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A Guide To Moving House

Moving House in 2021 Guide | Moving House Tips & Checklist

The decision to move house is one that you probably haven’t taken lightly. The moving process can be stressful, as there is a lot to do in the run-up to moving day. However, despite the stresses, moving home can be a great experience. You may relocate to an area that gives you more work and leisure opportunities, or maybe you want to move into a home that is more suited to your personal situation. These are just two of the advantages a house move can bring you.

Still, you can be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed with everything you need to do. That is why we have compiled this guide for you. We will run through a range of things you need to think about during your move, and we will present you with a checklist of ‘things to do’ so you don’t forget anything vital that you need to know.

Let’s get started on your moving house journey.

Moving House Guide | Moving House Tips & Checklist

Think About Your Mortgage

When moving from your current home, you can decide to port your mortgage or get a new one. Which is right for you? Well, let’s take a closer look.

Porting your mortgage

If you already have a mortgage, you might be able to port it to your new home. There are some very good reasons for doing so.

  • If you’re on a great mortgage deal you might get to keep it
  • You won’t have to pay the fees associated with a new mortgage
  • You won’t have to pay early repayment fees

To find out whether your mortgage is portable or not, check with your lender. They will go through the terms and conditions of your mortgage deal with you and explain more about the process. If you are allowed to port your mortgage, you have to reapply for the borrowing. 

Not all lenders will let your port your mortgage, however. If your financial situation has changed, and your lender suspects you might have difficulty with the repayments, they might turn down your new application. They might also turn you down if their lending criteria has changed. In such cases, you will have to apply for a new mortgage.

Even if you are allowed to port your mortgage, you might decide a new mortgage is better anyway. This usually applies when you don’t like the rate your lender is offering you, or if you see a better deal elsewhere. 

For more advice, click on the link below.

How do I port my mortgage?

Getting a new mortgage

You will have to get a new mortgage if you aren’t able to port your current mortgage. However, as we have discussed, you might decide on a new mortgage anyway, as there are advantages. As mentioned, you might be able to find a better deal with another lender, and you will also have the opportunity to choose a type of mortgage product that better suits your circumstances.

There are disadvantages, of course. You will be liable for early repayment charges when leaving your current deal, and you will have to pay an exit fee too.

What is right for you?

The key here is to look at the maths. If it makes financial sense to get a new mortgage, then consider the option. It makes sense if you have almost come to the end of your current mortgage deal. However, if you still have a few years left on your mortgage product, you might find it isn’t cost-effective to leave your deal early. Simply put, the earlier you leave, the heftier your fees will be. 

For more advice, get in touch with our friendly team. We will discuss your options with you and guide you into making the right decision for you. `

Searching For A New Home

When searching for a new home, there are two things you need to consider. The first is the actual property you could be moving into. You need to make sure that it is right for both your personal and financial needs. And the second thing to consider is the location. If there are specific amenities and practicalities that are important to you, you need to make sure the location ticks all of your boxes. We go into more detail on these below.

Questions To Ask Your Estate Agent

When looking to buy a property, consult with one or more estate agents. They will help you find a property that is suitable for your needs, and they will help you liaise with the property sellers when you find a house you would like to buy.

As you look at properties, ask the estate agent the following questions.

Why is the owner selling? 

They might be selling because of problems with the property, so it’s worth knowing what these issues are before signing any contract. They might also be selling because they are in a rush to move on. In both cases, you might be in a position to haggle a lower price.

What will be included in the sale? 

You need to find out what you’re getting for your money. The sale might include various fixtures and furnishings, but if you don’t want to keep these, you have the right to haggle a lower price with the seller.

What is the minimum price the seller will accept? 

Never take the asking price at face value. There could be some wriggle room with the price, and this could save you thousands. 

Is the property listed?

You will be restricted from making certain changes when buying a listed property, so it’s worth checking with your estate agent early on. 

Have there been any other offers?

You will be thrust into a bidding war if there have been other offers, and you will have to shell out more money as a result. It’s worth finding out at an early stage, as you don’t want to waste your time if there are chances of you going over your budget.

What are the expected monthly expenses?

