Sell First? Buy First? Get a Bridging Loan?
Moving house can be a stressful process that requires a lot of hard work. Making sure that everything is organised in your new home and tying up loose ends in your old home, can be difficult. However, with careful planning, moving homes won’t be such a daunting experience!
Here’s a guide on what you need to do, in order to stay on top of things. People who are buying a home will find this guide especially useful.
4 – 5 weeks before the move
This is around the time that your home loan is formally approved. At this stage, you will need to book your removal company or a truck if you are moving yourself. Make sure you find out the following:
- Do they have insurance?
- Do they help with packing?
- Delivery and claims procedures
- Costs if the move needs to be rescheduled due to settlement delays
Important: Settlement delays are quite common, so it is advisable that you book your removalists for around one week after your settlement. If you are renting, give notice to your managing agent.
If you are hiring a truck and moving everything yourself, consider also hiring a trolley to help you move any large furniture. Most places that hire out trucks also hire out trolleys & removalists blankets to protect your furniture during the move.
If you are doing the packing yourself
- Purchase boxes and packing material (packaging tape, adhesive tape & permanent markers). You can often get boxes from Bunnings Warehouse or a local super market.
- Don’t use newspaper! Use clean white paper as newspaper soils & stains items
- Pack lighter items in larger boxes and heavier items in smaller boxes. This will make handling the boxes a lot easier when moving them around.
- Label every box clearly:
- Note down what its contents are.
- Prepare an “essentials” box, containing important items such as shelf supports, remote controls, bed legs, keys, mobile phone charger, furniture assembly instructions / manual.
- Note its room destination
- Draw an arrow on the box to show the correct way the box should be standing. This is especially important for boxes holding fragile and breakable items.
3 – 4 weeks before the move
- Dispose of any items that are no longer needed.
- Remember that charities, friends and family may appreciate any goods that you no longer need. This way you will not have to pay to have those items removed.
- Consider holding a garage sale to get rid of these items.
- Remember to sort through your garage and backyard.
- Make a note of any valuable or fragile items that may require special care to move.
- Take the measurements of your new home to ensure your furniture fits.
- Throw out anything in the kitchen that is past its use-by date.
- Start using up food in the freezer.
- Check for any specific moving instructions for your washing machine, so as to avoid damage.
- Create a folder or archive box for all your documents.
- Start organising schooling transfers if need be.
2 – 3 weeks before the move
- Ensure that your new home is thoroughly cleaned before you move in. In most states, the vendor is not obligated to clean the home before you move in. So you may want to do it yourself after settlement or book a cleaner to do it for you.
- Ensure that your original home is cleaned after you move out.
- Cancel all services and utilities in your old home and arrange to have them installed in your new home:
- Pay TV (e.g. Foxtel)
- Telephone (hint: If you have trouble connecting the phone in your new property then ask the vendor who their phone company is and just go with them).
- Internet service provider
- Gas and electricity
- Arrange for a family member or friend to take care of any young children or pets on moving day.
1 week before the move
- Provide the removalists with a layout of each room in your new home, which details furniture placement.
- Lightly water your indoor plants and pack them into plastic lined boxes.
- Set aside towels and bed linen to use on the first night in your new home.
- Remove batteries from battery powered items.
- Contact Australia Post and ask them to redirect your mail to your new address.
2 – 3 days before the move
- Purchase plenty of cleaning supplies – you will need them on moving day.
- Start packing you “survival” box. Include important medications, first-aid kit, toiletries etc.
- Arrange access and parking for the removalists truck.
- Confirm that your removalist has both your mobile number and the new address, as well as clear instructions of the time they are expected to arrive on moving day.
- Find out access details and key collection for your new home. You can usually pick up the keys to your new home on settlement day.
The day before the move
- Keep all valuable items with you, not in the truck.
- Defrost and empty out your refrigerator.
The moving day has arrived!
- Stand at the removalists entry point to give clear instructions on furniture placement.
- Try not to have too many visitors – keep it to a minimum.
- Make sure you collect all house and car keys and ensure that the telephone has been disconnected.
- Turn off all power in your old home, ideally at the fuse box.
- Have a copy of the plan at hand for the furniture layout / placement of the new home.
- Check all cupboards, rooms, for any forgotten items.
Your new home
- Check that all utilities are connected and that the hot water and power are on.
- If you are concerned about the security, have the security checked and the locks changed if need be.
- Contact your local council for information on garbage collection.
- Meet your new neighbours.
After the move
- Inform all the relevant people/authorities and notify them of your new address, including:
- Car licence and registration of car insurance.
- Doctor / health Care cards and Medicare cards.
- Newspaper or magazine subscriptions.
- Banks & financial institutions. Note that the lender for your home loan should update your address automatically at settlement.
- Don’t forget to change electorate!
The key to moving houses effectively is to be organised well ahead of moving day. This will ensure that you are not running around at the last minute trying to sort things out. If you plan ahead, moving day should be stress-free and everything should run smoothly!