Move in Ready

Updated on March 10, 2014
J.G. asks from Chicago, IL
33 answers

What does "move in ready" mean to you? I hate the phrase but a friend used it the other day, and I'm trying to figure out what it means to most people.

She called her house move in ready, but nothing has been updated in many years ---at least 15. Is it just the general condition, like fresh paint, nothing needs repair?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I mentioned the 15 years because all of her appliances are 15-20 years, with a stove that has tons crude on it. To me, old appliances greatly discount what I'd be willing to pay for a house. yes, they work, but there will be expensive work to be done. Her washer/dryer, etc. it's all old, last leg, kind of old. I want to remodel my own kitchen, so i don't mind old appliances, but I won't pay a higher end price on a house with old stuff in it.

i asked because my friend thinks she will get a lot more than she paid for her house, but she has remodeled nothing.

To me, move in ready means, in good working order. A stove with 15 years worth of crude on it? Fine, but the asking price better discount the sorry state of the appliances.

For me: My house is move in ready because: updated kitchen,updated baths, newer washer/dryer, drive-way.. new blinds. I think more and more people consider move in ready to mean recently updated (within 7 years at least, not needing immediately replacements)., It isn't about being fashionable as much as it is about having large expenses in the near future.

Featured Answers


answers from Dallas on

Move in ready means there are no repairs needed and you can start living in it immediately.

I just sold my house that I had lived in for less than 4 years and every realtor I talked to for listing wanted to know why I hadn't upgraded the kitchen. Because there was no need! If it works, it works. I'm not going to rip out perfectly good solid wood cabinets and Formica countertops just for the sake of getting something modern looking that may or may not be considered "updated" in 10 years.

A lot of buyers think every house should have every upgrade imaginable to be considered a home worthy of buying. Not every house needs granite countertops, hardwood floors, a tub and shower in the master bath, etc. That's what annoys me so much about these housing shows. You'll see people walk into a house and talk about how they'll have to completely gut the kitchen because there aren't granite counters and stainless steel appliances, even though the kitchen is perfectly fine. Ugh, getting off my soapbox now.

16 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

To me move in ready means that it is clean, in good repair and ready to use. Nothing needs to be new. It is nice if things are updated, but not necessary. When I moved into my house in 1995 the bathrooms were the original 1960's and the kitchen was an 1980's update. They were all clean, in good repair and quite usable, so to me that was move in ready. I would rather pay less for a home and do my own updates to my own taste, rather than pay more to have someone else's idea of a dream kitchen etc. I would not expect there to be new floors, counters or vanities unless there was something wrong with the old ones.

ETA: Most people I know would be able to move into a home with 90's oak and formica in the kitchen, as long as it wasn't damaged. As long as the kitchen works, it is move in ready. If they want something different, they can upgrade when they get around to it, but in the meantime they have a fully functional kitchen they can live with. Move in ready has everything you need, not necessarily everything you want.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

I don't think move in ready is supposed to mean completely renovated. It simply means there are no major repairs that need to happen. If she's been living comfortably in it, then the next person can too.

8 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

To me it means that there are no safety or structural issues that need to be dealt with - the roof doesn't leak, the furnace works, etc. It does not necessarily mean that everything is updated.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It doesn't mean it's someone's dream house, it means it's clean, painted, serviceable facilities in bathrooms and kitchen--you could "move in" and live there.
It doesn't mean the kitchen is new or state of the art- it means it's fresh, has all appliances & useable.
Is say good paint on all walls, carpets are clean, hard floors are clean (not broom out clean) all appliances are working and functional, no MAJOR repairs needed immediately in order to live there ( ex: leaking roof, carbon monoxide leaking furnace, faulty wiring).
"Move in condition doesn't mean the annuals are planted! It just means nothing "has" to be done. You "could" live there as is.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Don't correlate 'move in ready' with price. Different people will have different standards for that term.
To me, move in ready means no immediate repairs that would prevent me from living there.
If that cruddy stove fires right up, it's 'move in ready'. If the house needs a new stove because that one doesn't work, then it isn't 'move in ready'.
'Turn-key' describes your house. Just my .02

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

I think it means, wallpaper not falling off walls, everything works fine and things that might need to be updated could be done later. I think "move in ready" means different things to different people. You might want to update something that someone else likes. In general it means "not in disrepair".

