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7 Smart Tips For Making Moving Day Less Stressful

Dreading moving in day? There’s no denying that moving house is stressful, however moving day doesn’t need to be chaotic if you put the right plans and preparations in place. What’s the key to a stress free moving day? Organisation, forward planning, and a whole lot of positive thinking! These are the top 7 factors to consider when planning a move that’s exciting rather than stressful…

Keep A Running List Of Key Tasks

When you’re so focussed on packing and sorting out the removal of larger items, it’s easy for all those smaller tasks to get forgotten about. That’s why one of our top tips for moving day is to create a list of all the ad hoc jobs that need completing throughout the day. Things like taking out the last bags of rubbish, emptying the freezer, and doing those final bits of cleaning can all go on a list that you tick off throughout the day. Getting your to-do-list out of your head and onto paper will drastically help to reduce your stress levels and make sure you don’t forget anything.

Hire Professional Movers

What’s the point in making your life any harder than it needs to be? Hiring a reliable and professional removals company is a must for helping to reduce stress on moving day. This will give you peace of mind that your belongings are transported safely from A to B, without you having to worry about it. At Hackworthy, we can also help you pack up your belongings if you’d like us to. We know that there can be final hiccups on moving in day which is why our service includes a late key waiver. This means our crew will stay on site for up to three extra hours, free of charge if there are any delays with moving into your new home. 

Start Packing Well In Advance Of Moving Day

If you’re packing up your own belongings, rather than having the removals company do it, then it’s essential to start early. The last thing you need is a last minute panic, so make sure to start packing about 2- 3 weeks prior to your move if possible. We have plenty of tips and tricks in our packing guide, however key factors to bear in mind include the following:

  • Take it one room at a time. This is less overwhelming and a whole lot more organised
  • Clearly label every box on 3 sides, including the top, and state what it contains and the room it needs to go to in your new house
  • Always pack heavy items in small boxes
  • Fill boxes to the top so that they don’t collapse, but be careful not to overfill them so that they break or are too heavy to handle
  • Keep valuables and important documents with you or in a ‘moving essentials bag’ (see below!)

Pack A ‘Moving Essentials’ Bag

Another one of our top tips for moving in day is to pack a ‘moving essentials’ bag that’s kept separate from all of your other packed items. This should include everything that you’ll need during moving in day and the first night in your new home, as well as the day after. Think things like toiletries, medication, chargers and clothing - basically anything that you might need that you don’t want to be searching through different boxes to find. 

Arrange Temporary Daycare For Kids And Pets

Moving in day becomes even more stressful if you’ve got kids and pets running around. So, when it comes to getting ready for the big move, if you can, it’s always best to organise alternative care for your kids and pets. Knowing that they’re away from the chaos and safely looked after is one less thing for you to worry about. Not to mention, the upheaval of moving day can be distressing for pets, and so it’s much better for them to get settled in your new home when it’s ready, rather than getting involved in the toing and froing. Make sure to check out our guides on how to settle cats and dogs into a new home for further advice on this. 

Pack A Cool Bag

There’s a lot of running around involved in moving day, meaning you’ll use up a whole lot of energy. Having plenty of drinks and snacks ready-to-go will save you a lot of time and effort, whilst ensuring you can keep your energy levels topped up throughout the day. Make sure you’ve got plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, and tea, coffee and biscuits are of course an absolute must for giving you that all important pick-me-up. 

Leave Out Some Basic Cleaning Supplies

It’s more than likely there’ll be some last minute cleaning that needs doing and so it’s a good idea to leave a few basic cleaning supplies out. Not to mention, it’s always good to be prepared in the event of any potential accidents or spillages. A dustpan and brush, cleaning wipes and antibacterial spray should be enough for you to get by. Ideally, you want to get the bulk of your cleaning done in advance of moving day. Any cleaning required on the day should just be last minute touch ups, or tidying up any spots that you’ve missed. 

Still need to hire professional movers? We know that there are a whole maze of different options out there. What we can offer you at Hackworthy is more than 45 years of experience, and support from every stage of the moving process from packing through to unpacking. We’re well practised in making sure moving day is stress free and straightforward, and our quote includes insurance and waivers for that extra piece of mind. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call for more details, or alternatively you can request a quote directly through our website

How To Move To South Africa From The UK - Hackworthy’s 2022 Guide

Known for its diverse landscape and cultural diversity, South Africa is becoming an increasingly popular spot for UK citizens to immigrate to. If this is you, make sure to consider the following key steps for how to move to South Africa from the UK, to ensure that your move is as smooth as possible.

Applying For A Visa

A permanent residency permit can take a long time to obtain and so most people that are moving to South Africa permanently start by initially acquiring a temporary residence permit. This allows you to live and work in the country for up to 3 years, during which time you can obtain your permanent residency. You will need to meet one of the following requirements in order to obtain a permanent resident’s visa:

  • Be in possession of a permanent work offer in SA
  • Have exceptional skills and qualifications
  • Intend to establish a business in SA
  • Qualify as refugee
  • Qualify as retired persons
  • Are financially independent
  • Are related to a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder

You’ll also need to supply the following documentation:

  • A full set of fingerprints
  • A marriage certificate / Proof of spousal relationship, if applicable
  • A divorce decree / proof of legal separation, if applicable
  • Proof of custody of a minor, if applicable
  • A death certificate for a late spouse, if applicable
  • The consent of parents in the case of minors
  • Proof of judicial adoption of a minor, if applicable
  • Police clearance certificates for all countries in which you resided for a period of one year or longer since your 18th birthday
  • A valid temporary residency permit (if already in South Africa)

Once you have lived in the country for at least 5 years, you may be eligible to obtain full citizenship. 

Setting Up A Bank Account 

Another really crucial part of how to move to South Africa from the UK is sorting out your finances. Fortunately, the process of setting up a South African bank account is pretty straightforward for those who are looking to emigrate to the country. It’s best to set up your new bank account from the UK before you head out to South Africa. That way you’ll be able to transfer money into it as soon as you arrive. In order to set up your bank account you’ll need to provide the following:

  • A temporary or permanent residence permit
  • Your passport
  • Proof of address in South Africa

Organising Healthcare

South Africa does not have a universal healthcare system. Instead it operates on two separate private and public systems. The public healthcare system is open to everyone, regardless of their immigration status, and is subsidised by up to 40%. However, it’s important to note that unfortunately there is a huge difference in the care and facilities that are offered by the private system in comparison to the public system. With this in mind, it’s recommended that you take out private health insurance if you can. When searching for the best policies, make sure to choose one that covers emergencies as healthcare is paid for up-front in South Africa. 

Organising Your Pet’s Move

Our guide on how to move to South Africa from the UK certainly wouldn’t be complete without mentioning how to move your pets! What’s great about moving pets to South Africa is that there is usually no routine quarantine required, making the process a whole lot more simple. That being said, you will need to make sure that your pet has the following:

  • An Import permit (signed and stamped by a UK government- approved veterinarian)
  • Documentation proving all vaccinations (including rabies & kennel cough) are up to date
  • Permanent identification in the form of a microchip (tattoos are not accepted)
  • Blood tests for specific diseases (Dogs only)
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

It’s also important to check the airline’s policy for flying with pets. 

Arranging Shipping For Your Belongings

With the right planning and assistance, the process for how to move to South Africa  from the UK doesn’t need to be stressful. For large household relocations, the quickest and most cost-effective way of shipping goods from the UK to South Africa is by sole use container. Our experienced team at Hackworthy removals can organise the overseas removals process for you from start to finish. Our crew will arrive at your property in advance of the container to properly pack and wrap your effects. Once the container arrives at your property, your effects will be carefully loaded into it, sealed and driven to the port where it will be loaded onto the ship. It usually takes 6-8 weeks for goods to reach South Africa from the UK, however you should also allow an extra 10-14 days to clear customs before your belongings can be delivered to your new home.

Renting Or Buying Property

When moving abroad, finding a property that suits your requirements is sure to be one of your top priorities. Luckily, one of the many benefits of moving to South Africa is that property is surprisingly cheap to buy. Mortgage options are more limited for non-resident buyers, meaning higher upfront costs, however the price of property itself is still relatively low. The country also has a very lively rental market. This means there will be a range of affordable options for you to choose from if you’re looking to rent before you buy.

Importing Cars

Another key consideration to make when thinking about how to move to South Africa from the UK is driving.  Driving in South Africa is very similar to driving in the UK as they also drive on the left hand side of the road. You can ship your car over as long as you have been the owner of the vehicle at least 12 months prior to shipment. You will need to complete a DA 304/A form, as well as providing any supporting documentation, including insurance documents. You’ll also need an import permit and a letter of authority. 

For more information on how to move to South Africa from the UK, or to obtain a quote for your move, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced removals team.

How Long Does It Take To Move House In The UK?

If you’re thinking about moving house then you’re bound to have lots to think about, and you may be feeling impatient to get into a new property. With this in mind, one of the most crucial questions that you’re likely to have is “how long does it take to move house?”. This is a really important question that’s asked by lots of people who are considering moving, however unfortunately it’s one that doesn’t have a straightforward answer.

The honest answer to the question of “how long does it take to move house” is “it depends”. The average time to move house in the UK is approximately 8-22 weeks. This is the average time that it takes to get you moved in from an offer being made through to completion. This is a rough time scale that most buyers will find themselves falling into. That being said, ultimately, the time it takes to move will depend on the length of the chain, market conditions, and any unexpected delays that may arise along the way, such as gazumping

Let’s break the timeline down by looking at the key stages of moving and how long each of these stages usually takes. 

