New Home Tips
Fri 13 Sep 2019
We like to move house in the UK.
In fact, during the 1980s people moved home, on average, every 8 years!
Today, while that figure is closer to every 23-years, it is still a faster-moving rate than 12 of 15 other European countries surveyed by RE/MAX.
The 3 countries with faster moving rates being; Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. Their citizens moving an average of 6 times in their lives, compared to the roughly 3-4 moves UK residents make in their lifetime.
September is the most popular month to move home in Wales (source), while it’s also the time of year that we see a lot of first-time homeowners and new renters moving into properties.
There are already PLENTY of articles with useful checklists of things to do when moving into a property. Including vital things to remember, such as contacting utility companies, changing locks and checking fire alarms. So, there’s no need for us to repeat them all again here.
Instead, we’ve brought you a selection of slightly 'alternative' tips and experiences we’ve picked up from our clients during our 18 years as the estate agent at the heart of your community - Moginie James.
Change ALL Addresses
Before anyone says "didn’t you just say you weren’t going to repeat generic tips?"... the keyword here is ‘all’.
There are SO many places you need to change your address, such as with your utility and insurance companies, post office, bank, healthcare provider, DVLA, local authorities, school, gym and on and on...
[Actually, here's an impressively extensive list of places you may need to change your address - bit.ly/ChangeAllAddresses]
Even with lists as extensive as linked, however, we still hear from lovely clients and friends who missed changing one address, leading to catastrophe.
Including one friend who was left without a clean outfit for an "extremely important second date" after forgetting to change their Amazon Prime account delivery address, while a colleague was, devastatingly, was left hungry after ordering from a takeaway they used at their previous address and... yep you guessed it.
So be vigilant and keep checking that delivery address for sometime after your move, your love life and stomach will thank you!
Questions For the Previous Owner
Don't be afraid to ask the previous owner questions about your new home, whether directly or via your estate agent. In our experience, we've found the finding the following answers can save a lot of time, frustration and money further down the line...
Ask what brand and colour the different paints are that have been used in the property.
That way you can touch up a wall chipped paint rather than having to re-paint the whole room (the previous owner may even leave you some old tins!).
Ask for any instruction manuals and warranties for furniture or electrical items in the property.
After all, have you ever tried taking apart and putting together an Ikea... well anything... without an instruction manual?
Ask where any tiles used in the kitchen, bathroom or porch came from.
Replacing a cracked tile without knowing where they are from can be extremely difficult!
Tell Other People In The House Where the Main Water Valve and Fuse Board Are Located
Generally at least one person in the household will take responsibility for knowing where the main water valve and fuse board are located.
Which is fine until you find yourself drenched from head to toe, attempting to stem the flow of a burst pipe with a tea towel, while urgently describing how to access the awkwardly located main water valve to someone else. Speaking from experience, you realise the importance of everyone knowing the valve's location after that.
How Much Should Things Cost?
Moving into a new place can be daunting, especially if it’s your living away from your family or alone for the first time. No more so when the bills start coming in and it’s your responsibility to pay them.
So, it’s useful to have an idea of how much things ‘should’ cost ahead of time. Here are some average figures for you to use, but obviously this is just a guide and prices will vary.
Electricity and Gas
According to the Money Advice Service, in the UK the average monthly electricity bill is £49, while the average monthly gas bill is £48.
Although, if you live alone or there’s only two of you in a one or two bed flat, then chances are your bills are going to be lower, with UK Power estimating gas at £33 a month and £34 for electric, which is less than half the cost of gas and electricity in a five-bedroom house.
Although this varies by region and, if on a meter, usage, an average water and sewerage bill is £415 a year or £34.58 a month.
A study by CableCom reckons that in 2018 Brits spent an average of £30.30 on broadband each month.
If you’re only paying for the license and sticking to channels 1-5 or the Freeview channels, then you'll be paying around £12.88 a month for a colour license (£154.50 a year). If, however, you’ve got a TV subscription package then your monthly fee is likely to be more than double this.
Data revealed by Is My Bill Fair showed that the cheapest mid-level Sky TV package was £19 a month, while the highest some people pay is £65 a month. Although, if you're getting extra premium channels for movies and sports, prices can go even higher.
Thank you for reading this week's property journal - we hope you've found some useful tips or had a giggle at the image of us trying to stop the kitchen flooding with a tea towel...
If you have questions, or just want to discuss anything, please give us a call on 029 20 730 883
or email email@example.com for honest, expert and friendly advice.