Moving Home: My Recent Experience

Sold!
Two months ago, we moved. 

I've moved a few times, but with a family, it's different. There's lots to navigate and consider, when moving the troop.

But you'll know when it's time. The house and location, stop serving their purpose. Perhaps they never did, but you put up with it?

Nobody moves, unless they need to. But it was for the greater good. I was resisting change, but it was the right decision. So much can go wrong (and it did).

The house-moving process, throws many curve-balls. Our adventure took six months, but finally we moved into the new place. We didn't move far, we just went bigger.

I suspect many families will move this year.  Best of luck, because rarely is it straight forward, or cheap. I hope this post helps you. 

Why We Moved

Back in March 2020 (like many), I was forced into a period of home-working (I still am). Thank you Coronavirus. 

A storage room became my home office.  I started to see the deficiencies of our three-bed semi. All the cracks, all the things that didn't work. The modern "spacious" layout, started to piss me off. The home just wasn't working. 

Children and "open-plan" don't work. It becomes a large play space, for your kids to trash. The constant untidiness became intolerable. Everyday I'd tread on Lego and Transformers, to get out my front door. 

There's always a house-moving "trigger". Maybe the neighbours are assholes? Perhaps you need more space? Maybe the kids share rooms and you only have one bathroom? Or the home layout doesn't work?

There's always a house-moving "trigger". Maybe the neighbours are assholes?

Things like being super close to town and a train station, were no longer important. In fact, the noise and traffic became undesirable.

Over six years we'd renovated and extended, but I wasn't content. Children don't get any smaller, and our third bedroom was too small. Space was needed.

You know when to move. The home wasn't ticking the boxes and my wife agreed.

Selling Your Current Home

Estate agents are opportunists, but a necessary evil.

One percent commission, for photographs and a Rightmove listing? Dick Turpin wore a mask!

My advice? Haggle for the lowest commissions, and do your research. Once you find an agent, they'll (probably) want exclusivity. Work them hard, for that commission.

Soon (hopefully) the house viewings will commence. It becomes a continual stress, to keep your home tidy, especially with kids. Who left that biscuit there?!?

You'll sacrifice most weekends, and soon get pissed off with it all. I handled most the viewings, taking my inspiration from various property TV programmes; "and there's your stairs going up to the bedrooms".

Prepare for harsh viewer feedback, such as "sorry, the bedrooms were too small" or "we didn't like the garden". Thanks for that. The pictures and measurements were on the listing, but nice of you to go full "Simon Cowell".

Prepare for harsh viewer feedback, such as "sorry, the bedrooms were too small" or "we don't like the garden".

Even offers don't go swimmingly. One couple offered asking price, only to pull-out six weeks later, with no reasoning! Fortunately we sold at the second attempt, but it was exhausting.

At the end of the day, you want a smooth process. We got a fair price, from a young family. I was happy to be realistic, not greedy. If your home is priced realistically, it will sell. Time wasted trying to sell, is time wasted looking for a home.

Finding A New Home

Don't look for homes, until you are "under offer". Don't torture yourself. You can't buy, if you can't sell.

We looked at many properties. Some were new builds, some needed work; the full spectrum was covered.

Trust your gut, trust your instinct. Don't compromise. Ask yourself the big questions. Does this home (or can it) tick the boxes? Can you afford it? Can you afford to renovate or change it, eventually?

After many viewings, we found a nice home, offer accepted. You get excited, and soon reality strikes. The conveyancing and legal process is long and arduous. I hated every minute!

Hang in there, if it's meant to be, it will happen.

Prepping For A Move

Houses are a big purchase. Don't cripple yourself!

Do your sums. Can you afford a higher mortgage? Can you afford higher bills? Council tax, energy, insurances etc. Open a spreadsheet and work it out.

Some sellers are delusional. Offer low, when something seems overpriced. Offer what you feel it's worth! Moving costs extend beyond the house price.

Legal fees are expensive and don't forget the commission, to the estate agent who sells your old home. You may need a removal firm, if you have lots of stuff?

Property purchases also incur stamp duty (SLDT) or other punitive taxes. This can be hefty, and make your house move prohibitive.

Get out a spreadsheet and work it all out. The numbers have to work, or the move won't happen. 

Final Thoughts

Trust your gut instinct, do your research and do your sums. 

Moving is not to be taken lightly, but there's never a perfect time.

Comments

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