man and van hire services

Finding the Best Man and Van Hire Services

There are various Man and Van Hire service providers that are friendly, reliable, and affordable. They offer professional removal services to their private and business clients in and around London and right across the UK. They have many different sizes of mobile trucks and a fleet of many vans to choose from, you can choose between a van and a driver or up to three assistants to help with any heavy lifting. You can hire them by the hour or at a fixed price. They do not charge any additional fees as it is all-inclusive. They can transport individual items in full truckloads locally or nationally within the UK. This type of van is also insured as standard. They offer clean, fully equipped vans with experienced, CRB-approved drivers and carriers to ensure you and your belongings are in good hands.

 

They are your solution for any removal or delivery service from anywhere in London and also offer long-distance removals. An experienced Man and Van Hire service makes sure that everything goes according to your plan. They know that their clients have different relocation needs such as the size, budget, or times of access to their property.

 

Whatever your moving needs, they offer a full range of people and van services so they can customize any move to meet your needs. They also offer free advice and tips before you move.

 

Why are many people already using the Man and Van Hire service?

Whether they’re moving into a new family home or office, people look no further than an experienced  Man and Van Hire service to keep removal costs down. The goal is to make a house or business move as easy and stress-free as possible. A man-and-van is your best choice for hassle-free and affordable moving services anywhere, anytime.

 

Look out for these services:

 

  1. Professional, uniformed and friendly staff.
  2. Great personal insurance service.
  3. No hidden costs.
  4. Clean and fully equipped vans.
  5. Reliable service.

 

There are also service providers who act as agents for customers, all of whom are hard-working, well-trained, and highly experienced individuals with many years of knowledge and experience. Whether you need their services for a local move in and around London or an international courier with a package that needs to reach its destination safely, they have a man-and-van for you.

They combine level of knowledge with low prices and customer focus. They are ready and fully equipped to deliver your belongings to your desired location on time, seamlessly, and with a smile.

 

Other Considerations

A Moving Van Hire service should always be fully insured so that you can rest assured that your belongings are fully protected during the move. They should also be available 7 days a week so you don’t have to worry about fitting them into your busy schedule and moving at week-ends when you don’t need to be at work. Many people will also need the service to operate locally, nationally, and even internationally for moves across the country or overseas.

 

 

Reasons to avoid a DIY move

How to set up utilities when renting

Utilities

Whether it’s your first rental property or your third, setting up gas and electricity should be one of your priorities. This is because you need your utilities to be turned on for a decent standard of living, such as being able to cook and access clean water. If you’re wondering how to set up your utilities while renting, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s a standard step-by-step process to get you going. Before you begin, it’s recommended that you find out which utilities you’re responsible for as a tenant, as this varies depending on the rental. Generally, you’ll be expected to pay for your own gas and electricity but this isn’t always the case.

1. Gather the relevant information

Before you begin it’s useful to gather all of the information you need for setting up utilities for your rental. Again this varies depending on the provider you choose but a general rule of thumb is that you’ll need:

    • A recent meter reading
    • Your new address in full
    • Preferred start date

If you’re unsure, the preferred start date is usually the day that you intend to move in.

2. Research various utility providers

There are many different providers of gas and electricity in the UK. Some tenants like to shop around separately for their gas and electricity, but it’s often cheaper and more convenient to get a package deal if possible. If you want minimum hassle, you can simply stay with the providers set up by the previous tenant. However, check that their tariff rates are suitable for your budget before you do this.

While you’re researching gas and electricity providers, you may also want to consider other utilities such as water, as well as other essentials like broadband. Consider making notes on your research, including possible providers for each type of utility and what the average costs for those utilities are shaping up to be.

3. Get in touch for a quote and switch-on date

Once you’ve started to research providers and have made a shortlist of preferred companies, start getting in touch for personalised quotes, if you haven’t done so already. These quotes inform you how much you can expect to pay per month for utilities. There are many different packages available so take your time to research thoroughly.

Getting utilities set up is easier than before as many providers now have online portals that you can log in to. These portals allow you to sign up for a utility plan and arrange a start date – all without speaking to a single member of staff.

If everything goes accordingly, your rented property should have access to all of the necessary utilities on the agreed start date. Make sure your provider has agreed to this date or acknowledged it in some form, however.

moving mistakes - period home

The Three Biggest Moving Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

Moving home is an exciting time. Perhaps it means an interesting new job, a larger place or even being closer to your friends or family. Whatever your reason is for moving, we all want a smooth stress-free home move. This is why we’ve pulled together this article to highlight the three biggest moving mistakes and exactly how you can avoid them.
So, let’s jump right in.

Mistake 1:

The Primacy Bias, Why You’re Spending Too Much Money

There is a natural bias we have as humans called the primacy bias. This basically means that your judgement of something is affected by what you saw earlier. The classic example is when you walk into a bridal dress shop and see three dresses all for £5,000 or even higher. Then, the shop assistant brings out a dress for only £1,995. Bargain, right? By comparison the new dress seems to be cheap but it’s only because we have seen the more expensive ones before.

But what has this got to do with moving home?

If you’re buying a home you can have tens of thousands to spend, so costs such as pricey mortgage brokers or “recommended” solicitors can seem negligible in comparison to the total value. This therefore means that you’re more likely to spend more and actually buy items you might not otherwise because the costs seem less in perspective of your entire move. This also applies even if you’re renting, just on a smaller scale.

This isn’t to say these services aren’t worth it or you don’t need those items, it’s just important to really think about it .

