Moving house checklist

The seller has accepted your offer and moving day is on the horizon. Hurrah!

You'll need to get a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal side of things.

And remember to organise a survey so you'll know if there are any issues with the property.

Your moving date will depend on a number of things.

These include:

  • what stage the seller is at

  • what stage your buyer is at

This is often referred to as the ‘chain’.

Make sure you have buildings insurance as soon as you exchange contracts. Take out contents insurance too if you want cover for your things.

Once you have a moving date, tell your landlord if you’re renting.

Check to see if your contents insurance will cover your things during the move. Your removals company might have cover for them.

Book time off work for the move and arrange a school transfer if you have kids.

With just over a month until moving day, it’s time to start planning ahead.

Research removal companies to find the best quote and book ahead if possible.

Make lists of the things you want to keep, sell or give away.

Check your buildings and contents insurance and think about taking out life insurance.

Taking out life insurance might be a condition of your mortgage.

Look into the parking situation at your current and new home as you may need to arrange permits for your removal van.

You’ve probably exchanged contracts at this point and know your moving date.

Start packing things you will not need in the next few weeks and confirm your booking with the removals company.

Research deals to keep costs down in your new home. These include:

  • TV

  • phone

  • broadband

  • gas

  • electricty

Tell your current utility and internet companies that you're moving.

Find storage if you need it and consider giving things you do not need to charity.

Order anything you might need immediately in your new home such as curtains or a washing machine.

Let people know your new address and the date you'll be moving in. Make sure you tell:

  • TV Licensing

  • your bank

  • your insurers

  • your pension providers

Ask your removals company if they'll disconnect your washing machine and take your bed and sofa apart, if possible.

If not, you can make your own plans.

Remember you'll need to clean your house before you leave or arrange for it to be done.

Redirect your post with Royal Mail and cancel things like window cleaning.

Tuck into anything in the freezer that you do not want to take with you.

With just a week left to go, it’s time to plan your moving day ‘survival kit’. These are things you'll need to hand.

They include:

  • important documents

  • keys

  • mobile phone charger

  • any medication you take

Pack an overnight bag as you may not be able to find everything you need immediately.

Register to start paying Council Tax at your new home when you move in.

Organise a time to pick up the keys from the estate agent.

Tomorrow's the big day.

Check that everything’s packed up and ready to go.

Make sure your overnight bag has everything you’ll need the following day and evening.

This could include:

  • water

  • snacks

  • something to open boxes with

When everything’s ready, try to get a good night’s sleep so you’re fresh as a daisy for moving day.

It’s time!

Before you leave your old place make sure that you:

  • take a note or photo of the meter readings

  • lock all the doors and windows

  • turn off the heating and lights

When you arrive at your new home make sure you:

  • check everything is as it should be

  • look to see if there's anything in house and garden that could harm your children or pets

  • unpack your overnight bag and unwind in your new space

You’ve moved house – congratulations!

You’ll probably need to unpack before you feel really at home.

Some people like to get everything done in one go, but do give yourself time.

If there's a lot to do just spend 1 or 2 hours a day unpacking. You could ask for help from friends and family if you need it.

Then put the kettle on, put your feet up and start arranging the housewarming party! (Cream carpets permitting...)

The top reasons for moving house

Space seems to be the new location, location, location.

In June we asked 2,000 people around the country about their priorities when moving house.

We found that 15% were thinking about moving house to somewhere with more space because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That number rises to 28% among 18 to 34 year olds and 32% in London.

Our research also found that:

  • 65% of adults would prefer to live in an acceptable location with more space rather than a great location with less space

  • 51% would move to a less optimal location if it had a big garden

  • 34% said a spare room that could be turned into a home office would sway them towards a property in a less desirable location

It seems the pandemic has changed what people are looking for in their next property too.

Before coronavirus, 24% of UK adults said they would prioritise public transport links instead of a garden. That number has since dropped to 12%.

Keep reading to find out the top reasons for moving to a bigger property for different age groups in the UK.

We asked people aged 18 to 34 what they would mainly look for when moving to a property with more space.

