Forget waiting 45 minutes for the delivery guy to show up. In this custom tiny home, pizzas are ready in just two minutes!
Empty nesters looking to avoid the burden of a big mortgage, Robert and Rebekah Sofia embarked on a 20-month journey designing and building a 221-square-foot home in Ocklawaha, FL. Most people would balk at the idea of putting a 800-degree wood-fired pizza oven in such a small space. But with layers of plaster, cement and a heavy metal door, it’s completely insulated.
The Floridians were passionate about bringing a European flavor to their design and using recycled building materials. From the exterior corrugated metal to the cedar planks and doors – everything had a prior life. Best of all: The materials only cost $15,000.
In addition to the pizza oven, there are amenities you might not expect in a tiny house: a big apron sink, outdoor soaking tub, formal dining room with a chandelier, a hangout music loft and his-and-hers closets.
Making the decision to move can be an exciting time, whether you’re moving across town or across the country. But it can also be a milestone surrounded by uncertainty: am I making the right decision? How will my kids adjust to a new school? Will I like my new neighborhood?
According to the US Census, 11.2 percent of Americans moved in 2016, for reasons related to housing, family, and employment. And there’s one question pretty much everyone who is thinking about moving asks: How much will it cost to relocate?
There are all kinds of moving expenses to keep in mind, including changes in cost of living, balancing two mortgages (or a mortgage and rent) during the transition, and the cost of actually getting all your belongings from point A to point B. Here’s some information about average moving expenses to help you make sense of it all.
Estimating moving costs
Roughly half of all people who move use professional movers, whether they’re moving short or long distances.
These are average costs for moving, according to HomeAdvisor. Of course, prices vary by region and by distance.
Type of move
Local/intrastate (under 100 miles, including 2 movers + truck)
$80-$100 per hour
+ $25-$50 extra per additional mover
Interstate/cross-country (over 100 miles)
$2,000-$5,000 per move
+ $0.50 per pound
How much does it cost to move across town?
Local moves make up the vast majority of people moving every year. According to Zillow research, 57 percent of home buyers move within the same city, and 86 percent move within the same state.
For local moves, you’ll typically pay an hourly rate that includes a truck and the services of two movers. The bigger your home, the longer your move will take.
Consider these estimates from HomeAdvisor.
Size of house
Estimated time of move
Average price range
How far in advance should I book local movers?
Keep in mind that most people move between May and September, so you’ll want to book your movers at least four weeks ahead of time. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get the day and time that works best for you, and the more likely you are to get an experienced crew.
The least expensive days to move are Monday-Thursday. In the off-season (October-April), you can often book movers with only one to two weeks’ notice.
How much does it cost to move across the country?
While local movers typically charge by the hour, for a cross-country move you’ll likely be charged based on two key variables: weight and distance.
Before the move, the empty truck is weighed, and your mover should provide you with an “empty weight” receipt. Then, once all your belongings are loaded, they’ll weigh your truck again to help them determine your moving cost.
Have no idea how much your belongings weigh? Reputable movers will give you an estimate before you sign on the dotted line, using average weights for homes of your size (more on estimates later).
For example, the goods inside a 1,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom apartment typically weigh about 5,000 pounds. A 2,800-square-foot, 4-bedroom home’s furnishings typically weigh in at around 20,500 pounds.
Simply put, the farther a moving company has to transport your belongings, the higher the bill will be. You’ll likely be charged a per-mile rate in addition to the weight-based charges. Make sure to ask if there are any additional transportation charges, like fuel or tolls.
How far in advance should I book movers for a long-distance move?
For an interstate or cross-country move, you’ll want to book your movers as early as possible – ideally six to eight weeks before your move.
Typical moving expenses
Whatever kind of move you’re planning, the moving expenses you’ll incur will vary based on the level of service you’re looking for:
Just a truck rental: The ultimate DIY move, in this scenario you’ll be doing the packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking on your own, with just the help of a rental truck. Flat per-day rates start at around $20 per day, depending on the size of the truck, plus charges for gas and mileage.
Loading, transportation, and unloading: Save your back by doing all the packing and unpacking yourself, but have professional movers do the heavy lifting. For a local move, this service can range from $200 for a one-bedroom apartment to $2,000+ for a 4-bedroom house.
Full-service moves: Leave everything to the pros, including wrapping and packing your belongings, loading them, transporting them to your new home, and unloading. You’ll just be responsible for unpacking your belongings and getting settled. This type of move is usually used for long-distance moves. Expect to pay roughly $2,000-$5,000 for the transportation, plus about 50 cents per pound, plus $25-$50 per hour, per mover for packing and unpacking help.
