Be Prepared for Moving Day When It Comes
Are you buying a house in a new city or across town, are worries about moving expenses keeping you up at night? Moving expenses range and vary depending on how far you’re moving. Do your homework to make certain you aren’t paying more than necessary and make sure you budget your moving expenses along with your other mortgage costs.
Moving Across Town
Cross-town moves can be inexpensive, especially if you don’t own a lot, and decide to get by with a rental truck and a few friends. But consider a few added steps to protect yourself. While it may seem cheaper to ask a few friends to help you move, paying them in beer and pizza, friends aren’t professionals. When you’re moving, things get broken, and people who aren’t trained to handle heavy furniture, navigate stairs or lift gates while moving your sectional living room set, can get injured. To prevent this problem, check for local moving companies and consider paying for at least the larger, heavier items you’re bringing to your new home. Moving companies will provide an estimate after a visit to your current home (or even over the phone based on # of bedrooms, baths, etc) so you will know ahead of time what to expect for cost, and can even do some price comparisons.
Moving Out of State
Cheapmovingtips.com provides tips and access to a moving company comparison tool to assist in your decision making. Do your homework and don’t be afraid to comparison shop. Also, make certain to ask what is included in the quote. A quote may seem low, but on moving day you’ll see added fees, taxes, and other costs. Some companies also quote an hourly rate, but don’t let you know how many hours they anticipate, or how many people they’ll bring. According to U.S. News and World Reports, the average cost to move between states back in 2014 was more than $5,600. Again, this depends on what and how you’re moving. Paying to move boxes filled with things you’ll later throw away, is just not a sensible way to spend your money.
Moving Out of the Country
An International move involves a lot more things to consider. It can take weeks or even months for your items to arrive. Check with your future country’s rules about bringing U.S. goods into the country. Some countries charge significant taxes/fees and set limitations or total bans on certain goods. According to Transitions Abroad, Argentina charges an 80% tax on automobiles, and electronics (televisions, etc.) are banned entirely. Not sure you’ll be staying long in that foreign country? Consider renting storage space and leaving the bulk of your items at home. It’s an added cost, but the cost to move heavy furniture, and personal belongings that won’t ever be unpacked is a waste. You can always move things later, or buy new when you decide to stay.
Two other key areas that can become an issue when moving to a new country are customs, and moving the family pet. Research rules about customs. There is significant paperwork that will need to be done and countries vary widely on how strict, and what forms need to be completed as well as what can and cannot be brought into the country.
In like manner, there are very strict rules about bringing family pets into a foreign country. Some countries require quarantine, others do not. Planning for the furry members of your family, especially when moving to a new country, is extremely important so you do not get stuck at the last minute and have to rehome your best friend.
Insurance for the Move
Professional moving companies usually provide a certain level of insurance. If you own items with a higher than average value, perhaps heirloom furniture, a full set of your grandmother’s china, etc. consider adding a one-time policy for mover’s insurance. This covers your items in transit. You can even add “set” and “pair” coverage, which means, if a single cup in that antique china service is damaged, you’ll be paid for the entire set, or if you have a pair of really nice lamps and one is broken, they’ll pay for both to be replaced. Check with your insurance agent, or check online for “movers’ insurance”.
Moving Expenses as a Tax Deduction
For some people, moving expenses may be a tax deduction. Limitations related to reason for the move, distance you’re moving, and # of hours working full-time are considered, but it’s worth checking with your accountant or personal financial advisor to make sure you’re not missing out on this way to save money.
Bottom line, moving expenses involve more than the cost to have people come into your house and load your furniture onto a truck. Following is a list of additional items to research and consider as you set up your moving budget:
· Moving company costs (plus tips)
· Cost for boat and car moving if appropriate
· Transportation for your and your family
· Meals on the road
· Shipping costs (for international moves)
· Packing Supplies
There are ways to save money when you’re moving, and reducing the quantity of items you’re moving is probably the easiest way to cut costs, but do your research, and compare quotes to make certain you’re getting the best deal possible with the best service provided.
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