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

To me it means just bring your suitcases and toothbrush. Oh furniture too.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

to me it means "if its not broke, don't fix it". it doesn't mean it's updated.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

This is a pretty objective term. I would see it as a home where everything is functional, clean and pleasant, and outdated finishes or features wouldn't be that big of a deal. But many people would expect "move in ready" to mean the home has been completely updated, with new appliances, fixtures, finishes, etc.
It really depends on the local market. We live in an older, established, expensive, very high demand area where even the crappiest, most outdated houses sell pretty quickly, and at close to top dollar.
But if you live in an area with an abundance of nice, new homes, the market is going to have different expectations.
Your realtor will know what is and isn't necessary to upgrade, in your particular area. It really varies.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

empty, swept clean, no repairs needed.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Frankly, it depends on what you want in a house.

When we moved into our house in Texas (1992), we moved in. Yes, appliances were old, the countertops were mustard yellow.... there were things we wanted to do, but we did them gradually.

There wasn't something that HAD to be done...... only things we did when we moved in was buy a washer, dryer, and chest freezer. 6 months or so later, we started remodeling ... we converted the garage into 2 bedrooms.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

I am always surprised at how these questions generate opinions that vary so much from region to region. When you list a home and the only way to differentiate from all the other houses is brand new everything that's completely different from a market made up of custom homes and unique location features.

According to you and several other posters move in ready means pretty darn perfect. Where I'm from pretty darn perfect means "dream home" and costs at the very least 1.5 million.

Move in ready here is clean, fresh paint and everything in working order. That could easily mean a kitchen from 1987. I guess it's all relative but lots of people are willing to make small sacrifices, like moving in with a 15 year old kitchen (oh the horror!) in order to live in a beautiful home and location.

I think Americans have become so focused on granite and stainless steel they miss out on the beauty of what's around them. Give me an "old" mid century modern with all it's quirks any day. Houses are meant to be updated and made personal over time. I don't want another family's idea of what's cool, I want to create my dream house bit by bit. When I look at our home I see a reflection of our personal style along with the things we are slowly changing. The idea that's it's all going to need to be changed in 15 years in order for someone else to want to buy it is ridiculous.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

To me "move-in ready" means I can bring my toothbrush and clothes and function on a daily basis without going nuts or having to do tons of work within the first couple of years.

Some people can function with old appliances - others, not so much.

Since I just remodeled my kitchen I'm somewhat spoiled by granite and stainless. On the other hand my older appliances seemed to have had more durability. I've already had some stuff break with my new appliances which are only 3 years old. Very aggravating.

PS: I also think this term varies greatly from market to market. And in a hot market the term can be quite amorphous.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

To some people, "move-in ready" means you don't have to wait for things to be repaired or replaced before you can move in. Maybe there *are* things that need doing, but if you can do them while you live there, you might consider it "move-in ready." Others think it means not needing to do anything at all. But I've never lived in a house that didn't need some work some way or other.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Move in ready means it is clean with working furnace, no holes in the wall and acceptable paint (as in not peeling, not as in 2013's color of the year). Any appliances that come with house should be functional.

MOST houses do not come with a washer and dryer. They come with a washer/dryer hookup. Many come with a refrigerator, but many do not. A gas range has an average life expectancy of 19 years. Refrigerator - 14 years. So, a buyer will expect to have to replace them at some point. BUT - they can buy the house, move in tomorrow and budget for those things over time.

