This is a collaborative post.
For some lucky people, moving home is a breeze. You seamlessly transition from one home to the next without any roadblocks in your way. It doesn’t take a long time, you’re not spending loads of money and you arrive in your new home with all of your belongings.
Sounds like a dream, right? The odds of this happening are extremely slim. Dozens of factors influence a home move, meaning you’re going to run into problems big and small. The small problems are easy to deal with and you take them in your stride – it’s the big ones you need to watch out for.
While every move is different, some common issues are likely to arise and wreak havoc. We’ve listed the worst things that can happen when moving house – but we’ve also given some tips on how to deal with the scenarios as best as you can!
Lost or Damaged Belongings
When you think about it, you basically move your entire life from one place to another during a house move. You’ll have dozens of moving boxes packed full of belongings, plus a lot of items that are too big for boxes or need to be transported separately. Overall, we’re taking possibly tens of thousands of pounds worth of stuff. To add to this, there’s the sentimental value of certain items.
One of the worst things that can happen is your belongings being lost, damaged or stolen. You lose money, you lose things that are emotionally valuable and the whole move becomes more complicated. Imagine you get to your new house and the beds were damaged in transit. You’ve got nowhere to sleep tonight! It puts you in a very stressful situation that takes a long time to deal with.
The only way to manage an issue like this is by doing two things:
- Plan for the worst-case scenario
- Insure your belongings for the move
Planning for the worst-case scenario means you put contingencies in place. If things are damaged, you’ve got a friend or family member who’s already agreed to put you up for the night. As far as insurance goes, some movers do provide it, but you should have a contents insurance policy that includes home removals. This will help you deal with any financial repercussions of lost or damaged belongings.
You’d think that a delay wouldn’t be a major problem when moving house. In truth, delays sometimes fall under the small problem heading. Your removal company is delayed by a few hours because of traffic – that’s not a big deal at all. It might mean you arrive later than expected, but it isn’t the end of the world.
Bigger delays usually revolve around landlords, sellers or buyers. If you currently live in a flat, the landlord can choose to sell it whenever they want. Current laws state they must give you at least two months’ notice, but that’s not a huge amount of time in the property landscape. You’ll have two months to find somewhere else to live and move into.
Let’s say you find a great home, but this is where delays happen. If you’re renting again, the new landlord delays sending over paperwork or the keys. You move beyond the two-month mark and your old landlord needs you out of the home. A similar thing happens when buying – you enter negotiations to purchase a house but the sellers drag things out beyond two months.
In either case, you’re left in limbo. You have to vacate your current property yet have nowhere else to go. It’s arguably the biggest worry anyone has when moving house and causes many complications. Sure, you might be able to live with family for the time being – if you’re lucky. If not, you might have to live in a hotel or look for some extra cheap place to rent. Regardless, you’ve got one massive problem lurking on your back: your belongings.
What the heck are you supposed to do with all the moving boxes or furniture when there’s nowhere to move into?! The best way to calm your fears and make the situation more manageable is to use self storage facilities. Offload your belongings to a storage company and you can focus on finding somewhere to live.
The best way to avoid this entire situation is to act quickly when you move. Also, don’t sell your home if you haven’t got a new one lined up. While a massive problem, it’s fair to say this scenario only affects certain people – and it’s usually renters.
Damage To Property
We’ve spoken about damaged belongings, but what about property damage? Two main problems can occur during the moving process:
- You damage the property you’re moving out of
- Someone damages the property you’re moving into
The first scenario is more common than you think. It usually happens when you’re moving things like a big sofa or other clunky furniture out of your old home. You accidentally bang against doorframes or walls and take chunks out of them. You could also cause damage when cleaning the home as you leave, possibly leaving scratch marks or burn marks on surfaces.
This is a problem because it comes back to bite you. If you’re selling, the buyers might pull out altogether as they didn’t pay for a damaged property. In some cases, they’ll stick around but will renegotiate a lower price to cover the repair costs. Either way, you’re losing money and possibly dealing with a house that doesn’t sell. This can be a massive problem if you depend on the money from this house to pay for your new one!
In the second scenario, it’s frustrating because you’re likely at fault for the damages. You can’t make the previous owners pay for anything because you damaged the property during the move. However, if the damage was caused by a removal company, you can get them to pay for repairs. It’s a less serious problem than the first, but still an annoyance.
How do you deal with issues like these? For starters, when moving out of your home, place protective coverings on things. This includes furniture and doorways, so there’s less chance of damaging items. Also, if you can, take things apart so they’re easier to move. When the worst happens and you cause property damage, the only suggestion is to be upfront and offer to pay for repairs. It can help you keep the sale going and prevent the buyers from backing out.
Unexpected Property Problems
When buying a home, you expect certain things from the property you’re purchasing. After several visits, you’re confident this is the ideal home for you and your family. You pack everything up, go ahead with the move, dodge all of the issues mentioned above and get ready to settle down.
At this point, you begin to notice a few problems. It could be issues with the utilities in the new home, or maybe hidden leaks you didn’t see before. After the previous owners moved out and took their belongings, it revealed mould or rotten areas of the home. This is not what you expected to see, meaning you’ve got lots of things to sort out. On the minor scale, you may have to light a few candles for the night and call the electricity company in the morning. On the major end, the house may reveal dangerous problems that are unsafe to live in.
Unexpected property problems are a huge pain as there’s usually nothing you can do to get the old owners to pay for things. It’s technically your fault for not spotting them before. As such, always make sure you do thorough home inspections before buying a house. Visit it in different weather conditions to detect leaks and pay for professional surveyors to look around the building. Plan ahead with utility companies too, so you can move in and have electricity and internet right away.
Physical & Mental Health Problems
Finally, you may suffer from physical or mental health problems thanks to your home move. This is arguably the worst thing that can happen as it affects you for a long time. Physical health problems involve injuries stemming from carrying boxes or trying to lift furniture. Mental health problems relate to the stress of moving house.
Both can be dealt with and prevented with ease! Avoid physical problems by hiring movers to handle all the heavy lifting. Prevent mental stress by planning your entire move as early as possible. Get a moving checklist to ensure everything is packed and ready – then plan for the worst-case scenarios so you’re never left in shock.
As we said in the introduction, the ideal home move goes ahead without any stumbling blocks. If you face a few issues that don’t include the five things mentioned above, then you’ve got away lightly! There’s no doubt that the things discussed in this article are some of the worst scenarios that can happen when moving home. Hopefully, the tips and tricks detailed throughout will help you a) prevent the problems as much as possible or b) take them in your stride.