The True Cost of Moving

What You Can Really Expect When You Decide to Move Out of a Home

The decision to sell your home is the launch of an exciting ride, but the dollars and cents that go into moving can put a damper on the whole process. The cost of moving can even become an important factor in whether or not you choose to sell your home in the first place.

However, when it comes down to it, the nitty gritty costs that go into moving can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as changes in cost of living, whether or not you’ll be balancing two mortgages during the transition, and the cost of actually getting all your belongings from one point to the next.

To help you get a better idea of what your cost of moving may look like, here is some information about average moving expenses in America, and tips for how you can limit the cost (and stress level) of your move. . .

Roughly half of all people who move use professional movers, whether they’re moving short or long distances. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost for moving somewhere within 100 miles was $80-$100 per hour. Local moves are far more common. Zillow’s research shows that 57% of home buyers also sell a home in the same city, and 86% are from within the state.

Interstate and cross country moves are less common and could cost $2000 to $5000 per move on average. This cost is based on the weight of your belongings and the distance movers are traveling. Typically, an empty truck is weighed before the move, and again once all your belongings are loaded. Reputable movers can often provide an estimate before you sign off on the price, using average weights for homes of your size.

No matter how close or far you’re moving, the expenses you’ll incur will vary based on the level of service you’re looking for from moving companies.

If you are comfortable with a DIY move, you can opt for a cheaper per-day truck rental rate and do all the packing, loading, transporting unloading and unpacking on your home. Flat rates for a truck typically begin at $20/day, not factoring in gas and additional moving amenities.

On the flip-side, a full-service move lets you leave everything to the experts, including packing your belongings and unloading them into your new home. This kind of move is most popular with long-distance movers and lends itself to that $5000 range. (But think of the stress and back pain you’d be saving. It may be worth it!)

Additional costs of moving include:

  • Buying boxes, padding supplies (like bubble wrap), dollies, tape, bungee cords, rope, and other moving helpers
  • Renting hard plastic boxes
  • Transportation surcharges (If the moving company pays workers more for working in metropolitan areas, where labor costs are often higher.)
  • Value protection insurance
  • Charges for moving vehicles, including cars, boats and motorcycles
  • Charges if your street is too narrow to accommodate a moving truck
  • Charges if there is a delay in the availability of your new home and the moving company has to put your items into storage
  • Childcare for your kids
  • Cleaning services

When it comes to moving, the best way to limit your costs (and to keep your sanity) is to move as quickly as possible. The faster you’re able to get out of your old home and into your new home, the less you’ll be paying for movers, rented supplies, storage costs, and overlapping mortgage payments or rent.

According to the US Census, 11.2 percent of Americans moved in 2016, for reasons related to housing, family, and employment. Whether you’re moving out of necessity or simply for fun, take these moving costs into consideration as you plan for the perfect transition.

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