Online House Hunter: Moving stories
MOVING house must count as one of the most stressful events in one’s life so any advice on how to make it go smoothly is welcome.
If anyone should know about moving house it’s the National Association of Estate Agents and they’ve issued a press release detailing their top tips.
First on the list is a rather obvious one: get multiple quotes from removal companies. But what you may not know is that there is a trade association for removers: The British Association of Removers. The NAEA recommend only using BAR members and the BAR website allows you to search by postcode their members and then message them directly. The website also offers general advice about dealing with removal firms including the crucial tip: Don’t move on a Friday! It’s their busiest day and some companies will offer a discount if you’re prepared to move on other days of the week.
Don’t rule out moving furniture yourself though, says the NAEA. For those prepared to put in the hard work it can save you a sizeable sum. Just be aware that you’ll need to make sure you have the right licence for larger than normal vehicles. And if you’re move is taking you abroad, you’ll need to get your head round insurance and foreign legislation. Check out the Foreign Office website for a start.
Tip Three is ensuring that gas, electricity, phone, broadband and other services are set up as quickly as possible in your new home. This is the time to decide whether to stick with your current suppliers, the one providing the services already to your new home or switch to a different supplier. The Consumer Focus website has information to help you make your decision.
Here’s a run-through of the NAEA’s other tips before I add a few of my own with links to appropriate websites:
- Research access for your removal van at your new home. This may be a chat with the local police station or something more formal with the council if you’re going to be blocking roads for some period of time. And warn your new neighbours – you don’t want to upset them from Day One!
- Dismantle the heavy furniture first and move these to the front of your house so they can be loaded first.
- Pack a basics box (or ‘Emergency box’ might be a better description) with spare clothes, phone charge, essential paper work, list of emergency phone numbers, first aid box, toilet paper etc.
- Check who holds the key to the door. “This might sound like an obvious step” says the NAEA “but it is surprising how many new homeowners forget to check the date for when the keys will be released for the property”. And make sure you get the keys for all doors (and windows).
Having moved house myself recently I’d also add these reminders:
- Ask the Royal Mail to forward mail for a period of time. You may think you’ve told everyone you’re moving but vital documents can go astray if you’ve forgotten someone.
- Sort out GPs, dentists etc sooner rather than later. Otherwise someone in your family will go ill before you’ve had the chance to organise it. Here’s the link to the relevant NHS website page.
- Sort out stopping council tax at your old property and starting it at your new one. This DirectGov service will help you find your relevant council tax office.
- The DirectGov link below will tell you to remind the BBC licensing people and others that you’ve also changed address but perhaps the most important is your driving licence as this may affect your insurance (and you need to tell them as well!). You can start online here.
A few more links are included below. Good luck!
- DirectGov – moving house guide
- Citizens Advice – Buying and moving home
- BBC Moving House guide (but be aware this site has not been update for three years so some information may be out of date).
- Channel 4 Moving House Checklist
- Independent online property search
- Independent Property section
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