By Laura McHolm, co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company
Over the past few months, we have all been learning how to adapt to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many of our social events or travel plans have been put on hold, moving does not have to be. Moving and Storage are actually considered essential businesses, which means they remain open. With a little extra planning and by following the CDC and WHO safety measures, you can safely move during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some of our top safety tips for moving during COVID-19 to protect your family and belongings.
As you begin researching moving companies online, remember to also ask questions on how they are mitigating the health risks of COVID-19. A few movers can provide virtual estimates, rather than in-home visits. The video estimate feature allows you to get the cost of your move without having an onsite estimator in your home. You can also use this handy moving box calculator to figure out how many moving boxes you will need.
Since studies have shown that the coronavirus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, it's best to purchase new moving boxes and tape from your mover. Eco-friendly moving companies, like NorthStar Moving, use moving boxes made of 100% recyclable materials and also give you a discount when you recycle them back. Even during a pandemic, we can do our part to care for our environment.
If you are moving out or into an apartment building or condominium complex, notify your management company of the time and date of your move. Remember to make these arrangements ahead of time on both ends of the move. Ask your management team about using a service elevator for the day of your move and special arrangements needed for parking the moving truck. You should also notify your neighbors by phone or email so that they can be aware to keep a safe distance in halls and elevators on your moving day.
As you prepare for your move, mark boxes of unwanted clothing and non-perishable food items that can be donated to Goodwill or local food banks. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused food insecurity for many families; donating your shelf-stable foods is a great way to lighten your load and give back to your community.
Movers should come prepared with their face masks. Keep your distance from movers and avoid handshakes. Keep soap, running water, and paper towels available for movers and your family to wash your hands throughout the day. As much as possible, keep windows opened to allow plenty of fresh air to circulate.
Take the time to label your boxes and the rooms in your new home before your movers arrive. Clear signs will help movers know where to place each moving box and large furniture without you having to come into close contact with them. Creating a simple floor plan ahead of time will save you time and money.
After the movers leave, take some time to disinfect any areas that are high touch zones. Wipe down door handles, light switches, and bathrooms before you finish unpacking. Get rid of any germs that could have been brought in on foot traffic by sweeping and mopping your floors.
Finish unpacking by disinfecting boxes or simply wait 24 hours. Pack a fresh set of sheets, pajamas, and toiletries in your overnight bag. This will come in handy after a long day of moving.
Keep in mind, as we all continue to adapt to the changing times, it's important to stay informed and follow any local or state restrictions. At NorthStar Moving, we want to alleviate the anxiety and stress of moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please consider all of the extra safety precautions our team is taking during moves and in our offices. If you are not ready to make the move yet, learn how to transform your home for stay-at-home needs.
Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award-winning, "A+" rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services. www.northstarmoving.com
Boise, are you ready to play ball? Pickleball is one of the nation's fastest-growing sports. This fun hybrid of tennis, badminton, and table tennis is catching on in schools, senior centers, and local outdoor spaces. Players can play one-on-one or in teams of two, taking turns hitting a plastic ball over a net with a paddle. With the ability to play indoors and outdoors, it's fairly easy for you to get out and join a pickleball game! Following is a list of just a few of our area's courts. Check HERE for a larger list and a map.
Outdoor Pickleball Courts
Indoor Pickleball Courts
Would you like to live in a community close to a pickleball court? Let us do the searching for you!
Need to inject some fun energy into your summer at home? We dug through the (pre-70s!) archives to compile ten of our favorite summer tunes (plus a few bonus songs to keep you moving) – in no particular order. Get the kids and the dog, turn up the volume, and "Dance, Dance, Dance"!
During a light week for economic data, investors remained focused on the concerning spread of the coronavirus in many regions. Mortgage rates dropped slightly to new record-low levels.
Reduced economic activity resulting from the pandemic has caused a significant decline in inflation, which has helped keep mortgage rates low. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a widely followed monthly inflation report that looks at the price change for goods and services.
In June, core CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy components, was just 1.2% higher than a year ago — the same annual rate of increase as last month. This was down compared to readings above 2% during the first three months of the year.
Both Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages reached record-low levels again this week, in part due to recent tame inflation data like CPI. In addition, the MBA revealed that applications to purchase a home were 16% higher than a year ago at this time, and refinance applications were a massive 107% higher.
New claims for unemployment benefits continued to decline this week after spiking dramatically due to the pandemic. During January and February, jobless claims typically were a little more than 200,000 each week. Beginning in late March, there were three weeks of readings above 6 million. Since that time, however, they have steadily dropped each week, and the latest results came in at a relatively better level of 1.3 million.
By Breanna Vanstrom, Chief Executive Officer, Boise Regional REALTORS®
Following two consecutive months of year-over-year declines, home sales in Ada County were up 3.4% in June 2020 compared to June of 2019. Pending sales, or properties with an accepted offer that should close within 30-60 days, were also up 17.0% year-over-year.
This rebound in closed and pending sales was due to pent up buyer demand and the fact that our market was strong before the pandemic hit our region. While our local housing market may continue to be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on some level or another, this uptick in sales and homes under contract is a good sign.
Home prices also increased in June with the overall median sales price reaching a new high at $375,000. This was 6.3% higher than in June of 2019, and less than a percent higher than the previous high from April 2020 of $374,900. Prices continue to be driven by a lack of existing supply compared to demand, and more than one-third of all home sales represented by new construction.
One way to measure the supply vs. demand relationship is by using the Months Supply of Inventory metric (or MSI), which compares the number of sales (buyer demand) to available inventory (supply). A balanced market — not favoring buyers or sellers — is between 4-6 months. In June 2020, the overall months' supply of inventory was at just 1.0 months — the lowest number we've seen since January 2016 when we began tracking MSI. Inventory is constricted even further in the existing/resale segment with only 0.6 months' supply in June.
Inventory is needed across the board, but demand is especially high for existing homes. If you're considering selling but want to limit interactions with the public, talk to your REALTOR® about virtual tours, tactics to minimize foot traffic, personal protective equipment, and other ways to keep yourself and others safe.
From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
To help safeguard your card data and personal information on sites that require a login, we recommend:
Most commonly, data and account breaches happen to individuals and at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.
To help safeguard important information stored on your computer we recommend:
If you have any questions about updates, pop-ups, emails, or need a clean-up, this can be done remotely. Please contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need immediate assistance.
There are a lot of ways to gain an edge when you're listing your home for sale, but few are more effective than staging. When it comes to showing your home in the best possible light, it pays to go the extra mile.
We have lots of experience staging and showing homes, and we're happy to share some of our favorite tricks and tips we've learned along the way! With more homes being shown online these days, staging is more important than ever.
Contact me today to learn more about how staging can help you sell your home. I look forward to serving you!
Now that the hottest summer days are upon us, you may think that it's time to put away your gardening gloves and trowel. Not really! While your peas plateau and lettuce bolts in the heat of July, there are many heat-loving or heat-resistant crops that you can plant in midsummer for a fruitful bounty come fall. We're happy to provide this list of vegetables that are great to start planting in July.