Temporary storage: If your moving dates don’t line up exactly, you may find yourself needing to temporarily stash your things in a storage unit or moving container. Storage facility rates start at about $50 per month for a small unit, and go up to $300 or $400 for larger units. If you’d like the convenience of a portable storage unit that’s delivered to your home, loaded by you, and stored in a warehouse until you’re ready for re-delivery, expect to pay $150-$300 per month, plus delivery and re-delivery costs.
Moving supplies: Instead of buying and then recycling boxes, you can go green and rent hard plastic boxes for your move. Prices start at about $50 per week for enough boxes to pack a 1-bedroom apartment, and up to $200 to pack a large house. Once you’re done, the rental service will pick up the boxes. To save money on cardboard boxes, check your local “buy nothing” group or moving truck rental company, which often have used boxes on hand.
Additional costs of moving
When calculating your relocation budget, make sure to keep in mind these unexpected moving costs:
A transportation surcharge if the moving company pays workers more for working in metropolitan areas, where labor costs are often higher.
You may opt to purchase full value protection insurance. Released value protection is typically included by movers at no cost, but the protection is minimal – just 60 cents per pound per article lost or damaged.
Charges for moving vehicles, including cars, boats, and motorcycles.
Surcharges for moving large or fragile items – think swing sets, pianos, extra-large furniture, or riding lawn mowers.
Additional charges if the movers have to walk more than 75 feet from door to truck, or if they need to use stairs or an elevator.
Additional charges if your street is too narrow to accommodate a moving truck and they’ll need to shuttle your belongings with a smaller truck.
You may find yourself paying unexpected moving costs if there’s a delay in the availability of your new home and the moving company has to put your items into storage.
Moving cost agreements
Any reputable moving company should provide you with a quote before your move, using the industry-standard rate book published by the Household Goods Carrier Bureau, called the Tariff 400-N. There are two main types of moving quotes:
Non-binding estimates are the industry standard. They reflect the company’s best guess as to what your final bill will be, but they can often be inaccurate. Whenever possible, opt for not-to-exceed quote.
Not-to-exceed estimates are quotes where the moving company commits to a maximum price.
When it comes to moving, the best way to limit your costs (and to keep your sanity) is to move quickly. The faster you’re out of your old home and into your new home, the less you’ll pay in movers, rented supplies, storage costs, and – most importantly – overlapping mortgage payments or rent.
Looking to sell your house in a hurry? Check out Zillow Instant Offers, where you can list your home for investors only and attract offers from investors who are ready to buy.
Ready for a kitchen renovation? Anxious for a bathroom remodel? The easy part is knowing your goal for home remodeling – whether you’re trying to keep up with your growing family, add office space, or increase your home’s value.
But figuring out how to plan a home renovation that doesn’t break the bank can be tricky.
Here are five key steps in planning your home remodeling project.
1. Estimate home renovation costs
As a general rule of thumb, you should spend no more on each room than the value of that room as a percentage of your overall house value. (Get an approximate value of your home to start with.)
For example, a kitchen generally accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the property value, so spend no more than this on kitchen renovation costs. If your home is worth $200,000, for example, you’ll want to spend $30,000 or less.
Something else to keep in mind: Contrary to popular belief, kitchen renovations offer among the lowest return on investment, according to analysis from Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate. Every dollar you spend on a kitchen remodel increases the value of your home by 50 cents.
The highest return on investment? A mid-range bathroom remodel.
2. Consider home remodeling loan options
If you plan on borrowing money to fund your home renovations, there are a number of loans out there to help with just that.
Refinancing. Depending on your current interest rate, you might be able to refinance your mortgage at a lower rate and/or for a longer loan term, which could lower your monthly payments and help you save up for your renovations.
Cash-out refinance. If you have enough equity, you could also consider a cash-out refinance, which means refinancing your existing loan for an amount that’s higher than what you owe. Going this route, you pay off your original mortgage and have cash left over. Use a refinance calculator to see if refinancing makes sense for you.
HELOC. If refinancing sounds like too big of a leap, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) might work better. A HELOC works a lot like a credit card in the sense that it has a set limit that you can borrow against.
Home equity loan. Although it sounds similar to a HELOC, a home equity loan is a bit different. This loan requires you to take out all the cash at one time. They’re often referred to as “second mortgages” because homeowners get them in addition to their first mortgage.
