The dollars and cents that go into moving vary greatly depending on a number of factors.
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.
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|
Local moves make up the vast majority of people moving every year. According to Zillow research, 57 percent of home buyers who also sell a home 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+|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.