You’ve spent the last few days, weeks and months focused on buying and moving into your new home. But now that you’ve finally got the house keys, you may be wondering what to do next.
Fortunately, we’ve put together a moving checklist with all the essentials you’ll need to think about once that property is finally yours. From insurance to security, we’ve thought of everything that’ll help you move into your new home and protect one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make.
Double check that you have gone through all on your moving checklist and have everything you need in place.
Ensure you have appropriate contents insurance
First and foremost, be sure that you have appropriate contents insurance in place.
You usually need to have some form of buildings insurance from the date of exchange and it can be easy to forget to add a contents policy at the point of completing the purchase. Make sure to keep it in mind!
Take the time to consider all of the items in your household. In the event of a problem, you’ll want the overall insurance figure to allow you to replace everything you can.
New items purchased for your new home need to be included too, so remember to add them alongside your existing ones. It’s not just furniture or personal belongings that can fall into the trap of under insuring themselves; ensure you’ve taken into account things like carpets, curtains and white goods.
Should you have any doubts, always take advice from a reputable insurance broker or company.
Record and provide relevant utility meter readings
On the day of completing your new home purchase, use your phone to take pictures of any utility meter readings in both your old and new house. These will usually be for gas, electricity or water.
This will allow you to have an easily accessible record of your readings.
You should have alerted the utility companies about your move, so now is the perfect time to call them with the relevant meter readings. They may have already written to you or emailed you asking you to set up an online account, so you could log the readings online to save making the call and possibly facing a long wait to speak to an adviser.
Plan and prepare your budget
Owning a home has the potential to be financially beneficial in the long-term but, like all investments, you’ll need to manage it carefully.
Moving is a good time to get your finances in order.
It is likely that you will have had to detail all of your outgoings for your mortgage application, so it might be an idea to produce a list or spreadsheet of your monthly costs, using the projected figures you have agreed with your utility suppliers. The last thing you want to do is fall behind with any payments.
Things to include in your budgeting list include:
- Mortgage payments
- Utility bills
- Mobile, TV, broadband and landline costs
- TV licence fee payment
- Buildings, contents, pet, life and health insurance costs
- Car payments, insurance and tax
- Any other debts or loan payments
- Childcare costs
Many people choose to have a separate ‘household’ account into which they pay enough each month to cover the household expenses. That way it is easier to monitor what is being spent each month and adjust it where necessary.
Refurbishment and redecoration
Unless you are in the fortunate position of being able to live elsewhere whilst you get your new home looking the way you want it to, you will probably need to take your time to do any necessary DIY.
Before you can crack on with it, give yourself some time to live in a house before making dramatic changes.
For example, it can be useful to see how you use the space before making structural alterations, and it might also be good to get used to the way the light changes seasonally in the property before calling a tradesman and changing the wall colours. Equally, things like this may need planning permission and building regulations, so allow time for the relevant processes and permissions.
There may be things that you just can’t live with, in which case you should make those changes as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, subject to the above.
File and retain your legal paperwork
Moving is a good time to make sure that you have all of your ‘ducks in a row’. If this is your first property purchase, you should think about making a will to ensure that your assets are distributed as you would wish, should something happen to you.
It’s also a good idea to file any paperwork relating to your purchase safely and securely. You’ll want it available for reference when the time comes to sell the property. It’s likely that the questions you and your solicitor asked the previous owners will be revisited by any incoming purchaser.
Equally, if you do any work to the property, paperwork relating to these adjustments should be kept with these files and all safely in one place.
Change the locks as soon as you can
For added security, it’s a good idea to contact a locksmith and change the locks when you first move into your property. You won’t know how many previous people will have keys and the last thing you want is unwanted visitors.
If available, be sure to also replace your window locks as you won’t know when these were last changed. It may be an additional cost, but the extra peace of mind will help to make your move in as smooth and as pleasant as possible.
If you’ve begun living in a communal building, enquire as to when the front door lock was last changed. The chances are it hasn’t been done recently and with so many potential key holders, it’s important to get things fixed as soon as possible.
Register with a new doctor and dentist
It isn’t all about the home!
One of the most important things you’ll want to do is certify that you have somewhere to go should anyone get sick.
It doesn’t take long to register with a new doctor or a new dentist, and it allows your new surgery a chance to get your medical records loaded onto their system before you actually need to use their services.
Meet your neighbours
Should you feel comfortable doing so, introduce yourself to your neighbours. Not only is it the polite protocol, but they’ll want to know who has moved into their vicinity. It’s always useful to know who lives around you - just in case.
They’ll be more familiar with the local area and may be able to guide you to shops, transport and amenities. If you don’t know the area well, this is a great way to learn and introduce yourself.
Register everyone to vote
When you move, you won’t automatically be put on the new electoral register. Every member of your household has to do it, so don’t lose your right to have a say.
Finally, take time to sit back and relax. You’ve been working so hard up until this point and you deserve to enjoy your new surroundings!
Switch energy providers
Moving home is the perfect time to switch energy providers! This could help you avoid overspending on your bills.
Moving home can be a hugely difficult process. Make sure you’re in the know. Explore our range of home buying advice and stay in the know at every stage.
Alternatively, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel? Here you'll find all of Phil Spencer's top property tips and tricks.