25 Tips For Moving With Kids Or Pets

Moving is stressful all on its own, but when you add in the complications that kids or pets (or both) can bring to the mix, it can feel downright impossible. Depending on the age of your children and whether your fur baby is a cat or a dog, some moves can be easier than others, but any stress you’re feeling can manifest exponentially in your dependents.

The good news is that with a little bit of foresight and a lot of planning, you can smooth the way for your kids, pets, or both to ensure the move is as low-stress for them as possible. And when your children (of any species) are happier, you’ll also feel some relief. Win-win! Before your move your household to a new residence, read these tips, then make your plan.

Consider the timing

There really isn’t an “easy” time to move your household, but there are definitely some life events that make moving more difficult for everybody. If there’s been a death in the family or you’re getting a divorce, then both the children and the pets are likely to already be feeling some anxiety. Adding a move on top of that is generally not the best plan if it’s at all possible to avoid it.

Delaying a move by six months to a year to give all the dependents in the household time to adjust might be completely impossible, which is understandable — life happens out of our control all the time. But think about whether you can offer your babies a respite from change for at least a few months so that you aren’t heaping change after change on kids or animals.

Research your new area

When you tell your kids about the move, they’re going to have questions. Your pets may not have quite as many questions, but they’ll still want the assurance of some consistency, like the ability to go on a walk or the availability of their food.

Do some research into schools, parks, walking trails, pet stores, veterinarians, pediatricians, local restaurants and attractions, libraries, and more. Find some gems that you know will excite your kids when they hear about them, or your pets when they discover them, and be able to answer questions honestly. Older kids might want to help with research, and you should encourage them to dig into whatever they want to know about their new home, but it really helps to have a solid understanding of where you’re going before you break the news.

Talk to your kids about the move

There are plenty of age-appropriate conversations you can have with your children when you’re getting ready to move in order to help them prepare emotionally for the change. (Unfortunately, this doesn’t work nearly so well with pets, but if you think that your animals understand you, feel free to give them a rundown, too!)

Explain to your children why you have to move and talk to them about what it will mean. Depending on how old they are, their concerns will vary. Younger kids might have more questions about what will happen to their toys, while adolescents are likely to be more concerned about school and friends.

This is a good time to share some of what you’ve learned about your new area, such as whether the local grocery store carries their favorite snacks, or what their new school will be like. You don’t want to overwhelm your kids, but help them get excited about the change by emphasizing some of the positive differences between here and there.

Emphasize similarity, too

People (and animals) dread change because they’re afraid of the unknown. So while you’re having any moving discussions, make a point to talk about what isn’t going to change. If you’ve always hosted Thanksgiving, then tell your kids they’ll still be celebrating by cooking with you in the kitchen. If you take a regular vacation every summer to visit grandparents, talk about when you’ll do that. Tell your sports fans that they’ll still be able to watch or play their favorites, or emphasize to your bookworm that the library is in the same district and access to all the same books is guaranteed.

Pets won’t be as able to appreciate these discussions, but you can do them a favor by thinking about how you can work to emphasize similarity when they get to their new environment. Can you set up their favorite “room” exactly the way they know it right now? What can you do to acclimate them to some of the new sights and sounds and smells they’ll encounter during the move?

Get your pets used to carriers, kennels, or cars

On that note, if your cat doesn’t see the cat carrier except when you’re getting ready to take him to the vet, and your dog isn’t used to riding in your car, then it’s time for you to help them get accustomed to some of those unfamiliar items and experiences. The more familiar they become, the easier time your pet will have on moving day.

Take any carriers out from whatever dusty closet you’ve stashed them and open the doors. Leave them out for as long as you can and give your cats the chance to walk in and out at will. Take your dogs on car rides to the pet store, the park, and other fun places where she can get excited, and help her learn to identify car rides as an adventure.

If you can, it probably also isn’t a terrible idea to leave out some empty moving boxes and gradually fill them with your things. Your pets will become accustomed to the boxes as a matter of course.

Make a moving day plan

Moving day itself is going to be peak stressful for you, the pets, and the kids, so to remove some of that stress in advance, plan the heck out of the day itself. For kids, this may involve coming up with safe ways they can participate, or alternatively, planning to get them the heck out of the way while the move is actually taking place. If you have friends or grandparents who’ve offered to help watch the kids, take them up on it!

