Home Buying Guide Step 6: Moving in checklist

Information verified correct on October 27th, 2016

home buying guide moving in checklist 6

For those homeowners who have exchanged contracts and secured a property, all that’s left to do is move in to your new abode. But before moving day, there are a few errands you need to run.

After reflecting on your lifestyle and financial position, sifting through different property markets, pinpointing and inspecting properties, applying for finance, and making an offer, you’ve done your fair share of fieldwork in the real estate world, and it’s well and truly time to move.

Once the settlement is complete, the property is all yours. But before you start packing boxes, there are a few items to prioritise on your agenda.

Familiarise yourself with the body corporate or local council of your area, organise removalist or cleaning services (if required) and get your utility accounts sorted. These are just some of things you need to organise before moving in.

Before making the transition, ensure that you're fully prepared to enjoy life in your new home from the moment you get the keys.

Before you move in...

Sort through belongings

Now is an ideal time to de-clutter. For any unwanted items, donate them to charity or consider selling them online.

For the items that you’re holding onto, measure them and decide where they will go in your new property. Design a floor plan for furniture placement and measure the space to make sure that your furniture and items will fit in your new home, especially for bulky items such as a lounge or fridge.

Transfer accounts

Organise for mail to be redirected to your new address.

Transferring your accounts should be done once settlement is completed to avoid mail being sent to the new property while you are still in your existing property.

Organise the required connection and disconnection of services with your service providers (e.g. internet broadband providers, phone, bank, pay TV, electricity, water).

Contact your utility and service providers and transfer these accounts to your new address. Try to give the utility provider as much notice as possible to ensure that you’re not left high and dry without running services.

It’s advised that you arrange for your electricity and gas to be connected at your new address at least 5 days prior to moving. Also, notify your employer and all relevant authorities (e.g. Services NSW or VicRoads) of your new address.

If you have kids, contact their school or childcare centre to have all education-related records transferred.

Notify the Electoral Office of your new address and remember to cancel (or transfer) any magazine or newspaper subscriptions.

Read our guide about setting up internet, phone and home utilities and the costs of relocating your broadband with major providers such as Telstra and TPG.


When it comes to packing, create themes for your items. For example, pack all your kitchen utilities together in one box and make sure you label the box correctly.

Create an inventory list of your belongings so you can keep tabs on your items.

Removalist services

If you’re using a removalist company, make sure you compare several quotes on the market to ensure that you’re getting a good price. It’s advised that you only use a removalist company that is Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) accredited.

Book well in advance to ensure that the removalist company is available on the day. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast on the day of the move.

Under Australian legislation, most removalist companies don’t have insurance and may not be responsible if your contents are damaged during transit. Check if your current contents insurance covers moving, otherwise you may need to pay for transit insurance for peace of mind.

Make a note of any unique or fragile items that need special care to be transported. Also, provide the removalist with details regarding parking at your new address if access is difficult.

The average removalist cost for moving a three-bedroom home interstate ranges from $3,500 to $4,500. This will depend on the company selected, the distance you are moving and the amount of items (and labour) that you require for the job.

Another option is to relocate your items yourself. If you have a family member or friend with a large vehicle, then you may be able to save on removalist costs (keep in mind that you may need to cover the petrol cost).

Organise contents and household insurance

Finalise home and contents insurance to protect your family in your new home right away. This kind of insurance policy generally covers cover for loss or damage by theft, cover for accidental fire and additional options such as accidental damage cover.

Compare different home and contents insurance providers to find a policy that suits you. If you are purchasing an apartment or property that is part of a body corporate, they should confirm whether or not you need building insurance.

Cleaning services

If your chosen removalist company doesn’t include cleaning services, you may need to organise an additional cleaning service for your existing property as well as your new property. It’s a good idea to get the carpet and oven cleaned when moving in.

Set aside around $150 for cleaning services per property.

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Once you’ve moved in

Internet connection

Check utilities are connected

Once you arrive at the property, make sure all the utilities are connected properly. Check that the hot water is running and that the gas and electricity is working.

Get to know local services

Take a stroll through your neighbourhood and check out the local businesses and transport services such as schools, shopping centres, cafes, hairdressers, train stations, bus stops, chemists and medical specialists.

Speak to your neighbours and ask which services or event networks they recommend. It may be worth checking out the community notice board and adding local government and media outlets to your social media profile. For instance, the “Northern Beaches Buy, Swap, Sell” Facebook page.

Contact local council

Most local councils provide newcomers with new resident kits that contain information to help you settle into your new suburb.

It can assist you with useful information on local services and available council services.

The new resident kit may include details about:

  • Council rates
  • Waste, recycling and garbage collection
  • Infrastructure or development projects
  • Pet management
  • Recreational activities
  • Local events
  • Building permit information
  • Zoning of land
  • Community centres
  • Driveway and vehicle crossovers
  • Emergency services
  • Environmental regulations
  • Parking
  • Postal services

If you’re thinking of upgrading the property, it’s particularly important that you understanding the building permit and zoning of your land as this may influence any future renovation plans that you have.

Noise restrictions

If you have pets, live in an apartment, or you’re thinking of renovating the property, it’s worth looking into the noise restrictions imposed by your neighbourhood. Neighbourhood disputes are often caused by noise pollution issues so you want to make sure that you’re keeping the peace by obliging by the local guidelines.

Check out our state-by-state noise restriction comparison.

Change security

If you’re concerned about security, organise for a locksmith to change the locks to your new property.

Relocating from your existing property into your new property doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Planning ahead, consulting your service providers, and speaking to local council authorities can go a long way in helping you achieve a smooth transition.

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Images: Shutterstock

Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at finder.com.au. Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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