Refinancing, getting a HELOC or taking out a home equity loan are all big decisions, and it can be tough to know which one makes the most sense for you. As with any new loan,consult with a lender to see which option is best for your situation.
3. Get home renovation quotes from contractors
Some contractors will give you an estimate based on what they think you want done, and work completed under these circumstances is almost guaranteed to cost more. You have to be very specific about what you want done, and spell it out in the contract – right down to the materials you’d like used.
Get quotes from several contractors, tossing out the bid from the one who gives you the lowest estimate. Going with this choice could be asking for problems, as low-priced contractors are known to cut corners – at your expense.
4. Stick to the home remodeling plan
As the renovation moves along, you might be tempted to add on another “small” project or incorporate the newest design trend at the last minute. But know that every time you change your mind, there’s a change order, and even minor changes can be costly. Strive to stick to the original agreement, if possible.
5. Account for hidden home renovation costs
Your home may look perfect on the outside, but there could be issues lurking beneath the surface. In fact, hidden imperfections are one of the reasons renovation projects end up costing more than you anticipated.
Rather than scramble to come up with extra money after the fact, give yourself a cushion upfront. Factor in 10 to 20 percent (or more) of your contracted budget for unforeseen expenses, as they can – and do – occur. In fact, it’s rare that any project goes completely smoothly.
Most homeowners have that one thing about their home that they wish were different.
“My house would be perfect if it just had one more bathroom.”
“I love my house – except for the kitchen layout.”
“If I had more storage space, I could live here forever.”
For some owners, their home’s fatal flaw exists outside the four walls. Maybe the house backs up to a creek that floods whenever it rains, resulting in a squishy backyard perfect for breeding mosquitoes. Or perhaps the home is located on a busy street that generates too much traffic noise. It could just be that the house is too far from the homeowner’s job, and the long commute has gotten old.
If you’re feeling discontented with your home, you may be thinking about renovating … or getting out entirely. Before you knock down walls or put your home on the market, check out our quiz – it could help you think differently about your situation.
If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, your purchase should be as bulletproof as a cash buyer’s.
How can you compete against a cash buyer?
Be up front about your finances. Make your offer as strong as cash by providing the seller the confidence they need to accept your offer. In addition to a pre-approval letter from your lender, be open to allowing your agent or lender to provide financial information with your offer. Tell them what you make, and how much money you have in the bank. Show bank statements and even a copy of your credit report. Overload the seller to show them that you’re as solid as the cash buyer.
Ask your lender to get a head start on the mortgage. See if your mortgage professional can move the process along sooner. Send the lender a copy of the preliminary title report, if available. If you’re buying a condo, find out if a condo questionnaire is available and give it to your lender. If you take any of these steps, let the seller know. Of course, if you have not already, provide the necessary financial documentation to your lender right away.
Shorten the loan and appraisal contingencies. Ask your lender how quickly they can send an appraiser to the property, and how long the loan would take to turnaround. In some parts of the country, loans are being approved in less than 14 days – sometimes even 10.
Pre-order an appraisal. This may not be as easy with a bigger bank. But smaller banks, direct lenders or mortgage brokers can line up the appraisal in advance. At the time your offer is written, tell the seller the appraisal has already been ordered. If you can get the appraiser out within 24-48 hours of coming to terms with the seller, it’s half the battle.
Inspect quickly. Along with the quick appraisal and loan contingencies, get your inspector in and out. Shelling out a few hundred dollars and getting the inspections done within days of having your offer accepted shows the seller you mean business. It also gives them comfort that they’ll get over the biggest hurdle quickly.
Overpay. Cash buyers nearly always expect a discount from the seller simply because they’re offering cash and are a sure thing. As a result, the cash buyer will often make a lower offer. To increase your chances, top the cash offer, even if means paying a little more than you think the home is worth. If a seller is faced with a few thousand dollars’ difference, the seller probably wouldn’t risk it. But what if your offer is five percent higher than the cash buyer’s? The seller, perhaps wanting the best of both worlds, may ask the cash buyer to raise his or her offer. Some cash buyers will offer more, but not always enough to match. If you plan to live in the house for many years and it’s the home of your dreams, paying a little more to get the deal might only translate into $20 per month over the course of a long-term mortgage.
