Buying or moving home soon? Even if you’re not ready quite yet, take a look at our handy checklist of things to do before you buy or move.

We know there’s a lot to think about when you’re preparing to move, whether you’re nervous about entering the property market or you’re looking to upgrade, downsize or relocate.

Here’s a handy checklist covering everything we think you’ll need to consider – planning ahead helps manage stress!

The costs

If you budget for the following costs it’ll take some of the stress out of your house move and help control the likelihood of biting off more than you can chew financially. You’ll have to budget for:

  • A decent deposit – usually at least 10%, but in some situations there’s a minimum of 5%
  • Stamp duty land tax. This must be paid if you buy a property worth £125,001 or more
  • Property valuation fees
  • A homebuyer’s report or building survey
  • Conveyancing fees - these cover the transfer of the legal title of the property from one party to another, including legal costs. Usually a solicitor or licenced conveyancer does this work for you
  • Fees for searches - these involve your conveyancer finding out about any planned developments, disputes or legal issues that may affect the property
  • Mortgage lender fee
  • Land Registry fee
  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Booking fees
  • Lender’s application/arrangement fees (if applicable)
  • Higher lending charge, if applicable
  • Mortgage life Insurance or Life Cover – this may be required to get your mortgage
  • Buyer’s Protection Insurance, which could protect you from seller withdrawal, gazumping, down valuation, and changes in employment circumstances for three months from the date you submit your mortgage application
  • Telegraphic transfer fees
  • Removal costs
  • You’ll possibly have to pay a mortgage adviser’s fee, although it may be included in the mortgage product. Some advisers may charge a fee for advice they give you. In some cases, an adviser fee may be charged even if the mortgage doesn’t go through. Please check with your adviser for details.
  • If you haven’t got one already, you should consider making a will

If you're selling a house as well

If you need to sell before you move into your new place, then you’ll also have to think about the costs of:

  • Solicitor’s fees for selling your house
  • Estate agent’s fees
  • The Energy Performance Certificate

When your offer is accepted

When your offer on your new property is accepted by the buyer:

  • Apply for your mortgage on the property
  • Your surveyor needs to be told to carry out the valuation, which should be arranged by your mortgage lender. The surveyor should also be able to produce the homebuyer’s report or building survey. This will help you assess the property so you can decide whether you want to go ahead and whether you’re paying a fair price
  • Get in touch with your solicitor. If you don’t have one your mortgage advisor can help you find one
  • Ask your solicitor to conduct searches
  • Get quotes from removal firms or van hire companies
  • Your mortgage needs to be approved by your lender
  • If you’re renting, notify your landlord of your moving date
  • Arrange buildings and contents insurance as well as mortgage life insurance
  • Agree the exchange date with your solicitor
  • Give your deposit to your solicitor and sign the contracts
  • Ensure your buildings insurance is in place
  • Ensure your life assurance/mortgage protection is in force
  • Agree a completion date with your solicitor
  • Mail redirection (see the Who to tell section below)
  • Agree a completion time to collect keys from the estate agent

If you need help your mortgage adviser should be able to help you with any of the above.

Arrange your move

Next steps cover the logistics of the move itself:

  • Confirm dates with your removal firm or van hire
  • Start packing non-essentials to get ahead
  • Settle outstanding bills on your current property
  • Your solicitor will let you know about transferring money for completion
  • Ensure your contents insurance is in place from the date you move your contents into your new home

Who to tell

These are the people and companies to let know your new details so they can send mail to your correct address, call you on your new number and update your account.

Health  

  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Optician
  • Vet

Services and utilities

  • Water
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Telephone (mobile and or landline)
  • Post office for possible post redirection
  • Cable/satellite and internet service providers
  • TV/video rental companies
  • TV licensing

Financial  

  • Us, if you’ve got any of our products!
  • Banks
  • Building societies
  • Credit card companies
  • Council tax department
  • National savings and premium bonds
  • Your employer
  • Other Insurance companies
  • Pension companies
  • Inland revenue
  • Solicitor

Motoring

  • DVLA
  • Breakdown recovery company
  • Vehicle insurance – be warned, failing to tell your insurer you’ve moved could affect your premium or even make your policy invalid

Others  

  • Friends and relatives
  • Subscriptions
  • Milk delivery
  • Newsagent
  • Sports club or gym
  • Library
  • Schools/colleges.

Based on the BBC How to notify checklist.

The day before you move

  • Take gas, electricity and water readings at your current property

On moving day

  • Your solicitor will confirm that completion has taken place
  • Take your keys to your estate agent if you’ve sold your old home
  • Collect keys for your new property from the estate agent
  • Take readings for gas, electricity and water in your new property

Once you've moved in

On-going monthly costs will include:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Life assurance
  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Council tax
  • Any other loan payments you may have
  • Any home improvements you’ve planned.