Your estate agent will be able to give you more information on the council tax band, so you can have an idea on what you will be expected to pay. They will also be able to give you an idea of the utility bill prices, although these expenses can obviously be reduced if you make lifestyle changes and compare providers. 

What is the neighbourhood like?

Your estate agent will be able to give you more information on local crime rates, available amenities, public transport routes, and more. 

Things To Look For Around The House

When viewing the property, add the following to a checklist. This will help you decide how suitable the house is for you and also how safe it is to move into.

  • How much storage space is there?
  • Are there enough electrical sockets?
  • Do the light switches work?
  • Do the doors and windows open and shut correctly?
  • Are smoke and fire alarms fitted?
  • Are there are any security features?
  • Is the flooring in good condition?
  • Are there signs of structural damage?
  • What is the water pressure like?

It is worth paying for the professional services of a property surveyor when considering the quality of the property. While there will be another expense, the cost will be worth it should any faults be discovered. For more on this, read our article on homebuyers surveys and costs.

Things To Look For In The Neighbourhood

  • How close are the local schools?
  • How many amenities are there?
  • Are there activities for my family to take part in?
  • What are the neighbours like?
  • Are there signs of criminal damage?
  • Do people appear to be happy in the neighbourhood?
  • Is the area tidy?

Walk around the area when possible and continue your research at home with a Google search and a look at Google maps. 

Selling Your Home

Finding a new place to live is often the fun part of the moving process. Selling your home can sometimes be more stressful. To help you with the moving house process, focus on the following steps. 

Add value where you can

You can raise the asking price of your home when you add value. If it is cost-effective for you to do so, you could increase the living space with a loft conversion or kitchen extension. You could also add a new heating system, especially if the existing system isn’t energy-efficient. And you could make improvements in each room of the house, perhaps with new windows and doors, smart features, and added storage space.

You don’t want to spend money you can’t afford, of course, so don’t go overboard with renovations if you will be too much out of pocket. There are low-cost ways to add value to your property. A fresh lick of paint where it is needed can work wonders, and so can a makeover of your garden if it lacks curb appeal. You should also get on top of any repairs before showing buyers around. Any defects within your property could put interested parties off buying, and you will need to lower your asking price if you expect buyers to make the repairs themselves. 

Ask for a valuation

You need to come up with an asking price for your home, and the best way to do this is to ask an estate agent for a valuation. Your estate agent will consider any alterations you have made, and they will also let you know what other homes are selling for in the area. They will then give you an idea of what the asking price should be. 

Advertise your home

Your estate agent will advertise your home for you, but you can advertise it yourself if you want to avoid their fees. You can do so on social media, online property sites, and through your own website, as well as classified pages online and off. It is usually recommended to advertise through an estate agent, however, due to their experience. Of course, you could advertise your home yourself and use the services of an estate agent as the more marketing your home receives, the quicker it should sell. 

Prepare your home for viewings

You need to show your home in its best light when showing it to potential buyers. So, be sure to have a good tidy up before they arrive and give each room a spring clean. Concentrate on the smell of your house too. You could light a few scented candles or add vases of flowers around your home to sweeten the aroma. And remember to work on the exterior of your property. First impressions are everything, so mow the lawn, trim your bushes, remove any litter, and give your doors and fences a fresh lick of paint. 

The Cost Of Moving Home

When moving house, buying a new home is just the start. You also have to factor in additional costs, such as the stamp duty, estate agents fees, and the cost of a removal company. You can reduce some of the costs by comparing service providers, but it is still important to budget for expected expenses throughout the moving process. 

Click on the link below for more detailed information. 

How much will it cost to move home in 2021?

Moving House Checklist

What do I need to do before moving house?

To help you prepare for moving day, we have outlined what you need to do at different stages as you get nearer to your moving date. Below we have a moving house checklist that will help break down each individual step of moving house.

8 weeks before moving house

When you have finally signed a contract with the seller and move-in dates have been arranged for you and your home buyer, make sure you do the following.

  • Hire the services of a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal side of the move
  • Book time off work
  • Arrange a school transfer if you have children
  • Fix any repairs that were promised to the home buyer
  • Take out contents home insurance if you need cover for your possessions

6 weeks before moving house

With just over a month to go, concentrate on these aspects of the move.

