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Pros and Cons of Shared Ownership Schemes

Posted on 31st August 2021 by Master Removers

Should I Use a Shared Ownership Scheme?

You’ve almost certainly heard about shared ownership, but – like most of the population – that may be where your knowledge about them begins and ends. They certainly sound like something that could help people get a foot in the door of the housing market. And they’re even more appealing if you’re not in a position to get onto the housing ladder through more conventional pathways. But, you ask, surely there are downsides? Let’s take a closer look. What exactly are shared ownership schemes, who operates them and how do they work? Here’s our Master Removers guide to help you get started. 

What are Shared Ownership Schemes?

Shared ownership schemes are organised via a collaboration between government and housing associations. As you’d expect from their name, a shared ownership scheme means, instead of buying a home straight away, you own part of it. Every month, you’re charged mortgage repayments for the part of the property that you own, and then pay rent for the part you don’t own. At the outset of the shared ownership, you might buy anything from 10 to 70 per cent of the property. After that, you continue increasing the amount of the property that you own, with increases that must amount to at least one per cent. Shared Ownership is a halfway option between renting and buying and it’s especially useful for first-time buyers unable to raise a deposit large enough for upfront buying. Shared ownership represents a half-step out of renting and into ownership.

Am I Eligible For Shared Ownership

In all likelihood, you will only be eligible for shared ownership if you’re a first-time buyer. If you’re not a first-time buyer, you’ll need to be in the process of selling up in order to have a chance of qualifying. You’ll also need to have a household income below £80,000 (£90,000 in London), a good credit rating, a reputable rent/mortgage history and savings sufficient for the mortgage deposit and moving expenses. If you’re interested in getting started, a good place is your council’s Housing Team or the government’s website. 

What are the Pros of Shared Ownership?

In addition to the fact that shared ownership schemes provide a route to ownership for people who might otherwise be consigned to a lifetime of renting, there are other positives. Since you’ll begin the process with a mortgage that’s smaller than the standard one, your deposit will be similarly diminished. You might also find that the combination of mortgage repayments and rent comes to less than you’d be paying if you were renting privately. And you’ll be in a much more advantageous position than a renter because the portion of the home that you own will increase in value if/when the price of the property increases. The resulting equity will make it easier for you to increase your share of the property. 

The process of increasing your share of the property (right up to 100 per cent) is called ‘staircasing’. You can undertake this process as your circumstances allow. For example, if your earnings go up or you’ve managed to save a lump sum. But there are restrictions – usually, you can only ‘staircase’ three times. A typical route might be starting at 25 per cent, going up to 50 (first stair-step), then 75 (second stair-step), then 100 (final stair-step). When you staircase, the housing association undertakes a property valuation, so that each extra share is purchased at the current market value, not the value dating from the time you began shared ownership. You’ll be required to remortgage each time. 

And What About Stamp Duty When You’re in a Shared Ownership Scheme?

While there are stamp-duty exemptions for first-time buyers, with shared ownership you may not be entitled. Instead, you’ll most likely be faced with a choice: either pay all the stamp duty or just the stamp duty required for the portion of the property you’re buying. If you choose the former, you’ll then be entitled to exemption, but remember – the exemption is only for properties worth up to £300,000 (or £500,000 in the capital). 

What are the Cons of Shared Ownership?

Until you reach 100 per cent ownership, you’re still a renting tenant. This brings with it many of the same risks associated with normal renting. For example, you could be evicted if you don’t pay the rent or if you’re anti-social and cause a nuisance to other tenants. You won’t be allowed to sub-let, either. 

It’s also worth pointing out that part-ownership leaves you on shaky ground in some circumstances. For example, if you’re evicted there’s a chance you could actually lose the portion of the home you’ve already acquired since you’re not legally the owner until you reach 100 per cent. There is no legal requirement for the housing association to pay you back if you’re evicted – their only obligation is to pay you back for your share if/when they sell the property. Consequently, nothing could be more important than making double-sure you can afford both the mortgage repayments and the monthly rent before you take part in shared ownership. 

