The hidden costs of moving homes


Moving to a new home can be expensive – or rather, more expensive than you were prepared for. After all, everyone considers the price of the home they’re buying and what mortgage payments will look like, but that doesn’t account for the real costs of actually moving.

The truth is that moving is its own expense, and it generally comes with plenty of hidden costs that families are unprepared for. Below are a few of the hidden costs that come with moving, along with some methods you can use to reduce your costs. With a little luck and a lot of work, you really will be able to make moving easier on your wallet.

Cleaning Costs

One of the biggest costs related to moving is the cost of cleaning your former home. Whether you’re renting or selling, you’re going to need to get your house looking like new. If you are a renter, you can expect to get a hefty cleaning fee if your home isn’t in good shape. If you’re the owner, though, you might have a lot of trouble actually selling your home if the house isn’t in great shape.

The best place to start is by getting estimates for the cleaning that your home needs. From there, it’s important to figure out what jobs you can handle without needing a professional. While many landlords are starting to require renters to hire professional cleaners on their way out, you don’t need to pay for the full service. Do as much as you can on your own, then hire out for the rest of the process. Take care of things like cleaning the windows and scrubbing the counters on your own, but let professionals handle labor-intensive processes like cleaning the carpets.

Note that if you’re buying when you move, you might need to do some cleaning there as well. Again, professionals can help with the big jobs but be prepared to save some money by doing most of this work on your own.

Utility Fees

A surprisingly high number of the services that you take for granted are going to charge you money to get set up in your new home. Everything from your water connections to your cable bill are going to cost you money to set back up, and you need to be prepared for these costs. The actual costs are largely dependent on the area in which you live as well as your credit score, but you can expect to pay up to a few hundred dollars for these services.

The best way to save money is to use your deposits from your old services to pay the deposits on your new services. You should also look into getting services transferred rather than getting new services at your new place – if you’re in the same area, you may be able to make a transfer without having to pay any new deposits.

If you can’t transfer deposits, you can often save money by deferring the costs of the installation. Some cable companies, for example, will allow you to pay your deposit over the course of a few bills. If you find that the price is too high, you may also be able to come to an agreement on a higher monthly bill for some services.

Moving Trucks

One of the biggest costs you can expect to pay during a move is the cost of transportation. If you need a truck, you can expect to pay anywhere between twenty and fifty dollars for an hour of truck time, or up to two hundred dollars for a full day. This is just the cost of the truck – hiring actual movers to load and to drive the truck is significantly more expensive. If you’re expecting someone to transport your items a significant distance, you could end up paying thousands of dollars.

The easiest way to save some money during the move is to prepare ahead of time. Asking a few friends to help out can go a long way in saving you money, especially if you’re able to move some items with pickup trucks and vans. The more you can move without the truck, the more you’ll save by using the vehicle for a shorter amount of time. If you must have the truck the whole time, pack as much as you can before the move so that you can reduce the amount of time you need it and then plan on loading and unloading it yourself.


The hidden costs of moving can cause you a fair amount of financial trouble, so do what you can to identify them before you start packing. Whether this means learning the cost of supplies, the price of getting your home cleaned or even the amount of money you’ll need for deposits, knowing about the costs before you move can help you to not be caught off-guard. Moving might have some necessary costs associated with it, but you can plan for them in a way that won’t break the bank.


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