  • Obtain quotes for removal costs from local removal companies and hire when ready
  • Make an inventory of your possessions
  • Make a list of the items you want to keep, sell, or donate
  • Start to clean out your cupboards
  • Speak to life insurance companies to change or take out life insurance if it is a condition of your mortgage
  • Check the stipulation of your buildings and contents insurance
  • Collect packing materials such as boxes and bubble wrap (time to start packing soon)
  • Buy cleaning products and tools needed for deep clean. Alternatively research local cleaning companies
  • Check parking restrictions for the removal company. The driver of the big removal van moving your current property to your new house will need to know if they need to arrange parking permits.

4 weeks before moving house

At this point, you should know if all is going well with the moving chain. Chase up your solicitor or conveyancer to find out more. Should the moving date still be intact, add these to your house moving to-do list.

  • Start packing anything that you won’t need over the next few weeks
  • Let your utility and broadband providers know you will be moving
  • Update your address with your current utility providers. You could also search elsewhere for better deals for your telephone, broadband, electricity, and gas.
  • Look for a storage facility if you need to store any of your items
  • Order things you will need in your new home, such as a new washing machine or a new set of curtains

2 weeks before moving house

Who do I need to inform when I move house?

As moving day approaches, now is the time to get on with the following tasks.

  • Let your bank and subscription services know of your change of address
  • Redirect your post to your new address with Royal Mail (post office)
  • Make a start on the foods that you won’t be transporting to your new home
  • Organise all of the important documents you will need for the move
  • Continue packing your non-essentials
  • Confirm your moving date with the removals company

1 week before the move

Not long to go now, but there is still work to be done.

  • Check the lists above and do anything that you might have missed
  • Continue with your packing and label everything
  • Make up an essentials box containing the items you will need on the day of your move
  • Start to clean your home (and hire a cleaning service if you want to)
  • Register to start paying council tax at the new property
  • Make sure you are registered on the electoral roll (You can register/change your electoral roll here – www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
  • Arrange childminders and pet-sitters if you need to
  • Change address with your pet insurance, your vet and your pet’s microchip details

The day before the move

Don’t forget the following in all of your excitement

  • Start to take apart furniture and disconnect household appliances
  • Enlist the help of friends and family for any jobs that need completing
  • Take a final look around your home
  • Collect the keys to your new property
  • Make sure you have a good night’s sleep (you’ll need it)

The day of the move

The big day is finally here, but before you go…

  • Take final meter readings of your gas and electricity meters and contact your utility companies
  • Do a final clean-up of your property
  • Make sure all of your utilities are switched off
  • Secure doors and windows
  • Check the house for anything you may have missed
  • Hand in your keys to the estate agent
  • Move! (we hope you enjoy your new home)

We hope you found the moving house checklist useful. For more advice on the mortgage side of the moving process, get in touch with our friendly team at YesCanDo Money for FREE mortgage advice and support.

Homebuyer Surveys And Costs

If you’re planning on a house move, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. A move can be both stressful and costly, and you don’t want to get to your new home only to discover there might be some serious maintenance problems within. This is why you might consider getting a Homebuyers Survey (also known as a Homebuyers Report or a House Survey), as you will be able to avoid any expensive surprises after you have moved in.

How do I find a conveyancing solicitor?

When choosing a conveyancing service firm, fees shouldn’t always be the main aspect of what you are looking for. A solicitor that is on your side and knows the local area well will save you time, pain and money in the long run. More on how to find a conveyancing solicitor.

What is life insurance and do I need it?

It’s protection that’s designed to take all financial strain away. When someone passes away or is diagnosed with a critical condition, the emotional effects on them or their surrounding network of people can be devastating, but the financial effect can also be just as hard-hitting. Life insurance ensures that difficult times can be made more bearable.

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

YesCanDo money is a trading name of Roberts Financial Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, authorisation number 527815. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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Steve Roberts
Steve Roberts

Stephen Roberts MAQ is the founder of YesCanDo Money, Hampshire's largest no-fee mortgage brokers. With over 30 years of mortgage experience, he has advised and helped thousands of First-time buyers buy their first home and home movers buy their dream home. Speak to a mortgage expert today by completing our contact form:

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