On the Money with Prof Nick: Moving Costs

Moving Costs

Choose a topic below to learn more.

How much you can expect moving to cost

There are a variety of factors that contribute to the overall price tag of a move. The two biggest factors are the size of your home and the distance you are moving. For instance, according to Consumer Affairs, "The average cost for a local move under 100 miles is $80–$100 per hour for two movers. While a long-distance move is significantly more expensive. On average, it costs $2,000–$5,000 per move for more than 100 miles." Consequently, an estimate for an across-town move for a 2-bedroom home or apartment ranges from $400-$700, whereas moving that same household to another state could be well over $1,000 and up, depending on the miles moved. Here are a few links to helpful calculators and guides that can give you some insight into the expense for your particular moving needs:

moving.com moving cost calculator
homefair.com moving cost calculator
move.org moving costs
Some additional costs to consider

Whether you're buying or renting, there are numerous costs associated with moving that you shouldn't forget. Here are a few worth noting:

  1. Utilities — From gas to electricity to cable, you may have to pay retroactive balances on your old utilities and/or deposits or connection fees for new ones.
  2. Décor or replacement items — Did you leave your old trash cans behind? What about appliances or furnishings? If your new place is bigger, will you need more to fill the space? Set aside a budget for the items you'll need right away.
  3. Groceries — Chances are, you tossed everything from your old place and should expect your first grocery bill to be bigger than usual.
  4. Storage unit — If you downsized or need a place to put your belongings in an interim, you may need to rent storage month-to-month.
  5. Gas — If you're moving across town in small hauls, or across the country, gas will be an additional expense to get you to your new place.
  6. Insurance — Optional insurance for the moving truck, insurance for your new home or renters insurance, higher car insurance due to your new neighborhood. Be sure have the proper coverage.
  7. Cleaning — If you're cleaning your old space yourself, you're going to need supplies and equipment. If you're hiring a cleaning service, make sure you've allocated enough to cover the expense.
  8. Hotel stay — If you're moving across the country, or need a place to crash in-between abodes, you may need to stay in a hotel or motel.

Choose your movers carefully

Going the cheap route when it comes to a moving company can end up costing you big in the end. Also, beware of overpriced movers or companies who have hidden fees that can bust your budget. Do your research and get all the information on potential movers upfront. Make sure that estimates are done after a walk-through of your home for accuracy. Thoroughly review quote details for things like hourly or overtime rates, materials and manpower included, deposits required (be wary of deposits over 20%), extra fees for heavy or large items or fees for stairs, etc. It is also important to make certain the company you choose is properly licensed and insured, and that it has a solid reputation. Be sure to read online reviews and BBB profiles carefully, and request references. Finally, before you sign a contract with any mover, double-check that the terms are fully transparent, and an inventory list is included that itemizes your belongings.