What Items to Move Into Your Condo

Moving into a brand new home is an exciting, but oftentimes extensive endeavor.

To simplify this transition, the Luxury Living team is here to suggest what items to move into your condo.

Overview of Items you Should Take

Deciding what to pack for your big move is nothing like preparing for a short-term trip or vacation. It generally comes with a great deal of pressure.

Before you get too stressed out, try breaking down your packing list by rooms. Figure out which rooms you have in your condo, and then list what necessities you need for each room.

Let’s say you’ve just purchased a fully furnished condo, complete with a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. Here’s what a very basic packing list may look like:

  • Kitchen:
    • Cooking and eating utensils
    • Cleaning supplies
  • Living Room
    • TV
    • Games
    • Extra storage
    • Blankets
  • Bathroom
    • Toilet paper
    • Toiletries
    • Towels
    • Cleaning supplies
  • Bedroom
    • Bedding
    • Clothes
    • Clothing hangers
    • Other personal items

During your initial move, try to worry only about the immediate essentials. Once you’ve moved the major items in, it will easy to shop for miscellaneous and smaller items.

Also, there’s always going to be things you skip over or forget, so don’t fret if the list isn’t perfect. 

Understanding Furnished vs. Unfurnished 

Purchasing a furnished home reduces the list of items needed to move into your condo. 

Furnished condos come with the essential stuff that makes a home livable. 

Basic furnishings generally include beds, wardrobes, sofas, tables, and chairs. Some luxury condos will come furnished with all the bells and whistles, including king beds, modern appliances, fitness equipment, and exquisite decor.

Fully furnished condos may be desirable for some buyers because they alleviate the stress of having to purchase or move these large, critical home staples. 

Keep in mind that furnishings will bump up the cost of the property. However, this price increase may be worth it.

If your condo is unfurnished, this means that all you are purchasing is the property itself. The decorating and finishing falls on the owner. 

Some buyers prefer their condo as a blank slate because they like the creative freedom to take the decorating into their own hands. Others prefer this arrangement because they already have suitable furnishings and don’t need to spend extra money on pre-existing furnishings.

Determining if You Need a Mover

Depending on the items you plan to move into your new condo, you may or may not need to hire a professional to help you with the task.

First, assess if you have the capacity and resources to move your items on your own. If you have a car or some people in your life who are willing to help with the move, professionals may not be necessary.

However, if you’re without a vehicle and have large furniture or items needed to be moved, hiring movers may be worth it.

Regardless, you may just find that hiring movers is a worthwhile investment, helping to alleviate the stress, time, and physical labor involved in big moves.

With a better understanding of what items to move into your condo, our hope is that you feel prepared and excited for your big move! Looking for more information? Check out our latest post about moving!

Condo Moving Tips

Top Chicago Condo Buyer Moving Tips

Purchasing a condo in the Windy City is an incredibly exciting opportunity. However, this big endeavor requires preparation and research beforehand.

To help streamline the moving process, the Luxury Living team is here to share essential condo buyer moving tips.

Get to Know the Neighborhoods

Each Chicago neighborhood has its own unique look and feel. It’s important that you feel at home in the community that you choose to call home.

If you’re looking for the true downtown experience, consider browsing condos in the Loop, the heart of downtown Chicago.

Streeterville, River North, and South Loop also provide authentic city living, with easy walking access to anything one may need, as well as some of the Windy City’s most popular attractions.

For those looking for a bit more peace and quiet, neighborhoods like Lincoln Park or Uptown may provide more of that ‘neighborhood charm’. You’ll find less high rises in these areas and more of a residential vibe.

Check out some of the West Chicago neighborhoods, including West Loop, Wicker Park, and Logan Square, for the trendiest spots to live. These booming areas have experienced exponential growth over recent years and showcase plenty of housing, dining, and retail options.

It’s also crucial to figure out which neighborhoods provide the most practical location for you. Is there a neighborhood you like that’s near your work or your school? 

If you’re moving without a car, consider living somewhere near public transit options. 

Determine Your Non-Negotiables

Along with narrowing down your preferred location, there’s plenty of other factors to take into consideration during house hunting.

When it comes to buying a condo in Chicago, it helps to create a list of must-haves to help direct your search.

Think about what’s necessary for you and your lifestyle.

Do you need an in-unit washer/dryer? Would you prefer a view? Would you like to be near public transit or do you need private parking? What type of amenities are important to you? Are you looking for a brand new building?

Once you narrow down features that you need in your new condo, it’ll be easier to filter your search.

Be sure to have realistic expectations and a budget that aligns with your non-negotiables.

Understand How Condo Associations Operate

Once you purchase a condo, chances are you will become an automatic member of a condo HOA (homeowner’s association).

These associations are comprised of other unit owners in a condominium building who are required to pay regular HOA dues and follow HOA rules. An elected board of directors also oversees the operations of the HOA.

The monthly or annual HOA fees help fund community maintenance services, such as snow and garbage removal, building repairs, and upkeep of amenities. 

Not only does this maintenance help alleviate resident’s stress and responsibilities, but it also helps ensure community curb appeal. The condo associations help keep condominium communities in pristine condition, promoting a desirable location for potential buyers and an enhanced environment for residents.

As you begin to condo shop, be sure to compare HOA fees. These costs can run anywhere from $80 to $500 a month.

It’s also important to inquire about your potential condo’s special assessments. 

Special assessments are funds that the condo association requires to complete a large project. While these significant projects aren’t very common, it’s important to know that they may come up and require you to pay more in association fees to cover the costs.

When narrowing down properties, ask about any planned special assessments or how one might work if there isn’t one in effect.

Figure Out Your Financing 

Buying a condo is a major investment. It’s critical to ensure that this endeavor is financially wise and feasible

Obtaining a mortgage to purchase a condo can be more difficult than a mortgage for a single-family home.

With this in mind, prospective buyers should be qualified and prepared for the process of applying for a loan.

When you walk into the bank to apply for a mortgage, the bank begins the underwriting process. During the phase, the bank will evaluate whether you have the means and credit to repay the loan and assess the property you’re purchasing.

The bank wants to verify that if you default on your mortgage, it can sell your property and recover most of its money.

Unlike mortgages of a single-family home, before banks will approve a mortgage for condos, they also will need to see the finances of your homeowner’s association, the legal condo documents, and the percentage of owner-occupied units at your prospective condo building.

Take Other Costs Into Consideration

Apart from the cost of your mortgage and HOA fees, purchasing a condo comes with additional expenses that you should budget for.

First, be prepared to pay homeowners insurance. Although Chicago doesn’t mandate homeowner’s insurance for condo owners, many homeowner’s associations require it. And even if it’s not required, it’s an excellent idea to keep your condo and assets protected.

Furnishing a condo can also quickly drain the bank account. Be sure to figure out how much money you are going to allocate towards the necessities to complete your home.

If your condo doesn’t have a controlled utility package, you’ll also have to add these costs to your list of expenses.

Find an Experienced Broker

Purchasing a condo is a substantial financial decision, especially if it’s your a first-time as a homebuyer. 

Consider teaming up with a licensed broker to assist you step-by-step through the process. These types of professionals can help alleviate stress, help in the decision-making process, and advocate on your behalf to get the best deal possible.

Our experienced team of real estate brokers includes top producers, negotiation experts, and savvy marketers who are eager to help you find your dream condo.

If you’re ready to begin the search for your new home, don’t feel like you have to walk through this process blind. Take advantage of these condo buyer moving tips and get in touch with a broker today!

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