Mistake 2:

Making More Work Than You Need To

Moving home is often seen as a stressful experience. In part that’s because we can make a meal out of what should be simple activities, meaning we have to spend lots of our time on the non-glamorous stuff. So, what can we do about it?  The good news is that there are some simple, easy-to-follow tips you can follow that will save your hours of time when moving home

  • Spring clean weeks before you move. Get rid of most of the stuff you haven’t used in the past 3-6 months. This can dramatically reduce the amount of stuff you’re taking to your new place – stuff you don’t use anyway
  • Label your boxes with the room they’re destined for. This one seems obvious but you’d be surprised the amount of people that forget to do this. Once you move into your new place it will be a complete time-saver
  • Update your address online. The team over at SlothMove have pulled together an online service where you can update your address online. Instead of spending up to 7 hours telling everyone that you’ve moved, you can tell them all within 5 minutes. That’s time better spent doing other things!
  • Book everything in advance. The further in advance you can make arrangements such as childcare, pet day-care, van rentals & storage the easier and smoother your move will be.

 

Mistake 3:

Stressing Too Much

Recent studies show that two thirds of people placed the process of moving home at the top of their stress list, suggesting that it caused more anxiety than breaking-up, divorce or even starting a new job.

If this is the way we perceive moving home, we might be less inclined to do so which can reduce our geo-mobility. Therefore, it’s important that we change our perspective about moving home itself.

But, how do you do that?

The first thing to bear in mind is that taking a break from the home move is completely fine and should be done. You don’t need to be a machine and get it done as quickly as possible. Feel free to take the afternoon or the weekend off and do something completely different. This will help the home move feel more part of your natural routine.

Secondly, try to take some time off work. Don’t try to squeeze everything in between your work and at your weekends. The impact of doing it in the evenings and weekends is that it compounds stress and gives you a completely full schedule. Just taking a week or even a few days off work can make a massive difference in delivering a stress-free home move.

Finally, remember why you’re moving in the first place. You might be moving for something really exciting. In the typical chaos of the home move it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that what you’re doing is really exciting. Contrary to popular opinion, moving home should be fun and is something to be enjoyed.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you’ve found this article of value; with there being so much to do with moving home and it can be tough to stop and consider if there is a better way to do something. However, if you can take five minutes and apply just one of the principles we’ve covered today you can save yourself stress, time and even money.

Sustainable house move

How to Have a Sustainable House Move

In 2020, ignoring the climate crisis really is not an option. While we trust that you are doing your bit, we also imagine that the environment is not your greatest concern amidst your house removal. We are here to change that by showing you how to have a sustainable house move.

 

Did you know? On average, moving house emits a whopping 17 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. While moving house is an imperative, and we recognise cancelling your move altogether is simply not an option, why not try and shave a few kilos off that total by following the simple tips outlined below. Remember, being more eco-friendly means greater efficiency, and greater efficiency means saving time and money. That’s killing not two, but three birds with one stone!

 

Before Your Move

A sustainable house move requires you to start off on the right tracks, and get your eco-hat on well in advance of your actual moving date. The following steps show you how.

 

Choose an Eco-Friendly Moving Company

Bet you did not even know that such a thing exists! While there are of course limits to how sustainable a removal company can be, there is no doubt that some try to do their bit more than others. Reward those who do for their efforts, and when requesting quotes, or researching your removal company, consider this a factor in your selection process.

 

The key things to look for when working out whether a removal company endorses eco-friendly behaviours are:

  • Do they practice corporate social responsibility?
  • Do they carbon offset some of their emissions?
  • Do they drive eco-friendly vehicles?

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it gives you some pointers to start selecting a sustainable mover. Need a bit more guidance? Sirelo’s list of top eight international moving companies considers corporate social responsibility as a deciding factor in who made the cut!

 

Reduce Your Load

Thinking of bringing your neglected armchair? Or the lamp collecting dust in the cupboard? Think again – that isn’t the route to a sustainable house move.. Naturally, the greater the volume of your move, the more carbon dioxide emissions it will emit, and equally the more expensive it will be. It therefore goes without saying, that reducing your load is essential to ensure both a sustainable and budget-friendly move.

 

Don’t Dump!

You may think we are contradicting ourselves a little here, but stay with us. So you have been ruthless in selecting what furniture to bring with you, and now you are stuck with mountains of unwanted goods. Rather than taking these to landfill, think about doing one or some of the following things instead:

  • Sell it! Save the environment and make money at the same time? A double win. There are many platforms in which to sell second-hand goods. Anything that is in good enough condition is worth finding a new home for.
  • If you can afford it, an even better option is to donate any unwanted furniture to a charity shop. Alternatively, there are NGOs dedicated to collecting and redistributing unwanted furniture to vulnerable people. If you are strapped for time, they will often do the legwork for you.
  • Even if certain items of yours are damaged beyond repair or use, many people fancy their hands at upcycling. Wooden furniture in particular can be useful, so donate your furniture to a creative and watch your old side table transform!

 

During Your Move

If you have managed to be sustainable up to this point, you are doing incredibly well. But the hard work does not stop just yet. The following measures will help you ensure that you keep up the good work throughout the moving process.

 

Pack Wisely

So you have managed to narrow down what to bring with you on your adventure, but there are also ways you can pack those that made the cut in a sustainable manner. Consider some of the following:

  • Second-hand boxes. Why not have a look to see if you can source boxes that have already been used. Given that the price of moving boxes can add up, you will save some money along the way too.
  • Minimise packing materials. Think twice before you buy heaps of bubble-wrap and other padding materials. Why not use blankets, towels and scarves instead? Another way to cut back on both your moving expenses and carbon emissions.

