Hiring the services of a professional moving company will be a substantial expense that you should be ready to cover from your own savings.
Yes, moving to a new home is not cheap by any means and your budget will most likely take a serious hit because of all the typical costs of moving house.
To make things even more complicated financially than they need to be, there are a good number of hidden costs of moving, locally or long-distance, that you also need to consider in order to manage your budget in the best possible way.
So, what are the hidden costs of moving house?
Find below the top 10 hidden costs of moving – expenses, charges, and fees when using a moving company, most likely for the first time.
Being ready for what’s coming is crucial, especially when there’s money involved.
1. Cost of packing supplies
When it comes to packing your home for moving, you know that you basically have two good options: 1) pack your things without professional help, most often assisted by your good friends, and 2) hire professional packers to do it for you.
The thought of having to pay professionals for something that you should be able to do by yourself will probably tempt you to choose Option 1, thus leaving you with the impression that you’ll save good money in the end.
Packing by yourself can indeed save you money but you shouldn’t forget to include the hidden costs of packing materials in your budget. And while you won’t spend a fortune on packing tape and marker pens, think about the money you’ll need to purchase the three major packing materials: cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper.
According to statistical data, the average number of boxes you’ll need to pack up a home is 60. You should be able to get some of those boxes for free, but you’ll most likely end up buying most of those packing materials.
Keep in mind that the cost of all packing supplies is usually included in the price of the packing services offered by top-rated full-service moving companies.
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2. Furniture disassembly fee
Speaking of hidden costs when moving out, you may not realize that your decision to take some of your large furniture pieces with you may incur extra costs when those furniture items need to be safely disassembled in order to be protected better for the trip and to be carried and loaded into the moving truck much easier.
If you’ve made up your mind to move any of the big furniture pieces in your home – after careful consideration, of course – you should be ready to pay professional furniture movers extra for having your bed, dresser, wardrobe, desk or sofa taken apart for safe transportation. Proper furniture disassembly takes time and efforts so you shouldn’t really be surprised when your moving company charges you extra for that additional moving service.
To avoid that often unexpected cost of moving, you can either choose not to move some of your large furniture or you can ask trustworthy friends to give you a hand with the furniture disassembly task.
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3. Fee for handling bulky items
You may think you have it all figured out from a financial point of view… until your moving company hits you with an extra charge for handling bulky items. Large furniture items, big and heavy household appliances, a pool table, a hot tub, a heavy metal safe – they all qualify for that extra fee that you won’t be too happy to pay in the end.
Of course, one of the most common bulky items that professional movers get to transport to another home is a piano. So, if you do own a piano and you’ve decided to take it with you, then you just have to be ready to cover the transportation costs.
In most cases, your piano mover will give you a piano cost estimate that should include all piano moving expenses. Still, to be on the safe side, speak with your movers beforehand and ask them whether or not they will charge you extra money for moving the bulky items in your home.
How to move heavy furniture by yourself
4. Elevator charge
If you happen to be moving out of or into a high-rise apartment, then there’s another moving company fee that you may not be aware of – the elevator charge, thus making it even harder for your budget to keep up with the increasing house moving costs.
If there’s an elevator in the high-rise building but that elevator is out of order on your move-out day, or your move-in day for that matter, then your movers will be forced to carry heavy household items, including packed-up boxes up or down the stairs which will mean much more time and efforts spent on your move.
As a result of the inconvenience, you will most likely be charged an elevator fee that usually amounts up to $80 but maybe be more depending on the mover itself. If the apartment building does not have an elevator in the first place, then you should also expect to pay extra.
To avoid paying that extra hidden cost of moving, contact your building manager and reserve the building elevator for your Moving day.
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5. Long carry fee
Everybody knows that moving is an expensive affair but things can get more expensive rather quickly, especially if the moving company truck cannot park straight in front of the entrance of your house or apartment building. An extra moving expense you may not about is the long carry fee – an average charge of around $100 for a distance of 75 feet from the moving truck to the home entrance.
Think about it – the impossibility of the moving vehicle to park close enough to your home will force the professionals to carry your household items some distance away, thus spending more time, efforts and energy on your move. That extra charge is often applicable in big cities where parking is a constant struggle.
