With the ability of mobile apps to streamline nearly every aspect of locating a new place, the process of moving has become significantly easier. Without taking advantage of these tools, you may find yourself overwhelmed with moving tasks and unable to finish everything in time for move-in day.
For example, it’s a good idea to research cheap renters insurance before you move so you can be sure your valuables will be protected in your new place. The same goes with searching for moving services and supplies – you don’t want to put these basic tasks off until the last minute.
You may be familiar with the vast array of real estate websites available to help facilitate the process of buying, selling, and renting properties, but there are also many lesser known programs for other tasks that come up while moving. These tools are must-haves for anyone planning an upcoming move, and having them downloaded may be just what you need to get your moving jobs done on schedule.
Zillow may be the biggest name in the world of real estate websites and applications, and it’s easy to see why. The platform receives roughly 36 million unique visits every month from users around the world, and it’s a great starting point if you’re still looking for that perfect place.
If you’re interested in a more interactive experience, Zillow’s mobile app also contains a feature which allows you to look at local listings in real-time as you walk through target neighborhoods. This makes it easy to visualize your life in a new place and get a feel for each area you’re considering.
Wunderlist isn’t actually a house move app, but its general suite of productivity tools make it a great way to stay on top of your progress and make sure you don’t push things off to the last minute. With Wunderlist, you’ll be able to put to-do lists together and set reminders for tasks that you want to finish at certain times.
One interesting feature of Wunderlist is the ability to share these lists and reminders, allowing you to delegate tasks to any roommates or friends that are helping you pack up your place. Syncing this information to the cloud turns Wunderlist into a centralized platform, making it that much easier to prepare for your move.
There’s a good chance that you’re among the 2 billion-plus people that use Facebook each month, but even regular Facebook users often aren’t aware of the platform’s robust marketplace features that facilitate the buying and selling of a variety of items. This is the perfect place to find people in your area and arrange a purchase.
Selling and giving away old items is one of the most commonly overlooked tasks involved in moving out, and these pieces can be tough to get rid of as your move-in date approaches. Put a few things on Facebook Marketplace well before you’re planning to move in order to give yourself time to field offers and find a convenient time and place to meet buyers.
Fixing up your current place is a great way to increase the sale value of a home or guarantee an apartment’s security deposit. Repairing any damage and performing routine maintenance may involve more tools and specialized skills than you’re comfortable taking care of yourself.
Fortunately, TaskRabbit makes it easy to find professional freelancers and contractors in your local area. It’s an especially useful tool if your moving date is rapidly approaching and you don’t have time to complete everything you need to before leaving. Anything from cleaning and painting to more in-depth projects can be found on TaskRabbit.
Moving out is an often overwhelming endeavor that requires careful preparation and planning well in advance. If you’re looking for ways to streamline the moving process, these house move apps will help you make a number of moving tasks easier, including everything from searching for a place to finding buyers for items you no longer need.
Real estate and, more specifically, house flipping, can be an incredibly profitable business. With the right home and in the right market, it’s possible to make tens of thousands of dollars on a single house over the matter of a few months. And that’s just one house.
Once you get the hang of flipping properties and discovering how to identify homes with the greatest return on investment potential, you’ll turn your flipping business into a well-oiled machine.
However, before any of that happens, you’ll need to start out with a single property. There will likely be growing pains as you learn along the way as well. However, by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll cut down on major expenses, all while boosting the potential profit while flipping homes.
Always Inspect The Property
Never look at the asking price, do a walkthrough of your own, and decide to buy it right then and there. This is a classic mistake and one that can cost you. Unless you’re a contractor you may miss substantial problems with the house.
You might not have seen the sloping foundation or the major problems with the roof. If you need to fix the foundation and install a new roof you’ll easily spend $50,000 or more on just these two repairs. This might completely eat away your entire profit margin.
So before you buy any property, always have it inspected. It doesn’t matter if you intend to gut it and flip it.
Look For Good Bones
It’s easy to fall in love with small features of a house. Maybe one property has a beautiful stained glass window or the most attractive backyard you’ve ever seen. When you see such a property it’s easy to get distracted.
