Posts Tagged ‘Leaving Your Southern Home’

Home Improvement Tips: Boost Value, Sell Sooner

 Why Fix Up Your Home?

One of the primary reasons why individuals use our car transport services is in the case of residential moves. What if you cannot sell your house for the price you want? What if your home will not sell at all? The answer is home improvement.

Before selling a home, you, as the owner, will want to spot any problems that would prevent it from selling. Doing repairs will help you get your home back to its former glory, but it is important to be a smart seller. You must budget the cost of fixing everything against the home’s market value.

Here is why you should do home improvements:

  • To get the home of your dreams. It may be time to do home repairs if you cannot afford to sell your current home as is and move to a more expensive home.
  • To make a profit. Home improvement is a great DIY project. Doing a few minor renovations can increase your return investment on your property.

What renovations add the most value? You will get a better return investment out of certain renovations. Therefore, it is important to know which improvements are well worth the money and which ones can wait.

Here are a few renovations that add value to your home:

  • Kitchen Updates – Update the floors, appliances, and countertops in your home.
  • Bathroom Remodels – Remodel your bathroom make it more modern.
  • Landscape and Exterior – When a potential buyer first pulls up to the property, it will leave an impression. How does this first impression impact its selling potential?
  • Maintenance – This would include the roof, windows, and more. Not maintaining these features will greatly decrease the value of your home.

What Needs Fixing?

Your home may need minor or major repairs. Depending on the budget, you may decide to focus on different areas of the property. However, it is important to keep in mind that even partial renovations can increase the value of your home and give it the face-lift it needs.

Here are some general areas to focus on:

  • Walls and Ceilings – Patch up any existing holes and cracks. This will vary in expense depending on severity
  • Entryway – Redecorate the area with a new front door, house number, etc.
  • Improve Landscape – Improving the exterior is for the sake of curb appeal. Plant trees, bushes, and flowers.
  • Clean – You want the space to be clean for potential buyers when they look at the property.
  • Paint – It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. It can make the space look large and newer, but color choice is a big deal. You should stick to neutral colors, such as gray, beige, and cream. It is easy to paint over these colors. If the buyer wants a pop of color, leave that up to them.
  • Appliances – Fix any broken or faulty appliances, including kitchen appliances and HVAC system.
  • Plumbing – Check the plumbing to ensure that there are no water leaks and that all pipes are fully functional. Water pressure should be correct, as well.
  • Flooring – Replace flooring if it is stained, old, or out-of-date.
  • Windows and Doors – Replace any broken windows. Ensure that all doors can lock. External doors should be properly sealed to prevent water from entering the home. It is also important to check that all windows have screens.
  • Roof Repairs – A potential buyer will not care how the rest of the house looks if the roof leaks.
  • Lighting – Ensure that there are no electrical issues. This means checking all light fixtures, ceiling fans, and outlets to see that they are functioning as they should.

What should you do to fix code violations?

Some older homes do not meet standards. Violations can be fixed. You may need to check with your home builder or private inspector. Research the local building codes. These will be specific to your area. Then, have an inspection completed.

Remodeling Kitchens and Bathrooms

Kitchen and bathroom remodel projects add significant value to your home. It is crucial to add these rooms to your home renovation plan to maximize on your return investment. What should you do to add value?

Below, you will find a few considerations to improve upon your existing property:


  • Cabinets, Racks, Shelves – You can never have enough storage. Consider installing cabinets that reach the ceiling or shelves on an open wall. All this storage means more places to put your dishes, utensils, and more. To spruce up your existing cabinets, brush on a new coat of paint.
  • Commercial Appliances – When choosing appliances, the focus should be on the overall design and functionality. You want to select long-lasting appliances from trusted brands. Do your research by reading reviews.
  • Lighting – Lighting can make a big difference. It has the potential to make a room look larger and brighter. Consider adding dimmer switches to control the amount of light. You can even add under-cabinet lighting.
  • Wood or Stone Floors – Natural wood, as well as stone flooring, is long-lasting. It holds up well against general wear and tear.
  • Stone or Granite Countertops – Granite and stone countertops are a big selling point. It is available in a wide array of colors. Therefore, it can easily match with any kitchen design. Most importantly, granite and stone is long-lasting and does not require much maintenance.
  • Backsplash – Adding a backsplash is not as complicated as you may think. Not only does it add value to the space, but it adds style.


  • Walk-In Shower – If you do not have room for both a bathtub and a walk-in shower, consider replacing the tub with a walk-in shower.
  • Additional Bathroom – If your home is a one-bath house, consider adding another bathroom. This will significantly increase the value of your home.
  • Vanity – One easy way to improve your home’s bathroom is by transforming the vanity to make it more modern. Update the vanity with new paint, hardware, and light fixtures.

