It might sound like the impossible but it is possible to save money when you move house. Bare with me.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have cottoned on to the fact that we have sold our house and are on the brink of purchasing a new one. It’s the first time we have bought and sold properties simultaneously as we were previously first time buyers. The process of putting the house on the market started in March and on the 28th August we collect the keys to our brand spanking new home – which I am beyond excited about and will post about nearer the time **kitchen spam warning**.
The point of this post is to share some tips or ideas, I guess, on where and how we saved a few pennies to ensure we still had some money left in the pot at the end of it all. As expected, we made a few rookie mistakes, which probably cost us unnecessarily, so I’ve listed them as tips here to stop you falling into the same trap.
1. Negotiate the estate agents fee. In our naivety we didn’t know this was the ‘done thing’ until my Dad informed me. So, what started as a 1% fee concluded as 0.75%. This saved us around £800 – a win in my book! BUT….remember to check the VAT situation too. I stupidly assumed that the fee would include the VAT – turns out it doesn’t.
2. Agree solicitors costs upfront. When we agreed to reserve our plot, the sales team gave us the details of two solicitors they work with regularly and have good relationships with. We approached them both for a quote and they both provided a set cost and itemised schedule for the work that was needed for both the sale and purchase. Knowing the cost up front is crucial to keeping an eye on the money. Don’t let your solicitor just set up a tab, you’ll end up with a bill far bigger than you were expecting.
3. Do the donkey work. If you can, do! Our old house was a detached four bedroom property and so there was plenty to move and we did discuss hiring a removal company. However, when we looked into the cost we just couldn’t bring ourselves to pay it knowing that money could pay for a new dining table or some decent curtains and blinds. Matt got straight on to WhatsApp and rounded up the troops – it’s definitely a case of who you know, not what you know in cases like this. It took ‘the boys’ a morning of lugging and loading and the job was done. We rounded it off with a couple of beers and a carvery for everyone.
4. Storage. This may not be applicable to your situation but if you have to move the contents of your property into storage make sure you look at all the options and their associated costs. We live pretty close to a few storage facilities but we had used a particular one in the past and wanted to use them again. We had our minds set on wanting to book a couple of rooms in the main building but when we started talking to the chap that runs the facility he told us about the containers he has outside – literally like the sort of container you see on a ship. The containers had wide openings, 24hr access and about half the price of storage in the main building. The only time I could see this wouldn’t be ideal is in the winter as the containers would probably get a little moisture inside them.
5. Ask for a discount. If you don’t ask, generally, you don’t get. Right from the first time we visited the housing development we asked about what money we could get taken off, or incentives as they’re known in the business. The sales team were pretty helpful and after a bit of discussion we ended up with over £11,000 worth of incentives. Not bad in my books. Don’t feel embarrassed, they expect it and there is always room for a deal.
I hope these ideas have been helpful if you’re thinking of moving or are in the process of doing so. They could mean the difference between spending the first month sitting on the floor or on a lovely new sofa you bought with all the money you saved! Selling a property can be a long and difficult road, luckily we had our first viewing after only being on the market a few weeks and this viewing produced the offer which enabled us to buy our new home.
Please let me know if you liked this post or if you want to spam you all with pictures of the new house as we make it into our home.