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Expert reveals how to save £700 on moving house expenses

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 27/02/2021 Alice Irving

Each year, thousands of UK residents make the stressful but exciting decision to move house.

And since the Stamp Duty Holiday was imposed back in July 2020, many more people have decided to move and take advantage of the money-saving perk.

But the remaining unexpected costs of moving can quickly mount up.

From hiring removal vans to storage - if downsizing - to hidden costs like childcare - the total can quickly reach eye-watering amounts.

But there are still plenty of ways to save money throughout the process.

Tom Church, co-founder of money-saving community latestdeals.co.uk, has shared how he managed to slash a whopping £700 off his moving expenses.

Sharing his story, Tom said: "After saving for 10 years I finally bought a house in January this year.

"It’s a bittersweet experience because on the one hand, great, I have a house.

"On the other hand, you want to cry because your bank balance says zero.

"And that’s when all the unexpected costs hit you.

“I was shocked at the potential costs of moving out of rented accommodation into a new home.

"You have to get your flat professionally cleaned, hire a removals company, get storage if downsizing, and pay to redirect your mail.

"Totting it all up can come to over £1,500.

“And this doesn’t even include some of the hidden costs people may need to shell out for, such as childcare and pet sitting.

“I didn’t have £1,500 to spend so I was forced to look at ways of making savings.

“Of course, what you may need to spend will depend on your individual circumstances, including how much furniture you’ve got and whether you need to rent self-storage and how long for, but following my suggestions below could save you over £700.”

Tom identified four costly elements of moving home and revealed the best ways to save for each one.

1. Home removals

Average cost:

The average UK removal company costs for a three-bed house travelling 50 miles are roughly £1,181 in 2021 (according to CompareMyMove) including the cost of pro packing services and materials, and dismantling and reassembling your furniture at either side.

How to save:

Reporting on how to save, Tom said: "Schedule your big move on one of the cheapest days to do it – this is when moving companies are typically less busy so you’re likely to get the best price.

"CompareMyMove research shows that Sunday is the cheapest day to move house, costing £717.13, but be sure to compare quotes from a few different companies to be confident that you’re getting the best deal.

"Also be prepared to get stuck in with packing up and sourcing your own boxes – you can check community pages on social media, ask your local superstore or put a call out on freecycling networks. It can make a healthy difference to the cost.

"There is of course the option of hiring a truck and doing everything yourself.

"However, this may prove to be unsafe when lifting heavy loads down staircases. In this instance I think paying for professional help is worth it."

Approximate saving: £463.87

2. Cleaning

Average cost:

If you are leaving a rental, you’ll need to get it cleaned for the new tenants or risk being charged by the landlord for the cost of a professional cleaner.

And you're facing more cleaning expenses when moving into your new place.

Although it's bound to have been cleaned, many people feel more comfortable paying for it to be cleaned again themselves.

The average rate for an agency cleaner to come and clean your pad is £16 per hour, according to Checkatrade, so if you get a cleaner in for a full day (8 hours) it’ll cost you £128.

If your place needs a really deep clean, it could even take a couple of days to do the job.

How to save:

To save money, Tom says: "Do it yourself, if your tenancy agreement allows for it.

"It’s not much of a secret, but unless there are any specialist cleaning jobs you need to carry out, rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself is your best bet for saving some cash."

Approximate saving: £128

3. Temporary storage

Average cost:

If you’re downsizing and need a place to store some furniture until you sell it, or simply need somewhere to stash some clutter while you decorate your new digs, self-storage is the answer.

But the cost can mount up.

The UK average rental rate per square foot per annum is £22.82, according to the Self Storage Association.

So if you need a storage area that’s around the size of a standard single garage (100sqft), you’ll pay approximately £190 per month.

Plus, it’s wise to take out an insurance policy on top of this, which adds up.

How to save:

Advising you on how to save, Tom said: "Check out reputable alternatives to commercial storing such as Storemates, which matches you with local people who have rentable space available and, according the company, can save you an average of 50 per cent.

"Alternatively, do what I did and get rid of it."

Approximate saving: £80

4. Redirecting your mail

Average cost:

You can redirect your mail to any UK (or overseas) address thanks to Royal Mail’s Redirection service, but it’ll cost you.

a close up of a car © PA

Redirecting your mail to a new UK address for 12 months costs £68.99 for the lead applicant (you don’t have to pay for anyone aged under 16).

How to save:

Tom continued: "It’s really important that you do this so that you don’t miss out on any important letters, such as bills, and also to reduce the risk of any sensitive information falling into other people’s hands that could put you at risk of fraud or identity theft.

"However, you can crunch down the cost by signing up for a minimum service of three months’ redirection costing £33.99 for the lead applicant.

"This should allow enough time for you to be proactive about calling round official entities, business and any other organisations that have got you on their mailing list, as well as friends and family, to let them know your new address so they can update their records."

Approximate saving: £35

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