Nearly everyone has that one house they routinely drive passed hoping one day there will be a “For Sale” sign in the front lawn. Whether or not you actually intend to make an offer, conventional wisdom says you have to wait until the house is on the market for it to be a real possibility. But maybe not.

A recent Reuters article discusses the growing trend of “house stalking,” where interested buyers track down homeowners’ contact information to make an unsolicited offer. Statistics prove it’s more effective than creepy. The article mentions a National Association of Realtor survey that notes 20 percent of sellers didn't use a realtor because they were contacted directly by a prospective buyer.

Whether you go the conventional route or stalk out your next home, it takes a lot of planning to navigate the home buying process – to the point many homeowners are burnt out by the end of it. It’s important though to keep some mental energy in the tank to plan the actual move.

If the thought of planning a move is enough to scare you away from buying a new house altogether, don’t fret. AMSA (the American Moving & Storage Association) has detailed outlines how to plan a move – it even provides a point-by-point eight-week checklist of things to keep in mind leading up to move day. While there are many things to consider, some of the top items include:

  • Reserve movers/truck ASAP: Whether you plan to hire movers or rent a truck to do it yourself, call as soon as possible to reserve the date. Especially with summer weeks away – and with it move season – movers and trucks will be in high demand and you don’t want to find yourself without the means to get your belongings to your new home.
  • Pack early: A good rule of thumb is to finish packing 1-2 days before the move. Again, whether you’re outsourcing the labor or going it alone, this will dramatically cut down on the stress that comes with moving day.
  • Avoid large down payments: The dangers of rogue movers shouldn't be anything new – see here and here otherwise. A sure-tell sign is a large down payment to reserve a date and requiring you to sign blank forms.

We hope you find what you are looking for and when you do, remember Hilldrup is here to move you. Good luck moving into your dream home.