Tuesday, 15 October 2013
How to move house on a budget
Hello Dear Reader,
Our provisional moving date is the third week in November. The houses have been valued, the mortgages approved and the solicitors are in action. We've approached moving house with a close eye on the finances. However you move house, it will cost you a chunk of capital but you can decide on the size of that chunk.
Here's what we did to save money on our imminent move.
We used the newest estate agent in town. We've moved three times and we've done this three times. People will advise you to find a reputable estate agent but we always head straight for the new boys. Every time we've moved, we've used an estate agent who has undercut every other agent for miles around. Also, new businesses do not have to register for VAT (UK tax on goods and services) if their turnover is under £79,000. Of course, a new business won't have made any money in the first year so they don't have to charge the 20% tax on top of the fee. Most businesses around here charge 1.5% commission and then another 20% for the VAT. By doing this, we saved £1920 as we paid only 1% commission and no VAT.
Legal Fees. Most people would advise that you use a trusted local law firm who come highly recommended and they will fit in your conveyancing between divorces, wills and probate. Instead, we went to a small firm who just specialise in conveyancing. They have fixed price offers and operate a 'no move - no fee' principle. House sales often fall through and you don't want a massive legal bill. We saved around 25% on legal costs by doing this.
De-clutter before you move. The less you move, the lower the cost of removals. Make money by selling unwanted items on eBay, at car boot sales and give away anything else.
Collect packing materials for free. We've been hounding the local Lidl and Aldi for boxes and have gladly taken all their banana boxes. We've also raided the recycling banks for newspapers and we've begun packing and labeling already. We've kept envelopes and have used them as labels. We've bought parcel tape from Trago and have kept the packing costs to a minimum.
Mortgage fees. Often the good deals or fixed price deals come with a high 'arrangement fee'. Work out the cost per month of this fee over the terms of the deal. You'll often be no better off than having a tracker mortgage and a smaller initial fee. We chose a smaller fee and a lifetime tracker so we'd move with more capital as the better the loan to value ratio in the favour of the bank, the better the interest rate we could secure.
Choose the right day. The cheapest time to move is the middle of the month and in the middle of the week. Most people want to move on a Friday so the removals charge a premium and at the end of the month and again, the removals are at their busiest then and will want to be paid more. I'm aiming to move mid month on a Tuesday! It will save me about 20% on my removal costs. Also, removal men expect a tip. You don't have to give them money a gesture such as a tin of Quality Street for their lorry cab or tin of biscuits for their tea break is also acceptable. A crate of beer for them to split between them is also acceptable but be careful of not offending lifestyle or cultural choices and it might be better to steer clear of beer.
Pack yourself. It sound simple but make sure you've packed everything yourself. Removals firms like to add on services. Make a deal with them, the easier it is for them to move you, then the less they will charge. They are obliged to have insurance and check to see it.
Move yourself. This can be tricky as the house is not legally yours until the telegraphic transfer of monies have taken place. This is also tricky if this happens early and you are still in a house that you no longer own. Be ready to be out of the house by 11 am and packed and ready to go. You also have to be prepared to sit outside your future house until the solicitors office shuts at five pm and you are the last business of the day. Consult with your solicitor and check that they will get onto your case early in the day so you can pick up the keys from the estate agent and move into your new home. Shop around for van hire and if you are over 21 then you can drive away the van yourself. Another alternative is to hire a van yourself and then get a cheap 'man and van' service to work with you.
We are using a local removal company who are a fraction of the price of other companies and they don't charge extra for specific days just for the amount of furniture and if they have to hire extra labour for the day.
Over to you Dear Reader. What advice can you share to help us and anyone else to save money if a house move is imminent?
Love Froogs xxxxxxxxx