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A Complete Guide to Moving House

Moving house is something that you’ll only do a few times in your life. It takes a lot of time, effort and money, and marks a new chapter of your life. Here at Movehub, we’ve put our heads together to give you all the moving tips you need, in this complete guide to moving house. It’ll cover the big costs, the important planning stages, and all those little things you might forget.

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Cost of moving house

Moving house is a costly business, there’s no getting around it. Whether you’re upgrading, downsizing, or stepping onto the property ladder for the first time, here’s what you should expect.

Mortgage

The fees involved in getting a mortgage can vary a lot. The arrangement fee, usually around £1,000 to £2,000, is for the lender setting up and securing the mortgage. You’ll also have to pay a non-refundable booking fee to submit your application. If you choose to use a broker, they may charge a fee directly to you too. Shop around to find the right mortgage for your situation.

Conveyance

At a cost of around £500 to £1,500, conveyance is where you hire a solicitor to act for you when buying or selling a house, as well as checking local planning permissions and environmental reports.

Estate agents

Estate agents charge a percentage fee of the sale of your property (you don’t have to pay any of these fees as a buyer), and can be anywhere between 0.75% and 3% plus VAT. It’s worth haggling to get the best deal when you put your property on the market.

Valuation

You may have to pay your mortgage lender for a valuation, so they can assess what they will lend you based on the real market value of the property. This can vary from £150 to £1,500.

Surveyors

A surveyor will investigate whether there are any structural issues with the property or important repairs to be aware of. This could be between £250 and £600.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is paid as a percentage of the total value of your house. The rates can change every few years - but properties under a certain value won’t have to pay any stamp duty.

Electronic transfer fee

A small but essential cost, your lender will charge around £50 for transferring the mortgage money to your solicitor.

Removals company

The cost of a removal company can be anywhere between £250 and £1,750, depending on the volume of your goods and the distance of your move. Remember these costs are purely indicative, you can find some great deals by comparing quotes. Fill in the Movehub’s form at the top of the page to get accurate costs.

Before the move

So, you’ve had an offer accepted and your mortgage and legal costs are sorted. Now’s the time to put your organisation hat firmly on your head, because there’s a lot of work to be done!

Planning

A bit of effort at the beginning is worth it in the long term. Get yourself a calendar and mark on all the important dates from now until moving day. Book annual leave at work and make time for packing.

Who to inform

You’ll need to make sure that your bank, lawyers, utilities suppliers, telephone and internet providers and doctor are informed of your new address. If you get stuck, services like www.iammoving.com can help you transfer everything to your new home. Don’t forget to let schools, employers and family and friends know too.

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Mail redirection

Mail redirection ensures that all mail sent to your old address is delivered to your new address, it costs between £30 and £70.

Declutter

There’s no better time to reassess how much junk you have and finally have a much needed clear out. Why not make a little money in the process and do a car boot sale, or sell things online? If that seems like too much hard work, there’s also companies that will come and declutter for you, while you get on with planning the rest of your move.

Compare removals companies

It’s a great idea to get quotes from several moving companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal with the company that’s right for you. Fill the form in at the top of the page to start comparing quotes.

For extra peace of mind, check that the company you use is part of the British Association of Removers (BAR) or the National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS), and ask your moving questions: are they insured? Are your possessions insured under them? Does the price include VAT? It’s good to be thorough.

Cancellation insurance

Take out some cancellation insurance, to cover unexpected charges if the worst happens and your exchange or completion dates are delayed, or the purchase falls through.

Hiring a man and van

If your move is small, hiring a man and van is a great budget option. Make sure that they have a valid address rather than a PO box number, and a landline number rather than just a mobile, and check reviews or get recommendations from friends, if you can.

Packing service

Movehub’s top moving tip is to get your packing done professionally. There’s more skill involved than you may think. Packing can be the most stressful part of the move and the risk of your valuables being broken is high. A good packing company will supply all the right materials and help keep you super-organised on moving day.

Label boxes

Label your boxes by room, to avoid feeling stressed when unpacking, or looking for the wine glasses. Remember to mark any boxes with ‘fragile’ or ‘this way up’ instructions for the removals team as well.

