Is it Expensive to Move a House?

Worried about the cost of your move? Let’s look at how move costs are calculated (local and long-distance) and how you can save money without cutting corners.
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How Expensive Is It To Move House?
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Moving a house doesn’t have to be expensive. With appropriate planning, you can save several hundred dollars on the entire relocation process. But, how do you even figure out where you can cut costs?

In this blog, we’re going to explore how moves are calculated and then provide you with some tips so that you can cut down the cost of your move with no problems.

Calculating Local Moves

Local moves are the simpler moves to calculate. If you’re moving less than 100 miles from your home, then it’s going to be considered a local move by most moving companies.

Since local moves typically take less than a day to complete, moving companies often choose to charge these moves with an hourly rate and then multiply that by the number of movers that will need to be there to complete your move properly.

So, you’re looking at $20 to $50 per hour, per mover. If you get any premium services (packing, fragile item services, etc.), that will add an additional fee (which is usually a flat rate).

Calculating Long Distance Moves

Long distance moves are where things get a little more complicated, and the calculation can feel overwhelming to anyone not deeply involved with the industry.

There are several elements to the cost of a long-distance move, and different movers do things differently. The calculation always includes the distance, but the other number could either be how much all of your stuff weighs, or how many bedrooms your home has.

They use that second number in order to set a “per mile” rate, which they will then use in order to calculate your quote. There may be other things involved, especially if it’s a cross-country move, but this is typically how they give you the base of what you’re working with.

Tips for Saving Money on Your Move

So, now that we know how moves are calculated, it’s easier for us to consider the details around your move and how you can try to save money on it. Here are some of our favorite tips for saving money on your move.

1. Get rid of items as you pack

As you can see, the amount of stuff you have plays a pretty significant role in sorting out how much it’s going to cost for you to move. Because of that, it’s really important for you to go ahead and get rid of items as you pack. Whether you’re having a moving sale or you’re just taking them to be donated, you want to get rid of stuff you don’t need while you’re packing.

2. Relocate during the off-season

The worst times of year to move are December and June through September. These are the busiest months because of people moving for school and jobs. If you can push your move off until January, February, or March, you’re going to get the best prices and the most freedom related to when you can move. 

3. Move on a weekday

On top of moving during the off-season, you also want to move on a weekday. Weekends are busier, even during the off-season, and you will pay more if you try to move on a weekend. So, try to schedule your moving date on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday in order to get the best rates.

4. Ask local businesses for packing boxes

Expenses for packing supplies can pile up, so you need to be certain that you do as much as you can to reduce those costs. Many times, you can go to office buildings and/or liquor stores to get sturdy, easy-to-carry boxes that are perfect for packing. Also, check your local Craigslist for postings from people who just moved to your area and are looking to get rid of their packing supplies.

5. Shop around for moving quotes

Don’t just settle on the first company that you connect with! You’re always better off shopping around a bit in order to ensure that you’re getting the most value for your time and effort.

6. Pack yourself instead of paying for packing services

This is probably the most practical tip. Packing services can be a few hundred dollars, and it’s usually a flat rate based on the number of rooms in your home. They don’t care how few or how many things are in each room. So, you’re often better off taking the time to pack it all on your own instead of spending the extra money.

7. Determine if your new job offers relocation costs

If you’re moving for work, then you want to talk to your company about the possibility of getting some help with your relocation costs. Many companies will have a stipend available so that you can easily move to your new home. Also, if you’re moving due to a military assignment, you’ll also be able to use your moving costs as a tax write-off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Could I just move instead?

Of course. The problem is, you will have to deal with every part of the logistics on your own. This includes renting the truck, finding people to help you pack and load, and driving the truck. Also, people moving on their own are a lot more likely to injure themselves, so you may have medical bills that would negate the money you saved anyway.

What is the average cost of a move, anyway?

 The average cost of a local move is between $500 and $3500, depending on the size of your home and when you’re moving. A long-distance move is typical $2500 to $5000, with the largest homes costing up to $10,000 to relocate. But, if you follow some of the tips we’ve listed here, you could definitely save several hundred dollars, and you won’t be as overwhelmed by the cost of the move.

Could I use a shipping service instead?

Yes, absolutely. Some shipping services will use moving containers (“pods”) in order to get your items from your current home to your new one. But, you typically need to wait for their schedule to free up in order to get your items back, which can take several weeks after you relocate. Plus, you typically have to load it up on your own, which increases your chance of injury and other issues.

Budget and Plan for Moving Day

Moving day is inevitable – but spending an arm and a leg on it is not! So, it’s in your best interest to take some time and figure out ways to drop the cost. Start planning things out now and you can be certain to get what you need in order for moving day.

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