Moving house can be an expensive business. If you’re selling a property and buying a new one, there are estate agent fees, solicitor’s fees, removal van hire to pay and possibly other costs such as stamp duty land tax, pet and childcare fees… the list may seem endless.
So, how can you save money when moving house? Is there any way you can cut costs and still get the services you need when you need them? The answer is yes, it is possible to sell up and move house on a budget.
Check out our top money-saving tips to keep your spending on track.
Get friends and family involved
Don’t be shy to ask your friends and family to lend a hand whenever and wherever they can. From packing and cleaning to driving carloads of your belongings between houses, there are plenty of ways to make use of their free labour! Moving house with kids can be stressful, so even asking for help with childcare could make things easier. Keep the cupboards stocked with tea and biscuits, and everyone will be happy. You might even know people who have some of the specialist skills you need, such as dismantling furniture or transporting delicate items. Even if you end up paying “mates’ rates”, you’ll save hundreds of pounds by not hiring professional help when moving house.
Choose budget packing options
Most of us are hoarders at heart, and you may be surprised by how much stuff you’ve accumulated while living in your current home. Even after a ruthless clear-out, you’re likely to need a lot of boxes to transport everything to your new home. The cost of buying new packing boxes can quickly add up. Instead, go to your local supermarket and ask for discarded boxes or put a call out on your local Facebook page asking for people to donate their unwanted packaging. Most people will be glad to get rid of old boxes that are cluttering up their homes. You can also save on the cost of labour by doing all the packing yourself and with friends rather than paying a removals company to provide this service. Throw in some wine and nibbles, put on some music and have yourself a packing party for some fun low budget productivity!
Cut out the estate agent
If you’re selling a house, estate agent fees can run into thousands of pounds. But hiring an estate agent is not mandatory. You can save a chunk of money by avoiding their commission and going it alone or selling to a quick house sale company.
Selling a house privately is possible, but it can be a lot of work. You will need to undertake all of the tasks an estate agent normally would, including marketing the property, hosting viewings and negotiating with the buyer. But you won’t spend a penny on estate agent’s fees.
Most genuine house buying companies will not charge you a fee for their service, and you will avoid estate agent’s and solicitor’s fees. However, their offer will be slightly below your home’s market value because they make an income from selling properties for more than they buy them at. This is another way to cut out the estate agent process and even the whole finding a buyer process, but it's not right for everyone.
Or, search for an online estate agent that sells your house for free. These do exist, such as Strike. They make their money by upselling add-ons, but you don't have to add any extra services on.
There will probably be some services that you have to shell out for, no matter how skilled and generous your friends and family are. For example, most people pay for a professional removals company to move their furniture. Whichever services you decide to splurge some of the moving budget on, be sure to shop around, ask for detailed quotes (what exactly do you get for your money?), check out customer reviews and compare the pros and cons of each offer. Personal recommendations from people you trust are always a good sign of a trustworthy company, but be sure that they can provide the service you need as your requirements are probably different to your friend’s.
Book an off-peak time to move
Most house sales complete on a Friday, making it the most popular day to move house. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Friday is one of the most expensive days — second only to Thursday — to hire a removals company. Negotiate the completion day with your buyer and fight for a less popular day. Sunday is the least in demand and the cheapest day to move, but you may find this difficult if key services are closed on that day. Weigh up the pros and cons of different days and avoid moving on a Friday if you want to keep costs down. Choosing a less popular day to move will also give you more options as the busiest days book up fast.
Declutter before you move
Moving to a new home provides the perfect opportunity to assess your belongings and determine what you really need and want to take with you. Decluttering before you move can help you to save money in a number of ways:
- Firstly, it reduces the amount of items you need to move, which can lower the cost of hiring a removal company, especially if you're moving cross country and are paying extra for time and fuel. Many removal companies base their prices on the volume of goods that need to be transported, so the less you have to move, the less you will pay.
- Secondly, selling unwanted items can provide you with extra cash that can be used towards moving costs. You can sell items on online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook Marketplace or hold a garage or carboot sale.
- Lastly, donating unwanted items to charity can help you to reduce the environmental impact of your move. Many charities accept furniture and household items in good condition, which can be sold to raise funds for their cause or distributed to those in need. Not only does this help you to reduce your environmental footprint, but it also provides a sense of satisfaction knowing that your unwanted items are going to a good cause.
Overall, decluttering before you move is a win-win situation. You can reduce the cost of moving, earn some extra cash, and reduce your environmental impact all at the same time.
Use comparison sites
When you're moving home, it's essential to find reliable service providers that can help you to carry out the move as smoothly as possible. These service providers can include removal companies, solicitors, or estate agents. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which provider offers the best value for money. That's where comparison sites come in.
Comparison sites are online platforms that allow you to compare prices and services from different providers in a particular industry. For moving home, you can find comparison sites that specialise in removal companies, solicitors, or estate agents. These sites can save you time and effort in researching different service providers, as they provide all the information you need in one place.
