Matt and I are moving houses! Not only that, we have purchased out first home so we’re moving from a rental to a house that is actually ours! WILD! We’re very excited as you can probably tell from all of my exclamation mark usage.
I thought I would put together a post that just goes over a few things that we did to prepare for the purchase and move to make things as smooth rolling as possible. Hopefully it is of some value to someone!
1 – 3 involves the house hunting / buying process so if you’re not buying skip to number 4!
1. What the heck do we want?
The most important part of this process was making sure we had a clear vision on what we wanted and where we wanted to buy. It was super important that we were on the same page to prevent future disagreements. It was also helpful for when we would chat to real estate agents on what we were wanting so they could give us their suitable candidates.
The first thing we did was come up with a list of non-negotiables such as the price, the location, the amount of bedrooms and structural / exterior features.
Here’s what our list ended up looking like:
- Must be on the north side and less than 40 min drive to work
- Must be under $XXX,XXX
- Structurally sound
- At least 3 spaces – they don’t need to be bedroom size
- Functional pre-existing kitchen
- Doesn’t need aircon, just fans
- Not brick veneer
- Not on a main road – really important!
- Decent size block – over 550m2
- Needs to have a decent sized living area – no smaller than our current area
- Floorboard in main rooms – can be under carpet
- Can’t be in a flood zone
- Preferably near a park or walking trail
House hunting was fun at first but the novelty dies quickly and eventually you’ll want your Saturdays back. We were also given the wise advice to not start looking until we are financially ready to purchase – as to not course any heartbreak.
Here’s what we did to prepare for them each week:
- During the week I would keep an eye on the Realestate mobile app for houses that had inspections coming up that fitted out criteria. I had my notifications on and favourited any that I really loved so I could stay on top of their availability and inspection times. I also frequently checked the “Suggested for you” section of the app.
- When I found a house that we wanted to inspect, I would add the inspection time to our shared mobile calendar. You could literally do this one on tap on the app, and it even included the address and listing link in the event. Here is how to make a shared calendar on an iPhone if you don’t already have one.
- On Friday’s we would go through the schedule for Saturday to remove any houses that clashed or that we didn’t both love.
- On Saturday’s I would keep a notebook in the car that listed each house we were going to and had space for me to write any initial thoughts we had once we got back in the car after the inspection. This was really important because after you see 6 houses in a day, they all become a bit of a blur and it’s easy to get the pros and cons of each one mixed up.
3. The logistics and contacts
This might sound really obvious and lame, but I didn’t realise just how many different people / businesses that I would have to deal with during this process. We were fortunate to have a really great team of people around us throughout all of this who were able to deal with all of our stupid questions.
Talk to your friends, family and post in the local Facebook community groups for recommendations. Get quotes and see exactly what their services include. It was well worth us paying a bit more for some services when they came highly recommended and went above and beyond for us.
We also only ever gave real estate agents my phone number. This was purely because I am able to answer my phone at any time during the day but also meant all of the information was coming straight to me and not being funnelled through Matt. It was just good to have one person be the communicator in it all.
Here is a list of the people that we had to engage with in the process:
- Real Estate Agent(s)
- Bank / Mortgage Broker
- Building Inspector
- Pest Inspector
- Bond cleaner
- Conveyancer / Solicitor
4. Declutter time
If there is one thing that my mother has taught me, it’s how to declutter. Much to Matt’s disliking, I am ruthless when it comes to giving away stuff that I don’t wear or use anymore to my sister or a charity. He’ll thank me when it’s five boxes less of stuff to move to the new place.
It’s just such a therapeutic activity and a wake-up call as to how much SHIT we have accumulated since we last moved houses.
Here is a list of the areas we decluttered in the lead up to packing and moving:
- Cables / electronics
- The shed – stuff that’s been in storage, tools we don’t need, etc.
- Craft supplies
- Bathroom and medicine cabinets – out of date products, unused products, etc.
- Clothes, shoes, handbags
- Linen – moved to the shed for rags
- Anything that needs to be sold – upload to Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.
We gave a lot of stuff to my sister, uploaded some stuff for free on Marketplace, threw out anything that was trash and donated the rest to charity. If we had more time and more stuff we probably could have had a moving sale, but we weren’t organised enough.
5. The Very Essential and Official Moving Houses Tool Box
In order to prepare for the packing and unpacking I put together a box of anything and everything that we would need. Here it is!
- Tape measure (not pictured) – so essential it was in use at the time of the photo.
- Paper towel or a microfibre cloth – this was a later addition as we started packing we realised we needed it to wipe down surfaces and items we were packing.
- Tape! We had a small sticky tape for sealing caps and lids on things before packing them and a hand tape dispenser for sealing boxes and extra tape for reloading it when necessary or in the moments where were both needed tape..
- Big IKEA Zip-lock bags (these are the ISTAD Resealable bags that are made out of sugar cane!). They came in handy for packing more delicate items and things that could leak or scratch other items.
- Scissors and box cutter – pretty self explanatory.
- Twine! This was my partners addition and I must admit, it was quite helpful. We used it for rolled mats.
- Labels! We cut a heap of white adhesive paper to label the boxes. It was so much easier reading what was in each box when it was written on a white label rather than the boxes. This was partially because we were re-using boxes that had been written on by the previous family that used them.
- Markers – for said labels.
- Large, heavy duty garbage bags – This was for any rubbish we collected along the way.
We managed to score some good quality boxes on Facebook Marketplace off a couple who had just moved houses and then purchased bubblewrap and 10 large tubs from Officeworks.