For pets, a moving day plan may involve dropping them off at a pet hotel or doggie day care, or keeping their favorite room as intact as possible and locking them inside while everything gets moved out of the house. Change is especially hard on animals, and leaving doors open while people move furniture and boxes outside gives them too much opportunity to escape, so there aren’t really any great options, here. If you have the chance to acclimate them to the pet care facilities in advance, then this might be the least stressful for your fur babies.

Give your kids some choices

Maybe you can let the kids pick out their own bedrooms in the new house, or even help you search for possible homes online. Even if that’s a stretch too far, there are plenty of ways you can give children agency in the move, including letting them pick the paint color in their new room, or decide how to arrange the furniture, or maybe select a new bedding set or framed poster for their space. The more freedom you give your kids to make decisions, the easier it will be to help them get excited about the move as a whole.

Consider hiring movers

Hiring movers can be like hiring someone to clean the house — perhaps you feel like packing and moving is something you should be able to do yourself. But also much like hiring someone to clean the house, the amount of stress that hiring a pro can alleviate is noteworthy and often well worth the expense.

Professional packers and movers have turned the chaos of moving into a science. Their efficiency and expertise can save you days of your own life, and they can also allow you to make alternate plans for moving day itself. Maybe you can take the kids to an amusement park or the dog to the dog park while your partner supervises the move?

Secure your animals while the move is happening

Two things you already know you don’t want to be doing on moving day: chasing your leashless, collarless dog through the neighborhood or coaxing your cat out from underneath the porch. If sending them to day care or having a trusted friend watch them isn’t an option, then make sure you’re prepared to keep your pets confined and contained while the move erupts around them.

Secure them behind a door they can’t open and leave water, litter boxes, toys, and whatever else they might need for a few hours out and available for them. Make sure you have a loud, obnoxious sign that you can fasten on the door warning anyone who might open it that there are freaked-out pets behind it and asking them to leave it shut.

Find an activity to keep everyone occupied during the move

If you can get your pets a new, complicated toy, or buy some puzzle books for your kids, you’ll be able to distract them much more easily. Moving parents or pet-owners who hire movers might have a lot more flexibility here to manifest a distraction — take the kids to a movie or go on a long hike with your pup, or sprinkle some catnip on the scratching post for your kitten.

Pack (and remove items) while they’re asleep …

Kids have the strangest habit of declaring that the baby toy they haven’t touched for years is their new most favorite, most sentimentally valued of all their possessions. Decluttering your living area is a fantastic idea before you move, and sometimes this can be done most easily after the children are asleep.

This tactic really works best for the youngest kids, who are most inclined to forget that they ever owned a butterfly elephant stuffed animal. For older kids, try a different approach.

… Or let your kids help pack their own things

Older children will appreciate the chance to find security in the familiar by packing up their own rooms and possessions. Let them decide what to keep and what to toss, and help them get excited by talking about how they’ll arrange their new room. Ask them what you can do to help make their new living space feel perfect for them.

Even younger kids can take advantage of the excitement of moving if you let them pack a small box, especially if you’re letting them pack a few toys and treasured items to bring with them in the car or on the plane.

Take as much help as you can get

Friends, family, and neighbors often offer to help with a move, and many movers don’t quite know how to take them up on the offer. If you trust them with your kids or pets, then having them entertain or watch your babies while you deal with the logistics can be a great way to leverage their help.

This doesn’t have to happen only on the day of the move, either. Kids appreciate trips to the ice-cream parlor or movie theater at just about any time, and dogs like being walked, and cats enjoy playing with feather toys, too. If you can’t think of anything else for your potential helpers to do, having them shower your dependents with attention is always a good option.

Give them time to say goodbye

Pets might not understand the meaning of leaving, but it’s all too acute for kids. Talk to them about what and whom they think they’ll miss the most, and give them time and opportunities to spend with those beloved spaces and people. For kids, throwing a “see you later” party or giving them a ritual tour through the empty house before you leave for good can help them adjust to the change more smoothly.

Help them make a plan for keeping in touch

Kids can also benefit by talking through a plan to keep in touch with their best friends and relatives they’re leaving behind. This is easier than ever in the age of technology, so you can help them exchange email addresses with their friends or make sure that they’re connected via phone, but it might also help to talk about plans to come back and visit if that’s in the cards for you. Giving kids something to look forward to if they’re having trouble adjusting in their new home can make a huge difference.

Pets aren’t able to make their own plans to keep in touch with loved ones, but if it’s feasible for you to do it for them, then you should do what you can to ensure that they still get to see favorite people or animals every now and again. Maybe your catsitter can agree to stop by when he’s next visiting your new town, or your brother and fellow dog enthusiast could plan a weekend trip soon.

