Moving House

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Whether you're ditching a crumbling old house, snatching your last chance to change your life before you're too old to be bothered or simply running away before mob hitmen catch up with you, upping sticks and moving to a new location at the drop of a hat is a great way to reinvigorate your life, so you should definitely read this, even if you've never thought of doing it.

Your first task is to choose the location of your new home. For example, if you're moving from, maybe, Letchworth Garden City to, I don't know, Eastbourne (to pick two names not entirely at random) and chose to change because you wish to be nearer the sea, that is very wise. If, however, you are moving from Eastbourne to Letchworth to get closer to the waves, that is foolish. You need to consider purchasing a map, or possibly some sort of British Isles jigsaw puzzle. It may be a good idea to choose somewhere you have already visited (as long as you didn't hate it). It would be especially good if you were thinking of moving to somewhere you enjoyed even if it was raining and horrible. Judging somewhere an ideal location for your new home because you had a lovely week there when it was nice a and sunny will not seem such a grand choice in the middle of winter when it is cold, wet and horrible. Whether you have been to your chosen location or not, you definitely need to pay it a visit now, but not before you have done a bit of preparation.

So you're off to your chosen new home for a snoop? Make sure you stay a few days — a week would be good — as you will have lots to do. First of all, you need to make sure you have plenty of properties to see before you get there. Use the internet (you've got the internet, right? If you haven't, how are you reading this?); make sure you go with at least two or three different estate agents. Have a good look round property websites to get an idea of the prices in the area and what you can expect to be paying (you can also find out about council tax). You can also visit the tourist information and local council websites. Obviously, they will only have good things to say, but they will have lots of information about local facilities and amenities. If you want a picture that includes images of sullen-looking teenagers lurking around bus stations, a good idea would be to find some local news websites and check out stories about rising crime and dog mess to make sure your new town feels like home.

So you've been, you've seen and you've made your choice. Unless every other place you saw was totally awful, it is best to keep one or two reserve options available if possible. Make sure you have back-ups in case your first choice falls through. In the meantime, you have lots to do. Obviously, you need to pack (unless you have no possessions, or, if you're hoping to fake your own death, you intend to leave them all behind) but there is loads more to do and you have so little time. You need to tell everyone that you're moving — banks, phone company, and this is also a great way of getting rid of any friends you've got sick of. It's also imporant to try and register with doctors, dentists, etc as soon as you have your new address, as they can be hard to find. Finally, you need to find a way to transport all your stuff. Unless you have loads of money (which you may have if you're faking your own death, which ironically means you don't need to hire anyone because you're leaving all your stuff behind, remember?) you might want to try and move your things yourself. All you need is a small fleet of cars, a small fleet of drivers and, probably, a van. This is all down to how much stuff you have, and how many people you're prepared to show your new address to, so let's not go into too many details. Don't forget to make sure that there is ample parking near your new house.

Okay, so you're finally here. Pretty exciting, huh? You might think you've done all the hard work, but that was the easy bit. You now have to make friends, find someone you can trust to give a house key to for when you lock yourself out and establish the whole life you've just spent the last six weeks trying to get away from. You need to be braver than you were before: join a social club, take up some sports, offer to pay work colleagues to join you for dinner. Whatever suits you, just make sure you make all this effort pay off, or else you're just a big idiot who's moved halfway across the country for no good reason.

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14.06.07 Front Page

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