 

Transport

At this point, your efficiently packed, reused boxes are safely packed and ready to go. If you are moving yourself, think about the best way to avoid multiple trips in your vehicle, again reducing both petrol costs and emissions. Sensing a theme here?

 

If you and your boxes are parting ways, and a removal company is taking care of them, you will still have to get yourself to your new home. If possible, avoid flying. We know this is not always an option, so if jumping on an aeroplane is the only viable option, think about carbon offsetting your flight, if you can afford to do so.

 

After Your Move

Start good habits in your new home, and think carefully about how to reduce your carbon footprint, both immediately after your move and in the weeks, months and years to come. We have outlined some of the ways you can do this below:

 

  • Go paperless. We imagine that your house move has been somewhat plagued with exhausting amounts of admin. Moving often requires you to get in touch with you bank, doctor and many other services, in order to change your address. While doing this, why not also opt to go paperless? May as well, while you are at it.
  • Buy second-hand furniture. What goes around comes around, quite literally! Replace all that furniture you so generously sold and donated with someone else’s unwanted goods. Both charity shops and platforms such as Facebook Marketplace often have real steals!
  • Choose eco-friendly utility providers. Much like you did when selecting a removal company, ensure your new utility providers have eco-friendly policies. This is becoming more and more common, so it should not be too difficult to find.

 

First of all, congratulations! Moving house is no mean feat, and you seem well on your way to making it success and a sustaniable house move. Remember, every little helps; we know implementing all of these tips into your move may seem overwhelming, but even just a couple can go a long way to help save our planet.

buying your first home

Advice About Buying Your First Home

The property market in the UK is still shaky – after what initially seemed like a recovery a couple of years ago prices in the usual property hotspots have seen falls in recent months. And there are still parts of the UK which never even experienced the recovery and are still suffering the effects of the long drawn out recession that is supposedly over now. The recovery in those areas could be a long time coming.

But whether you are buying in the more buoyant south-east  or anywhere else in the country one of the best ways to afford your first home is to find a place that needs some TLC and get it at a low price. Many homes are reasonably priced simply because they have dated décor but have no other problems. These are the ones to go for because re-decorating is relatively straightforward and relatively cheap; at least compared to re-wiring or new central heating or new windows.

Buying a home that doesn’t present well means you can get it for a good price and make improvements to bring it up to date without spending too much. The chances are your first home may be small but it will be the first step on the property ladder and, anyway, small homes can be very cosy and bijou.

But before you start house-hunting you need to know how much you can afford because there is no point looking around at desirable homes just to find they are all out of your reach financially. So take a look at your savings now or how much you could realistically save in the next 6 months to a year then talk to a bank or other lender about your chances of securing a mortgage. Remember that borrowing money now is all about how affordable the debt would be to you. It is no longer possible simply to work on multiples of your salary.

As affordability checks by banks and other lenders have become more stringent so it has become harder and harder for first time buyers to raise a big enough home loan to buy even the smallest apartment in some areas. Some of the options that people are reverting to include:

  • Moving in with parents for a year to save more money
  • Moving to a cheaper location
  • Borrowing money from parents
  • Using no credit check loans to raise money for the deposit

Sometimes parents will act as the guarantor on a guarantor loan to help raise the deposit when they cannot or are unwilling to lend the cash to their offspring. This way they help reduce the risk in the eyes of the lender but the young person buying the home is responsible for making the loan repayments. For those determined to get on the housing ladder there are always options but they often require tough decisions such as taking on a large amount of debt that could affect your lifestyle or moving to a new area away from family and friends.

In the end it is a very personal decision whether owning your own home is worth these sacrifices. It will depend on your personal situation, including relationships and career development. Those young people who are at the start of a career that could lead them to much higher incomes within a few years may be more willing to take the risk of borrowing a lot now, knowing the strain of the debt will ease significantly in the relatively near future.

Whatever you decide to do with regard to buying your first home the best bit of advice I was ever given was that you will know when a property feels right so don’t ever buy somewhere if you find that you are persuading  yourself it will be OK.

house flipping

House Flipping: 6 Tips to Help You Turn a Profit

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.

 

Why?

 

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.

 

In Conclusion

 

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.

 

light bulb - electricity supplier

How Do I Transfer Utilities When Moving House?

Moving house? Find out how to transfer utilities over efficiently so that you have all the services you need to make the most of your new place.

 

Within the last 12 months nearly 600,000 people consider themselves ‘just moved’, and around the same number consider themselves still ‘settling in’ to a new home. For those people, there’s a lot to do to make their new place a true home. Unpacking boxes, redecorating, getting to know the neighbours, maybe settling the kids into a new school – these sorts of tasks are the easy part of the stressful process of moving house.

 

Of course, there are some other less fun jobs to get done too, so that you’re completely set up to start this new chapter of your life. Transferring the utilities is one such job, but it’s an essential job to complete once you move. It’s not a fun task but the longer you delay it, the more you could overspend on expensive standard tariffs. You could also end up paying for utilities at your old home and your new home at the same time – something to avoid at all costs.

 

To help you get this essential job done when you’re moving house, here are some handy hints on how to transfer your utilities:

 

Who’s Providing You With Services?