Outdoor Improvements

Updating the exterior of your home does not have to be overly expensive or time-consuming. It is about choosing the most important factors that will add curb appeal and ultimately increase value to interest buyers. Since many buyers view homes online first, curb appeal is a big deal.

Here are a few ways you can add value to your home’s exterior:

  • Landscaping – This means planting flowers, trees, and bushes. In addition, you may want to put mulch around these areas for added visual appeal. Make sure the lawn is cut. Lighting around the walkways leading up to the property is also a selling point.
  • Front Door – Replacing your front door can be beneficial to a sell. Get a door that is secure and energy-efficient.
  • Windows – Much like a door, the same goes for windows. You want to update your windows. Look for energy-efficient windows that will give you the most money back on your investment.
  • Fence – A wooden privacy fence provides a great return on your investment. It will attract buyers with pets and children. In addition, it is a plus for anyone who enjoys their privacy.
  • Paint – A fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Choose a neutral color.

Bonus Improvements

This is for people who want to go the extra mile and who have it in their budget to do so. Like how the newest car on the market has all the latest and greatest features, you may want this for your home. This is to attract more buyers.

Here are a few extra improvements you can make:

  • Smart Home Features – This is added technology that you can add to your house that can be controlled remotely from a phone or computer. It makes your life easier.
    • Doorbell – Speak with people at the door from the comfort of your couch.
    • Alarm system – Keep your home safe.
    • Lighting controls – Control the lighting of a room.
    • Thermostat – Control heating and air conditioning remotely.
    • Keyless entry – Do not worry about carrying keys. You won’t need them.
    • Shade control – Raise and lower window treatments at the push of a button.
    • Irrigation – Water the lawn to keep it looking good.
  • Barn Doors – This rustic decor piece is very popular with buyers. It is easy to make and install one. You can use a barn door for the entry to a home office, closet, and much more.
  • Fireplace – Many home buyers prefer a wood-burning fireplace. If your home already has a fireplace, you can update the look of it. It may just need a deep-cleaning or fresh coat of paint. To add a decorative element, attach a shelf or mantel if your fireplace does not have one.
  • Solar Vents – If your upstairs’ space gets extremely hot in the summer, consider adding solar vents in the attic. These vents help to push the hot air out, so that your HVAC system does not have to work so hard to cool off your home. They can be helpful in lowering the cost of utilities.

More General Home Improvement Tips

When you are thinking about doing a home renovation, there are some things to keep in mind. Before doing improvements, we recommend:

  • Know the Area – How much do homes in your neighborhood typically sell for? Be realistic with your home improvement plan. Do not go over the top. If there is room in the budget to add more space, it makes for a nice return and investment. This includes attics, bedrooms, family rooms, and sunrooms. However, you should not add so much space to price your home outside what the rest of the homes in the area are valued at.
  • Do Maintenance – General maintenance, such as roofing, siding, plumbing, and electrical should come first. After conducting maintenance on your property, then you review the budget and decide what is next.
  • Spend Money Wisely – Where do people spend the most time? When considering where you want to invest your money, think about this. The best returns are on bathrooms, landscaping and exterior, kitchens, bedrooms, deck additions, basement remodels, and family room additions.

Moving Out Of Your Home

Now that you have done renovations on your house, your home will sell much more easily and you will get a better return investment. The next step is moving. When it comes time to move out of your home, consider our auto transport services.

Why use a car shipping company?

  • Easy – Moving can be stressful, but it should not be. With the help of National Dispatch, moving your vehicle to your new home is easy from start to finish. It all starts with a free, instant car shipping quote on our website. Our online quote calculator is easy-to-use and requires no personal information. You will receive a quote in seconds.
  • Convenient – Our door-to-door car shipping service is convenient, because we come directly to your door. Our driver will come pick up the car from your home and deliver it to its destination.
  • Safe – Using a professional auto transport company means that your vehicle will be delivered in a safe and timely manner. We offer both open and enclosed auto transport services to fit your unique needs and budget. You can be rest assured that your car is in the best hands.

National Dispatch is a nationwide car shipping company with a company-owned fleet. We transport vehicles all over the country for individuals undergoing a residential move, corporate relocation, dealer-to-dealer trade, military relocation, snowbird move, and more.

We ship cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, and motorcycles. In addition, we transport classic, sports, exotic, and luxury cars. National Dispatch also has the means to transport your non-running vehicle. We understand that you are an individual with unique needs. Therefore, we tailor our car shipping services to meet those specific needs.