In fact, while these are nice features, never buy a property to flip just because of a feature. You want a property with good bones. When it has good bones (in other words, a strong, level foundation, and solid construction), you can make up for any cosmetic problems. In fact, you can add as many features as you might like to make the property more attractive.
It is repairing problems with the bones where the real expenses creep up. Installing new windows might cost a few thousand dollars. But lifting the entire house, this will cost more than most complete renovations.
Only buy a house to flip if it has good bones – this is one of the best money-savings tips we can give you. Anything else will both cost too much to fix and take too long to flip.
Are Homes Selling In The Neighborhood?
One of the mistakes potential flippers make is not looking at the buying market of a given neighborhood. They might look at what housing prices are in the community and even the demographics of median income and family makeup. All of this is valuable data. However, it’s not the most important piece of information.
You need to know how long the average house stays on the market. Some communities are hot, to a point where a property sells within the same week or two, it goes on the market. Yet other communities do not receive the same kind of interest from potential buyers.
Even if you can buy a house and sell it for a greater amount of money in a slower moving community, it’s better to buy a house you can fix and flip right away.
Because for every month you hold onto the house that’s another month you have to pay a mortgage.
Time really is money in the world of house flipping. So if you buy a property with a $1,000 mortgage and you end up sitting on it for six months, that’s $6,000 out of your potential profit.
You want to get in and get out as quickly as possible, especially when starting off.
After you’re established and have a half-dozen properties going at once you may be able to afford to hold onto some properties for longer, if you know you’ll make a larger profit when it does sell. But in the beginning, shoot for a fast-selling community.
Home Depot (and Lowes) Is Your Friend
Yes, you can buy all kinds of goods for the flip from your local home improvement store, but that’s not why it’s really your friend.
The more work you do on the property yourself the greater your potential profit. This also means every dollar you give to a contractor is one less dollar you’ll have when you sell the house.
Many of the jobs a contractor will do for you are jobs you could actually perform yourself. You just don’t have the right experience or knowledge at your disposal.
This is where the local home improvement store comes in.
Most stores such as Home Depot and Lowes offer free tutorial demonstrations on weekends (check out the websites for stores nearby to see when these classes are offered). By attending these classes you’ll learn how to do these tasks within the home you’re flipping.
You’ll discover many of these tasks are not terribly difficult. It might take a few hours longer to do, but you’ll save hundreds of dollars on every job you do yourself. Plus, the more frequently you flip homes, the more practice you’ll have and the easiest it becomes.
But Know When You Need a Professional
There are some jobs you can do yourself.
Installing a toilet, laying tile, or even buffering a hardwood floor.
However, you need to know when to do the job yourself, and when to turn to a professional. If your home needs electrical work do not try to go about doing this yourself.
First, dealing with major utilities, such as electricity and gas, is dangerous. You not only put yourself in danger but potential buyers in danger.
Second, if a potential buyer is interested in your home they will hire a contractor to come in and inspect the house. If the electrical work is not done correctly you’ll need to hire someone to come in and repair what you already did. This forces you to pay for the electrical work twice before the house sells, and you’ll end up holding onto the property longer, which may mean you pay another mortgage payment.
So while much of the work you can do on your own, know when to hire a professional.
Connect With Contractors
At some point in time, you will need to work with contractors. You might be able to perform much of the work on your own with the first flip. In fact, if you’re doing one property at a time and are careful with the houses you buy you’ll find much of the work is easy to do. However, there will come a time where you either purchase a lemon of a house and it requires more repairs than you thought, or you’ll run out of easily-flipped properties and have to dig into homes with greater cosmetic fixes.
Whatever the reasoning, seek out a contractor you can directly work with. Show the contractor your portfolio of homes and your desire to continue the flipping process. If the contractor believes you’ll deliver a steady stream of work they may be more inclined to cut their asking price. So look around and discuss the partnership opportunity with these contractors. It may be a mutually beneficial relationship for both of you.
