Moving Myths

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There are many myths surrounding the stressful process of moving home. Sharon Dale reports.

There are many myths around moving house, according to Mike McCarthy, managing director of McCarthy’s Removals and Storage,

“We still get a lot of people who have preconceptions about the removals process that are very out of date, or just plain wrong.These myths can make it difficult for home buyers to know how best to go about planning their move, and can potentially end up costing them extra money in the long run.”

So if you’re moving house, which most of us will only do eight times in our lives, how do you tell the stories from the truth? According to McCarthy’s these are some of the most common myths:

Myth: You have to move house on a Friday. People often think you have to move on a Friday. For others it can seem like the best day as it is just before the weekend. This may mean you have a couple of ‘free’ days to unpack, but it also brings with it its own potential problems. Banks close on a weekend so if funds are held up during the completion process you could find yourself having to wait until Monday to get the keys to your new pad. Fridays, the end of the month and school holiday periods are also the busiest times for removal firms – so you may get a better deal if you avoid these.

Myth: You cannot start speaking to removals companies until you have a date for your move. Ideally, you should look to get some quotes from removals firms around six to eight weeks before your proposed move date. You don’t have to book a date in at this point. Make sure you choose companies which are registered with the British Association of Removers (BAR) and which have British Safety Standard BS EN:12522 to ensure your belongings will be in safe hands.

Myth: It is cheaper to move yourself. It may well be cheaper to hire a van and do it yourself, but make sure you double check and think through the practicalities. Will the van you hire be big enough to hold all your belongings and does your license cover you driving such a van? If not, how many trips back and forward will you have to make? How will that work with timings in terms of needing to vacate your old property and waiting for the keys

on your new one? How much will it add to the costs in terms of petrol and mileage charges?

Of course, moving furniture is also very physical work – can you rope in enough people to help you out and are you confident you can move fragile items safely? It only takes the damage of one expensive item to make a ‘cheap’ move suddenly turn very expensive.

Myth: It’s cheaper to choose a removal firm that charges by the hour. Removals days can be funny things and you never know quite how they’re going to pan out. If you have a fixed price cost you know where you stand, but what happens if you’re paying by the hour and there are issues with traffic jams, or if the people moving out of your new home are running late? What if the completion is delayed until the following day?

Myth: Packing your items yoursel will save time and money. Using a removals firm to pack for you does, of course, come with a cost. However, it most certainly will save you time. You will be amazed at how quickly they can pack up your belongings. They will also make sure your items are packed safely and securely – they’re much more practised at it than you. Remember that if the fact you haven’t fully packed holds up the transfer of keys to the new

homeowner, they may come to you for reimbursement of any additional costs they incur.

Myth: Leave your essentials to be packed on the day. You’ll be amazed how long it can take some people to pack their ‘essentials. This can really hold up the moving process, potentially incurring extra costs. It’s a good idea to finish packing the day before and treat it as if you’re on a camping holiday for a few days. Have a suitcase with clothing, put bedding in a strong bin bag, and have a box with a kettle, some mugs and a few snacks to hand.

Myth: You’ll automatically be covered by insurance. You should definitely confirm this.

McCarthy’s Removals, tel: 0113 262 3000, www.mjmccarthy.co.uk