Mortgage approval – 5 days to 8 weeks

Selling your home – 4 to 10 weeks

Finding a new home – 1 to 10 weeks

Making an offer – 1 to 2 weeks

Conveyancing – 8 to 10 weeks

Property survey – 1 to 3 weeks

Moving in – 1 day to 2 weeks

Of course, these timescales may adjust depending on individual circumstances, however as a general guide, this is a solid indicator of how long you can expect the process to take.

What Causes Delays When Moving House?

When discussing “how long does it take to move house”, it’s also important to be aware of the most common causes of delays. These include:

A Long Chain: Any delays have a knock-on effect for all parties involved in the chain. The longer the chain, the more complex and time consuming the process can be. If you’re involved in a complex chain it’s important to be flexible with your current living situation in order to accommodate delays. You may want to look into short term storage options if you need to move into rented accommodation temporarily.

Buyers/Sellers Changing Their Mind: A change in circumstances, such as unexpected money problems could cause someone in the chain to pull out or pull the brakes on. In some cases, a buyer or seller may simply change their mind. Whilst this can’t be avoided, it’s important to be as flexible as you can, and establish a good relationship with your buyer/seller if possible.

Conveyancing: Conveyancing is a complicated process and so can cause delays when thinking about “how long does it take to move house”. Searches may take longer than expected, and simple mistakes such as errors on paperwork can be time consuming. Ensuring you fill out and return all paperwork accurately will help the process run smoother, and you should also choose a solicitor that you trust and with whom you can maintain regular contact. 

Mortgage Offers: The chain is only ready to proceed once the last mortgage offer is received. This means that if there are delays with a buyer processing their mortgage, this can have a knock-on effect. Going through a trusted mortgage adviser should help prevent any delays and make this part of the process as quick as possible.

How Can I Speed Up The Process?

As we mentioned a little earlier on when discussing “how long does it take to move house”, often delays are outside of anyone’s control. Whilst you can’t predict the exact timescale of a house move, there are steps you can take to put yourself in the best position for making the process as speedy as possible. This includes:

Getting Your Mortgage Sorted: Arranging a mortgage can be one of the most time-consuming elements of moving, and so it’s important to start planning ahead early. You can obtain a ‘mortgage in principle’ to give you a realistic idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow and to show estate agents that you’re a serious buyer.

Appointing A Solicitor Early: Instructing a conveyancing solicitor early on in the process, maybe even before you make an offer on the house, will allow them to complete essential checks so that they’re ready to start work on your purchase straight away.

Having Documentation & Finance Sorted: One of the most time-consuming tasks when moving house is sorting through the documentation that’s required. Getting crucial documents ready such as energy performance certificates, deeds and titles will help the process run a lot more smoothly at a later stage.

Choosing A Reliable Removals Service: By the time you get to the removals stage, the last thing you need is more delays in getting your belongings into your new home. That’s why it’s essential to line up a removals service that is reliable and that can be flexible to your requirements. 

How Can Hackworthy & Sons Help With Your Move?

We understand how stressful moving house can be which is why we use our experience and knowledge to ensure the move is as hassle free as possible for you. Our removals service includes a home visit(UK removals only) so that we can be clear on the services you require to avoid any confusion on moving day. We provide a full packing service and include insurance within our quote, rather than charging it as an additional extra like other removals companies. We know that delays can occur during the buying/selling process which is why we offer a cancellation waiver that allows you to cancel as late as the day before if you need to (with no extra charge!). 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today in order to request a quote, and to get your move booked in and ready to go. 

Top 5 Exciting Benefits Of Retiring Abroad

If you’re nearing your retirement then you’re likely to be thinking about what your next steps will be. Should you stay at home for your retirement years or should you  consider experiencing a new life abroad? Deciding whether or not to retire abroad is a big decision to make, and ultimately depends on what you want to get out of your retirement. If you’re on the fence about retiring overseas, the following benefits might just help you make your decision…

Change Of Lifestyle

One of the most obvious benefits of retiring abroad is the change of lifestyle that it provides. Perhaps you’ve been living and working in the city and are desperate to escape to the fresh air, or are simply sick of the UK weather! Retiring abroad can provide you with a much more relaxed pace of life as you immerse yourself in a new culture and escape the stresses of everyday working life. Retiring abroad gives you the opportunity to completely redesign your routine and lifestyle, exactly how you want it to be.

New Experiences

Another one of the major benefits of retiring abroad is the opportunities that it presents for new experiences. It’s never too late to explore the parts of the world that you’ve always wanted to travel to, and moving abroad gives you the chance to experience living in your dream destination. You’ll continue to enjoy new experiences, as you adapt to a new culture and build new relationships in your new home. 

Improved Mental & Physical Wellbeing

It’s no secret that the sunshine can do wonders for lifting our mood, however retiring abroad can also have a big impact on our physical health. Enjoying a slower and less stressful pace of life is one aspect of living a healthier life abroad, however a new climate and environment also presents the opportunity to be more active. If you move somewhere near the coast you’ll be able to do an abundance of watersports, such as swimming or kayaking, which will help to boost endorphins as well as keeping you physically fit.

Cheaper Living Costs

A really practical benefit of retiring abroad is that it often presents cheaper living costs. Some of the best places to retire abroad from the UK will be cheaper to live in, relieving financial pressure whilst giving you the opportunity to live in a bigger home or invest more money in your favourite leisure activities. When investing your hard-earned retirement money, it’s important to know that you’re investing it wisely, and often retiring abroad is the best way of doing this.

Tick Off The Bucket List

As we mentioned a little earlier on, retiring abroad presents an invaluable opportunity to enjoy new experiences. Are there points that are sitting waiting to be ticked off your bucket list? Now’s the time to check them off.  When it comes to choosing where to retire abroad the world is your oyster, whether you choose a coastal retreat, quiet cottage life or a tropical haven. In terms of gaining new experiences and ticking off your bucket list, retiring abroad could well be one of the best decisions that you ever choose to make.

If you are considering retiring abroad and would like some guidance on the removals process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Hackworthy & Sons for an informal discussion. With more than 45 years in overseas removals, we will ensure that your move is as stress free as possible so that you can focus on looking forward to your new life abroad.

Do I Need Removals Insurance & How Do I Get It?

There is plenty to think about when moving house, from organising legal documentation to arranging a removals company. However, an essential part of the moving process that you don’t want to forget is organising removals insurance. 

Why Is Removals Insurance Important?

Removal insurance protects the contents of your home from loss and damage while you move house. Whilst you don’t expect loss or damage to your goods when moving, we all know that accidents can happen. That’s why removals insurance is so important. It gives you peace of mind that the value of all your most important possessions is protected. The details of removals insurance will vary from policy to policy, however most policies will protect against damage caused by events such as:

  • Theft
  • A crash with another vehicle
  • Fire and explosion
  • Vandalism or malicious acts
  • Extreme weather e.g storms, floods or earthquakes

How Do I Take Out Removals Insurance?

There are three main options for taking out removals insurance. These are:

Reviewing Your Household Insurance 

The first option for organising removals insurance is checking what is covered within your home/household insurance policy. Some homeowner’s policies will cover domestic removals. Check your documents or call your provider to see what, if anything, is covered in the move. It’s important to check this well in advance of your planned move, as if you do receive removals insurance as part of your policy, you’ll need to notify them of key information including your moving date and destination. 

Purchasing Your Own Insurance

Another option that you may want to consider is purchasing your own insurance from a third party. Inclusive cover against loss and damage can be purchased based upon a valuation of your household goods. This can be an expensive option and so if you're considering purchasing your own insurance it’s important to spend time shopping around for the best deal and being sure to read the small print. This is particularly important when looking at the limited liability and deductibles that are included in the policy.

Choosing A Removal Company That Includes Insurance

The easiest option for taking out removals insurance is finding a removals company that covers the insurance for you. This means no shopping around for the best deals, and peace of mind that your belongings are protected and in good hands. At Hackworthy & Sons, we believe in making things as easy as possible. That’s why unlike most other removal companies, your quote includes insurance cover for all your belongings throughout the move. This includes cover for your belongings throughout the entire moving process, including when your goods are in storage. In the unlikely event that you do need to make a claim, we’ll be on hand to assist you with the process. This cover is for domestic and national removals. 

In addition to this cover, we offer the following waivers:

Cancellation Waiver: We understand that people’s plans can change unexpectedly. That’s why our cancellation waiver means that you won’t have to pay any extra costs in the event that you need to cancel the move at short notice. 

Late Key Waiver: If you can’t move into your property on time, most removals companies will charge you an hourly rate as a late fee. At Hackworthy & Sons, our crew will stay on site for up to three extra hours with no additional charge. 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information or to request a quote.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Office Relocation?

There are many benefits of office relocation that provide exciting new opportunities for growth. In short, moving offices provides a fresh start for both employees and for the business itself. In spite of the positive advantages, many people are put off by the prospect of uprooting and changing location. However, with the right preparation and by using a trusted business removals service, the process doesn’t need to be stressful. Not to mention, the benefits of office relocation make it well worth the effort. So, if you’re considering an office move however aren’t quite convinced, the following advantages might just help you make up your mind!

Reducing Running Costs

If you’re looking for ways to make savings within your business then moving offices could well make a big difference. Perhaps the rent and utility tariffs in your current location are a little overpriced, or maybe you’re paying for a bigger space than you actually need. Moving to a different geographical location can also be a potential money saver. For example, by moving just a few miles outside of the city centre you could find much cheaper office space that’s equally as functional. You could also consider downsizing or relocating to a shared space rather than continuing to lease out a whole building. This is a practical option with the emergence of hybrid working. 

