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Preparing the new home

Your new home may not be exactly how you want it, and it may even need some urgent repairs or TLC. Obviously, if the house is going to be empty for a couple of days before you move in, this is less likely to be a problem. However, most of these jobs are much more hassle to do when you have moved in already although you may need to check with the current owners to get access to do major jobs, and their solicitor may not be happy with letting you do anything structural. Remember that some jobs, such as having your boiler serviced, are not just cosmetic - they may even save your life.


If you want to make changes to the home, or if you have to make repairs to it to satisfy your lender, then you will need to get the builders in. Supervising them can be a problem if your new home is some way away, but this is better than having to live with the noise, mess and dust. Getting the place rewired is much simpler if all of the carpets are up, as is fitting or replacing central heating or major plumbing works.


Although it can be difficult to plan your interior decorations without any of your furniture in, if you can do so, now is also a good time to change the decor without having to heave everything about. Think about having a painting party to get the worst of it done.


Once you have got the major changes out of the way, now is the time to think about replacing the carpets, or having them professionally cleaned. This can be particularly important if the previous owners had a collection of large long haired dogs and cats and heavy smoking habits and you have neither. Bear in mind that a property that used to be home to a cat or dog that has been closed up for a few months may still have flea eggs waiting for a mammal to move in.


Some of the more spring-clean type jobs are best done when the home is empty, such as carpet shampooing and damp-dusting the walls. It is worth considering getting a professional cleaning company in to give the place a good going over.


It is usually a good idea to have any appliances that you are buying with the property overhauled for safety, efficiency and longevity. This particularly applies to central heating boilers as the previous owners may not have kept them regularly serviced. Remember that Carbon Monoxide from poorly adjusted central heating boilers are estimated to kill at least 300 people a year in the UK alone. Check out the Ten Step list at the Carbon Monoxide Kills website. Servicing boilers and other appliances such as washing machines should improve their efficiency and at the same time extend the useful life you will get out of them

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