Get your documents in order

Before you leave, make sure you’ve made plans for transferring your kids’ medical and school records from one entity to another, and do the same for your pets’ veterinary records. Any other legal or medical documents that you might need should be considered and managed before you go — because when you really need those items in a hurry, it’s almost never possible to acquire them, so tackle it on the front end.

Prepare ‘overnight’ kits

If you’re going to be traveling for more than a day, whether on a plane or in the car, then you’ll want to get some overnight bags ready for the kids and the pets. Kids can help with this on their own and often find some comfort in choosing the toys and books that will accompany them on the journey, and pets will feel similar comfort if you can surround them with smells and items that are familiar and dear to them.

Don’t forget about medication for any of your dependents, and make sure you’re packing plenty of food and water for your pets. It’s also wise to stash an extra leash and collar or harness for your dog; you don’t want to be tempted to let any animals out of your car before they’re fully secured.

Pets should travel with you

If it’s at all possible, the stress of the move will be less acute for your fur babies if you can bring them with you in the vehicle you’re driving. If your pet is in a carrier or a kennel, draping a blanket or sheet on top of it can help with any distress caused by unfamiliar landscapes or even just being inside a rapidly moving car.

Dogs should also be secured. Consider getting a gate that will keep your dog in a specific area of your car but still allow the pup to move around if they like. Give them toys and talk to them during the drive, and don’t open your car door until the dog is leashed.

Secure hotels (if needed) in advance

Long car trips sometimes mean stops at hotels in between, so if this is in the cards for you, do a little bit of research to see what’s available and make sure your kids and pets will be comfortable there. Look for pet-friendly hotels if it’s relevant, and maybe if you have an option between a hotel with a pool and one without, opt for the pool so you can hype it up to the kids.

Unpack ‘their’ rooms first

For kids, unpacking their bedroom first can help them start feeling at home more quickly than you’d expect. See if you can get their bed and bedding set up at the least, and try to prioritize their space. Kids will also be spending time in the kitchen and play areas (if you have one), so those might go next in your order of priorities.

When you’re moving in, much like moving out, pets should be secured in a room until everyone is finished opening and closing doors. If you can, try to set up a scratching post or dog bed in the room — make it as close to the room that was most “theirs” in your old place. Give them water, feed them, show them where their toys are, and take some time to get settled before you let them out to explore.

Once you do open the door, give your dog (and your cat, if it’s inclined) a tour of the new space. Show them where their food, water, and litter areas are at the least. Walk with your dog through all the new rooms and let them sniff. Don’t be surprised if your cat disappears for a day or two once a favorite old hiding spot (perhaps under the bed) has been rediscovered; give them time to explore on their own timeline.

Keep as much furniture as possible, and arrange it like you had it

Remember, you can always get rid of that fugly couch when your kids and pets are feeling more at home, but if you keep it and arrange it like you had it in your old living room, everyone is going to have an easier time feeling comfortable in the new place. It’s fine to start keeping tabs on what’s getting replaced later, but if you can for now, keep all the furniture from your old house that you can stand, and try to arrange it as closely to what your kids and pets are used to as you possibly can.

Invest in some surprises

Nothing makes a big change more fun and exciting than a positive surprise, so try to plan some for both the kids and the pets. Maybe it’s a trip to a nearby park for a game of fetch, or a pizza dinner out at the new local pizzeria. Perhaps your kid’s going to get the skateboard they always wanted, or you bought a new scratching post for the cat. Big or small, a surprise can help convert any I’m-not-sure feelings to this-is-awesome! ones.

Maintain routine

Although you might feel like you need to wake up early to start unpacking, or you don’t have time to walk the dog today, try to stick to your regular routine as much as possible during your first few days in the new house. Wake up and feed your pets at their usual time. Take them out and play with them like you normally would.

This can be more difficult for kids, but it’s still worth making the effort. If they’re used to heading to the pool or the gym at a certain time every day, try to make sure they get there to continue their own routine. If you all are used to sitting down to dinner together every night, then make the effort to have it ready to go, even if it’s takeout.

Don’t make other big changes right now

It’s true, your toddler does need to be potty-trained eventually. And you have been meaning to hire a dog-walker to give your dog more exercise for some time now.

Change is hard! Don’t overwhelm your poor pet or your child by demanding even more change from them. Pace any big shifts in what you’re doing so they don’t coincide with the move. Realistically speaking, you’re not going to have much success potty training during a move, anyway, and your pet will be comforted if you’re the one walking him, so try to minimize any additional change while you focus on maintaining routines.

