By Jennifer Dawson
More than 35,000 first time buyer mortgages completed late last year, as people took advantage of the various deals and incentives made available to them. Whether you’re one of these new homeowners or currently renting while you save, Essex is always popular with young families for its close links to London, pretty villages and good schools. But what happens when you need to move with your young family? Before you can start thinking about ways to babyproof your new home, here are some tips to make moving less stressful for the whole family.
A recent survey by Which? Mortgage advisors found that two in three home buyers experience problems during the process, and renting isn’t always smooth sailing either. Keeping track of progress with estate agents, solicitors or landlords can be tricky to juggle with looking after small children, or managing sleepless nights with a baby. Therefore, agree between yourselves who is going to be the lead contact and try to keep a written file so that no matter how tired you are, you can produce a paper trail.
Renovating your home may be the dream, but it can be difficult to manage with small children. If at all possible, try to get works carried out before you move in so that you’re not trying to keep your crawling baby out of the inevitable dust, or attempting to cook healthy toddler-friendly meals with only a microwave and a kettle. Try to ensure that you use low VOC paint for your children’s rooms; a study from Harvard has revealed the correlation between high VOC paint fumes and health conditions such as asthma and eczema. If you’re adapting a home for wheelchair use, don’t forget that landlords have obligations to make rental properties accessible so it’s worth looking into this before you take the work on yourself.
When it comes to moving day, if a loved one is able to take the kids out to any one of Essex’s amazing green spaces for even a few hours, you can achieve a lot. If you are able to afford a removal company which packs for you it can be a huge help, but equally, you can do it alone by hiring a van. Keep your baby or children’s bedtime essentials to hand so that when it comes to bedtime you can tuck them in without having to search for blankets or favourite toys, and similarly keep something aside for breakfast so that when they wake up early and excited, you are ready to begin your new adventure.
House moves frequently rank among the most stressful moments in life, but with a little forward planning, you can at least minimise the hassle. Appoint one of you to be in charge of communications, try to undertake any necessary major work before you move in, and snap up any offers of help on the day. Finally, make sure you know where the nearest takeaway is for that first night celebration.