Inspiring Your Employees

As we mentioned a little earlier on, one of the main benefits of office relocation is that it provides the business and its employees with a fresh start. A change of scene is a great way to help your employees re-energise and enjoy a new working culture. Perhaps your current office is looking a little tired and uninspiring. Moving to a brighter and more modern space can have a hugely positive influence on the motivation and productivity of employees. You can also introduce a new layout that’s more conducive to collaborative work and your team’s other day-to-day duties.

Improving Brand Appeal

Another one of the most important benefits of office relocation that is often overlooked is its role in improving brand appeal and reputation. Your office doesn’t just provide a practical working place, it’s also a representation of and reflection on your brand. Creating an innovative space for your employees to work shows visitors, including important clients and business partners, that you are ahead of the curve, and  that you can offer attractive employment prospects. Moving to an office space that reflects how you would like to be perceived as a brand is a key reason to make the move and just one of the many benefits of office relocation.

Encouraging Business Growth

Is your business currently growing or on track to expand in the near future? If this is the case, it’s essential to locate a work space that can accommodate a larger workforce as your business continues to grow. This may involve moving just down the road, or moving across the country. If your business goals and ambitions have changed, you may be considering moving location in order to seek out greater opportunities for growth. One of the many benefits of office relocation when it involves moving to a new part of the country is that it provides you with the chance to tap into a brand new market. 

Thinking of making the move? If you are considering relocating your workspace, our experienced team of business removals experts are here to guide you through the process from start to finish. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team today for further information, or to request a quote. 

What Is Gazumping?

Friday 8th April 2022
What Is Gazumping?

We all know that buying a house can be a long and arduous process. One of the worst complications that can happen during this process is ‘gazumping’. This occurs when a buyer has had their offer accepted but then the seller accepts a better offer from another buyer before the sale is completed. Gazumping usually occurs when the seller has been made a higher financial offer. However, sometimes the seller may choose an alternative offer to speed the process up, if the current buyer is facing delays with surveys etc. 

Gazumping is a real headache for buyers. It puts you straight back at square one, and in some cases can cost you money if you’ve already paid for surveys, conveyancing and mortgage fees. 

Is Gazumping Illegal?

As unfair as it seems for buyers, unfortunately gazumping is perfectly legal.  Even when your offer has been accepted, the agreement doesn’t become legally binding (in England and Wales) until contracts have been exchanged. The formal exchange of contracts usually comes very late in the buying process. The exchange of contracts in most cases will happen once a property survey has been completed, once a conveyancer has conducted the necessary searches and after mortgage offers have been received. As the sale is not legally binding until later on, unfortunately gazumping can be quite costly to buyers who experience it. 

How Can You Avoid Being Gazumped?

Whilst there’s nothing concrete you can do to prevent gazumping, there are practical measures that you can take in order to help avoid it. This includes:

Acting Quickly

When buying a property, you want to get to the exchange of contracts as quickly as possible. This is the point at which the agreement is legally binding, and at which point you are no longer at risk of gazumping. With this in mind, be as proactive as you can in arranging surveys etc. as delayed completion will only increase the risk of getting gazumped. It helps to try and maintain regular contact with your conveyancing solicitor and mortgage broker to ensure that they are on top of responding to your requests. 

Get A Mortgage In Principle

A mortgage in principle is a statement from a lender saying that they’ll lend a certain amount to you for the purchase of a property. In other words, it’s an official estimate of how much you can afford to borrow on a mortgage. Whilst a mortgage in principle is only a conditional offer, if you obtain one before going into the buying process, it is likely to speed procedures up a lot.

Ask For The Property To Be Taken Off The Market

Seller’s are under no obligation to take the property off the market once they’ve accepted your offer, however it’s always worth asking. If you’ve gotten to know the sellers, and shown that you're serious about the property, they are likely to be more open to taking it off the market. This reduces the risk of gazumping for buyers by reducing the chance of more people seeing the property and putting in higher offers.

Get Insurance

There are many different costs involved in moving house and so it’s always sensible to take out insurance. Taking out home buyer protection insurance won’t prevent gazumping, but it will leave you in a much better financial position in the event that you do get gazumped. If the sale falls through, having insurance will cover some of the cost spent on conveyancing, surveys and mortgage fees.

Consider Getting A Lock-In Agreement

A “lock-in agreement” is a contract between the seller and the buyer that gives the buyer exclusive rights to the property within a certain time period. This enables the buyer to organise their mortgage and removals company etc. without the risk of being gazumped. There will be legal fees involved, however it’s worth discussing the option with a conveyancing solicitor to see if it will benefit you.

Once you’ve reached the point of completion in the buying process and are ready to move into your new property, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced removals team at Hackworthy & Sons. With over 45 years experience, we’ll ensure that moving day runs as smoothly as possible from start to finish.

How To Deep Clean A House Before Moving In

When you move into a new home, you would hope that the previous tenants have left it in a clean and tidy state. However, unfortunately this isn’t always the case, or in instances where the property has been cleaned, it may not be up to the standard you would like. That’s why it’s always sensible to know how to deep clean a house before moving in. Cleaning the property whilst it is still empty, allows you to reach any dirt and grime that might be lingering, and that will soon be covered by furniture. You can always leave your belongings in storage temporarily to give you the space that you need to get organised. Taking the time to clean before you move in, means you can move your belongings into a shiny new property that is beautiful and fresh to make your own

Not sure where to start with how to deep clean a house before moving in? Make sure to check out this simple and straightforward new house cleaning checklist:

Start In The Bathroom…

When thinking about how to deep clean a house before moving in, the most sensible place to start is the bathroom. This is because it’s likely to have been used when the previous occupiers were moving out, and you’ll also need to use the sink etc. for cleaning the rest of the house. You want to start by removing any stains. For really stubborn stains you can use vinegar and baking soda. Apply the mixture to the stains and let it sit for 30 mins before scrubbing off with a toothbrush. Next, you’ll want to disinfect the toilet, clean the sink area, and wipe down windows and mirrors. You also want to remember to clear out vents and fans with a feather duster to prevent the build up of dust. Removing dust as well as just stains and grime is an important factor to remember when discussing how to deep clean a house before moving in.

Then Move Onto The Kitchen

The next stage in how to deep clean a house before moving in is tackling the kitchen. This is where odours can be strongest, meaning you’ll want to get rid of them quickly. Not to mention, you’ll want to be able to enjoy a cup of tea and a snack whilst you’re unpacking everything. It’s best to start by cleaning out the fridge so that you have a hygienic space to start storing food. Next, you want to pull out any freestanding units to clean behind them, clean inside of cupboards and then tackle the counter tops. You’ll also want to take a look at any in-built appliances such as the oven, to check for any hidden dirt. Don’t clean the floor until last as this will allow you to mop up any debris that might have fallen on the ground in the process.

Work From The Top Down

As you work your way around the rest of the property, it’s important to start high up i.e ceilings and light fixtures, before tackling the floors. This is a key tip for how to deep clean a house before moving in as it will make the process a whole lot more efficient. For example, you don’t want dust from an old lamp shade falling onto your newly mopped floor. Always start by removing any dust before tackling any dirt or markings that might be on the ceilings or walls. When cleaning walls and ceilings, just be careful to pay close attention to what they are made from to ensure that you don’t cause any damage. For example, glossy paint will be a lot tougher than matt paint or wallpaper. When thinking about how to deep clean a house before moving in, when it comes to living spaces, hallways and bedrooms, make sure to pay close attention to corners. These will soon be blocked  by furniture, making them hard to get to for future cleaning.

Focus On Floors

When discussing how to deep clean a house before moving in, it’s all too easy for the floors to be forgotten, however this is a crucial part of any new house cleaning checklist. It’s easy for hidden dirt to build up on floors, particularly on carpets where dust can quickly build up if they have not been hoovered regularly. This can create odours, but can also be a health hazard if large amounts of dust are left to accumulate. In some cases,  when considering how to deep clean a house before moving in, it may be best to get the floors professionally cleaned to ensure they are in tip top condition, ready for when you move in. 

Need help with your move? When moving day finally arrives, our experienced team at Hackworthy & Sons can assist with the entire removals processfrom packing to unpacking on the other side. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team to discuss how we can help out with your move.

5  Benefits Of Moving To The Countryside

Fed up of the hustle and bustle of city life? Dreaming of a calmer pace of life in the country? There are many perks of country living, and so if you’re considering ditching city life for rural life we can totally see why. If you’re undecided whether or not to make the move, looking at the following benefits may just help you make your decision…

There are many advantages of life in the countryside as opposed to life in the city. These include:

Improved Air Quality

As you can probably imagine, there is a big difference in air quality between the city and the country, and this is a huge advantage that comes with moving to the countryside. With fewer vehicles, buildings and infrastructure, rural areas do not face the same levels of pollution that urban areas do, making the air a lot cleaner. Living in cleaner air away from nasty pollution has many key health benefits.

Enhanced Sense Of Wellbeing 

Nature is known to have a positive impact on our mental health and if you’re planning on moving to the countryside you’re going to be surrounded by plenty of beautiful nature and wildlife. Being surrounded by nature is particularly good for reducing stress and anxiety. This combined with the slower pace of life that comes with moving to the countryside can do wonders for your sense of wellbeing.

Lower Cost Of Living

If you’ve become used to paying city centre prices, you’re likely to get a pleasant surprise when moving to the countryside.  Whilst the cost of living will of course vary from location to location, if you’re moving to the countryside from a big city you’re likely to see lower prices in the likes of shops, restaurants and bars. This means there are some financial benefits of moving to the countryside.

More Space & Privacy

One of the main drawbacks of living in urban areas is the lack of space and privacy. As cities are more densely populated, accommodation is squeezed in, providing you with less living space and ultimately less privacy. Moving to the countryside changes this by providing you with more of your own space, away from other people. If you’ve dreamed of building your own home, the countryside will also provide you with the space to do this.