  1. A garden or bigger garden (49%)

  2. A spare room that could be an office (30%)

  3. A spare room that could be a playroom (28%)

  4. More rooms for relaxing/recreation (28%)

  5. A detached house (27%)

  6. A home gym (15%)

We asked people aged 35 to 54 what they would mainly look for when moving to a property with more space.

  1. A garden or bigger garden (55%)

  2. A detached house (38%)

  3. A spare room that could be an office (36%)

  4. More rooms for relaxing/recreation (36%)

  5. A spare room that could be a playroom (22%)

  6. A home gym (15%)

We asked people aged 55 or over what they would mainly look for when moving to a property with more space.

  1. A detached house (55%)

  2. A spare room that could be an office (51%)

  3. A garden or bigger garden (36%)

  4. More rooms for relaxing/recreation (34%)

  5. A spare room that could be a playroom (7%)

  6. A home gym (3%)

The cost of moving house

If you’ve just bought a new house, it’s likely that you’ve had to pay many of the costs set out in our Buying a house guide.

Here's some of the costs you could expect when moving house:

How long does it take to move house

It can take anywhere between 8 and 22 weeks to move house.

It all depends on your individual circumstances.

Things that can affect how long it takes to move house include:

  • finding a property

  • the mortgage process

  • if you're in a chain

  • the legal work

  • any work you want to do before you move in

Porting a mortgage

What is porting a mortgage?

When you port your mortgage you move your current mortgage to your new home.

You'll stay with the same lender and your mortgage deal stays the same too.

If you’re buying a more expensive home, and need to borrow more, you could take out another mortgage.

You’ll probably have to use the same lender.

There are several ways you could save money by porting your mortgage.

You would not have to pay:

  • early repayment charges on your current mortgage

  • fees for setting up a new mortgage

And if you’re on a great deal you get to keep it.

Porting your mortgage could be a good idea in certain situations.

These include:

  • if you took out a fixed rate mortgage when interest rates were much lower

  • if you’ve got a fixed rate mortgage and you’d have to pay early repayment charges to end it

Not all lenders allow porting.

Most lenders who do will want to check that you can still afford your mortgage.

If your situation has changed you might find it harder to prove that you can still cover the repayments.

For example, you might have just become a freelancer with a variable income.

“In the right circumstances, porting is a great way to save money,” said Ahmed Choudhry, a mortgage adviser at Trussle.

“Moving is expensive so that extra money can make a big difference. It’s always worth asking your lender whether porting is possible, especially if you’re on a great deal.”

Moving house during the pandemic

The housing market is showing that more people are looking to move house rather than buying for the first time.

Demand from people looking to move is up by 37% compared to before the pandemic.²

Lockdown has got homeowners wondering how they can get more for their money now that many are working from home.

People are now looking to:

  • move outside of the city 

  • be closer to family

  • get more space

A Zoopla report shows that when looking to buy, people are searching for homes with garages, gardens and with space for pets.³

You can sell your home and relocate. However, due to the ongoing pandemic you should keep in mind that certain rules are in place.

You can attend socially distanced house viewings and go through the mortgage process as normal, but you might experience delays because of the pandemic.

Due to the backlog caused by the lockdown, you might find that your moving process is delayed at the following stages:

  • Condition, building, and mortgage valuation surveys 

  • Local searches 

The government could choose to once again put a pause on house moves. This will also put your move on hold. 

Check with your conveyancing solicitor to check that any contract you sign gives you enough flexibility if this happens.

To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the government has some advice for those looking to move house.

  • You and those living in your household should do the packing yourselves

  • Try to clean and disinfect your possessions before letting others handle them

  • Keep the doors in your home open to allow removers to move through as safely as possible in a socially distanced way

  • Make sure you, your household and the removers wash their hands or use hand sanitiser

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Your home could be repossessed if you don't keep up repayments on your mortgage.

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.

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Sources

¹ My Big Move: How long does moving house take? 

² BBC News: Movers 'more likely to buy than first-time buyers

³ Zoopla: Monthly Market Briefing