5 Unexpected Moving Expenses Everyone Needs To Know About


Moving Costs You Might Not Have Considered

Without necessary preparation or planning, moving can not only be stressful and time consuming, it can also be very expensive. The new mortgage, moving companies, packing supplies, travel expenses—they all add up. Luckily, these charges can be budgeted easily since they are known beforehand. However, there are a number of other moving expenses many people don’t consider, usually because they aren’t expected or always required, and these costs can be surprising. To better calculate your moving budget, it’s best to know what these expenses are before they can hit you right where it hurts: your money belt. SEE ALSO: 9 Organization Tips To Make Your Moving Day Easier

1. Hidden Moving Company Fees

When hiring a moving company, you can expect to pay for time, gas, labor, gratuity, and, if needed, insurance. However, there are charges that movers don’t always state outright, but can usually be found somewhere in your contract or in their company policy. Without careful examination of these documents, the total charge of your move can end up being significantly more than you thought. Again, depending on the moving company and what happens during your move, you might not have to worry about these costs. However, it’s good to know what they are so you can make room in your budget just in case. Here are some of the fees you need to look out for:
  • Deposits: Though not common, some companies ask for a booking deposit to save a date. A reasonable deposit is anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on the size and distance of the move. Most deposits are refunded at the end of the move or subtracted from the total charge, but some are not. So, it’s best to ask about the policy first before putting any money down.
  • Long carry fee: Companies have a set distance between the entrance of your home and the rear of their truck where they will carry your items for free. If they need to walk further than this distance, they charge you a long carry or distance carry fee.
  • Bulky item fee: Items that are bulky, excessively heavy, or otherwise difficult to load and unload (like pianos, pool tables, gym equipment, snowmobiles, and campers) will be charged extra. Moving a piano, for example, can cost a few hundred dollars alone.
  • Stair/elevator fee: Movers will usually charge you an additional flat fee if they need to use an elevator, or charge per flight of stairs if they need to walk up and down more than one flight.
  • Cancellation/rescheduling fee: Every company has its own cancellation and rescheduling policy, so make sure you look into it before you decide on a mover. These policies can cost between $50 to a few hundred dollars, depending on how close to the moving date you cancel/reschedule.

2. Utilities

It shouldn’t be surprising that your utility costs will be different in your new home, especially if you’re moving into a bigger place. What may surprise you, though, is seeing a few added charges on your first new bill. Utility companies often charge a cancellation fee, transfer fee, disconnection/reconnection fee, and/or sign-up fee, which can range from a couple dollars to several hundred. If required, these one-time fees are unavoidable, so contact your utility companies to find out their policies if you want to budget for them accordingly. Another thing to worry about is keeping track of your old bills. Make sure all payments of your previous utilities are paid off and your billing address is updated. Otherwise, several months after your move, you may find yourself stuck with an old cable bill complete with a staggeringly high late fee.

3. Insurance Hikes

How much you pay for insurance can also change when moving to a new location. Since all insurance rates are based on an individual’s risk, moving to an area with a higher risk will inevitably raise your premium. For example, an area prone to earthquakes or floods will require additional home insurance, and a city with a higher crime and accident rate will cost you more on your auto insurance each month. Your health insurance can also increase if you move to a city with a higher risk profile, which can include cities with a lot of fast food establishments or a high population of elderly adults. Check with your insurance providers before your move to find out what your options are and if there are any discounts available for you.

4. Vehicle Registration

Registering your vehicle in a new state will also cost you. Depending on the state, you can expect to pay anywhere from just under $30 to well over $200 for vehicle registration fees. Each state also has a set amount of time in which you need to register, so check the with the state’s DMV to find out how much you will need and when you need to pay. SEE ALSO: Safety Tips Every New Homeowner Should Use

5. Taxes

If you move to a different state, you should also expect to be faced with a whole different set of state tax laws and regulations. Both the income and sales tax can differ from state to state, as well as the eligibility for different tax credits. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will be paying more on your taxes, but if your new state has a higher tax rate, you probably will be. To know for certain, research the state’s tax laws or talk with a Certified Public Accountant from that state. Not all of these expenses will apply for every move, but they can come up. Knowing what you may expect will help you better prepare your finances, and save you time, stress, and hopefully a little money.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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