Measure up

Measure everything - not just your furniture, but doorways and corridors as well. You won’t want to abandon Granny’s antique sideboard in the front garden, so make sure everything can fit into your new house. If you’re unsure, see if your removals company can dismantle things.

Appliances

If you’re getting rid of old appliances when you move, make sure you’ve checked with your council on the correct way to dispose of things like fridges and washing machines. If you have a gas cooker, you’ll need to get a qualified engineer to disconnect it for you.

Access

Don’t spend the morning directing traffic outside your house, to save space for the removal van. You can reserve parking spaces through your local council, if you arrange in advance. If you live in a block of flats let your neighbours know that you’ll be using the lift a lot while you pack up the truck.

Babysitters

For children, moving house can be equal parts exciting and scary. There’s lots of ways to make them feel happy and engaged in the process of moving house, from packing their own special box, to playing games in their new bedroom. But, it can be easier to ask friends or family, or hire a babysitter, to make sure the kids are out of your hair for the busiest part of the moving day itself. Don’t leave this to the last minute, book well in advance.

Pets

Pets make a house feel like a home, so you’ll no doubt want to make sure your fluffy friends settle in as easily as possible. The best way to do this might be to book your cat or dog into kennels for the few days before and after the move, giving you time to unpack and welcome them back to a calmer environment. If you’re planning on moving overseas with your pets, find out about pet removals costs here.

House fact files

Put together a fact file of all the information about your house that you can compile for the new owners or tenants. This can include information on the appliances, recycling schemes, where the bins are taken, doctors and other useful stuff. See if you can ask for a fact file from the owner of the home you’re moving, as it makes settling in that much easier. Also, if the property has a burglar alarm, remember to get the code.

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On the day

Moving day has arrived! If you’ve planned well, this should be a fairly smooth process. If something goes wrong, work things out calmly and ask for help. You’ll be in your new home with your feet up before you know it.

Essentials

Separately from your professionally packed possessions, make sure you’ve kept back a box of essentials for you to transport to your new house. Most important for a stress-free move - you’ll need a kettle, mugs and teabags. Other essentials should include, basic kitchen supplies, a toolkit, measuring tape, torch, change of clothes, snacks, first aid kit and medications, and a corkscrew.

Check and check again

Once the van is packed and ready to go, take a final walk around your property with the removals team. Check in all cupboards and attic spaces that there’s nothing you’ve forgotten. Wall clocks and lampshades might get overlooked too, so be sure to double-check.

Meter readings

Take meter readings for gas and electricity for your old and new properties, keeping your utilities companies informed about your move.

Renting?

If you’re moving into a rented property, you and your landlord will need to do a thorough walk-through of your new home with an inventory list that you both agree and sign.

Unpacking

It’s been a long, tough day, so don’t try and unpack everything straight away. Take a breather, go for a walk around your new neighbourhood, order in a takeaway and share a bottle of something bubbly to toast your new home!

After the move

There’s still work to be done, so keep organised, and tick off the last few things on this list before you fully relax, you can do it!

Repairs

Your survey might have highlighted some repairs that need attended to - it’s best to get these dealt with sooner rather than later.

Insurance

Building and contents insurance is essential, make sure you have everything covered and you’re paying a fair price. Check if your car insurance premium will change as well.

Council tax / new utilities

Check in with your local council and get a direct debit set up for your council tax payments. If you haven’t used a switching service, get all your utilities and services connected as well - gas, electricity, water, TV licence, phone line and internet.

Ground rent / service charges

Check that you know the payments of any ground rent or service changes for the type of property you’re in. Add your contact details to the circulation list for any tenants or neighbourhood associations.

Locks

Change the locks when you get to your new home - you never know who has the keys. If you want, you can even go through full security assessment. Statistics say that you’re twice as likely to get burgled 12 months after moving house.

New furniture

If you’ve set aside some of your budget for new furniture, it’s time to go shopping! Now you know how the light and space works in your new home, you can pick the best pieces to go with what you’ve already got. Just don’t forget the all important tape measure!