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Moving homes - pay attention to the details

Although packing and unpacking boxes is a major element to moving homes, it is certainly not the only factor that needs to be considered when changing your address, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“When it comes to moving homes there are also a few legal matters that will require attention,” says Goslett. “Each situation will be different and as such there will be unique aspects that should be taken into account. For example, if the new homebuyer was renting their previous property and are still bound by the lease agreement, they will need to read through their contract to see what their options are. They might be able to be released from the lease agreement early or find another tenant that could take over the property until the terms of the lease ends. This will require some research and a discussion with the landlord.”

Goslett notes that there are a number of legal and technical details that buyers need to keep in mind when moving. He offers some advice and considerations for buyers moving to a new home:

It is best to ensure that the move is covered

A vital aspect when making arrangements with a moving company is to check whether any mishaps are covered by insurance. The homebuyer should read through all documentation provided by the moving company to see what falls under their insurance coverage during the move and what isn’t. While the moving company will provide some insurance, depending on the contract, it might be worthwhile to take out additional coverage.

Send change of address to the relevant parties

A change of address notification will need to be sent to all creditors, along with being changed on any banks accounts. This will ensure that no payments or important notices are missed by the homeowner that could affect their credit record in the future. As a precaution, Goslett says that the homebuyer should also ask the post office to forward all post to their new address. The change of address should also be sent to any publications that the homebuyer has subscriptions with, and to family and friends.

Transfer or disconnect utilities


Utilities or services will need to be transferred to the new address or discontinued if they are no longer applicable. These would include items such as water and electricity services, newspaper delivery, a telephone landline, DSTV subscription or a private security company. According to Goslett, there might be a deposit that can be refunded from certain service providers. He notes that homebuyers should also advise service providers where final bills are to be sent.

Obtain all the necessary records


Although not as important if the buyer is moving to a home within the same area, for those who are relocating to another city it is important to get a copy of all vital documentation. This will include medical records from the family doctor, along with any chronic prescriptions that need to refilled or transferred to another pharmacy. Goslett says that buyers with families should get their children’s school records such as copies of report cards and a transfer card. Other records would include birth documents for all family members and any legal records.

“While relocating can be a rather tedious exercise, if the homebuyer has a checklist and systematically deals with all the necessary aspects involved, it will be a far more manageable experience,” Goslett concludes.


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