How Much Does It Cost to Move?

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 Average charge Extra charges
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
1-bedroom apartment 3-5 hours $200-$500
2-bedroom apartment 5-7 hours $400-$700
3-bedroom house 7-10 hours $560-$1,000
4-bedroom house 10+ hours $800-$2,000+

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.

Weight

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.

Distance

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.

Movers loading moving truck
Moving costs vary depending on factors such as the number of belongings, the length of the move, and the services provided.

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.
Family unpacking belongings after moving
To avoid being surprised by high moving costs, ask your movers to provide a not-to-exceed estimate.

Get moving

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.

Related:

Originally published July 2012; data updated March 2018.

The post How Much Does It Cost to Move? appeared first on Zillow Porchlight.

from Zillow Porchlight https://www.zillow.com/blog/how-much-will-you-pay-to-move-91663/

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How to Set a Home Renovation Budget

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.

Kitchen remodel with kitchen cabinets painted.
A kitchen remodel should cost no more than 10 to 15 percent of your home’s value. Photo from Offset.

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.

Home renovation plans for remodeling a house.
Make sure that contractors’ estimates include the full scope of your project. Photo from Shutterstock.

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.

Couple looking at renovation plans while remodeling a home.
Even minor changes to your remodeling project’s scope can add significant costs. Photo from Offset.

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.

Top image from Zillow listing.

Related:

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Originally published June 4, 2015.

The post How to Set a Home Renovation Budget appeared first on Zillow Porchlight.

from Zillow Porchlight https://www.zillow.com/blog/budget-for-home-renovations-177504/

Quiz: Should You Renovate Your Home or Sell?

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.

Related:

The post Quiz: Should You Renovate Your Home or Sell? appeared first on Zillow Porchlight.

from Zillow Porchlight https://www.zillow.com/blog/quiz-renovate-home-or-sell-225199/