People and Businesses to Notify Once You Change Your Mailing Address

Whether it’s your first time moving, or you haven’t moved in a while, you might not be in the know about how many people or businesses you’ll need to contact and give your new address to when you move. But don’t fret, as we’ve listed who to contact below to assist you with your change-of-address process.

  • Post office (set up forwarding address with your new address or P.O. box; NOTE: There could be a small fee for this)
  • The local DMV (Department/ Registry Motor Vehicles) for vehicle registration purposes
  • Local Voter Registration
  • Employer (so they know exactly where to send your future paychecks [if you don’t do direct deposit] and tax forms)
  • Your bank or credit union
  • Your accountant
  • Your lawyer/attorney
  • Loan issuers/student loan companies/Financial Aid issuers
  • Investors
  • Pension plans
  • All your insurance companies (life insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, auto insurance, homeowner or renter’s insurance, and other insurance [motorcycle, boat, etc.])
  • Your utility companies (gas, water, electric or solar power)
  • Your Internet service provider
  • Your cable or satellite provider
  • Your cell phone carrier
  • Your home services (garbage service, lawn or gardening service, pool services and any other home keeping or cleaning services)
  • Your (or your children’s) doctors and dentists
  • Veterinarian (if you have pets)
  • Babysitter or dog sitter (or other pet sitters)
  • Any magazines you’re subscribed to
  • Subscription boxes (or meal services)
  • Retail club or loyalty programs (think of your local grocery stores, big box stores or bulk product stores you have cards with)
  • Your church
  • Your children’s school & the school’s Parent-Teacher Association
  • Girl/Boy Scouts or other youth organizations
  • IRS (Internal Revenue Services; this is only if you have ongoing correspondence with them; they can find you otherwise)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs (if you’re a veteran)
  • INS office (Green Card, visas, work permits) if you’re an immigrant or temporary visitor
  • Your streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Rhapsody, etc.)
  • Online shopping services (like Amazon)
  • Online GPS/mapping services (such as Google Maps)

This is list is not necessarily comprehensive, so if a person or another business or association wasn’t mentioned above, it doesn’t mean you don’t still need to contact them. (e.g. your therapist, an Alcohol Anonymous sponsor, professional memberships and/or licensing boards, etc.). Make sure all your bases are covered.

Many of these change-of-address notifications are free, but there could still be a fee associated with certain federal or local government-related changes (likely with your driver’s license and potentially with the U.S. Postal Service). Do your research to see what, if anything, you need to pay for those.

List of Things to Do Before You Move Into a Rental

You’ve picked out your home, done your walk-through of the rental, signed the lease, and now you’re just about ready to move in. But, aside from packing, what should you be doing before you move in? Here’s a short list of things to check off before you’re officially ready to move in.

First, make sure the locks to your apartment are changed. This was previously discussed in the blog post titled “List of Things to Do During (and After) a Rental Walk-Through, Part I”, but only concerning faulty locks. The truth is, you have no idea how many other people the previous tenant gave copies of their keys to (and, not to mention, you have no idea who these people are). So change the locks regardless. You can ask your landlord to replace the locks, or, if allowed, get them changed yourself with the help of a locksmith.

Next, see what kind of cleaning your lease requires and schedule a cleaning day. Whether it’s you (along with friends and/or family) or professionals, make sure it’s a thorough cleaning of your rental. This might have been done shortly after the previous tenants moved out, and you can always ask your landlord if a cleaning was done. But you take the time to do the cleaning yourself, you’ll know for sure that everything is clean and was cleaned properly.

Speaking of cleaning, once you get to the bathroom, if your landlord allows it, you should change the toilet seat. You can change it yourself or ask your landlord to have someone do it for you.

Also, plan ahead for designing your rental. If you haven’t already, ask your landlord if you’re allowed to paint your walls. If so, figure out what colors work best with the furniture that will go in the rooms you’re painting. Take measurements of your space and figure out where you want to put your furniture (or, rather, where you want the movers to put the furniture). If you haven’t bought the furniture yet, figure out what colors you want for the furniture and what size it needs to be so it won’t be too small or too big for your space.

If not already done by your landlord, complete your utility arrangements with your landlord and/or the utility companies and confirm installation date of new utilities, such as Internet, electricity and gas. Also, reconfirm your move-in date with the movers (whether that’s a professional moving company or family and/or friends who are helping you move).

