Moving home can end up being one of the most costly responsibilities an individual will ever undertake. As such, we are very pleased to share this guest post from our partners at reallymoving on all the ways that you can save money when moving home.
Buying a new home can be expensive, and that’s not just the cost of the property. Smaller costs can add up and it’s important to know how to get the most for your money. As a comparison site, reallymoving have been encouraging people to find the best deals when moving home for 20 years, and we’re so pleased to share some of our top tips with you.
Have a clear out before you move
One of the easiest ways to save money is to clear away the items you don’t need. Removals costs are based on volume – the more you move, the bigger the van and the removals team needed to move it all. On top of that, when you have more belongings, it will take longer to move. That’s more people you’re paying for a longer time.
By throwing away, donating and selling items you know you’re not going to need in your new home, you’re saving yourself time as well as money. It’s tempting to pack up and transport everything and say you’ll deal with it later, but you’re literally wasting money, from the removals costs to the extra boxes and packing supplies.
Top tip: have a clear out and get rid of everything you don’t need to save money on removals.
Get a survey
There is no better money saver than getting a survey on the potential property. A survey will let you know whether that dream home is really as good as it seems, or whether there are hidden potential problems. By highlighting the issues and telling you how much they might cost to fix, a survey is a gem when it comes to negotiating. If you know you’re going to need to replace the boiler in the next year, or get the roof fixed, or get a treatment for damp, you can negotiate a lower price to cover those costs.
In the most literal sense, a survey will tell you if a house is not worth buying, which obviously saves you money. But by offering you an expert opinion to negotiate with, it allows you to go into your purchase with your eyes wide open, and the opportunity to get a great deal.
Be aware of referral fees
When you receive a recommendation for a conveyancing solicitor from your estate agent or developer, you may not realise that money is changing hands for that recommendation. This is called a referral fee, and they can be in the realm of hundreds of pounds. Quite often, this means your costs are higher.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that using the agent’s recommended solicitor is ‘easier’ or will make the process goany more quickly. It’s a business transaction and the estate agent should be willing to work with any licensed conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor you choose.
That’s a big reason why we suggest comparing conveyancing services on our site, and our customers tend to find they are hundreds of pounds cheaper than those recommended by another business.
If you think you’re just receiving a great recommendation from someone, then make sure you ask if the person has used the company, or if they are receiving a referral fee. You should know how much your business is worth.
Use a mortgage broker
As we keep saying, comparing to get the best price is important. But you may get an even better deal through a broker. Mortgage brokers are there to get you the best deal on your mortgage, taking into account your particular situation. If you’re feeling confused about mortgage fees, cashback, standard variables and all the other mortgage jargon, a broker can help you make the right choice.
Mortgage brokers can either be paid an upfront sum, a percentage of the mortgage you’re applying for, or they can be paid in commission from the mortgage lenders, meaning you don’t pay anything for their services.
Mortgage brokers also sometimes have access to deals that you won’t find available online or on comparison sites, so it’s worth considering your options. A well organised mortgage with a great rate could end up saving you thousands in interest over the years.
If you’re buying your first home there are lots of opportunities to be rewarded for your choices.
First time buyers:
If you’re a first time buyer, saving your deposit in a Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA can get you a 25% cash bonus from the government. You may also not pay Stamp Duty, or pay a reduced amount. You can use a Stamp Duty Calculator to find out.
When you’re choosing your mortgage, often there are cashback incentives – just make sure they aren’t incentivising a deal that costs you more in the long run. Do the maths and talk to your mortgage advisor. Remember – try not to add the mortgage fee to your total mortgage. You’ll just end up paying interest on a higher sum!
The bank you’re saving your deposit in may offer higher interest rates or rewards for regular saving each month. If it’s not doing enough for you, make a switch to a bank that offers more – you may even get cashback for switching!
If you use cashback sites or get rewards from your existing bank, you can use these to buy your boxes or packing supplies (or even your moving day takeaway!).
Switching to new providers in your new home can also mean a saving (just keep an eye on when your contract ends). Or if it’s time to switch your phone contract, you find some providers offer cheaper broadband, as well as rewards and discounts.
Celebrating their 20th year in 2019, reallymoving are a comparison site for moving home services. They help you find conveyancing solicitors, surveyors and removals companies in your area, as well as offering a range of helpful guides and articles on moving home.