Like a full owner, you’ll have to pay service charges covering any/all costs accrued through maintenance of the communal parts of the building such as cleaning/lighting/electricity in shared hallways and staircases. 

You won’t own a share of the freehold; shared ownership properties come with a leasehold and if your lease dips below, say, 90 years, you’ll find it hard to sell. So don’t forget to ask upfront about the options for extending the lease. 

If, once you’ve thought about these ‘cons’, you decide shared ownership isn’t for you, consider looking into the government’s Help To Buy scheme instead. 

Should I Buy A House That Needs Renovating?

Posted on 15th April 2021 by Master Removers

It’s a question as old as the first civilisation, and yet – even in this new millennium – we’re no closer to a one-size-fits-all, definitive answer. For every person with the Midas touch, the luck and the know-how to turn a ruin into a beautiful and valuable home, there’s another who’s ended up with a money-pit that sends them to the brink of bankruptcy or beyond. However, there are things you can do to make it more likely that you end up in the former rather than the latter category. While it’s impossible to say, ‘Yes – you should definitely snap up that dilapidated property’, with the right kind of forethought, there’s no reason why it can’t turn out to be a good move. Here’s our Master Removers guide to buying a property to do up.

Is Buying a ‘Fixer-Upper’ a Good Investment?

When you’re surveying the housing market, you might spot opportunities to turn a profit by going for a property in some degree of disrepair with the intention of doing it up. Of course, while you’re able to acquire the property for less money, you’ll have an additional financial outlay in the form of all the work it’ll require. It’s not a commitment for the faint of heart and it needs careful consideration, but there’s no shortage of up-sides to it. If you’re looking for somewhere to live for a long time, you can end up with a property that conforms entirely to your own vision, and the money you save (via a lower asking price) can all go towards realising that vision.


What are the ‘Pros’ of Buying a Property to Renovate?

If you’re looking for a home in exactly the location you most desire and which conforms to all your ideas about size and space, you can be quite quickly disheartened. Sometimes, there’s just nothing out there that’s quite right. But when you factor in properties that need considerable work, suddenly you’ve got more options. One rule of thumb for people looking in towns and cities: don’t go for a dilapidated property on a street full of dilapidated properties. However much you do up yours, its price will still be affected by the bad condition of its neighbours. Instead, go for a property in disrepair on an otherwise wonderful, well-kept street. That’s where you’ve got the most room for increasing value. It’s vital that the property you select be priced in a way that reflects its poor condition.

What Kind of Value Can I Add to a Property by Renovating it?

Lofts, basements, kitchens and bathrooms are where the value can be added. It’s possible, with an investment of a £30,000 loft extension to add over £95,000 to the overall value of a property. A new £10,000 kitchen can nudge up overall value by £25,000. Of course, such figures are estimates and best-case-scenarios, and depend on other variables. For example, will your loft extension contain another bedroom and bathroom or, with the addition of a kitchenette, even create a mini-apartment at the top of the property? If so, you’re looking at considerably more value.

Easier Renovations That Anyone can do

Renovation doesn’t have to mean an array of tradespeople, noise and disruption. Although the smaller ‘fixes’ won’t have a dramatic effect on your property’s price, they will give it a push when it’s back on the market and help it sell for the most it can get. If you’re a confident DIY fan or an eager novice, you can tackle lots of mini-upgrades all by yourself, including cheap or passé decor; squeaky hinges, doors, flooring and stairs; degraded sealant in bathrooms and kitchens; wall and ceiling cracks; bad drain smells; damaged or dripping taps; tiling work; damaged windows; and much more besides.


Staying on Top of Your Budget

This is where it can start getting tricky. Once you’re a certain way into a renovation, there’s little turning back and expenses you didn’t account for can multiply. You might get rid of wallpaper only to discover that the walls themselves are in far greater distress than you had anticipated. Budgets are often very difficult to stay within, so protect yourself by allowing for this up-front. Going into a renovation with a flexible budget is the best approach.

