Real Estate

TSB has launched new buy-to-let and product transfer mortgages.

New buy-to-let rates include two-year fixed rates at 1.69% up to 60% LTV and 1.94% between 60% and 75% LTV. Five-year fixed rates start from 1.99% up to 60% LTV and 2.24% up to 75% LTV.

New two-year fixed rate product transfer rates are available at 1.39% up to 60% LTV, 1.59% between 60% and 75% LTV, 1.69% between 75% and 80% LTV, 1.74% between 80% and 85% LTV and 1.89% up to 90% LTV.

Five-year fixed rate product transfer rates start at 1.54% up to 60% LTV, 1.74% up to 75% LTV, 1.89% up to 80% LTV, 1.94% up to 85% LTV and 2.29% up to 90% LTV.

Ten-year fixed rate product transfers start at 2.24% between 0-60% LTV and 2.29% between 60% and 75% LTV.

All of the newly launched mortgages come with a £995 product fee.


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The start of any year brings with it the hope and possibility of the new but possibly the start of a new decade increases that ten-fold.

With 2020 barely days old, and the slow return to work underway, what might we hope for over the course of the next 12 months or indeed the next 10 years?

Ironically, the start of 2020 seems to herald more of the same, with an added dose of political certainty brought about by last month’s General Election, the Conservative Party win, and the suggestion that housing market policies might now be more positive for transactions than they have been for some time.

In a sense the market appears to be holding its breath – and perhaps putting all its eggs in the policy basket marked ‘stamp duty changes’. The next Budget should not be too far away, and there will undoubtedly be a real sense of disappointment should the Chancellor not deliver on this. We await that announcement with interest and hope it provides a considerable catalyst to activity.

Overall, however, we can probably look forward to a year of benign house price growth, continuing in the region of 1-3% according to the Halifax, while UK Finance recently suggested that gross mortgage lending will fall by a small amount in 2020 compared to last year – down to £254bn from an anticipated £264bn over the previous 12-month period.

This drop is pretty much across the board, according to the trade body, with both purchase mortgages and remortgages falling – whether that truly plays out in this way remains to be seen, but I suspect advisers will need to keep a watchful eye on one part of the market.

Of all the mortgage sectors, it is product transfer which is predicted to grow. According to UK Finance it will be up to £164bn from £158bn in 2019. The intermediary community (at present) takes a majority share of this business, but lenders are targeting more of this business direct, and advisers also have to be conscious of the fact that their ability to keep clients long-term could be impacted by conducting more product transfer business. Ditto execution-only, although why advisers would be recommending this is anyone’s guess.

What we would not wish to see in the years ahead is a false sense of security in the advisory market. Yes, MMR provided a considerable boost to advisers’ business but the FCA has been pretty blunt in its recent missives – setting the groundwork for more execution-only, more use of technology to bypass advice, and a focus on customers who, in its opinion, do not need advice and have not made any savings as a result of taking it.

That focus on price is a considerable sea-change from the MMR and, if the FCA pursues these policies throughout the next 10 years, then advisers will need to fight harder and harder for their business. The positive of course is that advice has never been so necessary and customers – with all the product choice and complexity – could be impacted negatively if they believe they can choose the best mortgage for them.

Ten years is a long time to look ahead, but it seems obvious to say that the focus on climate change, the need to cut emissions, and the ‘green economy’ will seep into the mortgage market. For those borrowers who diminish the carbon footprint of their own home, there are likely to be rewards in terms of lower rates, but we can also anticipate an increase in the regulatory/legislative requirements when it comes to the EPC of properties.

We’re already seeing that in the rental space with all PRS properties needing to be of a specific grade and it seems an obvious area to focus on for Governments who want greater energy efficiency right across the board. Weather extremes will also impact on certain areas of the country and we may well see lenders deciding not to lend in newer regions of the UK who now appear more prone to flooding, etc, than in the past. It will not need us to gaze into the crystal ball to see the significant numbers of homeowners that could be impacted by this.

The 2020s are likely to be a green-focused decade – or at least they should be. The outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has already expressed concern about how global warming/climate change could impact on investment decisions and pension funds. Across the board, financial decisions will need to be couched in these terms, and the mortgage market is no different.