Use our online quote calculator to receive a free, instant car shipping quote. Only four simple fields of information are required. No need to input personal information to receive a quote in seconds. If you prefer to speak with a representative by phone, contact us at 800-321-2051.

Learn more about our car shipping services.

Snowbirds: Car Shipping And Helpful Tips For The Seasons

Flying Back Home

The wintry weather is coming to an end, and Spring is in the air! For a snowbird, these upcoming months are of the utmost importance. It is time to start thinking about making the trip back to your northern home.

As a snowbird, you reap the benefits of a mild summer in the north and warmer winter in the south. By making this trip, however, there is an appropriate amount of planning involved and tasks that should be accomplished before your return.

National Dispatch has created for you a checklist of tasks that need to be completed before leaving your southern home. In addition, we have provided for you helpful tips for your next journey, including everything you need to know on shipping your car.

What is a Snowbird? Better Question: Who is a Snowbird?

If you are not a snowbird, you might have been confused as you started to read this article. If this is an actual bird, why does it need help planning its trip home? And, what is it going to do with a car? Let us explain.

  • A snowbird is a person. Snowbird is the term given to a group of people who travel to a warmer climate during the winter months, starting in October. These travelers leave their home in the North to seek residence in the South. Most of these individuals make up the population between the ages of 50 and 70 years old.
  • There are many destinations. The common destinations include Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, California, and Texas. Some snowbirds even go to such places as Las Vegas or Hawaii to escape the harsh winter.
  • Snowbirds have their reasons. There are many reasons to get way from the cold winters associated with the North. Not only is it nice to soak up the sun, freezing temperatures can produce hazardous sheets of ice. This is dangerous for both walking and driving. In addition, shoveling snow is a strenuous activity to undertake.
  • Some will seek permanent residence. Some snowbirds will eventually seek permanent residence in their southern home. There is a long To-Do list that must be completed before leaving and upon arrival. A snowbird should prepare their northern home for the winter, register their vehicle in the southern state, and notify the United States Postal Service of their temporary change in address. These are essential tasks to accomplish, because a snowbird may leave from three to five months.

Leaving Your Southern Home

Now, we have discussed who a snowbird is, the common destinations of travel, and reasons to migrate during the winter months. If you are a snowbird or thinking of becoming one, we have listed a few tasks to remember to complete before leaving the south.

Here are a few of the jobs that you will want to complete:

  • Hire someone to check-in on the place. Your southern home will sit unoccupied for many months until it is time for you to make that journey again. Ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to stop in once or twice a month to ensure that no problems have come about.
  • Do a walk-through inspection. As if you were buying the home for the first time, walk through the property, checking for anything that could present a hazard. Go ahead and bring in or tie down any outdoor furniture that might be blown away in a large storm.
  • Set your AC appropriately. You are not going to be at this home for some time, so setting the thermostat at 70 degrees would not be economical. Put the thermostat to a higher setting, such as 85 degrees. This way it will remain running while you are gone.
  • Close the blinds. Make sure that you close the blinds or curtains. This will prevent the harsh rays of the run from shining in to your home while you are away. Closed blinds also make it difficult for people to look into your home.
  • Clean up. You do not want to come back to a dirty home, so do a little light cleaning. Also, clean out the refrigerator and the pantry, since you will be gone for several months. You do not want to return to unwelcome visitors (i.e. ants) taking up residence in your home.
  • Turn off and unplug appliances. Before leaving your southern home, make sure that the stove and other appliances are turned off. Anything that is not necessary to keep running while you are gone can be unplugged.
  • Remember to lock up. Do not forget to lock up all exterior doors and windows. If you have a sliding glass door, a security bar can be used for extra protection. If you have a garage door, you will want to make sure that it is secure, as well.  Set the alarm if you have one.

Upon Returning to Your Northern Home

You have left your temporary home in the South and have returned to your Northern home, just in time for Spring. Now, it is time to prepare your home to be lived in, once again.

Here are a few tasks to remember to complete upon your return:

  • Contact the United States Postal Service. During the time spent away from your primary residence, you probably requested that your mail be forwarded. Upon your return, you will need to make sure that this service is terminated.
  • Adjust the thermostat. You turned down the temperature, so that heat would not be running in a vacant home. This was to save energy and money. Now that you are home, it is time to adjust the thermostat to a comfortable setting.
  • Tell your friends, family, and neighbors. You may have asked someone to stop by your northern home occasionally to make sure there were not any problems. Let your friends, family, and close neighbors know of your arrival.
  • Plug in appliances. All of those electronic appliances and gadgets that you unplugged can be plugged back in.
  • Resume services. You may have asked your cable or internet provider to pause or delay your services while you were gone. If this is the case, then you will need to contact the company to resume services.
  • Turn your water back on. Water is a necessity, so you want to make sure that it is up and running immediately. When turning your water back on, check to make sure that you do not have any leaks, cracks, or busted pipes.

