The new home checklist

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When moving into a new home, there will inevitably be things you forget or only remember at the last minute.

Avant Homes provides a handbook for all buyers of our properties, but this new home checklist will help you to tick off those final pieces in the jigsaw and make your move complete.

Redirect your post

With so much to consider leading up to moving day, it is easy to forget to redirect your post. Anyone moving a short distance will likely be able to pick up mail from their old address with little hassle, but to avoid inconveniencing the new occupier this is best arranged before the move even takes place. For those moving a long way from their old home, this task becomes even more important. Things such as driving licences, bank statements, store cards and magazine subscriptions all need to be altered, but inevitably some things will be forgotten. To ensure nothing gets missed, the Royal Mail's Postal Redirection service can come in particularly handy. You can arrange for mail to be redirected for three, six or 12 months from £29.99 per surname.

Register to vote

You are not automatically registered to vote at your new address after moving, which may mean you have no say in who ultimately represents you in local and national government, so this needs to be arranged as soon as you move. Furthermore, not being on the electoral register can actually damage your credit score and make it more difficult to obtain credit, due to discrepancies in your registered address. The registration process requires all members of a household over the age of 18 to register individually, and can be done at the following address:

Take advantage of new contracts

Moving to a new property often entitles you to sign up to certain services afresh, so it is well worth looking into the possibilities. Many phone, broadband and TV packages can be negotiated after moving house, and you may even find that being in a new area brings additional technological advantages. Your new home may be in a position to receive better phone signal with certain carriers, while average broadband speeds may also be faster due to the property being close to a local exchange.

Let local services know

If you have a milkman, window cleaner or newspaper deliveries, be sure to square up with them and notify them of your change in circumstances before you leave. If you are moving far afield it is unlikely you will still be able to use the same providers in your new property, so take time to research your new local area. Your new neighbours will probably know the most reliable places for certain amenities, so use your introduction to them as an opportunity to grill them for information, too.

Think about your pets

Moving house not only causes upheaval to the people moving, but also to any animals who are making the transition. For smaller pets such as hamsters and rabbits, it will simply involve relocating their hutch or cage, but they will need to transported in the necessary pet carriers. For dogs, it is best to get completely moved in before allowing them to roam their new garden and home, so perhaps ask a family member or friend to dogsit for a day or two while you move.

The animals most affected by house moves, however, are cats. If you have a cat that is normally let out during the day or evening, it will initially struggle with the transition and may even be reluctant to head out. If you are moving close to your previous property, there is also a chance your cat will begin returning to the old house to be let in at night, so be prepared to make a few journeys in the first couple of weeks after moving. The RSPCA has advice on how to make a house move as stress-free as possible for your feline friend.