Now is the perfect time to start flipping houses. Flipping real estate, when done right, has the potential to turn into a full-time, high-paying job. And this is a job where you’ll be your own boss. However, flipping homes are more difficult than what 30-minute television shows make it out to be. You need to know how to best pick out homes and how to keep costs down in order to increase your profits.
By following through with these tips and suggestions, you’ll avoid buying homes that not only will cost too much to repair but will stay on the market longer than you’d like. Plus, with the help of My Real Estate Business, you’ll have access to a team of professionals that will help give you all the necessary tools and education you need to be a successful house flipper.
Moving can be worrisome enough but trying to do it in the middle of winter can make things even more stressful.
It’s one thing to relocate in 100-degree heat, drink gallons of Gatorade and sweat enough to lose five pounds, but somehow everything seems worse if it’s 20 below outside of your apartment in Bloomington, Indiana when the wind is blowing and the roads and sidewalks are covered with ice.
What can you do to make a winter move more palatable? Check out these five tips:
Prepare Your Stuff
Things freeze quickly in extremely cold weather. A caterer we know used to like delivering food in the winter because his vehicles were turned into refrigerators by the outside ambient temperatures, and when it was between 30 and 40 degrees, he didn’t have to worry about keeping anything at the proper cold food temperature. One day, however, the temp quickly dropped to 10 below, and all of his cheese and fruit trays froze within minutes. So, while not all of your stuff is cold-sensitive, things that are like some food items and of course pets and plants need to be protected. Remember also that china dishes and some glassware can also be damaged by a rapid temperature drop since items get brittle in the cold.
Keep Your Home Clean
On both sides of the move, make sure that mud, snow and ice are not tracked in and out of your home. Lay down protective plastic at all entrances to make sure that the dirt stays outside at your old home and your new residence.
Be Nice to Your Helpers and Movers
If you’re doing a DIY move, take some time to dress properly, eat well, have hot liquids available, and have a warm place to take a break. If you are using a moving service, make sure that you do the same for your hard-working movers. Even if it’s not required in your contract, buying them a hot meal is a great thing to do.
You have no doubt planned your move months in advance, but when moving day is accompanied by a winter storm warning, be prepared to wait until the storm passes. Even if you are able to load up the truck in a blizzard, you’re not going to get anywhere fast or safely until the storm is gone.
Prepare and Winterize Your Car
If you live in a cold weather climate, for example, you just bought a contract for deed home in Minnesota, you know that your antifreeze needs to be checked yearly, and if your vehicle has been giving you any trouble, all problems should be taken care of before winter. If you live in a warm climate and are moving to a cold one, however, make sure all cold-weather systems are functioning. You may not care if your heater doesn’t work in Miami, but in Fargo it will be a different story.
Again, moving is rarely fun, and even if you have a great plan, the weather can interfere. Therefore, take care of all things you can control, and if the weather does not cooperate, at least you’ll know that you have everything ready to go as soon as the skies clear.
Moving house is a huge lifestyle change. Emotions are heightened, excitement fills the air, but leaving the familiar surroundings you’ve called home can be a testing time. When things go well, joy and happiness are abundant. But there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. It’s thought that the average person spends around 45% of their time at home so moving really does have a huge impact on the way we feel and live.
With all this considered it’s no wonder that people look for ways to secure the future health, happiness and tranquillity they wish for in their new home. This need to calm those moving nerves and stresses has been present throughout history, and across many different cultures around the globe. As a result, there are some interesting moving house rituals and traditions that come with moving to a new home.
Intrigued by this concept, Bingham Self-Storage have researched and illustrated some of the most interesting house moving traditions from different cultures and the history books. You probably haven’t heard about these before…but if you’re moving soon you might want to try a few out! Perhaps not?! We’ll let you decide…
Change is great and part of life but can be challenging for some people. One such overwhelming change is moving. Moves are largely triggered by approaching retirement, but even for younger workers, the prospect of moving someplace smaller can be daunting and difficult with all the stuff that they possess in a larger space.
