Our guide to moving home

From property viewings to packing, read our top tips to help your next house move go smoothly.

The search

When you’re looking for your dream home it’s important to find a balance between your heart and your head. Here are a few things to consider.

Understand how much you can afford

If you need a mortgage to buy your new home, our online affordability calculator is a great place to start to understand how much you could afford. It’s designed to give you an indication as to how much you might be able to borrow based on your income and outgoings. You may also want to speak to a mortgage adviser before you start looking at properties.

View more than once

First viewings can be great for getting an initial feeling for a property, but it’s surprising what you might notice on the second, third or fourth viewing that you didn’t spot the first time around. Visit the house at different times of day (and evening) to get a more complete picture. Come back at different times to see what the traffic’s like during rush hour and what it’s like on a weekend.

Spend plenty of time looking around

Try to spend at least 20 to 30 minutes looking around the house. Make notes on the condition of things like windows, external doors and the roof, and keep an eye out for obvious signs there might be problems like damp, mould or cracks in ceilings and walls.

Use our handy home buying checklist to help you make notes when you go to your viewings.

Buying checklist PDF

Ask questions

Ask the sellers outright if they know about any issues with the house, why they’re selling and if they’ve had much interest. And, if it’s been on the market for a while, don’t be afraid to ask why. Sellers must disclose anything that might impact the value of the property or the buyer’s enjoyment of it.

Research the area

Is it close enough to shops, schools and public transport? Talk to the neighbours to see what they love (or don’t) about living there.

Arranging your mortgage

You may need to obtain a Decision in Principle before making an offer on your new home, as many sellers and estate agents will ask to see it as assurance that you can get a mortgage. Once your offer is accepted, you’ll then go on to do a full mortgage application. Before this is completed you should to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer who will deal with the legal aspects of buying your property, including submitting searches to the local council to check whether there are any planning or local issues that might affect the property’s value.

Valuation and surveys

Your lender will instruct a mortgage valuation to assess how much your new property is worth. Often this is for mortgage purposes only, to ensure it is sufficient security for the loan and once complete your mortgage offer can be issued. If you would like a fuller report, you’ll also need to appoint a surveyor who will survey the property to check for problems which might affect the value of your home.

Preparing to move

Moving out of an old place can take just as much planning as moving into a new one. Here are some of the loose ends you may want to tie up and some tips for moving day.

Giving notice

If you live in rented accommodation, you’ll usually need to give a least a month’s notice before you can move out without forfeiting your deposit. Check the conditions of your lease to find out how long your notice period is.

Removal companies

Get quotes for removal companies or van hire and arrange your moving day transport.

Change of address notifications

Moving to a new area means you’ll need to re-register with a doctor, dentist and the local council. If you’re staying in the same area, you’ll need to let your existing services know about your change of address.

Make a list of all the companies you will need to notify including banks, building societies, TV licensing, mobile phone (and landline) companies, broadband providers, and any other organisations you have an agreement with. Some companies, such as landline phone providers, might ask for one month’s notice so be sure to do this well in advance. You can also contact the post office and ask them to redirect your post for a set period of time after you’ve moved, however there is a fee for this service.

Utilities

Contact your utility providers at least 48 hours in advance of the move to let them know you’re moving out. You can organise new utilities for your new place or see if you can transfer your existing arrangements over. Don’t forget to make a note of final meter readings on the day you move out and take readings at your new property when you move in.

Protecting your new home

It’s also important to contact your home insurance provider a little while before you move to arrange adjustments to your home insurance policy. If you’ve never had home insurance now is the time to be thinking about it. Many mortgage providers require you to have buildings insurance from the date you exchange contracts.

Did you know?

At Skipton we provide home insurance through Legal & General. Read more about insuring your home with us.

Packing

Packing gradually over two or three weeks can be much less stressful than trying to cram it all in a couple of days before moving. Keep a box marked ‘essentials’ for the things you’ll need to find quickly on moving day, like the kettle, mugs, cutlery, cleaning supplies, loo roll and clothes. The more you have packed and ready to go, the easier moving day will be.

Final checks

Before you hand over the keys, do a final walk-through to make sure you haven’t missed anything. If you’re moving out of a rented property it’s a good idea to walk through with the landlord and take pictures to show the property is clean, tidy and in the same condition as it was when you moved in.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

If you’d like to talk to us about mortgages from Skipton, call us or drop us a line by web chat.