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What "Move-In Ready" Really Means, and Whether a Move-In Home Is Right for You

Nestled just outside Boston, Dedham, Massachusetts, offers an abundance of verdant greenery and walking paths awaiting discovery. The vibrant shopping hubs of Legacy Place and Dedham Square pulse with excitement and energy. It's a community that attracts many homebuyers looking for move-in-ready homes.

"Move-in ready" defined

A move-in ready home requires zero repairs before settling in. While it might not be furnished or utterly flawless, it certainly boasts a lack of significant issues or structural damage needing attention before moving in. A move-in ready home appeals to buyers due to the convenience and the comforting reassurance that everything is good to go.

Imagine finding your dream home, only to discover the paint job is a complete eyesore. Frustrating, right? You might even feel duped if it was marketed as move-in ready, but hold on! What this really means is that, minus your personal taste in wall colors, the house is structurally set for you to move right in and make it yours.

How to spot a move-in ready home

Move-in ready homes are ready for immediate occupancy without the need for any major renovations or repairs. These homes are equipped with all the necessary features and amenities, making them highly appealing to buyers looking for convenience and a hassle-free home-buying experience. When we say "move-in ready," we're talking about solid structures - foundations, walls, and roofs all in tip-top shape, just waiting for you to arrive!

Roofs, windows, and siding

Although the roof may not be brand new, you can trust that it won't need attention any time soon. The siding remains sturdy and undamaged by hail, ensuring no sneaky leaks or erosion. Plus, the windows are in excellent condition, offering effortless usability and energy efficiency. These move-in-ready features don't just save you from unexpected expenses; it also guarantees a cozy living experience.


Plumbing troubles can be a little deceptive. What starts as a persistently clogged drain could eventually require replacing the entire pipeline. Being confident about your plumbing's health can save you from fretting over unexpected expenditures. Moreover, practicing routine plumbing maintenance minimizes the likelihood of minor hiccups escalating into full-blown catastrophes.


The electrical system will be up to code and working properly in a move-in-ready home, which is especially helpful in older homes. Since building codes change every three to six years, a seven-year-old system might require modern updates to meet current standards. An electrical system that's not up to code risks short-circuiting your appliances and technology and could even transform your home into a ticking fire hazard.

Heating and cooling systems

In Massachusetts, you'll experience the heat of summer and the cold of winter, making a reliable air conditioning and heating system an absolute necessity all year round. A move-in ready home might not boast a brand-new HVAC system, but it should still be in tip-top shape. Ensuring your home's heating and cooling systems function effectively is key to maintaining a cozy indoor environment, no matter the season outside.


You may want a kitchen with stainless steel appliances or high-tech smart devices. While a "move-in ready" home does mean the appliances function properly; it doesn't guarantee they'll match your wish list. Some sellers might feature state-of-the-art equipment as an incentive for buyers, while others may offer the bare essentials. To avoid any confusion or letdowns, double-check with the seller or real estate agent about which appliances are part of the deal.

Planning tips and packing hacks

The moment you set your heart on finding a new home is the same time to start planning for your move. Nobody wants the chaos of arranging movers and managing logistics amid the closing process. Instead, gather quotes and check mover availability so you're ready to roll when it's time for the big move. Explore storage rental options and consider short-term housing in case the transition between your old and new homes don't align perfectly. By doing your homework early, you'll be well-prepared, with a solid budget and a backup plan for any unexpected hurdles along the way.

As you prepare for the big move, remember to create an essentials bag for each family member, including your beloved pets. Packed with daily necessities, like medicine, toiletries, chargers, vital documents, and a couple of days' worth of outfits, the essential bags will help keep everyone comfortable and at ease during the transition.

Save time and effort by keeping clothes on hangers and tucked away in dresser drawers. Secure the dresser by wrapping it with shrink wrap so drawers stay shut and your outfits remain inside - a smart and efficient way to move! Just remember to store only soft items in the dresser and avoid placing breakable belongings in the drawers.

How to talk to your children about moving and the changes ahead

Even though your time in your current home may have been brief, it's been filled with treasured moments. You've forged friendships within the community and established comforting routines, like knowing the best places to shop, dine, and find healthcare professionals. Relocating disrupts all this, and your kids feel the impact most intensely. First-time moving experiences can be scary for children, as everything is new and unfamiliar. Fortunately, there are strategies to help ease the transition for your little ones.

First things first, validate their emotions. It's completely normal for them to experience sadness or anger regarding the move. Assist them in articulating and discussing these emotions. Consider this as a chance to help them navigate stressful situations. You're providing valuable skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

An essential aspect of this is involving them in the discussion early on. Some parents might assume that mentioning the move too soon will only stress their children, but it's quite the opposite. The more time they have to process and talk about it, the better they'll adapt.

Allow them to make as many decisions as possible. For instance, can they pick which toys to pack and which to keep out? Perhaps they could add a few items to the must-have or wish list features for the new home. Even if it's a small decision, it empowers them with a sense of control over the situation, making it more manageable.

Finding your move-in ready home

Elena Price, an award-winning Realtor and broker with multiple appearances on HGTV and various local and national shows, is known for her compassionate style that makes every family member feel valued while searching for a perfect home. Set up a meeting with her today, and let Elena guide you toward the ideal home for your loved ones while alleviating the stress of moving.

Work With Elena

Real estate is more than looking at homes. You need a local expert that can make the process easier from beginning to end. Whether you are buying or selling, Elena will leverage her 28+ years of experience and connections to get you the most value.

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