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Buying a home

Getting ready for the move

Signing on the dotted line for your brand-new dream home might feel like the end of a marathon process, but you haven't crossed the finish line just yet. 

The move from the old place into the new can be stressful, and in all the excitement it can be easy to leave something important undone. So, we've listed a few things that are important to organize as early as possible.

Organise the move

Unless you're going to haul all your furniture yourself, you'll need to pay for moving services. The cost will depend on several factors, including the distance you're moving, how many movers you need, how much stuff you have, and whether you're prepared to do the packing yourself or get the pros to do it.

There's plenty of competition in the moving biz, so taking the time to get a few quotes should help you find a decent price. Arranging your movers well in advance of the big day will ensure that your chosen mover is available, so get on the phone early.

Transfer your utilities

Changeover of your utilities (electricity, gas, water, internet) is pretty simple to organise. If you already have a provider for any or all of your utilities, let them know when you plan to move and they'll handle the transfer from your old place.

This is also a good time to shop around and see if you can get a better deal. If you've been with the same provider for a while, odds are you can save a few bucks by comparing your current deal with other offers on the market. There are several information and comparison websites that can help you, including the Australian government site Energy Made Easy.

Notify the authorities

When you change your address, there's a few different organisations that you'll need to notify. These include the Australian Electoral Commission, the Australian Taxation Office and Medicare, among others. The Australian government has generated a checklist of organisations that might come in handy. 

Redirect your mail

Even if you've changed your address with every person and organization you can think of, from the electoral commission to your great aunt who sends you a single Christmas card with five bucks in it every year, you're bound to have a letter or two wind up at your old place.

This is why it can be a good idea to have Australia Post redirect your mail, even if only for the first month or two at your new address. This is especially helpful if you're worried about missing something important, like business documents or Aunt Sharon's fiver.

Change the locks

Old keys could be floating around in the hands of cleaners, maintenance people, former tenants, etc., so a fresh batch of locks could be the key to feeling more secure. The cost will depend on how many locks you have to fit, and what type of lock they are. Handy tradespeople sites like hipages, can help you find a local locksmith in your area.

Remember that locks aren't only found on your front and back door. You might want to change locks on windows, gates, garages and so on. 

Sample the local take-away places

This is probably the most important. After all, you're not going to want to cook after a big day moving. Your pots and pans are probably still in boxes!

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