While stress means different things to different people, it’s common knowledge that moving home is one of the most difficult things we go through in our lives. Anyone who tells you otherwise probably hasn’t done it in a while.

So to make the process a little easier, we want to offer you our very best tips/hacks on moving home.

But first, we asked you what you think is the most stressful part of moving. We gave you four options:

  1. Money worries
  2. Paperwork and dealing with solicitors/estate agents/other third parties
  3. Actual moving day
  4. The thought of the chain collapsing.

The responses across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were varied, with each option resonating with different people.

A few suggested that the thought of their sale falling through was ‘devastating’, with comments like:

“For us, it happened before and we had to take out a bridging loan. It was a nightmare.”

And: “Has happened to us so many times, always at the last hour. Devastated.”

Paperwork and dealing with third parties came second-in-line, with someone commenting that dealing with the sales team of a national house builder was ‘horrendous’.

A solicitor on LinkedIn said that, from her experience, she thought that “a buyer’s main worry is the chain collapsing and/or packing up their house.”

Money worries and actual moving day — while a few thought they were the most stressful parts — both came at the bottom of the pile.

So to counteract these real — and very substantiated — fears, we have put together a range of ten pieces of advice to make moving a little less stressful:


1. Get a mortgage in principle

When searching for a new home, it’s a good idea to have a mortgage in principle in place. This will help the estate agent/house developer to view you as a more attractive buyer, especially if the property is in high demand. Plus, it gives you peace of mind that you’re looking at the right price bracket and you’re well on your way to getting a mortgage.

Contact us today to arrange yours.


2. Ensure you ask the right questions at the second viewing

The first viewing is for getting a feel for the house, but the second is all about getting down to the nitty gritty. Do your research and ask all the questions you can think of — ensuring nothing crops up further down the line.

Some example questions include:

  • What are the monthly costs for gas/electric?
  • When was the boiler last serviced?
  • What are the neighbours like?
  • What’s the council tax band?
  • If the owner has modified the house, do they have relevant planning permissions.


3. Look for a property with at least 83 years on the lease

We recently wrote a blog on this very topic. If you’re buying a leasehold property, ensure it has at least 83 years left. When flats have 80 years or less left, extensions become very costly and homes much more difficult to sell. You have to have owned the flat for two years before you can extend, and it can take up to 12 months to complete the process — so 83 years is a minimum.


4. Choose a solicitor and mortgage advisor that come recommended

With many people saying that handling third parties is the most stressful part of moving, it’s essential to choose the right solicitor and mortgage advisor. Do your research — ask friends/family for recommendations, look at online reviews and ask them how they tend to work.

Customer service is at the heart of what we do, and you can look at our 5-star reviews here.


5. Negotiate

Once you’ve found a home you love, it can be tempting to jump straight in and offer the asking price, but it’s usually always worth negotiating. Your mortgage advisor may be able to support you with this if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself. However, you’ll need to give the estate agent a reason to justify the decision.


6. Ensure the property is taken off the market

Remember that until contracts are exchanged, either party can pull out at any time. So to reduce the chance of gazumping, make sure the seller takes the property off the market. Also push for contracts to be exchanged sooner rather than later, and avoid exchanging and completing on the same day.


7. Agree with the seller which appliances are staying

Ask the seller to outline everything they will be leaving, including fixtures, fittings and appliances. Legally, these must be in the same condition at exchange as at completion.


8. Chase your solicitor

Some solicitors need to be chased to ensure your papers are processed quickly. Don’t worry about pestering them — they’re there to support you in the process.

I do this as part of my service, so not sure we should be putting this – or if we put, if you use a solicitor that we recommend this is one less thing to worry about as its part of our service?


9. Get the right protection insurance in place

If you sort out your protection insurance at the point of moving, it gives you less to think about once you’re in your new home.

Here are the different types of protection — we can advise which are the best for you and tailor a package to meet your individual needs.


10. Get organised

Don’t leave packing your belongings until the week before. As soon as you’ve exchanged, you should get prepared. It will also give you chance to get rid of things you’ve been hoarding or you don’t want to take with you. Earn yourself extra cash by selling them on eBay or take them to the charity shop.

Do you have any ideas we’ve missed? Let us know on Twitter: @katebmortgages.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

As with all insurance policies, conditions and exclusions will apply.

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