 

One of the first things you need to do is find out who your providers are new and were before in your old home. It sounds simple but, maybe you have forgotten that you transferred between providers while in your old house. Some small energy suppliers have gone out of business in recent years so you may even have been transferred to a different energy supplier by the gas and electricity regulator. Collect all the information you need so that you know exactly who provided utilities to your own home, and who is currently providing utilities at your new home. Remember to find the information (if applicable) for:

 

  • Security system providers
  • Internet & phone line
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Council tax

 

 

Contact Suppliers Early

 

If you can contact the providers about a fortnight before you actually move you can then get a head start on transferring your utilities. If not, 48 hours is just as helpful as there’s some notice to help get everything set up. This will mean that your utilities should be transferred on moving day but it’s always a good idea to contact the providers just to check they’re no longer charging you for your old home.

 

If you have moved before you get around to changing the utilities, get this particular task completed ASAP to avoid paying to run two homes. You’ll want to get the utilities transferred and let the new home’s current providers know that you’re transferring over. In all cases, make sure the utility providers you are choosing to use at your new home and from your previous address have your most current details in case they need to get in touch.

 

Take Meter Readings

 

It is important to take meter readings on the moving day from both your old and new homes.. This is to give to the utility companies if your final bill/first bill is not what you think it should be. This ensures that they know when you should be charged from, and what to charge the people who have moved out for their final bills. As an extra precaution take a photo of all meters.

 

More Handy Tips:

 

Just to make transferring utilities an even smoother process checkout these extra handy tips:

 

  • If you have a smart meter, check it is in smart mode before you move so that it is sending the most recent readings to your utility supplier
  • Check where you are with any current contracts as this could be a good chance to switch to a better provider or a cheaper tariff
  • Ask to be prioritised for connection if you are at pension age, disabled or otherwise vulnerable
  • If there is a meter in the new property, get the amount cleared by the supplier so you don’t take on the debt of the previous homeowner. You should also discuss how to use it, and the cost of removing it or switching it to pay monthly if that suits you better

 

You’re All Setup To Switch Utilities!

It may not be a fun job, but switching utilities is an essential job that can help you settle in comfortably in your new home as quickly as possible.

 

store belongings before moving to new house

Store Belongings The Proper Way Before Moving to a New Build

If your new-build property doesn’t already have gas and electricity set up, you may need to keep some of your belongings in storage. Here’s how to do it right!

Moving into a newly built property can be extremely satisfying. This is an opportunity to make a home well and truly yours. You won’t need to clear out the last vestiges of those who lived there before you, or replace their antiquated or idiosyncratic decor. You have a completely blank canvas with which to express yourself. But moving to a new build comes with its own set of challenges. It may be unclear who supplies energy to the property as it is not yet occupied. If you’re self-building, you may not even have a gas and electricity supply to the property yet.

As such, you may need to keep some of your belongings in storage until your utilities are set up, and everything is read for you to move in. Work may need to be carried out around the home which would be much easier without having to navigate boxes of belongings. Furthermore, if you need to set up new utility supplies from scratch, it may be several weeks or even months before your new build is habitable. The energy experts at Papernest have some useful advice on setting up gas and electricity in a new build.

How can storage solutions help when moving into a new build?

A storage unit can help you in a number of ways when moving to a new build. It provides you with a dry, secure space to store your belongings while moving. This helps to prevent clutter in your new build while you’re still carrying out last minute work on the property. It can save you money on moving expenses, saving you from having to move all of your belongings at the same time.

A storage unit gives you the luxury of time, so that you can unpack and move your belongings in slowly, without spending your early days in your new home up to your elbows in boxes.

What should I look for when setting up storage solutions?

While you’re waiting for everything to be ready in your new build, you may choose to keep some (or all) of your belongings in storage. It’s important to do this in a way that’s as flexible and cost-effective as possible for you. As such, these are the things you should look for in a storage services provider…

Free collection

The process of moving is costly enough as it is. Especially if you need to install new gas and electricity connections in your home, which may cost upwards of £3,000 per utility. Look for a storage supplier that will collect your belongings free of charge.

Flexible terms

You may only want to store your belongings for a couple of weeks. Or you may want to keep them in storage long-term to make the most of the usable space in your new home. As such, you should look for a storage service that provides flexible terms built around our needs.

No deposit

You want to keep your upfront costs as manageable as possible, so look for a storage solution that won’t expect you to pay a hefty deposit to secure your unit.

Fixed costs

When moving to a new home, every penny counts! So make sure you choose a storage provider that has fixed costs, sparing you any unpleasant price hikes. All of our storage costs are fixed for 12 months, so you know that you’ll never get any unpleasant surprises when you choose us!

How do I set up utilities in a new build?

A storage unit can help if you need store belongings before setting up utilities in a new build. But what’s the quickest and most cost-effective way to do this?

If you’re building your own property, you’ll need to contact the Distribution Network Operator and Gas Transporter in your area. These are the companies responsible for maintaining, managing and upgrading the National Grid’s gas and electricity network in your area. You can find yours by checking out the Energy Networks website here. They can guide you through the process of setting up a new connection and installing a meter. This typically takes around 6-8 weeks. This is not work that you can legally (or safely) do yourself. However, there is some ‘contestable’ work that may be done by a local contractor, potentially saving you money.

If your property already has a connection, you’ll want to find out who supplies energy to the property. You’ll most likely be on the supplier’s standard variable tariff which is inevitably their most expensive. Especially in the current market. The sooner you switch to a new tariff, the more you could save on energy.

buying a home

Buying a Home: A Step by Step Guide

Purchasing a new home can be an incredibly stressful event. After all, it places third behind bereavement and divorce as the most stressful events we face in our lives. It’s not hard to see why either, especially when you take the amount there is to do into consideration. This guide takes you through the six stages of buying a home, detailing everything you need to do throughout the process. Hopefully, you will be able to use this guide as a checklist for buying a home, as well as helping to prepare you for the process.