Ask your landlord if a parking spot can be reserved for your moving day. This could mean pulling into the back or side alley or getting a parking spot right out front.

If necessary, withdraw whatever cash you’ll need for moving day, such as money for the movers and cash for ordering in a meal or two.

If this will be your first time moving into your own place, check out our previous post, Things First-Time Movers Will Likely Need, and use it to make a checklist of essentials and other things you still need to get for your new home.

Things First-Time Movers Will Likely Need

If this is your first time moving into a place of your own (i.e. non-dorm living facility, such as your first apartment), whether you’ll have roommates or not, there are several things you’ll need for your new place. Here is an extensive (but not entirely comprehensive) list of what you need to have. (Please note that you do not need to outright buy everything listed below. Find thrift stores or garage sales for some of these items, or see if your friends and family have items you can take that they don’t want or need anymore.)

No matter what, you’re going to want to have some place to sleep in your new place. You’ll need a bed, meaning you at least need the basics – pillows, a mattress, mattress cover/protector, a sheet set and a bed frame. If you have the funds, consider whether or not you need pillow protectors, a blanket or duvet for warmth, and a mattress pad or mattress topper for more comfort. If even the basics aren’t in your budget yet, or you’re waiting to pick up your bed from the store, or you’re waiting for it to arrive via a truck shipment, at least get a blow-up mattress to sleep on until your bed comes in. You can always keep the blow-up mattress for unexpected guests if you don’t have an extra bed on hand.

You’ll also need a nightstand to store things in and set things on, like books, reading glasses, your cell phone, an alarm clock (P.S. – If you don’t have one, buy one; you need this even if you use your phone, because if your phone dies or gets stolen, you use the alarm clock and still get up on time for work and other engagements), your laptop or other small electronics, and a drink (water, tea, wine – whatever your preference). If you have a lot of things to store, consider getting two nightstands. (And no, they don’t have to match. You can always paint them to match each other later on.)

You also need a place to put your clothing and accessories. The closet is the obvious spot, so you’ll need hangers and possibly some storage totes designed for closet use. But you should also have a least one dresser on hand for your undergarments, socks and whatever basic things you normally wear around your house (t-shirts, boxer shorts, pajamas sets, etc.), and some drawer organizers to keep things organized. If your closet isn’t big enough, or you simply don’t have a closet for some reason, definitely get a second (and maybe even a third) dresser, or consider getting an armoire. Under-bed storage can be used as well.

Get a full-length mirror for dressing purposes and put it in your closet or on your bedroom door.

Also, consider buying a fan or space heater for your bedroom if your place doesn’t have sufficient heating or cooling and a lamp for extra lighting if you need it.

Now that we’ve discussed the bedroom and closet areas, here is what you’ll need for the rest of your living space.

For cleaning purposes in various areas of your home, you’ll need glass cleaner, surface cleaner or disinfectant (wipes are fine), a vacuum, a broom and dust pan, a mop and mop bucket (or just get a steam mop), garbage cans for each room in your home, along with garbage bags (you can use the plastic grocery bags for smaller trash cans if you want to save money), an ironing and ironing board (or a steamer), laundry detergent, fabric softener, a laundry basket, dish soap (which could also double as hand soap in your kitchen and bathroom if necessary), a drying rack for those same dishes, cloths (you can wash these and reuse them instead of buying disinfectant wipes or use up your paper towels) and gloves (if you want to avoid touching germy things).

For your bathroom, you’ll need toilet paper, a toilet brush, a plunger, hand soap (bar or liquid, or both), a soap dish, bath rugs, bath towels and wash cloths, a towel hook or bar, a shower curtain and liner, shower curtain rings, a shower caddy, a toothbrush holder (yes, even if you have an electric toothbrush, you should have a holder to fit extra toothbrushes in it for guests), hair styling tools and necessities (shampoo and conditioner at the least, a blow dryer, hot curler and hair straightener at the most), toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) and a first aid kit along with some over-the-counter medication and any of your own prescription medication. (If you’re ok with weighing yourself, you can also include a bath scale.)

