The past fortnight has seen me prepare to move both my office and my home from one rental property to another. This has bought about some ‘I wish I had…’ moments. So! To save you yelling into a pillow like I have been, here is a list of things I have learnt. Some of these tips will apply for tenants only and some will apply to everyone.
Prior to signing an agreement, it is worth investing the time to find out:
- Can you get ADSL or NBN at your new property – I didn’t which lead to a very frantic ring around trying to find an alternative and least costly solution. An inside secret – if it is too late, and you find yourself in the same situation that I did, give Optus a call. They offer a Home Wireless Broadband solution which is of much better value than Mobile Broadband.
- Have a look at the mobile phone signal on your phone. Can you get service both inside and outside the property? Upstairs and downstairs if a two storey home. One house I moved into, the only way to make a phone call was to go upstairs onto the outside balcony, stand in the top right hand corner and try not to move. Lesson learnt.
- Can you get TV signal without any pay TV services such as Foxtel. Be wary that some people may have a booster plugged into the wall when demonstrating service – ask if they are currently using any other devices to enable the picture. I have been fooled by this numerous times. I now have my own booster that I take from house to house. Just in case.
- Is the water pressure acceptable? Too many times I have moved into a new house only to find that the water coming out from the shower is more like a dribble then a shower. For some this is OK, for me it is a non negotiable desire!
- If you are purchasing a property and it has a pool, ensure that all of the equipment is working. I made a fatal inspection assuming that my crystal blue pool was functioning. It wasn’t. It was a very expensive lesson.
- Does your fridge fit in the allocated space? Sounds silly but I have had several VERY close calls. I have a plan B involving some kind of idea about turning the space into a study nook. I already know that my ‘nook’ would end up another space for dumping the various piles of stuff that seem to accumulate on my kitchen bench. Check the space.
So you’ve found somewhere to live and moving day is getting close! What now?!
Have a think about what you need to do:
- PACK! Pack and pack some more.
Start asking around friends and family if anyone knows who has any boxes. I have a young daughter. Nappy boxes make great packing boxes! Especially for pantry items and other small breakable belongings. The giant plastic tubs from kmart have been my best friend. At the same price as a new box, they easily stack together and provide extra storage should you need it in your new abode. Another life saving product was the giant blue, red and white striped bags that you can get from your nearest 1,2,3 dollar store. At about $5 for a giant bag, they sound expensive but still cheaper than a box. I managed to fit all my clothes (except the hanging items) into one bag. It may not be the best way to take care of your clothes, but I just needed to get from A to B. This will do. They also work well for towels, linen etc.
Packing paper – a total pain to locate. If you don’t mind packing your belongings in newspaper then head to your local IGA. They stock a couple of local papers and the retailer at my store was more than happy for me to help myself to about twenty papers. This has served all of my packing paper needs. If you have white dishware, I suggest trying to source white paper. This will save you a lot of cleaning at your destination.
Pack smart. Label your boxes. Put them into one area clustered into different rooms. This will make unpacking much easier.
- Change your address. Use the Post Office mail redirection service. I normally sign up for three months in which time I can see what mail comes that needs advising of the change in address. Main suppliers you will need to notify are the bank, insurance (will get to this one in a minute), your local Transport Authority, doctor, workplace, childcare, schools etc.
- Update and organise your insurance. Changing your address can have an impact on your premiums! They may go up or down. Call your insurance provider as soon as possible but make sure you have on hand details about the house you are moving to. Does it have deadlocks on all doors? Do the windows have key locks? Do you have security bars on the windows? What is the house made of?
- Organise how you will move. Do you have friends and family who will give their time to help you? Do you need to hire professional removalists? If you go with the second option do your research. Make sure that they come recommended and have the required insurances.
- Clean up the old property. Do you need it to be professionally cleaned, carpets cleaned and pest controlled? Again do your research. Find reputable companies. Cheapest does not always mean the best. Most ‘bond cleaners’ will guarantee their work and come back as many times as required to meet the real estate standards. Leave the house in the state you would like it to be left for you.
So for me, today is key collection day. I have the BIGGEST grin ever across my face. Wish me luck!