Make yourself known to the seller. Some buyers write “love letters” to sellers, hoping to appeal to their personal side. Does this work? Sometimes! If you’re competing with a cash buyer, particularly an investor who plans to rent the home out, it can’t hurt to get a little personal. The seller almost always wants to know more about the potential buyer. Ask your agent to write a cover letter and an introduction. Let the seller know who you are, why you like the home and what your intentions are. It usually works.
Selling a home not only takes time, but also costs money. To help with budgeting, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common – but often overlooked – seller expenses.
From closing costs to home prep projects like carpet cleaning, U.S. homeowners can expect to spend more than $15,000 on these extra or hidden costs to sell the median home, according to Zillow and Thumbtack’s Hidden Costs of Selling Analysis.
The two largest closing costs are agent commissions and, in most states, sales or transfer taxes.
Nationally, sellers spend $12,532 for both closing costs on the median home. Sellers should also prepare for a variety of other smaller closing costs, including title insurance and escrow fees.
While some sellers prefer to complete these projects themselves, those who outsource can expect to spend more than $2,650 nationally to cover staging, carpet cleaning, interior painting, lawn care and house cleaning – five of the most popular seller home prep projects.
Location, location, location
As with all things real estate, these extra costs can vary significantly by region.
In San Francisco, homeowners can pay more than $55,000 on the median home to cover these combined closing costs and maintenance expenses – the highest among the markets analyzed.
Compare that to Cleveland, OH where home sellers pay just over $10,000 for the same costs.
To estimate potential profit, sellers who have claimed their home on Zillow can use Zillow’s Sale Proceeds Calculator. It factors in the home’s sale price, mortgage balance and agent commissions, along with other common seller fees.
Curious how your metro stacks up for sellers? Here’s a breakdown of the metros analyzed in the report:
Looking for more information about selling your home? Check out our Sellers Guide.
If you’ve never heard of millennial pink, don’t worry – you aren’t that out of the loop. Though the term was coined recently, it’s been popping up for years, and Pantone’s selection of Rose Quartz as one of its 2016 colors of the year was just a preview of the pink craze to come (yes, there’s a hashtag). Stars from Rihanna to Harry Styles have embraced light pink hues, though it’s more about the vibe than a distinct color, and its popularity goes beyond the 20-something crowd.
Millennial pink has put rosy-colored homes on the map as well. While painting a house pink is nothing new – several historic, stucco and adobe homes sport the hue – it’s certainly on trend.
Check out these six homes for some millennial pink inspiration, and see what all the fuss is about.
Tropical color schemes are a trademark of Key West design and architecture, as embodied by this delightful revival-style duplex. Bright blue shutters pop against a pale pink exterior with white trim, while the interior bursts with cheerful, vibrant blues, yellows, greens, and – of course – more pink.
A former mayor’s home, this restored Victorian is millennial pink inside and out. With a whimsical two-tone pink façade and a few light pink rooms in the interior, the bright paint choice is architecturally on point. “We often see a color similar on Victorian homes throughout Vermont,” explains listing agent David Parsons, “and I believe it has a historical precedence.” Because of an increase in the number of pigments available and a reduction in the cost of paint, brightly colored homes became de rigueur in Victorian New England.
This historic home full of Southern charm proves that millennial pink is nothing new. Built around 1815, the current owners bought the pink house in 2004 and simply repainted it the same color since it worked so well. “There are many pink houses in Charleston, including one on Rainbow Row which is a block away,” explains Adam Edwards, who listed the home for sale last year. “Pink is a longtime popular color because it helps keep the interiors cooler in the hot summer months.” Black shutters and white trim give the house an elegant, refined look.
For a prime example of a bold millennial pink, check out this 4-bedroom, 3,080-square-foot gem close to all the action in Seattle. The exterior is painted a solid shade of warm, earthy pink called “New Pilgrim Red” and is complemented with off-white woodwork in “Navajo White.” “We had seen that on another Colonial Revival house years ago when we were just about to repaint,” former owners Clint and Elizabeth Miller recall. “It looked dramatic to us and suggested a New England sort of look.”
Stucco exteriors are common in the Southwest because they’re durable and – most importantly, for a desert climate – energy efficient. This pink-hued home shows that stucco doesn’t have to be drab. Here, the pink provides a dose of personality while maintaining a neutral, earthy vibe that meshes with the landscape.
New Orleans is no stranger to colorful homes. In fact, this cute, single-story house is subdued in comparison to many in the Big Easy. But that’s part of its appeal – and of the appeal of millennial pink in general. It manages to straddle the divide between playful and refined, youthful and classic.