Category Archives: House removals

Fragile Packing Top Tips

Packing your china, glass and other fragile items for your house removal is a time consuming but vitally important task – packing the box incorrectly can lead to damages no matter how well the box is handled. To help you pack all your glass and china safely we have put together our fragile packing top tips. These are based on all our years of experience with thousands of house moves and are designed to make your removal easier and less hassle.

1. Allow plenty of time

You should allow approximately 20-30min to pack a standard size removal box with fragile items.  In a standard size house you could well have in excess of 10 boxes of fragile items to pack in addition to your non-fragile belongings. This means that you should allow at least a day to pack all of your china and glass.

Fragile Packing2. Fragile Packing Materials

Only use good quality packing materials when fragile packing. You should use double walled cardboard boxes, anything of less quality could well collapse under the weight when carried. In addition, we also recommend you use print free wrapping paper as the print can transfer to your goods. Any reputable removal company can provide you all the professional packing materials for you need to self-pack; from boxes to tape, bubble wrap to wrapping paper and flat screen TV boxes and curtain boxes. Speak to your mover and they can advise on the type and amount of packing materials you will need.

3. Plates & Bowl

First wrap your plates, and similar items such as shallow bowls etc, in paper and then place them in the box vertically on their edge. Plates are strongest in compression and can take weight on their side, any plates placed flat can get cracked from weight above. As with all removals packing, place heavier items at the bottom of the box and the lighter ones at the top.

4. Do not overfill

When packing china and glass do not fill the box completely full with your fragile goods. Fill the box between ⅔ and ¾ full and fill the remainder of the box with soft items such as cushions, blankets, clothing etc. This means the box doesn’t become too heavy, both to lift and for the items you packed in the bottom of the box. It also provides a protective layer to the box when other items are stacked on top of it.

packing service5. Very Fragile Packing

If you have some very fragile items that are particularly delicate or sentimental we would recommend you put extra wrapping around the item. First wrap the crockery in paper and then add another layer of bubble wrap or similar protective material around the item secured with tape. If the item is an odd shape be careful to insure that the item is fully supported in the box by using a blanket or similar as a base. In a similar way make sure that no heavy items are packed above the very fragile piece. You should consider using a smaller box to ensure the item is not overloaded and well protected.

6. Fill Gaps and Tape the Box

Don’t leave any gaps in the box or only half fill a box. Any gaps in the box leave room for your packed items to move about, risking damage. In addition, any internal gaps reduce the overall strength of the box. You can use wrapping paper, bubble wrap or any soft items to help fill the gaps. One the box is full make sure you tape the box shut, do not leave boxes unsecured or ‘open” as items can fall out and the box is difficult to pack on the lorry.

Fragile Packing7. Labels and Inventory

When you close the box make sure you label the box correctly, with a brief description of the contents as well as the room you want the box to be moved to in your new home. If you are going into store for any length of time we would recommend you make a full inventory of every packed item and to give the box a unique identifier (any alphanumeric descriptor e.g. A1, A2, B1 etc.). This will allow you to quickly locate any item you need to retrieve from store before you planned or when you are unpacking many months later.

8. Packing Insurance

All reputable removal companies, including all members of the British Association of Removers, will not insure goods that are packed by the owner (you may see the acronym PBO). This is because the removal company and insurer cannot verify the condition of the item packed nor the safety of the packing. You should check that your building insurance covers you if you pack your own items. Any goods that have been professionally packed by the removal company will be covered by their insurance but do check the level of cover.

We hope our fragile packing top tips have been useful. Remember you can call your removal company if you have any questions about your fragile packing or any other aspect of your house removal. They will be able to provide packing and moving advice and you can also buy professional packing materials from them. See here for the packing materials we can offer you – http://www.colinbattremovals.co.uk/packing-services/packing-materials/

If self packing isn’t for you please ask your removal company about their packing services. You can read more about our professional packing service here – http://www.colinbattremovals.co.uk/packing-services/ – or call the office to discuss your needs 01233 740395.

 

 

Where can you afford to live?

Thinking of Moving House? Not sure where you can afford to live? Well the BBC have put together a very handy calculator to show you where your budget could take you. By entering in some basic details like the size of house, your available deposit and your monthly mortgage budget the tool will show you where you can afford to live in the country. It will also show you whether it would be cheaper to rent or buy.

