January is a time for change. People look for new jobs, relationships get reassessed (and sometimes ended), and people begin to look for a new home. Even if you’ve been wanting to find somewhere new to live for some time, late in the year in a bad time to look: preparations for Christmas are disruptive enough. Unless you are forced to by circumstances, few would choose to add the stress of moving house to that.
If you are entering a new year thinking about searching for your new home (whether it’s your forever home, or just your for-right-now home), we have a few hints and tips for you.
One of the handiest assets you can have when you’re preparing to move house is access to a local storage facility. Storage lets you spread out your moving of heavy items, to dial down the stress of the day you move out of one house and into another, and possibly even avoid the large cost of a professional removals company. If you look for storage London has plenty of options for you, and doing some early research will help you find the best deal for what you need.
If you’re motivated by a desire for change above all else, rather than more prosaic needs to cut costs, for example, or live closer to work, the most important decision you can make is where you’re going to live. Your research should involve visiting the areas under consideration and spending some time there: where you live determines your commute, the shops you pop into for necessities on your way home, and the pubs and cafes you visit at the weekend, so you should really try to get a feel for the area, rather than just looking at maps and statistics.
The rental market, particularly in big cities, moves quickly so you need to be prepared to do likewise. Make sure you’ve cleared your schedule of other major responsibilities to allow you to act quickly to view new homes as soon as you can, and make quick decisions on the ones you like. If you have to delay a viewing due to a prior commitment, you could lose out on that house.
If you’ve cleared your schedule, and have set alerts with online property listings like Zoopla, you’re in a position to view flats and houses as they become available, and move swiftly to secure the one you like. Once you’re sure you’ve found one you like, inform the estate (or lettings) agent. In many cases you’ll be able to put down a preliminary deposit that lets them take the flat off their listings while you complete the rest of the paperwork, without the risk of someone else jumping in ahead of you!