Advisers have the opportunity to continue the growth of their advisory services and products, but must respect the challenges that exist, and plan and prepare accordingly. A view of the bigger picture can be illuminating and it’s fair to say our changing environment is going to have a major say in all our lives – both personal and business.


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Be proud to gift the interior lover in your life with something to make them even more house proud

Looking for inspiration for home gifts this Christmas? We understand that choosing a present for an interiors obsessive (especially those who seem to have everything) can be a challenge, which is why we’ve stepped in to share our pick of the best gifts for home lovers.

Whether their style is minimalist, maximalist or somewhere in between, you’re sure to find something unique to gift this Christmas.

1. Gorgeous Moroccan wool pots (we want them all)

(Image credit: Bohemia Design)

With happiness inducing properties, these Moroccan Wool Pots from Bohemia Design would make the perfect addition to a home with a white colour scheme – or as a gift for an interiors obsessive with eclectic taste.

Perfect for storing knick knacks, or for housing small (but special) house plants, we’re sure they would make a welcome addition to any home. While we’re on the subject… lots more house plant display ideas in our gorgeous gallery, too.

2. Stylish glasses for gin enthusiasts

With gin growing in popularity (and rightly so) we love the idea of gifting a pair of gorgeous glasses to fellow gin enthusiasts. Find this gin goblet set (of two) at Oliver Bonas.

Looking for the perfect accompaniment? Pair with Edinburgh Gin’s Rhubarb and Ginger Liqueur or Firebox Flamingo Tears Pink Grapefruit Gin and hey presto, gift perfection.

3. Gift the cactus trend

According to the headlines, cacti are the new pineapples, meaning they’re guaranteed to make a great gift for interiors obsessives this Christmas.

We love this Mini Cactus Vase from Abode Living, which looks equally as adorable paired with stemmed leaves as it does on its own.

4. Choose a table lamp with Scandinavian influence

Trying to find a gift for a friend who can’t get enough of Scandinavian design? This Normann Copenhagen Cap Table Lamp from Hurn & Hurn is stylishly minimalist in its design, making a statement that’s striking yet understated. You can grab it in a variety of colours to suit any interior.

5. A low-maintenance home office beautifier

An ideal gift for a colleague or friend who works from home, terrariums are effective in sprucing up and injecting life into a tired looking desk space.

Teamed with a stylish succulent, it doesn’t get much prettier than this Geometric Terrarium from Not on the High Street.

6. Share a memory in a delicate hanging glass frame

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

A simple, but sentimental gift that’s perfect for a good friend, we love the idea of filling these Delicate Hanging Glass Frames from Cox & Cox with memories; be that a photograph, postcard, pressed flower, ticket or wedding invitation.

7. A cool and cosy throw blanket

‘Tis the season for nights snuggled up watching Christmas films, meaning this Faustine Tasselled Throw Blanket from Anthropologie makes for the perfect addition to an interiors lover’s home. Success guaranteed.

8. Give a homeware gift with a story

Like the idea of a skillfully handcrafted gift that has the added benefit of supporting a great cause? This I Can I Am Tablecloth from Arthouse Unlimited supports the work of Arthouse Unlimited, a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning difficulties whose passion for producing artworks is channelled into the production of designer items.

9. Give an oh-so-Instagrammable gift

Have a friend that loves Instagramming their home? This Gold Letter Board from Oliver Bonas could be the gift for them.

Perfect for styling with cute catchphrases, shopping lists or messages for your other half, they’re a stylish addition to any contemporary home.

10. A subscription to Real Homes or Period Living mags

We know we would say this but Real Homes magazine is a fab read – as well as being a great reference for anyone looking to transform their home. A subscription means your giftee will have all the latest on updating their home, whether owned or rented, and whether they’re on a budget or splashing out on a forever family home. It covers the latest decorating trends, too. Do they love period or vintage decor? Why not double up with a subscription to Period Living mag too? You know it makes sense.

11. A Moroccan-inspired mirror perfect for contemporary homes

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

With a stylish, copper-toned finish, we love the Moroccan influence behind this gorgeous Kasabah Mirror from Cox & Cox. Its lightweight design and unique shape make an understated impact that’s perfect for a bedroom, living room or hallway.

