I've had perhaps, the fortunate opportunity, in moving house two times in the three years I've been in London and although it sounds excessive, it was needed. When we first moved down to London, we moved into our flatmate's parents house in Crayford. Crayford was in Zone 6 of London and if you haven't been to London...well it's a big place. Zone 6 is quite far out from the city and took a good 45 minutes to an hour to get there. When we moved, we went all the way into Zone 2 to a place called New Cross Gate, which is in South East London. This was perfect for the time but then Sam moved back from Cardiff and our flat in New Cross Gate became too tiny for the three of us so we moved slightly out into Zone 3, which is where we are now.
Moving house can be quite the challenge because you not only have to find the right property to suit your wants and needs, but the actual moving from one place to another takes a bit of planning, especially as you accumulate your own furniture over time. So I wanted to share with you my top tips for moving house. Whether it's your first time or you've moved before, it's great to get some advice from others who've been in the same boat!
Decide on what you want
Whether you are living on your own, as a couple, with friends or with a family, you all have your own preferences. A bigger bathroom, more storage space or a better area to live in, these are all requests you need to write down before you start searching for a property. It's important to know your ideal property because this will be your home and you need to be happy with it. Sometimes it's compromise if you are sharing but if it's your first house as a couple, you really want to be sure of what you want in a property.
Be reasonable with budget
Here in London, you'll probably be paying a lot more than the rest of the country is paying, regardless of whether you are renting or owning a place. Make sure you don't get in over your head by setting your budget too high. Only you know how much you are earning, how much you spend and therefore how much you can afford. Signing a contract to a property is a very serious move and you do not want to end up putting yourself into debt because you can afford the payments. Sure, this may mean you have to sacrifice on some of the things you want in your next home but at least you won't have sleepless nights worrying about not paying your bills.
Check the propertyWhen looking at properties, please make sure to look out for tell tale signs of long-term damage, consider the area you are living in and whether it's at risk of pest problems and make sure you cover all the questions and queries you have with the estate agent. We've had a recent problem with pests that we weren't aware of but now we've experienced it, the first few things we'll check with our next property is the area the property is in, the age of the building and whether there's any exposed access to the property. Asking as many questions as possible, will help reassure you when the day comes to sign.
Get advice when signingEstate Agents and landlords can sometimes screw you over, to put it politely. There's quite a lot of them out there that just want you to sign a contract and then have no involvement with you from then on. The same goes for landlords in that if you have a bad one, they could end up making your living environment unbearable. Purchasing your first property is also a big step up from renting so if you are buying a property, get some legal advice. Property solicitors like Slater & Gordon are available for you as a property owner to seek professional advice on the jargon that may leave you feeling stumped. They'll also help you with the conveyancing fees of moving from one property to another. They have offices all over the UK such as London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh to name a few so make sure you look into this avenue when purchasing a property.
Prepare for the move
Make sure you're fully prepared for moving day. Getting the keys for your new property should be your first port of call but it would also be a good option to make sure your moving day is a week or so before your contract ends at the current property you are in. There's nothing worse than something unexpected happening with the moving process and you're left with having to seek temporary accommodation. If you don't have a lot of furniture, then getting help from friend is a cheap way of moving. For us, I think we've now reached a point where we may have to hire a man with a big van for the day as we've not got a few bulky pieces that unfortunately won't fit into the back of a car. Also make sure you get enough cardboard boxes and packing tape. You can get boxes from your local supermarket.
Set up as soon as possible
The small things like your internet access tend to sometimes slip through the net when you're in the process of moving so make sure all your water, electric, gas etc are set up so that the move is as seamless as it can be.
And be sure to flag up any future problems with your landlord or agent if you are renting a property. If you have a problem, approach them and be persistent.
Have you moved house? Let me know your experiences in the comments below.
*Disclaimer - This is a collaborative post. However all words are my own.
Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.