According to a recent study, house price falls are predicted to continue into 2024, which could be good news for those looking to move in the new year.
However, that does not mean that moving is inexpensive. In fact, the average move in the UK costs £12,000, which is money many people simply do not have set aside. After all, in addition to paying for the mortgage/property, you’ll also have to cover the costs of the following:
Real estate fees (Real estate agent and listing fees).
Selling fees (Property valuations/inspections, necessary maintenance projects)
Moving supplies (Boxes, packing tape, etc.)
Moving team (Van/car hire, removals team).
Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can ensure that your move is budget-friendly, as discussed below!
1. Declutter your home.
Decluttering your home is a great way to save money - even when you aren’t moving. After all, it means you can use online platforms such as Vinted or Facebook Marketplace to resell things that you no longer need, bringing on some extra cash while doing so.
Furthermore, whether you’re selling furniture or cleaning out your wardrobe, decluttering also means that you’ll have fewer things to transport from your current home to your new property. This means you can reduce spending on things such as moving supplies and removal teams!
If you aren’t the best at decluttering, try to use the Marie Kondo method. That is, if something in your home does not “spark joy” or does not serve a specific purpose, it's time to get rid of it. Another great rule of thumb is to part ways with anything you haven’t used in the last year and cannot see yourself using in the next six months. This makes it much easier to sort through all of your belongings without getting overly sentimental or holding onto things you don’t need or use.
2. Move at the right time.
Cost-savvy movers should also pay close attention to local housing marketing to determine when the most cost-effective time to move is. For example, studies have found that “the busiest day of the year to move is typically the last Friday in August. This day is almost 4 times busier than an average moving day.”
Moving outside of the busy season (summer) often means that you can negotiate better prices with movers and other companies during this time, meaning that you can make your budget stretch further. In addition, moving on a weekday could also be a little cheaper than a weekend move, though you may need to take some time off work to facilitate this.
3. Rent out a storage unit.
Renting out a local storage unit could also help you to save money when moving. For example, you could store seasonal items that you only use once or twice in your unit, which once again means that you do not need to pay to transport them when moving. Furthermore, this can come in handy when decluttering your property ahead of the move or staging your home for a viewing.
If your new home requires a lot of TLC and renovation work to be carried out once you move in, you can also store your furniture here for safekeeping during that time. This reduces the chances of furniture getting damaged (or covered in paint), which also helps to save money as it means you don’t need to replace anything after the fact. This also gives you the chance to really take your time when unpacking.
4. Get your deposit back.
If you’re currently staying in a rental property, you should work to ensure you get your full deposit back when moving. This likely means that you’ll need to conduct a thorough, deep cleaning of the property ahead of your moving-out date. If you don't have the time to commit to this yourself, hire a professional cleaner to do it for you. Many cleaning companies offer specialised, end-of-tenancy cleaning services in place that help renters get their full deposits back from even the stingiest of landlords.
Be sure to take plenty of photographs and videos of each room in the house or apartment (after the cleaning has been completed). Doing so gives the landlord little room to argue about the state that you left the property and will work in your favour should you run into any issues with receiving a repayment. You should also consult with the inventory you were given when moving in to ensure that everything is in its place.
Furthermore, it is crucial that you also know your rights as a tenant when it comes to deposits. For example, your landlord cannot knock money off your deposit for anything that is considered reasonable wear and tear. They should also return your deposit to you within ten working days. If they are late in sending this back, you may want to reach out to Citizen’s Advice (or a tenant’s rights charity) for further support. They will be able to provide you with guidance on how to take legal action, protecting your best interests and ensuring that you get your full deposit back in no time.
5. Add value to your current home.
If you are a property owner rather than a tenant, you may want to consider ways in which you can add value to your current home before putting it on the market. This will drive up the sales prices, which means you will then have more money to play around when it comes to moving.
One way in which you can add value to your home is by finding inexpensive ways to enhance its curb appeal. To do this, try:
Repainting the doors and window frames so that the paint no longer appears faded, chipped, or cracked. You could also add a fresh coat of paint to any fences.
Mowing the lawn or otherwise carrying out some basic gardening so that the space looks neat and well-organised.
Cleaning internal or external windows.
In short, you need to focus on the kind of changes that will make a positive first impression on potential buyers the moment they arrive at your property. If they enter your home in a good mood, they are more likely to put in an offer after the fact. Alternatively, if your home’s exterior leaves a bad taste in their mouth, they are much more likely to consider looking elsewhere.
6. Save, save, and save some more!
If you’ve yet to decide when you’d like to move home, you may want to consider pushing back the move slightly so that you can focus on saving money for the first few months of the year. After all, this means that your budget will increase quite considerably, which takes a lot of the pressure off when moving day comes.
There are many easy ways to start saving more money - even in the current economic climate. For example, you could start by cutting down on unnecessary expenses, such as unused gym membership or video service subscriptions. Take a close look at your outgoings, and figure out which are necessary and which you could do without - and then cut the cord!
You could also save more money by being more mindful of your spending habits. While picking up a coffee on the way to work does not seem like a big deal, doing so several times a week can quickly become an expensive habit.
7. Shop around for the best deals.
While you may be keen to take a more DIY approach to moving to save money, some services are worth the additional cost. For example, hiring a moving team is essential when it comes to safely and securely transporting your belongings from A to B - unless you want to make an endless stream of car journeys by trying to do this yourself.
However, before committing to a specific moving company, be sure that you shop around in order to get the best possible price. For example, some companies may offer discounts for movers within the local area, veterans, or families, and finding these deals could result in hundreds of dollars worth of savings. Alternatively, you could ask friends and family if they know any low-cost movers in the area.
Moving can be both expensive and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Using the advice outlined above is a great starting point for a cost-effective move, though you should still be sure to set yourself a strict budget beforehand. This way, you have a clear idea in mind of how much money you have to play around with during the room, and you won’t land yourself in a difficult situation due to a lack of forward planning.
It's also worth noting that, while it can get a little expensive, the benefits of moving to a new home, whether alone or with your family, far outweigh the stress. After all, it allows you to make magical memories once you’ve got those keys in your hand.