What if my Renovations Don’t Change the Property’s Value

This may not matter if you’re intending to stay somewhere indefinitely, but there’s a risk that you could spend £100,000 and yet not add anything like £100,000 to the value of your home. The value of your property will be, in part, defined by the area it’s in, so sometimes there’s only so much value that can be added. Other variables, such as local demand, will also affect overall value. If your main aim in renovating is to increase the value of your property, then a strict budget and avoidance of unnecessary expense, are the pivotal factors.

What if You’re Saddled with Inept Builders?

It’s every buyer’s nightmare; getting some way into a job and then realising the people you’ve taken on aren’t up to the job or even vaguely conscientious about it. Fortunately, this is also a pitfall it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid. Always go with recommendations from friends and family and do extra due diligence on top of that. Develop an ear for fake online reviews, so you can use sites like TrustPilot, which are undoubtedly helpful, in a discerning way. 

How Will The New Tier System Affect House Moves

Posted on 4th December 2020 by Master Removers

Now that England has emerged from the second lockdown and back into the tier system, you might think, with a sigh of relief, that the conditions resemble those we experienced before the second lockdown. But, as if to be confusing for confusion’s sake, we’re not reverting to the earlier tier system but instead entering a new one. To make things even more bewildering, the new tiers have the same names as the old ones. Tier 1 is ‘medium’, Tier 2 is ‘high’ and Tier 3 is ‘very high’. However, the strictures and rules of each tier have changed. And then there are all kinds of complex exceptions and get-outs – for example, if you’re helping someone classed as ‘vulnerable’, then you can enter that person’s property even if you and they are in the most restrictive tier. The best place to get clued up on the new tiers is at the government’s website. You can find out what tier you’re in here  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/full-list-of-local-restriction-tiers-by-area and then learn more about what each tier means here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know. Alternatively, if you find government prose rather dry, then your local or national newspaper will almost certainly have published its own explanations online.

But what about moving house? Just what bearing does the all-new tier system have on your plans, whether those plans are to buy and/or sell, or to move between rented properties? The good news is that the housing market will stay active in all three tiers. Not only can you go to viewings but you can also move. All businesses associated with moving are allowed to keep operating, including removals companies and estate agents (sales and lettings). Therefore, all the advice below applies across the tiers.

Does The Tier System Affect Moving Day?

The rules for people moving house remain the same – on moving day, they should wash their hands at regular and frequent intervals and maintain distance for anyone involved in the move who isn’t from their household. The up-to-date guidance on diminishing transmission can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-two-metre-social-distancing-guidance/review-of-two-metre-social-distancing-guidance#annex-a-how-covid-19-is-transmitted-and-how-to-reduce-risks]. Face-coverings should stay in place throughout.

What If I’m Looking For A New Property?

If you’re not poised for moving day but are instead planning or considering a move and looking at options, you’ll notice that some of the processes are now markedly different. For example, some of the stages will be conducted online, including virtual viewings. There’s also new advice about vacating your current property when it’s being viewed and being even more thorough with final cleanings before the next people move in. Once arrangements have been made for your move, you’re advised to expect delays and to be flexible when they occur. It’s possible that someone, whether they’re in your moving chain or simply involved in the move in some other way, could become ill with coronavirus or simply be compelled to self-isolate because of potential contact with an infected person. The government are also advising that complete suspension of moving activities could be required at either a local or national level with little notice if there are flare-ups.

If you’re on the point of entering into a contract, raise the subject of covid-19 with your representative so that you can discuss any potential implications and even consider placing provisions in the contract in case such eventualities come into play.

The advice is to make initial viewings over the internet wherever possible and to wear masks when visiting estate agents or doing a physical viewing of a property. ‘Open house’ viewings have been suspended; only viewings by appointment are permitted. Remember not to touch surfaces when you’re being shown around – and to be even more vigilant about this if you’re accompanied by small children.

If you’re letting a property rather than renting it, then you’re instructed to keep all internal doors open when people come for viewings and to make sure all surfaces, especially door-handles, are sanitised after every viewing. You should also make available facilities for washing hands and provide paper towels for hand-drying so that contamination risks are minimised.

Much more advice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Here you’ll find guidance as to the various ways in which covid can impact on: property searches; making offers/reservations; arranging surveys; moving your belongings and much more.

