Moving Costs: How Much Money Should You Save?

So, it’s time to move. Whether it’s for a job, because you don’t like your current landlord or neighbors, or just because you want a change, the prospect of moving can be quite appealing. But before you start picking out furniture for a new place you haven’t even found yet, it’s important to truly consider the many aspects that are involved in a move. One very important thing to consider before jumping into a commitment is whether you are emotionally ready to part with your old life and financially comfortable to afford a relocation. When moving house, costs add up quickly. You need to be able to cover these costs without difficulty in order to have a smooth, stress-free moving experience. But, how much money do you need to be prepared to move? It all depends on a number of things, such as:

  • The living costs in your new area;
  • The amount of items you’ll need to purchase for your new place; and
  • The size of your move, including the distance from your current to new home.

To figure out how much you will need to save in order to afford all of the moving expenses required, continue reading.

Housing

Housing expenses will typically be your largest financial challenge when moving to a new home.

Renting 

If you decide to rent an apartment or house, you will be required to provide several things, including:

Safety Net: Before you sign a lease for a new home, you are strongly encouraged to save enough money to cover at least three months’ rent – even more if you don’t have a steady income at the time of your move.

Security Deposit: When renting, you will be required to put down a security deposit at the time you sign your lease. Security deposits are typically the same amount as one month’s rent. One potential perk here is that you will be able to get your security deposit back after you move out. However, you will only get all of your money back if you leave the rental property in just as good of condition as when you moved in.

Management Fees: When renting a home, you will be charged for a background/credit check. This will add up to another $50 you will have to be able to hand out on the spot.

Buying

If you decide to buy a home, the initial costs are much, much more than that of renting. This being said, you will need to have a lot of dough saved before the idea of purchasing a home is even an option. To avoid extra fees like mortgage insurance, you will need to have saved 20% of the final cost of the home you are buying.

Whether you rent or buy, be sure the monthly rent or mortgage does not exceed 25%-30% of your disposable income. Otherwise, you run a dangerous risk of enduring serious financial difficulties.

Utilities

When you relocate to a new home, you will need to have all of the utilities turned on. These include gas, water, electricity, etc. If you like entertainment, you will also want to install extra utility services, like cable and internet. Utility costs depend on the area you live in as well as the size of your home. Also note that there are often extra connection and transfer fees you will be required to pay in order to have these services turned on.

It is a good idea to contact service providers in your future area before moving in order to get an estimate of what your monthly bills will be. In turn, you get a better idea of your total monthly expenses.

Moving Expenses

Moving house equals moving expenses – to hire movers, to buy packing supplies, and so on. These costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the distance to your new home, the size of your move and the moving assistance you require.

DIY Move: A do-it-yourself move is definitely the cheapest option when moving house. But keep in mind that a DIY move is only possible if you rent a moving truck and have reliable friends and/or family to help you. It is also, usually, only possible when moving locally. If you do opt to move by yourself, you will still need to pay for several things, such as:

  • Rental truck (and fuel)
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Road tolls, parking fees, and meals and lodging, if applicable
  • Moving boxes, packing tape, packing paper, moving dollies, etc.

Professional Movers: Hiring professional movers may be more costly than a DIY move, but it is definitely the more worthwhile choice. Experienced movers have specialized moving equipment, plus the required know-how to perform an efficient and safe relocation. When moving locally, you will be charged on an hourly basis. For long-distance moves, relocation costs are based on the total weight of your items and the distance to your new home.

For a FREE price quote based on your moving needs, contact ABC Movers.

Must-Know Tips When Moving into an Apartment

Deciding on a new place to live can be tough. House or apartment? One bedroom or two? City or suburbs? The possibilities are endless. If you’re considering moving into an apartment, there are a number of essential things to assess before making the big leap. For a successful apartment move, here are some must-know tips.

Choose an apartment based on your lifestyle. Choosing an apartment to live in involves much more than looking for big bedrooms and a nice layout – it also means taking numerous things into consideration, like location, convenience and even the neighbors. Moving into an apartment only to find out that it doesn’t meet your needs or lifestyle can be problematic. To avoid a potential nightmare of choosing the wrong place to live, always research all of your options, and be cautious when making a final decision.

Inspect and document pre-existing damage. Whether you purchased an apartment or are simply renting one, moving to a new residence that’s in need of repairs is going to be a burden to deal with. If you bought an apartment, it’s important to be aware of any issues that will need to be fixed quickly after moving in. This will allow you to plan ahead and create a budget.

If you are renting an apartment, be sure to inspect it carefully for any problems, and document any pre-existing damage. Not only will this provide you with a list of needs to give your landlord, but it will also provide evidence of the initial condition of the property so you won’t be held responsible for damages when the time comes to move out.

Understand your lease. When given a wordy document to read, like a lease, many just skim and sign where required. Unfortunately, not reading the fine print can lead to potential problems, so take the time to read your lease thoroughly. Sit down with your landlord and go over all terms and conditions. Discuss any clauses you fail to comprehend or terms you are uncomfortable with. Also ask about important issues, such as:

  • Available storage
  • Available parking spaces
  • Trash disposal location, dates and times
  • Maintenance hours

It’s also important to find out about any specific conditions that may cause the rent to increase, if there are extra fees for late payments, and if there are any penalties for breaking a lease early.

Assess the layout. Before moving into your new apartment, you want to assess the layout (and take measurements!) so you will know what belongings to pack and bring with you come moving day. This is an especially important step if you are moving to a smaller place. If you want to keep some of your belongings, but there’s just not enough space, knowing the exact dimensions of your new apartment will let you know which belongings you’ll need to move to a storage unit.

Coordinate deliveries. No, we’re not talking about pizza deliveries – although you will probably do a lot of those after you move in. What we are actually talking about here is furniture deliveries (or other large items). Some apartment buildings have strict rules about what days or times you can move in – this includes big deliveries, like a truck full of furniture. Before you assume any day or time is fair game, check with your landlord first. This will help you better arrange move-in times and deliveries so everything can be brought into your new place at the same time.

Learn the rules. Most apartments come with a set of rules to follow. Some may include:

  • Moving and parking fees
  • Pre-defined moving times
  • Elevator deposits
  • Accessibility of elevators/freight elevators
  • Cleaning requirements
  • Pet restrictions
  • Renovation projects
  • Safety regulations

Take care of paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork to take care of when moving, like changing your address with the post office, updating your car’s registration and insurance, voter’s registrations, etc. Handling these things before your move is ideal, but if you can’t tackle it ahead of time, just be sure you do it quickly after moving in. Some of these things may require you to take care of them within a specific deadline, and if you put it off for too long, you may have to pay a fine.

Prepare for emergencies. In the events of a disaster (fire, earthquake, etc.), exiting an apartment is much more difficult than getting out of a house. This being said, it is very important to learn the quickest and safest escape route, along with safe areas nearby to take shelter. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit strategically placed in your apartment in case of emergencies. Be sure to store a list of emergency numbers in your phone as well as place a written list of these numbers inside your emergency kit.

Moving into an apartment may seem difficult, but with these must-know tips, you can turn a stressful situation into a successful one. For more moving tips and tricks, ABC Movers is your number one source!