 

Do You Need to Move?

Considering how stressful the entire buying and moving process is, you should carefully consider moving home. Some of the most common reasons people move are as follows:

  • Need more space
  • Dislike their neighbours
  • Dislike the area
  • Want a change of scenery
  • Want to get out of rented accommodation

If you are moving because you need more space, you should first decide if any of the other criteria on the list apply to you. If not, then consider extending your home instead or simply add more storage space. This tends to be a cheaper and less stressful process, even if it does tend to take longer. Sometimes an extension is all you need to improve your home, giving you more space without all the hassle associated with buying a new home.

 

The Steps to Buying Your New Home

If you are adamant about buying a new home, however, then there are six main stages that you need to complete – none of which are necessarily quick or easy. Here are each of them, in detail, for you to go through.

 

Step One: Find a Property You Can Afford

The first thing you need to do is assess your budget and determine what you are able to afford in terms of purchasing the house and the cost of the mortgage/bills every month. Make sure you take changes in your financial situation into account, and how you will be able to cope with these payments if something goes wrong. After all, your savings will not just cover the mortgage fees, but also things like stamp duty.

The first thing to do is check your credit score. Lenders are going to be looking at this, so you need to make sure it is up to scratch, and see if there is anything you can do to improve it. You can also check it for any errors and apply to have these rectified. A bad credit score is very likely to be rejected, so make sure you know what you are dealing with before you progress.

buying a house checklist

You also need to choose a mortgage that is right for you. Many people choose to go with their bank, but you can often find better deals when talking to the estate agent. This is because they usually have a mortgage broker that they will recommend to you.

Once you have found an offer you like, you can agree to a mortgage in principle. This is what tells you how much a lender is likely to offer, and the interest you will pay. You may have to pay a fee to reserve the mortgage product you want, which can cost up to £250.

Provided you have passed all of the relevant checks, you are now free to progress to the second stage of the buying process.

 

Step Two: Make an Offer

So, you have found the home of your dreams. It is within your budget, and the mortgage has essentially been agreed. Now you are ready to make an offer. Usually, you will do this through an estate agent, and often it is acceptable to start your offer price at around 10% below the asking price.

People often get confused about estate agent fees at this point in the process. When you are buying a home, you don’t need to pay estate agent fees on top of your purchase price. You only pay fees for the home that you are selling. These fees are only usually between 0.5% and 3% plus VAT, so it’s not a massive amount.

buying a home - finding a solicitor

Step Three: Find a Solicitor and Surveyor

Your solicitor is the person who handles all of the legal paperwork and filings. Some people choose to hire both a solicitor and conveyancer, but you will save money hiring someone who is able to do both.

You solicitor will always tell you how much you will be expected to pay before they start work, and you should expect to pay an upfront fee before they get started. Usually, this will be a 10% deposit that will be taken off the full amount after completion. Expect to pay up to £1,500 for their services, as well as 20% VAT.

Your solicitor will also submit searches to the local council in the property’s location. This check is to see if there are any local or planning issues that might affect the overall value of the property. You can expect this to cost up to £300.

The surveyor, on the other hand, surveys the property. This means they check the home thoroughly for any problems that could affect its overall cost. There tend to be two surveys – the valuation and property surveys.

The valuation survey is carried out by the lender. This is to ensure the property is worth the amount you are planning to pay before your mortgage is approved. However, this is not an extensive survey as it will not look for and try to uncover any damage or issues with the property. You can still expect to pay up to £1,500 for the service, however, depending on the value of the property. You may also get it for free, depending on the mortgage deal you selected.

The property survey is one that is commissioned by you. Many people neglect to do this, but the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have found that, on average, buyers who don’t get the right survey find themselves faced with £5,750 worth of damages and repairs after moving in.

As it is going to be your property, it is worth paying a decent price to have a good and professional surveying job completed. Plus, it can really help you in terms of price negotiation. For example, if it is found that the property will need £5,000 worth of repairs, you can ask the current owners to lower the price by that much to make up for it.

Here are the three main types of survey that are available:

  • RICS condition report: This is a basic survey, as well as the cheapest one available. If you are buying a home that is in good condition, or one that has been newly built, then this is probably the best option to go for. No advice or valuation will be provided with this type of survey, and you can expect to pay around £250.

 

  • RICS homebuyer report: This is a much more detailed survey than the one above, and it is most suited to homes in reasonable condition. They look at the inside and outside of the property thoroughly so that they can note any damages or issues, before providing advice and a valuation. You can expect to pay a minimum of £400 for this service.

 

  • Building or structural survey: Of the three types, this is the most extensive. It is suitable for all properties, but is especially handy of you are buying an older building, or ones that look as though they might need some extra care and attention. Advice and a valuation will be provided at the end, and you can expect to pay a minimum of £600 for this type of survey.

 

Once this stage is complete and you have planned the type of survey that you will require for your home, you can move onto the next step of the buying process.

buying a home - having a survey done

Step Four: Finalise the Offer and Mortgage

Once the survey stage has been completed, you might want to consider renegotiating the offer that you made on your new home. There are two main reasons why you might want to go through with this:

  • The lender may have valued the property at a lower price, thus leaving you with a shortfall. This means that you won’t be able to match the asking price or what you were originally intending to offer.
  • Your survey may have uncovered issues with the property that will be expensive to fix. With this new information, you can try and renegotiate the price based on the estimated cost of repairs.