The Next Trip

It’s currently Spring time, and you recently made the journey back North from your temporary home in the South. Before you know it, it will be time to start thinking about making your next trip. We have created a To-Do list of tasks to complete before leaving your northern home, along with information on how to make the next trip even better.

To-Do List: Leaving Your Northern Home

  • Turn down the temperature on your thermostat.
  • Turn off the water.
  • Bring outdoor furniture inside.
  • Unplug electronics and other appliances.
  • Establish mail forwarding.
  • Let friends, family or neighbors know that you are leaving.
  • Secure the home (alarms, locks, etc.).
  • Clean your home.
  • Pause cable and internet services.
  • Forward calls from your home phone or create a special voicemail.
  • Set lights on timers.
  • Ask someone to keep your pet(s).

Making the Most Out of Your Future Trip

How can you make the next trip better? Instead of driving a thousand miles from New York to Florida, consider shipping your car. It’s fast and simple. In the next section, we will outline the specific reasons why this is the best option for you.

Why Should You Ship Your Car?

There are many reasons why snowbirds drive their car to their southern home. They may not know of the other options available or believe that driving is the simplest choice. However, there is another option available, using a car shipping company.

Here are a few points on why you should consider shipping your car:

  • Driving can be dangerous. The whole purpose of leaving the North for the winter is to escape the brutal cold and all of the hazards that snow and ice may cause. However, driving hundreds of miles can be dangerous, as well. Depending on when you leave, you face the possibility of running into winter weather along the way. In addition, there is always the chance of getting into an accident when making a long car trip.
  • Traffic, we all hate it. “I love sitting in hours of traffic.” – Said no one ever. When you make the trip from your northern home to your temporary home in the South, you run the risk of traffic. Traffic causes frustration and stress, which does not start the trip off right. Why risk it when you could fly to your destination stress-free?
  • Driving can get expensive. When you make any trip, there are expenses involved. You must stop for gas and food. If it is a long journey, you may want to stay at a hotel for one night or two to break the trip up.
  • Shipping your car is easy. Door-to-door service is provided by the car transport company. Not only can you track your vehicle, the driver is accessible along the way and will notify you with updates, such as an estimated time of arrival.
  • Car shipping means less wear on the vehicle. If you were to drive your car from your northern home in New York to your southern home in Florida, that would put approximately 1000 miles on your vehicle, one-way. Year-after-year, you make this same trip, putting more miles on your car. More miles means more wear on the tires.

Choosing National Dispatch:

It is understandable to be cautious when choosing a car shipping company. After all, you are entrusting them with transporting your vehicle from one destination to another without any problems or damages.

Here are few reasons why you should choose National Dispatch to ship your car:

  • We have a company-owned fleet. Not all auto transport companies own their own car carriers, but we do.
  • Request an instant free car-shipping quote anytime. You can fill out a quote online, without including any personal information. All we need is the vehicle make and model, pickup location, and delivery location. You will receive your quote in seconds!
  • We are dedicated to our customers. Our customers include individuals relocating, auto dealerships, vacationers, car collectors, corporations, construction teams, military personnel, and more. We listen to our customers and because of dedication to service, we receive repeat business, frequently.
  • Pick-up and delivery is in a timely manner. We provide door-to-door service, so the process is fast and easy. Our drivers are always accessible by phone and will contact you before their arrival.
  • We transport a variety of vehicles. We will transport your motorcycle, classic car, or luxury vehicle. IN addition, we ship both running and non-running cars.
  • We provide our services statewide and nationwide. No matter where your southern home is located in the United States, we will get your vehicle to its destination.
  • We offer a variety of options for transporting your car. We offer both open and enclosed car carriers to suit your needs. When choosing an enclosed car carrier, you vehicle will be transported in an enclosed trailer, free from dust, grime, and the elements of the road.

Kick Your Feet Up

Spring is in the air, and winter is coming to a close. We hope that these tips for leaving your southern home will prove useful in the weeks to come. As you think about making your next trip, use the To-Do list for leaving your northern home to make your life a little easier. Consider using a car shipping company to transport your vehicle to its destination. Its fast, simple, and worry-free.

Choose National Dispatch for your car shipping needs. You can count on our knowledgeable and skilled drivers to transport your vehicle in a safe and timely manner. Get a free instant car shipping quote by going to You can also call 800-321-2051 to speak to one of our auto transport specialists.