We know that right now, moving might seem more difficult than ever. But if being stuck at home has made you look around and realise you want something different, then it’s time to think about your next steps.
1. What do you want?
The first thing you’ll need to do is consider what you want from your new home. Maybe the summer lockdown has left you wanting somewhere with a garden, or you need somewhere with a study to work from home. Whatever it is, listing what you need that your current home doesn’t have is a great starting point.
2. Where do you want to be?
With the realisation that remote working might be here to stay, many are reconsidering their location. For workers who had to make do with local areas that didn’t fit their needs, now’s the time to think about where you want to be. Rural, city, seaside or abroad, or just further afield, it’s worth considering different opportunities. Read more advice on deciding where to live or check out our list of the top 5 places to move to in the UK in 2020.
3. Check prices
It seems like the news is constantly saying property prices are dropping, but you may not be able to see those savings in your local area. The reality is that prices vary significantly depending on location as well as the type and size of the property. You can use our House Price Forecast tool to get an idea of what might happen to house prices in your area. Looking at online property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove is also a good idea, as you can get a sense of what properties with certain amenities and features are on the market for. Not only will this help you work out if you can afford to move, it will also give you something to refer back to once you’ve found a property so that you know the offer you make is a realistic one.
4. Make your money work for you
The cost of moving is constantly on the up, but luckily so are the number of governmental schemes designed to help people just like you. If you’re a First Time Buyer you’re in luck, with the proposed First Homes scheme the newest addition to a growing list that already includes the Help To Buy Equity Loan and Shared Ownership as well as the Stamp Duty exemption. Even if you’re not a First Time Buyer you can still open a Lifetime ISA or perhaps make use of the Right to Buy scheme.
Bear in mind at the moment that banks are being more reserved about lending, with many requiring a higher deposit amount. So if you were planning on a 10% deposit, consider upping it to 15-20% to get a better deal.
5. Mortgage in Principle
Finding out you can’t borrow the amount you thought is a big spanner in the works, so by doing your sums beforehand you can be sure you won’t be left high and dry. Remember that the maximum amount mortgage lenders will be willing to lend you is 4.5x your annual income (combined income if you’re buying with someone else), and it’s likely they won’t even want to stretch to that if you have a bad credit history.
Work on improving your credit score, and if your deposit and your predicted mortgage amount don’t add up to enough, you’ll need to save up a bigger deposit.
6. Compare costs
Using comparison services for the major services you’ll need when moving house is invaluable. Not only will it save you time – you'll be connected with up to 4 local conveyancing, survey and removal firms in minutes – it also allows you to compare costs to get the best prices, which, let’s face it, we all need right now!
We can help you compare quotes for conveyancing, surveys and removals. Remember that if you’re selling your home, estate agency costs can vary and you can compare those too.
And don’t forget all the other services you can compare, including if you need storage, and if you can get better deals on your energy bills and broadband.
7. Get a survey
We know some people don’t see the point in getting a survey. Or worse – they get confused and think the mortgage lender have done it for them! A survey is the best thing you can do to ensure the property you love is a good investment, and isn’t going to come crumbling down around you after moving day. Whether you pick a standard HomeBuyer Report or a more in-depth Building Survey, having a professional surveyor visit the property will help you feel confident that it’s not going to cost you money and heartache in the long run.
8. Have a clear out
Decluttering before you move can help you in so many ways – it will reduce costs because removal firms quote on volume (and you might be able to make a bit of money selling things you no longer need); it will made the process easier because you’ll have less stuff to pack, move and unpack; and it can make planning and unpacking easier as you’ll have a much better idea of how much stuff you actually own, without the contents of your loft or shed surprising you. You can read advice on how to declutter before a move or swap tips and tricks on our forum.
9. Don’t forget Stamp Duty
Stamp Duty can be a fairly sizeable amount, so it’s best to work out roughly how much you’ll need to pay early. If you’re a First Time Buyer you’ll likely be exempt, but it’s still worth double-checking anyway. Visit out Stamp Duty Calculator to work out how much you’ll need to pay.
10. Feel in control
There’s no getting away from it – moving house can be stressful, and the sooner you accept the fact that things can, and probably will, go wrong, the better you’ll feel. Instead of dwelling on it, focus on the things you can control.
Our Moving House Checklist will tell you everything you’ll need to do, from the moment you first decide you want to move right up until that celebratory takeaway in your home. We can even send you reminders at key points in your move – don't worry, we won’t let you forget a thing!