Whether you’re moving to cut expenses or just to simplifying your life, these pro tips can help you ace the transition by downsizing your home before moving:
- Bid a Farewell to some items
It is okay to be attached to that big sweat shirt or that pair of jeans which would be too old but has a lot of memories associated with it, but it’s time to let go. Only to pay haul things that will actually fit in your new, smaller space. It is important that you remind yourself that you’re reducing clutter and not stockpiling it.
It is difficult to just open your wardrobe one day and de-clutter it all at once. The best way to go about it is by thinking as to for how long you have not used that particular thing. If it’s been an entire year or a season, you should probably toss it – unless it’s something like a tuxedo or an evening gown. Ask yourself if you actually enjoy using the item or if it has a place in your life. Be ruthless.
It is imperative that you keep in mind that our activities and interests change over time, and we don’t always review our possessions to keep up with that so maybe we should make room for things that’ll actually align with our current endeavors.
- Hop on that online portal
While garage sales help you get rid of items you no longer need, you should also check social media or Freecycle for so-called beg, barter, and buy-and-sell groups that allow you to buy, sell and trade your possessions. It can be an effective, low-labor way to unload unwanted items fast and inexpensively.
- Exclude Food
If movers pack for you, remember that they will move literally everything you leave behind—including food. The best way to go about it is to look for a socially responsible mover that is mindful of the perishable as well as non-perishable items that might be present in your pantry. These items can be safely transported to a food bank. This way, you save the cost of moving it and help alleviate hunger in your community at the same time, meaning it’s a win win situation!
- Insure Your Valuables
Moving is a tedious process and with the help of professional movers, the possibility of your items being damaged is minimized but is definitely not eliminated meaning it does happen. That’s why valuation—or how much your moving company will reimburse you in case your property is lost or damaged—is necessary and you should be aware of it.
Valuation is highly recommended specially those who are downsizing as they tend to hold back or rather retain the necessities when moving into a new apartment which might be the most valuable pieces for them.
A standard basic valuation is 60 cents per pound but there are various other options worth exploring as per your requirements. So if electronics that weigh only a few pounds or less get damaged, you’ll only be reimbursed a couple of dollars, even though they’re worth much more than that. Call your homeowners insurance agent to find out what is protected under your existing plan and ask how much it would cost to fully insure everything you plan to take with you; then decide whether it’s worth it to upgrade the valuation.
- Get Multiple Cost Estimates
If you’re downsizing, you may not think of it as a big move, and you may not take all the precautions you would normally. But you should. You may find a company that’s just as reputable and offers the same services for hundreds or even thousands of dollars less. Experts’ advice to not get trapped in the popularity of certain movers and so get at least three estimates from reputable professional movers. Don’t just go with the first person you talk to. With that, it is also a great idea to turn towards your friends who recently downsized to a smaller space as well to get to know their experience with the movers and the costs involved.
Downsizing your home is a highly emotional process. In fact, it can be a lot like grieving. You are changing your life and giving up the things you once loved so don’t feel shy if you’re struggling to reduce your possessions to fit into your new small house, keeping a few things that you’re undecided on in storage or just with your parents is worth pondering over.
Jenny Harrison is a passionate home and lifestyle blogger. She loves to engage with readers who are seeking home and lifestyle-related information on the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community. Currently, she is associated with New York moving company ‘All Around Moving Services Company’ Specializes in arranging and assembling services of professional and skilled local movers locally in New York City as well as areas in New Jersey, Connecticut and the Miami Dale area in South Florida. Follow her on twitter @MJennyHarrison for more updates.
The prospect of finally moving to your dream home is an exciting one.
After all, you’ve worked hard through the years, planned, and saved up. Now, finally, your very own place is right there, waiting for you.
Moving is more than just about finding a new space or a new neighbourhood; it’s also about new beginnings – and new beginnings are always good. Well, that is, except for one or two things: packing and moving.
Sorting through your possessions accumulated through the years is stressful enough; even more so when you have to go through and pack your most valuable possessions.
Seasoned home removals experts in Sydney share their top five tips below so you can efficiently pack and move your precious art, jewelry, china, family heirlooms and other must-take knick-knacks with you.