For your kitchen, you’ll need a table, chairs (these don’t have to match, as you can paint or upholster them to match each other later), food storage containers (for microwave and oven purposes, glassware storage is better than plastic-ware), plates, bowls, glass and plastic cups, flatware, coffee mugs, a knife set (especially if you do a lot of cooking), pots, pans, mixing bowls (if you get glass instead of plastic, you can microwave them without an issue), measuring cups and spoons, bakeware (cupcake or muffin pan, cake pan, cookie and baking sheets), cooking and baking utensils (wooden spoons, silicone spatulas, whisks, tongs, ladle), an ice cream scoop, a cutting board, a can opener (can be manual or automatic), a colander or other type of strainer, dish towels, potholders or oven mitts, table cloths, placemats, napkins and paper towels, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, wax and parchment paper (and no, they are not the same thing, and it does matter when you cook or bake), and a fire extinguisher. Depending on your diet and how much food you make at home, you can decide whether or not you need or want larger kitchen appliances like a hand-mixer, a food processor, a blender/smoothie maker, a juicer, a coffee machine, a frother (manual or automatic), an ice cream maker, a bread maker.

For your living room, you’ll need a sofa/couch (at least 2 pieces), an end table, a coffee table, a throw blanket, a bookshelf (doesn’t haven’t to be a large one; just needs enough space to display and store things), an entertainment center (you can use a bookshelf or two as a replacement for this), a few extra chairs for seating, a lamp, a TV and a DVD or Blu-Ray player.

If you have designated office space in your home, you’ll need a desk (preferably with drawers), a chair, and possibly some extra storage space such as a cabinet for any papers or files that don’t fit in your desk.

Some extra items you might need for your home includes a welcome mat, coat rack for your entrance area (especially if you don’t have a coat closet), an internet router/modem, a surge protector for any area where you’ll have multiple electronics in use, extension cords, light bulbs, batteries, a flashlight, a tool set (make sure you have both a flat-head and philips screwdriver, a hammer, nails, screw, measuring tape, and a level), a humidifier (or de-humidifier), smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

While decorations might be the least necessary thing, they can add some personality to your home and help make it feel more like home. This includes picture frames, canvases, and other wall art, throw pillows, rugs, lamps, decorative vanity trays, mirrors, wall clocks, curtains, candles, flowers and plants (can be real or fake, whatever works best for you), and any quirky items or collectors’ items you might own. Even as a renter, you might be able to paint, which can give your home an entirely new look and feel.

As previously stated, this is not a comprehensive list of things you need for your new place. There might be things not listed here that you need to add to your checklist. But there is plenty listed to help get you situated in your new home.

List of Things to Do During (and After) a Rental Walk-Through, Part II

  • Check the air conditioner (and heater if there is one) to make sure they work on all settings. Unusual sounds or smells might mean it needs a filter change, or it could be another issue.
  • If your rental has a fireplace, make sure it works.
  • Make a note of any particular scents you smell, like cigarette smoke, pet odor, or even moldiness. If the smell is bothersome enough, ask management about it. You might be able to request a thorough cleaning of the living space before you move in.
  • Do a safety check for a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and a fire extinguisher. If these aren’t located in your rental, you’ll need to buy (and possibly install) them yourself. Also, ask whether or not the complex has a fire safety plan (and tornado safety plan if the rental is in a tornado-prone area). You need to know where to go in case of an emergency.
  • If your rental has a laundry facility, ask where it is, then visit the facility. Make sure it is within a favorable distance and is in a safe area. Also, make sure their washers and dryers are all in working order.
  • Check for proper lighting on the property, especially in the parking areas, as well as external hallways (if your rental has any).
  • Make sure the overall parking is adequate. You should be able to get in and out of parking spaces without much of a problem.
  • If your potential rental happens to have security gates, make sure they’re in working order.
  • If it’s possible, visit the housing or apartment complex during both the day and night, and do it on both a weekday and weekend. It will give you an idea of what you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis. You’ll know ahead of time how much noise you’ll be dealing with, as well as how safe the neighborhood is.

Note any and all current and potential issues you find and bring them up with the landlord before signing the lease. Get details on the security deposit and take care of any necessary repairs.

After you visit your potential home (and also before you sign the lease), find and read reviews about your building. It will give you some insight into any maintenance problems or other management issues that you could be dealing with in the future should you choose to live there.

List of Things to Do During (and After) a Rental Walk-Through, Part I

You’ve finally found the rental home you want to live in, and you’re ready to move in. But before you sign your lease, you need to do a walk-through. Here’s what to remember.

