Budgeting for Your Cross-Country Move

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A cross-country move is a significant undertaking, but there are certainly varying degrees of difficulty and expense. How do you manage such a move without draining your bank account? There are several things you can do to know up-front what to expect and plan for.

First, as with any endeavor, plan. Early considerations should include the cost of living in your new location - what are the general costs of housing, food, fuel, and utilities? How long can your commute be before another neighborhood becomes a more reasonable option? What is the economic climate? Do you need to transfer any professional licensing, and how is the market for your skills? What are the local income and property taxes to be aware of, including vehicle registration? Do household utilities require a large deposit up front? These may seem like small things, but they can make a big impact in a budget that didn't account for them ahead of time. Know your incidental costs.

Assuming your general location is already established, finalize your living arrangements. Are you closing on a new home, or renting temporarily in your new location? There are various expenses associated with each option. Your title agent or property manager can keep you informed of closing costs, deposits, move-in dates or closing times. Are there educational arrangements to be made for your children? Have those details worked out.

Finally, when it comes to the move, research and compare various options. Thinking about renting your own DIY moving truck? Consider the rental expense, travel expenses (accommodations along the way, fuel, etc.), liability for damages, your own time and energy reserves for packing, loading, traveling, unloading, unpacking and the rest. Portable storage containers are an option many consider, but expenses can add up if storage is required or your new zip code isn't serviced and you have to hire a moving truck anyway to finally obtain your belongings. Professional movers are also an option, from full service packing and moving or a customized plan that serves your specific needs. Know your options and compare their bottom lines. You might be surprised.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, plan as best you can for the unforeseeable. Don't jump in without a good understanding of your resources in comparison with your costs, and don't plan to spend right up to the end of your budget. Plan a cushion against the unexpected. What might you need to do if your DIY rental truck requires a repair or substitution along the road that delays your arrival an extra day or two? Allow for a buffer in your budget in case of such events. What is the policy of the portable storage company if you have a last-minute adjustment to the timeline and things need to stay in storage for a while? Is it expensive, and do they have secure facilities? Or will you need to make those arrangements on your own? How is their customer service? Are they easy to contact? Be aware of your responsibilities and any extra charges potentially incurred. If you've gone with a professional company, how flexible are they in regard to changes along the way? Do they keep in clear communication with you throughout the move, and does their track record instill confidence in their services? If so, it can offer a protective element to your budget.

If you're ready to hire experienced professionals, or are in your research stage and want to get an idea of what your options are, contact us. We have been helping people move for over 40 years, and have built an excellent transportation and logistics team based on a culture of honesty, integrity, and hard work. Let us know if we can help.