12. Kitchen utensils they wouldn’t buy for themselves

The best Christmas presents are those that the recipient would love, but probably wouldn’t buy for themselves. Enter the gorgeous Eres range from Anthropologie.

Pick from a Pie Dish, Spoon Rest, Salt and Pepper Shakersor Butter Dish, each adorned with intricately designed, floral patterns, and spruce up the kitchen of the home lover in your life.

13. A kettle unlike any other

When it comes to choosing gifts for the home owner who has everything, thinking outside of the box is key.

We love this Smeg Dolce & Gabbana Kettle, with its vibrant, Italian inspired design. The unique and luxurious feel of this designer item makes it a special gift for Christmas.

14. An industrial-inspired, on trend terrazzo planter

(Image credit:

For friends or family members whose taste is more industrial-inspired, this set of on trend terrazzo Hakuun Planters from Made makes a stylish gift.

The perfect platform for plants that need to live indoors, planters allow you to make more of a feature from your green friends, while ensuring the home doesn’t feel cluttered. Pssst! Tell your friends they can look for house plant display ideas in our feature, too.


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Prepare for the Cold and Save Big With These Handy Home Hacks

Preparing your home for the winter months entails more than just making sure your heater still works. Though a reliable source for warmth goes a long way to being comfortable when it gets cold, don’t let the prospect of a cozy apartment make you overlook what else can be done to prep. After all, it’s always better to put in the effort now than to wait until you have no choice – it can also be a hell of a lot cheaper.

You’ll first need to figure out what exactly your home or apartment might need to prep for colder temperatures. To help, we’ve compiled a list of winter home hacks that’ll do everything from protecting your pipes to making sure cold air stays where it belongs – outside.

1. Patch Any Air Leaks

Pickens says to “do a walk around the house and check for any place where air might be coming into your space. If you feel cool air, especially around the bottoms of doors, check to be sure the weather stripping is intact.”

If you notice any weather stripping that seems worn down or that might be leaking air, replace it as soon as you can. Not only does this keep your home warm, but it saves on your heat bill, too. Pick up a roll from your local hardware store or buy some at Home Depot or Amazon.

2. Close Unused Vents

Once you start using your heater more often, walk around your home and take note of each open vent. If you notice a few open vents in rooms that aren’t being used, it’s smart to completely shut them off. This directs all heat to the living areas you actually use and helps lower your monthly heat bill.

3. Check All Water Pipes

Bursting water pipes might be synonymous with freezing winter temperatures but they don’t have to be in your home. There are plenty of ways you can prevent frozen water expansion and thus, prevent any pipes from bursting. As long as you avoid major issues with your pipes, you’ll likely have reliable access to running water all winter.

According to J. Pickens, “if you have a home irrigation system, it’s essential that you empty hard pipes to keep them from cracking. Rubber hoses can handle the expansion but it’s good to empty them just the same.”

4. Create Your Own Humidifier

Keeping the air humid around your home helps it maintain heat longer and even if you don’t have a legitimate humidifier, don’t fret. Just heat a saucepan or stove pot full of water (tea kettles work, too) to boiling to fill your home with moisture. You can even throw cinnamon sticks or mulling spices into the water to give your home a very fall-like smell.

5. Non-Stick Your Shovel

A reliable snow shovel only works if it’s not consistently caked in snow. To give your shovel an edge, spray WD-40 or non-stick cooking spray on it and watch the snow slide off with ease. This also helps avoid bringing any unwanted snow back into your home or garage once you’ve finished.

6. Use a Sprinkler to Clean Salt Off Your Vehicle

It may seem counterintuitive to use a sprinkler for anything winter-related but if used correctly, it has a vital role in making sure your vehicle stays in tip-top shape until spring. Since most cities lay salt to combat the effects of icy roads, everyone’s car from November to March is prone to significant erosion damage. But it doesn’t have to be.

“Just wait for a day when the temperature is above freezing and place the sprinkler head under your car while you have a cup of hot coffee inside,” J. Pickens advises. “Salt rust be gone.”

7. Easy Fireplace Cleaning

Winter also means a return to using your fireplace (if you have one) and it’s important to consistently keep it clean to avoid the build-up of soot and dust. One of the easiest methods for doing this is tin foil. Use a few sheets to line the bottom before you start a fire and once it’s finished burning and cooled off, you’ll be able to roll up the foil to easily remove all ash.

