Reasons Why Moving Always Costs Way More Than You Think


I’ve moved twice in my adult life. Considering I’ll be 32 in less than two months, that’s pretty impressive. When my husband and I built our first home and moved in at 21 and 22, we had very little. We saved and saved and gradually purchased furniture to furnish our new home. We bought a little here and a little there, so we really only moved what we’d been so careful to purchase before our house was complete, and our personal belongings from our childhood rooms. We had purchased furniture, but it was delivered by furniture companies and not our responsibility. Our entire home was unpacked and decorated before dinner the night we moved in. It was nice.

The second time we moved was 9 months ago. The birth of our boy/girl twins last year really made our first house seem too small, and we bought a new home – our dream home. Moving was not something that was difficult since we are not people into keeping ‘stuff’ or acquiring ‘stuff’ in the first place. We’re organized and it was simple. Even with four kids and more than a decade worth of belongings, we were able to move and unpack and decorate before midnight the day we moved in so that we could enjoy our new home beginning the first day we woke up there. It was nice.

But there is one thing I’ve learned in my two moves. It’s always more expensive than you consider. Aside from the whole purchasing a new home deal, the massive down payment and all that stuff, it’s still expensive. Just to take your stuff from point A to point B to make your home a home is more expensive than you think. And there are a variety of reasons this is so. If you’re in the process of packing to move, allow me to give you a heads up; make sure you are prepared for the expense.

Rental Fees

If you’re moving into a rental home, you’re going to have to put some money down. This could include everything from your security deposit to your first and last month’s rent to about a million other things. It’s not cheap to move into a rental home or apartment, and you need to be prepared for the amount you will have to put down just to secure an apartment to rent for a while.

Closing Costs

When we bought our house, I’d kind of forgotten about the expense. Now, my mother-in-law is our closing agent, so we get a nice big discount. However, we still had to pay thousands of dollars for closing costs despite the fact that we’d already put tens of thousands of dollars down on our new home. It was expensive stuff.

New Utilities

There’s something else we tend to forget when we move. We have to set up our utilities when we move. There are sometimes fees associated with things like this, though not always. It’s more of a credit-situation for some, but you still have to be prepared for the possibility.

New Internet

You can’t just transfer your internet to a new home. You have to have people come out and set it up, and it always costs something to have them come out. That doesn’t even count the fact that you have to have things like your television and your cable set up and everything in between. The fees and the things you have to purchase to make this happen really do add up.

New Security Systems

Even though our home already had an ADT system, we had to upgrade it to the tune of just over $1000 after moving in. This meant updating the system to work wirelessly, to include key fobs and remotes and new door and window sensors. We have something like 31 windows and 9 entrances to our home, too, so we had to pay for a lot of new sensors. It really did add up.

Hiring Movers

We didn’t hire movers. We never do. We ask our friends and family to help us, but we still have to pay for a moving truck when the time comes. Even though that fee is simple and easy, it’s still a fee. But we really do appreciate our loved ones and their wonderful help in the moving department. Those who need extra hands may hire professional movers or a local house removals company.

Feeding Friends and Family Helping you Move

Now, this is where it gets expensive for us. We moved on a Gator football game day (but a 7 pm game, so we were thinking correctly). I made sure a dozen people had a big, hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner catered all day long at the house. I made sure they had plenty of water and a lot of beer. It cost a good $600 to feed and water these people all day long, but it’s totally worth it to have their help in a moving situation.

New Furniture

Because you will move in and realize that you need something, want something and have to have something. For us, it was going from a 1200-square-foot 3 bedroom, two bath home to a house with a grand total of more than 4500-square-feet including our 1100-square-foot wooden deck with five bedrooms and three bathrooms and a laundry room the size of a small house. This meant, for us, new furniture for bedrooms, for living room spaces, for the huge dining room, for the indoor/outdoor patio, for the wooden deck out back, for our huge front porch; it was expensive.

New Décor

When we moved into our home, we needed a lot of stuff. We had so much extra wall space, so it meant more art and décor. It meant having the ugly countertops replaced with granite, having the cabinets refaced and redoing the floors. It meant painting all the kids’ bedrooms and bathrooms. It meant buying new décor for additional bathrooms. It really meant spending a lot of money.

Something always Breaks

We weren’t even through our moving day when our septic tank overflowed and had to be pumped to the tune of more than $500 with a few minor repairs here and there (we had to pay a Sunday fee since it happened after dark Saturday evening). Our garage door sensors had to be replaced. We had to have our air conditioner replaced. We had to have a lot of electrical work done to hide cords on wall mounted televisions. We had to have sinks replaced and things of that nature handled; it’s expensive.

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images


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