find a great house which should be a great fit for our family. We offered and it was accepted the same day, though it was a bit more complicated and stressful for my wife. We decided to make an offer on the house and offered a bit less than asking price. We were then informed that our offer was the 3rd or 4th offer on the house that day and the house was only on the market for 3 days! We decided to re-offer with our best offer, which was asking price. Our realtor informed us later in the day our offer had been accepted and we would again be homeowners. The process was extremely easy and smooth again though my wife was a bit stressed when she realized we may not get the house due to others offering as well.
Step 9: Housing Fixes
I intentionally left out the closing portion of this because there was really nothing to report. The closing was smooth as smooth gets and took about an hour and a half.
Once we closed on the home and waited 30 days for the owners to move, the house was ours. The house was in great condition and we didn’t have much to do aesthetically. The roof, gutters, siding, water heater and office hardwood floors were all only 2 years old, meaning most of the potentially big expenses we didn’t have to worry about. We did want to paint several rooms and redo the hardwood floors in the main living area though.
Luckily again, we had some friends we knew who were looking for work and could paint and refinish floors for us. These friends have their own businesses so it’s not like we were just hiring friends to do this stuff even though they didn’t know what they were doing. The refinishing of the floors and painting took about a week to complete and turned out great. It also saved us a bit of money since we hired friends to do the work, which is nice.
Step 10: Moving/storage
Once all of our updates were completed we were ready to finally move into our new home. I called PODS a week or 2 before I knew we would want to move in order to schedule the drop off. I planned the delivery of both PODS to be delivered on a Saturday morning and picked up and sent back to the PODS facility on Tuesday. This was probably too long of a window but I wanted to be sure we got all of our possessions out and in the house in time without having to rush.
Our entire lives were in 2 PODs for nearly 3 months. Although we had been to the facility and opened the PODs once previously, we were still a bit nervous with regards to the condition of our belongings. The PODs were driven from Kansas City to Chicago, then sat in a warehouse for 3 months and then was transferred from the facility to our home. That is a good bit of travel for electronics, TV’s, clothes, beds etc. We felt we packed efficiently but you never know how your contents will shift.
Moving day came and the PODs were delivered, albeit a bit later than what they had told me on the phone. The first POD was delivered about an hour late of the 2 hour window they gave me but it didn’t matter much to us as we had our “helpers” arriving late as well.
Once the POD arrived, the driver used his “PODzilla” as he called it, in order to remove the POD from the truck. He placed the POD on one side of the driveway so the other POD could fit on the opposite side. The only other issue we had with PODs is that on his way out of our driveway, he clipped a tree and knocked down a branch. Again, we didn’t care but if we were tree lovers, it may have been a problem.
Once the POD was dropped off, we anxiously opened it to find our belongings…..safe and secure just as we left them. We were surprised nothing was damaged or even toppled over. (Large credit to our expert packing and small credit to the POD’s employees 😉 ). We hastily but carefully unpacked our first POD in less than an hour and then waited about an hour for the second POD which had more of the smaller stuff (boxes, tables, dishes etc.) The first POD had almost all of our big furniture and although it was heavy to move in, it was easy knowing we had the big stuff done already.
We bought lunch and drinks for everyone while we waited for the other POD to arrive. Once we ate, some of our helpers had to leave as the second POD arrived. We still had plenty of hands and time to remove the boxes and smaller items. Virtually everything in the second POD could be handled by one person and wasn’t heavy so it was an easy moving process. The second POD was in great condition as well and nothing was broken or moved. There was a fist sized hole in the side of the POD which they attempted to patch over but our items were not damaged so everything was fine with us.
It took a few hours to empty both PODs and we had a few friends stay around to help us put some items in their place in the house. We bought dinner for those who were left over, had a few cold beers and called it a night.
Step 11: Moving into Our New Home
It has been about two weeks since we moved into our new home and so far it has been great. We still don’t have everything in its own place yet but that takes time. We are awaiting some new furniture which we purchased as well but it is finally starting to feel like home as we get back into a routine. Overall, the moving, storage and home buying/selling process was much smoother than we had anticipated. Thank you to all of the friends, family, co-workers, agents and PODs who helped make the process as hassle free as possible. Hopefully we won’t have to do this again for at least a decade.
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