Are you thinking of moving house?

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There are many things to consider when moving home.  Below is a breakdown of the main things you need to know, including several useful contacts who can make your move to or within Copeland as easy as possible.

There are a number of hidden charges to consider when moving house:


A property that costs more than £125,00 (as at April 2012) will attract stamp duty.  Stamp duty is a government tax on property purchases which is between one and five percent of the purchase price.  It is usually itemised as part of your solicitor's bill.  HM Revenue and Customs shows current stamp duty rates.

Valuation fee

It is good practice to have a thorough survey carried out on the property you plan to buy.  A survey will tell you about its condition and highlight problems.  Your mortgage provider will arrange one of four types of survey for you:

  • Homebuyer's report: looks at structural safety and highlights problems (including damp), plus anything not meeting building regulations.  This should take two to four hours to complete and includes a valuation.  You can find a surveyor to do a homebuyer's report or building society through the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Building survey: for older houses and ones made of non-standard materials (for example, timber).  It usually takes a day to complete and does not include a valuation.
  •  New-build snagging survey: this is only for new homes and picks up any errors made when building and finishing the house.  Your inspector will get the developer to sort out any defects he or she finds.

Legal fees

You will need a solicitor to help you through the legal aspects of buying a house.  It is worth getting quotes from two or three different firms as fees can vary. 

Legal advice

It is important to get legal advice when buying or selling a home.  Your solicitor will do several things, including:

  • several searches related to the house, including making sure that the people selling the house actually own it;
  • arranging the transfer of deeds; and
  • arranging for contracts to be signed.

The Yellow Pages website can help you find a local solicitor.

Change of address

  • has an online change of address service which you can use to make sure everyone official is told what your new address is.  You can also use the service to stop junk mail coming to your new address and find the cheapest gas and energy supplier.

We also need to know about your change of address.  Please contact us in one of the following ways:


A list of things to remember when organising a move to a new home:

  • Utilities:  Have all meters read either the day you move or the day before.
  • Telephone:  Notify your phone company.  If you're moving within the same exchange area you may be able to to keep your number.
  • Bank or building society:  Inform your bank/building society.
  • Post:  You can fill in a form at any Post Office to redirect your post.  You can find more details about post redirection on the Post Office website. 
  • DSS/Benefits:  You need to tell our benefits section if you are moving and claim any benefits, including child benefit.
  • Contents insurance:  Make sure you tell your insurer your new address and moving date to make sure you're still covered during the move.


You will need to tell:

  •  your motor insurance company
  • your breakdown service and
  •  the DVLA.  Be aware that it is illegal to have a driving licence with the wrong address. has a checklist that you can download, which suggests things you need to do from two months before the move to after you have moved in.

As well as the traditional high street estate agents you can now also find on-line services such as


Published: 30 July 2012 - 10:15am