Adam Cheal: Top tips for moving home

Moving to a new house can be both the most amazing and most stressful period of our lives.

All of the excitement of the new chapter of your life, combined with the tens of thousands of things that you need to remember, wrap, book, sort, print, pick up and send.

That’s why here at Fletcher Longstaff we like to focus on the things and feelings that really matter. Whether it is the look on a couple’s face when they receive their first set of house keys, the sense of adventure when moving for a new job, or the simple choice of “time for a change”, the emotion felt when moving should be positive, not negative.

We believe it is these feelings that matter, not the other stresses. This is why we want to help you get through the process as quickly and easily as possible.

Our experts have written their list of top tips to think about when moving to a new house:

1. Work out the true costs – Set a realistic budget and look at costs for all aspects of your move including: mortgage arrangement fee, valuation/survey fee, legal fees, stamp duty, removal fees, building insurance, any home repairs and furniture. Knowing exactly how much all of these will cost before starting the process is vital.

2. Check the Area – You can look at the pictures of the house online, see the lovely driveway and the nice garden, but not realise that the house is located in not a very nice area. You can move to your dream home, but you can’t move your dream home once you are there. Check the surrounding area, visit the parks, restaurants and pubs and at different times of day and night. What’s the traffic like at rush hour? Is there a lot of litter or lots of noise? What are the transport links like? What are the schools like in the area?

3. Communication, communication, communication – We have all heard about location, location, location but something that is even more important is engaging in regular communication with all parties to ensure no one is surprised or caught unaware. If you are working to a particular deadline or date it is essential that this is discussed as soon as possible to check this is achievable. It is important that your moving team, which includes your lawyer, your estate agent and your mortgage advisor, are kept in the loop.

4. Expect to wait a little – There is no set timeline for buying a new house, but average timescales in the UK show that from your initial interest right through to opening the new house door can take anywhere from between 12 weeks to 12 months. There are many considerations that need to be factored in when looking at timescale, but if you’re looking to move in next month you might be left disappointed

5. FAQs for the sellers – Asking the seller a few simple questions can mean less of a headache when you arrive at your new home. These can be:

  • Where are the gas and electricity meters?
  • What day to the bin men come?
  • Are there instruction manuals stashed away somewhere?
  • How can we shut of the water if we need to?
  • Where did the fixed furniture and/or kitchen and bathroom tiles come from?
  • Where is the thermostat?

6. Check home insurance before buying – This will ensure that suitable cover is available, and may throw up any possible complications (if the area is a flood-risk area for example). If you simply get the quotes before buying this may nip something in the bud. Make sure you get as number of quotes.

7. Pack the things you need the least, first – Use the opportunity to have a clear out and dispose of anything that is not coming with you to the tip or charity shop etc. Pack items you do not necessarily use on a daily basis first. This might include the Christmas decorations, coats and/or garden tools. This way, by the day of the move, you will have systemically packed everything you needed up until that point, leaving the rush at the end less stressful.

8. Don’t be tempted by the cheapest price – As with many things, cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean the best value. This can apply to all aspects of moving, whether it’s the house itself, the removal company, the conveyancer or the estate agent. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting in return for any service, and don’t be drawn by cheaper prices when you may get an inferior service.

9. Get an expert to carry out the legal work – Instructing an experienced conveyancer that is an expert is vitally important in the process of moving home. There are a few expert tips here:

  • Always use a properly regulated firm
  • Make sure the firm has a specialised, expert conveyancing department, rather than being a Jack of all trades.
  • Do not assume the firm needs to be nearby. Unless you want to meet your conveyancer, the service can be done remotely.
  • Refer to Tip No. 8. Don’t think that the cheapest conveyancing quote is the best.
  • Sometimes the benefit of having an experienced expert and good customer service is worth the extra few pounds.

We hope that these tips have helped you in the process of moving home. After all, moving into a new home is one of the biggest financial and emotional commitments you will make.