Moving house is an exciting time, and yet it can also be one of life's most stressful events. But, with a little research and some careful planning, it's possible to reduce the hectic, unforeseen aspects of moving.
The following are some of the most common reasons why people decide they need to move home:
- Upsizing – If you've a growing family or, for whatever reason, find your home is no longer large enough for your needs, you may want to find somewhere with more space, and perhaps a garden.
- Downsizing – Perhaps your financial considerations have changed, perhaps your children have flown the nest and left your house feeling strangely empty, or perhaps you'd like to downsize so that you can release equity to help them get a foothold on the property ladder themselves or to treat yourself. Regardless of the reasons, downsizing can be an exciting and fulfilling move.
- Second-Stepping – Second steppers are those people who've already taken that first foothold on the property ladder but are now looking to move up a rung or two. Perhaps you're using equity from your first home for the deposit on your second – whatever the case, congratulations and onwards and upwards!
- Schools – Sometimes parents decide that the educational needs of their children must take priority. The formula for success here is simple: find a property in the heart of the desired school’s catchment area and you'll give your child the best chance of being accepted for admission.
- Work – You may have a new job or you're tired of a long commute. By moving closer to your workplace, you can increase the number of free hours you have each week.
- A New Neighbourhood – It may be that you want to be closer to friends or green spaces, or both. Whatever the case, it's only human to sometimes aspire to life in a new house in a new environment.
Why Move Anyway?
Don’t worry, we’re not trying to put you off moving house – it's just that this question can help clarify whether a move will be positive for you, whether you really need to move at all and to help you be sure that going through the whole process is the right decision for you. After all, for most people, getting a mortgage will be a necessity and this alone needs careful consideration.
If you want to move to upsize or upgrade, there could be another solution – perhaps releasing equity could provide the funds required to add an extension and some much needed extra space.
Talking to your mortgage lender can help you decide whether a house move is financially viable for you, so you can budget for the associated costs.
The costs of moving can quickly mount up, we’re not trying to scare you but it's good to know what's ahead.
The list below includes the most common costs and fees associated with moving house, but each house mover’s requirements will be different, so it's a good idea to check out all you're going to need to pay out before you move.
- Mortgage Deposit – As a general rule you should have 5% or more of the property’s sale price available for a deposit – plus, the more deposit you have, the greater likelihood you will be offered a mortgage (subject to affordability checks as well).
- Application, Valuation and Associated Mortgage Fees – An application fee is charged when you apply for a mortgage, generally upfront. The valuation fee is paid so that your desired property can be valued to decide whether you will be offered a mortgage. Other fees such as an arrangement fee and a valuation administration fee may also apply. The total cost of these items can range from a few hundred pounds to as much as £2,000, depending on the value of the property and your lender's own charging structure. At The Cambridge, some of our mortgages come with fees and some without - you'll find this information on the product pages.
- Property Surveyor Fees – A mortgage valuation does not identify structural and other important issues. Full property survey prices range from £250-£300 for a basic survey to around £700 for a full structural survey on a large or complex dwelling. For our fees, see our tariff of mortgage charges.
- Estate Agent’s Fee – If you're selling a property and decide to use a traditional high street estate agent, you can generally agree the cost in advance as a percentage of the sale price, when sold. This is usually between 1% and 3%, plus 20% VAT of the final cost. Online estate agents often use a fixed price system which can be cheaper, but the fee is paid in advance irrespective of whether the property is sold.
- Conveyancing Fees – Fees for a licensed conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor are typically between £800 and £1,600.
- Money Transfer Costs – The electronic transfer fee of around £25 to £50 is charged to carry out the transferring of mortgage funds from lender to solicitor.
- Stamp Duty – Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid on all homes in England and Northern Ireland over a certain price – currently £125,000. The rates rise from 2% to 12% depending on the price of the property. However, if you are a first-time buyer, your property purchase is free of Stamp Duty on the first £300,000 if the property is not worth any more than £500,000.* There are different versions of the tax in Scotland and Wales. You can use this calculator from the Money Advice Service to work out how much stamp duty you may need to pay.
- Removal Costs - Depending on how much furniture and possessions you're taking with you and how far you have to travel, removal costs could be as low as a few hundred pounds rising to around £1,000. Renting a van and doing it yourself is a good way to save money.
- Cleaning costs – If you're moving out of rented accommodation, you'll be obliged to carry out an end-of-tenancy clean. Failure to do so can result in you being charged the cost of a professional cleaner and having this sum subtracted from your deposit.
- Urgent Repairs and Maintenance – If your survey has revealed any significant and urgent problems with the property you're purchasing, you'll need to factor in the cost of any remedial work needed. Of course, this may affect your decision to buy in the first place if the costs are too steep.
- Insurance – It's likely to be a condition of your mortgage that you have to have a buildings insurance policy in place from the point of exchange of contracts to provide cover from damage caused by floods, fire or any other event.
All of these items together represent a significant amount of money which will need to be budgeted for when considering a house move, not just the house price itself.
Decluttering and Packing
Once you've taken the plunge, found the perfect property, and made a successful offer, contracts will be exchanged and you will soon find completion day approaching. Now, if there's one piece of advice that almost all house movers would offer to a first-timer, it would be "start packing early".
There is nothing worse than realising, on the day you move, that you don't have enough boxes and, actually, there's no way of getting your wardrobe out of the bedroom without the aid of an axe.
So, start as soon as you can and perhaps use moving as an opportunity for an almighty clear-out.
- Declutter every room, one step at a time. If an item does not hold useful, sentimental or aesthetic value to you, it's probably best to take it to a charity shop or recycle it (make throwing things away your very last option). You could also make some money to fund the move as well – with the rise of "car boot" apps you can list your unwanted possessions online for someone else to give them a new home.
- A packing plan is a good idea because arriving at your new house and finding that you can’t find anything is always a pain – label your boxes and make a list of boxes containing essential items. If you've got teabags and mugs to hand but don't know where the kettle is, your moving day might not go as well as you hope.
- Moving day plan – Whether you're using a professional firm or doing it yourself, moving day will run more smoothly if you have a plan: Which items need to go first? How will you move heavy or fragile items? Are essential items such as medicines and first aid equipment to hand? How will you organise food and drink for the day?
Lastly, keep calm and it won't be long until you'll be in your new home. Good luck!
Share the good news
The big day has come and gone, and you're safely moved-in to your new home. But before you get too comfy, there are still some essential formalities to complete.
As well as friends and family, you'll also need to inform all of the following of your change of address:
- DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency)
- Banks and building societies you hold accounts with
- Your employer
- Any insurance companies you hold policies with
- Any credit and store card providers
- Pension providers
- Your local authority (for council tax)
- Any schools or other educational institutions you or your children attend
- Your internet, telephone and cable providers
- Your GP
- Your utility providers
- Royal Mail (you may choose to use their mail redirection service)
- The Electoral register
Again, this list is by no means exhaustive, but covers the main and most imperative considerations.
Moving with The Cambridge
If you would like to discuss your mortgage and house move options with The Cambridge, we are happy to help. For more information on the home buying process, visit our Help Centre or contact us today to talk through your options.
* As at June 2018
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