Top tips for moving home over the Christmas period
Almost 72,000 home moves are set to take place in England and Wales this December, according to reallymoving.
The firm found that home movers will spend almost £750 million on moving home during the Christmas period, with the average move costing £10,414.
It can clearly be stressful to move over the festive period, so reallymoving has published its 10 top tips to help ensure things go as smoothly as possible:
1. Kill two birds with one stone. Enclose a Change of Address card with your Christmas cards this year. Then set up a post redirection service with the Post Office.
2. Be prepared for bad weather. Have salt, grit and shovels on hand to clear roads and pathways if needed. Torches are a good idea too, as you’ll probably still be moving in after dark.
3. Make a detailed timeline. Make sure everyone in the chain, as well as estate agents and solicitors, know you want to complete before Christmas and be proactive early on by pinning down a completion date to aim for. There are no guarantees, but it helps if everyone is on the same page.
4. Book a removals firm early. Removals firms get booked up quickly as people rush to complete before the holidays, so get quotes, check reviews and pick a firm as early as possible. You may not be able to firm up arrangements until you’ve exchanged, but make sure you’re at the top of their Christmas list.
5. Set the Christmas decorations to one side. Begin packing early, working from the loft down, and remember to put the Christmas decorations to one side so you can find them easily once you’re in your new home.
6. Ask about holidays. Check with everyone in the chain and their solicitors whether they have any holiday booked over the festive season. If your solicitor will be on leave, ask who your contact will be during that period and what the implications might be for your timeline.
7. Stick to wrapping Christmas presents, rather than crockery. Asking a removals company to wrap and pack can save huge amounts of time and effort and often costs less than you think.
8. Consider using online retailers. They can send pre-wrapped items straight to the recipient’s home, so you don’t have lots of gifts cluttering up your home which might get mislaid in the move.
9. Take your final meter readings on the day of your move. Contact your service providers as soon as possible. You don’t want to be without power on the big day and you don’t want to be paying for your buyer’s Christmas electricity and gas supply either.
10. Think about financial security. As the name suggests, Friday Afternoon Fraud is more of a danger at the end of the week when hackers benefit from people rushing through transactions without checking where the money is going. This is even more likely during the busy Christmas period when there’s greater urgency to complete.
Reallymoving CEO Rob Houghton said: “The housing market is certainly subdued as we head into the festive season but bearing in mind a looming General Election, a failure to resolve Brexit and Christmas on top, the figures are remarkably reassuring.
“Those people who need to move are continuing to do so, mainly because borrowing remains cheap, unemployment is low and price falls can often be absorbed by those buying as well as selling. Conditions also continue to be favourable for first time buyers who currently account for 54% of transactions.
“For those who are moving during December, it pays to get organised, book your removals early and do as much as possible in advance to ensure things go smoothly and you’re comfortably settled in your new home by Christmas Day.”