There’s nothing quite like the excitement of moving to a new home, especially if you’re a first time buyer. It really is quite a good feeling! At the same time, however, it’s rather daunting and there’s a lot of planning and preparation to do. To make your life easier and alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling, here are some essential moving tips to add to your checklist.
Who better to answer questions about your new home than its current owner? Amidst the excitement and stress of house-hunting, packing and moving, this is something that so many new home owners fail to do. So, once you’ve found your perfect home and have had your offer accepted, make a list of questions for the current owner to ensure you’re up to date with all of the essential day-to-day information about the property. We recommend asking:
- When are the bins collected?
- Does the council provide recycling services and bulk uplift collection?
- Do any surfaces in the property require special cleaning products?
- What paint colours are on the walls? Do they have any leftover tins for touching up?
- Do they have instruction manuals and warranties for items like the boiler, oven, fridge, washing machine, and other white goods?
- When was the boiler last serviced?
- Where are the gas and electricity meters?
- Where is the main stopcock and thermostat?
- If you’re buying a flat – is there a factor? If so, who is it? If not, how are communal maintenance decisions made?
With so much on your mind, it’s all too easy to completely forget about insuring your new property. This happens a lot more than you would think! As soon as you can, start shopping around for the most appropriate building and contents insurance and get it set up to begin on the day you take ownership. The best deals can usually be found by taking a combined building and contents policy, rather than two separate policies with different insurers.
If you have purchased an apartment, you may well find that the building is factored by a property management company. This is very common, especially in large cities, so it may be the case that a communal building insurance policy already exists and is paid via the factor. Ask the current owner of the property – and if there is a factor, it would be a good idea to get in touch with them as soon as you can to determine the insurance status and find out what other services are included in their fees.
Removal Firms and Packing Supplies
If you already own a home or are moving from an unfurnished rental property, you may find it less stressful to arrange a removal firm to transport your belongings. It’s tempting to try to do it all yourself to save money, but it’s incredibly stressful and exhausting hauling large items and boxes from one property to another. And if you’re moving to a top floor tenement, you really don’t want to be tackling those stairs with heavy furniture!!
Try to get quotes from at least three reputable local removal firms and book your slot as soon as you can. Many larger removal companies provide boxes and packing materials, with some even offering professional packing services. If you need to find your own boxes, try your local convenience stores/restaurants and bars/off-licences for used boxes that they are throwing out.
Amazon and Gumtree are also great sites for affordable and/or secondhand double wall cardboard boxes – single wall boxes are very lightweight and not suitable for heavy items, nor are they sturdy enough for stacking. Newspapers and plastic bags are good protective packing materials, but you’ll need bubble wrap for very fragile items. It’s also a good idea to cover mirrors, picture frames and the corners of wooden furniture with bubble wrap to avoid dents and scratches.
If you use a removal firm, find our if they are insured. If not, or you’re moving everything yourself, check that your contents insurance policy covers goods in transit. And finally, use a marker pen to write the name of each room on your boxes so you know where they are going, and use labels to note what items are contained inside. It’s a good idea to pack one box with all of your essentials that you’re likely to want to use immediately upon moving in.
Utilities and Service Providers
Settling your utility bills and switching your services, such as phone, internet and TV, to a new address is never as straightforward as it should be. Make a list of everyone who needs to know about your change of address and contact them as early as possible to find out what you need to do and when you need to do it.
On the day you move out of your current home, take a note of your meter readings and do the same when you move into your new property. Try to arrange your new broadband well ahead of time to determine what services are available in the area and get your landline and broadband activated quickly. Your current provider may be able to simply switch your current contract and services to your new home.
Ensuring all of your mail gets delivered to your new address is a timely task. Just when you think you’ve contacted everyone, you remember another person or business that you need to inform! To be certain that all of your important correspondence is received, it’s advisable to set up Mail Redirection through the Post Office. It’s also a great way to avoid personal details falling into the wrong hands and becoming a victim of fraud.
Mail Redirection is available for up to three, six or 12 months, with prices starting just £31.99 for each surname at the new address. However, Action Fraud recommends that this service is used for at least one full year to prevent identity fraud.
To set up this mail service, you will need to complete a form from the Post Office (available online or from any branch) and take it to your nearest branch, along with the required ID and proof of address documents. Your Mail Redirection should be set up within five working days.
Have a Clear Out
Moving to pastures new is a great opportunity to have good old clear out and get rid of things you no longer need or use. For some reason, the vast majority of us are highly skilled at hoarding items ‘just in case’, or shoving things at the back of a cupboard to deal with later. Well, it’s now later and it is time to be ruthless! Take your unwanted items to charity shops, or perhaps sell them on Gumtree to make a bit of cash. It’s incredibly liberating – and the more you get rid of, the less you have to transport!
It takes time to settle into a new home and get a feel for the decor and types of furnishings that will work well. If you get the opportunity, set aside some time to revisit your new property before the move-in date to take some vital measurements. Will all of your existing furniture fit in the space? Do you need to buy new blinds and curtains? If you are moving from a property with built-in storage, will you need to new wardrobes for the bedrooms? It’s not the end of the world if you have to figure all of this out after you’ve moved in, but it does make life easier if you know ahead of time and can perhaps prepare before moving in.
Clyde Property is a leading independent, multiple award winning estate and letting agent with 30 years’ experience in selling and letting property in Scotland. Just call your local Clyde Property branch today, for friendly, impartial advice on finding your next dream home.