Keep calm and move on

Your kids and your pets have an uncanny ability to tell when you’re stressed out. And it stresses them out to know you’re not happy! When you’re moving, everything can feel like a disaster; do your best to take care of yourself and try to maintain a calm, happy presence even if you’re not feeling very zen at all. If you can keep your composure and present a positive attitude to your dependents, they’re more likely to relax and let you get on with the business of moving.

Risky Relationships

Risky Relationships

Our business relationships are extremely important to us.  From home inspectors to lenders and contractors we routinely interact with people who we’ve come to trust and enjoy working with.

But understanding the special laws related to title insurance companies is a serious responsibility due to the fiduciary obligation we have to our clients.  Violations of these strict requirements can result in big fines and contribute to the increasing costs of obtaining a mortgage.

In 1974 congress passed the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to ensure that buyers are provided with sufficient information about the nature and costs of financing and closing escrow on a home.  RESPA is also intended to protect buyers from unnecessarily high close of escrow charges.  The Act requires that buyers receive disclosures at various times that spell out the costs associated with the close of escrow, lender and escrow practices and fees, such as the Loan Estimate.  Section 8 and Section 9 of RESPA have the greatest impact on real estate brokers.

However, there are still numerous examples of someone crossing the line to encourage the use a specific title insurance company.  That’s why it continues to be important for REALTORS® to understand the law and avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Section 8(a) of the law specifically prohibits a person from giving or accepting any “thing of value” for referrals of settlement service business and financial penalties can be severe for violations.

While some elements of the law are clear, its important for us to recognize the difference between legal marketing techniques and illegal kickbacks and referral fees.

For example, can a real estate broker and title company advertise their services on the same brochure?  Can a lender give a real estate broker note pads with the lender’s name on it?   Is it a RESPA violation if the seller requires the buyer to use a specific title company when the seller is paying for the buyer’s title insurance?

Arizona REALTORS® CEO Michelle Lind has written a comprehensive update on RESPA compliance. 👉👉(RESPA REVISITED)👈👈

In addition to a dedicated staff to help members understand RESPA, Arizona REALTORS® can earn c/e credit by attending the rCRMS Federal Legal Issues class.  Learn more about the Certified Risk Management Specialist program by clicking HERE.

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eSign Authenticating account error message via Single Sign On

Have you ever tried going into AAR eSign through Single Sign on and received an error message? There are two reasons why you might be getting the error message.

  1. The email address on file with AAR doesn’t match the email address on file with eSign

 You’ll receive the error message “There appears to have been a problem authenticating your account” If the AAR database email address does not match the one you are using for eSign. You can either:

  • Update your email address on our database to match eSign. If you want to update your email address on our database, please contact your local association. Once they update your email address to match with the one you are using for eSign, you should no longer receive the error message.
  • Login directly to eSign by visiting https://aar.esignonline.net. Update your email address in your eSign “preferences” so that it matches our database.
  1. You don’t have an eSign account setup

You will also receive the error message if you don’t have an eSign account created. To begin using AAR eSign, please email us at support@aaronline.com with your NRDS number and your email address. Once we set up your account, you will receive a confirmation email with your login information, as well as helpful hints for using eSign.

If you have additional questions, please contact your Arizona REALTORS® Business Services team, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling 480.304.8930, or via email at support@aaronline.com.


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Understanding pool barrier laws

Because of the number of drownings and near-drownings in Arizona, most of which involve small children, the State of Arizona and most counties and cities within the state have enacted swimming pool barrier laws. Generally, these laws require that all affected swimming pools (or certain other contained bodies of water) be protected by an enclosure surrounding the pool area, or by another barrier, that meets specific requirements.

Pool barrier laws require that a swimming pool be completely enclosed by a fence to restrict access to the swimming pool from adjoining property. These laws also require that certain barriers be installed to restrict easy access from the home to the swimming pool. Pool barrier laws contain specific requirements regarding the height and type of fences, gates and doors from the home leading directly to the swimming pool and regarding windows that face the swimming pool. Arizona REALTORS® encourages home buyers to be aware of pool barrier laws prior to purchasing a home with an existing pool, erecting pool barriers, altering, repairing or replacing pool barriers and building a pool. Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding swimming pool barrier laws.

I’m ready to make an offer on a house with a pool. What information should I receive?

