Moving houses. This is an issue that can cost you a lot more than you would have ever imagined if not done properly and sometimes even if done properly. In today’s article I will break down the cost of moving houses to give you an idea of what to expect, both when moving on your own and when hiring a professional moving company.
So what’s the catch you might ask? In short, there are basically two issues: when moving on your own, people usually underestimate the cost of additional tools, packaging material, transportation or even the real value of the time they spend moving. Also when hiring a professional mover, the issue usually lies within either a bad choice of a company, bad calculation by the company or underestimating additional necessary spending by you on the top of the company’s bill.
As I mentioned in the introductory article of this series, there are three options for sorting out your moving. The difference between them lies within the level of your involvement: you may hire a professional company that will do it all for you, or you can do the whole lot including packing, loading, transporting and unloading yourself. Or you could hire a company offering a hybrid service in case you’d like a bit more control over the whole process. Some companies might offer only the transportation; while other companies might offer loading, unloading and transportation of ready-packed possessions.
Before beginning this stressful operation, always sit down and work out a budget. It will save you lots of headaches later. Generally, the relocation cost can be broken down into four main categories: the transportation of your possessions, the packing your possessions, the transportation of you and your family and the cost of starting up in your new house.
The actual move
Firstly, the main cost of moving your stuff has to be calculated. You’ve most likely already decided whether you will move on your own or will hire a company. In case you chose professional help (more on how to choose a mover company in one of the upcoming articles), have a written estimate of the cost from them. It should be clear if the estimate presents a binding or nonbinding price – in other words whether the cost is final or if other charges may occur. Include the cost of tips – it’s usually around $25 per worker.
The cost of labor
Secondly, estimate the cost of the labor that will help you pack & load, whether it’s the professionals you might hire, friends and family willing to help you (they’d deserve at least a dinner!) or even the cost of your time you have to take off, if that’s the case. You also need to calculate the cost of any necessary packaging (boxes, bubble wrap, tapes) and tools (i.e. dollies).
The cost of your transportation
Thirdly, calculate how much the transportation of you and your family will cost you, including the flights/train/bus tickets or the cost of petrol in case you will be driving. Don’t forget to add the price of potential lodging, food and any entertainment you might be planning while travelling.
After the move: starting fresh
Finally, moving from one house to another creates a bunch of problems and additional cost most people don’t even think of when cluttered up with all the boxes. Utilities like setting up a cable or telephone services might include start-up fees. Another thing is food: you most likely emptied the fridge and freezer – both of these will have to get filled up again. Then things you left behind such as various household items needs to be replaced. Or maybe your new home needs a fresh coat of pain. Whatever the case is, think hard and write down the cost of anything that you’ll need to buy after you’ve moved, so that you’re ready for it.
Tips & tricks:
1) Always compare the cost of moving an item and replacing it at your new place. You might be surprised by the result.
2) If moving because of a new job, discuss with your new employer the chance of a relocation package.
3) Keep all the receipts connected to moving since you might be eligible for a tax deduction.
The following article will deal with packing.
See the previous article: Professionals or Do-It-Yourself?