Everything is signed and sealed, you have a completion date, finally things are coming together and your dream home is just a few days away. Of course, you have been planning this for months and months, but our resident property experts David Bancroft and James Smith have collaborated over an essential house-moving guide, which pulls together all the little things you might forget.

It’s fair to say most of us have had some memorable moving experiences and you learn something new from each one. The key is to be prepared and learn from these mistakes. Of course, we’d all like a house move to go smoothly, but life isn’t always like that, so we’ve put together an essentials list based on our experiences.

Moving House Tip #1

Hopefully you have already given a lot of thought to local schools, work journeys and the convenience of essential things in the local area, and you will also know the major things about the actual property you are buying. But right before moving day is when you need to ask about those little things about the property that weren’t really important until now.

Be sure to ask the owner about utilities, where the stopcock is and the gas and electric meters. You need to know what day the bin collections are, have they got manuals and warranty information for integral washers or fridges? Are there any spare tiles for the kitchen floor or the bathroom? Where did they get them from just in case? Make a list of all these little questions and fire away.

David Bancroft, our Head of Residential Property, suggests a lot of first time buyers overlook removal costs too:

Many people decide to do it themselves by hiring a van and this can be just the ticket for small houses or flats. If you have a lot of belongings and are moving into a larger property, self-hire of a van is not always possible so be sure to plan this well in advance and get at least three quotes from BAR-registered removals companies.

First-time buyers often get new carpets or furniture delivered directly to their new home, to save you the job of moving it yourself. Obviously you have to get your timings right, and it applies to anyone moving house really, but it’s a great way of saving removal costs.

Moving House Tip #2

We recommend you notify people of your new address well in advance of your moving date so that utilities companies and broadband providers can make arrangements to switch your supply. You also need to notify banks, insurance companies, pensions, schools and the council. The list is almost endless. You should also make arrangements with Royal Mail to have your post re-directed to your new home.

James Smith, Head of Conveyancing and Remortgage, believes packing is often the most daunting thing about moving house, and you should start this well in advance and make sure you pack methodically.

I advise that you label all your boxes according to which room they should end up in. Moving house is also a great time to de-clutter and get rid of things you can’t remember why you kept!

Be careful with flat pack furniture and make sure you retain assembly nuts and bolts and keep them attached to the furniture for removal, or you will never be able to put the item back together again.

On removal day itself, you should also move and locate big items first, so you are not constantly having to shift smaller items around to make floor space.

Moving house is also a good time to shop around and seek new deals. You are having to update info anyway so why not go the whole hog and seek a new deal somewhere? Better deals for gas and electric can always be found, and the same goes for broadband and TV packages. Do you really need all the add-on packages you currently have? Re-assess everything and it can save you a lot of money.

The same goes for insurance too. You should address this well in advance to make sure you are covered as soon as you move in, but why not re-assess what cover you need, has your contents value increased or decreased? You should also look at getting things like boilers covered in your new house. You don’t really know how reliable they are and there is nothing worse on your first night, or in the difficult first few days, than being cold and miserable in an unfamiliar house.

Moving House Tip #3

Another good tip is to make sure you double check your council tax payment, and don’t just accept it is correct. Many people just pay the charge regardless, but the bands for different houses and streets change quite often and you could be over-paying for the property you are moving into, so it is worth a few minutes’ research.

We also have a few words about finances in general. When you’ve just secured a mortgage for the house and found the best and most cost-effective deal, you should now see if you can save more money on a new savings account or another form of investment. You should assess your pension arrangements and ensure you have wills and probate in place. Moving house is a fresh start in many senses and now is the time to get everything in order so you can enjoy your new home without stress and worry.

Moving House Tip #4

Lastly, and most importantly, we advise that you don’t book anything until you have exchanged contracts – just to be on the safe side!

For more information, please contact our Residential Conveyancing team in Leeds – call 0113 284 5000.

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