Our Brand New All Singing All Dancing Depot In Tolworth

Posted on 5th October 2020 by Master Removers

THE brand new, state of the art Tolworth depot for The Master Removers Group was all-singing, all-dancing recently when it was chosen by country-pop duo Ward Thomas as the backdrop to their latest music video.

The duo’s connections come via their father Anthony and his company of 40 years, Ward Thomas Removals – which was the founding brand of The Master Removers Group (MRG).

Read more…

Winter Moving Made Easier

Posted on 30th September 2020 by Master Removers

Packing up a house and putting a thousand-and-one fiddly affairs in order before a move can be a daunting proposition even when the days are long and plentiful rays of energising sunshine are at hand to keep us going and top up our morale. Add to that clement temperatures and the feelgood vibes of spring and summer and it’s no wonder that people might prefer to up sticks between May and September rather than in the bleak midwinter. But we don’t always have a say in how things pan out, especially if our move is dependent on making a sale and being part of a chain. Sometimes, no matter what mitigating steps we put in place, a winter move is just our lot and we just have to accept it, rather than rail against it. There are, at least, things that everyone can do to make it a little easier, even when we’re living in the time of Covid. Here’s our Master Removers guide to winter moving made easier.

Read more…

London Housing Market – Coronavirus Update

Posted on 19th June 2020 by Master Removers

As we move from the extreme nationwide strictures of Covid-19 lockdown, first into a kind of lockdown-lite and now into a phase in which more and more businesses are resuming some form of ‘normal’ activity, many people are wondering about where this leaves the removals industry and the London housing market in general.

The Master Removers Group remained open even at the height of lockdown. We continued to undertake critical moves; these were moves required to go ahead because of compelling circumstances. Some of them were moves with a potential impact on a person’s health and others involved moving chains established before lockdown which had to be followed through. Thanks to the goodwill and generosity of our team of volunteer removal personnel, we were able to keep going and help clients whose moves were deemed vital.

A fortunate consequence of this is that now that the removals industry is starting up again in earnest, we’re already firing in on all cylinders and in perfect place to handle the anticipated increase in demand. Every Master Removers company is primed and ready to operate at optimal efficiency.

Housing Trends Our Partners Are Seeing

The Master Removers Group comprises several removals and storage companies, all of whom report back to us, creating a pool of up-to-date knowledge and know-how and helping us to stay abreast of developments in the market. Among the changes we’ve noticed is that we’re helping many young people who’ve moved out of London for lockdown and returned to their family homes – plenty of them are still working from this new location and are therefore asking us to go to their London flats and remove their possessions.

Another trend we’re seeing more and more of is that of people who are staying in London but need more space because they’re now working from home. We can provide storage advice, helping them to turn cellars, spare bedrooms, sitting room and attics into home-offices by putting their excess belongings into storage or self-storage.

Leaving London Post-Lockdown

Now, we’re anticipating that more and more people will leave London for good – the idea of having more space and a garden is expected to become overwhelmingly appealing as we move into the new socially-distanced reality of 2020 and beyond. This is backed up by the latest home buyer web traffic which suggests that an exodus from the capital could become a reality. Several major property websites, including Rightmove and Savills, have reported a dramatic increase in searches by people in London looking at properties outside the city.

Good News For Owners

Thanks to the lifting of several restrictions in May, fears of a crash in the market have been, if not totally allayed, then certainly suspended for now. Owing to a surge in house prices just before lockdown occurred (the average cost of a London home rose by 1.2 per cent in March, with the greatest increases seen in Hackney, Kensington & Chelsea and Barking & Dagenham) the market was in robust enough a place to withstand the effects of Covid-19. A surge in viewings is now under way and although a seven per cent diminution in prices has been predicted, in the immediate term at least, the signs are much healthier.

