Moving House

Checklists, guides and calculators to help you move house and find the best mortgage deal. Find out the total cost of moving, and how to find the right area to move to. Explore how to increase the value of your home and sell it quickly for a fair price.

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Moving house is a big financial decision. It also impacts your emotional well being and the happiness of both you and your family.

This guide will help you with every step of moving house.

How to move house

Here are the six main steps of moving house:

  1. Decide that you want to move into a new house

  2. Find a new house and area that you want to live in

  3. Make an offer on the new house and arrange a mortgage

  4. Sell your current house (optional)

  5. Move out of your current home

  6. Move into the new place!

1. Decide that you want to move into a new house

First things first: ask yourself, do you really want to move house, or would it be better to stay put and renovate or extend your current home?

If you really want to move house, do some research into how to buy a house and understand the total costs of moving house.

Help me decide if I should move house

2. Find a new house and area that you want to live in

Now that you've decided to move, you need to find a new house and area to live in.

Explore our in-depth guide on searching for a new property to learn more.

3. Make an offer on the new house and arrange a mortgage

Once you've found the perfect home, make an offer.

If it's accepted, collect all of your documents and formally apply for a mortgage.

4. Sell your current house (optional)

If you need to sell your house to afford the new place, you'll need to sell it before you can move on to the next step.

Explore our guides on how to sell your home quicklyhow to sell a house without an estate agent and how to quickly increase the value of your house.

5. Move out of your current home

After you know your confirmed moving date, you should start preparing for the big day.

There's a big moving house checklist further down this page. Follow it, and your house move should be fairly pain free!

6. Move into the new place!

And finally, you have to collect the keys, move all your stuff, unpack, and set up a new home.

Before you move in, it's worth giving your new house a deep clean. And after you move in, you'll need to give your new address to your bank, utility companies, and friends and family.

We have a new house checklist that's worth following, to make sure you don't miss anything important in the first few weeks of moving into a new place.

Learn more about how to buy a house

Moving house checklist

Moving house can be quite complex, especially if you're moving to a new area.

If you're a first time buyer without children or other dependents, moving house will be relatively easy. You should start this checklist about 1 month before you move house.

If you're selling your current home, or you have children or care for an elderly relative, the process will be more complex. You should start this checklist about 2 months before you move house.

  1. Confirm the date of the house move

  2. Give notice to your landlord (if you're renting)

  3. Book time off work

  4. Start decluttering and get organised

  5. Get quotes from removal companies

  6. Contact your utility suppliers and settle bills

  7. Find out everything about your new house

  8. Put all of your moving day essentials in a couple of boxes

  9. Pack up everything - and label the boxes!

  10. Move out - and move in

1. Confirm the date of the house move (or try to)

The first step is to try and narrow down exactly when you will be moving house.

If you're buying a house, you can try to arrange a completion date with your mortgage conveyancer.

You will need a moving date so that you can line up everything else: removals, forwarding your mail, utilities, enroling kids into new schools, etc.

2. Give notice to your landlord (if you're renting)

Most rental agreements require a notice period of 30 days, but you should check your contract.

Ideally you want to line it up so that you don't pay rent and your mortgage at the same time!

3. Book time off work

You should book at least a couple of days off either side of moving house.

Moving house is hard, stressful work and there's always more to do than you think.

You really don't want to move house after a long day at the office.

4. Start decluttering and get organised

Now is a good time to go through your current possessions and start decluttering. The more you can throw out now, the easier and cheaper it will be to move house!

You should also order some double-walled brown boxes and start packing up things that you don't need for the next few weeks.

If you have school age children, you should now start the process of enroling them into a school near your new home.

5. Get quotes from removal companies

Get some quotes from a few removal companies. As a rule of thumb, expect it to cost around £500 for a 2 bed flat or £750 for a 3 bed house. If you want the removal company to pack your stuff up as well, it'll cost a few hundred more.

If you'd rather do it yourself, check how much it costs to rent a van and find some friends and family who can help you!

6. Contact your utility suppliers and settle bills

About 1 month before you move, you should get in touch with your gas, electricity, water, and phone/internet providers.

You should tell them that you're moving house. In some cases you will be able to take the supplier with you to the new house. Most major internet providers - Talktalk, BT, Sky, etc - can transfer your service to the new house.

For any utilities that you don't bring with you, they will send you a final invoice that you need to pay.

Even if everything goes smoothly, you should prepare to be without internet access for a couple of weeks at the new property. If you need internet access, you can turn your phone into a fast wifi hotspot if your new house has 4G coverage.

Contact the council and tell them that you're moving to a new address. You may get a council tax refund, or you may have to cancel your standing order, depending on how you've set it up.

Get your mail redirected to your new home. The Post Office charges a monthly fee for this, so you should ideally get everything moved over to your new address as soon as possible.