1. Make a list and take pictures
Let’s say you’re done identifying your most important possessions – items you can’t simply let go of and which you consider as priceless. Then the next step would be to make an inventory list. Your most important items may belong to the following categories:
- Art collection (paintings, sculpture, etc.) and other special collections
- Silverware and china
- Family heirlooms and antiques
- Important documents (title deeds, birth/marriage certificates, insurance policies, passports, etc.)
- Personal electronic devices
- Prescription medications
Keep your list detailed, and ensure the photos you take are clear. And granted it’s not the most exciting task to do, but this is an added precaution you need to take just in case something goes awry during your move.
Also, be sure to have the necessary packing supplies ready:
- Tape – packing and painter’s
- Blank packing paper
- Tissue paper
- Bubble wrap
- Silver cloth or other soft fabric
- Moving blankets
- Stretch wrap
It’s usually better to get these packing materials from a professional removal company as they will have specialized packing supplies ideal for securing valuable items.
2. Label each box for you
People are usually advised to label each box or piece of packaging clearly and conspicuously so the removalists know which item goes where. It also helps the owner identify which box to rummage through in case an item is needed urgently.
However, when it comes to smaller valuable items, it’s better to label the carton or packaging that, for example, your special gold ring collection comes in, “for your eyes only.” This means you should label these boxes in a code only you will understand.
For electronic items like your DSLR camera, it’s always better to keep them in their original packaging if you still have them stored somewhere.
3. Keep small but important items with you
After taking the above precautions, experts say that when it comes to relatively small but important possessions, the best thing to do is to keep them close at all times on moving day. These include items such as jewelry, electronic gadgets, important documents, and doctor’s prescriptions and medicine.
If you have a backpack, secure your most important belongings in it since you can carry it around even if you have to make brief stops along the way.
4. Let the pros handle large or extra special items for you
While you can probably take care of properly packing your precious china and silverware, large or specialist items like family heirloom furniture, a grand piano, crystal chandeliers and valuable pieces of art are usually best handled by professionals.
If your chosen removalist does not offer services specially intended for such items, you may need to partner with a professional packing and crating company as well. On top of this, you should also look into securing moving insurance or getting additional insurance for your most precious possessions – just in case.
5. Conduct a visual inspection before letting the removalists go
On moving day itself, once all of your worldly possessions have been safely unloaded in your new place, do a final walkthrough. Check the condition of the packed items, paying special attention to your precious possessions inventory list. This is where efficient labeling comes in handy.
At this stage, you will be able to see if any of your boxes (especially the ones containing your valuables) got damaged or torn in some places during the move. Again, take pictures and bring them to the attention of your removalist. Of course, it’s always a great thing to know that however mangled a carton may seem on the outside, that your items inside are still intact.
This is the time when you’ll be grateful that you took the time to purchase the necessary supplies, and packed and prepared well for everything.
Plan ahead and stress less
Moving to the house of your dreams is a wonderful thing, and something to really look forward to.
But weeks before your planned move, you need to take care of getting the right supplies, packing your things, ensuring you have a detailed moving inventory list, and getting your new home cleaned and ready.
Also, be sure to keep your most prized possessions safe and secure by preparing and planning for everything, and getting expert help in packing them if need be.
This way, you can be sure you’ll be off to a great start in your new home.
Robert Wise, Sales Administration Manager at Nuss Removals, has been a respected figure in the removals industry for over 20 years. His attention to detail and the ability to truly understand the needs of the customer have ensured the successful relocation of thousands of satisfied individuals and families. For moving and storage across Australia and around the world, Robert’s wealth of experience ensures his customers are in safe hands.
Don’t you often dream about living in another country? When you feel like your country has nothing to offer, moving to another place seems like the best idea.
However, the process is not as easy as it seems. While you’re only thinking about staying in your dream country, you should know that this comes with new problems and responsibilities. There are many things to consider before leaving.
Here’s a quick guide to help you decide if you really want to move abroad or not.
Pick the location
This is the decisive step when moving abroad. Once something makes you decide that you want to live in another country, you need to ask yourself “Where?”. Maybe you already have somewhere in mind, but if not, you have to consider some things.
