Category Archives: House removals

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

How Much does it Cost to Move House?

House prices have risen remarkably in Kent and the South East recently and so it is more important than ever to understand the other fees involved in moving home. When you buy a property the cost to move house is more than the price you pay for the property, there are many more fees and charges that you need to budget for. These fees can quickly add up and so you should account for them before you agree your sale and mortgage. To help you with this we have compiled a list of charges you should consider when moving house, everything from mortgage fees to house removal costs.

Removals in Kent

Colin Batt Removals Kent House Move

All house price figures were obtained from Zoopla using their Zed index and are accurate as of 21 October 14.

Deposit

Zoopla currently estimates that the average house price in Kent is now in excess of £278,000 and has reached the previous highs set before the economic crash in 2008. This means that the deposit requirements for your mortgage are also increasing. Listed below are the average prices and illustrative deposits you may need for a variety of example properties currently available in Maidstone, Ashford and Canterbury.

Location Property Average Price 20% Deposit
Maidstone Detached £456,047 £91,209
Canterbury Flat £188,076 £37,615
Ashford Semi-Detached £233,222 £46,644

Mortgage Fees

You will be acutely aware of the costs and long-term financial responsibility a mortgage brings – with the added bonus of your own home! What you may not be so mindful of is all of the other fees mortgage providers charge you. There is obviously the interest on your loan but there are additional fees they may charge to set up your mortgage. Some of these can be added to you loan but doing this will obviously increase your monthly payments and the overall cost of your loan. The mortgage fees vary between lenders but can include:

  • Valuation Fee £150-1500
  • Set-up Fee £99-300
  • Arrangement Fee £0-2000

Stamp Duty

Properties bought for more than £125,000 will incur a stamp duty fee paid to the exchequer on completion of the property sale by the buyer. This fee is charged on a sliding scale dependent on the property sale price. These are set by HMRC and can be viewed at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sdlt/intro/rates-thresholds.htm. For an average priced property in Kent (£262,028) the stamp duty fee is 3% of the purchase price and so would cost £7860.

Purchase price

SDLT rate

Up to £125,000

Zero

Over £125,000 to £250,000

1%

Over £250,000 to £500,000

3%

Over £500,000 to £1 million

4%

Over £1 million to £2 million

5%

Over £2 million

7%

Over £2 million (purchased by certain persons including corporate bodies)

15%

Legal Fees

These are the fees incurred by the solicitor or conveyancer on your behalf for the legal work required to complete the sale.  The fees vary whether you are buying or selling (clearly you are usually doing both). The charges are usually between £300-£700 for selling and £400-1000 when buying. If you are purchasing a property the solicitor will also usually instruct all the relevant searches on your behalf (such as those to check appropriate planning permission, flood risk, chancellory etc) and these will amount to approximately £200. There is also the Land Registration Fee to pay and this usually varies between £20 and £455 depending on the property price. In total the legal fees for both selling and buying a property can vary between as much as £1000 and £4500.

When choosing you solicitor, surveyor and estate agent (see below) use a reputable firm and use firms recommended by your friends and colleagues – a cheap initial price can actually turn out to be very expensive. As always, obtain several quotes before you decide and always negotiate.

Estate Agent Fees

As with the legal fees these vary from agent to agent. The fees can vary anywhere from 1% to 3% of the final sale price. Your estate agent can also usually organise an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for you as this is a mandatory item for sale. The EPC will cost around £100 and so for an average price property in Kent the estate agent fees and EPC combined will set you back £2720-7960. Remember both the estate agent fees and the EPC charges are only paid by the seller.

Surveyor

A house purchase is the most expensive outlay you are ever likely to make as such it is always advisable to get a qualified surveyor to inspect the property. A home buyers report will highlight any major defects within the property and a full structural survey gives you in-depth detail on the state of the house you are considering buying. Either report could well save you thousands of pounds and a lot of heart ache in the long run. A home report will set you back around £300 and a structural survey start in the region of £500.

House Removal

Your house removal costs are completely dependent upon the amount of furniture and belongings you have to move, how far you are moving and whether you plan to do the packing yourself. Additional charges could be incurred for moving bespoke items such as pianos or fine art. Just like any other purchase do your research and use a firm recommended by your friends and colleagues. You can also use independent sites such as ReferenceLine to get a feeling for the company’s reputation.

We recommend you get three independent quotes from member of the British Association of Removers (BAR). Members of the BAR agree to abide by a strict code of practice and all members are fully insured. The BAR provide an online estimator for you to get a rough idea of how much your move may cost but always get an on-site survey before you choose your removal company.  We also provide an online form to provide you with a removals estimate, see the link to the right.

http://www.referenceline.com/removers_removals-in-challock-colinbattremovals-15104

http://www.bar.co.uk/

 

Buying a house is an expensive business with lots of additional costs to move house in addition to the actual purchase price. Careful budgeting is key as is shopping around, but do use recommended companies. After spending all that money on your dream home don’t start your first night there stressed having tried to save a few pounds by using a disreputable removal company. They are, after all, moving all of your worldly belongings so it may cost you more money in the long run.

