Moving home tips – careful planning can help to avoid mistakes, and good advice helps you plan
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments many of us are ever likely to make. So it’s only natural that the process of moving can inspire a wide range of emotions. ‘If only I’d known that before!’ How many times have we said that to ourselves? Here are the top reasons and our moving home tips.
But because moving home for most of us is such a rare event, you have no need to know the ins and outs of home moving in any great detail. Until you do want to move home, that is. Careful planning can help you avoid mistakes, and receiving professional advice helps you plan.
When asked about the things they wish they’d known before moving, this is what buyers and sellers surveyed highlighted. Their advice might help you avoid some pitfalls when it’s your turn to move.
The emotional cost of moving home was higher than we thought
- Of the people surveyed, 62% found moving home more stressful than they expected.
- Just 11% of people said that the buying process went smoothly
- However, 18% of buyers said they lost or nearly lost their property purchase as a result of being in a chain
TIP: View packing as a chance to rid yourself of all the clutter (emotionally and physically) you have collected that doesn’t need to follow you in the future – a chance to spring-clean the mind as well as the household contents. Create emotional space for new memories as well as physical space for new furniture.
We were subject to hidden moving costs
- A sizeable 39% of Britons were subject to hidden costs when they purchased a property.
- Of those surveyed, 44% of respondents were impacted by unexpected charges of more than £500, while 30% overspent by more than £1,000.
- A further 15% of home movers said they paid out more than £1,500 over what they expected to.
- For nearly a third of movers, these extra costs were linked to standard sales-related services, such as surveyors and conveyancers.
TIP: It pays to set aside an extra sum to cover any unforeseen moving costs. There are many different factors that contribute to these extra costs when moving home. It depends on where you are moving to next, how big the property is, if you’re a first-time buyer, how much the new property you are moving into costs and whether there’s a significant change in maintenance bills. Identifying any hidden costs is an effective way to keep track of any extra fees you may incur when moving.
We should have checked on the tech
- Nearly half of the people (46%) wished they’d been more rigorous with their research when deciding where to buy.
- With many of us now working from home more, it’s no surprise that 15% of respondents wish they’d investigated broadband speeds further.
- Also, 11% of buyers and sellers wished they’d looked into the strength of the mobile phone signal in the area more.
TIP: The Ofcom mobile and broadband checker lets you check indoor and outdoor mobile availability for voice, 3G and 4G services from all major providers and view broadband availability and speeds. Enter the postcode to view mobile coverage by provider, or availability of broadband services (standard, superfast and ultrafast). You can also view the results as interactive maps.
We wish we’d spoken to the neighbours
- Not checking in with neighbours was also among buyers’ biggest regrets.
- Some 16% of people surveyed wished they had knocked next door before purchasing their home.
TIP: It’s always worth knocking on the doors of the street where you want to make an offer. People are often generous about sharing local knowledge. Social media is also a good way to connect with would-be neighbours.
We should have staged our homes for viewings
- The majority of homemovers (84%) agree that staging a home before selling is worthwhile.
- More than half of respondents (53%) even went as far as saying that they would have sold their home for more money if they’d taken the time and effort to stage it.
- But 31% said they didn’t have the additional budget to do so.
TIP: Home staging is a growing trend to showcase property. It is the art of dressing a home using props and accessories to highlight the kind of lifestyle that your home offers. It should emphasise all the best bits of your home. Think of your home as the backdrop, with home staging being a way of setting the scene to potential buyers.
It would have made sense to declutter well in advance
- Decluttering was high on the priorities list, with 52% of homemovers wishing they had done more before moving.
- Around a third of movers confessed that they were too nostalgic when packing. And needed to get rid of more stuff.
TIP: Moving presents a perfect opportunity to walk around your home and look for items you might not need once you have moved. Work one room at a time, otherwise you’ll get tangled and might end up doing nothing. First, segregate questionable items, take out the junk and then decide what you need to keep. Repeat until you’re happy.
We wish we’d started the sales process earlier
- One in five (20%) sellers admitted that the process took far longer than they expected.
TIP: Because many of us underestimate the work involved with moving home, it can help to get started sooner. That could involve getting your mortgage Agreement in Principle before looking, getting a good solicitor and surveyor lined up, and decluttering your home well in advance of moving. Work on the basis that the total time from new property listing to completion of sale could typically be around six months.
 Source: Zoopla survey of more than 2,600 active buyers and sellers – 21 October 2021.