Greater Sense Of Community

Even though you’re surrounded by hundreds of people, urban living can have a tendency to feel lonely at times. By moving to the countryside you’re likely to feel a greater sense of community and be more connected to your neighbours. As fewer people live in rural areas than cities, it’s easier to get to know people. This can make home more inviting as well as doing wonders for reducing loneliness and boosting your mood.

Thinking of moving to the countryside? Make your move stress free with Hackworthy & Sons. We can assist with the entire moving process from packing to storage to unpacking. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to find out more about the services we have to offer.

 Relocating For A Job? Here’s How To Prepare

There are many benefits of relocating for a job, however with so much to consider, the prospect can seem daunting at first. That being said, with the right preparation and organisation, relocating for a job doesn’t have to be a really stressful experience. If you’re planning on relocating for a job in the near future, make sure to consider the following steps:

Ask About Moving Expenses

One of the main worries that people can have when relocating for a job is cost. Before putting your hand in your own pocket, you should always check with your employer to see if they can reimburse you for any of the moving costs. In most cases employers will offer at least a partial contribution towards the cost of moving and so it’s always worth asking. In some cases, companies may even assist in the buying or selling of your home and helping your spouse find a new position.

Research The New Location Before You Move

Before you commit to moving anywhere, it’s essential to have a strong idea of what the area is like. This is to ensure it has the necessary transport links, schools, restaurants, shops etc., and that it suits your lifestyle. If possible, you should always try and visit the place in person, however when this isn’t possible, research online as much as you can. Relocating for a job is much less stressful when you know what to expect once you arrive in your new home. 

Set A Budget

Once you’ve ascertained the cost of living in the new area, and found out any financial assistance you’ll receive from your employer, it’s a sensible idea to set a budget. This will of course take into account the cost of the property itself, however you should also consider the cost of moving i.e removals and storage, any repairs that will need to be made to the property and the cost of getting yourself and your family to the new location via car or public transport. 

Decide On A Moving Date

When relocating for a job, it’s always best to move a couple of weeks before your start date if you can. This gives you time to pack and settle in without stressing before your first day of work. It’s likely that your employer will give you a period of time between leaving your current position and starting the new one. Setting a moving date in advance will give you a clear idea of how much time you have to prepare, allowing you to plan for an organised, stress-free move.

Organise A Removals Company

Organising your move with a reliable removals company is another key step in taking the stress out of relocating for a job. That way, you don’t need to stress about rushing around tying up loose ends on moving day. If you choose to move with Hackworthy & Sons, we’ll assist you in the moving process from start to finish. That includes packing, any storage you might need, as well as insurance cover, included in your quote.  If you are a business director relocating office, we’ve got you covered in this department as well. 

Tie Up Loose Ends At Your Current Location

If you’re relocating for a job, you want to start afresh straight off the bat. You don’t need to be worrying about having left loose ends untied in your old location. So, in advance of your moving date, make sure you’re winding everything down to avoid a last minute rush before moving day. That includes work-related matters as well as switching over utility contracts etc. 

If you’re relocating for a job and would like to hear more about how Hackworthy can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more about our home and business removals services.

What Is Delayed Completion & Is It A Risk?

Completion is the final stage in the process of buying a property. This is the point at which you pay the agreed purchase price, meaning the house becomes legally yours. Ordinarily, the time period between exchange and completion is usually 2-4 weeks, however in some cases it may be possible for a delayed completion house purchase to be implemented. Let’s take a closer look at what this involves.

What Does ‘Delayed Completion’ Mean?

With a delayed completion, a sale price is agreed with a buyer, however the actual completion is delayed for months to years. There are many different reasons that delayed completion can be beneficial for buyers and sellers. These include the following:

  • Your seller needs more time to find themselves a new property to move into
  • You can’t move into the property for a delayed period of time e.g if you’re moving back to the UK from abroad
  • You’re buying a new build property for which construction has not yet finished
  • You’re buying a rental property and need to wait for the current tenancy to end before you can move in
  • You’re waiting on speculative planning permission to see if you can make the necessary changes to the property before completing the purchase

As you can see, there are many benefits to delayed completion. It gives sellers time to find the perfect home for them with the assurance that their house is already sold (subject to actual completion). Delayed completion also gives buyers the time they need to raise funds to purchase their new property and look into any maintenance that might need doing, as well as giving them time to organise a removals company without rushing. Delayed completion can be an effective negotiation tool for buyers as sellers will often accept a lower price if they know they have the time to find their ideal new home. 

That being said, delayed completion does also come with it’s own set of risks. Let’s take a closer look at what these involve:

What Are The Risks Of Delayed Completion?

  • As a seller, you maintain full control of the property until the date of completion. The seller is legally obliged to hand over the property in the same state as when it was exchanged, making them responsible for any maintenance issues until completion
  • Additionally, delayed completion gives the seller more time to change their mind. As a buyer, the property is not legally yours until completion actually takes place.
  • A lower deposit may need to be agreed. In the case of delayed completion, it is not uncommon for deposits as low as 5% to be agreed.
  • The mortgage in principle may not be upheld by the time you get to completion  

If you are thinking of entering into a delayed completion, it’s crucial to ensure that buyer and seller mutually agree on the terms of the agreement. If delayed completion is successful it has many benefits for both buyer and seller, however it doesn’t come without risk. There is a high chance of the sale falling through and of additional financial costs being incurred. That’s why it’s important to think about the decision thoroughly and be 100% sure that buyer and seller are on the same page.

6 Tips For Staging Your Home To Sell

Wednesday 22nd December 2021
6 Tips For Staging Your Home To Sell

When you’re trying to sell your home, first impressions are everything. So when preparing your house for viewings, it’s important to consider how you are presenting it to potential buyers. That’s where staging comes in. Staging your home involves highlighting it’s most impressive assets, adding decorative features and rearranging furniture where necessary. The ultimate aim is to make your home more appealing to potential buyers so that it sells more quickly and for the best price possible. Take a look at the following top tips for staging your home before your next house viewing:

Focus On Important Rooms

One of the most important tips for staging your home is to concentrate your efforts. Some rooms in the house hold more importance than others to potential buyers and so make sure to focus on staging your home in the rooms where it counts. Pay particular attention to the living room and kitchen as this is where people spend the majority of their time in the house. In addition to this, make sure to give the master bedroom some extra attention as this also has a big influence on the buyer's decision. Focussing your efforts will save you more time and make the process more efficient.

Add Fresh Greenery & Flowers

Another one of our ultimate tips for staging your home to sell is to place houseplants and flowers around the property. You don’t want to overdo it, but a few well placed plants and vases of flowers will breathe life and freshness into the home. You can also use flowers to introduce a few subtle hints of colour into a space. This is one of the most simple tips for staging your home but one that will make a big impact when it comes to selling your home quickly. 

De-Personalize The Space

When potential buyers are viewing your home it’s important for them to be able to visualise the space as their own. That’s why one of our most important tips for staging your home is to remove personal touches where possible. We’re not talking about completely transforming your home but removing personal items such as toiletries and medication will allow viewers to visualise themselves in the property. 

Choose Neutral Colours

Whilst we’re big fans of filling your home with colour and personality, when it comes to staging a house to sell quickly, it’s best to stay neutral. Not everyone will be a fan of bright and bold style and so sticking to a neutral colour palette will allow you to appeal to a wider range of buyers. Bold colours and patterns can also distract from the property’s most important assets. This is one of the tips for staging your home that may require a little more effort, however one that will make a huge difference.

Use Lighting To Your Advantage

Another one of our top tips for staging your home is to brighten up the space using lighting. The lighter and brighter you can make your rooms, the more appealing it will be to potential buyers. Start by clearing window spaces to let as much natural light in as possible and then use lamps to create spots of light and to create ambience in different rooms. This will make the property instantly more inviting.

Rearrange Your Furniture

The best tips for staging your home to sell don’t involve spending a lot of money, but rather using what you already have in a smart way. Rearranging furniture plays a big role in this. You want the space to look as open and spacious as possible and so make sure to place any extra furniture that’s taking up too much space into storageand rearrange the remaining furniture to make the room look as spacious as possible. 

We hope these tips for staging your home will have you selling your property in no time. When you’re ready to make the big move, get in touch with us at Hackworthy for a stress free moving experience. 

What To Consider Before Buying A Listed Building

There’s no denying that listed buildings are unmatched in charm and history. After all, that’s why they have their protected status. So, if you’re thinking about buying a listed building, we certainly don’t blame you! When it comes to buying a listed building there are however a few key factors to be aware of. Buying a listed building to live in can come with additional costs and extra work. We’ll take a look at the main factors involved in buying a listed building in just a second, but first let’s take a moment to clarify what it means for a building to be ‘listed’.

What Counts As A ‘Listed Building’?

A listed building is a property that has been placed on the national register of buildings with architectural or historical importance. This includes most properties built before 1840. The aim of protecting these buildings under law is to preserve and maintain them for future generations. That’s why these buildings carry extra restrictions and maintenance. There are 3 different levels that determine how a property is graded. These are:

Grade I: buildings of historic, national or outstanding architectural interest

Grade II: significant buildings of local interest

Grade II*: buildings of special architectural or historic interest

Now that we’ve established what counts as a listed building let’s take a look at the main factors to consider when buying a listed building. These include:

Listed Building Consent

Listing imposes restrictions upon the changes that homeowners can make to a property. So before buying a listed building, you should always check what’s covered in these restrictions. If you want to make changes to the property then you’ll need to gain permission from the local conservation officer. It’s important to note that you’ll be required to supply a lot more detail in your application than you would for regular planning permission. In short, it’s a lot more complex to make changes to a property when it is listed. If you’ve fallen in love with the property then this isn’t an issue, however if you’re not completely happy with the property as it is then this can be one of the main disadvantages of owning a listed building.

