Home-moving checklist – top tips to plan for the cost of moving day

Money Advice Service

With so many things to arrange, it’s easy to overlook the actual costs of making the house move itself. Planning ahead can help to reduce an already stressful day. Here’s our quick checklist of top tips to think about if you’e planning to move home, whether you’re renting or buying.

1. Know the costs

Once you know the cost of your new mortgage payments, new insurance policies, solicitor and estate agent fees, make time to find out about moving-day costs. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned home mover, it’s important to know and prepare for these costs, which can be surprisingly high.

Estimate your overall cost of buying a house and moving

2. Know what’s coming

Top tip

Once you’ve got the keys and opened the door to your new home, as well as spending time getting your furniture into place, make time to fix your finances to suit your new home too.

As moving day approaches you might be surprised how costs and fees start to mount up. But with careful planning you can prepare for the cost of moving day, so you don’t get any unexpected surprises.

Take stock to see what’s coming, so you know which costs need to be paid for by when.

Here are some key things to be aware of.

  • Removal costs – shop around for several different quotes (and references too) to find a reliable firm. The British Association of Removers (BAR) can provide cost estimates from BAR-approved firms.
  • Removal insurance – check the removal firm you hire is insured. If you’re moving yourself, think about arranging insurance cover. Check if your existing home insurance policy will cover your move – many policies will if you’re using a professional removal firm.
  • Storage costs – shop around to compare prices and security arrangements, and get a sense of average costs. Estimate the length of time you’ll need storage, because prices will depend on this.
  • Cleaning costs – if you’re moving from a rental property you must usually leave it clean and tidy. Not doing so might contravene your tenancy agreement and your landlord might be allowed to charge you for the cost of a professional cleaner. Bearing this in mind, you might want to shop around and pay a professional to clean your property before you leave.
  • Mail redirection costsRoyal Mail’s Redirection service is a reliable and cost-effective way of continuing to receive mail when you move home. It also reduces the risk you will be the victim of identity fraud. This service is available for periods of 1, 3, 6 or 12 months, and you can redirect to any UK or overseas address.
  • Extra moving-day costs – think ahead to the day itself. Do you need to budget for extra childcare or kennels for a pet? Will you have the time or facilities to cook or should you plan for takeaways for a day or two? These costs can all add up so make sure you include them in your budget.

3. Get insured

Top tip

If you’ve bought a home and have chosen a special mortgage deal or a fixed rate, remember to make a note of when it comes to an end. Then, check out what’s available a few months before it ends. This will ensure you get a good deal and don’t pay more than you have to.

If you’ve bought a new house, you’ll probably need building insurance. If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist on this. Remember, you don’t have to buy it from your lender, so shop around to get the best deal for you.

You can also buy insurance to cover the loss of or damage to the contents of your home, such as your furniture and electrical goods. Don’t forget to compare the terms and conditions as well as prices.

4. Sort out your new bills

  • Get to grips with your new household utility bills as soon as you can. You don’t have to stay with the previous occupant’s providers. This is a great time to shop around and find the best deals for you.
  • Set up Direct Debits for payments so the money is automatically paid from your bank account when it’s due. This will help you keep track of your budget and avoid late-payment charges. And some utility companies might give you a discount if you pay this way.
  • Find out about your Council Tax. If you’re living alone, you might be able to get a discount.

5. Keep track of your new budget

It’s a good idea to review your budget whenever your financial situation changes.

As you settle in your new home, make time to work out how much you’ve got coming in and going out each month.

Use our Budget planner to get a clear picture of your money situation and keep track of your regular spending.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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