The Real Costs of Moving

by Guest Author on August 21, 2013

Whether you’re moving just a few streets away from your old home or across states to the other side of the country, moving home can cost more than you think with the most common reason for overspending being a lack of pre-planning. Moving home can be both a stressful and exciting time, but make the process as smooth as possible for everyone involved by drawing up a detailed moving plan detailing all the costs you’ll expect to pay.

Private moving company vs. hiring your own truck.

On first thought, you may think hiring your own truck to move your things will cost less than hiring a private moving company to do it, but this can depend on a variety of things. Both moving methods have different pros and cons – for example, even if hiring your own truck works out a little less expensive, you may end up spending more if your furniture and appliances are damaged during moving, as they won’t be covered by the basic insurance that comes along with many private moving company packages.

If you’re hiring a truck, you can expect to pay around $20-$100 or more per day, but you’ll likely have to add in costs such as vehicle insurance, moving insurance, gasoline for the truck (which could cost more than renting the truck itself!), moving supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap and the cost of hiring any additional movers. Also, don’t forget the cost of moving special items you may have, such as a piano. Delicate or larger items may cost more to move due to the cost of extra or more specialised packaging.

Research both methods in details and work out if you can save a decent amount of money moving yourself. If you can’t or the difference in costs is minimal, it’s probably best to go for a private moving company – the little extra you pay will give you the guarantee of a move that will probably be quicker, smoother and more reliable than you and your family or friends doing it.

The Move Itself

Before you move, you’ll have to tackle the task of cleaning your current residence. This can turn out more expensive than you think, especially since every little space of your home will need to be cleaned, including all that dust and dirt that’s been trapped behind furniture for months or years. For those renting especially, consider hiring professional cleaners to do the job – they’ll likely do the job quicker and to a higher standard than you would yourself. This can also guarantee you’ll get any rental deposit that you paid when you first moved in back.

If you’re moving a long distance or moving to your new area before your house is ready or your things are due to arrive, you might need to rent or stay in a hotel whilst things are all being made ready. This can be expensive, so don’t forget to investigate the costs, not forgetting little things like feeding yourself during the move or rental/hotel stay period! If you’ll have to eat at restaurants or takeaways during your move, these little things can add up quickly. Visualise your journey from start to end in your mind and think about every little way costs could occur – don’t be caught out by the unexpected!

The Little Things

Moving costs don’t end once the truck pulls up outside your new home. Firstly, do some prior research into the living costs of your new area. Living costs can vary from state to state and you should generally expect to pay more in general living costs in big cities. Think about the first few weeks living in your new area and the costs that may occur – do you have enough (or preferably, more than enough) money to live whilst establishing yourself in this new place and finding/settling into new jobs?

Don’t forget the little costs that may arise in your new home. You may want to have some remodeling done on your new home later – when you are moving just don’t forget the basics such as lightbulbs or shower curtains that the previous owners may not have left behind! If you’ve moved to a new state, you’ll need to pay for vehicle registration and titling fees. You’ll need to restock your fridge with food. You might also choose to put new locks on your home, which can be expensive.

Be ready for cost surprises!

You should write a list of all the costs you can expect to arise from your move from start until finish, when you’re comfortably settled into life in your new home. Consult all those moving with you and ask for second opinions. Do you have spare money for if something unexpected happens and you need to stay an extra night in a hotel or pay for moving truck repairs? Don’t let yourself be surprised by unwelcome deviations from your plan.

This is a guest post by George Watt, a freelance writer. He is really into housing topics and shares his latest knowledge on various blogs.

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