Okay, so you’ve found the perfect new home, negotiated a fabulous price and settlement day has arrived. Time to say goodbye to your old home and to make the move to your new one. For some people this is the most onerous and exhausting part of the whole home-buying process. During the years you’ve informed hundreds of people of your present address; if you are going to want them to contact you in the future you are going to have to tell them about your new one.
Everything has to be packed and transported to your new home, preferably in one piece. Depending on your financial circumstances you will either want to organise the moving of your possessions yourself or enlist the help of professionals. My advice would be to avoid false economies and lower back pain and get a good removals company on the case. There are still ways to keep costs down, and the best one is to be ruthless in your disposal policy. Think fresh starts. Does that unopened fondue set really have to follow you from home to home?
Before you move
Telephone: Organise a telephone connection for the new house before you start notifying people of your new address: that way, you can give them your phone number at the same time. (If you’re moving within the same exchange, you may be able to keep your number.) This may also be a good time to shop around and check you are on the best telco plan.
Tell people of your new address: Visit www.changemyaddress.co.nz It’s run by NZ Post and allows you to notify a wide range of businesses and government bodies of your change of address, without writing to them individually. If you want to do it by mail, change of address cards are free from the Post Office.
Leave a forwarding address at your old home and while you’re at it, make sure you have a forwarding address for the previous occupants of the house you’re moving to.
Get a postal redirection form from your local Post Shop; redirection is free for the first two months and can be extended for a fee. You need to submit the completed form at least three working days before you want the redirection to start – and you need to have some identification with you.
If you have the newspaper, milk or other items delivered, remember to change the details.
Utilities: About a week before moving day, organise final readings for electricity, gas and water; close these accounts and open them for your new home.
Ask the previous owners of your new home to brief you on things like rubbish days, alarm codes, how particular appliances work (ask that the manuals get left behind). If the house has been renovated, ask if they’d mind leaving a list of paint colours and tradespeople who have worked there.
Bond: If you’re moving from a rented house, you’ll need to contact your landlord or property manager about refunding your bond.
Insurance: Insuring the property will be a condition of the mortgage, and whoever’s giving you a mortgage will no doubt be keen to sell you building insurance as well. Don’t feel obliged. Get a few quotes from different insurance companies. Remember that having all your insurance policies (car, house and contents, for example) with one company should enable you to get a better rate.
You also need to check whether your contents insurance policy needs updating with your change of abode. If you didn’t previously have a burglar alarm and you do now, for example, you may be eligible for lower premiums.
This is an extract from The Streetwise Home Buyer. The full chapter covers much more and you can download it below for free.
- Keeping your costs down