  • Do a walk-through of the actual apartment you’ll be living in, not the model. You need to know what’s wrong (and what’s right) with your potential living space before you move into it.
  • Use your cell phone or a camera to take photos of any visible damage or other problems. Use flash when necessary (or use a flashlight if your flash feature isn’t working). These photos will be proof if and when you decide to sign the lease.
  • Check the front door locks when you’re walking in. If they seem faulty, speak with management and discuss replacing them. Make sure to get a key for each lock. Also make sure the front door is properly sealed.
  • Check the other doorknobs to see if they are indeed secure. They might need to be fixed or replaced.
  • Look for any cracks, holes, stains, dents, chipping, peeling, as well as signs of mold, mildew and other water damage on or in the floors, walls and even the ceiling.
  • Look for proof of a bug or rodent infestation. This includes holes, chew marks and small droppings.
  • Play a little with the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom areas. (You might want to turn on the shower as well.) Take notice of the water pressure, whether or not there is hot water, and any weird sounds coming from the pipes.
  • Flush the toilet in each bathroom to make sure they flush properly and don’t have potential flooding issues.
  • Check the bathroom mirror for any discoloration or cracking, and check to see that the medicine cabinet and any additional drawers open and shut properly.
  • Make sure your kitchen pantry and drawers open and close without any issues.
  • If your rental comes with a refrigerator and any appliances, check each of them out (and turn on if necessary) to make sure they meet your needs and standards.
  • Go in every room and flip each light switch.
  • Bring your phone charger and plug it into different outlets around the rental. Make sure the outlets are working.
  • Make sure your windows have screens. If not, and you choose to move in, screens will need to be put in. Also open and shut the blinds, as well as any and all windows in the rentals. If you can’t easily open or shut a window, it could be a problem in the future, particularly for safety reasons (such as fumes or fire safety).

Instant Cash for your Portales or Clovis Home

Using a realtor to buy or sell a home has some advantages. But someone has to pay the commission. Plus the process takes longer and there are more hoops to jump through.

If you are trying to sell your home, you want the deal done as quickly as possible. But you have to find a buyer, and they will probably want a home inspection, they have to get financing, get approved, haggle the price with you, etc.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just call one number, get a fair quote for your home and then get cash right away?

Combs’ Properties pays cash for homes! Just call 1-800-898-3043.

Combs’ buys all types of properties, so you don’t have to worry, including the sale of apartments, townhouses, duplexes, multi-family dwellings and everything in-between.

Get cash for your home now!

Cannon Air Force Off-Base Housing

Living on the Cannon Air Force Base allows for a lot of opportunity, but for a lot of men and women serving, outside options would better handle their needs. The base is only 7 miles from Clovis so there are a lot of apartment and housing options nearby.

It all starts with what type of residence you want to have. If you are going to be stationed at Cannon for a long period of time, it might be a good idea to look at buying a piece of property. Even if you have to relocate suddenly, you could use the unit as an investment.

Grow equity and have a renter pay on the mortgage if you move. You can even get a property management company to look over every aspect while you are away—from renting and turns to maintenance requests and tenant concerns.

When it comes to renting an apartment or a townhouse, it’s about what level of luxury you want to experience. Are you looking for a new build, a backyard, a certain kind of neighborhood, a full-time maintenance staff, etc.?

If you are not sure exactly what you need or want to start looking at some properties right now, a good place to start is with largest privately owned rental agency in both Roosevelt and Curry Counties—Combs’ Properties.

Combs’ has both home and apartment rentals, as well as new builds that allow you to get in on the ground level for the best possible price. Fox Trails Estate, for example, are new luxury town homes in a secluded community.

Ready to start shopping for your new home? Just click and browse with Combs’ Properties.

Estate Living in Portales, New Mexico

The Portales and Clovis areas of New Mexico have a lot to offer—that is why real estate is in high demand in both places. A great university, hospitals that provide excellent care and military installations are just some of the reasons people love living there.

The key is to find a house, apartment or luxury home at a good price and that will actually give you the peace of mind you want. Because there are a lot of new people coming in and out of Portales, the rental market can become very convoluted.

For most perspective renters, the first thing they want to know about is the cost. If money wasn’t an issue, we’d all have beachfront condos in many different locations. The key is to set your budget and then allow for some wiggle room.

