Congratulations on overcoming one of the biggest hurdles in adult life; saving a deposit and finally being handed the keys to a home which is totally yours!
From everyone here at London Money, we wish you the best and hope that you will make lots of happy memories once you’re unpacked and settled in.
In the same vein, we want to make sure that you aren’t left open to sudden financial shocks or difficulties. So, as a housewarming present, here’s a handy list of ten things you need to do as soon as possible after moving into your new home:
1. Introduce yourself to the neighbours
It might sound like something out of a soap opera, but introducing yourself and getting off on the right foot with those who live nearby might improve the security of your home.
Making friends increases the likelihood that your neighbours will look out for you. Plus, you never know when you might need to call on them to water the plants when you go on holiday!
2. Contact utility companies
If you have moved out of rented accommodation, you will need to inform your previous suppliers that you have left the property, if you did not let them know before you left. If possible, you should have final meter readings from that property to avoid being overcharged.
You then need to contact the providers at your new home and inform them of the new ownership. From there you will either arrange to continue using them or cancel their services.
3. Update your contact details with those who need it
This includes the more obvious people, such as your employer, next of kin and friends, as well as those which are easier to forget about. If you have one, you need to update the details on your driving licence, as well as informing service providers of your change of circumstances.
Companies such as your bank, mobile phone provider and the TV Licencing Company will need to be notified also.
4. Redirect your post
It is possible to redirect letters and parcels which would otherwise be delivered to your old address, via the Royal Mail website. This will do two things:
1. Make sure any important documents are delivered to you
2. Protect your identity from being stolen and used fraudulently
To set up a redirection, you need certain information on hand, including:
- Names and dates of birth of those whose mail will be redirected
- Your old address
- Your new address
Redirections cost £33.99 per person for three months and can be set up on a three, six or 12-monthly basis.
Set up a redirection by clicking here.
5. Update the electoral register
The primary reason for updating your details on the electoral register should be to ensure that you can vote in local and general elections, if you wish to.
However, an important secondary reason is to maintain a good credit score, which will be necessary if you need to change your mortgage provider in the future and want to access good rates.
6. Arrange home insurance
Now that you have put the time and energy into buying a home, there is no point in risking it all to save a few pounds each month. Home and contents insurance are a must-have for homeowners, as often they have poured everything they have into the property; including lots of savings, so losing it all to an accident or natural disaster could have a huge, and negative impact on their finances.
7. Protect your household income
Sudden income loss can happen for a range of reasons, most commonly illness, injury or death. However, being made redundant or dealing with a family emergency can also affect your monthly income, which will make paying bills and staying on top of your mortgage repayments difficult.
There are three types of insurance you can put in place to protect your family from financial difficulties in the event of a sudden loss of income. These are:
- Life Insurance: Pays out a lump sum if you die while the policy is in force
- Critical Illness Cover: Pays out a lump sum or income to you and your family if you are diagnosed with a serious illness, which is covered by the policy.
- Income Protection: Pays a portion of your income if you are unable to work, or your income suddenly stops
It is also important to have an emergency fund in place, which you can easily access to cover the short-term expenses if your income is lost. This will tide you over while waiting for any insurance payments to come through.
8. Review your financial plan
The change in circumstances may mean that your finances are disrupted, or that you need to re-evaluate your plans for later life. To discuss your options and find out how buying a home might affect your current financial plan, please get in touch with us.
9. Update your will
Owning a home and having the liability of a mortgage may mean that your plans have changed. If so, you will need to update your will to reflect this. This will ensure that your wishes are represented, and your family is protected no matter what life has in store for you.
10. Explore the new area
If your home is in a new area, you will need to learn your way around. Finding safe shortcuts and local shops is one of the joys of moving to a new house.
However, on a more serious note, you may have to register with a local GP and dentist if you have moved away from your current practices. This offers a great opportunity to find other local services you may need, such as the closest hospital and transport links.
From there, we wish you luck in your new home and offer a reminder of our services. For financial or mortgage advice, please get in touch with us on 0207 808 4120.