Here’s everything you need to know about moving home
Moving house can be a stressful and complicated process. It’s important to have the right people working on your behalf to make things go as smoothly as possible. The most important things to remember are packing and moving your items quickly and securely, and notifying all those who need to know of your change of address (Rightmove has a handy checklist here).
Once those issues are taken care of, it’s easy to work on the enjoyable aspects of moving into a new home and making it your own.
Your Definitive Moving House Guide
Step 1 – Clean Out: Ready for the Move
A month or so before you begin moving home you need to get serious about de-cluttering. The process of removing unneeded, worn out and broken items from your home should start as soon as possible. The truth is, unless you’re using them, you will probably forget many things as soon as they’re discarded.
If you are not taking the bulky stuff with you (washing machine, book cases, fridge / freezer, garden furniture etc..) because they are a little “passed-it”, you will need to refer back to the terms of your sale contract. If they are not included in the contract then it’s advisable to organize their disposal. It would be within the rights of your buyer to kick up a fuss and come after you for the cost of having these items taken away.
Check with your Local Authority for nearby recycling programs, scrap yards and charities when dealing with large, bulky items that need be disposed of.
Packing is simple enough if you’re using a removal company. Self-packed boxes usually aren’t covered by a removal company’s insurance plan, but the time saved in getting some items ready to go can save a significant amount of money. Inform your removal company if you plan to pack anything yourself. Otherwise, situate your items in a way that will make them easy for the movers to stow.
Step 2 – Choose a Reputable Removal Firm
When deciding on your professional removal company, protect your assets by working with members of the National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS) or the British Association of Removers (BAR). Ask family and friends to recommend firms they have used. Make sure you check out company policies, procedures, not to mention quotes and ensure that the removal firm has comprehensive insurance to cover your move.
Some removal companies provide all packing materials and comprehensive insurance whilst others offer little more than a lorry.
Prices for removals are using estimated by considering load and travel, plus the number of men needed to do the job – also remember that moving over a long distance can be costly, always shop around for the best deal.
Book your removal team as far ahead as you can as this has the advantage that you’re more likely to find an available spot on the day you’re moving. Fridays and the last week of each month are the most common periods for removals – try moving mid-week and not only will it be easier to book, but the service might be cheaper due to lower demand. There is quite a nice article on the best time to move here.
Additionally ask for a written quote and ensure that this will be the final cost with no hidden extras.
Step 3 – Get Organised
Write a checklist of everything you need to do and your timetable. Staying organized can actually cut down on time more than pre-packing boxes.
Make maps of your new home and number and label the rooms on it. Draw out exactly where you want the beds and furniture to be and label these items to ensure everything is placed correctly. Label all your boxes with the room numbers to ensure they are placed in the correct rooms. Make sure the bedding for each room is clearly labeled along with wardrobe contents to make things easy.
Unplug your freezer at the last moment and ensure that it is turned on as soon as it gets to your new home Keep all your personal paperwork with you ( take it in your own transport if possible ) and have to hand the contact details of your estate agent , solicitor, mortgage broker and your your new utility companies.
Make up and “emergency “ box with tea, coffee, milk, sugar, toilet roll , something to eat and the all important paracetamol and plasters.
If you decide to handle the removal on your own, pack your boxes sensibly. Heavy items should be spread out over several small boxes. Secure a moving vehicle that can safely handle the size of your furniture. Get plenty of help and make sure you don’t strain your muscles by rushing.
Step 4 – Let People Know You’re Moving
You’ll have many responsibilities on moving day. The more you can handle in advance, the better.
Cancelling the newspaper and telephone service and switching electricity and gas over to your new home should be planned well in advance.
Main priorities include notifying your bank, utility providers, existing lenders, tax authorities, TV Licensing Agency, vehicle registration, drivers license and mobile phone providers (as well as friends and family ) .Get you mail re-directed to the new address.
Take readings of the electricity and gas meters when you leave your old home and do the same as soon as you reach your new home (good idea to take a dated photo of the meters to avoid any discrepancies).
Remember that installing the internet in your new home could take a week or two; we’d advise contacting your ISP around two weeks in advance. A smart-phone with access to hotspots and GPS can help you answer basic e-mails and use your banking applications whilst you wait on your new internet connection.
The website www.iammoving.com is an interesting service that aims to notify business contacts of your move. The service is free beyond switching charges by the providers themselves.
Step 5 – Moving-in Day
The actual day that you move should be as easy-going as can be. Have a phone on you to communicate with movers, utility workers and the people in charge of your new residence. Have your emergency box to hand.
Both pets and children find moving home stressful and it is dangerous for them.