Once you have reached this stage, you may start feeling the pressure. This is because it is at this stage that things often become incredibly stressful. At this point, delays and issues could arise for a multitude of reasons, including these ones:

  • The seller decides to withdraw the property from the market (which they are entitled to at this stage)
  • The seller decides to accept a higher offer from another buyer. This is also known as gazumping
  • Your mortgage application could also be rejected at this stage

If things start to go wrong, make sure you communicate regularly with your solicitor and estate agent. Even though things may seem to be going badly, you would be surprised by how often things turn around when the lines of communication are kept open. Don’t give up after a bad turn because things could still go right for you.

However, if everything has gone to plan, you can contact your lender or mortgage adviser to move on with the mortgage finalisation. Usually, there is a fee for this service of up to £2,000. You can have this added onto the mortgage, but remember that if you do you will be paying the interest on it for the lifetime of the mortgage.

Once you have received your binding mortgage offer, the lender must give you seven days to think about it. This gives you time to compare it with other mortgage deals to make sure you are getting the right one for you. However, if you are positive that the mortgage being offered to you is the perfect one, you can give the go-ahead any time before the seven days are up.

It is important to remember that before you and the seller exchange contracts, you can back out of the purchase at any time. It is better that you pull out if you feel that you will not be able to afford the property in terms of repair costs or over the long run, so don’t feel ashamed about doing it. You may, however, lose some money, depending on how far through the process you are.

Once you have decided that this is the right choice for you, and your mortgage has been finalised, you can go ahead and start the next stage of the buying process.

 

Step Five: Exchange Contracts

If there are no problems or delays, you should now receive the contract to complete your sale. Signing this legally binds you to the purchase. Before you sign it, however, make sure you go through it carefully with your solicitor so that you understand each part.

You need to make sure you agree with what the sellers are leaving behind, and also ensure that all of your questions have been answered suitably. If you have any issues, make sure your solicitor has them ironed out immediately to help things continue running as smoothly as possible.

Once signed by both parties, you and the seller are committed to this stage of the buying process. The seller may ask you for a holding deposit at this stage of the process, usually only up to £1,000, to ensure that you are showing serious intent to follow through with this process.

Once the contracts have been exchanged, moving dates can be discussed and negotiated so that both parties have adequate notice. You will also need to purchase building insurance at this point to cover the structure of the property. Get your insurance sorted at the very beginning to avoid any shocks and disappointments.

Once this stage has been completed, you can move onto the final (and most exciting) one.

house keys handed over

Step Six: Completion

Completion is the most exciting, and most expensive, stage that will be carried out. It is when you pay off all of the money you owe, and you get to move into your new home. There are several things that need to be done in the final steps that lead up to full completion, and this stage lists them all.

The remaining money that is owed on the property will be paid. It will be transferred from your solicitor’s account to the seller’s solicitor. As some of the money will come from the mortgage provider, you can expect to pay a telegraphic transfer fee. Usually, this will cost up to £50.

You may also have to pay a mortgage account fee. The lender charges this fee for setting up, maintaining, and closing down your mortgage account. It is often added to the mortgage itself, which means that you will end up paying interest on it. As a result, it is often a good idea to pay for it up front. This usually costs up to £300.

During this stage, you will also need to pay the remainder of the bill for your solicitor. As a reminder, this typically costs a total (including the deposit) of up to £1,500 plus 20% VAT. Make sure you get this paid off early on as it is an important bill to settle.

At this point in the process, you solicitor will also register the sale with Land Registry for you. This covers properties in England and Wales. For properties in Northern Ireland, it will need to be registered with Land and Property Services. For properties in Scotland, it needs to be registered with Registers of Scotland. The cost of this process largely depends on the price of the property being purchased.

You will also need to pay your estate agent once the completion stage has been reached if you are also selling your home. If you are only buying, then you don’t need to worry about this point. This fee will have been agreed from the outset. Typically, it is a percentage of the purchase price, plus 20% VAT. Generally speaking, the percentage will be no more than 3%, and some agents will offer a percentage as low as 0.5%.

Stamp duty is also something that buyers need to take into consideration. Homes that cost more than £125,000 will require you to pay stamp duty. You will have 30 days after the completion date to pay the fee that is incurred by this tax. Your solicitor will arrange this for you most of the time, taking a good part of the stress away.

There are a number of stamp duty calculators online if you want to know roughly how much you will be expected to pay. If you are purchasing a second home, or one that you plan to rent out, you will need to pay an extra 3% on top of the regular stamp duty band. Make sure you take this into consideration when you are planning how much you are likely to spend.

If you are using a moving company to help you get all of your belongings to your new home, a top tip is that it is cheaper to move on a weekday than it is a weekend. The price will vary depending on how far away you are moving, but you can expect to pay a minimum of £300 and anywhere over £600. Make sure you get a lot of quotes and compare them before you decide on a company to use.

Now that you have paid all outstanding funds and moved in, you can finally relax in your new home. It’s not easy, and it can be very stressful at the time, but at least you have been able to find yourself a wonderful new place to live. Next up is a bottle of champagne while you plan your housewarming party and get those boxes unpacked.

 

To Conclude

Hopefully, our guide to buying a new home has been useful to you and given you a lot of information about what the process entails. It is not always an easy task to undertake, but it once you find yourself in your new home, you can breathe a sigh of joy and relief. Just remember to keep yourself incredibly organised, and to try and stay calm during the process.

