Jul 12, 2022

The 10 Most Unexpected Costs of Moving

Manny Cominsky

As we’ve covered elsewhere on the Sunbound Blog, moving across the country (or even just across town or across your state) can be an expensive proposition, with moving companies often charging several thousands of dollars to handle your move depending on how far you’re going and how much stuff you’re taking with. But even after you’ve accounted for paying your movers, there are a host of unexpected and hidden expenses that can crop up during a move and cost you extra time and money. To make sure that you have the most cost-effective move possible, and also to avoid being scammed, make sure you learn as much as possible about the moving process before going through with your move. By planning for these hidden costs, listed below, you can avoid unpleasant and costly surprises and make sure you have as smooth a move as possible. 

1. Packing Supplies

If you’re using a moving company, or if you already have packing supplies, then you typically don’t have to worry about this expense. However, if you plan on moving yourself, you’re likely going to have to purchase a load of supplies to get everything packed and ready to move. A moving kit that contains about 50-60 boxes and tape will typically cost between $150-200. This should be enough supplies to pack a two bedroom house, but beware of other hidden expenses such as a moving truck, packing peanuts, and other essential supplies to get yourself moved.    

Packing supplies, like plastic bubble wrap, are important to make sure that none of your valuable possessions are damaged in transit.

2. Moving Insurance

If you want to protect your valuables, it’s recommended that you purchase moving insurance. After all, if you end up damaging a valuable item or a family heirloom, you won’t be reimbursed without moving insurance. While each policy is different, the cost of moving insurance is typically about 1% of the total estimated value of your personal belongings. Although moving companies typically have this expense included, if you’re moving yourself, it’s an additional expense that we believe is worth every penny. To learn more about how movers charge for their services, as well as the types of coverage available, check out our blog post on the topic here

3. Stair Fees

Beware of stair fees. While this isn’t a common expense, moving companies will typically charge an additional fee when moving you into a home or unit that cannot be accessed without using stairs. Although, if there is an elevator around, you likely don’t have to worry about this surprise expense. 

4. Storage Fees

If you plan on having an extended move, we recommend that you consider the price of storage fees. Whether you’re moving yourself or working with a company, you’ll likely have to pay a storage fee to have your belongings protected for longer than a few weeks. This expense will likely run you about $350/month, so we advise planning a quick move to avoid this hidden cost. Oftentimes, people will move possessions into storage thinking that it will be a quick stay, only to see the months (and cost!) add up. 

A self-storage facility can be a great short-term option, but keeping your things there too long can cause costs to really add up.

5. Hotels

Nobody likes the phase between closing on your old home and moving into your new one. Your belongings are all packed away, you’re on the move, and you have no current place to call “home.” Most people will typically stay at a hotel, which can add up very quickly. In order to avoid this hidden expense, we recommend having your new home available upon arrival. Or of course, you can always use Sunbound to move into your new home instantly. In fact, having to find a place to stay between selling your old home and buying your new one was one of the problems Sunbound was founded to solve! Let us take care of this hidden cost for you. 

6. Parking Tickets

If you’re moving into, or out of, a dense neighborhood, it may be difficult to find convenient places to park your car or moving truck for loading and unloading. Many times, this forces people to find creative parking spots, which sometimes can unfortunately lead to parking tickets. You might not need to worry about this expense if you’re moving into a home with its own driveway, for example, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind. 

If you're moving out of a crowded urban area, finding a reliable parking spot may take up more of your time and money than you expected.

7. Off Days

Even when you have professional organizers to help you with your packing and movers to help get everything from point A to point B, organizing and overseeing your move can often take up a fair amount of time. If you’re moving during the week, this might force you to take days off work, or, if you look after children for example, find a babysitter for the day. Unfortunately, putting your life on hold for a couple days to tend to your move has its own costs. 

8. DIY Disasters

When looking at the rates of moving companies, you may consider that it would be cheaper to do it yourself. However, this isn’t always the case. When you move yourself, you may have to cover the cost of moving insurance, rental trucks, moving supplies, storage fees, hotel expenses, transportation costs, and more. Unfortunately, these costs can really add up. Lastly, moving yourself takes up a lot of your time, which is more valuable than anything. 

9. Tipping Your Movers

Don’t forget to tip your mover! This is an expense that isn’t outlined when you plan your moving process, but it is your decision as to how much you want to tip your movers. While tips aren’t a massive expense, it’s something to keep in mind when budgeting your move and are always greatly appreciated by your hardworking movers. 

10. Buying New Furniture 

Even if you’re not moving into a bigger space, you’ll likely have to purchase some new furniture such as lights, tables, etc. It may be difficult to plan out the funiting of your space beforehand, but it can save you money in the long run. Pro tip: Move into a place that’s already furnished! 

With careful planning you can reduce or even completely avoid some of these surprise expenses that so often crop up during the relocation process. But the easiest way to make sure that you avoid all the pitfalls of relocating for retirement is to let Sunbound handle the whole process on your behalf.

Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living. If you want to learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for residents and easier to manage for communities, email us at info@sunboundhomes.com or request a demo here. Sunbound is on a mission to make senior living more affordable for everyone.

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