Understanding the Ignored Moving Costs

Whether you are selling, buying, or renting your home; moving can be a headache and the cost is frequently overlooked because of everything going on surrounding each move.  Failing to prepare for the costs involved has unfortunately left many with thousands in unexpected expenses. Whether your situation needs a full-service move, a do-it-yourself move, or something in between; making sure that you aren't blindsided by the associated costs should be a priority.  Luckily, estimating these costs can be simpler than it seems thanks to a few rules that can be found below.


Moving Across Town

57% of home buyers that also sell move within the same city, with 86% within the same state, so this is the most common situation.  Luckily, when you are moving locally you are able to decide if you want to take on more of the moving process or go completely hands off.

Do-It-Yourself Moving

There are always costs associated with moving whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, and these costs can add up quickly.  There are truck rentals, gas, short-term housing/storage, and supply expenses.  Here are a few of the most common expenses that are incurred with most moves...

  • Truck rentals are usually a necessity when it comes to moving no matter how you choose to go about it. These rentals come with a flat fee and mileage fee. Depending on the size you are looking at $20-$40 as a flat fee with a $0.99 charge for every mile driven and, of course, don’t forget to fill the tank or you can expect more charges added to the end. Luckily, if you are in the DMV and a part of the CAZA network then you can reserve our 16ft box truck for free. If you have any questions about how to reserve this truck call 703-651-635.

  • Loading, transportation, and unloading is the main headache that comes with moving. This is then naturally the main value that comes with professional movers, you can find how to estimate these costs in the “Full-Service Movers” section below. But hey, maybe a few friends are willing to lend a hand in your time of need. If that is the case then estimate the costs by check your local pizzeria as a small thank you for their time (beer sold separately).

  • Storage could be needed if your moving dates don’t match up, and will depend on how much space you need and for how long. Most small units can be found for $50 a month and can go up to a 300-400 for a larger unit.

  • Supplies will be needed no matter what your situation and moving boxes end up being more costly than you’d expect. For instance, Uhual has kits with boxes from $75-$380 for everything from apartments to 4+ bedroom houses. As a greener alternative to cardboard boxes, renting plastic boxes for the move is a great option but it does cost a little more. These can be rented for around $50 per week if you’re moving an apartment or up to a couple hundred a week for enough to pack a large house.

Full-Service Movers

One nice thing about estimating local professional moving costs is that there is usually no distinction made on the activity they are doing which makes things simple.  Whether it is packing, carrying items to the truck, loading the truck, driving, or unloading; the rate is the same.  Moving within your area is simply an hourly rate, but may include a few base fees as well.   The typical hourly rate in the DMV and many areas around the country is $25 an hour per mover.  This means that 2 movers working for 2-4 hours would have an estimated cost of $100-$200. After the actual labor hours, all there is left are those base fees. These “travel fees” typically cover the fuel/time expenses that it takes to get to and from your property as well as if you are using their truck (because many movers don’t separate this charge).  A good rule of thumb for estimating these fees is to take the hourly labor rate and add on an extra 1-2 hours to the estimated labor costs.

Now that you know how to calculate moving expenses by the hour, it is just a matter of estimating how long the move will take.  You can find a table below estimating the move time based on bedrooms.

Interstate Moves

When moving to a different state the costs are calculated based on distance and weight (unlike local moves) and are a bit more difficult to narrow down into a simple calculation.  The best way to get an accurate estimation is to simply reach out to a mover and explain the size of your space as well as the distance. This will naturally be the most accurate given the varying situations that people could have.  There is also a free Moving Cost Calculator offered by moving.com that could be used for a more general estimate, but we will give you some basic estimates here so that you have something to go off of.  To start, the American Moving and Storage Association gives the average cost of an interstate move as $4,300 which has averages of 1,225 miles and 7,400 pounds.  Below are 3 average situations that can be used to understand rough estimates of what different situations could look like when traveling 1,000 miles…

  • Studio apartments have belongings that average 1,800-2,000 pounds. If this is close to your situation then you can expect a cost of roughly $1,500 as your lowest estimate.

  • 1 bedroom apartments have belongings that average 2,500-3,500 pounds. If this is close to your situation then you can expect a cost of around $1,800-$2,500 as a base without additional services.

  • 2 bedroom homes have belongings that average 5,000-6,000 pounds. If this is close to your situation then you can expect a cost of around $3,500-$4,200 as the lower end of your cost estimate.

As always, if you want the most accurate estimate based on your specific situation then there is no better option that to reach out to a trusted professional service.  The CAZA Group is here to help if you’d like to know about our preferred professional movers, have any more questions, or want to reserve our free 16ft box truck.