Moving home is an exciting time but can be expensive if you don’t plan properly and utilise all resources that are available to you. Most of your moving cost research can be done effectively online meaning better time management, effective organisation and competitive costs. It is tempting to try and do everything yourself but think carefully because things like time, fuel, the hiring of equipment or vehicles, and person-power all affect the balance of cost effectiveness. Compare Solicitors Here.
The most common costs associated with buying or selling your home are saving for a deposit, legal fees and paying Stamp Duty (SDLT) if required. Careful planning means that when it’s time to move in you won’t be thinking of ways to cut down on spending and instead looking forward to enjoying your new home.
Here are our top tips which are designed to keep your moving costs down from the minute you set the moving date to the day itself.
- To save money when you move house, you MUST plan well ahead of time and consider all the costs you may face. Planning ahead means you are less likely to forget any expenses and more likely to save on last minute emergencies.
- In all likelihood you will have a couple of months to plan your move. Work up to your actual move throughout this time. Make a list of all important deadlines and the objectives you wish to have completed by then.
- Always think ahead when it comes to other aspects of moving too. You will need to compare solicitors and choose a conveyancer to complete the legal process. You should do this as soon as possible to expedite the process.
- Having a good clear out makes life a lot easier when it comes to packing. It will also reduce the cost of removals as the price of removals will usually depend on how much you are taking with you: the fewer the items, the less you pay.
- Fewer belongings reduce the number of packing boxes you’ll need to buy. It will also reduce storage costs if you need to put any items into storage. The less belongings you have, the less you pay for storage.
- You could consider making money from the items you no longer want by selling them online.
- Be ruthless, donate to the charity shops or make a few visits to the local tip. It will pay off in the long run.
Save Money On Packing
- Visit the local supermarket and ask for cardboard boxes. Ask people that you know who have recently moved if they have some left over. Look on local Facebook pages, as someone might have moved near you recently, and have packing materials they can donate.
- Think outside the box: Laundry baskets, Laundry bags, bins, drawers, bookcases and suitcases can all serve equally well as packing utensils.
- Instead of spending money on bubble wrap, which is terrible for the environment and uneconomical, save up newspapers for delicate items. Make use of any shopping bags that you already have plus bath towels, tea towels and sheets, which can all come in handy when moving delicate items.
- Use as much fridge, and especially freezer, food as you can in the run-up to moving day.
- Packing effectively will save money on replacing broken items further down the line.
- Make a list and check it twice – being organised in the run-up to your move will ensure that everything runs to plan, reducing the risk of delays which could cost more money.
- Consider completing the physicalmove yourself. You might have friends and family willing to give you a helping hand.
- If you don’t have transport, compare services to find a good deal on van hire.
- Booking help with your removals well in advance will help you take advantage of deals and discounts.
However, DIY removal can be stressful and time consuming so it’s worthwhile considering…
Finding A Removal Company
- Always compare prices of removal companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Check reviews and ratings too.
- If possible, do the packing yourself, this will save money.
- Book your removals team as early as possible. The more notice you can give, the better deal you might get. Plus, removal companies can get booked up, especially during the summer, school holidays and bank holidays.
- Booking in advance also means you can budget, and accommodate any last minute changes.
- Moving on a weekday can sometimes keep costs down.
- Dismantle and reassemble what you can yourself, as removals companies will usually charge more for this.
- Some removal firms offer discounts for OAPs, students, emergency workers, or the armed forces workers. Ask about discounts if you fit into one of these categories.
- If you need to store your belongings for whatever reasons, ask friends and family if they have any space first. They might have a loft or basement that you can use.
- If you do have to use a storage unit, compare storage company prices.
- Make sure you know the length of time you are going to need storage for and the square footage of space you will need. A good company will be able to offer you advice.
- Don’t pay for removal insurance if you don’t need it. Some home insurance policies have you covered already. Check this well ahead of moving day though.
- If you’re hiring a van and moving things yourself, you also need to make sure you are properly insured. Compare quotes to get appropriate cover.
- Always compare home insurance providers online and do not automatically agree to the buildings insurance offered by your mortgage company. Buying a combined buildings and contents policy from the same insurer often means discounts of between 10% and 20% a year.
- Moving house is a good time to compare your electric, gas and water suppliers in your new area. There might be better deals available than you are used to.
- Always check your accounts after leaving your old provider, as you may be due a refund if your account is in credit.
- When you move into your new home, don’t forget to take water, gas and electric meter readings. You need to make sure you won’t be charged for the previous owner’s usage.
- Similarly, take meter readings at your old property. Your old providers will ask you for these. Take pictures of the readings as well just to cover yourself.
- Remember to redirect your mail when you move house. There is a small charge for this, but it will cost considerably less than missing a bill/fine/cheque/rebate if your mail goes to the wrong place.
- It is possible to set the service up yourself online for free.
- Register on the electoral roll as soon as you have moved. This helps to build your credit score.
- Check your council tax band. Thousands of homes in England and Scotland may have been wrongly banded since the early ’90s. You might be moving to one of those homes without realising. If this is the case, you can get your band lowered and a backdated pay back.
When you compare solicitors, choosing a regulated conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer means you can be confident that your case is handled correctly. The following regulatory bodies make sure you have some comeback should something go wrong.
- The Conveyancing Quality Scheme – CQS
The CQS is run by the Law Society and accredits law firms offering residential conveyancing. It requires members to demonstrate compliance with the highest standards of professional practice. A Conveyancing Quality Scheme best practice mark acts as a strong trust factor that a particular team of conveyancing solicitors has the necessary skills and experience to provide a reliable service.
When using a conveyancing solicitor, you should also make sure that their law firm is Lexcel accredited, which is the Law Society’s general quality mark for excellence in legal practice management and client care.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority – SRA
The SRA sets the standards for all solicitors and law firms in England and Wales and establishes general principles and a code of conduct for members. They also monitor solicitors and their firms to make sure they are following the rules.
The SRA investigates complaints and, where necessary, can take regulatory action.
- The Council for Licensed Conveyancers – CLC
The CLC regulates conveyancers who are not solicitors, but are specialists in conveyancing. The CLC sets education and training standards, issues licences to and maintains a register of practitioners, monitors standards, investigates allegations of misconduct and takes disciplinary action when required.
Conveyancing solicitors should be members of professional bodies such as the Law Society and the Council of Licensed Conveyancers. Check which professional body they’re a member of before appointing them.
It’s very important, when you compare solicitors on our Solicitor comparison site to ask how much you would have to pay if the sale falls through. Some firms offer ‘no move, no fee’, but always double check what that means. For example, does it mean that you still need to pay third party costs? Do you need to get an insurance policy to be eligible for this?
It’s common for disbursements to be excluded from most ‘no sale no fee’ quotes. However, if you’re unsure whether to progress with a purchase, you can always instruct the lawyers but ask them not to incur any expenses yet, and to hold off on any searches.