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What costs are involved in moving house?

By ,| 3 min read

While moving house can be an exciting time, it can come with its stressful moments too. There are plenty of logistics to organise, and the costs of moving house can quickly rack up.

In this article, we outline some of the most common costs associated with moving house, as well as a few ways you can limit the impact of moving on your wallet.

What are some of the common costs associated with moving house?

1. Moving services

This one might be a given, but the cost of actually moving your possessions from one property to another is likely going to be the biggest expense you incur when moving house.

There are a few options you might consider for transporting your belongings – hiring a professional removalist, hiring a van or truck to drive yourself, or simply moving all your things in your own vehicle.

The way you move your belongings will largely determine how much it costs. Hiring a removalist to pack and move everything for you will be much more expensive than doing a bunch of trips back and forth in your own ute, for example.

If you choose to hire a removalist, the amount of belongings you have, the distance that needs to be travelled, how easy the new house is to access and whether you have specialty items (e.g. a piano) will all help determine the price you’ll pay.

If you’re largely moving everything yourself, you’ll have to factor in the cost of hiring a vehicle per hour, or the cost of petrol if you’re using your own. While this might work out cheaper than hiring removalists, it’s a good idea to also consider the time and effort it’ll take.

2. Transferring your utilities

While changing over your utilities to your new address might be one of the more boring parts of moving house, it’s an important task nonetheless.

Transferring utilities like electricity, gas, water and internet to your new home can cost a couple of hundred dollars all up, depending on your providers and what needs moving.

However, this might also be a good opportunity to negotiate a better deal on some services and utility costs. For example, you might be able to start paying less for your internet by calling up your provider for a chat. Any savings here could help recuperate any transfer fees.

3. Cleaning services

If you’re leaving a rental property, chances are you’ll need to give the place a deep clean as part of your rental agreement.

Hiring a professional cleaner to do this for you will likely set you back around a couple of hundred dollars. You can do it yourself for cheaper – just make sure it’s up to the standard your landlord expects.

Depending on the property you’re moving to, you might also want to consider giving it a good clean before you move in. If this is the case, be sure to factor in this cost too.

4. Moving materials

They may seem small in the scheme of moving, but don’t forget to take the cost of essential items like packing tape, cardboard boxes and bubble wrap into account.

The cost of these items will depend on how much you need to pack, so some forward planning could help.

You may be able to save on the cost of something like bubble wrap if you opt to cover breakable items in newspaper, clothing or bed-linen instead, for example.

5. Furniture and other household necessities

Sometimes, a new house calls for new furniture. Maybe your new place doesn’t accommodate your existing furniture very well, or maybe you need some extra pieces that you didn’t have before.

Either way, it’s a good idea to factor the cost of furniture into your moving budget, as well as other household items like cleaning products, laundry supplies and any other necessities.

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6. Storage facility

If you’ve moved out of your old home but can’t move into your new home straight away, you might need to temporarily store some of your belongings in a storage unit.

The cost of a storage unit varies depending on the size you require, the amount of time you need it for and your location.

7. Temporary accommodation

You could need temporary accommodation if you’re moving cities or interstate and you don’t have anywhere to stay while you move everything into your new home.

Or, maybe you have a little while to wait between moving out of your old house and moving into your new one, so you need somewhere to live in the meantime.

Whatever your situation, it’s worth accounting for this extra cost when you move. The amount you spend on temporary accommodation will depend on what type of accommodation you choose (e.g. hotel, Airbnb, serviced apartment) and how long you need it for.

8. Food

While it hopefully shouldn’t cost you as much as moving all your possessions to your new place, food is something people can forget to factor into their moving costs.

Chances are you’ll be eating your fair share of takeaway meals when you first move in and it may take you a while to find the box with the frying pans in it. Or, you’ll be too exhausted to cook!

Plus, you may also need to stock up on pantry and fridge staples if you haven’t been able to take any with you.

Want to make sure all your bases are covered when you move house? Check out our ultimate moving home checklist for more.

How to reduce moving costs

If you’ve thought about your move and realised the costs are starting to rack up, don’t stress – here are some ways to keep the cost of moving house down:

1. Move your belongings yourself

If you’re looking to cut costs for your move, doing the hard yards yourself could be the way to go. Maybe you own a ute or another vehicle that would suit moving furniture and other large items, or you have a friend who does.

If you’re willing to do a few trips back and forth, you could save hundreds of dollars in removalist fees.

It’s important to note that this approach won’t suit everyone – for example, people who have a lot of belongings to move or people moving cities or interstate. Also, while doing it yourself could save you extra cash, it’s also likely to take more time and effort.

2. Unpack and pack your possessions yourself and source your own packing materials

If you do decide to hire a removalist, sourcing and packing your own boxes can save you money.

Having a removalist do these jobs adds extra onto the cost, so finding second hand cardboard boxes and doing all the packing and unpacking yourself can boost your savings.

3. Declutter your belongings before moving day

Doing a thorough decluttering of all your things before you move house can make a big difference to the cost of relocating.

Since removalists factor in the amount of stuff you have when working out how much their services will cost you, making sure you have as little as possible to be moved can help you save money.

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4. Organise your boxes by room

Since removalists charge by the hour (as well as considering how much needs to be moved and your location), making the process as quick as possible can cut costs.

A good way to speed things up is to pack all your possessions according to what room of the house they’ll go in and label them clearly. You can also make a plan of what furniture needs to go in each room when it arrives at your new place.

This way, the removalists can simply unload your things according to your labels – rather than wasting your time (and money) by unloading everything in a disorganised way.

5. Compare removalist prices

If you do choose to go with a removalist, it’s a good idea to compare prices between companies so you can make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Are you moving house and need to refinance, or are you searching for the right home loan for your new home? Our friendly Home Loan Specialists can help. Book an appointment at a time that suits you.

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The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered personal or financial advice. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.

Tags: new purchase, house, relocate, family home, home, new home

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