8. Designate a Winter Gear Area

Whether it’s raining, snowing or some combination of the two, winter has a knack for leaving you damp and wet – and the last thing you want to do is track that into your home. This is why it’s important to designate a specific area for wet boots and clothing, snow shovels or anything else that needs drying off or melting. Since it’s just one area soaking up all the moisture, it’s much easier to manage.

There’s no “one-plan-fits-all” kind of approach to prepping your home or apartment for winter weather. There are plenty of variables that may impact what, how and when you prepare, but the tips above should serve as a starting point for anyone who wants the cold months to feel less frigid.


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As jobs go, being a landlord can carry a lot of stress. From navigating constantly changing laws, buying and managing multiple properties and tackling problem tenants, there’s a lot to deal with.

However, according to the latest research from The Mortgage Lender, property maintenance tops the list of issues that are keeping residential landlords awake at night.

The research among a panel of landlords found tenant behaviour, care of the property, taxation and finding tenants also made it into the top ten worries of property owners. One in four landlords said they weren’t experiencing any issues that were keeping them awake at night while only one in 50 was concerned about enhanced underwriting for portfolio landlords and one in twenty cited Brexit as a worry.

Three in ten landlords said property maintenance was their main concern, which is unsurprising given the average property has four maintenance issues in a year with one in ten properties experiencing seven maintenance issues in a year.

The most common issues reported by tenants were ovens, water leaks and boilers and November is the month that experiences the highest number of maintenance issues.

Top Ten issues keeping landlords awake at night:

1: Property Maintenance – 30%
2: Care of Property – 24%
3: Tenant behaviour – 23%
4: Taxation – 19%
5: Costs V Rental Income – 17%
6: Landlord Regulation – 13%
7: Collecting Rent – 11%
8: Finding tenants – 10%
9:Property Prices – 10%
10: Market Conditions – 9%

The Mortgage Lender chief executive, said: “It’s not surprising landlords are being kept awake at night by maintenance issues. The most common problems can be expensive to fix eating into profit margins that have already been eroded over the last few years by changes to taxation and the fees landlords are able to charge tenants.

A mid-range combination boiler will cost around £1995 to replace while a basic oven will cost around £340. And problems with the plumbing soon add up with the average call-out fee at £70 and cost to fix a dripping tap at £90.

The new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which came into force on 20 March has further highlighted the need for landlords to maintain their properties. Failure to do so could result in court proceedings where the tenant could be awarded damages if the property does not meet the standards required by the Act.”


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Agents have expressed quiet optimism that the market may be over the worst as it continues to show resilience in the face of the Brexit saga.

Responding to the latest government figures showing modestly rising house prices, agents are saying: “Ultimately, strong economic fundamentals have been and will continue to offset headwinds – with low mortgage interest rates, good mortgage availability and wage growth all remaining positives for buyers. Those sat on the fence about selling before October 31, or immediately after, should not be deterred.”

A north London agent and former residential faculty chairman at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, adds: “These figures represent the most comprehensive snapshot of the UK property market of all the surveys. They show a small rebound from last month’s very weak numbers as the monthly and annual increase in prices are higher than the previous results.”

Meanwhile another London agent says that although the capital’s high-end has seen a decline in places, the bread and butter London buyer has been out in force, and a higher level of foreign investment due to a weaker currency has seen house prices remain buoyant in the majority of boroughs

“Those aspirational London buyers who remain sat on the fence over Brexit would do well to strike while the iron is, well uncertain, as we will only see market values strengthen as time goes on” he predicts.

The comments come after figures from the Office for National Statistics that average house prices in the UK increased by 1.3 per cent in the year to August – well up on July’s figure of 0.8 per cent.

Wales saw the strongest annual growth with prices up 4.5 per  cent with Northern Ireland (uniquely using a slightly different measuring system) up 3.5 per cent and Scotland rising 1.6 per cent.

England lagged slightly with a rise of 1.1 per cent – but that, too, was well up on the July figure. The worst performing regional figure was in London where prices fell by 1.4 per cent over the year followed by the South East, down 0.6 per cent.

The North East was the English region with the highest annual house price growth, with prices increasing by 3.3 per cent; the North West was close behind on 3.1 per cent.


