How Smaller Costs Associated With Moving Can Add Up

Buying a new home requires more than just budgeting for a monthly mortgage payment. The costs of small things such as boxes and packing tape — not to mention the bigger things such as repairs after you’re all moved in —can add up quickly, leaving many new homeowners feeling unprepared. By setting aside an allowance to cover the costs associated with moving, you’ll help the process go smoothly and ensure that when the big day comes you’re well prepared.

Pricing Out the Actual Move

So you’ve purchased your new home. Congratulations! Now, the not-so-fun part: getting all of your stuff into it.

The average cost of a move using professional movers is $3,274, according to MyMovingReviews.com. Moving costs include packing and transporting your clothes, furniture, kitchen items and other electronics to your new home — and of course, the cost of a vehicle and laborers. Small items, like boxes, bubble wrap and tape are often more costly than anticipated. How can you save? Do your own packing. If you can, a classic move is to utilize family and friends to help with the labor — with payment in pizza and cold drinks. If you have to hire movers, scheduling your move for an off-peak time, if possible, should also net you a discount.

Furnishing Your New Home

Moving into a larger home means you’ll have more rooms to furnish. If you’re coming from an apartment, chances are you’ll need to spend money on additional bedroom sets, dining and living room furniture and kitchen appliances. While these costs aren’t necessarily an immediate requirement, they should be worked into an annual budget. To save on furniture, try to wait for sales. According to Consumer Reports, the best time of year to buy electronics is January, while indoor furniture bargains can be found in June. Also, keep an eye out for estate sales, where you could find whole sets available. What was once considered old could be back in style by now.

Repairs and Renovations

No home is perfect. Even if you purchase a new house, you may want to make some changes or upgrades to your new digs. The costs of changes can run from something as inexpensive as a small painting project — $100 or less for primer, paint and supplies — to a large renovation project like an addition or kitchen remodel — upwards of $10,000. If you purchased an older home, there’s always the chance that additional repairs will be needed soon after moving in. Setting aside a reserve fund for home repairs is always a good idea when planning a new move. If a repair or renovation is not urgent, then take the time to shop around for contractors and materials. Work the prices into your budget.

The Added Costs of Homeownership

Becoming a homeowner means you’ll be responsible for costs you may not have needed to think about as a renter. Utilities and landscaping expenses may increase when you buy a property with more square footage and a bigger backyard. Real estate taxes and homeowners insurance are also costs associated with homeownership. If you’re moving into a development with a homeowner association, you may need to pay monthly or annual dues.

Anticipate Changes to Your Lifestyle

Many moves take place in conjunction with lifestyle changes. As your family grows, you may need a larger home. A job change can also be a reason to relocate. Moving to a neighborhood in a top-notch school district may result in a change to your work commute, requiring a larger monthly allowance for car expenses and gas. If your previous neighborhood was walkable, living in the suburbs may require you to purchase a second car for your family. Community memberships such as gyms, swimming pools or sports leagues for your kids are examples of added costs that may be associated with your move.

Buying a new home is a large investment and you don’t want to suffer from extra financial strain after your settlement. Before you take the plunge, you’ll need to take steps to ensure you feel comfortable with the added financial responsibility. Check your current financial preparedness using an online scoring system. Moving can be an exciting, fun time with the right planning and attitude.

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