On a good day, moving house is already a daunting and taxing process. Needless to say that attempting to relocate during the pandemic might leave you with a couple of grey hairs, especially if you’re planning a DIY-move.
The good news is that, despite how often COVID-19 restrictions have been changing in Australia over the last couple of months, the rules have remained pretty consistent when it comes to moving house. Relocating both within your home state as well as between different states and territories is allowed as long as you follow hygiene precautions and comply with restrictions such as curfew hours and border entry self-isolation rules.
That being said, there are many obstacles in the way of finding your perfect new home, considering that people have lost the ability to easily carry out a reconnaissance mission ahead of moving. There is also a lot of fear and uncertainty around viewing houses and how many people are allowed at open houses. Using an experienced relocation agent and receiving professional guidance in every step of your move will lift a massive weight off your shoulders.
We’re taking a look at the biggest challenges in the relocation journey under the current COVID-19 restrictions in Australia and how these issues can be solved with the help of a relocation company.
Challenge #1: The Australian borders are still closed
Under government regulations, the Australian borders are currently closed and it is likely that international travel will remain prohibited until the end of the year. However, this doesn’t mean that you should kiss your relocation plans goodbye.
Visa applications are still open for those emigrating, and with the help of a relocation agent, you can get this process started and ensure all paperwork is in order the minute borders open again. Claymore Thistle has a team of excellent migration agents who have partnered with countless families and corporations to make their relocation journey as simple and stress-free as possible.
Challenge #2: Each state or territory has its own rules on travel and border entry
In May this year, the Australian government introduced a three-stage plan that enables each state or territory to tighten or ease COVID-19 restrictions as they see fit according to their unique circumstances. This is confusing to navigate in itself, but it also means that some states allow entrance without mandatory self-isolation upon arrival while others have implemented compulsory 14-day self-isolation rules with border entry.
To summarise these varying degrees of restrictions: Western Australia has temporarily closed its borders while Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania are currently enforcing mandatory 14-day isolation upon arrival. There is no border entry self-isolation enforcement in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
The problem that sprouts from these rules is that you cannot carry out thorough reconnaissance missions ahead of moving to explore different neighbourhoods, visit open houses or make further arrangements like finding good schooling or daycare options for your children. Even though you can travel interstate in most of Australia, you will be met with compulsory quarantine periods for which you need to pay yourself, as well as local restrictions on movement and social contact.
The simple solution is partnering with a relocation company with national coverage who can draft a relocation plan for you by conducting suburb analysis to help you pick the best neighbourhood based on your requirements in case you’re unsure where you want to live, and helping you find accommodation (either purchasing a property on your behalf or arranging short to long-term rental housing). Claymore Thistle’s team of relocation specialists will also help you find your feet in your new hometown or city, assisting in absolutely everything from enrolling your kids in the most suited school or daycare to picking you up from the airport and helping you move your pets.
Challenge #3: Open houses are banned
Once again, each state has its own set of rules regarding open houses and carrying out inspections. Under Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne, for example, property inspections and auctions may only be conducted online for the time being. In regional Victoria, auctions are also moving online to give potential buyers the opportunity to view properties virtually before scheduling a private walk-through appointment. In cases where in-person viewings are allowed, strict hygiene precautions must be taken, and every one present must practice safe social distancing and wear masks.
Navigating the chaos of finding online auctions and scheduling in-person viewings in your area is quite a dispiriting task, and these methods still restrict you to your own state or nearby surroundings, which is impractical. If you’re planning an interstate move, working alongside a well-connected relocation expert who is placed in the destination state will be a massive help in curating the best auctions and (perhaps virtual) viewings to find your dream home.
All the relocation agents at Claymore Thistle are qualified real estate agents with in-depth industry experience. Operating all over Australia, we have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations pertaining to each state, and we have our fingers on the pulse to stay updated with any new developments in the rules regarding viewings and inspections.
Challenge #4: Only members of your household are allowed to help you move
As part of the restrictions on social contact, relocation guidelines stipulate that only members of the same household are allowed to help you move. (There are exceptions if the person or people moving are experiencing physical difficulties due to their age or health.) Don’t worry — this doesn’t mean you’ll have to carry hundreds of boxes up and down the stairs all by yourself. Under current government restrictions, removal companies are allowed to operate as long as strict health and safety precautions are taken throughout the process.
The benefit of using a relocation company is that all the nitty-gritty aspects of the move are lifted from your hands. Finding a trustworthy removal company that will prioritise the safety of your belongings while implementing proper hygiene practices is something you can cross off your to-do list if you have a relocation agent who takes care of these things.
Making a big move in 2020 amid the uncertainty and limitations of COVID-19 restrictions doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Now is the best time to use a relocation agent to guide you in the process of finding the perfect neighbourhood and house for you. If you partner with Claymore Thistle, you can rest assured that everything will be ready for you and your family once you arrive and that you can count on us to help you settle into your new home.
Speak with one of our relocation experts today to find out how we can help you with your next move.