London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has found that the additional stress of Christmas is enough to deter 87% of people from moving house during the festive period, but for those crazy enough to an attempt a Christmas house move, here’s a few top tips to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
We all know moving house is a stressful endeavour, but when you also add the chaos of the Christmas period into the mix, a house move can become an even harder task to accomplish.
No surprise then, that a survey of over 1,800 recent home movers commissioned by Benham and Reeves found that for 87%, moving house during the Christmas period was a no go.
In fact, 39% also stated that they would have purposely delayed their property purchase to avoid moving house during the Christmas period.
What’s more, 16% would have avoided placing an offer in the run up to the festive season to avoid a Christmas house move, even if they had found their ideal property.
The biggest factor was, of course, the additional stress of the holiday season combined with what is already one of life’s most stressful experiences.
Not being settled in their new home for Christmas Day itself was also a big turn off, as well as not being able to host friends or family and the additional cost that comes with both Christmas and moving house.
But there are some who will push ahead with their home move regardless of how much time is left on the clock when it comes to the countdown to Christmas. If you’re one of them, there are some key things you can do to execute a smoother Christmas house move.
Organisation is always key when moving home and you should always have a clear plan in mind, however, labelling your boxes becomes even more important to ensure you can find exactly what is needed ahead of the big day, while leaving less important items to be unpacked in the run up to New Year once the dust has settled.
Book your removals well in advance. Not everyone celebrates Christmas but you will find that many people take time off in the lead up to it. Fewer staff and reduced working hours can seriously scupper your ability to lock in a removal firm, so this is the first place to start.
Plan for tricky weather. Winter is notoriously unpredictable and while you’re unlikely to be hindered by a white Christmas, adverse weather can cause serious delays to your home moving timeline. Ensure you can reduce risk of ice, for example, to allow the removal team to work safely and efficiently.
Make sure you also have a suitable vehicle to allow you to tackle any bad weather and don’t overload it to save on removal costs. Heavier vehicles take far longer to stop and when you also add a wet road to the equation it can be potentially disastrous.
Also make sure you have a change of clothes to hand so you don’t spend longer than necessary in cold wet clothes, searching through boxes in your new home.
Make a plan for children and pets. Moving house is never fun for them, especially at this time of year. Leaving them with a family member or friends to catch up on Christmas films is a far better place for them to be. It will also help reduce your own stress levels on the day.
Finally, do your Christmas shop early, preferably before you move. You will inevitably find a whole host of things that need to be done when you make it into your new home. Having the Christmas shop sorted is one less thing to worry about and it will mean that there are no sudden realisations you’ve forgotten the pigs in blankets or that all important present on Christmas morning.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, says:
“Christmas is a wonderful time of year but it can also be extremely stressful ensuring that everything is taken care of in the run up to the day itself. Add a home move to the equation and you certainly have a recipe for disaster and so it’s no wonder that the vast majority of home movers would avoid combining the two where possible.
We often talk about the seasonal slowdown that impacts the property market and this isn’t just down to the property industry itself winding down for the year, many homebuyers and sellers also put their plans on hold.
However, a festive home move can be achieved and while there will be a host of additional considerations due to the time of year, there’s no reason you can’t pull it off with the appropriate level of prior planning.
Of course, for the nation’s tenants, the Christmas break can actually be a great time to make their move. There is less demand which relieves the strain on letting agents, while many renters also take time off which allows them more flexibility to secure and move into their new rental property.”
Thinking about your recent house move, would you have liked to move house during the Christmas period?
Would you have purposely delayed a property purchase to avoid moving house during the Christmas period?
Would you have avoided placing an offer on your ideal home if it meant moving during the Christmas period?
What is the main reason you would have avoided moving during Christmas?
The additional stress of the holiday season
Not being settled in my new home for Christmas Day
Not being able to host family or friends
The combined additional costs of Christmas and moving house
Not knowing my new area fully during the festive period
Survey of 1,818 UK homebuyers to have moved in the last 12 months carried out by ProperPR on behalf of Benham and Reeves via consumer research platform Find Out Now (15th November 2022).
About the Author
Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 19 prominently located branches and 11 international offices.