Hoping to move house this year? From getting your paperwork organised swiftly to decluttering before you move, here’s our top tips on making the process as stress-free as possible.

It’s often said that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do aside from losing a family member or getting divorced.

In a survey by Just Move last year, 52 per cent said they viewed moving home as one of the most stressful life events. Some 28 per cent said they found it more stressful than getting married or going to job interviews. Some even said it was more challenging than having a baby!

It’s not just the moving house part that can drain your energy. It’s the preparation and the paperwork. Dealing with vendors, estate agents, solicitors and lenders, as well as hoping your sale or purchase will all go through, can raise your stress levels considerably.

Is there anything you can do to make the process easier? Apart from trying to stay calm and find solutions when problems arise, there are some things you can do to make things a bit less stressful.

Use a reputable mortgage broker

You could go direct to a lender, but you’ll get expert advice if you speak to a reputable broker. A lender will only offer you the mortgages they have available at the time. A broker will have access to a vast range of borrowing options and will deal with your mortgage application for you. Having an expert on your side during the buying process can make things a lot easier.

Know what you can afford

Before you spend too much time searching for a property, make sure you have a good grasp of what you can afford. Speak to a mortgage broker early on – even if you don’t plan to move soon – and find out what you could borrow. This will give you a clear idea of what type of properties you should be viewing and the area affordable for you.

Get your paperwork in order

When applying for a mortgage, make sure you have everything you need to support your application. You will need to have three months’ worth of bank statements, three months’ worth of payslips, your most recent P60 and your passport, driving licence and a recent utility bill with your name and address on. If you are self-employed you will need to substitute the payslips for two years’ worth of accounts – though some lenders will accept one year.  Set aside the time to get all of your paperwork ready in advance.

Accept that the process will take time

Be patient. Or if you’re not the patient type, accept that your patience will be tested at some point. Acknowledge that the process of buying or selling a property will usually take longer than you think due to the impact of Covid and more people looking to move. If you can get your head around the fact that things can’t be rushed, you’ll alleviate a fair amount of stress.

Monitor and manage your application

During the process of applying for a mortgage, your lender or broker will send you documents to check and sign. Make sure you respond promptly to any queries and send any paperwork back as swiftly as possible.

Look for solutions if problems arise

From time to time, things may go wrong. As frustrating as it can be, try to take the emotion out of the situation and look for solutions. If you can think with a clear head, you’ll be more likely to be able to solve problems. ‘I have dealt with clients where on a number of occasions there have been tears down the phone as they are reeling from something that has happened,’ says MB Associates’ Sales Manager Phil Leivesley. ‘I think it’s really important to take a step back and try to plan what your next move is. Don’t get too caught up in what’s gone wrong and concentrate more on how you can fix the problem.’

Declutter your property before you move

Before moving, get rid of any unwanted items or things you don’t use so that you only have to move what you’re intending to use in your new place. This is a great way to minimise the task of moving and ensure you only take what you need.

Decide how and when you’re going to pack

Packing your items for moving can take time, and it’s important not to leave it to the last minute. Make sure you have a plan for how you’re going to pack – it’s best to do a bit each night rather than having a last-minute rush. Make sure you label boxes in terms of where you want them to go in your new home. Be aware the removal firms won’t be prepared to move items like plants with soil in, paint or chemicals.

Take final meter readings

Make sure you have a final meter reading in your old home before you move out. Tell your energy provider you are moving and if you don’t intend to stay with the same provider, make sure they know this and can prepare a final bill for you.

Find a good removal firm

It may be tempting to bring friends into the mix when it comes to moving house but cutting corners can cause problems. Get professionals to manage the move for you so that if anything gets damaged or broken, it’s insured and can be easily replaced. Make sure the firm you use has good reviews and a good reputation and agree a price in advance and make sure you get a written quote.

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