Extra Maintenance Costs

As we mentioned previously, buying a listed building does come with extra costs.  Due to the fact that listed buildings are very old, they’re likely to have more maintenance issues than modern homes. So, when thinking about buying a listed home, make sure to factor the cost of maintenance and repairs into your decision making. Additionally, repairs will often require the use of specialist materials and specialist tradesmen which will of course make the process more costly. The good news is that you can sometimes get grants from Historic England to help towards the costs of these repairs. Regardless of this, before buying a listed building, make sure to get a comprehensive survey completed so that you’re aware of the amount of repairs that you’ll need to pay for. 

Specialist Home Insurance

Another key factor to consider when buying a listed building is the fact that you may need to take out specialist insurance. This isn’t always necessary, however when applying for home insurance, you’ll need to inform the insurer that the property is listed. In many cases, you may need specialist cover, depending on the type of property that you’re buying. Be aware that as the homeowner you’re also responsible for unauthorised alterations made before you moved in and so you may want to look for insurance that covers pre-existing works. 

Should I Buy A Listed Building?

Buying a listed building certainly comes with its own set of challenges. However, the benefits of owning such a unique and beautiful property can’t really be argued with. The key to buying a listed building is doing plenty of research so you know exactly how much work and how many costs you’ll be taking on if you go ahead with the purchase.

Once you’ve found your dream home, get in touch with the team at Hackworthy to arrange a stress free moving day. With over 40 years experience in removals you can rely on our services for a simple and stress free moving experience. 

  

How To Make A House A Home When You Move In

When you move into a new property it can feel difficult to settle in at first. So, if you’re planning on moving soon and are concerned about how to make a house a home, you’re certainly not alone. The great news is that with a few simple changes here and there, it’s easy to make your new property feel more like home in no time. These are just a few of our top tips on how to make a house a home:

Clean & Tidy

The first step in how to make a house a home when you first move in is to give it a deep clean from top to bottom. Even if you’re moving into a new build property, this is still important as there are likely to be remnants of dust and dirt from building work. Cleaning the entire house will present you with a fresh, blank canvas to make your own. As you unpack, make sure to get rid of any clutter that you didn’t manage to sort through before moving, and get organised from the start. You can always leave a few boxes in short term storage to give you the breathing space that you need to get organised once you first move in. 

Organise Your Bedroom

Anyone who has moved house will know how much organising and unpacking there is to do when you first move in. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, the best thing to do is to start by organising the bedrooms. Creating a calm and organised room for you to relax and sleep in is really important in helping you feel settled whilst you’re still trying to sort out the rest of the house. So if you’re not sure where to begin with how to make a house a home when you move in, start by setting up your bed, unpacking your bedroom belongings and clothing, and adding your favourite decor pieces and home comforts. This will give you a homely base to return to if the rest of the house is in chaos for a little while longer! 

Add Greenery & Flowers

Nothing breathes calm and positivity into a room like nature. That’s why one of our favourite tips on how to make a house a home is to add greenery in different rooms of the property. You may want to dot smaller plants around the house or opt for a couple of large statement plants. In addition to green foliage, don’t forget that you can always rely on flowers to brighten your home (and your day!). Place vases of flowers around the house to make you smile as you walk by, and if you’re concerned about the cost you can always use faux flowers that look just as pretty. 

Get Cooking

The key trick when thinking about how to make a house a home is to establish a routine. Central to this is cooking. So, once you’ve got the kitchen unpacked and are feeling a little more organised, it can be a really nice idea to cook a meal and invite a few loved ones over to join you. You don’t need to cook anything fancy. It’s all about putting your new kitchen to good use and sharing your new home with your nearest and dearest. This is a crucial step in how to make a house a home, and inviting friends or family over will help you to create the first special memories in your new home. 

Display Sentimental Items

Ultimately, the process of how to make a house a home is all about making it your own. That’s why it’s so important to fill the property with all those items and heirlooms that mean the most to you. This might be a sentimental ornament, a special vase or your favourite recipe book - you name it. What’s important is bringing your personality into the house. Displaying family photos is another key part of this when thinking about how to make a house a home. So, make sure to prioritise putting up the photos that make you smile when you move in. 

Make Your Home Smell Good

There are some smells that just make us feel at home, which is why one of our top tips on how to make a house a home is to fill the property with your favourite scents. Every home has its own distinct smell, and so establishing yours will make you feel more at home every time you walk through the door. Using candles and aroma diffusers can also help to make you feel more calm and therefore more settled. Whether you’re a big fan of fresh linen, florals or lavender, filling your home with scent is a key step in how to make a house a home.

Whether you’re set to move house soon or have recently moved in, we hope that these tips on how to make a house a home will have you feeling settled in no time. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Hackworthy to hear more about the simple and stress free removal services we have to offer.

5 Tips For Selling Your Home In The Winter

From a seller's perspective, selling your home for a good price during the winter can be a lot more difficult than selling your home at other times of the year. However, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Make sure your home is in the best position to sell to potential buyers with our top 5 tips for selling your home in the winter.

Stage Your Home For Viewings

The first of our tips for selling your home in the winter is to stage your home for viewings. One of the best ways to sell your property for a good price is to make your house feel like a home by making it as warm and cosy as possible. This is a particularly important tip for selling your home in the winter when potential buyers have come in from the freezing cold weather outside. We would highly recommend making a fresh pot of coffee, or a warm hearty meal so that your home is full of pleasant and inviting smells. If there’s a key feature or selling point in your home, make sure you show it off. This may include lighting the log burner or turning on underfloor heating. 

Decorate Your Home For The Festive Season

Do not be afraid to decorate your home for the festive season. This is a top tip for selling your home for winter for a number of reasons. The first reason being that if this is going to be the last Christmas in your home, you want to make the most of it! However, more importantly from a seller’s perspective, making your home look festive adds another selling point to potential buyers. Focus on the first room viewers will see. It should be de-cluttered, smelling festive, and providing a ‘wow’ factor. Just be careful not to overdo the decorations so that buyers can see all aspects of the house clearly.

Be A Warm Host

If you choose to be in the property whilst potential buyers are looking around, always try to be as warm and as friendly as possible to ensure that buyers leave the viewing having had a positive and memorable experience. Without being too pushy, make sure you are telling the viewers the key selling points of the house and how you are prepared and organised to move out the property once you have found a buyer. This is an essential tip for selling your home in the winter that it’s important to avoid overlooking. 

Give The Garden Some TLC

We can all admit that our gardens definitely get neglected during the winter months, with the grass looking sorry for itself, the plants looking windswept and the garden furniture looking a little worse for wear. That’s why one of our top tips for selling your home in winter is to make sure you give the garden some well deserved TLC before a potential buyer comes over to view the property.  Treat the garden as an extra room like you would in the home in order to optimise your selling opportunities.

Good Lighting Is Key

Good lighting is something we would highly recommend focusing on when it comes to selling your home during any time of the year, however it’s a particularly important tip for selling your home in the winter. A light and bright property is a lot more appealing to potential buyers than a home that is poorly light and doesn't get much natural light of its own. You can create this illusion by switching out yellow tone bulbs with white light tones and choosing clever lighting options when it comes to kitchens, hallways, stairs and bathrooms.

Should I Rent Or Buy A House?

Wednesday 24th November 2021
Should I Rent Or Buy A House?

If you’re thinking about moving home then one of the questions you may be asking yourself is “should I rent or buy a house?”. It’s an age old question, and one that doesn’t have a right or wrong answer.  Whether you’re a first time buyer or have been on the property ladder previously, ultimately, the decision comes down to personal circumstances and preference. That being said, in order to help you answer the question of “should I rent or buy a house”, it does help to consider the following key factors:

Cost

When asking yourself “should I rent or buy a house”, one of the most important factors you need to consider is cost. Buying a house involves lots of upfront costs including a deposit, mortgage fees and stamp duty. So, before you consider buying instead of renting, make sure you have enough money behind you to pay all the upfront costs and then your monthly mortgage rate on top of your other living expenses. Renting a property is cheaper in the short term, however if you plan on staying in the property for a prolonged period of time, bear in mind that you’ll be paying money to a landlord, that could potentially be saved to put down a deposit on your very own property.

Short Term Vs Long Term 

How long are you planning to live in the property for? This is an important question to ask yourself when deciding “should I rent or buy a house”. As a general rule of thumb, renting is better for short term accommodation, whilst buying a house is more of a long term commitment. Buying a house is a big commitment, and so you want to make sure that you’re planning to live there for a reasonable period of time. However if you are definitely planning on living in the house for a prolonged period of time then it’s definitely more economical to buy rather than rent. 

Flexibility

Another important factor to consider when deciding “should I rent or buy a house” is flexibility. As we mentioned previously, buying a house is a big, long term commitment. Renting on the other hand, provides you with a lot more flexibility to move house once your lease expires. You’ll often have the option to choose between short term or long term leases as well. So, if you don’t want to stay in an area permanently or need to move around regularly for work, then renting is likely to be a better option for you. 

Ownership

The great thing about owning a property is that you call the shots completely. When living in rented accommodation you’ll be restricted in terms of making the property your own. For example, you may not be allowed to have pets, and you’re unlikely to have the freedom to decorate. On the contrary, if you own a house you can decorate and treat the property however you choose. You’ll also have a greater sense of stability being in control of your accommodation, as when you’re renting there is always the risk that the landlord may ask you to leave the property once your lease expires. 