Afford to LiveAs we all know the affordability of housing varies greatly across the UK and also depends on your preference to rent or buy. The calculator factors your selections and produces a result based on data compiled from the Land Registry, Bank of England, surveyors and landlords. The house prices and rental data are taken from the period October 2014 to March 2015.

The results from the calculation are presented in graphical form, using a map of the UK, highlighting all the local authorities where you could afford to live.  The mortgage calculation assumes that you have a house deposit of 5%, thus the calculator will be pessimistic if you have managed to save up a deposit greater than 5%.

House prices vary greatly across the country but also within areas. Factors such as education catchment areas, transport links and job opportunities. Remember that this calculator uses the averages for each local authority, you may find that there are variations within each district which would make the area more or less affordable. This calculator is a great broad guide but each house in the country is priced differently and so do not give up hope if your dream area appears too expensive.

Remember to get professional financial advice to check that you can truly afford the mortgage you want. This tool does not replace the need for sound finical planning when making a large decision like buying a house or flat, a change in the interest rate can dramatically affect your monthly mortgage payments. Also bear in mind that there are extra costs, other than mortgage payments, to consider when moving house. Please read our ‘Cost of Moving House’ article to learn more.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23234033

Thinking of Moving to Maidstone?

Maidstone has much to offer being situated in the heart of Kent and only a stones throw from London as well as the coast. It is surrounded by some of the most picturesque villages in the South-East, without the hustle and bustle of some other commuter cities.

MaidstoneMaidstone is the administrative centre of Kent but surprisingly only has a population of 140,000 people. Sought-after areas of the town include Loose and Mote Park and there are several popular villages nearby such as Bearsted and Aylesford. The River Medway provides a beautiful back drop for the town which still has some wonderfully historic parts.

Maidstone House Prices

House prices in Maidstone have risen by 5.96% in the last year, according to Zoopla, with the average price paid for all properties being £282,904. This makes Maidstone really good value when you compare it to other commuter areas such as Surrey. For instance, the average price for a detached property in Maidstone is £446,433 whereas in Surrey the cost is £812,407.

One of Maidstone’s main draws for home buyers is education, with great schooling in and around the town. Several schools have an Ofsted grading of outstanding, including St Michael’s Church of England Infant School, Valley Park School and Maidstone Grammar School for Boys and Girls. Check out all the school reports at http://dashboard.ofsted.gov.uk

MaidstoneCulturally the town benefits from a plethora of attractions. You can catch a play at the Hazlitt theatre, explore over 600,000 objects at the Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery, all for free, or enjoy nature at its finest in the 450 acres of parkland at Mote Park. If retail therapy is more your thing check out Fremiln Walk and The Mall Maidstone, Maidstone is ranked in the top 5 shopping centres in the South-East for shopping yields.

Great Value Commuter Town

When you need to roam further afield, London can be reached by train in under an hour, or even 35 minutes if you’re prepared to drive to nearby Stroud. The M20 also gives easy access to London, including Gatwick and Heathrow which are 45 and 65 miles away respectively.

Maidstone has considerable appeal with its proximity to London, great schools and culture. If you’re considering moving house the value that Maidstone offers is considerable. Thinking of moving to maidstone? Why wouldn’t you.

How to Declutter your House – Help to Sell your Home

All the experts say there are huge benefits if you declutter your house which all help with selling your home. By presenting your property in the best light and appealing to the widest audience you can sell your house more quickly and even achieve a higher price,decluttering really helps with this.

One of the biggest reasons people move house is for a lack of space at their current home. Buyers are usually looking for a property with extra space and room to grow. Keep this in mind when you are selling your house, you should always try and “show off” each room and really demonstrate the full potential in your current home.

You should try and display your house in the best light and demonstrate how large your rooms are, this can’t be done if your home is full of removal boxes or large amounts of furniture. You want your potential buyer to visualise their own furniture in your house and picture themselves living there. A busy house that is bursting at the seems it is likely to put off any buyer.

The solution – temporarily or permanently declutter your house.

Temporarily Declutter Your House

A temporary declutter is where you pack up some of your belongings  and place them in storage while you sell your home.  This allows you to keep all your items without having a cramped home. It also has the added advantage that you can slowly and easily pack up your house without having to do it all at the last minute.