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A trade body has sharply criticised HM Land Registry for its slow progress on digitising local searches after a promising start 18 months ago.

In November 2018 the Registry went public with a forecast that 26 local authorities would be on board “in the next few months” but to date only seven councils have switched from Local Land Charges to digital searches handled by the Registry itself.

The Registry also made extensive public statements saying how the programme was central to its, and the government’s, desire to see faster and simpler housing transactions.

Now the Council of Property Search Organisations says it’s “disappointing” the programme is moving so slowly and it urges HM Land Registry to name and shame those local authorities which are considered the slowest or where there are barriers in place to digitisation.

“Some examples which CoPSO has identified would include Derby City Council, Cheshire East, Lichfield District Council and Camden” says a statement from the trade group.

In August Estate Agent Today reported that Camden’s planning division admitted that it typically took 50 working days for a search to be completed.

In terms of the nationwide digitisation programme, the trade body says: “It is CoPSO’s view that the pace of take-on [by HM Land Registry] has to be dramatically increased and, in particular, that resource is focussed on optimising the short-term benefits. This can be done by identifying those authorities which currently operate at the slowest speed, at the highest cost, where there are barriers to accessing data, or where there are concerns over the quality of data.”

CoPSO members – including search providers and associated operations such as utility companies – provide some 80 per cent of all private sector searches.

The body says it is also lobbying for the release of a report written by the Registry and sent to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government on the future of CON29 – well known to agents as the form used by conveyancers to request information from the local authority during the course of a property transaction.

CoPSO says the future of the form must surely be a central part of the Registry’s digitisation project and adds: “There needs to be transparency, openness and cross-sector engagement if the opportunity to improve the provision of search information is to be maximised for the long-term benefits of homebuyers.”

In its statement CoPSO says that its comments are made in the context of it being “entirely supportive” of the HM Land Registry digitisation project and the wider objectives of simplifying the transaction process.

*When Estate Agents Today checked Camden council’s website last evening, search delays were still clearly the order of the day. 

A message on the site read: “Local Land Charges currently have a backlog of searches which has arisen as a result of staff shortages (a number of people left at short notice and we have had problems recruiting). We have appointed a new member of staff and another staff member will start shortly.  We are seeking to rectify the backlog issue as quickly as possible and turn round searches as quickly as possible, but in the meantime please contact the Local Land Charges Team for urgent overdue search applications. We will endeavour to try and prioritise these.”



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While there is no doubt that the buy-to-let sector has taken somewhat of a kicking in the last few years, it is important to remember that there is still high demand for private rentals across the UK and the PRS remains one of the most stable markets in which to invest globally.

Good news for tenants and good news for landlords if you know where to look.

The latest data and analysis from UK property development and investment company, SevenCapital, looks at the UK’s top cities for buy-to-let investment in 2020 and identified the top ten:


Topping the list for 2020, Birmingham is one of the most popular locations for overall investment in the UK. Last year the city attracted the highest number of foreign direct investments outside London and the South East and with £billions in projects either ongoing or in the pipeline, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

With 1.2 million residents already, Birmingham’s growth has outpaced all UK cities outside the capital in recent years, leaving a chronic undersupply of homes. As such, property price growth since 2014 has hit 19.30%, with Knight Frank predicting a further 12.5% by 2022. With rental yields for 2019 sitting comfortably between 4.4% and 5.3% according to PropertyData, the future looks bright for investors.


Manchester continues to be one of the most exciting places to live and work in the UK – attracting young professionals chasing top careers and families alike.

The city has already enjoyed a raft of investment which has transformed its skyline and appears to be enjoying a resulting ‘ripple effect’, arguably similar to that of London over the past decade.

Property Price Growth since 2014 sits at 22.09% and rental yields have remained fairly strong, reaching an average of 7.30% in the Fallowfield area.


Liverpool is one of the highest-performing Buy-to-Let hotspots in the UK for rental yields. According to Property data the postcodes L7 and L1 are regularly achieving yields of 8.2% and 8%, with rises of 15% and 12% in the last five years respectively.

While price growth has slowed during 2019 after an outstanding Q4 of 2018, the birthplace of the Beatles remains a top investment destination in the North thanks to exciting developments, exceptional career opportunities and rising tenant demand throughout the region. JLL expects that property prices in central Liverpool will rise by 2% and rents by 3.5% throughout 2020.