Arizona REALTORS® Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract, used in most resale home transactions, includes a “Notice to Buyer of Swimming Pool Barrier Regulations,” in which the buyer and seller acknowledge the existence of state laws as well as possible county and municipal laws, and the buyer agrees to investigate and comply with these laws. The seller is required by law to give the buyer a copy of the pool safety notice from the Arizona Department of Health Services. The contract also requires the buyer be given a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement, which discloses any known code violations on the property.

The house I want to buy has a fence around the pool, but it doesn’t meet code. Who is responsible for bringing it up to code and how long do we have?

The Arizona REALTORS® Purchase Contract states: “During the Inspection Period, Buyer agrees to investigate all applicable state, county, and municipal swimming pool barrier regulations and agrees to comply with and pay all costs of compliance with said regulations prior to occupying the Premises, unless otherwise agreed in writing.” Check city and county ordinances for their specific requirements.

We have an above-ground pool in our backyard, so we don’t have to worry about pool barrier laws, do we?

Above-ground pools are covered by the same state legal requirements for an enclosure around the pool. The pool must be at least four feet high with a wall that is not climbable and steps or ladders that are locking or removable. Again, check city or county ordinances for different requirements.

Michelle Lind is chief executive officer for the Arizona Association of REALTORS®.

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2019 Legislative Summary

The 54th, 1st Regular Legislative Session adjourned Sine Die at 12:58 am on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Session ran a total of 134 days. 1,318 bills were introduced this year, a 9.29% increase over 2018. Of those bills, 331 were passed by the legislature and the governor has ten days from adjournment, June 8, 2019, to either sign or veto any bill currently on his desk.

With adjournment, the Arizona REALTORS® state association was successful in achieving our 2019 legislative policies as well as protecting our membership and homeowners. The Arizona REALTORS® Government Affairs staff and Legislative Committee reviewed every bill this session and actively took positions on 177 bills that directly impacted the real estate industry.

With the exception of budget bills, which become law when they are signed, all other legislation signed or passed into law without the signature of the governor will become effective on August 27, 2019 (90 days after the legislature adjourned), unless the legislation contains an emergency clause or a delayed effective date.

This year, the state association protected our membership from extreme government overreach, which would have required DNA samples from real estate licensees. We successfully passed common sense legislation to allow a real estate licensee to utilize the name they are known by for purposes of advertising. And we stood our ground and came to a consensus with the Central Arizona Homebuilders Association to ensure homeowners’ protections in a construction defect lawsuit.

In all, the Arizona REALTORS® had a very successful legislative year. Below are some of the legislative issues that the state association successfully advanced, defeated or will be back in 2020 to advance.

SB 1085: Association Health Plans; Definitions; Requirements

Enables Arizona citizens to obtain quality and affordable health coverage by providing a new pathway for employer groups and associations to offer fully insured and self-insured Association Health Plans (APHs).

Signed by the Governor

What This Victory Means for You… Associations, such as the Arizona REALTORS®, will have greater flexibility in designing health insurance plans to meet the needs of the membership at lower costs.

SB 1271: Purchaser Dwelling Actions; Notice; Complaints

Protects a homeowner’s ability to be made whole by taking defects to court and being awarded appropriate damages and reasonable attorney fees for issues not warrantied by the builder.

Signed by the Governor

What This Victory Means for You… Saves your clients thousands of dollars by continuing to allow attorney fees to be awarded to the prevailing party in a construction defect lawsuit.

SB 1475: DNA Identification Database; Requirements

Requires the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) to establish a database and charge a fee of $250 to retain deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) for persons required by law to submit fingerprints as part of an original or renewal of licensure.

Amended and Held in Senate Rules

What This Victory Means for You… The government cannot mandate or administer a $250 fee for the collection of your DNA in conjunction with your application for original or renewal of your real estate or brokers license.

HB 2108: Real Estate Signs; Cities; Counties

Establishes regulations for real estate signs displayed by an owner of real property or the owner’s agent in cities, towns and counties.

Failed to Advance in the House

 What This Would Have Meant for You…Would have prohibited  cities, towns and counties from regulating real estate signage while allowing them to establish time, place and manner restrictions as well as health, safety and welfare restrictions.

HB 2371: Real Estate; Licenses; Applications

Requires an original or renewal application for real estate salesperson or broker licensure to include the applicant’s first, middle, or nickname that the applicant regularly uses for advertising purposes.

Signed by the Governor

What This Victory Means for You…REALTORS® will be able to use the name they are commonly known by in their advertising.




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