Common mistakes when moving house that Cambridge residents should try to avoid
All signs point to an explosion in the number of people looking to move house in Cambridge and the surrounding area in 2017 and beyond. Damien Seaman, brand manager at removals comparison website Buzzmove, offers some advice.
Cambridge is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities and the CB23 postcode, which includes the villages of Cambourne, Hardwick and Madingley, is the most desirable suburb in the UK as a result of property prices there having risen 18.6 per cent in a year, with the average now £373,090, as reported in last week’s Cambridge Independent.
“Over the last five years, demand for removals seems to be gradually decreasing,” said Daniel Koulke, director of iRemovalsUK, a Cambridge-based firm. “But in the past six months we’ve noticed an increase in the number of moves in the Cambridge area, which is a great indication that demand is on the rise again.”
With increased demand for removals services comes an increased risk of things going wrong and the homeowner having to pay more. Here are Damien Seaman of Buzzmove’s top five removals mistakes that Cambridge residents should avoid:
1 Moving at the wrong time of year – “Demand for removals services peaks in July and August,” said Damien. “During times of high demand, companies can up their prices by as much as 100 per cent. Booked moves can fall through when demand is high too, leaving you high and dry at the last minute.
“If you have any flexibility, look to move outside of the summer. Book your move in the first two weeks of the month if you can, and from Monday to Wednesday in particular. Prices are usually much lower then.”
Daniel Koulke, whose own firm works with Buzzmove, added: “Try to schedule a move at least two weeks in advance. Cambridge is quite busy with removals and good companies get booked very quickly.”
2 Not checking for restricted access at your property – “With parking at such a premium in Cambridge city centre, restricted access can be a major issue,” said Damien. “If a removals van can’t park close to your property, this will increase the time it takes to carry out a move.
“Can a removals truck fit on your road? How close will they be able to park? Check for any restricted access so you can inform your removals company. If you’re not sure, take a few photos on your phone and email them across.”
Daniel Koulke added: “Contact your local council and reserve at least two parking spots outside your property if it’s usually very busy, and if you’re moving from a flat, don’t forget to mention what floor it’s on. Unexpected stairs usually add a fee on the day.”
3 Not comparing quotes – “Going for the lowest quote can be a risk,” advised Damien. “Good removals companies pay for staff training, pay higher wages, have higher levels of insurance and spend more on vehicle maintenance. If a removal quote is too low, it should set alarm bells ringing.
“Try to compare quotes from three companies or more so you know what the consensus is, and try to choose the company that you think is best for you. That way, less is likely to go wrong.
“It’s also worth negotiating to see if you can get a lower price. Many companies are prepared to offer a discount, especially if you move at a less busy time.”
4 Not asking for customer referrals – “All good removals companies suggest that customers do this,” revealed Damien. “Check out their websites and look for testimonials and reviews. Ask for the phone numbers of recent customers you can call. The peace of mind you’ll get from it is worth that little extra time.”
5 Underestimating how much you need to move – “This is a common complaint from removals companies,” observed Damien. “They agree a price with a customer, only to find that the van they’ve brought along isn’t big enough for all the stuff that needs moving. It’s therefore best to let removals companies come to your house to carry out a quick survey.”
Daniel Koulke concluded: “Always ask for someone to come out and survey your property. When people estimate the amount they need to move, they get it wrong very often, which can cost them more on moving day.
“Show surveyors the contents of drawers, cupboards, wardrobes and bookcases, as this is where most of the volume is. Don’t forget to mention any items that might need to be disassembled and reassembled. This is the most common reason for moves taking longer than expected.
“Avoid these five common removals mistakes and you should have a much smoother experience, as well as being more likely to save money.”
Founded in 2013, Buzzmove is a comparison site that enables home and office movers to compare fully-insured and vetted removals companies. The company aims to destress the process of moving by making it easier for people to find and compare reliable moving companies in their area.