First of all, if you have children, you need to think about their studies and well-being. Moreover, a new language might come into play, and it is going to be difficult for your child to get used to it. You also need to think about schools, sports clubs and other activities that will help them settle in.
If you’ve chosen the country, think about what area of the country you want to live in. Find out what it has to offer, how safe it is, and other information that could help you make a decision.
Consider the Downsides
As you already know, you need to consider a lot of things when moving abroad. It should be no surprise to you that you’re going to feel lonely. Whether you’re going alone or not, the friends you’re used to are not going to be there. So, loneliness is something you cannot avoid.
Also, you should consider more things, like getting a job, the living costs, and many others.
Get Health Insurance
If you are working that means you may have health insurance as part of your package, but that’s not guaranteed. If you don’t have a job, then you need to check how you can get medical care and whether you will have to pay for it. Each country is different, so you might want to check this beforehand.
You can also talk to your doctor and get a comprehensive travel insurance policy before leaving. Upon arrival, you might have to provide some health certificates from your local doctor.
Get a Long-Term Visa
Depending on your reason for leaving, it’s really important to have a long-term visa. It could be a tourist, work, permanent residency, or business visa.
Also, if your passport is about to expire, it would be a good time to go and get a new one. This will save you some money, as you don’t have to fly back home to get another one as soon as you arrive there.
Enjoy The Experience
Yes, it’s going to be very hard in the beginning, like any new thing. However, you need to enjoy yourself out there. So, don’t be scared of the new place and new experiences. After everything is settled and your life takes its normal course, you can start having fun. Go out, meet new people, and start appreciating the new land.
Moving abroad is a big step, and it’s going to be complicated at first. However, with some good planning, it’s all going to turn out great.
Author Bio: Jessica is the head of content for Hire A Box – a moving company that specializes in house moves. You can find out more here.
“Am I ready to buy a house, or should I just keep renting?”
It’s one of the questions that we hear most often and something to which first-time homebuyers often spend months, if not years, trying to figure out the answer.
Below are a list of four tell-tale signs that you’re ready to bite the bullet and take the leap into home ownership:
Sign #1: You’re ready to settle down
The first sign that you’re in the right mindset to become a homeowner is that you’re ready to stay put — at least for a little while.
Conventional wisdom states that in order for your purchase to make financial sense, you’ll want to plan on staying put for at least the next five years. When you sit down to think about house hunting, you’ll want to use that timeframe as your reference point.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you see yourself staying at your job for that long, or will you be looking for new opportunities?
- If the right position came along, would you be willing to move for it?
- Do you like the area you’re living in, or would you like to explore other options?
- Do you see your living situation changing soon?
- Are you planning on moving in with a significant other or expanding your family?
If these questions make you squirmy, the idea of looking five years into the future still feels a little too far ahead for you to grasp, or you still want to see where life life takes you, you may want to consider renting for a bit longer or thinking about a for-a-few-years home vs. a forever home.
2. You’re done living paycheck-to-paycheck
Let’s face it, becoming a homeowner is expensive.
Not only is there a monthly mortgage mortgage payment to consider, which will likely be more than your current rent check, but prospective homebuyers need to be prepared to come up with a sizable down payment, shoulder a portion of the closing costs, and have the dough to take care of any necessary repairs.
Luckily, there is a way that you can prepare for the added financial pressure before the big day comes and understand how much house you can afford. Use a mortgage calculator to estimate what a monthly payment could based on the type of home you’re looking to buy. Then, subtract the amount you pay in rent each month, and aim to put the the remainder into savings.
Start by working towards a down payment that could be worth 3%-10% of a home’s sale price, and then move onto a seperate emergency fund.
3. You’re ready for more responsibility
Once you find a home and actually buy it, that’s really where all the fun begins.
Yes, owning a home means that you have a lot more freedom to improve the property as you see fit — whether that means putting in an entirely new kitchen or redoing the hardwood floors.
However, in addition to that creative freedom comes an added layer of responsibility. As the homeowner, you’re the one who is responsible for any necessary maintenance and upkeep on the property.
Think about what you’re like as a tenant now.
