Things First-Time Movers Will Likely Need to know

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).

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:

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 is your go-to tool. 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, 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.

Selling Your Home as Fast as Possible

When it comes time to sell, you want the process to happen as quickly and as easily as you can. The good news is that you have a lot of options. Combs’ Properties, for example, will pay cash for your home so you can get it sold right away. They also offer financial services in the Portales and Clovis areas.

Either way you choose to sell, remember that you want your home to look perfect when potential buyers come to look at the property. Here are some quick staging tips to get the most out of your home.

Don’t let blank or unused spaces just sit there.  Use extra rooms in the best possible way. It may have been just been a storage room for you, but show the prospective buyers that it could be a pantry, tool area, spare bedroom or something similar.

Also, remember to spruce up your awkward areas. A dead spot can easily be enhanced by a plant or a small table. Make sure you walk through your home and are satisfied with all the areas before you show it. If something’s not right, take the time to tweak it so it blends in with everything else.

Home buying or selling questions? Call the experts at Combs’ Properties: 800-898-3043.

When to Sell Your Home

If you’re looking to sell your home, timing it perfectly can be tricky. Obviously, you want to wait until the market is right, but there are also several other factors that come into play.

Based on your reasons for selling – it’s not always ideal to wait for the perfect market conditions. For example, if you’re moving because of a job re-location or increase in family size, you may want to put your home on the market as quickly as possible. If your motives are solely financial and you aren’t in a hurry, you have the luxury of being able to wait for the market and the ideal time to sell.

Of course, you will need to find a realtor. Interviewing a few different realtors will provide you with options and perhaps different opinions on current market conditions. Having a trustworthy realtor whom you feel comfortable with will take a lot of the load off your shoulders. However, preparing a home for a sale is a lot of work. Taking time to make necessary repairs and improvements is essential, as many buyers don’t want to have to work on a home after they purchase it.

So, when should you sell your home? The answer will mostly depend on your current needs, market conditions and how much work you have to put into the house. But there are always exceptions to every rule. Your house may be a perfect fit for a buyer the first day you list it. Other times, even when everything is in place, it can take years.

The most common time of the year to put your house on the market is during the spring. If potential buyers have kids, they will most likely want to move in during the summer, before school starts. If they don’t, the school calendar means nothing. There are various opinions regarding the best month to sell your home, but in reality, it depends on a multitude of factors aside from just the season of the year.

3 Things to Look for in a Corporate Rental

Corporate housing rentals have become a popular alternative to hotels. If you aren’t familiar with the idea, people utilize them for many reasons – business trips, temporary relocation and extended vacations, to name a few. Here are three aspects of a quality corporate rental:

1. Furnished Space

One of the first things you should find out from a corporate housing provider is whether or not the location is furnished or unfurnished. Most corporate rentals are temporary. Many renters also don’t want to take the time to move big furniture pieces to a temporary space. However, in some cases of extended stay, you may want the comforts of your own furniture. Either way, know beforehand what household and furniture items you will need and which ones will be provided for you.

2. Lease Flexibility

Many renters looking for short-term corporate housing aren’t sure where they will be in a year! This isn’t a bad thing, it might just reflect the nature of your job or situation. Most people in situations like this don’t want more than a six-month lease. Month-to-month leases are ideal. Whatever your needs, ask your renter if they can be flexible with lease options.

3. Location

The location of your rental is very important, and it all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Some want a quiet neighborhood where they can work from home, others prefer a location with a short commute to their office building and if you’re vacationing, you may want to be near the beach, mountains or urban centers. Regardless of your motives, don’t overlook the importance of location!

If a corporate rental makes sense for you, click here to view Combs’ available properties or call us toll free: 1-800-898-3043.

Home Financing Right Now

Are you in the market for a new home right now? Maybe you don’t even consider yourself in the market to buy because you don’t believe you can get the right kind of financing?

There are credit checks, down payments, varying insurance costs, high loan rates—the list goes on and on.

Combs’ Properties understands how hard it can be for average people in New Mexico to buy a new home. That’s why they want you to buy through them.

There never are huge closing costs. On average, you costs at closing won’t exceed $1,000. When you buy an owner-financed home from Combs’, only a small down payment is required. You could be moving your furniture into a house for as little as $1,000 down.

If you have a credit card you can even use that for your down payment. Or your tax refund. There are many ways to get you the house that you need and want.

Check out some of the properties offered by Combs’ now right now: