Fancy moving? Think first.

There’s always a spike in the property-for-sale listings at the start of a year. Vendors are looking to capitalise on the desire we humans have for the fresh start and so, the house hunting process kicks off. Of course, as a tenant, you’re not immune to this urge for change. As the days start to get longer, it’s easy to get itchy feet and start wondering about moving somewhere new, especially if your tenancy agreement is up for renewal.

Now, you don’t need telling that for both homebuyers and tenants, moving home can be a stressful and expensive experience. It doesn’t have to be, but for hundreds of different reasons, things rarely go smoothly. The vision of starting afresh in a bright, sun-filled home where everything is shiny and new is rarely matched by the reality. Yes, in time, you’ll get things sorted, but there’s all that packing and unpacking to sort first and when you’ve made the move, your furniture looks too big – or too small – and your curtains no longer meet in the middle. You’d sort it, but your budget is stretched to the limit and the extras will simply have to wait.

These aren’t reasons why you should stay put, but they are worth considering. Is this a genuine desire to relocate or a touch of spring fever? Could you satisfy your urge for a change of scene with some redecoration? Could you get busy decluttering and as Marie Kondo would urge, keep only those things that ‘spark joy’ in your life? Maybe it’s a change of outlook that’s needed rather than a change of location. If you’re unclear, don’t be afraid to fall back on the old chestnut of writing a list of the pros and cons of making a move.

If the feet are still itchy and you decide that you really do want to move on, if it suits you better, if it’s a necessity, then you should do it. But don’t automatically give up on the good things you already have. Capitalise on who and what you know to make everything easier.

Say, for example, you have a landlord who you like and trust. You’ve been a responsible tenant and the landlord doesn’t want you to move on. Why not ask whether they have another property that’s coming vacant, or whether they know of another landlord who they would recommend? Even If they don’t, be open and honest about what’s prompting your move. If it’s a poky kitchen that doesn’t work for your family, give them that feedback. You never know, they may even be prepared to invest in changes.

Letting agents can be a great source of advice too. Talk to them and explain your situation. They may well know of properties that aren’t currently available which would be perfect for your needs. They’re also brilliant resources when you’re getting into the practical details of moving home with great suggestions for removals services and utility providers.

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