Are you willing to roll up your sleeves and help with small tasks or are you relieved to know that you have someone to call? If you’re less handy, you may want to take some time to familiarize yourself with common home maintenance tasks before committing to buying anything. It always helps to have a fair idea of what you’re getting into.
4. You know what you’re looking for
Last but not least, though it may sound self-explanatory, when you’re trying to determine whether or not you’re ready to buy a home, it’s useful to have an idea of what you’re looking for.
You don’t have to have every single detail set in stone. (In fact, it’s preferable if you leave some room to flexibility in your home search.) That said, though, having a basic set of parameters in mind will make the homebuying process go much easier.
Here, you’ll want to think about the most important factors that you absolutely must have in a home. These will be the things that you would not feel comfortable buying a home without. This may include details like your preferred location, an ideal number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a target sale price, or any specific must-have features like that perfect picture window view.
If you have a strong idea of your must-haves and can’t see that changing in the near future, and the above signs sound like you, you may just be ready to take the plunge into home ownership. If not, there’s no shame in the game waiting.
There is always an element of stress when moving house. But even more so if you are moving in London! The enormous population and broad cityscape make it one of the most interesting cities in the world – but also a logistical nightmare!
We’ve been helping Londoners move house for over thirty years now and it has been fascinating to see how the city has evolved over this period. The problems people face when moving house in London, however, have remained largely unchanged.
Our clients and friends often ask us advice on moving in the big smoke, so we thought it was about time we put our tips into writing.
Of course, no advice can guarantee a smooth move, but your odds will increase if you pay attention to the following.
1. Timing is everything
Move at the wrong time and you will spend hours in traffic. This is a common stress point. We tend to start the move from 8.00am to avoid the traffic everyday including weekends. Make sure to check big events happening locally that will bring in more traffic to a standstill– football games, concerts, conferences etc.
2. Consider parking
Parking in London is notoriously difficult and expensive. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times clients have called us having arrived at their new home in their removals van, only to find they can’t park it anywhere! If you have your own off-street parking, then great! If not, then you need to consider applying for a parking suspension from the local council. The best way to do this is to visit the website of your local council. If you are using a professional removals company they should be familiar with this process, so you can likely leave it to them.
3. Make us of local short term storage
Sometimes it’s impossible or impractical to move everything at once. This is a classic point of anxiety, especially if you have to move out before you’re allowed to move to the new home. These facilities offer vital flexibility at affordable rates.
4. Consider the Congestion Zone
If you are moving into, or out of, the centre of London, then see if you will be passing through the Congestion Zone. This is fairly expensive if you’re using multiple vehicles (£11.50 for each one, per day) and is also very busy. Avoid driving between 7am and 6pm if you want to get around the charge. If you decide to take the hit, make sure you pay online with 14 days to avoid a fine.
5.Ask your neighbours for help unloading
The stereotype of unfriendly Londoners is largely a myth in our experience. A well-timed knock-and-introduction can often lead to an offer to help with unloading the van. We’ve witnessed occasions where virtually the whole street has got involved! It’s also a great opportunity to get to know your new neighbours.
6. Plan out your route carefully
Some areas of traffic are notorious for heavy traffic. If you’re local knowledge isn’t great, try using the app Waze – we’ve found this to be the best at finding routes around traffic. But be careful to avoid narrow roads if you are driving a big van. We’ve had calls from clients who are quite literally stuck on a backroad.
7. Bring in professional help
Perhaps the easiest way to ensure a smooth move is to hire a local removals company, as they will probably have a well-oiled process that is tried and tested. Be sure to look at online reviews though, as a bad removals company may end up actually adding stress to the process.
8. Accept that it will be hectic!
The final top tip is pretty simple, but the hardest for many to actually do. Accept that you’re moving in the busiest city in the country and that things will never be simple. So embrace it and expect difficulties. After all, the traffic and the mayhem are all a part of the wonderful joy of living in London!
Max Oldfield founded Ants Removals in 1985. Originally the company specialised in residential furniture deliveries and small removals. Under his guidance the company has gone from strength-to-strength, operating throughout the UK.