The Coronavirus Rentals Market

Rents have been driven down by as much as 15 per cent as a consequence of Covid-19, the lockdown and the ongoing complications of social distancing. For seven weeks, there were tight restrictions on moving and viewing, which only began being loosened on May 13. From figures compiled by Hamptons International, it would seem that the biggest drops have occurred in the most expensive and central zones. Zone 3 has seen a plummet of almost eight per cent, Zone 2, 6.9 per cent and Zone 1, five per cent. One of the big changes is that properties that were part of the short-term, Airbnb/Spareroom.com market have now flooded into the long-term market, creating a surplus. Another contributory factor to the drop in prices is that many people are in compromised employment situations, whether that’s earning 20 per cent less because of furlough or faced with no employment whatsoever.

Safety First

At the Master Removers Group, we continue to prioritise customer and staff safety – we devised new protocols at the outset of lockdown and have refined them several times since then, putting us at the cutting edge of innovative, coronavirus-conscious working practices. By using a Master Removers Group company for your removals and storage requirements, you’ll be keeping yourself and your loved ones completely safe. Our fully trained, efficient and courteous movers, drivers, planners and packers take every precaution necessary to ensure that every job is undertaken safely.

Is Now A Good Time To Move To The Country

Posted on 1st June 2020 by Master Removers

As we move into a lockdown grey area (some might contend that it’s always been a grey area), the possibility of forging a new life, away from the cramped conditions of the city and into the comparably spacious and verdant meadows of the countryside, is more appealing than ever. Not only is summer a more pleasant experience when you’re far away from sweltering pavements and broiling Tube carriages, the notion of having much more space per person gives you an extra feeling of safety and security in terms of the likelihood of you or your loved ones succumbing to Covid-19 or whatever the next pandemic happens to be. Who among us experiencing the lockdown in London hasn’t pined for the idea of strolling through deserted woods, ambling across fields of gambling lambs or just having a much larger garden. Apart from a few conveniences and, perhaps, more cultural activities, city life is losing its lustre. But is now really the right time to make that move? We’re barely at the cusp of entering into a slightly less strict version of lockdown. Yes, schools are reopening, along with outdoor markets and car showrooms. And soon, all non-essential retailers will follow suit. But we’re still only just reemerging into a new version of normal life. Could it be better to wait a bit or not do it at all? Here’s the Master Removers lowdown.


Is it safer out of the city?

The answer is, yes and no. Of course, a rural compound of several acres or even a more humble detached cottage does mean more space between you and your fellows. But the data is, as yet, far from conclusive and there are drawbacks to be considered. For a start, local hospitals will have less capacity and your nearest one may not even have emergency facilities. And given how difficult delivery slots can be at present, you’ll have to grapple with just the same risks at supermarkets that city dwellers face. Still, it’s undeniable that the disease spreads more quickly where the population is clustered together. That’s why the history of pandemics is so tied to cities; think of TB, whooping cough, measles – they all flourished in places like London. But the picture in rural areas is mixed. Perhaps, in pre-industrial times, there really was something of a protective shield around the countryside. Today, if there can be said to be a shield, it’s a much more porous one.


Should I wait to move to the countrywide or do it now?

The dream of a life in greener pastures has, in the face of Covid-19, become all the more attractive. People trapped in global hotspots, confined to small properties when the same amount of money would get them something much larger in a rustic setting, are beginning to wonder whether the time to make the move has finally come. Some of the stats do bear this out. At the start of May, searches for countryside homes on Zoopla went up by almost 70 per cent compared to the figures for the start of March. There was a 126 per cent increase in searches for properties in Dartmouth, a 136 jump in searches for homes near Monmouth and a bump of almost 80 per cent for houses near Godalming, which enjoys swathes of Sussex countryside on its doorstep. Similar increases have occurred for the Isle of Wight and Cornwall. It looks as if plenty of Londoners have had enough of the urban lockdown experience and think that now – with removals companies resuming near-normal operations – is as good a time as any.


What are the drawbacks of moving to the countryside?

Nothing is 100 per cent good and there’s no such thing as perfect. As well as culture, nightlife, restaurants, frequent and easily-accessible public transport, you’ll also be saying goodbye to city-only apps like Uber, Uber Eats and Deliveroo, many of which have come in particularly useful in the face of the lifestyle restrictions of coronavirus lockdown. People making the move will also discover that while average property prices are lower, picturesque abodes in sought-after rural settings are not bargains. Also to be kept in mind is the fact that larger properties have larger running costs. And, once you make the move, if you should experience a change of heart, it may be difficult buying back into London.