If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear them. Feel free to drop us a message in the comment section below to let us know what you thought of our step by step guide.

selling your home

Selling Your Home: A Step by Step Guide

Selling your home and moving house is not an easy task to undertake. In fact, it is listed as one of the most stressful experiences you will have in life – below divorce and bereavement. There’s good reason for that as well; it can be a real strain both financially and emotionally. However, it doesn’t have to be a complete mess; you can make the process a little easier for you to handle. Our step by step guide to selling your home breaks the process down into 15 simple steps that you need to take when you go to sell. Plus, we have a handy checklist so that you will have everything you need to get started. Take a look, and start planning your big move.

Your Moving House Checklist

 

  • Make sure you have a list of the tasks you need to do on hand. Check off completed ones
  • Keep an eye on maintenance issues and get anything that is damaged fixed
  • Gather business cards from multiple agents
  • Gather business cards from multiple solicitors
  • Get rid of your clutter before you go to sell
  • Get an inspection/survey before you sell your house, so you know about any issues
  • Always be prepared and start organising the move as soon as you decide you want to sell

selling a house checklist

15 Steps to Selling Your Home

 

#1 Deciding If You Should Sell

The first thing you need to determine is whether or not you should sell your home. This might seem bizarre, but it is actually an incredibly important stage in the process. After all, there are several vital factors that you should be taking into consideration.

The first of these is why you are thinking of selling your home. Are you looking for more space? If so, have you considered making alterations to your current home? Things, like building an extension, converting your unused loft space, or even digging out the basement can lead to a more spacious home. It is often cheaper as well, and often less stressful.

You should also consider the changing house prices. Prices that are rising rapidly may affect your budget in a negative way and leave your house on the market longer than you expected. Similarly, declining house prices may leave you with a less than ideal price.

Are you in negative equity? If the answer to this is yes, then you need to determine if you can afford to sell your home. You should also consider if you are better off renting the home out as opposed to selling it, something which could prove profitable in the future.

 

#2 Looking at Finances

Next, you need to figure out your financial situation. This is also a key aspect of preparing to sell your home. The first thing to do is let your mortgage lender know that you are making plans to sell your home. This helps them to prepare for the legal paperwork that will be required to do so.

While you are notifying the mortgage company about this, you also need to find out how much your outstanding mortgage is and if there are any early redemption penalties. After this, you need a rough idea of how much your house is worth so that you can calculate how much you will be left with after paying the mortgage.

If you are purchasing a new home, you also need to determine how big a mortgage you need in order to do that. Make sure you get a few estimates from mortgage lenders before you go to sell. Similarly, it is important to remember that in the early stages all the pricing will be approximate, so don’t hold any of them as solid figures.

You will only get a precise cost for your mortgage when you have agreed on a completion date and exchanged contracts. Make sure you plan the financial aspect carefully to avoid any unnecessary stress and disappointment.

small family home for sale

#3 Deciding If You Should Rent While You Wait

This is something that people rarely think to consider. Yes, renting can add to the overall cost of selling your home and moving house. However, it can reduce the pressure to find a new home and move out. You won’t be rushed into buying a new home that is not ideal, and you also won’t have to sell your house at a low price because you have found the home of your dreams. And if you’re worried about where you will store all your belongings if the rented place is furnished then there’s a simple solution to that. Just rent a cheap self storage unit nearby.

One of the great benefits is the fact that you will be able to break out of the housing chain, which is much more attractive to buyers. This means that you are the only two people relying on the sale, there is no chain of buyers and sellers that are waiting for everyone else to accept offers and complete. You see, with a chain if something goes wrong for one link, the whole sequence of purchases and sales collapses.

 

#4 Finding an Agent

This can be a tricky step, especially when it comes to choosing who to go with. You have three options for this stage. You can find a local agent, an online agent, or you can sell the home yourself.

If you choose to go with a local agent, you will need to do some research. Go and visit as many as you can, talk to family and friends about their recommendations, and surf the web for reviews and customer experiences.

You can even use an estate agent comparison website to find the best one for you. You can also use multiple agents to sell your home if you choose to do so. This can give your home wider coverage on the market and attract a larger number of potential buyers, although it will cost you more in estate agent fees.

You will also need to agree on a fee with the estate agent for selling your home. Generally, you should try to aim for 1% plus VAT with a sole agent. Of course, you can also go with online agents (they also take fees). They are becoming increasingly popular, so it’s worth taking a look at what services they are offering alongside their lower fees.

With regards to selling your home yourself, it is something that is definitely possible. However, it requires a lot of hard work, planning, and organisation. Not to mention experience. It’s not a task for the fainthearted, and it will certainly add to your stress if you are inexperienced.

 

#5 Setting Your Price

Now you have to set the price for your home. This part can be tricky, but it’s important. Make sure you get several estate agents to come and value the home, that way you will have a good price range to work with. You should also take the time to research the market, so you have a rough idea of what other homes in your area are selling for.

Don’t always go for the highest valuation that you are offered. Remember to take your market research into consideration. You should also note that the majority of buyers will be looking for a 5-10% discount on the price, so bear this in mind when you are coming up with a price you are happy with.

 

#6 Finding a Solicitor

Now you need to have a solicitor and/or conveyancer lined up and ready to get started. These are the people that will handle the legal work for you so that the ownership of property can be transferred. Talk to family and friends about their recommendations, but also make sure you look online to find good local firms.

