What to consider when moving house
Moving into a new house is a time of excitement and at times, apprehension. With so many factors to consider – from mortgage approvals to removals – it’s little wonder that many homeowners-to-be can get forgetful in the latter stages of a move. Here, our moving house checklist summarises the key things to remember so you can make the transition to your new home with a minimum of fuss.
Confirm your mortgage
First and foremost, unless you’re buying a property outright, you will need to be issued with a mortgage offer from your lender. Even after receiving a mortgage agreement in principle, it can take weeks or even months before a bank agrees to lend you the money against the new home, so making sure you’ve provided all the correct information for your mortgage application – from payslips to bank statements – could quicken the process.
While buildings insurance aren’t legal requirements, many lenders will consider it a precondition of letting you take out a mortgage. The insurance should be in place from the moment you exchange contracts, as this is when you’re legally responsible for the property. And of course, life insurance can protect your mortgage if you were to pass away.
Manage the chain
If your purchase is contingent on other properties being sold – in other words, if you’re ‘in a chain’ – you should keep on top of how the other sales are progressing right up until you exchange and complete. You can do this by communicating with your solicitors, estate agent and if practical, the vendors (sellers). According to Nested.com, typically, about 20% to 30% of house sales fall through – though this varies according to market conditions – so keeping the lines of communication open could help smoothen any snags.
Arrange a survey
If you’re getting a survey done – a visual inspection and report on a property’s condition – you’ll want to wait for the report so you can factor in any repair costs. You can then decide whether to proceed with the purchase at the (non-binding) price you’ve agreed, lower your offer, or withdraw from the purchase. Note that in Scotland, there are guidelines aimed at preventing so-called ‘gazundering’ – where a buyer lowers their bid before the exchange of contracts.
If you’ve appointed a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal side of the property transaction, you will need to inform them of when you’d like to exchange contracts – this is when you become legally responsible for the property – and the subsequent completion date. You will need to ensure you have sufficient funds in your bank account for the transfer to occur, and remain vigilant against property fraud by ensuring you’re communicating with a legitimate solicitor who can safely transfer the money.
Organise removals and storage
While you might be confident that you can load up a van with all your worldly possessions, many homebuyers decide to use a removal company to transport furniture and items from one property to the next. You could also pay for storage, which may be necessary if you’ve vacated a property but haven’t yet got the keys to the new place.
You’ll need to settle any unpaid bills – check your contract for any exit fees – and inform whichever supplier you’re using at the next property of your move-in date. You may have a notice period on your existing deal, so you can get the ball rolling early on this one.
Similarly, you will need to inform your internet provider that you’re moving home and potentially fulfil a notice period. You may be able to carry your broadband service over to the new address, and you can can also find out which internet supplier is set-up at the new property in case that makes the installation more straightforward.
Planning on watching telly on your first night-in? You can change the address of your TV license up to three months before you move.
Addresses to change when moving
If you’re imminently moving house or you’ve already done so, here are some of the key institutions to contact with a change of address on your checklist.
- Your employer
- Banks and building societies
- Pension provider
- Your existing GP and any new GP surgery
- Insurance providers
- Electral roll
- Subscription services
- Student loan company
Moving house admin checklist
And finally, there are some last-minute admin tasks that are easy to forget in all the excitement of moving. And if you're moving in with your partner for the first time, check our guide with things you need to consider.
Sell unwanted possessions
Moving home is a good time to declutter, so in the weeks before you move, think about whether your furniture will work in the new property. If not, you could look to sell items online, give them to friends, donate to a charity shop or organise a car boot sale.
Take meter readings
When leaving your existing property, remember to take meter readings (and perhaps take a time-stamped photograph) so that you pay the correct amount in outstanding bills to your utility suppliers. If you’re feeling in good spirits, you may wish to leave a gift and any useful instructions for the person who’s moving into your vacated property.
You may have already cancelled subscriptions and informed key people of your change of address, but if you’re worried about not receiving mail, you can use the to forward your personal post.
Arrange a parking space
In the days before you arrive at the new home, you might wish to arrange for a parking space to be made available so that a removal van has space to unload. If you’re on friendly terms with the sellers, they might put some bins or cones out for you!
By now, it’s been a long journey, but you’re almost there. Once you’ve got the keys from the estate agent, all that’s left is to open the front door and toast your new place with a glass of something delicious.
Get life insurance when you move home
We hope you enjoyed our moving house checklist. For the vast majority of homeowners, having financial protection in place makes sense. If you own a property, a mortgage is likely to be the biggest debt you leave behind should the worst happen, so having a policy in place can help give you peace of mind. Find out more about our life insurance products.