When you are moving home there are several different costs to take into account, and as it is such an expensive thing to do that it’s worth trying to save as much as possible during the process.
From the moment you place an offer on a house you may feel like you are pouring money down the drain as more and more different costs become evident.
You will be paying solicitor’s fees, conveyance fees, and stamp duty if your property costs over £125,000 (£250,000 for first time buyers).
Saving money on every part of the move will help to reduce the costs of what is likely to be one of the most expensive things you ever do.
There are several ways to save money on the actual move itself, and this article will give you an idea of some of the practical ways in which you can lower the cost of the move.
The Costs of a Removal Company
A removal firm could charge anywhere between £500-£1000 depending on the size of your property, the distance you are moving and the day of the week you are planning to move.
Illustrative prices from a removal company for a typical three bedroom house range from £500-£550 if the move is undertaken in a single day or up to £600-£800 if it is over the course of two days.
This may not be something you have total control over if you are moving a long distance, but if you can make sure everything is packed and ready so the move can be carried out in one day, you will save a significant amount.
Moving on a weekday might also save a little money; most removal firms charge extra for weekend moves, but will offer a discount when they are less busy during the week.
If you have to move at the weekend make sure you book up early as they tend to be the busiest times; but either way it’s worth getting quotes from several companies and seeing which can offer the cheapest service to suit your moving date.
If you want to save money when you move, it may seem like a significant expense; you might want to consider moving house yourself. Prices taken from a vehicle hire company were as follows:
- Luton Transit Van – £93 per day; £197 per weekend.
- 7.5 Tonne Lorry – £136 per day.
- £252 per weekend.
If you have category C on your driving licence you can drive a 7.5 tonne vehicle, but if you are only moving a small house or a flat it makes much more sense to hire a smaller transit van. You can usually pick up a van the night before you hire it, which gives you a great chance to get an early start with the loading.
If you are hiring a vehicle, there’s a good chance you’ll be packing your own house; make sure you are fully packed and organised before the moving day. You will always need a little last minute packing, but make sure it is at a minimum.
Packing by Yourself or using a Removal Firm
For the same three bedroom house, the removal company quoted approximately £150 for a complete packing service. With the time it takes to pack an entire house, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is likely to lead to a two day move; and the costs that come with it.
If you think that you could carry out the move in one day, then it could be a real cost-saver to pack the house yourself.
You can start collecting boxes from supermarkets and shops in the few months leading up to the move; they will be more than happy to give them away, and it will save you paying for boxes.
To save money on packing materials, try to pack each box as close to the top as possible and use towels or clothes for padding. You can also use pillows and duvets to protect valuables; it all helps to save a little on buying bubble wrap and packing materials.
Taking Care of Utilities and Services
It can be a bit of a minefield trying to wade through all of your paperwork and contact every utility, every bank, and every service provider you have accounts with. But along with the important things to do like informing the council and the DVLA, it’s essential to deal with each one in turn.
You need to arrange for your gas, electricity and water to be turned off on the day that you move out. Most utility suppliers prefer at least a weeks notice, so make sure it’s done well in advance.
You should take metre readings from the house when you leave and inform each provider so they can settle your final bill. Don’t forget to give each one your new address to make sure any correspondence comes to you.
You should contact a provider in your new area a good week in advance to arrange for the supply to be switched on at the new property; and take meter readings as soon as you arrive so that your new supplier accurately bills you.
You will also need to contact your phone and broadband provider to arrange a switch to the new address, or to cancel your contract. Cancellation fees normally apply to phone and broadband contracts, so it is not usually the best option to leave a supplier.
Switching can be difficult, as you will need to provide your supplier with the phone number at the new address; which can be hard to obtain. It’s best to give a month’s notice to try and ensure a smooth change-over; and as long as you have the new phone number you can normally expect uninterrupted service.
If you have Sky TV there are no charges for a change of address and they offer a free engineer visit to the new property, even if it involves fitting a new dish.
If you have any other smaller services such as newspaper deliveries, service contracts or milk deliveries then make sure you take care of them too, and either move them to your new address or cancel them.