How long does moving house take?
Although moving house can be a stressful process, ensuring you know what to expect will go a long way towards alleviating that strain. As with anything, arming yourself with knowledge and being prepared can combat many frustrations. The question of how long moving takes depends on your situation and whether any problems arise along the way.
Here we’ll guide you through the house moving process with timescales. The overall process can take between eight and 22 weeks depending on the circumstances. But how long does each stage take?
Applying for a mortgage
As with many elements in the house moving process, the timescale can vary depending on individual cases. As a rule, it’s expected to take between 18-40 days for your mortgage application to be processed but it can take longer if there are any hold-ups. Ensuring you provide all the requested, correct documentation straight away means you put yourself in the best possible position.
Some find a house first and then apply for a mortgage based on that property, but it is advised that you apply for a mortgage before you find a property. This way you get the ball rolling earlier – a mortgage in principle is usually valid for 90 days.
Using a mortgage broker is generally advised for this process, and as long as you provide them with all the required documents, they take away much of the legwork.
What a broker can also do is help you figure out what is within your budget and will then find you the best lender and rate.
The documents usually required are:
- Previous six months bank statements
- Most recent three months payslips
- Proof of identity
- Proof of address
- Proof of deposit
- Accounts statements from the previous two to three years
- Tax return SA302
In some circumstances, there can be hold-ups. For instance, if you have a bad credit rating this could affect the decision. The higher your credit rating and the better your credit history, the better your chances.
Other situations that could delay your application include:
- If you’re self-employed
- If you have a small deposit
- If you have a high loan and a low income
Selling your property
The timescale for selling your property can range from four to 10 weeks and this is dependent on the area you live in. For example, a property in Greater London will sell in around four weeks but a house in the North East may take up to 10 weeks.
Variables can affect this timescale. If you list your property for more than the valuation, prospective buyers will know it’s overpriced and therefore it will be more difficult to sell. If you’re constrained by limited time then it’s worth lowering the price of the property to give yourself the best chance of a quicker scale.
Keep in mind that the process will take longer with a house in a property chain. Once you decide to accept an offer on your property, this is the stage at which conveyancing begins. This can be a lengthy process as there are many legal aspects involved.
Finding a new property and putting in an offer
Looking for and deciding on a property to move into can take anything from one to 10 weeks.
This is a big decision for you and your family, with a lot to consider. Taking your time is important. You need to decide on a location, size of the house, the number of bedrooms, garden or no garden and facilities in the area.
Be thorough when you view and discuss each property after viewing to ensure you’re making the best decision. Once you’ve made an offer, the owner should take it off the market and then conveyancing begins.
When you’re asking ‘how long does moving house take’, this is the vital point. This is often the most time-consuming component of a house move and can take between eight to 12 weeks.
Many become frustrated by the conveyancing process because it can take so long. However, this is a vital legal stage so is of high importance. It involves contracts, local searches plus the purchase of your new property and sale of your current home.
How long this takes will depend on the workload of the conveyancer, whether or not you’re in a chain and simply how long the searches take.
Usually completed between two to three weeks, a survey is highly important but not the most time-consuming of all the ‘to-do’s’.
Surveys provide you with crucial information on the house you plan to buy. A HomeBuyers Report or Building Survey should be booked when the conveyancing process has begun.
Once the report or survey is complete, it’s a good idea to send over to your conveyancer.
Time to move!
Moving should just take one day but in some cases, it can take a little longer. It all depends on your time constraints and the urgency, or otherwise, of your situation. Completion day is usually when people choose to move in, but again, this is entirely reliant on your circumstances.
Either lean on favours from friends or family with large vehicles such as vans or opt for a professional removal service. It’s important your belongings arrive at their new home unscathed.
Whatever you decide on for your move, it’s important to be prepared. When you choose to move house, it’s the perfect opportunity to have a thorough sift through your belongings. Not only serving a therapeutic purpose, the act of having ‘a clear out’ is extremely practical when it comes to a house move. Only move what you need to take. Sort things into piles of keep, throw, charity, recycle and storage categories and you’ve got a system for success.
The property you’re moving to might not have the right space for some of your belongings or you may not be able to move everything at once. To save yourself from stress in these instances, it’s a great idea to invest in a storage unit. With 24 hour access available as well as alarmed security and affordable prices, storage can take the strain away.
When you’ve made a decision about your belongings, or when you’re in a position to move them, they’re readily accessible after being kept safe.
While the timescale for the whole of your house move is between eight and 22 weeks, this isn’t guaranteed. The upper end of the scale is usually when there have been hold-ups but be prepared for it being longer. Do all you can to be prepared with the parts you can control, such as providing documentation but take the parts that are out of your control step-by-step.