Six easy ways to reduce the stress of moving house
Kate Bayley, Conveyancer in Coodes Solicitors’ Residential Property team, outlines her top tips for reducing stress during the house buying process.
Moving into a new home is an exciting life event for many people and can be the start of a new chapter but it can also be a stressful time. First, there are the hurdles of finding a house you want to buy and having a buyer interested in yours. The moving process can continue to cause stress and sleepless nights even after completion.
Here at Coodes, we do our best to make sure the conveyancing process is as simple and stress-free for our clients as possible. There are a number of things you can do to help reduce the stress of moving house.
1. Keep in contact
Keeping in regular contact with your property lawyer and estate agent will ensure you are fully informed of the progress with regular updates on the latest developments. This will help give you peace of mind that things are moving forward and an idea of how long you have until moving day. You shouldn’t be afraid to contact your conveyancer or estate agent if you have any questions.
Your conveyancer should inform you when key steps have been taken. This includes receiving or drafting contract paperwork, submitting searches and receiving a mortgage offer.
Downloading our conveyancing app which automatically updates you on progress, is a good way of ensuring that you are kept completely up to date.
2. Don’t set your own deadlines
You shouldn’t set yourself deadlines or timescales without having a discussion with your property lawyer. Predicting moving dates can be tricky from the outset but as things progress it can be easier to gauge approximate timescales which your conveyancer will inform you about.
On average, the conveyancing process takes around 8-12 weeks but there are often delays. The ongoing pandemic has also caused setbacks for many people looking to move house, such as new developments being delayed due to the pause in construction during the first national lockdown.
Your conveyancer should keep you up to date on timeframes and inform you of any delays. You will be given an agreed completion date when you exchange – this is usually two weeks before completion.
3. Allow plenty of time to pack
Make sure you plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to pack. Packing can be a lengthy process, especially if you have children to pack for, so it’s a good idea to start as soon as you can. It can be unsettling to live with boxes around the house but it will save you stress later on.
It’s best to work your way down the house, starting with the loft. You should pack items and clothes you use less frequently and sort out which belonging you want to keep and which ones you want to either give, or throw, away. It’s a good idea to collect as many boxes in the early weeks of the transaction as you can – you can never have too many.
On the day of the move, pack a bag containing your overnight essentials – that way you have easy access to them on your first night in the new house. This could include bedding, a fresh set of clothes, wash bag, food and drinks.
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4. Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to help you with the move. They may be able to help pack and unpack or clean the old and new properties.
If you do decide to ask loved ones for help, make sure you are following local restrictions and the latest government guidance on coronavirus. If mixing with another household is not allowed while you are preparing to move, you shouldn’t have people you do not live with in your home.
You may choose to hire a removal company to move your belongings into your new home. A removal company can help take the pressure off and reduce the stress of having to do everything yourself. Many companies offer a range of packages and storage facilities. Removal companies may be operating differently during the pandemic so check their availability and operations.
The best thing to do is check the latest guidance on moving house during COVID-19 which includes information on using removal companies and asking a household to help you move.
5. Make plans for children and pets
There is a lot of think about when moving house and moving day can be very busy. If you have small children, you could consider whether it would be possible for them to attend nursery or be looked after by a friend or family member while the move takes place.
You will also need to think about the best way to move your pets into the new home. Again, you may be able to ask someone to look after them on the day you move in. It will be a new, unfamiliar place for them and they may feel unsettled for the first few weeks or months.
6. Make a note of utility providers
Make a note of the utility providers, account numbers and meter readings for both the sale and purchase properties. After the move, you will have all the information to hand so you tell each that you have sold the property and give them the details for your new home. This should avoid you under or overpaying on any bills.
If you’re looking to change providers after you move, it might be best to wait a little while so you can settle in and take care of more pressing issues. When you have more time you can compare providers and try and get the best deal for you.
Don’t forget to update your online purchasing accounts either. A Royal Mail redirect is not hugely expensive and will give you the time to make sure all the relevant companies and organisations are updated as well.
Moving house will be a busy and potentially stressful time. However, these few small steps can really help make a difference as you prepare for life in your new home.