Moving into a new home is an exciting time. But that doesn’t mean it’s 100% stress free. Before you can feel at home in your new place, there are a few things you need to tick off your to-do list. We’ve put together a handy home-buying checklist to ensure your next move is as easy as possible.
Connect and disconnect your utilities
The first thing you need to do is contact your utility providers (gas, electricity, water, Internet) at least 3 weeks before you move out. This will give them enough time to connect your new home and ensure you have everything ready to go when you move in.
The process is relatively easy – when you contact your provider, you’ll just need to give them your personal details, address and preferred connection dates – and they‘ll take care of everything else.
Remember, when you move into your new home, you‘ll also need to contact your energy supplier and ask them to disconnect the account linked to the previous tenants’ names, otherwise you risk paying for someone else’s energy usage.
Update your details
Make sure that all the providers you deal with have your new address and contact details. This will come in handy if they ever need to get in touch with you or send something in the post.
Here’s a list of some of the most common service providers:
- Insurance incl. car, health and personal insurance
- Electoral roll
- Subscription services, such as Netflix and Foxtel
Don’t forget to let your friends and family know your new details too. An easy way to do this is to send out a text message or email letting people know your new address and phone number, if you have one.
Arrange removalists well in advance
The Australian property market is one of the fastest moving in the world, which means many removal companies get booked up very early. To ensure you have one available on your preferred moving date, it’s important you book your slot well in advance.
Before you pick a removal company, it’s also worth doing your research beforehand, so you’re not disappointed on the day. Apart from getting a competitive price, you may want to check out their reviews online; look for reliability, good timekeeping and the level of care taken when handling household possessions.
Have a ‘first night’ plan in place
Bring one box with you full of all the things that will make the first night in your new home comfortable. This could be anything from pyjamas, toiletries and towels, to bed linen, and even a kettle for making tea and coffee.
Many homeowners also pack an ‘unpacking’ box when moving to a new house. Typically this will contain allen keys, any tools for putting furniture together, and a labelled zip lock bag with screws, scissors, screwdrivers, masking tape, dust cloths and glue. Having these items all in one place will save you time and stress when setting up your new home.
Decide in advance what to do with children and pets
On moving day you don’t need the added stress of having to watch out for your little ones while the removalists get to work. That’s why it’s best to have a plan in place before the big day comes.
Think about asking a friend or family member to look after them for the day and to pick them up before the removalists arrive. You could also ask the kids to pack a box of their favourite things which they can easily access on the first night in their new home. This will help them settle in much quicker.
As for pets, try to stick to your usual routines in the lead-up to moving day. On the day itself many pet owners confine their pets to one room, so they’re kept well away from removalists who are coming in and out of the house.
The other option is to leave your pet at a cattery or kennel for the day. And don’t forget to use familiar bedding when transporting them.
Update your home and contents insurance
Get in touch with your insurance provider to let them know the day you’ll be leaving your current home and moving into your new one. That way, you’ll be protected on moving day.
You can also ask them about transit insurance. Most providers include this as part of their standard contents insurance policy, which means you and your contents will be protected in the event of a fire or traffic accident. If this isn’t the case, you can buy it as a standalone product from your removalist or a specialised moving insurer.
If you have or plan to get a home loan with Westpac, you might consider Westpac Home Building and Contents Insurance so you can manage everything in one place.
Get your new home professionally cleaned
Most homes will be cleaned professionally before the previous owners or tenants leave; however, a house can be left empty for an extended period, which often means it requires another clean before you move in.
If you decide to do this, it’s worth finding a company that specialises in end-of-lease house cleans. More specifically, you may ask them to steam clean the carpets and carry out a more detailed clean of the bathrooms and kitchen.
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This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness of the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.