Make sure you decide which firm you want to use before you accept an offer on your house. Of course, you cannot instruct them until a sale has been agreed, but it is good to have them ready. Next, you should ask for an estimate when it comes to costs. Typically, you can expect to pay between £500 and £1500 for their services.

Your estate agent will likely recommend a firm to you, and you should definitely get a quote from them. However, make sure you compare this quote to other firms as there is usually a pretty hefty referral fee attached to the one you were recommended. It’s something to watch out for.

preparing your home for sale

#7 Preparing Your Home

Staging your home for viewings is essential. It should look like a show home, with things like children’s toys and pet beds tucked away and out of sight. This makes your home more attractive to a buyer, and it can both help to sell your home faster as well as make it more valuable. People like to see a home as they imagine it – perfect and ready to move into.

Make sure you give it a few touch ups here and there. A splash of paint, doing all those little DIY jobs and removing any potentially off-putting odours. One of the top tips that people give is that you should bake the morning of the viewings. That way your house has a fresh and homey scent to it that will attract the viewers and help them associate your home with positive things. Fresh coffe brewing and fresh flowers always help too.

 

#8 Filling Out the Paperwork for the Buyers

You will have a good chunk of paperwork to fill out for the buyer. You will also need to make sure you have things like past planning permission forms and the environmental impact check form ready for them to view as well. The paperwork will also let the buyer know everything about the property, as well as further information with regards to the actual sale.

 

#9 Accepting an Offer

Once you reach this stage, you have been given an offer. Something useful to note is that the estate agent is legally required to pass all offers on to you, no matter how ridiculous they may sound. If you are not happy with the offer you have three options:

  • Decline it there and then
  • Wait for a better one to come along
  • Instruct the estate agent to negotiate a higher price

Once you are happy with an offer, you must formally accept it. You can then instruct the estate agents to take the property off the market and list it as sold. It is important to note that an offer is not legally binding once you have accepted it. You can back out or accept a higher offer if it comes along. Just remember that this can be distressing for the buyer.

 

#10 Negotiating the Draft Contract

The next stage is worked out between you and the buyer. You have several things that you will need to organise and discuss so that it works out well for you both. Here they are:

  • The length of time between exchange and completion (usually 7-28 days)
  • What fixtures and fittings will be included and how much extra they may cost if not included
  • Any discounts due to issues raised by the survey

The middle point is a good one to remember. Buyers may want to purchase some of the furniture in your home, and you are allowed to sell it to them during the process. There is a separate section in your contract where you list what is staying and what can be left behind/sold. For example, you could sell them the fridge/freezer for an additional fee instead of taking it with you, especially if they are integrated into the kitchen units.

 

#11 Exchanging Contracts

At this point, everything becomes legally binding. You are legally committed to selling them the property, and they are legally committed to buying it from you. It is still possible to pull out at this stage. If you do, then the buyer’s deposit will be returned to them. Bear in mind that you may be sued for the inconvenience you caused them and also breaking a legal contract.

Moving House Indicates Buy New Home And Box

#12 Moving Out

You are free to move out whenever you want, even on the day of completion. Of course, it may be wiser to move out before that so that you have less stress and can relax a little more, particularly if it is a large house with lots of possessions or if you are moving a long distance to your new home. Remember that at the time of completion the house must be in the condition agreed to in the contract, which includes all the fixtures and fittings.

The buyer and estate agent may come to visit you between the time of your moving and the completion to make sure that everything is in order and going smoothly. Usually, they will let you know they are doing this but not always, so remain vigilant and keep on top of things.

 

#13 Completion

This stage is when the property is officially handed over to the buyer and changes ownership. At this point, you will accept the payment and hand over the keys to the property. It will take place on a date that was previously agreed and usually around midday. Most agents tend to have the same rules for the completion of a sale.

On the day of completion, the money is transferred, and any deeds for the property are also transferred between the solicitors and conveyancers on each side. They will then proceed to register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry, making everything official.

At this point you can take your first sigh of relief as the hardest part is over. You’ve moved, completed, and now you only have two steps left.

 

#14 Paying Off the Mortgage

The mortgage company will have given your solicitor/conveyancer a precise outstanding amount for your mortgage, ready for the day of completion. They will pay the money off for you now that the buyer has transferred the funds. Your legal team take a good chunk of the stress away, so you don’t have to worry about it. It also allows you to start settling into your new home without too much weight on your shoulders.

 

#15 Paying Your Solicitor

Once the completion has taken place, you will receive an account from your solicitor/conveyancer. This will detail their costs and disbursements, alongside the sale price of the house and redemption of the mortgage. If you are buying and selling at the same time, then they are able to settle both transactions at the same time, including paying the stamp duty on the house that you are purchasing.

This is great to kill two birds with one stone effectively. As a side note, it could be useful to know that there are sometimes discrepancies that will entitle you to a small refund. However, these are not particularly common.

 

#16 The Bonus Step

The most important thing to do is try to relax and enjoy the process. Sometimes the easy way may be more expensive, but it will be better for you physically and mentally – especially as you still have to physically move. Make sure you stay organised and look forward to your new home. Make sure you keep yourself feeling positive and excited for the next adventure.

 

To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has been able to provide you with a little more insight into the world of buying and selling homes. Moving is not an easy task, and the selling process can be a long one. However, it is important to remain positive and proactive throughout the process. With hard work, a good mindset, and professionals around you to help, you’ll be in your new home in no time at all. Make sure you follow each of the steps above carefully so that you can experience and easier and more relaxed process.

What did you think of our step by step guide? We love hearing from you so let us know in the comments below.