Maintenance 

When thinking about “should I rent or buy a house”, it’s also important to consider maintenance responsibility and cost. If you own a property then you’ll be responsible for paying for any repairs and maintaining the property’s value. It’s estimated that homeowners spend around 1% of the property’s value every year on maintenance costs. The benefit of renting is that you won’t have to pay for any maintenance costs as this will be the landlord’s responsibility. 

Hopefully these tips will help you decide “should I rent or buy a house”. When you are ready to make the big move, Hackworthy & Sons will ensure moving day runs as smoothly as possible for you. Get in touch for more information or request a quick quote online. 

 What Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy A House?

Are you a first time buyer, property investor, or maybe a seller? You may be interested to find out when is the best time of year to buy a house. There may be many different factors influencing the property market, weather that be location, season, school holidays or annual holidays like Christmas. Find out the best time of year to buy a house with this short and simple guide.

Best Months To Buy A House

Determining the best time of year to buy a house can be dependent on what you are looking for. Are you looking for a bargain or are you interested in having a variety of properties? If you are looking for a good deal then the best time of year to buy a house is the beginning of the year, typically the months of January and February, and the end of the year in December. This is because the days are much shorter and daylight is sparse. Weather is normally dark and grey and cold. Christmas has just ended, and many people are not in the best financial situation to look for a property. Therefore, sellers are willing to drop prices to attract more demand, so if you are wondering what is the best time of year to buy a house, this could be the right time to get a good deal. 

The end of the summer, particularly August, can be a good time of year to buy as well. This is when most people are on holiday so demand is low. In the height of summer most people are considering where they will jet off to and packing their bags for a sunny getaway, meaning few people are looking at properties. Research also shows September can be a good time to buy, when the kids go back to school and parents have more time to look around, although this can mean more competition on the property market. Another fantastic time of year to buy is Winter, particularly the end of November and December. This is the lead up to Christmas so many people are preoccupied with buying presents and preparing for the festive season. So, this means sellers are likely to give discounts and deals as they want to attract buyers and get rid of their property before Christmas. 

Worst Months To Buy A House

Having discussed what is the best time of year to buy a house, many of you may be wondering when is the worst time. Spring is the worst time of year to buy, particularly May. This is because the days are getting longer and the sun is coming through, with the good weather improving people's moods. This is the peak season for property hunting as many people are trying to move before the kids break up for summer holidays. If you are looking for a variety of choices this is the time to buy, however, it definitely comes with a price tag. Due to such high demand there is a lot of competition between buyers, and properties are often sold for more than their asking price. If you are looking for a bargain this is the time to avoid. The early part of the summer also sees the prices heighten, in particular the month of June where buyers are rushing to complete a deal before the summer break. Properties at this time of year also do not stay on the market for long, so if you are considering buying at these times you have to be quick. 

Time Of The Week

When discussing the best time of year to buy a house, it’s also important to consider the specific days of the week that are best. Mondays are the best day to buy as many sellers can drop the price and offer discounts of up to 2.3% below market value. Friday is the second best day to buy your dream house. Discounts of 2% below market value can be found. Research shows mid week is the worst time to buy as there are more bidding wars between buyers. 

When you start viewing potential properties to buy, make sure to take a look at our buyer’s guide on what to look for when viewing a house

Can I afford To Move House? These Are The Costs Involved

Moving house is exciting, however it can also be very expensive. If you’re wondering "can I afford to move house", the following guide will give you a clearer idea of the costs that are involved. In order to help you decide if moving house is a possibility for yourself at the moment, let’s take a look at all the costs involved from the buying process through to moving day. 

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a land tax that is placed on properties over a certain price. However, if you’re buying a home in England or Northern Ireland, you won’t have to pay stamp duty on properties that are under £500,000. 

Valuations 

Another factor to consider when thinking about "can I afford to move house", is the cost of valuations.When you’re applying for your mortgage, the lender might request a valuation in order to establish how much money they are prepared to lend you.  Not all lenders will charge for this, however some might and so it’s another potential cost to be aware of. 

Surveys

You should also organise a survey of the property before you buy it. This is to identify any problems within the property that you need to be aware of.  Although this is an initial upfront cost, it could save you money on potential repairs in the long run. 

Deposit

One of the biggest costs involved in buying a property is putting down the deposit. The amount of deposit will vary depending on the property, however on average, you can expect to pay at least 5-20% of the purchase price. 

Mortgage fees

If you’re wondering “can I afford to move house”, another cost to be aware of is mortgage fees. Although you’re the one borrowing money from the lender, there are a few upfront costs it’s important to be aware of. These may include a booking fee/ arrangement fee and a valuation fee, as we mentioned earlier. If you choose to hire a mortgage broker there will also be a fee for this. 

Legal fees 

When buying a new house, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to oversee the legal aspects of the process. Usual legal fees for this will be between £800-£1500, however it’s a good idea to request quotes from different firms to give you the most reasonable fee possible. 

Buildings insurance

When thinking about "can I afford to move house", another factor to consider is buildings insurance. This covers you for any damage to the structure of the building that could affect its value, and will need to start on the date that you exchange contracts. Most mortgage lenders will also require you to have buildings insurance.

Estate agent fees

You’ll only need to pay estate agent fees if you’re selling. This is usually 1-3% of the sale price plus 20% VAT, or a flat fee for online estate agents.

Moving day costs

When thinking about, ‘can I afford to move house’, it’s also important to factor in the costs involved with moving day. With the right organisation, moving day doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg, however these are the general costs to be aware of:

Removal company

Choosing the right removal company will reduce the stress of moving day and save you a whole lot of money. At Hackworthy & Sons, our professional team will support you through the process from packing to unpacking. Unlike most other removal companies, our quote for UK removals also includes insurance cover for all your belongings throughout the move. This saves you having to fork out on the additional stand alone cost of removals insurance. You can request a quick quote for removals online.

Storage

Do you need to store your belongings temporarily before you move into your new home? Or, are you downsizing house and needing to look at long term storage options? We offer a range of storage options to suit your requirements. We can send an estimator out to you in order to give you an accurate idea of costs.

Mail redirection

When thinking about “can I afford to move house”, one of the smaller fees that people often forget about is the cost of redirecting your mail. This ensures that all your mail will come to the new address, giving you time to change your address on all your accounts. The price for this ranges from £33.99 for three months to £66.99 for 12 months. 

Cleaning 

If you’re moving out of a rental property you may be required to get the place professionally cleaned. It’s best to check with your landlord or agency to see what is required in order to avoid incurring any additional fees. 

New living costs

Think about the new furniture and appliances that you’ll need to buy as soon as you move in, and factor this into your budget. It’s also important to consider the ongoing costs of utilities and broadband and TV. Council tax is another cost to factor in when you move house. You can check online or with your local authority to see what your council tax band will be for the area. 

For more information on any of our removals services including our European and overseas removals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. 

First Time Buyer’s Guide: Tips For Buying Your First Home

Stepping onto the property ladder can be daunting, however it’s also an incredibly exciting time. If you’re thinking about buying your first home but are a little unsure about the process, don’t panic! Our simple first time buyer’s guide is here to give you all the information you need about what to do when buying your first home. 

Work out your mortgage options

Before you start looking for a property, you need to have an idea of what you can afford, a vital first step on our first time buyer’s guide. The easiest way to do this is to visit a mortgage advisor who will be able to talk you through the different mortgage options that are available and give you a good idea of what you can afford. The initial deposit, length of the mortgage and interest rate all affect your monthly mortgage payments and so these are all important factors to take into account. 

Save for a deposit 

No first time buyer’s guide would be complete without mentioning the importance of saving for a deposit. A deposit is typically between 5-20% of the property’s value, and so it’s certainly not a small amount of money. That’s why it’s important to start saving early and think about setting money aside in an ISA where you will earn a higher amount of interest. 

The good news is that in his March 2021 Budget, the chancellor announced a new mortgage guarantee scheme for first time buyers and homeowners. This will involve the government offering a guarantee to banks in order to encourage them to offer 95% mortgages, helping people to buy a property with a 5% deposit. The scheme will run from April 2021 to December 2022, with new and existing properties priced up to £600,000 all eligible.

Finding the property itself

The next, and probably most exciting step in our first time buyer’s guide involves searching for your dream home. When reading property descriptions, look out for certain factors including the age of the property, floor plans, storage space, energy efficiency rating, double glazing and council tax. Consider what you want from the property and surrounding area. What are the shops and facilities like? Are there good transport links? What are the local schools like? These are all good starting factors to help narrow down your search. Once you view the properties in person, you’ll be able to get more of a feel for whether or not it’s the right home for you.

Get a mortgage in principle

 Before you start viewing properties in person, it’s a good idea to get a mortgage agreement in principle. This will give you a rough idea of what you can afford, how much you can borrow and how much you’re likely to pay each month. 

Attend viewings

Another exciting step on our first time buyer’s guide is viewing the properties. This is your chance to get a feel for the place and see if you could picture yourself living there. Viewings are also a precious chance to ask any questions you might have and so it’s always a good idea to be prepared. You can read more about what to look for when viewing a house as a buyer in our previous article. 

Make an offer 

This is the point at which you make that all important offer. Make sure that the offer is realistic because otherwise the estate agent is unlikely to accept. If they don’t accept you might have to go back and reassess your figures. If they do accept then you’ll receive a written contract titled ‘Subject to survey and contract’. At this stage, you should also formally apply for your mortgage. If you’ve already got a mortgage in principle this should speed things up as it will just be a case of finishing off the process. 

Surveys and conveyancing

Conveyancing means transferring ownership of the property from one party to another. A qualified conveyancing solicitor will be able to take you through this process. At this point, you’ll also need to instruct a surveyor who will be able to highlight any structural issues in the property. 

