• 7. Moving in

    Start your planning now

    Congratulations – the place is yours! Now all you have to do is move in. 

    Although moving house is often described as one of life’s most stressful experiences, it doesn’t have to be, especially if you’re organised and start planning early.

    DIY or moving professionals?

    The first thing you need to work out is whether you want to handle the move yourself or call in professionals. If you’re considering moving yourself, here are some things to think about:

     

    • Do you need to hire a van? If so, how much will it cost?
    • Do you need a special licence for the van you want (and if so do you have one or know someone who is willing to help)?
    • Will you be able to get it all done in one day?
    • Are you strong enough to move heavy items without injuring yourself?
    • Do you have friends and relatives who can help you move?
    • How will you move the large and awkward items?
    • Will there be any access problems?
    • If you have any doubts, it might be wise to let professionals handle the job. Moving Services (a division of Australia Post) has good advice and information on moving house.

     

    Choosing a removalist

    There are some horror stories about removalists out there, so the first thing to do is ask around. Speak to friends and relatives who’ve been through the experience for any recommendations.

     

    • Get quotes from at least three removalists, and don’t automatically go for the cheapest one
    • Make sure you know what’s included in the quote/job and ensure it is in writing.
    • Most removalists offer insurance, but you need to read the fine print – as you may only be covered for items they have packed, not those packed yourself
    • Check your own contents insurance policy to see if you’re covered already.
    • Some removalist companies offer a complete packing and unpacking service, and will even stock your kitchen and make your bed – for a price. 
    • Work out how many boxes you’ll need to move, in addition to furniture, as removalists usually ask this to give you a quote. A good removal firm will often send someone out before the move to check what’s involved.

     

    Tips for packing  

     

    • Number each box and write what’s inside and which room it belongs in. It’s also a good idea to write such details on a sheet of paper, which you can use as a checklist to ensure all boxes are delivered and accounted for.
    • Pack heavy things in small boxes
    • Check with the removalists whether there are things they won’t take (paint cans, building materials)
    • Breakable items should be wrapped in bubble wrap or tissue paper and/or newspaper. You can also use pillows and blankets for those delicate items. Mark boxes containing your fragile items as ‘fragile’.
    • Self-sealing bags are handy for keeping small items together.

     

    How you could pay off your mortgage sooner

     

    • A home loan may be the biggest debt you’ll ever have so it makes sense to try to pay it off as quickly as you can. 
    • By making extra repayments and increasing the amount you pay each month, it may be possible to reduce your interest bill and number of years off your loan (subject to the terms of your loan contract). 
    • You should then revisit your budget planner to get a clear understanding of your financial situation on a regular basis.

     

    Pay more frequently

    One of the best ways to pay off your mortgage early is to make weekly or fortnightly repayments rather than monthly. This means you make an extra repayment a year, reducing the term of the loan if you do not redraw the additional funds.

    Make extra repayments

     

    • Remember, every bit helps. By putting a spare $50 a month, or just over $10 a week, into your mortgage could save – see our repayments calculator.  
    • For example, why not cut down on the number of coffees you have a day or bring your lunch to work? These small savings could make a big difference over time.

     

    Keep it the same

    If interest rates go down, many borrowers choose to leave their repayment at the same level. This can effectively help repay your mortgage faster.

    Offset accounts

    Money you hold in an offset account (normally a transaction account), is offset daily against your outstanding loan balance, which could reduce the interest payable.

    Consolidate debt

    Instead of credit cards and personal loans at high interest rates, consider consolidating several debts into your home loan – the interest payable is usually considerably lower.  But remember, while the interest rate is lower, the loan term is usually longer and may result in a higher total interest payment over the life of the loan. Check whether this is appropriate for you.