5 unexpected moving expenses
When thinking about the financial costs of moving, many people limit their projections to the cost of professional movers, piles of boxes, and lots of packing tape.
But most moves involve a bunch of extra expenses that can quickly blow your budget if you don’t take them into account. Additional storage space compiled a list of five often overlooked moving expenses to help people get it right budget and plan.
Moving costs can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including whether the move is local or long-distance, and what types of items are being moved. For example, appliances and large furniture add weight and space and can significantly increase moving costs. A base price for local move can range from $500 to $2,000, but may not include fuel or driving time. For long-distance movers, initial phone prices typically start around $7,500.
This was reported by the US Census Bureau in 2021, fewer people moved than in any year since the bureau began tracking the data in 1948, and trends show that those who did moved from the city to the outskirts. This trend creates several unique challenges, including moving large vehicles through densely populated urban areas, negotiating apartments or condominiums that may not have service elevators or narrow stairwells, and the possibility of skewed timelines where the move-out date may not be to coincide with the date when their new home is ready for them.
Rent of a warehouse
There are many reasons why you need to rent a storage unit when you move, from your new home not being move-in ready to downsizing to not being able to hold all your belongings.
Moving storage is a service that moving companies offer for those moves where you need to store your household items until your new home is ready for you to move into. The average rate for this service is 40 cents per cubic foot for 30 days. The undoubted advantage is that the same transport company handles your belongings from pickup to delivery, but there are some nuances to keep in mind.
Consider your needs when exploring spaces. What is on-site security? Do the items being stored need climate control? Will you need access to space/stored items? If the room is on the top floor, is there an elevator? Does the unit have lighting? Can the moving truck fit into the space required for loading/unloading?
When finding storage space on your own, find out what is required of tenants in your chosen location. In most cases, some form of insurance covering the property will be required. It is also likely that the supply of the lock to be used will be the tenant’s responsibility.
Take the time to review the rental agreement. Rates may vary depending on unit size and options selected, such as climate control. Make sure you understand the cost of monthly rates and fees after your initial check-in. Also get clarity on what is required when terminating a contract in terms of notice.
How many packing boxes and how much tape to buy is difficult to estimate; therefore, this is one area where costs can rise rapidly. But there are many options to reduce the costs of these packaging materials. You can get free boxes thanks to social media platforms like Nextdoor and Facebook, or look for notifications that people are giving them away and if you don’t see them, submit a request.
Another option is to grab boxes from stores that will throw them away anyway. It may seem awkward to address a retail or grocery store manager this way, but many agree. Stores often break down boxes before disposal, so arrange with the store manager to be there in advance to collect free packing boxes.
However, most shippers should plan to purchase cardboard boxes at some point. Special drawers, such as for paintings or wardrobe items that cannot be folded, can be very expensive. It is often cheaper to purchase tools ahead of time than from a shipping company. Packing a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home might work up to $200 in the box should. If you choose plastic containers, remember that many movers require them to be secured around the lid and body to prevent them from coming apart during the move. This can add to the cost of shipping the tape and, if you forget to do it on moving day, cause delays.
One eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to buying bubble wrap or foam is to wrap fragile or breakable items with towels, sheets, blankets, and even thick items of clothing. Ask the moving company in advance if they handle large items that break, such as glass countertops. If so, they usually have protective blankets for such items; if they don’t, you’ll have to take care of it yourself.
Loss of security deposit
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development contains a complete list of tenant rights for each state. All renters should familiarize themselves with the specific rights and laws in their state. Your state may require the landlord to return the deposit within a certain amount of time. It is also very important to familiarize yourself with the requirements of the rental or leasing agreement for the return of the security deposit, as there are likely to be requirements for the tenant as well.
Most agreements require the tenant to give a certain period of notice: usually 30, but up to 120 days. There are also conditions under which the tenant must transfer the apartment to the landlord. Schedule an appointment with your landlord to discuss any property damage or repairs. As you go through this process, be aware of your rights when it comes to normal wear and tear that is not deducted from the security deposit. Provided you meet your requirements as a tenant, you may be entitled to take legal action if your landlord withholds your deposit.
Some states also require landlords to pay the interest earned on the security deposit during the tenancy, so check to see if your state falls into this category.
Gas and other related travel expenses
When checking out trucking companies, it’s important to find out how each shipper factors fuel into their quotes. As gasoline prices continue to rise, many trucking companies are passing on the additional fuel costs to their customers.
When it comes to the cost of fuel needed to move your own vehicles, it is important to calculate how many vehicles need to be transported, especially those that you cannot drive yourself, such as second cars, boats or campers.
You may need to hire someone to transport your car, in which case there are car shipping options. If you have a leased vehicle, this can be a critical decision, as excess mileage can catch up with you after the lease expires. When researching car shipping options, check to see if your car insurance covers your car in transit, or if the shipper offers insurance if it doesn’t. Take a photo of your vehicle before loading and check for shipping damage.
Pet transportation is another cost to keep in mind for local and long-distance moves. You may need to pet sit for a period of time or find a pet-friendly property for an additional fee. If you’re flying to your new home, check the different airlines’ pet and animal policies before booking. Many airlines have adjusted their approach to small pets and animals considered service animals.
Tipping may not be necessary for carriers, but it is a common and widespread practice. A good rule of thumb is this tip anyone who moves $10 half day minimum and $20 full day minimum.
Tipping each team member is often common, although another option is to give the tip money to the team boss for distribution. While some trucking companies allow tips to be credited to the main bill, others do not. No matter what, have cash. This will simplify the process and ensure you can thank the crew member face-to-face.
One last tip: Make sure you have plenty of bottled water and other hydration drinks on hand during your move.
This story originally appeared on Extra Space and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.