Exchanging contracts

This part of our first time buyer’s guide involves finalising the buying process. Once the mortgage has been approved and the solicitor is happy with the survey, you can sign the contract giving you ownership of the house. The seller will sign their copy and each party's solicitors will swap contracts to be signed by the opposite party. This is the point at which you’ll also pay your deposit. 

Insuring the house

Your mortgage lender is likely to insist that you buy home insurance, however regardless of this, it’s always a good idea to insure your home. This will give you peace of mind in case of flooding, theft or other potential damages. 

 Get moving!

Last but certainly not least in our first time buyer’s guide is the big move itself. This is the most exciting part of buying your first home and doesn’t need to be stressful if organised in the right way. At Hackworthy & Sons, we make the process as stress free as  possible from packing up your belongings to unpacking them in your new home. Request a quote today or contact us for more details. 

A quick note on stamp duty 

Stamp duty is a land tax that you pay on your home. The more valuable the property is, the higher the stamp duty. In the March 2021 budget, the chancellor announced that the stamp duty holiday would be extended. This means that from 1st July to 30th September, stamp duty will only apply if the property you buy is worth over £250,000. From 1st October 2021, the usual stamp duty threshold of £125,000 will return. 

5 Ways Downsizing House Could Drastically Improve Your Life

As the housing market is increasingly busy, people may be looking to downsize their homes as their children begin to flee the nest. If you’re an empty nester there are many things that can improve your life as a result of downsizing your house, so keep reading if you’d like to find out more. 

Saving Money

First up on our ways of downsizing a house is the benefit of saving money. The obvious way to save money by downsizing your house would be that you have to heat less rooms / space in the house.  However, you’ll likely also be feeding less people in the house, using less water, and even use less electricity. Not to mention the smaller mortgage repayments that will be a result of moving to a smaller house. 

During the process of downsizing your house you’ll almost definitely need to dispose of or donate things in your house that you don’t want or need anymore to move into your smaller home. So, on the contrary to saving money there may even be opportunities for you to make money selling any items that you no longer need and are in good condition for others to make use out of. Facebook marketplace, gumtree etc are great ways to sell items especially furniture to those in need. 

Saving Energy 

As we’ve just covered that less utilities will be used in a smaller house as there are less people, this helps save energy in the house as it will take less time to heat the house then it would have to reach all the spaces in a bigger house. In turn, not only does this save you money, but is also a fantastic way to help the environment and make your home greener. The more small steps we can take to help the environment the more impact we will have. 

Decluttering

You may not think that downsizing houses can help improve your life, but the process of getting rid of any unwanted clutter can really help clear your mind and remove a “mess” from taking up space in your mind worrying about having to organise this when you may be busy doing other things. Organising things into its own places, will help you know where everything is and avoid any stressful situations trying to find something amongst the clutter. 

Save Time

Another way to improve your life by downsizing your house is the upkeep required on your home. By downsizing you will be able to save time with less rooms to tidy and clean meaning that you can keep on top of the organisation, in turn helping you to know where to look for things. And … if you have a cleaner this will save their time cleaning your home, saving you money again. 

Less Lonely 

Any empty nesters out there can benefit hugely from downsizing houses, as this is a great way of making the house feel less empty. With less rooms empty in the house this will give each room a purpose and help make the home feel cosy rather than empty. 

If you’ve experienced any other ways that downsizing a house has improved your life, we’d love to hear them, make sure to share them with us on Facebook or Twitter and we might add them to this article. 

How To Move Plants When Moving House

Friday 8th October 2021
How To Move Plants When Moving House

For all us plant lovers, knowing how to move plants when moving house is a big deal. After all, our favourite house plants and flowers pretty much become part of the family. So, when moving day comes around, you want to make sure that all your favourite greenery gets transported without any accidents. With this in mind, we’ve put together the following tips on how to move plants when moving house, to ensure they keep thriving. 

How To Move Indoor Plants When Moving House

The biggest worry that comes to mind when thinking about how to transport plants when moving house is them dying through lack of sunlight and nutrients, or their pot smashing or tipping over. Here are some essential steps you should consider when it comes to packing up your plants for the big move.

  • Planning and preparation - We wouldn’t recommend packing your plants until the very last minute if you can help it, just to make sure that they have every chance of survival. A day or two before it is time to pack up and leave, give your plants a nice big water. This will make sure they have the best chance of survival if they cannot be watered for several days.
  • Packing -  Packing plays a big part in how to move plants when moving house. When it comes to packing up, wrap large plants with an old bed sheet or tissue paper to prevent branches and the pot from breaking. 
  • Positioning - The position your plant is placed in the box is also crucial. Place each pot in a box so it fits snugly at the bottom, and if possible, place softer furnishing around the plant for extra security.
  • Label the box to ensure that our team knows that there are delicate items inside so that we can handle them with extra care and consideration.

 Plan To Move Outdoor Plants When Moving House

 When thinking about how to move plants when moving house, garden plants can be a little more tricky and there are a number of things that should be considered… 

  • Where will the plant go in your new home? Consider drawing up a plan of your new garden to determine exactly where they will need to go. You should try to take into account factors such as the soil type, likely exposure to wind or frost, and the orientation of your new garden. Some plants will fare better in the warmth and light of a south-facing garden, whilst others prefer a more consistent, northerly aspect. Taking this into account when thinking about how to move plants when moving house will ensure that they have the best chance of survival once they’re in their new home.
  • When is the best time to start preparing your plants? When it comes to trees and shrubs, it’s much easier to move them when they are younger. You should also consider that most plants do not take well to being ‘re-rooted’, so more established plants should be handled with extra care. Where possible, outdoor plants should be placed in a dry, sheltered area ahead of the move. Depending on the variety and time of year, it can also be beneficial to give larger or climbing plants a good prune ahead of time. Cutting your plants back will minimise the risk of damage, and make the process of moving easier.
  • What’s the best way to pack outdoor plants? Smaller houseplants can be placed in lined, open boxes and padded with paper for protection. Larger, stable pots can be placed inside plastic bags. However when it comes to unpotted plants, the easiest way to transport them is by placing them in a lined box, with long stems or branches gently tied together for additional support. 

 After the move, your plants may still look slightly withered and tired, due to being moved and replanted, therefore there will be a period of time where they will need to recover. For many smaller plants, they can fully recover within a few weeks. For larger plants or trees, it can take months or even years for all problems caused by transplant shock to resolve. A simple case of wilting after repotting can be resolved with good care and often the plant has no residual signs of damage. Not to mention, if you follow our top tips on how to move plants when moving house, you shouldn’t run into any accidents or damages anyway. 

 

The Pros And Cons Of Buying A New-Build Home

When you’re on the search for a new property, there’s certainly a lot to think about. One of the questions you may be asking is, should I buy a new-build house? Or, is it best to buy an older property? 

There are certainly many advantages to buying a new-build home, however, there are also disadvantages. In order to help you decide on the best option for yourself, we’ve put together a list of all the pros and cons to think about before buying a new-build home. 

Pros

Lower energy bills

New-build properties are built to meet the most recent specifications and building standards, meaning they are often more energy efficient than older homes. This means that they will benefit from the likes of modern insulation and double glazing. Moving into a home that is more energy efficient can allow you to make significant savings on your home energy bills over the years.

Good protection and low maintenance costs

When buying a new-build, you receive financial protection that you don’t receive when you buy an existing property. All new-build homes come with a 10 year warranty from the National House Building Council to cover structural defects. Many home builders often offer their own warranties as well. Due to this protection, maintenance costs are likely to be incredibly low for the first few years of living in the property. 

Nobody has lived there before

It might seem like an obvious point to make, however many new-build home owners love the fact that their new home has never been lived in before. For one thing, all appliances are brand new and will be spotlessly clean. Additionally, there is no upward chain, or for first-time buyers, no chain at all. This means there are less likely to be issues during the buying process. 

Make the property ‘yours’

Another great advantage of buying a new-build home is that you’re presented with a blank canvas in which you can often have your own say on the finishing touches. Depending on the individual home developer, it’s sometimes possible for buyers to have a say on the likes of fixtures, finishes and flooring. This gives you more freedom to make the property personal to yourself. 

Cons

Difficulty getting a mortgage

When buying a new-build home, one of the main disadvantages is that it can be harder to get a mortgage. Developers will enforce a tight deadline to complete a purchase after the deposit has been put down, which can be difficult for mortgage lenders to meet. Additionally, delays in construction can cause your mortgage to expire or raise issues that you weren’t initially aware of. Often, you’ll need a larger deposit to get a favourable mortgage rate than if you were buying an existing property, as lenders can be stricter with the maximum loan to value (LTV) they’re willing to lend for new-builds.

No real preview

Depending on the development of the building process, you may not actually be able to see your house in person until you’ve already purchased it. If the property is not finished, you may be relying on show homes and drawings to give you an idea of what the finished property is intending to look like. The risk with this is that you may collect the keys and realise the property is not what you imagined it would be. 

Premium prices

New-build homes are renowned for being expensive to buy. The high price tag is based on the premise that everything is brand new, and the fact that you are covered by a 10 year warranty. That’s why, in some cases, the more financially sound idea may be to invest in an older property. 

Smaller rooms and gardens

As developers need to maximise the number of houses that they can build on the site, it’s common for new-build properties to have smaller rooms and garden spaces than older houses. That’s why it’s important to consider how much space you’ll require. If you do fall in love with the idea of buying a new-build, there is of course always the option to store excess belongings in long term storage to help you  downsize without any hassle. 

