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Moving house is a nightmare at the best of times. Not only are we faced with the prospect of packing a thousand boxes, but there’s also the stress of agreeing a completion date before your mortgage offer runs out, getting the money to cover fees in place and picking up the keys before the estate agent shuts. It makes you shudder just thinking about it.
However, the day you choose to move could also add to the stress – particularly if you’re trading up in August. It’s the most popular month of the year to move, meaning you might pay over the odds for (or even struggle to get) removal services or short-term storage.
The worst day to move house
In 2019, Friday 30thAugust is destined to be the most popular day to move home. According to the analysis of data by Reallymoving.com, more than 6,500 moves are expected on this date – almost four times more than average – while 75,000 homeowners will relocate through the month.
In general, more than one in four of us (28 per cent of the population) move on a Friday – totalling 175,000 moves through the year. Which makes sense, when you think about it. After all, it will give you more time to get unpacked and settled in your new abode, before heading back into work on the Monday. However, experts say you should be wary about picking a Friday as a moving day.
‘It may appear sensible to move on a Friday,’ says Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, Paula Higgins. ‘But we advise people to be exceptionally careful if they move on a Friday. On this particular Friday, 30th August, with even more moves expected to be happening than usual, it’s paramount that people are as organised as possible.
‘Of course delays can occur at any time. But issues with transfers of funds are more likely to happen on a Friday when banks, conveyancers and removal firms are stretched to the limit as it’s the time when most housing deals tend to complete. On the last Friday of the month, bank money transfers can get overloaded and it’s peak time for conveyancing fraud. If there are delays in transferring funds, you may have to spend the weekend in a hotel or on friends’ and families’ sofa.”
The HomeOwners Alliance has done its own moving day studies, and discovered that 115,000 moves are delayed every year – usually because of a problem with funds being cleared, or sellers moving out of their homes to late in the day. And there’s a price to pay, with 25 per cent of homeowners incurring costs of £500 or more because of hold ups, and one in seven having to fork out more than £1,000 in charges – such as cancelling the removal van, or having to stay in a hotel.
The best day to move house
Sunday is the least popular day to move, with only 6 per cent choosing that day. This is followed by Tuesday, with only 10 per cent of moves taking place on that day. Tuesday is therefore our pick as the best day to move.
By moving on a Tuesday, you’ll minimise the problems caused by a later transfer of funds, and you’ll also have your pick of the removal firms. Many offer mid-week deals, so you could save a small fortune.
More tips on avoiding a moving day disaster
1. Get in there early
If it can’t be helped and you’ll have to move in August, make sure you are on top of things as soon as possible. Get quotes from removals firms as early as you can and hire them as soon as you exchange contracts.
2. Have your money in place
It’s possible to ask your solicitor to liaise with your mortgage lender, and get the money in place for your move the day before you are due to complete. It will then be transferred across fort thing in the morning, to minimise the chance of things going wrong. Whatever you do, don’t let the transfer take place any later than 3pm, or you could be locked out of your new home until the following Monday…
3. Make a contingency plan
Speak with the removals firm and ask what they would be able to do if there was a hold up – do they charge cancellation fees, or do they have access to storage, where your belongings can be kept overnight? Give family or friends a heads up in case you need to crash on their sofa, and pack an overnight bag including everything you need to survive for a few days.