There are lots of storage options available to you: borrow a friends garage or loft, hire some space in a self-storage unit or you can hire a removals firm to store your items in a storage container. The best solution depends on what you want to store – a few small items can easily be self-stored or sent to your friends but large amounts of furniture or belongings are best stored professionally. This removes the hassle of moving the items yourself but it also means you will be insured, which may not be the case if you used your Uncle’s garage.

www.space-saver.co.uk

For self-storage in Kent we would recommend either Space-Saver in Faversham, who are open 6 days a week, or we can help you with container storage in our secure facility.

Declutter your House

Permanently Declutter Your House

Permanent declutttering means getting rid of your unwanted or unused stuff. It is always a good idea to have a bit of a spring clean before any move, you don’t want to spend money moving belongings you are just going to get rid of once have moved into your new house. There are lots of options to help permanently declutter your home, you don’t just have to throw your stuff away.

First you can sell your unwanted items; options include eBay, have a garage sale or attend a Boot Fair. There are plenty of auction houses around to help out as well. For instance Swale Auctions in Sittingbourne or Hop Farm Auction Room in Paddock Wood.

www.swaleauctions.co.uk

www.hopfarmauctionroom.co.uk

Another good way to declutter your house, whilst also helping others, is to donate your unwanted items to a charity. There are lots of charity shops on the high street that will accept most of your goods, these include Save the Children, Oxfam and Barnados. Some will also come and collect your furniture such as The British Heart Foundation and the Heart of Kent Hospice.

www.bhf.org.uk/shop/our-local-shops/furniture-and-electrical-shops

www.hokh.org/support-us/visit-our-shops/items-to-donate

Declutter your House

Charities will come and collect your unwanted furniture

 

By permanently or temporarily removing furniture and belongings you can really improve the appeal of your house and widen the pool of buyers. Any work you can do to declutter your house can really help you achieve a quicker sale and a higher price. The sooner you declutter the better and it will also help with your up-coming move.

 

Good luck with your decluttering and house sale. We are here to assist you with any of your house removal needs or concerns, including help to declutter your house. Please contact us if you want any removal advice, a quote for storage, a strong-hand moving some furniture or if you need some packing boxes and materials.

Ashford 01233 740395       Canterbury 01227 752901       Maidstone 01622 235630

Calculating Stamp Duty Tax – Cost of Moving House

In the budget George Osbourne fundamentally changed the way Stamp Duty is calculated and charged. If you’re buying or selling a property make sure you understand these changes as they can make or break your house purchase. The good news is that the changes will save money for most of us in Kent, Surrey and the South East, those living in London will feel the pinch though.

Stamp Duty Banner - Colin Batt Removals

So here is how it works, bear with me as there are lots of figures here.

Stamp Duty – The Maths

From 4 December 2014 Stamp Duty is calculated on the portion of the property sales price that falls into each band. You only pay the rate of tax for the portion of the house price that falls in each band. So you pay 0% for all of the sale price that is below £125 000, 2% for the amount that falls between £125 001 and £250 000, for the sale price between £250 001 and £925 000 is charged at 5% and so on, see the table below for more. So not only have the rates changed but you only pay tax on the portion of the property sale in each band. Simples!

Stamp Duty Tax Rates Table - Colin Batt Removals

Stamp Duty Tax Rates and Bands

Worked Example

It is probably easier if we work through an example. Let’s say you have just agreed to buy a loverly 4-bedroom house in Canterbury, Kent for £450 000 your Stamp Duty will be calculated as follows. For the first portion up to £125 000 there will be no Stamp Duty to pay, for the portion falling between £125 001 and £250 000 the fee will be £2500 and the final £200 000 will incur £10 000. This means that the Treasury will charge you £12 500 for a house purchase of £450 000.

Now that is a lot of money but the good news is that under the old scheme we would have been charged 3% on the whole house price, which would have meant a stamp duty bill of totalling £13 500. So most of us moving house in Kent or the South East will be better off under the new regime, although it may take a while for us to fly get our head around the new tax law. In fact the Government has said that nobody buying a house under £925 000 will be out of pocket.

For more information regarding stamp duty on house purchases check out:

https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax/residential-property-rates

There is also a handy tool here to calculate the stamp duty land tax, all you have to do is enter the price of your new home and voila.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tools/sdlt/land-and-property.htm

Stamp Duty Logo-Colin Batt Removals