The year of 2020 is one that many of us would like to forget - looking to 2021 for a fresh start and a more positive year. For some this means a new home. The stamp duty holiday offers the ideal opportunity, if you are considering a move, to really make your money stretch a little further. With the above average price of homes in London and the South East, this could represent savings of up to £14,950 on the cost of a purchase.
The consensus of those who know, seems to be that it takes, on average, between 4-6 months to complete the whole home moving process. With that in mind, you will need to move fast if you’re planning to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday. But don’t worry it’s still possible with some careful planning and organisation. The sooner that you can start this though, the better. So, if you're off work over the Christmas period – why not make a start.
Whilst some relish the challenge of a home move, the mere mention fills others with dread. It is true that it is always sited as one of the most stressful things that you can do in your life but there are ways to make it less so, even when you’ve got a deadline. Some of the stress originates with the fact that it’s not something we do frequently and therefor, for many of us the question is – how to move home? Take it step-by-step, get organised and make a plan, and a back up plan - it will make the whole thing much easier!
Unless you’re lucky enough to have won the lottery then you’ll need to establish what price you are likely to get for your current home. This will enable you to calculate a budget for your new home and could therefore dictate what areas you can consider. So, one of the first things to do is to find a local estate agent. Approach a few to get a range of valuations and understand their payment structures. Ask local contacts for recommendations or perhaps take to social media or search online for reviews. With the current Covid restrictions, it’s also worth checking whether they offer things such as remote viewings or virtual tours which could be an essential factor in selling your home quickly.
Once you have a range of valuations from your local estate agent, it’s always a good idea to speak with a mortgage broker. It’s likely that your circumstances and the market will have changed since you purchased your current property, so they will be able to help you understand what you can afford and the best options for doing this. With an idea of budget in mind then you’re all set to start looking at potential options for your new abode. An online search is a good place to start but once you’ve narrowed down your choice of areas, contacting local estate agents is always recommended. Be prepared to proactively follow up with them though – especially if you’re looking for something quick!
Waiting for an offer can be stress inducing. Whilst this is largely out of your control, there are things that you can do to improve your chances of this happening quickly or getting the price you want.
Ask yourself this – how much better do you feel in your own home when it’s neat and tidy? When you have space to relax? When you don’t feel cramped? Decluttering before a home move can always reap benefits. It has the instant effect of making your home feel more spacious and therefore more appealing to potential buyers – particularly if they are on a virtual viewing.
Decluttering doesn’t mean you have to throw everything away – consider hiring a self storage unit to store them, out of the way, until you’ve moved. Look around your home, take it room by room and ask yourself what you can remove. It’s important to draw a balance and make sure that your home still looks lived in to help potential buyers visualise this. Make sure that your surfaces are clutter free. Go through old paperwork and file it away or bin it if not needed. Is there anything in the room that you rarely use? These are the perfect items to put into storage. Perhaps a bulky piece of furniture, a family heirloom that doesn’t quite work in the space but you can’t bear to part with. Donate any old clothes, toys or books to local charities. Some charities will even take old furniture that’s in good condition.
Using a self storage unit also has an added benefit when it comes to moving day. You’ll have less to pack and move on the day and you can simply unpack your unit in your own time after the move. You can decide at your leisure what you need in your new home and what you want to get rid of!
Whilst you might consider it too soon to book a removal firm, it’s always a good idea to carry out some research and get some estimates early on. This way you can have a ranked short list of who you will approach which, when you do get a sale will significantly reduce the stress levels!
For more hints and tips on how to move home, have a look at our Movers or Improvers guide. We recently spoke to industry experts to get their top tips on how to move. It might even be useful if you are planning renovations in your new home too!