By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to moving. We are sure that it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the bad news is that moving is not only stressful, but it can also be expensive, too. On the other hand, the good news is that it is possible to avoid paying more than you should by anticipating and budgeting for a few hidden moving costs that crop up without warning and hit your wallet. The key is doing your research and being prepared.
Read the Fine Print
When you are getting estimates from moving companies, make sure and read the fine print. You need to have a good understanding of what is included in each estimate so that you can make sure you are comparing apples-to-apples. If there is something that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you think something is missing from the estimate, it’s better to bring that to the moving company’s attention now than be surprised later by an additional charge.
- If you have large or bulky items that may require special handling, such as a snowmobile, hot tub or grand piano, you’ll want to bring that to the professional mover’s attention so that any additional charges can be included in your estimate.
- Likewise, be aware that some items, like gas appliances and front-loading washing machines, may require a third-party company to unhook the item at your origin location and prep it for shipping and then hook it back up at your new home.
- If there is tight clearance on your street which makes the moving van too big to fit, the moving company may need to shuttle your furnishings to the moving van using a smaller truck. There is usually an additional charge for this service, so it is important to discuss it when you are obtaining your estimates.
- You are going to have lots of boxes to deal with after unpacking, so check to see if an empty box pick up is included in your estimate or if that is an additional charge.
Road Tripping to the New House
If you are moving a distance that requires a road trip to get to your new house, you’ll want to take into consideration travel expenses. Make sure to not only budget for a hotel room, but also factor in things like food, tolls, gas and emergencies that might pop up while you are on the road.
You know that big dent that you put in the wall when moving your dining room table and the scratches you made on the hardwood floor when you scooted your entertainment center across it? Well, the incoming family or landlord is going to do a final walkthrough and may request compensation for those damages to cover the cost of the repairs. If you are a renter, it will likely be in the form of not getting your security deposit back.
Change of Plans
Sometimes life happens and your best made plans fall apart. If the paperwork for the closing of your new house gets delayed or the renovations that you had planned to conclude prior to move in day go off track, you may need storage for your belongings. Inform your moving company as soon as possible regarding the delay and discuss options with them. If the delivery just needs to be pushed out a day or two, your items may be able to be stored on the trailer they are already loaded on. However, if it will be an extended time before you will be ready to accept delivery, your items will likely need to go into storage at a nearby warehouse. Keep in mind that the longer your items are in storage, the higher the added expense will be.
The Bottom Line
Yes, moving to a new home can be a challenge. Yes, unplanned expenses crop up. But, if you do your research beforehand and budget appropriately, you’ll be a step ahead when something unexpected happens.
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