Potential disruption 

When you move into a new-build development, it’s common for there to be a period of disruption as the site is completed. Noise, road closures and dirt may all be present in the first few weeks or months of you living there, until the development is complete. This is definitely something to consider when weighing up your options, and it’s always a good idea to get as accurate an idea of timescales as you can. 

As you can see, there are many questions to ask when buying a new-build house. Buying a new-build home is exciting and can have it’s benefits, however, there are also some drawbacks that it’s important to consider. 

When you’ve decided and it’s time to make the big move, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. With over 40 years experience in domestic and overseas removals, we’ll ensure that moving day runs as smoothly as possible. 

Moving Abroad In 2021: 4 Key Factors To Consider

Covid 19 has had a huge impact on our ability to travel abroad. It’s therefore not surprising that there’s a lot of confusion regarding how to move abroad in 2021, and indeed, if this is possible. If you’re thinking about moving abroad this year then you’re likely to be concerned about what restrictions are in place and the measures that you’ll need to take. In order to help provide some clarity on the situation, we’ve put together the following short guide looking at the key factors you need to consider when thinking about moving abroad in 2021. 

Do your research

Before you travel anywhere, be sure to check the current Covid 19 situation in the country you’re hoping to move to. Check that the country has been able to reduce the spread of Covid 19 to manageable levels and is not on the UK government’s ‘red list’. It’s also important to be aware that not all countries are allowing UK nationals to enter the border at the minute, due to Covid 19. New Zealand and Australia for example, currently have very strict entry requirements in place. 

Be wary of changing restrictions

When doing your research, be aware that restrictions are changing all the time. That’s why, when you’re planning on moving abroad in 2021, it’s important to keep checking travel guidelines, up to and immediately before you intend to start travelling. The last thing you want is for your plans to fall through at the last minute  without any warning. 

Check Covid 19 requirements

It goes without saying that moving abroad during Covid requires a lot more planning than moving abroad under normal circumstances. That being said, with the right information and preparation, it’s perfectly possible. Check the government guidelines for travelling to different countries to ensure that you’ve met all requirements. For example, you may need to show proof of your vaccinations to travel to some countries. Check testing requirements, and if there are any quarantine rules in place for when you arrive. 

Prioritise sorting insurance early

Sorting out travel, health and removals insurance should always be a priority, however it’s particularly important in light of the pandemic. Changes in the spread of Covid can happen quickly and so you want to make sure that you’re prepared for all eventualities, and have everything in place to protect your health and your finances. Getting this sorted early on and as a priority will take the pressure off as it gets closer to your moving day. 

Whilst moving abroad in 2021 may require a little more planning than usual, this doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Keeping yourself informed and planning your move accordingly will allow you to finally make the move that you’ve been thinking about for so long. 

For more tips on moving abroad, take a look at our moving abroad checklist. And, when you do decide on a move, let Hackworthy & Sons make the process as stress free as possible. Get in touch today to hear more about our overseas removal services. 

2021 Guide To Moving To New Zealand From The UK

New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Full of natural beauty and incredible landscapes, many Brits relocate to New Zealand to enjoy the outdoor environment and more relaxed pace of life. If you’re considering moving to New Zealand from the UK but aren’t quite sure when’s the best time to go, or indeed how to begin the process, the following guide is here to help you out. 

Can I move to New Zealand from the UK during the pandemic?

The process of moving to New Zealand from the UK has of course been complicated by the pandemic. New Zealand has introduced a temporary border closure at this time, which will complicate your ability to obtain a visa. However, if you are hoping to move as soon as possible, keep an eye on the changing situation to see when travel restrictions are likely to ease. You can keep up to date on current entry requirements to New Zealand if you’re coming from the UK via the gov.uk website

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to get organised in order to make this exciting move once the border reopens.

Apply for a visa

If you are planning on moving to the country for less than 6 months then you will not require a visa, however you will need to obtain an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before you go. If you are planning to stay in New Zealand for longer than 6 months then you will need to gain a residency visa such as the skilled migrant category that allows you to stay in the country indefinitely and access state funded public services. 

Once this visa has expired, you can apply for permanent residency that will allow you to travel in and out of New Zealand without any restrictions. In order to apply for a permanent visa you must be able to complete the necessary documentation and meet the following criteria:

  • Provide proof of identity (2 acceptable headshots / your passport or another certificate of identity) 
  • Be of good character 
  • Hold a valid resident visa or have held one in the last 3 months (provide a resident visa or residence permit & have held continuously for 24 months) 
  • Have met conditions of your current visa 
  • Be committed to living in New Zealand permanently (provide evidence of your commitment to New Zealand) 
  • Non principal applicants should apply at the same time or after the principal applicant, unless a non principal exception applies

Organise healthcare

When thinking about moving to New Zealand from the UK, or indeed moving anywhere abroad, it’s important to be aware of the healthcare options that you’ll have available to you. In order to access public healthcare and register with a GP in New Zealand then you must have permanent residency. 

When moving to New Zealand as an expat, it’s recommended that you join a Primary Health Organisation (PHO) as the application for healthcare can take up to 3 months to process and PHO’s can provide subsidies on potential medical costs. Upon your relocation to New Zealand if you need emergency medical assistance then you’ll need to dial 111 to call for an ambulance. 

Organise your pet’s move

If you’re thinking of moving to New Zealand from the UK, there’s no doubt you’ll be wanting to take your four legged friend with you. In order to ensure that relocating your pet is as stress free as possible, you’ll need to start planning 6 months or so in advance. This will give you plenty of time to organise the necessary vaccinations for your pet and to obtain a microchip for them if they don’t already have one. It’s currently only cats and dogs that are able to be imported to New Zealand and they must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. 

Ship your goods

The cheapest and quickest way to ship the majority of your household goods when moving to New Zealand from the UK, is via a sole use shipping container. If you choose to move your belongings with us at Hackworthy & Sons, we promise to make the process as stress free as possible. 

Your belongings will be carefully packed and wrapped at your home and loaded into an onsite container where it is then driven and delivered to the port. Sole container shipments usually take between 7-8 weeks port to port, and you should allow 2 weeks on top of this for customs clearance and delivery once the container reaches New Zealand. 

Depending on your individual requirements, shipping containers are usually available in two sizes:

  • 20ft. This container holds 1050 cu ft.; large enough to hold a 2- 3 bedroom house.
  • 40ft. This container holds 2100 cu ft.; large enough to hold a 3- 4 bedroom house.

Once your shipment arrives at the destination port, we’ll contact you to arrange a date for delivery to your residence. Our destination partner will complete the stress free process by unpacking your boxes and removing all packing materials from your home. 

To request a quick quote for your overseas removal, you can use our online form, or, for more information on moving to New Zealand from the UK, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

What To Look For When Viewing A House: A Buyer’s Guide

When viewing a house, there’s a lot to think about and so it can be easy for certain factors to slip your mind. You don’t want to come away from a viewing not being one hundred percent sure on whether or not the property could be the right fit for you. That’s why, in order to help you make the most of your next viewing, we’ve put together a handy checklist of what to look out for when viewing a house. 

What’s the area like?

Before attending the viewing it’s always a good idea to have a drive around the area and see if it suits your requirements. Consider the local amenities that are available such as pubs and shops, and look for factors that could cause potential problems such as noise or a lack of public transport links. Having a wander around the local area is also a great way to get a feel for it and to see if you could picture yourself living there. 

Is the building structurally sound?

When discussing what to look for when viewing a house, what’s on the outside is just as important as what’s on the inside. Look for any big cracks and check for signs of damp such as peeling paint or tide marks on the walls. It’s also important to look for signs of general disrepair such as loose tiles on the roof. If you do spot any of these issues, you can ask the homeowner or estate agent about it and then get a surveyor to look into it further at a later point.  

Check the plumbing

Run the taps to check the water pressure and to see how long it takes for hot water to come through. Check that the heating and radiators work and ask how old the boiler is. If it’s an old boiler then it may need replacing soon which will be another cost for you to factor into your budget. 

Check for signs of damp

Damp is one of the biggest inconveniences faced by homeowners which is why it’s such an important factor to mention when we’re discussing what to look for when viewing a house. Peeling paint, stains on the ceiling and steamed up windows are all classic signs of damp that it’s important to be aware of. 

How much storage space is there?

Storage space can be scarce, particularly in new builds. With this in mind, when thinking about what to look for when viewing a house, make sure to take note of the storage options available. Is there enough cupboard/loft/ garage space for you to store all your belongings? Remember that if you fall in love with a property but space is a slight issue, you can always put excess belongings into long term storage to prevent them from cluttering up your home. 

Which way does the house face? 

This might not be one of the first things that springs to mind when thinking about what to look for when viewing a house, however whether the house is north or south facing can have a big impact on the look and feel of the property. A home that is full of light and warmth is a lot more appealing than a home that is usually dark. 

Ask plenty of questions

Get more of an idea of the property by asking the estate agent and homeowner key questions. For example, what are the bills like? How long has the property been on the market for and how many offers have been made?  What fixtures and fittings are included in the price? Ask the owner why they are selling. This could bring to light potential problems with the property. Being friendly and building a bit of a rapport with the seller will also be beneficial if you do end up deciding to put an offer in. 

Take someone along with you

Two pairs of eyes are always better than one and so whether it’s a friend, partner or family member, be sure to take someone along to the viewing with you. They might spot something you don’t , and it’s always easier to have someone to bounce thoughts and ideas off of. 

With these top tips on what to look for when viewing a house, you should be on the way to finding your dream property. For advice on selling your own property quickly and for the best price, have a read of our previous articles on tips for house viewings from a seller’s perspective and how to add value to your home before selling

When you are ready to move, Hackworthy can help make the process as stress-free as possible with over 40 years of experience in removals services. Get in touch to find out more or request a quote directly through our website.

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