For more house moving advice check out our helpful hints page on https://www.colinbattremovals.co.uk/house-removals/helpful-hints/

Kent Ranked Highly as ‘Best Places to Live’ by The Telegraph

KENT RANKS HIGHLY AS ONE OF THE ‘BEST PLACES’ TO LIVE IN ENGLAND AND WALES

Kent has scored extremely well overall in a recent ‘Best Places to Live’ index produced by the The Telegraph. The index was constructed using average weekly incomes, crime rates, health, home ownership, and economic activity.

Best places to live

We know that when moving house local crime rates, health chances and incomes play a big factor in your decisions. This index provides a simple ‘at-a-glance’ overview of the areas where you live. The good news is that Kent has at least 6 areas in the top 10% of best places to live from Tonbridge & Malling to Maidstone and Medway. The table below shows the highlights but he full index can be found at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11041812/Mapped-the-best-places-to-live-in-England-and-Wales.html

Area

Ranking (Out of 7137)

Ranking %

Ashford

903

13%

Canterbury

1182

17%

Gravesham

907

13%

Maidstone

651

9%

Medway

245

3%

Sevenoaks

380

5%

Tonbridge & Malling

77

1%

Tonbridge Wells

119

2%

Wealden

347

5%

Figures accurate as of 19 August 2014.

 

 

The 8 Best Books to Help Children Cope with Moving Home

The 8 Best Books to Help Kids and Children Cope with Moving Home

Books are great at the best of times but they can also help children cope with moving home and here we have selected 8 of the very best. Moving house is not just a stressful time for adults, it can also be a very disrupting experience for children. One of the best ways to prepare and help children cope with moving home is to talk about it. We have selected what we feel are the best books to address the natural fears that children and kids have bout moving house. These books act as a great vehicle to highlight and talk through the whole moving process with your kids, making for a much smoother and easier transition into your new home.

Children cope with moving home

The Moving Book – A Kids’ Survival Guide by Gabriel Davis

Age 8-12 Years

This is a great book for all the older kids out there. It is packed full of practical advice and activities to make moving house an exciting adventure, from change-of-address postcards to tips on how to pack.  It is well structured and prepares kids for the trials and traumas of moving house. It deals with the all the worries and the full range of emotions involved with moving, from missing friends to new school jitters, to help kids focus on the positive side of moving.

 

Children cope with moving home

We’re Moving by Heather Maisner

Age 0-8 Years

Heather Maisner has created a wonderful book for infants and toddlers discussing the feelings and fears of moving house – Amy has to wave goodbye to her best friend and the garden she planted with her father. The illustrations by Kristina Stephenson are charming and add real warmth to the story. The book is designed to encourage younger children to talk about and address any concerns they may have about moving home.

 

Children cope with moving home

Little Princess Story – I Want to Go Home by Tony Ross

Age 2-5 Years

A lovely book to show that home is where your family is, not just bricks and mortar. Packed full of humour with simple language this book helps explain to children that once you move your old house is no longer the same. Great illustrations help tell the story and, if you already have some Little Princess book, your child will feel at home with the character.

 

 

Children cope with moving home

My Best Friend Moved Away by Nancy Carlson

Age 3-5 Years

Whilst not solely focused on moving home this picture book deals with one of the biggest fears that children have when moving – losing their best friend. Nancy Carlson’s heartfelt and colourful book highlights friendship in all of its beautiful moods. The story helps sooth the pain of losing a friend and has a positive finish that shows that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Children cope with moving home

We are Moving by Mercer Mayer

Age 4-8 Years

The Little Critter series are a big hit with children and this book focuses on Little Critter dealing with the challenges of moving. Mercer Mayer has being writing and illustrating children’s books since 1966 and his experience and skill are clear to see.  Little Critter faces his fears – what if his new school is full of bullies? What if his new neighbours are monsters? – and learns that moving isn’t so bad after all.

 

Children cope with moving home

The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan & Jan Berenstain

Age 3-7 Years

An easy-to-read book written in a language that toddlers and infants will understand. By leading the reader through the issues of moving house the book provides a platform for parents to talk through their children’s own concerns about moving. It provides reassurance that some things will remain the same and that all their possessions, toys, clothes and books, will be coming with them. A delightful book that helps children learn that every cloud has a silver lining.

Children cope with moving home

Alexander, Who’s Not Going to Move by Judith Viorst

Age 4-8 Years

Another book in the Alexander series which sees him dealing with the trials and tribulations of moving home. Judith Viorst skilfully uses her trademark humour to discuss the issues surrounding leaving friends, favourite teams and generally being separated from all he knows. It covers a wide range of feelings that kids may be going through and addresses their fears and frustrations.

 

Children cope with moving homeBig Ernie’s New Home by Teresa Martin

Age 2-6 Years

Teresa Martin has written a great little book about moving house for pre-schoolers. Whilst young children cannot grasp the permanent change of moving home the different sights, sounds, smells and even tastes of a new abode can be unsettling. Big Ernie’s New Home normalises the extraordinary situation that moving can be for kids by addressing the fears, anger, sadness and anxiety that children feel during and after a move. The book promotes the positives of new opportunities and adventures that a move can bring. In addition Dr Jane Annunziata gives extensive ‘Notes for Parents’ on moving and provides a plethora of suggestions for smoothing the transition.

We are here to help you and your children cope with moving home. Please get in touch if you have any questions before, during or after your house move. We have more guidance and advice if you’re moving with children here –

www.colinbattremovals.co.uk/house-removals/moving-home-with-children-and-pets/