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How Do I Move House?

Moving house is a daunting task; after the elation of having an offer accepted and the celebrations of buying a new house, comes the sense of dread at the thought of all the things you need to do when moving house.

Informing everyone that you have moved, changing your gas, electricity, phone and Internet, packing all your belongings, hiring a removal company; the list goes on and on.

Planning to move house

Ready to move

Not only is it one of the most stressful things you can do, it is also one of the most expensive; and finding the most cost-effective way of doing things can help to stop the costs mounting up.

What do I need to do when moving house?

 It is essential that you are well organised from the outset when you move house; the better prepared you are, the easier and smoother the process will be. Write out a list of the things you need to get done, and do them at the earliest opportunity rather than leaving them to the last minute.

  •  If you are going to use a removals company, get quotes from at least three different firms, and be sure to check their terms of service and their insurance details.
  • Inform banks, building societies, credit card companies, pension providers, and any other relevant companies of your new address well in advance; some may require up to a months notice.
  • Take care of your TV license and inform the Inland Revenue, the local council and the DVLA of your change of address.
  • Send change of address cards, including phone numbers if necessary, to family and friends so they know how to contact you.
  • De-register from doctors and dentists, and contact surgeries in your new area.
  • Set up a mail forwarding service with the Post Office.
  • Arrange child-care and pet-care if needed for the day of the move.
  • Write a list of all important phone numbers – estate agents, removals companies, both yours and the seller’s solicitors, insurance companies, utilities; and make a note of any relevant account numbers alongside.
  • Cancel any milk deliveries or newspaper subscriptions.
  • Organise utilities to be switched off at the old house, and switched on at your new house.
  • Organise change of internet and phone services.

 

Switching suppliers when moving house

 You may have signed up to contracts with some service providers, particularly phone and broadband services, and be part way through a 12 or 18 month contract. It is therefore important to contact your broadband and phone provider at least a week in advance to begin the transfer of service.

There is usually no fee involved in changing address, but it can be a frustrating process, as you need to supply your provider with a new phone number along with the address.

It is not always easy to find out the number of the house before you move in, and this can cause delays. Regardless of how far through the contract period you are, some providers may require you to enter into a new 12 month contract at the new address; unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent this.

Utility providers are generally much easier to change, and usually only require a minimum of 48 hours notice. When you move you should take final meter readings at your old property, and take new readings at the new house. Contact your gas and electricity suppliers with the final readings, and give them your new address to send the final invoice to.

When you move into the new house contact the supplier you wish to use and ask them to set you up as a new customer. If you have inherited the previous owners supplier, take quotes from other companies to be sure you are getting the best deal.

It is also worth checking what type of meter a property has before you buy; if it has pre-payment meters you won’t be able to benefit from discounted direct debit payments.

Packing for the house move

Make a decision early as to whether you want to take care of the packing yourself, or you want to pay a removals firm to do it for you. If you opt to do it yourself, start to collect boxes and packing materials as early as you can.

Removal preparation

Couple packing for removal

Using a removal company can take away one of the biggest causes of stress as they will pack everything for you. They bring all the packing materials, and everything they pack is insured against damage.

It may be more sensible to call in the professionals if you have a large house, or large items of furniture that need to be dismantled or items such as pianos which require specialist transportation.

If you pack your own boxes, make sure they are clearly labelled depending on which room in the house they will go to. It’s a good idea to mark boxes with their contents as well, to help when it comes to the unpacking. Remember that the boxes you pack should be able to be lifted comfortably, don’t overfill boxes with heavy items.

Wrap delicate and breakable items with as much bubble wrap, newspaper or polystyrene as you can to protect them. Good rules of thumb is that the items in the box should be secure and not rattle and boxes should be full so they don’t collapse when stacked.

Removals

Hiring a removal firm can be costly but it can take away much of the stress involved with moving, and give you the security of knowing that all of you possessions are insured and protected.

Most companies will send a representative to your property to price up the move, and you should ask for a full written quotation from the company you choose to ensure there are no hidden charges.

Book the job well in advance and if possible try to move on a weekday; removal companies are typically busier on Fridays and weekends, and they are likely to be cheaper during the week.

Make sure you consult the firm about any specialist items, or large pieces of furniture that need to be dismantled. They may charge more for the extra services, but bear in mind the dismantling of existing furniture is rarely covered by insurance.

Summary

The key to a successful move is to be fully prepared, and to make early decisions about how you are going to conduct the move. Get in control of the financial and contractual obligations and decide how much you can do yourself and how much you will need to rely on the professionals.

 

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