Are lots of people moving to the countryside right now?

No necessarily. No one relishes the idea of finding themselves in competition with thousands of other buyers because there’s been a rush to get out of the city. Bear in mind that the bump in internet traffic relating to moving to the countryside may not lead to actual sales – people currently confined to cities could simply  be indulging their fantasies and may well reacclimatise to city life once lockdown is a thing

Moving House In November

Posted on 14th October 2019 by Master Removers

When we think of new starts and new beginnings, we instinctively thing of the springtime months – April and May, perhaps. After all, what could be more fitting than to move into your brand new dream home in the time of the year most commonly associated with rebirth and renewal? However, it could quite plausibly be argued that it’s the autumn when moving makes most sense. In 2017, according to figures provided by HMRC, September, October and November were, in fact, the three most popular months for sales. But just why should this be the case? Let’s take a closer look in our Master Removers November Moving guide.


Best time of year to move house

One of the reasons that November is good for buying and selling is that, by the time it comes around, families have had two months to sort themselves out following the limbo period of the long summer holiday. Their children are back at school and parents return their focus to whatever is on their own agenda. If that includes moving house, then the laying of groundwork can begin in September. After a comparatively fallow period, an array of new properties appear for sale. This makes September and October ideal months for looking for properties and, in consequence, November becomes the ideal month for moving in.


Most popular time of the year to move house

Statistically, it’s summer, especially August, when the UK most loves to move, based on research conducted by Compare My Move in 2019. But most popular does not equate to best. Interestingly, people in the West Midlands and the North East have cottoned onto this sooner than the rest of us, with autumn being their favoured season for upping sticks and starting anew. Countrywide, the autumn months are the second most popular time. November, however, remains unpopular despite its benefits, which include cheaper removals costs because, unlike the popular months of the school summer holidays, it’s well into the off-peak period.


Advantages of moving house in November

Yes, you may face dismal weather, diminished daylight hours, treacherous road conditions and more, but there’s a pay-off. Moving house in November means that you’re potentially buying in what is usually a quiet season for the property market, so this means you’re potentially making considerable financial savings.  

There are also advantages that apply both to buyers and renters. Imagine being stuck indoors on the hot weekends of summer, slaving over cardboard boxes and going through attics in the intense humidity. Every chore becomes that much harder when you’re sweating away, unable to go outside and enjoy the peak summer weekends. But moving in November is completely different. It’s cold, wet and grey outside and so no time could really be better for organising a move and packing up your home.  

And that’s not all; moving in November means that one of the first things you get to do is celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year in your new home. Could there be a lovelier or more auspicious way of getting started in your new place? If so, it’s hard to think of it. There’s more… in all likelihood, you’ll be looking for some new items of furniture that flatter and suit your new rooms, and you’ll be able to take full advantage of the January sales just a month or two after moving in.


Tips and Ideas for a November move

A successful November move can easily be yours, by just bearing a few things in mind. Chief among these is to make sure that every single utility is up and running at your new property well before your moving day. While a summer evening without heating is no sweat, it’s another story entirely on a sharp, frosty November night, especially if your family includes infants or the elderly.

It’s also worth planing your moving day so that it begins at first light. By November, night is creeping in at around 5pm, so the idea of starting your move at 11.00am, perfectly feasible in July, is a mistake.

Bear in mind that your worldly goods need a little extra in terms of protection when there’s a possibility of rain, cold, sleet or even snow. Fortunately, a good, reputable removals company will know this and pack accordingly. It’s even more important if you’re moving climate-sensitive items like grand or upright pianos.

It’s a good idea to place sheets, coverings or collapsed boxes on the floors and corridors of both old and new homes when you’re moving in November. The likelihood of rain and winter conditions means that the soles of everyone’s feet are more likely to be muddy/dirty.

Taking all the above into account, you should be able to have a successful and rewarding November move.

When Do I Start Moving House?

Posted on 5th August 2019 by Master Removers

A million and one words have been written about how hard it is to move house. It’s had the unfortunate effect of becoming an ever-worsening self-fulfilling prophecy. Whole nations have effectively gas-lighted themselves into believing that moving house will be as gruelling, nay soul-destroying, as the death of a spouse or a child. While it’s true that few house-moves merit the adjective ‘easy’, it’s simply not the case that every time we pack up our belongings, exchange contracts and up sticks, we end up emotionally ravaged and traumatised. More often, a move is partly tough-going and partly ok and we come out the other end just as robust and competent as we began. However, the 101 variables that effect a move do mean that it’s daunting. Less so, of course, if you entrust your move to a Master Removers Group company. In fact, our prestige and competence has recently been recognised by inclusion in the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies To Inspire list [HYPERLINK: https://www.lseg.com/resources/1000-companies-inspire]. The list celebrates small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe and the UK in an array of categories including healthcare, leisure and technology.

In matters of moving, one question that crops up again and again is ‘when do I start moving house?’ This tends not to be ‘when’ as in ‘which month’ (although that does figure in there somewhere). It’s a broader question, encompassing an panoply of concerns from packing to unpacking and everything in between. Here, in our Master Removers Group guide, we’ll unpick some of these considerations and try to explain. But, in short, the answer to the question of when to start moving, is… at least three months before moving day.

Moving House Tips And Tricks

The best way to allay feelings of being overwhelmed when a house-move is looming on your horizon is to pack early. Not only does the process allow you to sublimate feelings of worry and tension into a positive endeavour, you end up in an advantageous position; you feel prepared, ahead of schedule, and by getting on with something early, you’ve created a decent amount of wiggle room should something go wrong. Even if you’re not doing your own packing, you can get ahead of the curve by sorting and decluttering in advance, divesting yourself of all the things in attics and cupboards that you no longer need or use. Do it in an orderly, methodical fashion (e.g. one room at a time) and make it easy on yourself by having a target of one box a day, rather than cramming it all into weekends. Remember that you can leave your wardrobes as they are and, rather than packing up their contents, just ask your removal company to bring wardrobe boxes. Then, on the day of the move, everything on hangers can simply be transferred, and you won’t end up having to iron a thing.  

Moving House Checklist

Another useful tool you can put in place well in advance of your move is a moving checklist. There are thousands of these online, just waiting to be printed out. They’ll help you not lose sight of anything, be it switching you utilities over to the new address or organising postal redelivery.

Moving House Who To Inform

Just when it seems you’ve done everything, there’s the matter of informing all the right authorities and organisations of your move. That’s not just the afore-mentioned utilities (water, gas, electricity, phone), but also the post office, TV licensing, satellite providers, internet providers, doctor, dentist, optician, hospital, gyms, chemists, insurers, banks, DVLA. And that’s not all. In fact, to make sure you keep all of them in mind, the best thing to do is to use one of the many ‘change of address’ checklists available online.  

Time/effort-saving Strategies

From the moment you start the moving process, there are opportunities to claw back some time and make things easier. For example, if you’re moving within a short distance, then why not see if it’s possible to organise a couple of rooms the day before? It’s entirely feasible that you could drive over with all your bathroom items and set up that room so that it’s useable as soon as you arrive the next day. You could also place some pyjamas and towels in the airing cupboard and make sure the kitchen has everything it needs for tea/coffee and a first supper. The next day, arriving at a house that already has these kinds of basics in place is a much less stressful proposition than arriving somewhere that’s completely barren.





International moves surge as Londoners escape Brexit

Posted on 14th January 2019 by Master Removers
Concern over the on-going Brexit debacle is encouraging wealthy Europeans who have made their homes in the UK to get the movers in. Anthony Ward Thomas, London’s prestige removals company, handled 296 moves away from Britain in 2018, an increase of 82 per cent on the previous year. Customers are typically wealthy, mostly European Union citizens, moving with their families and retirees seeking more stable political systems.

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