Many veterans rely on their pets for companionship and anxiety relief, so it’s no wonder that when a move is imminent, making sure the animals are safe and comfortable is a priority. If you’ve been considering a downsize recently, you can take the stress out of the process by planning ahead for both your pet and the move itself. Consider the financial aspect, how you’ll prepare your current home for sale, and how you can make packing and decluttering as easy as possible. Start by taking a look at your credit score and learning about your mortgage options; Mortgages For America has several helpful resources to help you get started.
Get your finances in order
There are several mortgage options for veterans these days, many of which require little to no down payment. Your options may vary according to where you live, so do some research and find out which ones you qualify for. If necessary, download a credit monitoring app and look for simple ways to boost your score; even if it’s not required by the mortgage lender, it could help you get a better interest rate.
It’s also important to take the cost of the move itself into consideration. Hiring movers, paying utility and storage fees, and covering the cost of a pet sitter or kennel stay to keep your pet safe during the move can all add up. Start a moving fund that will give you peace of mind when the big day comes.
Get your home ready
Once you have the financials taken care of, it’s time to think about getting your current home ready to sell. Pet owners usually have a few extra cleaning tasks to handle, such as repairing floor and wall damage; removing hair, dander, and carpet spots; and removing items like toys, litter boxes, and food bowls just before a viewing. Keep in mind that even if the buyers who come to look at your home love animals, pets can have a negative effect on your sale.
If you have mobility limitations or are feeling overwhelmed by your chore list, recruit a friend or family member to help you clean and declutter. You should also think about your pet’s safety and comfort at this time, as animals can become anxious or stressed when change occurs in the home. Give him plenty of attention, keep his schedule the same, and ensure that cleaning materials are out of reach.
Give yourself plenty of time
Once you start the cleaning process, you’ll want to think about which items you’ll take to the new home with you. Downsizing is a big job, so you’ll want plenty of time to go through collections, clothing, and furniture to make decisions without stress. You can sort these items and donate them, or sell the ones you don’t want to take to the new place and make some extra money to put toward the move. This can sometimes be an emotional process, so it might be helpful to ask a loved one to help or just to be there for moral support. Don’t forget to consider what your pet’s needs will be in the new house, as well; for instance, a smaller bed or scratching post might be necessary for the smaller space. Create a plan for moving day that will give you peace of mind about his wellbeing, including pet-proofing the new home.
Give your pet some freedom
Because a downsize does mean less room, it might be a good idea to give your pet a little more freedom. If your new place has a fenced-in yard, consider installing a cat door that will allow him to come and go as he pleases. There are several options on the market, so do some research to find out whether the one you like is easy to install and clean, as well as whether replacement parts are available in the event of damage. You’ll also want to make sure it can be locked securely.
Have a question about your mortgage options? Contact Mortgages For America today.