A good way to avoid your moving company from charging you that extra moving expense is to try and reserve a parking space for the moving truck on the day of the move. If necessary, obtain a special parking permit from the city so that the moving vehicle can stop as close to your home as possible.
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6. Move cancellation fee
Paying a deposit in order to book a specific moving company is one of the common moving expenses. In reality, most moving companies request deposits from their clients as a two-way guarantee that the house move will be initiated and completed as scheduled.
However, life is rather unpredictable and you may have to change the master plan sometime before Moving day. In other words, you may be forced to cancel the booked move for some reason or another, and if that happens to be the case, then you’re likely to be charged a move cancellation fee for breaking off the initial arrangements.
Generally speaking, if you cancel the move with more than a week remaining until move-out day, then you shouldn’t owe a cancellation charge. If you cancel your move approximately 7 days prior to Moving day, your mover may charge you between $50 and $100. However, if you have to cancel your booked move in less than 5 days, your moving company may charge you approximately $300 or keep the moving deposit.
Move cancellation policies vary from mover to mover, so it’s important to get familiar with the cancellation policy of your moving company.
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7. Storage fee
When creating a list of costs of moving house, don’t forget to include the often forgotten moving cost of paying a storage fee in the event that your new home is not ready for your items and you’ll need to put the latter in temporary storage where they will be kept safe.
In case of new home renovation, repair works or some other problems (paperwork issues, for example), you may need to request from your moving company a delayed delivery of the shipment. Charged as an extra fee, the full-service mover you hired won’t mind placing your things in their storage facility until you are ready to get them delivered to the new address.
Make sure you discuss that issue with your moving company in advance so that 1) they can offer you a good storage solution, and 2) you know in advance how much you’ll be charged for that extra service. And of course, the best way to lower that extra expense is to 1) make the storage period as short as possible (if that’s possible at all), and 2) store fewer items after you’ve sorted out your belongings and 2) got rid of the things you don’t need, don’t want, and won’t use in the future.
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8. Express delivery charge
In full contrast to the delayed delivery fee, if you wish to have your household items delivered faster than the standard delivery schedule of your moving company, then you should expect to pay more money in the form of an express delivery charge.
The express delivery charge is one of the hidden costs of moving long distance. It’s hidden because the thing you may not know is that the majority of cross-country moving companies tend to consolidate (combine) several shipments into one moving truck provided that there’s enough space for all of them. The reason for consolidated shipments is clear – moving companies try as hard as they can to cut transportation costs.
Early in your preparation, discuss with your moving company the delivery window of your items to the new house or apartment and assess the need to request expedited delivery. Paying extra for the exclusive use of the moving truck may not be necessary after all, so don’t spend more money than you absolutely need to on your house move.
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9. Travel fee
One of the truly unexpected costs of moving is the so-called Travel fee – a somewhat surprising fee that local moving companies charge their customers for the time the team of moving specialists need to get from their main office to the client’s home address.
In most cases, that extra expense for you will be equal to one additional hour of moving labor. Taking into account that the average hourly moving cost is around $30-$40 per hour per mover, then you should be ready to pay your local mover that extra amount.
There are so many costs to consider when moving house that you can be sure they will quickly add up to burden your moving budget. Speak with your local moving company the need for that travel fee and whether there’s any way you can avoid it.
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10. Extra stops charge
An extra moving company expense that you may not think about until you’re expected to pay it is the so-called extra stops charge. You’re entitled to pay it when you request that your moving company make extra stops for picking up or dropping off additional items along the relocation route.
The amount of the extra stops fee will depend mostly on the specific moving tariff of the moving company you’ve hired. On average, you should expect to pay around $75 for an extra stop along the way but the exact price can be much higher depending on a number of factors such as distance, nature of items, and time of year.
Again, your best option to minimize your moving expenses is to discuss all extra costs, fees and charges with your moving company before you agree to hire their services. Request an accurate estimate from the pros – a binding cost estimate in writing – that will include all moving company costs and expenses you’re likely to run into during the move.
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