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31 October 2017 | Comment | Article by Richard Jones

Taking the fear out of moving house

Moving home can be a scary but exciting time. Here are five top tips to help prepare you and take the fear out of moving home.

Ask Questions

When buying a property ask questions about the seller and the estate agent. The more you ask the more informed you are.

Useful questions to ask:

  • How many viewings has the property had?
  • How long has it been on the market?
  • Is there a chain?
  • What is included in the sale?

Buying a property is a big commitment, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Work out your budget

Moving home is not cheap, so make sure you have worked out your figures before starting the buying process. Some of the costs to consider are:

  • removal fees;
  • home repairs;
  • mortgage arrangement fees;
  • valuation/survey fees;
  • stamp duty land tax; and
  • any legal fees.

We recommend you obtain a legal quote at the earliest opportunity to enable you to budget.

Appoint Experts

When instructing solicitors, estate agents or mortgage advisers make sure you appoint an expert in their field. Owning a property is often the most financially significant thing anyone will ever do and you need to make sure you have the right people helping you through the process.

Get a survey

We would advise all buyers, regardless of whether they are having a mortgage to obtain a detailed independent Survey Report.

There are generally three survey options:-

  • A basic valuation of the propertyThis is not a survey and only gives a brief inspection of the property, and a market valuation.
  • A Homebuyer’s ReportA Homebuyer’s Report is carried out by a qualified surveyor and member of the Institute of Chartered Surveyors.  This is a more comprehensive report than a basic valuation. It will provide a market valuation and a reinstatement cost for insurance purposes. It will also provide advice on potential issues and defects. It will identify potential problems and make any recommendations if further specialists need to be called in.
  • A Full Structural Survey (sometimes called a building survey)This is the most expensive and comprehensive report that is available and will be carried out by a qualified Surveyor or Structural Engineer. It is an intrusive form of survey as carpets and furnishings are moved to gain access to cupboards, lofts, cellars etc.  This type of survey is valuable if you are looking at very old, unusual, listed, timber-framed or thatched properties. It is also advisable to consider having a full building survey if you intend to carry out significant building works following completion.

Should you require any further information we would recommend you discuss matters with a surveyor who will be able to give you further guidance.

In addition to obtaining a survey, it is advisable that you instruct a gas safe registered contractor and an NICEIC registered electrician to respectively check the gas and electricity at the property before committing yourself to purchase.

Notify people you are moving

When you move don’t forget you need to notify a number of people including:

  • utility providers;
  • council tax;
  • banks/building societies;
  • mobile phone companies; and
  • internet providers.

It would be useful to make a list prior to moving to ensure you don’t forget to tell someone.

It is also important the Land Registry is notified of your change of address in relation to any property you own. This is so they can contact you regarding any proposed changes to the title.

With recent increases in property fraud, you may wish to consider joining the Land Registry’s Property Alert Service. This is a free property monitoring service which they provide. By signing up to this service you would receive email alerts when certain activity occurs on your property, allowing you to take action if necessary.

If you are thinking of buying a new home and would like some further information, please contact Richard Jones.

Author bio

Richard Jones

Senior Associate

Richard Jones joined the commercial property division at Hugh James in January 2020. Richard has more than 10 years’ experience in a wide range of residential property matters including sales, purchases, remortgages, transfers, shared ownership/equity, new builds, help to buy, equity release, and boundary adjustments.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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