Realtors will always tell you - do NOT remodel for a potential buyer. You will never get your money back and your taste may be completely different from your buyer's. I ruled out a number of houses I looked at because they had NEW remodels that I didn't like - nothing wrong with them, but not my taste. I would be fine replacing old appliances - but it seemed incredibly wasteful to purchase new counters, floors, stove, refrigerator, etc because I didn't like the color or style. So, I passed on the house.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Move in ready means that the condition of the home is in a condition that nothing needs to be done for a person to live in it.

Such as there are no holes in the walls, no mold in the tiles in the bathroom, no tears in the flooring, walls are clean, etc...remodeling and other stuff have nothing to do with living conditions. I would prefer to not pay someone to paint, remodel, and stuff that is probably not what I like.

I don't really like stainless steel, I like black appliances. I want white cabinets and an extremely dark counter tops. I also want neutral walls. I don't count light brown as neutral. I count it as ugly.

So many times the Realtor has their own taste and they guide sellers to "go neutral" with colors that definitely make a statement. Not a statement I like by any means.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

To me it means you don't have to do any major renovations or repairs or painting/cleaning before you can live there.

If it's all updated with brand new everything, they specify as such.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Move in ready to me means that everything important is in working order. I don't have to wait and have a longer escrow while waiting for the previous tenants to leave.
Things like aesthetics such as you don't like the color of something or it's not brand new are not required things to make it move in ready. I hate stainless steal appliances and granite counters so that wouldn't be a selling point. I also hate hardwood or tile floors. I would pass. Yet that's other's definition. I saw some gawds awful color choices when we were looking yet they were the height of "vogue" colors at the time, our relator tried to sell them as such. They were so ugly and would clash with everything we own. I loathe beige carpet yet that's what people put in a home to sell with.
Unless I am buying a brand new, custom home I expect to change things to my liking once I move into it. If it works as it should and is not an inch from breaking but is not my favorite aesthetically I can live with it if everything else about the house like the big major and expensive things like location and layout etc is what I want.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Move in ready to me?

1. NOTHING needs to be done. NOTHING.
a. kitchen is upgraded or new.
b. bathrooms - new vanities, mirrors, lights, paint, flooring
c. floors - either new carpet or hardwood floors that have been taken care of.
d. no landscaping needing done.
e. new or newer windows.
f. new or newer heater/AC/water tank
g. new or newer roof.

2. the ONLY thing that I have to do after closing is wait for the moving truck.

I looked at house in January that the realtor listed as "move in ready" sorry- but it had PINK LAMINATE KITCHEN COUNTER TOPS!!! uuumm....ssssoo not move-in ready....they had already moved out of the the house was blank - but it really needed a LOT of work...even my girlfriend who went to look at it with me was saying...NO FREAKING WAY...

When I hear "updated" - I think of things as fresh and clean - at least within the last 3 to 5 years.

When I hear "upgraded" - I think of granite, new appliances, fresh paint.

So "move in ready" to me - means leaving the table at closing with the keys and going to the house and, like I said, waiting for the moving truck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your friend's house may not show as well as a home with newer appliances and other upgrades, but it may not matter so much, depending on the inventory once she lists. If she's in a desirable school district and/or has great location, she'll still be able to command a competitive price.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

She will find out soon if it is really move in ready.

I'm okay with a house 15 years old, but i have lower standards than some.

If there is tile in the kitchen then most would not consider it move in ready. If there is carpet, I doubt it is move in ready.

As long as the house is in a good location, she should be fine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I hate the term because it doesn't appear to have any consistent interpretation. You'd be shocked by some of the houses I've seen listed as "move-in ready" that would require a ton of work for me to stomach living there.

If I was going to list my house today I would certainly be able to call it both "move-in ready" and "updated." Yet, that doesn't mean that there aren't flaws that could still be addressed by the next owner, such as old, drafty windows, or a roof that will probably need to be replaced within 5 years.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would think it simply means everything works and is clean, doesn't mean I'd love the finishes. I wouldn't expect to love the finishes unless I picked them myself. And even then, if the top of the line wasn't in the budget, I'd possibly only like my finshes.