When using a comparison site, you can input your specific requirements, such as the distance of the move, the number of rooms in your home, and the services you require. The site will then provide you with a list of service providers that meet your criteria, along with their prices and customer reviews. You can then compare the providers and choose the one that offers the best value for money.
Using comparison sites can help you to save money in several ways. Firstly, they allow you to find the most cost-effective service providers. Secondly, they help you to avoid hidden fees or charges that some providers may not disclose upfront. Finally, comparison sites can provide you with peace of mind that you have chosen a reputable and reliable service provider.
Negotiate with suppliers
When you're moving home, it's important to find reliable service providers such as removal companies, solicitors, or estate agents. However, their services can come at a cost, and the fees can quickly add up. One way to save money when hiring service providers is to negotiate with them to get the best deal possible.
When negotiating with service providers, it's important to be polite and professional. Explain your requirements and ask if they can offer any discounts or extras for free. For example, if you're hiring a removal company, you could ask if they can offer a discount for moving during off-peak times, such as weekdays or Sundays. You could also ask if they can provide free packing materials or help with dismantling furniture. Maybe they'll dismantle and put together furniture, which could help you have less stress and preparations for your house move.
It's worth noting that not all service providers will be willing to negotiate, especially if they're in high demand. However, it doesn't hurt to ask, and you may be surprised at the savings you can make.
When negotiating with service providers, it's important to have a clear idea of what you want and what you're willing to pay. Do some research beforehand to determine the average cost of the service you require, so you can gauge whether the provider's initial offer is reasonable. Be prepared to walk away if you feel the price is too high, but always do so politely and professionally.
Consider renting a van
When you're moving home, hiring a removal company can be one of the most significant expenses you'll face. However, if you have a lot of items to move and don't want to do it all yourself, there is an alternative - renting a van.
Renting a van can be a much cheaper option than hiring a removal company, especially if you have friends or family who can help with the move, or you are capable by yourself. Rental companies offer a range of different van sizes, from small transit vans to large box vans, so you can choose the size that best suits your needs.
When renting a van, it's essential to consider the cost of fuel, insurance, and any additional fees. However, even with these added costs, renting a van can still be a much cheaper option than hiring a removal company, especially if you're moving a short distance.
To make the most of renting a van, it's important to plan ahead. Make a list of all the items you need to move and determine the size of the van you require. Be realistic about how many trips you'll need to make, and factor in the time it will take to load and unload the van. You should also consider the help you'll need from friends or family and plan accordingly.
It's worth noting that renting a van does require some DIY effort, as you'll need to load and unload the van yourself. However, this can be a good opportunity to declutter and get rid of any unwanted items before the move. Additionally, if you're moving locally, you can make multiple trips to move items gradually, making the process less stressful.
Overall, renting a van can be a cost-effective way to move home, especially if you have friends or family who can help. With some planning and DIY effort, you can save money while still getting the job done.
Use free wrapping materials
Instead of buying wrapping materials, use what you have around the house!
One of the simplest ways to save money on packing materials is to use towels, blankets, and clothing to wrap fragile items. These items are perfect for protecting delicate items such as glassware, crockery, and picture frames. Not only does this save you money on wrapping materials, but it also ensures that your items are well-protected during transit.
Newspapers and magazines can also be used to cushion items in boxes. Simply crumple the paper and place it at the bottom of the box to create a cushion. You can also use newspaper to wrap items such as books and DVDs to prevent them from moving around in the box.
Check for hidden costs
When using a service provider, be sure to check for hidden costs. For example, some removal companies charge extra for moving heavy items or for travelling long distances. Be sure to ask about any additional charges before you agree to use a service.
n conclusion, moving home can be an expensive process, but there are several ways to save money and stay within your budget. By shopping around for services, using comparison sites, and negotiating with suppliers, you can find the best deals and get the most value for your money. Enlisting the help of friends and family, decluttering your home, and using free packing materials can also help you to cut costs.
Remember, all those saved pennies will come in useful when you want to decorate and furnish your new home. By taking a proactive approach and being savvy with your spending, you can make moving home a more affordable and stress-free experience.
To roundup, here's how you can save money on a house move:
To save money when moving house, it's important to shop around, enlist the help of friends and family, and only pay for what you need.
Use free packing materials such as towels, blankets, and clothing to wrap fragile items and newspapers/magazines to cushion items in boxes.
Consider renting a van instead of hiring a removal company, especially if you have friends or family who can help with the move.
Negotiate with service providers to get the best deal possible and ask for discounts or extras.
Use comparison sites to find the best deals when shopping for services such as removal companies or solicitors.
Declutter your home before moving and consider selling unwanted items or donating them to charity.
Choose a less popular day to move, such as Sunday, to save money on the cost of hiring a removal company.
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