What you need to know about moving house

Moving house is one of the most exciting yet stressful experiences in life. It’s a time of new beginnings and change.

However, there is a lot to consider (much more than people assume at first), and it can be a time consuming process. Knowing what will happen, and when, helps to make things a whole lot easier to understand. Plus, it helps to reduce the stress levels of everyone involved.

Aside from the actual aspect of moving furniture from A to B, moving house involves a range of legal processes. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have enough finances to complete the purchase. Before putting in any offers or bids, buyers should have arranged a mortgage with a reputable lender and have the appropriate funds for a deposit. There’s no point scouring the market for the perfect property if, in actual fact, it’s well out of your budget. 

You’ll also need to take the time to consider your choice of solicitor; your solicitor will be needed to carry out the appropriate contractual procedures. The first thing your solicitor needs to ensure is that the appropriate searches and enquiries are done so that nothing stands in the way of your mortgage agreement.

When it comes to actually buying the house, your solicitor will be responsible for communicating between you and the seller/s. On your behalf, the solicitor needs to reach an agreement with the seller as to the price and the fixtures and fittings which will be included in the sale. This should be in writing, and is considered a legally binding contract. 

As far as the contractual elements of the sale go, these could take a number of weeks to finalise. During this time, you should ensure a survey of the property is completed. This is vital to the sale as any structural or other problems could prevent the mortgage agreement being finalised. 

Once all of that’s done and the mortgage and deposit have been agreed (subject to the satisfactory searches and survey) it’s time to officially sign the documents. If you’ve done all of the preliminary procedures above then you should have nothing to worry about. 

You can expect the contracts to be exchanged on a date agreed by the solicitors involved. And it’s at this point that you should inform all service providers of the purchase – energy providers, the local water company and local council are the main considerations – and also arrange insurance on the new property. The latter definitely cannot be overlooked, as the buyer is wholly responsible for insuring the property.

With the contracts and deeds signed, the final procedure is for the solicitors to exchange the relevant funds. When the seller’s solicitor has received the payment, the estate agent will be informed and authorised to release the keys to the new owner. Congratulations, you’re the proud owner of a new home!

With all the legalities out of the way, now you simply need to move in. Just a quick tip: when you pick a removal company, ensure the price includes insurance in case any of your furniture is damaged during transit. Also, for your more expensive items it’s recommended that you take photographs of their condition before removal – preferably dated – just in case of damage. 

Moving house is really a matter of organisation. If you follow the correct steps and use experienced solicitors you should find it a straightforward experience with few pitfalls. But here’s just one last piece of advice: never consider going ahead without a survey as the results can be disastrous, not to mention costly. Make sure your budget covers you for the most comprehensive survey available, as it really can be your lifeline.

What did you learn from moving house? What tips do you have to make moving house easier on you and your family? Have you any horror stories about moving house? 


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