Moving can be stressful – some people rate it right up there with divorce in the aggravation stakes – but there are ways you can take the drama and disruption out of the process.
The first step is to acknowledge that buying a new home is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you make in your lifetime.
And if you plan to sell a property to fund your next move, you’re effectively carrying out two incredibly important transactions in one hit. (No pressure then.)
Given the magnitude of the task, if you want to move in 2021, we advise you to start working towards that goal now.
The process always takes longer than you expect, so use your time wisely now so that you can move when the time is right next year.
Here are five tips to pave the way for a successful move.
Research prospective areas
You probably have an inkling already of where you would like to live, but until you get into the nitty-gritty, you won’t know if your dreams are realistic. Review local property prices, pinpoint favourite streets, revise school catchment boundaries and check if there are any major residential or transport projects in the pipeline that will impact the area.
Sort out your budget
Scrutinise your finances to get a clear picture of your income and spending. Be honest about what you can afford. Consider how your responsibilities might change in future if, for example, you plan to have children or change careers. Identify the size of the deposit you will need, along with costs such as Stamp Duty, legal bills, surveying fees, mortgage insurance, and removals.
The good news is that interest rates are currently low. However, uncertainty in the market means those looking for a high loan-to-value mortgage may struggle to secure one as many lenders have pulled them all together. Analyse a wide range of deals to get the best product for your situation.
Basic maintenance and refurbishment
Once you know what you’re aiming for, it’s time to get your house, quite literally, in order. Give tired rooms a lick of paint, and mend broken windows, doors, and cupboards. Plant spring bulbs in the garden so that your yard is brimming with colour by March. If you’re considering complex renovations, such as installing a new kitchen or bathroom, get a second opinion. Will you recoup the costs of a major refurb when you sell? Ask an estate agent for their expert opinion.
Working on a room-by-room basis, get rid of unwanted items. If an item has some value, sell it online. If not, take it to the tip. Sorting out all your belongings now will mean you won’t have to do it closer to moving when you have other things on your plate. It will also make marketing your property much easier and help you achieve maximum selling price.
If the events of 2020 have made you consider moving, come and talk to us. We can give you friendly, expert advice about where the market is heading and the outlook for 2021.