Updated kitchen in your view might be different from mine. Same with any other expensive touches. So just because the appliances may be newer, doesn't mean they won't catch my eye as needing to be replaced in the near future because I simply don't like them.

So it's one of those things that every one has a different view on. If her stuff works, to me, her house is move-in ready.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It's a fairly useless term, I think. It basically means you could move in without doing any work - that nothing is broken or in particularly bad shape. It doesn't necessarily mean that the carpets are clean or the paint is fresh. It does mean nothing needs repair.

Most people will still do some work to a "move-in ready" house.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I don't think they mean the Welcome mat is at the front door. In an ad, I would take it that it is free of renters and clean...ready to move in (your own items).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

It is the opposite of what I bought-which was someone's elses leftovers. My nightmare. No doorknobs, no smoke detectors, one room had spackle on every wall-that they had tried to rip off. Ugh. There was more that we discovered as we moved in. Fleas, the dryer was not vented out-the previous owners lint was still in the attic. Plumbing problems, no oven (the built in was no good). Asbestos tile under te carpet.
Now, I got a great deal, my home is already worth triple what I paid-and growing.
Move in ready sound like a dream.
But move in ready is music to my ears.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

To me move in ready means you can move right in and no work NEEDs to be done (as in falling down wallpaper to be removed, capeting needs to be replaced, etc). I don't even include appliances in that as some people prefer to bring their appliances from their previous residence. I do not consider move in ready meaning it was updated in the past seven years. We are in the process of purchasing a home that is move-in ready in my opinion even though we want to tear down the wallpaper and paint it. Just means to me that no one lives there and we can move right in. And it has 19 year old appliances and nothing has been updated but the house was built SO well that is looks almost brand new! Just my .02!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I'm kind of laughing about your friend, J.. Is she thinking that she can sell her house like this? (And get the price she wants?) If she does, then boy, will she have a rude awakening...

Move-in-ready should be the same thing as "show ready". You don't put your house on the market until it is CLEAN and painted, refreshed, clutter free, and problems with the house that have to be disclosed to prospective buyers have to be dealt with. Anything less than this? Not only do you get low-ball offers, but you also lose lots of perspective buyers who walk in and walk out. If the outside of the house doesn't look inviting, some people won't even walk inside...

Your friend is just plain silly, to be honest. Usually people figure this out (if they aren't stubborn as mules), but by then, their houses have languished on the market for months and they have to drop the price several times and end up accepting an offer much lower than they want.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

Move in ready means the average consumer will not need to renovate. Unless they updated 15 years ago with cutting edge products there is no way that is move in ready.

Our home is only 20 year old, we have updated, not move in ready. An example, our kitchen. It is huge, laid out well, but we are talking 90's oak and Formica. No one would consider that move in ready!

And looking at the other answers.....I am the only one. Thing that confuses me is then other than tear down or as is, every home is move in ready. Why have that term? If you looked at my house I could not get full value because anyone looking at it would want the updated kitchen, so how could that be move in ready. You are going to deduct for the reno and then do it before you move in, so not move in ready.

No worries though, I am going to die in this home!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm with you. her house doesn't sound move-in ready at all. cruddy old appliances will need to be replaced.
to me, move-in ready doesn't mean 'perfect', but it does mean fresh paint, new carpet, gently used appliances, electric and plumbing all in good working order, and everything sparkling clean.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Dovetailing on a previous question, I think the answer to the question may have something to do with how materialistic the buyer is. If buyers wants a house that is in working order, well-maintained and clean, then that's their answer. If buyers could only imagine moving into a house with all the bells and whistles brand new, then that's their answer. As for me, I shudder to think what a potential buyer might think when they see my perfectly lovely, well-maintained, clean home, without recent updates.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

J. G. I agree with you - I think that "move in ready" implies updated. I watch a lot of home shows on HGTV and even if a house is functional - if it's has dated decor, wall paper, old appliances it wouldn't be considered "move in ready".

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions