Common Mistakes When Moving House

How to Avoid Moving Home Problems

The above video covers the following three common mistakes when moving home.

But let’s delve a little deeper.

Moving day can be a stressful experience, but it could be worse.  Imagine going to all the effort and then realising that your house isn’t right for you. How upsetting must that feel?

There are a host of reasons why moving house can be a mistake, but we will cover the following problems:

  1. Catchment Areas For Schools
  2. Affordability
  3. Renovation
  4. Distance

Catchment Areas For Schools

As parents, we want the best for our children, and that means the best schools. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to get into the right school unless you live in the right area. Schools that are desirable have to set limits on their intake each year, and this is usually decided by a catchment area.

It’s important to remember that most schools will require you to live in the catchment area before you start the application process. That process can take place up to 12 months prior to the school year starting.

Therefore it’s imperative that you research the catchment areas, and get the moving process sorted way in advance.

What happens if there has been an increase in child population within the catchment areas? It could be more children have moved into the area, or existing children have come of age. It can mean the catchment area shrinks, and you can find yourself on the wrong side of the border.

Affording a House

It’s quite common for people to go for the most expensive property they can afford. This can be for many reasons, but being able to get the most expensive house doesn’t always lead to happiness.

If you have stretched your finances to their maximum that doesn’t always leave you much spare for emergencies or enjoyment.

If your disposable income is small, you might find that you can’t afford to furnish that expensive house. You might find that you have no money to go out and enjoy yourself. You might find that you don’t have spare funds for fixing a broken boiler, or if the car breaks down.

Also, what happens if you lose your job or fall sick? These are all considerations you need to make. No one assumes something bad is going to happen, but preparing for it means you are ready if it does. 

That’s why we would always recommend using the services of an independent mortgage broker. They might be able to find you a cheaper mortgage for that expensive house. They will definitely run through a budget with you to assess your true affordability. They may also be able to recommend insurance products that protect your family if you lose your job or become ill.  

There’s no point being in the house of your dreams, if you don’t have a life you enjoy. Happiness is the most important thing to have in your family home.


You may have moved into a property that needs some work. This could be structural, or it could be cosmetic, but necessary.

Moving into a home that needs work essentially means moving into a building site. In our experience, this isn’t an enjoyable experience.

The major problems occur when people haven’t researched properly. If you haven’t had a full structural survey, you might start work only to find additional problems that are severe and expensive.

If you only have a set budget to carry out these works, then that means they don’t get completed. Alternatively, they have to be completed over a longer period of time when you have the funds to carry out the work.

If your mortgage is at the limit of your affordability you might find it impossible to borrow additional money to complete the works.

If you find yourself in this situation it can be hard to get out of. If you become aware of a structural issue you have to disclose this problem when selling the property. It can make putting the house back on the market difficult. In the worst case scenario you may have to list the property for lower than your purchase price.

The best way to avoid these problems is to do your homework. Get a full structural survey carried out so you know exactly what the issues are. Get at least three different quotes from tradespeople on the cost of completing the renovations fully. Only then, with all that information to hand, should you complete on the property.

Distance or The Wrong Area

If you haven't fully investigated the area you are moving to you might find it isn’t what you want or need.

You might have moved to a rural area only to find that you miss the hustle and bustle of city life. It could be that where you have moved is too far away from family or friends. It could be that the transport links aren’t as robust as you require.

It could be you have moved to an area where there is a huge development planned. Large scale property development can last years. If you moved for the semi rural location, that might change to an urban location with planned development.

These issues can be avoided when moving by doing your research.

When looking for the right area you will want to factor in:

  1. Employment opportunities or distance from work
  2. Local Schools
  3. Nearest leisure and entertainment facilities
  4. Distance to amenities (supermarket, doctors, hospital, dentist etc)
  5. Transport Links
  6. Crime Rates
  7. Possibility of Flooding or other problems
  8. Upcoming planning applications

Having a good conveyancing solicitor can help identify problems with planning applications, or historical issues with mining, flooding, contamination etc.

It’s human nature to want to spend as little on fees as possible, and we understand that desire. However, a good survey and good conveyancing solicitor may save you tens of thousands of pounds if things go wrong.


Research is king and knowledge is power. Look into the area and property you are moving to in detail. We can help with that. We can give you a full picture of all the areas you are interested in. We can advise and protect you in terms of getting the right mortgage and financial products. We can recommend solicitors that do a fantastic job. We are a multi faceted organisation, and we take care of all aspects of your property move from start to finish. We make moving better.

If you would like to speak to an expert in your area please click the the contact page link, and find your nearest Preston Baker office. Remember we are available on the telephone until 10pm every night.