There are few things more exciting than moving into a new home. And for first-time buyers, that feeling of anticipation is only heightened as you look forward to the sense of independence that comes with taking that initial step on the property ladder.
Unfortunately, the process of physically moving home is not always as enjoyable as the end result. There's a lot to think about - both before the big day and once you get the keys - and it can all feel a little overwhelming.
Luckily, Homeward Legal are here to help. We understand the stresses and strains involved, which is why we've put together this moving checklist for first-time home buyers. Read on for a few handy tips on what you can do pre and post-move, to help make yours run as smoothly as possible.
First-time buyer moving checklist: Before the big day
So, you've set your completion date and you know when you'll be getting the keys to your home. It can be easy to get carried away with all the plans you have for the new place, but first, you need to be ready to leave the old one behind. This checklist will help to make sure you're prepared for moving day.
Start packing early
It seems a no-brainer, but you'll be surprised at how quickly the big day is upon you. The last thing you need is to suddenly realise you haven't got enough (or any) boxes and you have no idea if your sofa will even fit in your new lounge. Label each box with the room it's destined for and dismantle any big items of furniture you're not using in advance of moving day.
Pack a box of essentials
This might be the very last box you pack up, but that should mean it's also the first one you lay your hands on once you've got the keys. Fill it with toilet roll, snacks, kettle, mugs, tea, phone charger, a toolbox, bin bags and maybe even a couple of lightbulbs. Write ESSENTIALS in big block letters on the side and don't let it out of your sight on moving day.
Set up your internet
You want to be able to relax in your new home - especially after what might be a hectic first day. Sometimes, we all just need to crash out with a boxset or a spot of social media scrolling. But for that, you're going to need your broadband service set up. It can take a couple of weeks to get a broadband provider to come out, so be sure to plan in advance and book it in for moving day.
Redirect your mail and take final readings
Hardly a glamorous task, but is an essential part of any moving checklist for first-time home buyers. It will save you a great amount of hassle if you get organised early, while you should also inform your employer, the bank, the DVLA and your GP about your change of address. If you're moving out of rented accommodation, make a note of the gas, electric and water meters on the day you leave and call the utility companies with those final readings.
Sort out your insurance
A lender will insist on buildings insurance being in place beforehand, as you are responsible for the property's upkeep from the minute the deal is completed. You might think contents insurance can wait, but what happens if your flatscreen TV gets damaged in the move?
First-time buyer moving checklist: On the big day
So, you've done all the packing, organised your insurance and redirected your mail. Now it's time to get the keys and start settling in. There's still plenty of work to be done, though, and when moving into your first house, a checklist will make sure you don't miss anything important.
Take some readings
As soon as your key is in the lock of the new place, take a reading of the gas, electric and water meters. Use your phone to take a picture - you're unlikely to discard it the way you might a scrap of paper. When it comes to setting up your utilities, you'll be able to pass these readings on to the providers and make sure you're only being charged for your usage.
Take an inventory
Walk through your new home and tick off any items that were included in the sale to ensure they're still there. Whether that be white goods, carpets, blinds or items of furniture, make sure everything is present and correct. If anything is missing, or if they've unexpectedly left behind things that are hard to shift and taking up precious space, call your solicitor and let them know.
Introduce yourself to the neighbours
You don't have to become best friends with those living around you, but it can certainly make life an awful lot easier if you're at least on friendly terms. Get off on the right foot by introducing yourselves and getting to know them a little bit, as it will help you both to establish some boundaries in the future. And who knows, they might even be kind enough to treat you to a house-warming gift!
Locate your appliance manuals
Another less-than-exciting item on your first-time buyer moving checklist, but one that's very important. Hopefully, the previous occupants will leave them neatly organised in an easy-to-find drawer, so you'll soon be able to figure out how the oven works as well as locate the warranty information in the event of any faults or problems.
Unpack and relax
Finally, enjoy your new home! Stick the kettle on, make yourself a drink and unpack at a leisurely pace. Rushing around trying to get everything perfect inside the first hour will only result in more stress and increase the chances of something going wrong. Moving into your first home is a big step, so be sure to settle yourself in slowly and savour every moment.
Moving house? Homeward Legal can help
When moving into your first house, a thorough checklist can make your life much easier. However, there are still plenty of formalities and paperwork involved in the wider process of purchasing a home. That can seem especially daunting for first-time buyers, but help is at hand with Homeward Legal.
We work with an expert panel of qualified conveyancing solicitors, who will take care of all the legal legwork for you when you move. They can help to remove any stress from the situation, so why not get a quick quote or give us a call on today?