If at all possible it’s best if they can be looked after on the day and come to their new home the following day when calm prevails!
Pickup the keys to your new home from the estate agent and drop yours off when completion is notified.
It’s a sensible idea to have one person stay behind at the previous property to ensure that everything is clear and one to go to the next. This ensures that both sides are singing from the same page and that the job is being completed satisfactorily at either end. Send the individual with the old keys round to your estate agent to drop them off.
Once in your new home, go over the property and make note and photograph any problems.
When the removal company arrives with your belongings be available for questions and supervision while still giving the professionals enough space to do their jobs. Look after them with snacks and refreshments. The short distraction won’t cause them too waste much time, and the extra consideration will ensure they do the best possible job.
Check your furniture and boxes for signs of damage, and be sure to check thoroughly the detail of any removal paperwork before signing it. If you have reason to make a complaint, the industry does have a dedicated Ombudsman.
Make the beds and unpack kitchen and bathroom essentials on the day and ensure the TV is set up so you can have a bath and then put your feet up at the end of the day.
The Best Moving Home Checklists On The Web
Our checklist is pretty comprehensive we feel however, below are our top picks from what else is out there in the blogosphere. Enjoy!
Number 1: John Lamb’s Alternative Checklist
Who knew moving house could also be hilarious! Thanks John, you totally made writing this post worthwhile.
Number 2: Packing Advice From Rogers Removals
Not strictly a checklist but deserves a mention here because it’s a really great resource on how to attack the nasty job of packing up all your belongings. It’s part art, part science.
Number 3: Stick it on the Fridge – ReallyMoving
Very handy checklist you can download and stick on the fridge. For those that like to keep their admin simple.
Moving Home Costs
Estimating the total cost of moving house is not easy. It’s outline the major expenses and give you a rough idea of how much they are each going to cost:
The good old HMRC are going to take their bite. How much is calculated as a percentage of the property’s purchase price:
- Up to £125,000- Zero
£125,001 to £250,000- 1%
£250,001 to £500,000- 3%
£500,001 to £1,000,000 – 4%
£1,000,001 to £2,000,000 – 5%
£2,000,001 plus – 7%
To find out more, visit the HMRC website.
Estate Agents Fees:
These guys charge on average 1-2%+VAT (of the property’s sale price). If you use an online estate agent you could cut this cost down to around £400+VAT.
First of all, make sure you use a “fixed fee” & “no sale no fee” conveyancer. That way, if the transaction fails to complete you will not be charged for anything other than the disbursements.
If you know where to look you should be able to secure the services of a decent property lawyer for around £450+VAT each way (sale & purchase). Conveyancing fees on leasehold property are a little more at around £550 – £650 each way.
Depending on the age and the state of the property you are going to want either a “Homebuyer Survey” (this will give you a valuation of the property and an overview of any physical problems that can be seen to the eye) or a “Full Structural Survey” (this will dig a little deeper into any potentially expensive structural issues).
Expect to pay around £300-£500+VAT for a “Homebuyer Survey” and £500-£1000+VAT for a “Structural Survey”. The final amount will really depend on the size of the property being surveyed.
Mortgage Related Charges:
First check to see if there are any penalty charges for coming out of your current mortgage. Over and above that expect to pay an arrangement fee and valuation fee on any new mortgage at a rate of around £1000.
Finally you need to budget for “da boys” to come round and move all your stuff.
For an average 3 bed house expect to pay £500-£1000+VAT depending on how far the distance is between properties and the day of the week you decide to make your move.
Top 3 Moving Home Tips
Tip #1 – Don’t forget about your various insurance policies (pets, car, medical etc). These are often overlooked but the number 1 killer is if you forget to take care of building insurance.
You should have a policy in place on your new house from the date you exchange contracts however, depending on the wording, you may be able to get away with a policy that only starts on the completion date of your purchase.
Tip #2 – Saving some money by hiring a van and attempting to play “removal man” is always tempting. It’s your call of course but I tell you this from bitter experience, once you’ve tried it yourself you’ll never do it again. Treat yourself and call in the professionals – I guarantee you will not regret it.
Tip #3 – One word – Bubble wrap! Get lots. When moving house it’s your best friend. Your removal company will be happy to give you a big roll along with boxes of all sizes and tissue paper (your second best friend).
Bonus Tip – Don’t pack all your towels, cushions or blankets as they are brilliant at leveling off (and protecting the contents of) boxes that contain breakables.
Moving home is stressful. No one is denying that.
The key to a smooth move however, is making sure you start planing your campaign early.
Take advantage of online tools such as the handy move planner from moveme.com – https://planner.moveme.com/ and do yourself a massive favor – splash out on a professional removal company. You will not regret it.