The second key consideration is what type of unit you want. Just because you will be renting, doesn’t mean you have to settle for a small apartment. A lot of people don’t realize that there are affordable townhouses and estates so you don’t have to settle for a simple apartment in a complex.

Take Fox Trails Estates, for example. Whether you are searching for family living or just want more space in a relaxing, safe environment, Fox Trails might just be the perfect place.

Fox Trails is close to local shopping and commerce, but still gives you that luxury home appeal. You will have your own backyard that is fenced in for added privacy. There are two or three bedroom luxury townhouses to choose from so you can be sure you are getting what you need.

See if Fox Trails is right for you: http://combs-properties.com/foxtrail-estates-news/

How to Hack Your Quest for the Perfect Apartment

There’s no way around it: apartment hunting is tiring. Whether you’re searching in Clovis or Portales, your quest to find the perfect apartment requires a lot of looking, a lot of traveling, and a lot of compromises. If you want to make apartment hunting less of a chore, then you only need to take a few steps. Some of these tips are designed to speed up your search; others are meant to prevent you from making a mistake.

 

  1. Know your tools

If you want to speed your search up, you need to be aware of the apartment-hunting tools that are out there. If you’re searching online, then Apartments.com is your go-to tool. Apartments.com is easier for narrowing down your specific needs. Prefer a Condo over an Apartment? Need a dishwasher and in-unit washer and dryer? Want an apartment that is dog friendly but not cat friendly? Whatever your specific needs are, Apartments.com has you covered. Take advantage of their 3D floorplans and walkthroughs of select apartments and be sure to look at the reviews of the place you’re looking at. There are over 150 apartments in Clovis and Portales, so you’re allowed to be selective. Don’t forget about using Craigslist, local listings, and your friends to help find your future home.

 

  1. Know the true costs

When you’re looking at an apartment, the property manager will be sure to tell you your rent and utility costs, but there are always unexpected costs to every apartment. Try asking other tenants what their utility bills are and how much they fluctuate. Ask your cable or internet company if they offer your same service in the potential apartment. Check with your insurance company to see if your renters insurance or car insurance will go up because of your move. Some apartments offer lower prices during the winter, so waiting to move might save you money every month. Look at the local restaurants and stores to see if they’re cheaper or more expensive compared to what you currently live near. It’s not uncommon to find an apartment with lower rent, but a higher cost of living, so be sure to account for those costs that aren’t your rent.

 

  1. Stay for a night

If you’ve found an apartment that fits all of your criteria and is within your cost range, it’s time to take it for a test run. We don’t mean a small, 30-minute walk through with the property manager in a show unit. Ask the property manager if you can stay a night or two in the apartment you’re looking to rent. You’ll get a chance to test the shower, sinks, cupboards, lights, and more. You’ll get to see what there is to do around the apartment and see what it’s like living next to your neighbors during the morning and night. It only takes one night to find out if your neighbors are too loud or that your shower only has five minutes of hot water. These things tend to hurt even more when you know you just signed a one-year lease.

 

If you are searching for a new apartment in Clovis or Portales, let us make your search easier. We can find apartments that suit your needs and your budget, saving you the hassle of apartment hunting. Reach out through our online contact form or give us a call at 1-800-989-3043.

Finding the Right Homeowners Insurance

There are many options in the Clovis and Portales regions of New Mexico for optimal homeowners insurance.

Once you are in contract to buy a home, it’s time to start shopping for insurance. The regulations and requirements vary from state to state, but more than likely you will need to purchase homeowners insurance.

If you are getting financing from a bank or another financial institution, they will require you to get insurance to protect the loan. In the rare case that you would be paying cash for the property, it is still a good idea to insure your big investment against accidents and the unforeseen.

To find the best insurance rate for your home, begin by shopping around. Just because the bank from where you are getting the loan offers insurance, doesn’t mean you have to get it through them. That can be a good place to start, but then pit their offer against other places.

It doesn’t have to be a long process to get a quote. Email or call, give some information about your home and you should be able to get numbers from numerous companies.

Once you have some numbers, then start really looking at the policy itself. Do you need flood protection, identity theft coverage, do you want a higher or lower deductible? Factor those into the final price to ensure you are getting the best, most comprehensive coverage that fits your needs.