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A Moving Experience - Top tips to save money!


People looking to move house this year will certainly be looking to cut costs. If you are planning a move, here are some money saving tips for you:

Estate Agents V Selling On Line

Always remember that agency fees are negotiable and never accept the first price offered. Shops around local agents and ask for quotes then use the best ones to bargain with. Whilst price IS important, in the current market more than ever, it is vital to employ an agent that is going to work hard to shift your property at the best price. Pay attention to turnover levels and get recommendations if you can. Watch out for contracts that lock you in and prevent you from using more than one agent if you so choose.

If you want to avoid the cost of estates agent fees altogether, you can consider going it alone and marketing your property on line. Private property sales websites will allow you to advertise your property to a wide audience. Such sites offer a range of services from a basic advert with a photo and description for as little as £47, through to larger and more prominent adverts at around £200.

Industry regulations means that on these sites you can only advertise your property - so you will need to do everything else - take photos, write the description and deal with all enquiries and viewings, then handle the negotiations. If you have the time to do this, it is a great way to save money.

Solicitors Fees

Solicitors' fees vary hugely, but you will generally pay more when buying a house than selling one due to the extra legal steps involved. Solicitors usually use one of two charging structures - either a fixed fee or a percentage of your home's value. When buying expect to pay anywhere from £400 to £1,000 - and then an additional £200 in search fees and land registration which can add another £400 to the fee. If you are selling, add on another £300 - £700. Legal issues are not the place to cut corners and choosing a solicitor based on cost could end up costing more stress, time and money in the long run, so shop around. Be wary of the super cheap companies promoting themselves on the web and act on personal recommendation if you can. Contact the Law Society if you want to find a reputable firm - their website is very useful.

Mortgage Costs

Repaying your home loan with interest for 25 years isn't the only financial cost; you have to pay your lender for the privilege! When shopping around, either alone or through a mortgage brokers, look out for the mortgage arrangement fee, valuation fee and exit or 'early repayment charge' which will be applied if you choose to switch provider or sell before the end of the deal. Such fees vary wildly between lenders and the available deals, but it is the arrangement fee that will affect the initial cost of your mortgage. If you look into it, you will see that fee-free deals have a higher interest rate whereas the higher the fee, the lower the interest rate. Weigh up the costs and check there is no higher lending charge (HLC) if you are borrowing a high percentage of the property value.

Valuation fees are unavoidable and expect to pay from around £175. This is purely to ensure the property is correctly valued, so remember to factor in the cost of a full survey on top.

Surveyor's Costs

A homebuyer's report carried out by a surveyor will highlight any serious defects. A full architectural survey provides a detailed report on the property's construction and both types of survey will provide recommendations and costs to put right any problems. Either level of survey could save you a huge sum in the long run, particularly on older homes. The result could also provide a haggling tool with regard to the selling price. Surveyor's fees vary a great deal but expect to start around £300 for a homebuyer's report and around £500 for a full structural survey. Homebuyers often make the mistake of taking the minimum survey option, as required by their lender, but beware - not all basic surveys will pick up on some of the very drastic problems with a property that could go on to cost you thousands of pound to rectify at a later date. If at all possible spend that little extra in advance and prevent your dream home from becoming a nightmare!

Removal Costs

Several factors will determine the cost of remove - area, distance, day of the week and how much stuff you have to move are all contributory factors. Avoid moving on a Friday, especially around a Bank Holiday and the end of the month as these are premium times. Have a thorough sort out and use the chance to de-clutter, hence saving on moving items you really don't need. Sell unwanted furniture, home ware and kitchen equipment on eBay, or hold a garage sale. If you decide to move your belongings yourself, work out the cost of the hire of the vehicle, the fuel and your own time. The amount of stress involved shouldn't be overlooked either - and there is the higher risk of damage to your goods, so make sure you have appropriate insurance to cover the risk of moving yourself.

Shop around for quotes and choose a firm who belong to the British Association of Removers (www.bar.co.uk). Many removal firms will offer extra insurance cover, but check your home contents policy before accepting as you may already be covered for any damage sustained during the move by your home contents policy.

You will need to talk to a professional insurance advisor, give Westhill Insurance Services a call, they will help you with your home contents insurance - and you will need to insure your new property also. By speaking with a qualified insurance provider you can get the best deal available which matches your needs. It's worth a phone call and a chat: moving is a stressful business, so let Westhill Insurance Services take care of your insurance, so you know your home and belongings are protected, whatever the move may throw at you!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.


Posted on 16th February, 2011