Here’s what we’ve been up to over the last few weeks while waiting to go on our house-hunting trip (HHT).
Opening U.S. Bank Accounts
We must open a bank account in the U.S. bank account while on our HHT so that we can pay any security deposits or other charges involved in renting a home. We deal with HSBC for our personal banking needs. This bank is excellent because they have an International Banking Centre so we can open a bank account in the United States before we leave the U.K. Three years ago we opened our U.K. bank accounts before we left Canada. There is a lot of paperwork involved. The account opening form was 30 pages long. We also had to provide copies of government issued ID and proof of address in the U.K. (e.g. utility bill or bank statement with full name and address).
Hiring a Realtor
We are entitled to hire a realtor to assist us in finding a rental home. This is great because local realtors are familiar with neighbourhoods and schools. So far the realtor has found us a few nice properties to look at. We’ve even used FaceTime to have a virtual tour of two houses!
We’ve also had a few appointments here at home. We booked a “pre-march out” meeting with the housing manager. He visited our SFA and took a look around to see if there was any work that needed to be completed before we moved out. We were also informed that the house has to be cleaned before we leave.
Our next step was to book cleaners to come after our furniture has been packed, loaded and taken away. For many moves within Canada, we’ve been able to clean our own house after leaving because we were able to pack our cleaning supplies in the vehicle. We can’t do that this time.
Another important item on the “to-do list” is cancelling services in the U.K. Some utility companies and memberships require at least two months notice prior to moving. We expect to be leaving around 15 July so we’ve been cancelled our gym memberships for 30 June. We’ve also returned all of our library books, library cards and asked to be removed from the library user database.
Once we’ve completed our HHT and secured a new house, our actual move will be booked and we will know which day will be our official “last day” in our current house. Only then can we arrange to cancel our utilities.
We’ve also been paying close attention to the mail we receive. We record the people and businesses to whom we have to send address changes.
We’re spending a lot of time uncluttering – removing items we have decided we are not taking with us. Right now, most of those items are clothes. Any clothes that are in good condition but do not fit or will not be appropriate for the climate in Texas, are going to charity. Once we find a new home, we’ll have a better idea of what larger items (furniture, etc.) we should and should not take.
During this busy time of preparing to move, regular everyday life continues. My husband had to travel on two separate occasions for a period of three weeks. I’m continuing to work and our daughter is in school studying for her GCSE exams. Also, we hosted two exchange students from France through the school French program.
Next week’s plan: House Hunting Trip!