With house prices in Sheffield still at the lower end of the scale compared to most UK cities, this could prove a great location for the first-time investor. Property prices have grown by 19.5% since 2014, and an incredible 223% over the last 20 years.

However, it’s the rental yields that form the biggest attraction, currently sitting at 7.30% on average. With a £480 million revamp of the city’s shopping district vastly improving its amenities, Sheffield’s attraction is only set to continue to grow amongst tenants and visitors alike.


A key destination within the Northern Powerhouse, Leeds’ population is surging, growing seven times faster than London, leaving (like Birmingham) a severe undersupply of homes. As such the city has seen property prices grow 17.04% since 2014, and 211% since 2000. Its rental yields have also nearly topped the charts of cities in the UK, hitting an average of 7.6% according to Property Data.

With almost £7 billion of development in the pipeline set to see the city centre double in size, this city is on a serious mission to become the next big Northern attraction.


With growth of 250% since 2000, 7.7% in the last year (#1 in the Hometrack price index) and 2.4% in the last three months (#3 in the Hometrack price index), Leicester is fast securing its place as a top buy to let hotspot.

Like Sheffield, house prices are currently at the lower end of the scale next to other regional cities, meaning there’s significant scope for future growth. A chronic undersupply of homes to meet incoming tenants means its also generating good rental yields of around 7.20% according to Property Data.


A central location in the UK with direct access to many key destinations, Nottingham city centre is a natural choice as an investment destination. Well-known for its array of amenities, specifically retail, dining and entertainment, the city is already highly popular with students and professionals and its affordability is a further draw.

Since 2014, prices have grown nearly 20% and as the city continues to develop, we expect to see this growth continue.


With its world-famous educational credentials (namely Oxford University) and attractive architecture, Oxford has long held a strong attraction for many an investor. It has one of the strongest economies in the UK and, whilst property price growth has slowed somewhat since 2016, it ranks 3rd in the UK for growth overall in the past 10 years.

With Oxford’s connectivity between London, Heathrow and Cambridge set to improve further with the East-West Rail and Crossrail, the city, and surrounding areas’ popularity looks set to continue.


The Welsh capital is certainly one to watch for the coming year. One of the fastest growing cities in the UK, recent regeneration and improvements to infrastructure, namely the new South Wales Metro, have improved connectivity and boosted sector and jobs growth. Average rental yields in many parts of the city already sit between 4% and 6% and with its population tipped to grow the fastest of most UK core cities over the next 20 years, demand looks set to continue to soar.


Despite its popularity waning somewhat over recent years, making way for the UK’s regional cities, it’s still impossible to ignore the capital. Named the best city in the world by TripAdvisor, the number one city in the world to be a student and ranked second in the world’s top financial centres – behind only New York – London remains one of the best places in the UK, and in fact the world, to invest.

Since 2009 the capital has seen the fastest growth in the UK in most areas, with property prices sky-rocketing. Despite its slowdown since 2016, a population of more than 9.1 million means there is no shortage of demand now, and will unlikely be anytime in the future, Brexit or no Brexit.



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Moving to a new home can be refreshing and exciting; however, the move itself can be a stressful process for younger members of the family, who often need a bit of extra support and time to prepare.  While moving can be a potentially worrisome event for children, much of the negative emotional effect can be mitigated by proactively dealing with the process in a positive manner.

The reason behind the move often determines the amount of stress caused. If your family is upgrading to a larger home or relocating to a nicer area, for example, there will be far less emotional upheaval than if the move is because of a loss of income or divorce. Another crucial aspect is the timing of the move. According to psychological studies, very young children and older children take moving in their stride, while those between the ages of 11 and 14 years are typically more affected as they’re also dealing with hormonal changes.

Regardless of the reason, there are ways for parents to make the transition easier for their children. Here are some of our top tips:

Before the move

Communication is key

If possible, tell the children about the move as early as you can to give them time to process the idea. Children generally take longer than adults to get used to change and will have a higher level of anxiety if they feel as if something is happening and they are not fully aware of the details.

Point out the positives

It is a great idea to highlight the positive aspects of the new home or area to get the children excited about the new location. They may think moving means leaving behind their favourite toys and pets, so take some time to explain that they will all be moving together.