Start cancelling any regular deliveries (milk, newspaper) or services (cleaning, gardening).

You do not have to worry about the electoral roll yet. You can register to vote after you move.

7. Find out everything about your new house

If possible, try and ask the current occupier lots of questions about your new house.

Here's a list of questions to ask:

  1. Where's the main stopcock to shut off the water?

  2. Where are the electricity and gas meters?

  3. Where is the fuse box?

  4. Do you have any manuals or warranties for the boiler, washing machine, dishwasher, etc?

  5. What days are the bins collected?

  6. What colour paint did you use for the walls? And do you have any leftover tins of paint?

  7. Where did the kitchen and bathroom tiles come from?

  8. Where did the kitchen cabinets come from?

  9. Do any surfaces require special attention? (Wooden worktop, slate floor, etc)

  10. Do you recommend your current cleaner or gardener?

  11. Anything else gnarly about your property that I should know?

Write down all the answers and keep it somewhere. Or keep it all in a note-taking app on your phone.

8. Put all of your moving day essentials in a couple of boxes

Before you start packing up in earnest, put aside everything that you might need for your first few days in your new home.

Make a couple of boxes containing:

  • Tea, coffee, sugar, mugs and other kitchen essentials

  • Phone and laptop chargers

  • Toilet paper

  • Cleaning products

  • Blanket and pillows

  • Temporary furniture (garden chairs, camping table, etc)

  • A pack of cards, TV, radio, or something else to pass the time

  • A few lightbulbs, in case your new house doesn't have any...

It goes without saying, but you should also keep track of your important documents. You don't want your passport, insurance docs or mortgage paperwork to go missing during the move.

9. Pack up everything - and label the boxes!

The last thing to do before you actually move house: pack everything up.

Put everything in sturdy double walled boxes and clearly label each box. The label should say what's in the box, and which room it's for.

If you want to be super organised, put multiple labels on each box - front, back and top - so you don't have to root around to find the right box.

You might also find it helpful to keep a list of what's in each box. Note taking apps are great for this, as you can quickly search for something and find out which box it is in.

If you use a removals company, they will do all of this for you.

10. Move out - and move in

The big day has finally arrived! It's time to actually move out of your current place and into your new home.

Just before you say goodbye to your old home, take one last look around the place and make sure you've left nothing behind. You should also take photos of the electricity and gas meter, just in case your old utility company tries to overcharge you.

If you need to clean your new house, now is the best time to do it, before you unload all your boxes.

Make sure you have all of the keys for your new property, including the garden gate, window locks, etc. Or you may want to change all of the locks, if you're worried about security.

Unpack room by room, starting with the kitchen and then the bedrooms and bathroom. Move furniture into the rooms first, and then the boxes of stuff.

Check that you have running water, electricity and (hopefully) internet access. Though sometimes you have to wait until moving in before you can order a new internet connection.

Moving house removals

When it comes to actually moving house, getting a removal company can make the day a lot less stressful.

Getting someone to help with your house removal costs money, of course, but it's not super expensive. Expect it to cost around £500 if you're moving out of a two bed flat or £750 for a three bed semi detached property.

It's cheaper if you do the house move yourself, but you'll need to rent (and collect) a van, and ideally get a few friends to help you with the move.

To get a house removal quote, you'll need the following information:

  • How many bedrooms your current property has

  • Whether your current property is a flat, a bungalow or a house

  • The address of the new property

  • Whether you want help with disassembling furniture and packing things up

If you ask the removal company to box things up for you, expect the removal company quote to be significantly more expensive.

The cost of moving house

The physical act of moving house can be costly. If you hire a removals company to help, they will usually cost between £100 for very small local moves and £1,000 for big moves across the country.

If you want them to help with packing up and disassembling your furniture, the cost of moving home could be around £2,000.

After that, the biggest cost of moving house is any new stuff that you need to buy after you move. If you need a new bed, dining table or a living room set, the cost of moving house can quickly climb into the thousands of pounds.

One alternative is to look to websites like Freecycle and Freegle, where you may be able to pick up used furniture and appliances for free.

Help me work out the total cost of buying a house

New house checklist

On the day you move into a new house, and over the next few days and weeks, there are a number of key things that you must do.

  1. Tell the council that you've moved in, and register to vote

  2. Make sure all of your utilities are set up: electricity, gas, water, phone, TV, internet

  3. Get a TV licence, if you watch live TV in your house or use BBC iPlayer

  4. Notify everyone that your address has changed: banks, credit card providers, your employer, the DVLA, friends, family...

  5. Register with your local GP and dentist, and vet if you have a pet

  6. Introduce yourself to your new neighbours!

If you're changing utility suppliers, now is a great time to look for a good deal on your energy, TV, and internet.