Will you be buying another home? Renting? Living abroad? A comprehensive guide to moving on for a Toronto home seller
Once your home is sold, it is time to begin your search for a new one – if you haven’t already. Depending on the length of the closing, you have a limited time in which to find your new dream home – especially if it’s outside of Toronto – unless you want to have to carry two mortgages, arrange for bridge financing, or move your things to a temporary address. Simply put, it will be a lot easier if you know where you’re going once you have to vacate your recently sold home – and if the dates line up properly. Please see Jamie’s Buyer’s Guide for more information on buying your next home with Jamie to coincide with the sale of your current one.
Informing Your Family
Once your home is sold and you know for sure that you’re going to be moving, it's time to let your family and friends know, too. If you have children, breaking the news to them can be difficult; like adults, kids tend to resist change, and sometimes have very good reasons for doing so. Here are some tips for letting them know that change is on the horizon:
- Tell them about the move early on, so they don’t hear the news from a family friend or relative
- Focus on the positive aspects of moving, such as meeting new friends, having more personal space, or experiencing a new culture
- Let older children help with moving decisions to ease their fear and anxiety and minimize their upset at what they are leaving behind
If you are moving to another city, province or even country, be sure to tell your close friends and family members well in advance of your move so they have plenty of time to process the information and say goodbye. Be sure to email everyone with your new address and your telephone number once you get it.
TIP: Create a folder for moving-related receipts. This will come in handy for next year's tax return – many moving expenses are tax deductible.
Perhaps you have sold your home because you need to relocate outside of Toronto for work or for other reasons. Obviously, a long distance moved is made more difficult by the fact that you may not be at all familiar with your new destination; your social network – your real one, of dry cleaners and dentists and bankers and neighbours, not your online one – is now compromised. Learning about your new community before you move will ease the transition for you and your family.
Research your new community and schools so you know as much as possible before you move. If you have children, put together a folder for each child that includes brochures about the new city such as theatres, attractions, libraries, parks, and sports teams. Be sure to include information on the activities they enjoy.
If possible before closing, visit the new place in person (perhaps more than once!) and do the following:
- Find the nearest post office, bank, grocery store, and hospital
- Familiarize yourself with your street, neighbourhood and the closest shopping district
- Update your driver's license and car registration
- Find out about pickup options for garbage, yard waste and recycling (you can likely do this online as well)
- If moving to a condo or apartment, get acquainted with the building and ask for a copy of the rules and regulations
TIP: Changing your address well before you leave town can prevent major hassles like past-due bills, service lapses, and even identity theft.
Moving Day Survival Bag
Especially if you’re travelling far, you’ll need a moving day survival bag to tide you over for the journey and for those first few hours in your new home. Be sure to pack a bag that contains:
- Your wallet, chequebook and debit card
- Bottled water
- Toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, bathroom tissue, and soap
- Prescription medications
- Basic pain relievers like Advil, Tylenol or Aspirin
- Snacks that don't require refrigeration or cooking (granola bars, nuts, crackers, etc.)
- Scissors and tape
- A file with your closing documents if you're buying a new home
- Medical records
- Pet food and pet litter, if applicable
- Cash (twenty dollar bills) for tipping each mover
- Pen, paper and markers
At Your New Home
Try to arrive there before the moving truck does, so you have time to get some things done. Once you arrive:
- Do a walk through and make sure everything is where it's supposed to be
- Tape room names to doors to assist movers so they know what's going where
- Try to avoid putting boxes in the basement, where you won’t see them and probably won’t unpack them!
- Unpack one room at a time. The kitchen is a good place to start; it's the centre of most homes, and you can’t eat takeout forever
- Find friends fast: If you belong to a church, club, or professional organization, join a local chapter. Join a sports class or go online to the city’s website to find neighbourhood events and festivals you could volunteer at or attend.
Read more about renting after a home sale in the next chapter.