Focus on things that won’t change

Consistency makes children feel secure, so highlight elements that remain the same, regardless of the circumstances. Parents can emphasise aspects that will not change during or after the move, such as play schedules, bedtimes or the fact that they have a loving family that supports them.

During the move

Happy young mother pushing children sitting in laundry basket. Mother and children playing at home.

Let the children say goodbye

This doesn’t just refer to people, but also some of their favourite local places such as the park. It might be worthwhile to tell the children that saying goodbye today does not mean goodbye forever and that they may be able to visit those friends or places in the future.

Don’t let the children see the moving truck

When the truck is being loaded with your household items, it may be better for the children to be out with a friend or family member. Seeing all their possessions loaded into a truck and hauled away can be an upsetting experience for some children.

In the new home

Make the children’s bedrooms priority

it’s a good idea to set up the children’s bedrooms up first, so they have a familiar and safe retreat to go to when the move gets busy.

Allow time to adjust

For both adults and children, it will take time to adjust and acclimatise to your new surroundings. Make it an adventure by taking children out in the new area to explore. This is a great way to find nearby parks and activities for them to do.

Get involved

Whether it is joining the local church or playgroup or getting involved in the local community and activities, it will help everyone in the family make friends and feel at home faster.

Lend an ear

Irrespective of their reaction to the move, it is vital they know they have someone who is listening and paying attention to their emotions and needs. They may need to be reminded there is no right or wrong emotion and their feelings are valid.

An important element to reducing the stress on children is for parents to support and help each other deal with the change in circumstances. As with most situations that can have a negative impact on relationships, mutual support is vital to ensure that both adults and children adjust to the move as seamlessly as possible.

If you are looking for a new home for your family, contact us at


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Whether you like it or not, the festive season is fast approaching and those considering a house move should act quickly if they want to be in before the big day.

The conveyancing experts at JMP Solicitors have compiled a list of top tips for moving house, taking into account logistical considerations such as smartening up a premises, and organising belongings, pets and post.

1.Get the property ready for marketing

Once the decision has been made to move house before Christmas, it’s a good idea to smarten up your home before putting your property on the market.

Declutter the property and redecorate if necessary, a coat of paint can work wonders, as can giving the house a deep clean, emptying the loft and turning the storage/junk room into a useable space. Your property will then be more appealing to a prospective buyer, especially with a realistic price tag – always check the competing market.

It’s also worth ensuring that you get the best survey you can before you commit to any purchase, if the boiler does not work and you’ve already moved in, prepare for an expensive replacement, especially around Christmas time.

2. Be patient

It’s important to be clear on timescales which can often shift depending on how long a chain is. Sometimes you have no option but to sit tight, however you can still communicate your wishes to an estate agent and solicitor who can then communicate these to a buyer/seller on your behalf. Such an approach doesn’t guarantee success, but it does increase the chance of a successful resolution. Ensure when viewing a property, you make it clear that you want to move before Christmas and check how the seller responds. The last day you can move house and complete the sale before Christmas is Friday 20 December 2019.

3. Choose your removal company wisely

Moving house without the help of a removal company may be cheaper, but it can also be very stressful. If you are opting for DIY packing, it is best to start as early as two weeks before your moving date to box up items you aren’t currently using. This will make the whole process less stressful and will also help with the de-cluttering of items that you never use or don’t need, which can go to charity. Writing the contents and room on each box will help organise your packing and make unpacking easier. If you don’t fancy packing yourself, get your removals company to pack for you. A good removals company will be able to supply you with purpose-built boxes and packing materials, and they will offer various packing options to suit you.

4. Don’t forget to tie up loose ends

Be sure to inform utility companies that you are moving and have all mail forwarded to your new address once you have exchanged contracts. Write your Christmas cards in plenty of time and post with your new address pre-printed inside, this saves time and money on separate letters and messages.

5. Look after your pets

Both pets and young children can find moving house very stressful. Whilst animals can be kept safe and secure in a separate room to the unpacking, it is best to see if family or friends can look after children for the day so that they do not get anxious about the moving process and leaving their old home, this way they won’t feel unsettled and can just enjoy the excitement of arriving at their new home.



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