No matter if your new home is your first step on the property ladder, or you’ve moved so many times you can’t count them, moving house is always a unique experience.
Every property is different, everyone has different reasons for moving house, and the journey from A to B can vary hugely.
Here are some things every new homeowner should know.
When you’re moving house, the paperwork can seem never-ending. Buy a dedicated folder to put all of your paperwork, and organise it as much as you can. Make sure you include solicitors papers, bills and payment receipts and any council information so you have an easy reference if any issues come up.
Once you’ve moved in, you can use this folder to store any property-specific information including home insurance bills, warranties for any appliances like your boiler, electric shower, fridge and washing machine, and power information so you know who to contact in case your gas or electricity has a fault.
When you’re looking for potential new houses, don’t be afraid to study the boiler or the taps! Plumbing issues can be very costly down the line and it’s wise to keep track of any obvious problems before you move in.
When you move into your new property, take a few hours to notice if there are any leaks or faults with your plumbing. Leaking taps or pipes can cause huge problems down the line – and it’s best to get them sorted before you settle down and start renovating or decorating.
It can be tempting to move into your new property all guns blazing and start tearing down walls – but just breathe! Taking some time to get used to your new home is really important, as it’ll help to narrow down your priorities. The bathroom that you thought you hated when you moved in? Three months down the line it might become your favourite thing about the house.
Keep a list of any renovations you think you’d like to start. A digital list is a good idea, as you can easily move projects around in line with your priorities. If you have pets, for example, you might realise that pet-proofing your garden is more important than wallpapering your new bedroom, and you can adjust your list accordingly.
By writing a list of the renovations you’d like to complete, you can keep track of your ideas. This can prevent you feeling like you have to do everything all at once – you can relax, knowing your ideas are safely stored for future use.
If you’ve moved to a new area, chances are you’ll be with a different energy supplier. You might even have a totally different set-up to your previous property – for example, moving from a smart meter for your gas and electricity to an old fashioned top-up system in some older homes.
This is the perfect time to shop around for a new supplier. You can choose a new supplier in a number of ways; by using comparison sites, finding great deals for new customers or looking for companies in line with your ethical values. If you’re a single person or a small household moving into a home that used to be owned by a big family, you might find it cheaper to change energy suppliers and install a water meter to prevent any excessive bills.
Some simple tips to save money on your energy bills include lowering your thermostat – and putting on a jumper if you’re cold rather than blasting the heating! – making sure your refrigerator isn’t near your oven, and investing in double glazing if your property doesn’t have it already.
Moving into a new home gives you the perfect chance to start an annual maintenance check of your property. So many homeowners should do this, but don’t – so make it a habit! You can include a list in your paperwork folder to help you keep on top of everything.
Important tasks that you should complete annually include outdoor jobs like cleaning gutters, weeding your garden if you have one, inspecting any stairs or railings outside your property for wear and tear, and pressure-washing your patio or driveway. Interior tasks include tightening hinges on doors, flushing out your hot water boiler and checking your attic. There are hundreds of sample lists online that you can select from to help you. These tasks might sound small, but it’s important to keep up with them regularly.
When you move into a new house, it can be tempting to rush straight in with a paintbrush or a tub of wallpaper paste. If you can hold off, you might reap the benefits. Impulse-buying tubs of paint or rolls of wallpaper can be very costly – and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your new home! Make a basic plan first, and try to choose colours or patterns that complement what you’ve already got. Choosing fashionable colours or patterns might seem fun now, but in six months you might really hate that polka-dot wallpaper that you saw in a magazine!
If you’ve moved into a new house and are met with a decorating disaster, see how you can minimise the damage before you go tearing wallpaper down. If you’re trying to scrimp and save after a costly move, see if you can buy a cheap tub of plain white emulsion to at least create a blank canvas in your new home.
Remember you can paint over some kinds of wallpaper, providing it isn’t textured or a very dark colour. This trick can save you some time and a lot of effort – scraping wallpaper off the wall is not a relaxing task to enjoy in your new home!
There are countless things that you’ll learn along the way when it comes to buying a new house. If you’re planning on settling down and spending the rest of your life there, these simple tips can help you to maximise the potential of your new property.